Back to index of "this and that in my life" pages by Donald Sauter.

Conversations with me, No. 11
Email highlights, ca. April 1998

Dedicated to the proposition that every thought that's ever been thunk may be of use or interest to someone . . .

ME: Thanks for the St. Patrick's greeting.  In past years I knew when 
it was because the newspaper would change the masthead border from 
red to green.  I don't get a newspaper anymore.  I'm sick of news. 
And somehow the world is still turning without my news consumption. 

I'm having some fun giving away some Beatle-related books I don't want 
from a web page.  One person who wanted one is named Allan Kozinn. 
He's not only very active in the Beatles world as a writer and 
reviewer, he's a New York Times classical music critic.  He also 
shares my interest in the guitar and has written extensively on that 
too.  Back in 1987 one night I was listening to a walkman in bed - 
something I *never* do, but a friend gave me it as a present.  Scanning 
the dial, I heard someone being interviewed about Andres Segovia.  I 
stopped to listen.  It turned out that Segovia had died the day before - 
which hadn't made the newspapers yet - and the interviewee was Kozinn. 

ME: So far I'm having a good time with my giveaway.  I don't think 
a single person has both understood the offer and followed my instructions. 
Some think they're gonna get a big stack of books.  Hardly anybody 
supplies a ready-to-use address. 

Can't figure why nobody's asked for Balzac or Fungus the Bogeyman yet. 

THEE: We watched the latest "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" yesterday.  First, 
there was a seven-word quote from a Beatles song.  That went on my Beatles 
covers tape.  Later, the main character in the movie walks into a cave, or 
cavern, and one of the robots says, "Hey, the Beatles are playing here 
tonight."  That went on my "Around the Beatles" tape.  It's a tough 
business.  My dinner got cold while I taped the first bit. 

I enjoyed your softball rules.  I, of course, am not flexible 
enough to accept them immediately.  Some sound good right away. 
Others are a little hard for me to buy.  (This ex-little kid hated 
striking out but how do we keep the game moving if they have an 
unlimited number of strikes?)  Still, I've seen some wacky games in my 
day.  Hself was on a city co-ed team where the men were 
required to bat opposite handed to make them more even with the women. 
Good rule?  Nah!  Jerky men on her team still crowded Hself off of the 
plate when she was playing catcher and there was a big play at home. 

My favorite softball anecdote, however, has nothing to do with 
rules.  The legendary Hself was captain of the Gazette women's 
team.  One afternoon at practice, he announced he would hit grounders 
for team members to catch.  The next day, two women came to work 
wearing casts and using canes. 

I don't know about TV vs. tv.  The dictionary says TV but that implies 
that V stands for a word, which it doesn't. 

 => For what it's worth: 

Buffalo Springfield. 

 => The fan in my computer makes a rough, buzzy noise sometimes. 

Take the top off of your computer and look at the fan when it makes a 
noise.  If the fan dies eventually, simply leave the top off of your 
computer.  (A recent IBM advertisement has a picture of the web servers 
used for the recent Olympic games; floor fans are set up around the servers 
to help keep them cool.)  There's a waiting for list for the 486s and I 
don't think your name is on the list. 

 => Geocities just bumped us up to 6 megs. 

Time for some multimedia special effects on your web pages! 

 => 3. ev-o-lu-tion n. A gradual process ... Them evolution boys even 
 => have the dictionary writers confused! 

To-may-to, to-mah-to, ee-vo-lu-tion, eh-vo-lu-tion - it's hard to get 
people to agree on pronunciation. 

