Saturday, December 19, 2009

Music in Spain

The musical education is a bit strange here. First of all, the A-G letter names aren’t used for labeling notes, instead they use “Do Re Mi..”. For me, I learned “Do Re Mi” as a relative system, where “Do” is the root of whatever key I’m in, so this screws me up. For note lengths, they use names similar to the British system (oh how I hate those hemi-demi-semiquavers… give me a 64th note any time). Musical education is considered complete once you have managed to figure out how to blow air into a recorder.

However, music teachers are AMAZINGLY cheap (by North American standards anyway). I guess people don’t value them too much. Our kids’ music teacher costs about 8 euros for a half hour (it was about $30 in the US). The book of choice for learning piano in Sant Cugat is “John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course”.

Early music is popular in Barcelona. I love Jordi Savall and his work, so it’s a real pleasure to be able to go see him whenever he is in town.

Unfortunately I hate the gralla which is very popular here. It sounds like a bagpipe without any bags, ie animal in distress. They had a special the other day on CatMusica (101.5 FM, good classical music) where they were playing it all day and I was going nuts.

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