Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Meadow in December

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

"icy white and crystalline" — Johnny Mercer

From a search in this journal for Hudson Hawk

See also Stella Octangula.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Meadow

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

From Nabokov's The Gift


Click for more about the Pushkin verse.

See also Trevanian + meadow and Congregated Light.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Meadow

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:07 PM

Appalachian meadow

"Is it a real meadow?"

Yes, of course.”

Friday, February 15, 2019

A Simple Interlacing

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:07 PM

Paul Valéry, "Introduction to the Method of Leonardo da Vinci,"
La Nouvelle Revue , Paris, Vol. 95 (1895)—

"Regarded thus, the ornamental conception is to the individual arts
what mathematics is to the other sciences. …the objects chosen
and arranged with a view to a particular effect seem as if disengaged
from most of their properties and only reassume them in the effect,
in, that is to say, the mind of the detached spectator. It is thus
by means of an abstraction that the work of art can be constructed,
and is more or less easy to define according as the elements borrowed
from reality for it are more or less complex. Inversely it is by a sort of
induction, by the production of mental images, that all works of art are
appreciated, and this production must equally be more or less active,
more or less tiring, according as it is set in motion by a simple interlacing
on a vase or a broken phrase by Pascal."

— Translated by Thomas McGreevy (Valéry's Selected Writings,
     New Directions, 1950)

Related art —

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Mythologem for Meletinsky

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM

The word "mythologem" on page 55 of The Burning Fountain 
by Philip Wheelwright, revised edition of 1968 (p. 91 in the 1954
edition), suggests a Web search for that word. It was notably often
used in the 1998 English translation of a book by Eleazar Meletinsky
first published in Russian in 1976 —

Meletinsky reportedly died on December 17, 2005.

In his memory, Log24 posts from that date are now tagged Mythologem Day.

"And we may see the meadow in December,
icy white and crystalline" — Johnny Mercer

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Never Stop Exploring.

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

"And we may see the meadow in December…."

Little Kay was quite blue, yes nearly black with cold;
but he did not observe it, for she had kissed away
all feeling of cold from his body, and his heart was
a lump of ice. He was dragging along some pointed
flat pieces of ice, which he laid together in all possible
ways, for he wanted to make something with them;
just as we have little flat pieces of wood to make
geometrical figures with, called the Chinese Puzzle.
Kay made all sorts of figures, the most complicated,
for it was an ice-puzzle for the understanding.
In his eyes the figures were extraordinarily beautiful,
and of the utmost importance; for the bit of glass
which was in his eye caused this. He found whole
figures which represented a written word; but he
never could manage to represent just the word
he wanted–that word was "eternity"; and the
Snow Queen had said, "If you can discover that figure,
you shall be your own master, and I will make you
a present of the whole world and a pair of new skates."
But he could not find it out.

— From The Snow Queen , by Hans Christian Andersen

See also the Chinese Puzzle in the previous post.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Tune for Josefine*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

From the New York Times  obituary of philanthropist
Fred Kavli, who died on Thursday, November 21

” In 2005, when Mr. Kavli announced that
he planned to start the prizes, he recalled
skiing in the Norwegian mountains as a boy.

‘At times,’ he told a gathering in New York,
‘the whole sky was aflame with the Northern Lights
shifting and dancing across the sky down to the
white-clad mountaintops. In the stillness and
loneliness of the white mountains, I pondered the
universe, the planet, nature and the wonders of
man. I’m still pondering.’ “

“And we may see the meadow in December, icy white
and crystalline….” — Johnny Mercer, lyrics to Lionel
Hampton and Sonny Burke’s “Midnight Sun

* Lyche

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Zero Theorem

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 AM

See "Mind of Winter" in this journal.

"And we may see the meadow in December…."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spectral Theory

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 8:00 AM

"And we may see the meadow in December,
 icy white and crystalline" — Johnny Mercer

"At another end of the sexual confusion spectrum…."

IMAGE- Frank Langella and Liam Neeson in 'Unknown'

"The devil likes metamorphoses."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

St. Emil’s Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 AM

For Emil Artin

“And we may see
the meadow in December,
icy white and crystalline.”