I came across the following message I pulled off of 
in 1995; I think it puts you neo-Beach-Boy-fans in your place: 

>> There would be no Sgt. Pepper without Pet Sounds. There would be no Pet Sounds 
>> without Revolver 
>Actually, it was Rubber Soul that's responsible for Pet Sounds.  That comes 
>directly from Brian Wilson, as spoken in the documentary "I Just Wasn't 
>Made for These Times."  After hearing Rubber Soul, Brian and the other 
>boys, who were into praying at the time, prayed specifically for an album 
>that would "top Rubber Soul." 
>He succeeded, but too late, the Beatles had done Revolver.  Then they did 
>Sgt. Peppers, and Brian Wilson had his breakdown.  What gets me is this 
>image of Brian Wilson kind of neck and neck, developing with the Beatles, 
>then he gets to the point where he's really straining himself, and just 
>when he hits his peak, The Beatles fire their afterburners and keep going 
>and going, as if they weren't even breaking a sweat.  No wonder Brian 
>Wilson collapsed creatively! 
>Rob Wheeler 

> Because of my new taping policy, I had to divide up the 25 seconds of 
> usable references between both my tapes... It's a tough business. 

You ain't whistling dixie.  You know what it was like dividing Lost Lennon 
Tapes and Scott Muni's Ticket to ride between "Music - Beatle Involvement", 
"Music - No Beatle Involvement", "Talk - Beatles", and "Talk - Beatle-related". 
No regrets, though.  (Well, I wish it had been to cd.) 

> I enjoyed your softball rules.  I, of course, am not flexible 
> enough to accept them immediately.  Some sound good right away. 
> Others are a little hard for me to buy.  (This ex-little kid hated 
> striking out but how do we keep the game moving if they have an 
> unlimited number of strikes?) 

Pitch real slow and easy from close up.  I didn't even realize I was 
tinkering with softball rules - what's not to accept? 

> My favorite softball annecdote, however, has nothing to do with 
> rules.  The legendary Hself was captain of the Gazette women's 
> team.  One afternoon at practice, he announced he would hit grounders 
> for team members to catch.  The next day, two women came to work 
> wearing casts and using canes. 

Yikes, did they need them, or was it a joke?  (Good story, either way.) 
That reminds me, I didn't even get around to that in my page - the 
total insanity of a rock-hard "softball".  At Goddard Space Flight Center 
I observed that no *men* were brave enough to stand in front of a hard-hit 

> I don't know about 
> TV vs. tv.  The dictionary says TV but that implies that V stands for 
> a word, which it doesn't. 

Just being obstinate.  I know tv is wrong, but I think the capital version 
looks horrible, makes no sense (as you point out), and just plain rankles. 
Do we write SEWER in all caps? 

THEE: We went to a party last night and watched an hour and a 
half of the Oscars.  No movie I saw on the big screen won any Academy 
Awards, I believe.  We saw two contenders, "The Apostle" and "The Full 
Monty" but nothing could stop "Titanic" from winning just about 
everything.  Fay Wray, star of the original "King Kong" (1933!) was 
looking well at the Oscar telecast last night, I thought.  Gloria 
Stewart, who retired from films in 1944, came back for "Titanic," but 
did not win best supporting actress.  Boo! 

Today I printed out a review for you of a film that's not likely to 
get any Oscar nominations, a teen comedy called "Meet the Deedles." 

Softball clarification:  The fact that goofy guys pushed Hself out 
of the way to make important plays had nothing to do with the rules, 
per se.  However, men are jerks and no amount of rules will smooth the 
playing field. 

Hself really broke women's ankles during that infamous day of 
fielding practice.  

[Hself disputes, Jan 2009: Let the record reflect that only one 
team member (I was the coach) landed on the IR list after that practice 

Back in high school, one of my best friends was at 
bat in gym class (softball or baseball, I don't remember which) and 
broke the catcher's nose.  For weeks, he had to cringe as he passed a 
heavily bandaged stranger in the halls. 

ME: I enjoyed your Dionisio Aguado pages.  He must've had 
an amazing technique. This isn't only apparent in his extended, 
major works, but in his studies as well.  There are all sorts of 
things he writes that just seem superhuman. 

