daily kaddish: take me out to the ball game


Today’s Kaddish: take me out to the ball game… because I can’t improvise today!

I knew Mira was attending an SF Giants game tonight, so when I reached the stopped-horn passage (aka “that THING”), I thought I’d be whimsical and play a few lines of “Take me out to the ball game.” Which I know perfectly well, no problem. But stopped horn fingerings are squirrelly on a good day, and I apparently was having only an okay day, so what ensued was comically sloppy horn playing.

After hacking my way (badly!) through a few lines of that, I had a new problem: I couldn’t remember what comes next in the real music. Musical memory is heavily contextual—you know what comes next as long as you keep playing down the page in order, but if you stop for a moment to rescue a shoe from the dog, or if you improvise for a moment, it’s a whole different story. So there I was, sitting at the place after “that THING,” completely without a clue as to what comes next.


So I noodled, and then I picked it up at the final phrase, the so-called “affirmation” section. And by now, Mira was way ahead of me in the recorded text, so I had to scoot it along to get to the end with her.

Let’s chalk it up to experimentation. Perhaps the improvisation during “that THING” should have been a riff on “I don’t like Mondays… tell me why… I don’t like Mondays…”

About erin

Erin Vang, PMP, BMus, MMus, is Owner and Principal Pragmatist of the consultancy Global Pragmatica LLC®, offering custom JMP scripting, localization program management, and facilitative leadership services. She is also an orchestral horn player who freelances in the San Francisco Bay Area and plays assorted brass for the celebrated dance bands Midnight Smørgåsbord and contraPtion. More about Erin…
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