— Johnny Mercer, “Midnight Sun”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dog Tale

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:20 PM

"I love gazing into things. Can you imagine with me how glorious it is, for example, to see into a dog, in passing— into him… to ease oneself into the dog exactly at his center, the place out of which he exists as a dog, that place in him where God would, so to speak, have sat down for a moment when the dog was complete, in order to watch him at his first predicaments and notions and let him know with a nod that he was good, that he lacked nothing, that no better dog could be made. For a while one can endure being in the middle of the dog, but one has to be sure to jump out in time, before the world closes in around him completely, otherwise one would remain the dog within the dog and be lost to everything else."

— Rainer Maria Rilke, quoted in The New York Times  in 1988


Omitting unneeded narrative details,
a madman's knight move

A novel search in memory of the late
uncrowned crown prince of Albania—

Nabokov, Pale Fire

Related narratives—

Prose Tale and The Meadow.

Oh, and happy birthday to Woody Allen (76 today)—

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." —Groucho Marx

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday May 5, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:07 PM
Time and the River

“At the edge of the meadow
flowed the river.

Nick was glad
to get to the river.

He walked upstream
through the meadow.”

Ernest Hemingway

Pennsylvania Lottery
May 5, 2008:

PA Lottery May 5, 2008: mid-day 216, evening 725

Related material:


“In the swamp the banks were bare, the big cedars came together overhead, the sun did not come through, except in patches; in the fast deep water, in the half light, the fishing would be tragic. In the swamp fishing was a tragic adventure. Nick did not want it. He did not want to go down the stream any further today.”

— Ernest Hemingway,
Big Two-Hearted River

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday February 12, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:01 PM


“Kirk Browning… television director of ‘Live* From Lincoln Center,’ died on Sunday [Feb. 10, 2008] in Manhattan. He was 86.

The cause was a heart attack, his son, David, said.
Kirk Browning, TV director of 'Live from Lincoln Center'

… In addition to his ‘Live From Lincoln Center’ programs, 10 of which won Emmy Awards, Mr. Browning… directed, among other productions… the first TV show with Frank Sinatra as host (1957); and ‘Hallmark Hall of Fame’ music and drama specials (1951 to 1958).”

The New York Times

In Memoriam:

Shoe: 'Mort's Mortuary,' Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008

* The timestamp of this entry is, however, not live. The entry was actually produced at about 5:55 AM on Feb. 13.  The timestamp of the entry, 5:01 PM on Lincoln’s Birthday, is a veiled reference to Cemetery Ridge, to the meadow in “Readings for Candlemas” (see also the previous two entries) and to a Gettysburg address.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday February 2, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:19 AM
Incident at Twenty-Mile:

Matthew had a couple of hours on his hands before dinner with the Kanes, so he drifted up to the only grassy spot in Twenty-Mile, the triangular, up-tilted little meadow crossed by a rivulet running off from the cold spring that provided the town’s water. This meadow belonged to the livery stable, and half a dozen of its donkeys lazily nosed in the grass while, at the far end, a scrawny cow stood in the shade of the only tree in Twenty-Mile, a stunted skeleton whose leafless, wind-raked branches stretched imploringly to leeward, like bony fingers clawing the clouds. The meadow couldn’t be seen from any part of the town except the Livery, so Matthew felt comfortably secluded as he sauntered along, intending to investigate the burial ground that abutted the donkey meadow, but B. J. Stone called to him from the Livery, so he turned back and began the chore they had found for him to do: oiling tools.


After they did the dishes, Matthew and Ruth Lillian walked down the Sunday-silent street, then turned up into the donkey meadow. He was careful to guide her away from the soggy patch beneath the tree, where the Bjorkvists had slaughtered that week’s beef. Lost in their own thoughts, they strolled across the meadow, the uneven ground causing their shoulders to brush occasionally, until they reached the fenced-in burying ground.


“Matthew?” she asked in an offhand tone.


“What’s ‘the Other Place’?”

He turned and stared at her. “How do you know about that?”