Also, I'm a big fan of many of his smaller works.  I think his little half 
page waltzes and andantes, etc., are perfectly constructed and delightful. 

ME: Dear IGRA, 

I was comparing the Library of Congress collection of music for 
guitar and piano with the listings in the Vahdah Olcott Bickford 
database, Volume 1.  For what it's worth here are a few comments. 

Some "[Operatic potpourris]" filed under "Not listed" are surely 
by L[ouis] Wolf & son Epouse.  The plate numbers 631, 635, 655 
and 657 correspond to Cahier I to IV.  Pot-pourri IV comes completely 
from Mozart's Don Giovanni.  These are N. Simrock publications. 

Is VOB 5843 filed correctly under Rossini?  This "Souvenir de l'Opera" 
by Nueske is from Mozart's Figaro. 

The Pettoletti arrangement of Weber's Last Thought is filed under 
Weber.  Richard Long alerted me th the fact that this was actually 
composed by Karl Gottlieb Reissiger.  It was No. 5 in his Danses 
brillantes pour le pianoforte (1820). 

One of the Variations & Polonoise for guitar & piano by Mauro Giuliano 
is filed under von Call. 

My copy of Sonate, Op. 143 for piano & guitar by von Call published 
by Richault shows a plate number 8.R.  The VOB catalog has I.R. 

For what it's worth, the Divertimento assai facile, Op. 38 for 
guitar and piano by Weber, published by Schlesinger, has plate number 
238 on the title page, but 233 on the music pages.  VOB only shows 238.  
(Something this insignificant tripped me up for a few moments!) 

ME: My mom sent me a cassette in the mail that needed repair.  The 
tape broke off at one of the reels.  The fact that I can fix 
cassettes makes me some kind of wizard in mom's eyes. 

Liked some songs on Nina Simone's album.  Not likely that I will become 
a Nina Simone completist but I am still curious to hear more. 

Side one of Fred Frith was a lot of fun. 

THEE: Good job on the cassette.  Don't belittle your 
skills.  It's an art to fix those cursed things. 

Fred Frith?  I remember liking the album in college (along with the 
Residents LPs in that pile) but now I can't remember anything on the 

As I log out several more albums that I decided I don't want, I 
find myself humming tunes from the albums and then having doubts. 
It's very annoying. 

>> I read with interest your Monopoly page re the three rules you want to 
>> change. I just want to make you aware that you have misstated the first 
>> rule. A player does not skip out on rent if the next player rolls the dice. 
>> He only gets off if the SECOND player following rolls. 
>A don't doubt for a second that you know what you are talking about, but 
>I'm at least a little baffled.  Is that a new rule, or a tournament rule, 
>maybe?  I've never heard that or met anyone who plays that way. 
>I don't have an American set handy, but I saw the rules to a British set 
>yesterday.  The game has a 1961 copyright and was bought around 1974. 
>Under "Landing on owned property" it said: 
>  Note that if the owner fails to ask for his rent before the next throw 
>  of the dice no rent may be collected. 

No, the rules I posted are the original American rules that have never 
changed. I have never seen the British rules. When games are published 
outside the US they are published by local game companies under license so 
it may be that something is lost in translation. I have never been to Great 
Britain but I hear they speak pretty good English but I'm sure the rules were 
re-written for their market. 

>I'll bet you can clear me up on another point.  According to the rules 
>you've put up (which sound like the boxtop rules, to my memory) 
>  A player is bankrupt when he owes more than he can pay either 
>  to another player or to the bank.  If his debt is to another 
>  player, he must turn over to that player all that he has of value... 
>Does this even allow for the situation that I railed against - the 
>imminently bankrupt player turning to someone else in the hopes 
>of a bail-out?  Or is he, as a literal reading of the rules indicates, 
>bankrupt and out of the game the *moment* the dice show him landing on a 
>property with a rent he can't pay? 

I'm not sure you will like the answer to this one. If you read exactly what 
the rules say, you are right.  However, when they started official 
tournaments in the early 1970's they ruled that if you owe more rent than 
you can pay you are allowed to try and make whatever deal you can to raise 
the money BUT if you cannot pay the rent at the end of the dealing then all 
deals are void and the landlord gets whatever you had when you landed on the 
property. This prevents someone from dumping his property to prevent you 
from getting it. What can sometimes happen is a stronger player can 
sometimes give the debtor enough cash to pay the rent and pick up some key 
properties that either you need or that you really want to keep out of the 
strong player's hands. The strategy you sometimes have to play as a landlord 
to counter this is to take a little less rent or a key property or two 
rather than the full rent and try to catch him again the next time around 
the board. 

ME: Subject: not barefoot in Baltimore 

I was up in Balto. yesterday.  Our guitar trio came up to 
play for the Balto. Guitar Society open recital yesterday. 
That was at a church right behind the convention center.  We 
had a map printed out from the web.  I'll admit it was pretty 
amazing as far as modern technology goes, but pretty useless nonetheless. 
The little streets are all saw-toothed - and hardly any have names 
shown.  I had a good, old-fashioned map, though. 

ME: The free Beatle book orders may have stopped for good.  Maybe I 
should toss a few bucks into the deal? 

THEE: Subject: This train is bound for glory 

We had a lot of laughs over the characters at various 
stores and sites in Williamsburg.  Some of them insisted on 
keeping completely in character.  For example, Hself asked a guy 
at the gaol if the place was reconstructed. 

"Surely, I do not understand your question, madam," said he. 
"This prison was built in 1640.  It is, therefore, 130 years old." 
Oy!  We wanted to say, "Look, you blankety-blank, you're going to 
drive home after work tonight.  You're going to microwave your dinner 
and you're going to watch 'Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine.'  So, give us 
a straight answer!" 

We also visited a good museum, which featured two English guitars 
from the 1760s. 

When I worked for the law firm, I took some comfort in the fact 
that even if our corporate clients were big jerks, at least we were 
doing good work for the CNMI [Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands], that fine island colony of noble citizens.  Today's "Post" 
has details of a leaked Interior Department report that details 
numerous human rights abuses against imported workers on the 
island.  We're talkin' virtual enslavement of workers, underage 
sex rings, etc. etc.  It was shocking, though we had heard some 
rumors before. 

THEE: Subject: Mudarra's Fantasia in the manner of Luduvico 

Where can I get the original score you worked with? 

Do you perform the piece with the overlapping harp effect?  I've been told 
this is not how the original is notated.  If the original is in tablature, 
this would be quite easy to discern. 

ME: A facsimile edition of Mudarra's 
Tres Libros de Musica en cifras para vihuela is published by 
Editions Chanterelle (1980).  Yes, it's true that the original 
does not have the overlapping notes as in the Fred Noad 
transcription, for example.  The original sounds fine. 

ME: Subject: we're goin to blast our way through here 

About the age of the gaol in Williamsburg, keep in mind that even the 
thousand year old buildings in Europe are never more than one or 
two hundred years old.  This is my belief, at least. 

Got a nice note from Allan Kozinn today.  He confirmed it was he 
pontificating on Segovia on the radio a day after Segovia died.  I 
also verified my memory of having seen a book about the guitar 
written by Kozinn in a library in Albany years ago by checking the 
PG county library catalog from home today.  (Enough prepositions 
for you?) 

I saw the cherry blossoms yesterday evening. 

Oh yeah, I didn't grasp your last subject line.

ME: Subject: Geocities Featured page status

I think I have a some interesting 
material in my website.  It has a consistent design and is 
intentionally graphics-free.  I've applied for feature page 
status before.  Generally, I never hear back.  One time only, 
did a community leader respond - and he was miffed that there 
were no graphics.  This is not a requirement - I have triple 
checked.  Geocities says; 

   In the final step, we look at the quality and originality of content 
   and the page's overall look. Content is most important - if a page is 
   not that sophisticated graphically but has excellent content, we will 
   still feature it. However, we prefer that sites have a consistent 
   graphical design throughout and a good layout. Don't overload your 
   page with too many frames, animated GIFs or pictures: More does not 
   neccessarily mean better when it comes to web pages. 