“You told me.”

“I never!”

“Yes, you did. You were telling about your fight with the Benson boys, and you said you couldn’t feel their punches because you were in this ‘Other Place.’ I didn’t ask you about it then, ’cause you were all worked up.  But I’ve been curious about it ever since.”

“Oh, it’s just…” In a gesture that had something of embarrassment in it and something of imitation, he threw his stick as hard as he could, and it whop-whop-whop’d through the air, landing against the sagging fence that separated the burying ground from the donkey meadow.

“If you don’t want to tell me, forget it.  I just thought… Never mind.” She walked on.

“It’s not that I don’t want to tell you. But it’s… it’s hard to explain.”

She stopped and waited patiently.

“It’s just… well, when I was a little kid and I was scared– scared because Pa was shouting at Ma, or because I was going to have to fight some kid during recess– I’d fix my eyes on a crack in the floor or a ripple in a pane of glass– on anything, it didn’t matter what– and pretty soon I’d slip into this– this Other Place where everything was kind of hazy and echoey, and I was far away and safe. At first, I had to concentrate real hard to get to this safe place. But then, this one day a kid was picking on me, and just like that– without even trying– I was suddenly there, and I felt just as calm as calm, and not afraid of anything. I knew they were punching me, and I could hear the kids yelling names, but it didn’t hurt and I didn’t care, ’cause I was off in the Other Place.  And after that, any time I was scared, or if I was facing something that was just too bad, I’d suddenly find myself there. Safe and peaceful.” He searched here eyes. “Does that make any sense to you, Ruth Lillian?”

“Hm-m… sort of. It sounds kind of eerie.” And she added quickly, “But really interesting!”

“I’ve never told anybody about it. Not even my ma. I was afraid to because… This’ll sound funny, but I was afraid that if other people knew about the Other Place, it might heal up and go away, and I wouldn’t be able to get there when I really needed to. Crazy, huh?”

Related material:

The Meadow,

Logical Songs,

Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday May 25, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 7:11 AM
Dance and the Soul

From Log24 on
this date last year:

"May there be an ennui
of the first idea?
What else,
prodigious scholar,
should there be?"

— Wallace Stevens,
"Notes Toward a
Supreme Fiction"

The Associated Press,
May 25, 2007–

Thought for Today:
"I hate quotations.
 Tell me what you know."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

[Journals, on May 3, 1849]

The First Idea:

The Line, by S. H. Cullinane

Four Elements:

Four Elements (Diamond)

Square Dance:

Square Dance (Diamond Theorem)

This "telling of what
I know" will of course
mean little to those
who, like Emerson,
have refused to learn
through quotations.

For those less obdurate
than Emerson —Harold Bloom
on Wallace Stevens

and Paul Valery's
   "Dance and the Soul"–

"Stevens may be playful, yet seriously so, in describing desire, at winter's end, observing not only the emergence of the blue woman of early spring, but seeing also the myosotis, whose other name is 'forget-me-not.' Desire, hearing the calendar hymn, repudiates the negativity of the mind of winter, unable to bear what Valery's Eryximachus had called 'this cold, exact, reasonable, and moderate consideration of human life as it is.' The final form of this realization in Stevens comes in 1950, in The Course of a Particular, in the great monosyllabic line 'One feels the life of that which gives life as it is.' But even Stevens cannot bear that feeling for long. As Eryximachus goes on to say in Dance and the Soul:

A cold and perfect clarity is a poison impossible to combat. The real, in its pure state, stops the heart instantaneously….[…] To a handful of ashes is the past reduced, and the future to a tiny icicle. The soul appears to itself as an empty and measurable form. –Here, then, things as they are come together, limit one another, and are thus chained together in the most rigorous and mortal* fashion…. O Socrates, the universe cannot for one instant endure to be only what it is.