Thanks for your consideration. 

THEE: WETA's "Songs for Aging Anti-Rockers" was playing 
songs about trains. I thought Peter, Paul & Mary's "This Train" 
was actually excellent! 

Finished "Beatlefan."  I liked the Jurgen Vollmer interview especially. 
Imagine a 60-year-old talking like a disaffected teenager.  He seems 
to remain true to his muse. 

The interview with Astrid Kirchherr was OK.  I admire the skillful editing. 
It was, after all, compiled from audience questions. 

The interview with Mark Hudson was PR baloney, though he sounds 
like a pretty nice guy.  The fact that he's all psyched up about 
Ringo's cover of "Drift Away" is definitely a bad sign. 

I tussled with a middle-aged female lunatic on my way to work 
today.  I'd be upset but I saw her argue with someone else on my bus 
yesterday, so I don't blame myself. 

THEE: Subject: Who put it there?  I don't know! 

When I first read your comments on Thunderclap Newman's LP, I 
thought this was another good example of your crying wolf.  I agreed 
with you. 

Upon reflection, I think some of the other songs on the LP are 
good.  "The Reason" is fine.  And the very least I can say about "Open 
the Door, Homer," is that it's better than Robyn Hitchcock's version. 
There's another song in my head now but I can't remember the title. 
Whichever one ends with a pub governor calling "time" is per se good. 

THEE: I am at the computer working on the set up for 
another calligraphy project. I have been getting occasionally 
jobs doing calligraphy.  It is extra pin money.  I use the 
computer to set up the spacing, then I ink the work by hand on 
parchment.  Saves time. 

Last week, we all hiked up into the Smart's Brook trail in Waterville 
Valley and discovered that the ice and snow had not melted. Several 
spots were dangerous, icy and sloping down towards the cliff edge. 

ME: Subject: woof, woof 

First time online in days, for a variety of reasons.  The Cleveland Freenet 
has an apology that comes up when you log on for all the system crashes. 
They acknowledge that their crashes causes mail to be bounced back. 

You did it again with your subject line.  "Who put it there.  I don't 
know."  Hmmm??? 

Another headscratcher: "...another good example of you [moi] crying 
wolf."  What was the *first* good example???  I will revisit Thunderclap 
Newman's album for the highlights you mention. 

I guess different brains look for different things.  I'm still floored 
by the revelation of a complete lack of inconsistency between the Vollmer 
and Kirchherr accounts of the Beatle hair origins.  That would rank up there 
with finding out one day that evolution and creationism are really one in the 
same.  I thought the interview with Ringo's producer iv was delightful - 
regardless of veracity. 

THEE: Subject: I don't know 

All my records are now under our roof, but there's no place for our 
clothes.  That's a problem. 

The above header and the previous one are quotes from the Thunderclap 
Newman song, "The Reason." 

I do agree with you about Mark Hudson.  He was an amusing, likeable 
chap.  It's interesting how people make it big in the music biz. 

Last Friday, we got cable here. We happened to turn on VH1 
while they were showing "Elvis:  Aloha From Hawaii," and he was singing 
"Something."  How come I never knew about his awesome version?  I'm 
still laughing.  Have you ever seen or heard it?  The highlight was when 
a fan handed him a lei:  "You ask me, 'Will my love grow?'  I don't 
know.  [Receives lei.]  Uh, thank you.  I don't know!"  It was too good! 