Valery's formula for reimagining the First Idea is, 'The idea introduces into what is, the leaven of what is not.' This 'murderous lucidity' can be cured only by what Valery's Socrates calls 'the intoxication due to act,' particularly Nietzschean or Dionysiac dance, for this will rescue us from the state of the Snow Man, 'the motionless and lucid observer.'" —Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate

* "la sorte… la plus mortelle":
    mortal in the sense
   "deadly, lethal"

Other quotations

(from March 28,
the birthday of
Reba McEntire):

Logical Songs

Reba McEntire, Saturday Evening Post, Mar/Apr 1995

Logical Song I

"When I was young, it seemed that
Life was so wonderful, a miracle,
Oh it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees,
Well they'd be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me"

Logical Song II

"You make me feel so young,
You make me feel like
Spring has sprung
And every time I see you grin
I'm such a happy in-

You and I are
Just like a couple of tots
Running across the meadow
Picking up lots
Of forget-me-nots"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday March 28, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
Logical Songs

Reba McEntire, Saturday Evening Post, Mar/Apr 1995

Logical Song I

“When I was young, it seemed that
Life was so wonderful, a miracle,
Oh it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees,
Well they’d be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me”

Logical Song II

“You make me feel so young,
You make me feel like
Spring has sprung
And every time I see you grin
I’m such a happy in-

You and I are
Just like a couple of tots
Running across the meadow
Picking up lots
Of forget-me-nots

Friday, June 9, 2006

Friday June 9, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM
The Meadow
continued from
December 18, 2005

“After I had advanced a good while I came finally to a lovely meadow hedged about with a round circle of fruit bearing trees, and called by the dwellers Pratum felicitatis [the meadow of felicity].”

— From page 2 of   
Problems of Mysticism
and Its Symbolism, by
Herbert Silberer, 1914
 (English translation
published in 1917)

“And we may see
the meadow in December,
icy white and crystalline.”

— Johnny Mercer,
  “Midnight Sun

“The author of the preceding narrative calls it a parable. Its significance may have indeed appeared quite transparent to him, and he presupposes that the readers of his day knew what form of learning he masked in it. The story impresses us as rather a fairy story or a picturesque dream.”

— Silberer, Problems of Mysticism online

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thursday March 23, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:55 AM

Happy Birthday, Hassler Whitney

In honor of the late Hassler Whitney, mathematician and mountaineer, here is a link to the five Log24 entries ending with White, Geometric, and Eternal (Dec. 20, 2003).

Related material: the five Log24 entries ending with The Meadow (Dec. 18, 2005) and the five Log24 entries ending with Strange Attractor (Jan. 7, 2006).

The cross and the epiphany star in this last group of entries may interest the symbol-mongers among us.

Those more interested in substance than in symbols may prefer the following (click to enlarge):

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/permutahedron-matroid497.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

This is apparently the original source for
the figure I cited on Dec. 20, 2003, as
from antiquark.com.

The connection with Whitney is
through the theory of matroids,
which Whitney founded in 1935.

See Hassler Whitney,
 "On the abstract properties
of linear dependence,"
American Journal of Mathematics,
vol. 57 (1935), 509-533,
Collected Papers, vol. I, 147-171.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday February 27, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:26 AM

Sudden View

From John O’Hara’s Birthday:

“We stopped at the Trocadero and there was hardly anyone there.  We had Lanson 1926.  ‘Drink up, sweet.  You gotta go some.  How I love music.  Frère Jacques, Cuernavaca, ach du lieber August.  All languages.  A walking Berlitz.  Berlitz sounds like you with that champagne, my sweet, or how you’re gonna sound.'”

— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, Chapter 11, 1938

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 4

“Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the


— James Joyce, conclusion of Finnegans Wake

“Using illustrative material from religion, myth, and culture, he starts with the descent of the dove on Jesus and ends with the poetic ramblings of James Joyce.”

Review of a biography of the Holy Spirit

Monica Potts in today’s New York Times on Sybille Bedford:

“Though her works were not always widely popular, they inspired a deeply fervent following of committed admirers, starting with her first published work, A Sudden View, in 1953. Later retitled A Visit to Don Otavio, it was an account of her journey through Mexico.”

… “I addressed him.  ‘Is Cuernavaca not below Mexico City?’
    ‘It is low.’
    ‘Then what is this?’  Another summit had sprung up above a curve.
    ‘At your orders, the Three Marias.’
    ‘What are the Three Marias?’
    Later, I learned from Terry that they were the three peaks by the La Cima Pass which is indeed one of the highest passes in the Republic; and still later from experience, that before running down to anywhere in this country one must first run up some six or seven thousand feet.  The descents are more alarming than the climbs.  We hurtled towards Cuernavaca down unparapeted slopes with the speed and angle, if not the precision, of a scenic railway– cacti flashed past like telegraph poles, the sun was brilliant, the air like laughing gas, below an enchanting valley, and the lack of brakes became part of a general allegro accelerando.”

— Sybille Bedford, A Sudden View, Counterpoint Press, Counterpoint edition (April 2003), page 77

“How continually, how startlingly, the landscape changed!  Now the fields were full of stones: there was a row of dead trees.  An abandoned plough, silhouetted against the sky, raised its arms to heaven in mute supplication; another planet, he reflected again, a strange planet where, if you looked a little further, beyond the Tres Marias, you would find every sort of landscape at once, the Cotswolds, Windermere, New Hampshire, the meadows of the Eure-et-Loire, even the grey dunes of Cheshire, even the Sahara, a planet upon which, in the twinkling of an eye, you could change climates, and, if you cared to think so, in the crossing of a highway, three civilizations; but beautiful, there was no denying its beauty, fatal or cleansing as it happened to be, the beauty of the Earthly Paradise itself.”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1st Perennial Classics edition (May 1, 2000), page 10

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Saturday January 7, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:09 PM

Strange Attractor

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051123-Star.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Epiphany Star

(See also the star as a
“spider” symbol in the
stories of Fritz Leiber.)

For Heinrich Harrer,
who died today…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060107-WhiteSpider.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Harrer was one of the 1938 team that first climbed the north face (the Nordwand, also called the Mordwand, or “death” face) of the Eiger.

Wikipedia on the north face of the Eiger:

“A portion of the upper face is called ‘The White Spider,’ as snow-filled cracks radiating from an ice-field resemble the legs of a spider. Harrer used the name for the title of his book about his successful climb, Die Weisse Spinne (translated… as The White Spider).”

Connoisseur of Chaos,”
by Wallace Stevens,
from Parts of a World (1942):


After all the pretty contrast of life and death
Proves that these opposite things partake of one,
At least that was the theory, when bishops’ books
Resolved the world. We cannot go back to that.
The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind,
If one may say so . And yet relation appears,
A small relation expanding like the shade
Of a cloud on sand, a shape on the side of a hill.


The pensive man . . . He sees that eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.

Related material:

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tuesday December 20, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

“Heaven– Where Is It?
  How Do We Get There?”

To air on ABC
Tuesday, Dec. 20
(John Spencer’s birthday)

Fred Stein, 1945

“And we may see
the meadow in December,
icy white and crystalline.”

— Johnny Mercer,
“Midnight Sun”
See also a Brooklyn version.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday December 18, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:11 AM

The Meadow

“Heaven– Where Is It?
  How Do We Get There?”

To air on ABC
Tuesday, Dec. 20
(John Spencer’s birthday)

By Trevanian, who died on
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005:


“Well… the flow of the play was just right, and it began to bring me to the meadow. It always begins with some kind of flowing motion… a stream or river, maybe the wind making waves in a field of ripe rice, the glitter of leaves moving in a breeze, clouds flowing by. And for me, if the structure of the Go stones is flowing classically, that too can bring me to the meadow.”

The meadow?”

“Yes. That’s the place I expand into. It’s how I recognize that I am resting.”

“Is it a real meadow?”

“Yes, of course.”

“A meadow you visited at one time? A place in your memory?”

“It’s not in my memory. I’ve never been there when I was diminished.”


“You know… when I’m in my body and not resting.”

“You consider normal life to be a diminished state, then?”

“I consider time spent at rest to be normal. Time like this… temporary, and… yes, diminished.”

“Tell me about the meadow, Nikko.”

“It is triangular. And it slopes uphill, away from me. The grass is tall. There are no animals. Nothing has ever walked on the grass or eaten it. There are flowers, a breeze… warm. Pale sky. I’m always glad to be the grass again.”

“You are the grass?”

“We are one another. Like the breeze, and the yellow sunlight. We’re all… mixed in together.”

“I see. I see. Your description of the mystic experience resembles others I have read. And this meadow is what the writers call your ‘gateway’ or ‘path.’ Do you ever think of it in those terms?”


“So. What happens then?”

“Nothing. I am at rest. I am everywhere at once. And everything is unimportant and delightful. And then… I begin to diminish. I separate from the sunlight and the meadow, and I contract again back into my bodyself. And the rest is over.” Nicholai smiled uncertainly. “I suppose I am not describing it very well, Teacher. It’s not… the kind of thing one describes.”

“No, you describe it very well, Nikko. You have evoked a memory in me that I had almost lost. Once or twice when I was a child… in summer, I think… I experienced brief transports such as you describe. I read once that most people have occasional mystic experiences when they are children, but soon outgrow them. And forget them….”

“And we may see
the meadow in December,
icy white and crystalline.”

— Johnny Mercer,
  “Midnight Sun

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Bach’s Minuet in G

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:29 PM
toys.jpg (17640 bytes)

The Toys

Left to right: June Montiero, Barbara Parritt, and Barbara Harris

From the website http://www.history-of-rock.com/toys.htm

In 1964 they were signed by the Publishing firm Genius, Inc., which teamed them with the songwriting duo Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell…. The writers took a classical finger exercise from Bach and put a Motown bassline to it and “A Lover’s Concerto” was born.

September 1965: “A Lover’s Concerto” on the Dynavoice label went #4 R&B, crossed over to pop charts #2, and also became a #5 hit in England. In 1965 the song sold over a million copies. The Toys began appearing on television shows such as “Shindig!,” “Hullabullo,” and “American Bandstand,”  toured with Gene Pitney, and appeared in the film It’s a Bikini World.

Other sites giving further details on Bach’s Minuet in G:

Search for the sheet music and a rendition of the work at codamusic.com’s Finale Showcase Search Page.

Seeing and hearing the music on this site requires that you download  Coda’s SmartMusic Viewer, and possibly requires that you adjust your browser settings, depending on the operating system you use.

For another look at Bach’s music, along with a midi rendition, you can download Music MasterWorks composing software from the Aspire Software site…


Then download the midi file of the Minuet in G itself,  “Minuet in G,  BWV841” (M.Lombardi), from the website


(To do this, right-click on the minuet link and use the “Save Target As” option, if you, like me, are using Internet Explorer with Windows.)

After you have downloaded the midi file of the minuet, use the “File” and “Open” options in Music MasterWorks to display and play the music.

A comparison of these two versions of Bach is instructive for anyone planning to purchase music composition software.   The MasterWorks creates sheet music from its midi file that is quite sophisticated and rather hard to follow, but this music accurately reflects the superior musical performance in the downloaded midi file versus the rendition in the online Finale Showcase file.   The Showcase file is much simpler and easier to read, as the rendition it describes is also quite simple.

The Gentle Rain

For an even simpler version, those of us who were in our salad days in 1965 can consult our memories of The Toys:

How gentle is the rain
That falls softly on the meadow.
Birds high up in the trees
Serenade the clouds with their melodies.

Oh, see there beyond the hill,
The bright colors of the rainbow.
Some magic from above
Made this day for us just to fall in love.

Those of the younger generation with neither the patience nor the taste to seek out the original by Bach may be content with the following site —

A Lover’s Concerto in Venice

To a more mature audience, the picture of a Venetian sunset at the above site (similar to the photo below, from Shunya’s Italy)

will, together with the lyrics of The Toys, suggest that

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven….

This line, addressed to Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice,” contradicts, to some extent, the statement by Igor Stravinsky in The Poetics of Music (1942, English version 1947) that music does not express anything at all. Stravinsky is buried in Venice.

From  Famous Graves:

Igor Stravinsky,


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