THEE: By vocation I'm an international law attorney with 
the US Air Force, presently stationed in Seoul and soon to go to 
Singapore.  I agree wholeheartedly with your UNARCHY proposal . . . 
however, this is basically the same stuff (the Golden Rule, 
essentially, treat others as you would be treated) Jesus taught 
2000 years ago.  And unfortunately there's a dark side to human 
nature which seems to make such good proposals an unattainable 

Re fingerings, I dropped out of the classical guitar program at Washington 
University because of an argument over fingerings.  When playing Fernando Sor 
Study 19, the killer barre chord endurance study, I finger the B flat barre 
using my third finger arched so the pad can triple stop the three notes on 
adjacent strings, same fret, instead of trying to crowd in my second, 
third, and fourth fingers.  The triple stop of course takes work but most 
serious guitarists do it that way, it's much faster changing to most any 
other chord, particularly the E type barre . . . anyway this guy was 
unreasonable on insisting on the "right" fingering . . . the "right" 
fingering is what feels good and works well musically. 

THEE: Have just visited you homepage. It was highly 
recommended by another site.  Certainly, they knew well what they 
were doing. 

To compensate you for the enjoyment, please let me invite you to visit 
our page dedicated to the music of Guillermo Venegas Lloveras, my father. 

THEE: I realize this is a bit forward, but would you consider putting a 
background on your web pages?  The plain default grey, in my 
opinion, lessers the impact of your creativity. 

I attached a little jpg file, try this out.  (if you already know 
everything about html, sorry if this seems condescending) 
put the attached jpg file in the same directory as your web 
page(s), and add this line to the body of your html code 

  body background="parch.jpg" 

You're either enjoying my efforts/audacity, or you're cursing and 
laughing at my efforts/audacity. 

Please tell me which. 

ME: Funny coincident about Brad Sauter.  Not too many 
Sauters around, but supposedly it's very common in Germany.  
It's also a French word, but I've never heard that it's a French 

Last night we went to a talk at my local library by Lani Guinier.  
Does that name still ring a bell?  She was big in the news in 
1993 as a nominee for assistant attorney general on race 
relations (or something like that).  She was branded the Quota 
Queen and then Clinton withdrew her nomination.  Anyhow, it was 
sort of like being in the presence of a celebrity.  I invited her 
to my web pages on justice and democracy. 

ME: Subject: the one before Sloop John B 

At your nudging, I gave most of Thunderclap Newman another listen.  One of 
the remarkable things I forgot to mention was the number of Beatleisms. 
One song (The Reason?) was practically a Beatles pastiche.  And how is 
one to know that it was a "pub governor" calling "time"? 

The 43 degrees N. song didn't click for me again, but never hesitate 
to make recommendations. 

This morning I made a great (for me) discovery.  I might have rejected 
the Kingston Trio album on the basis of figuring I had heard the 
necessary cuts already.  But I noticed a song called Saro Jane. 
Yep, same as Dylan's Sarah Jane on the _Dylan_ album.  And then, 
playing the album through, the last cut, Little Maggie, turned out 
to be the song on Dylan's _Good As I Been To You_. 

THEE: Remind me to show you my "Original Stanley Holloway" LP.  It's a 
compilation of WWII music hall stuff.  The highlight is the back 
cover, which says, "Other Fineline Albums You'll Enjoy."  The first one 
listed is "No One's Gonna Change Our World" by Various Artists. 

I mellowed a little on Billy J. Kramer's LP after listening to it 
again yesterday.  I enjoyed "I'll Keep You Satisfied" quite a bit.  I 
even momentarily wondered if I could add it to my list of Beatle songs 
whose openings are inspired by "Some Other Guy." 

ME: Thanks a million for adding a link to my guitar pages.  
I'm very honored. 

My pages are pretty wide-ranging - from a frivolous word search to a 
dead serious fingering notation proposal.  Maybe a name like 

  Donald Sauter's guitar thoughts - light-hearted to heavy-duty. 

would work. 

ME: Thanks for your suggestions for an improved 
appearance.  No, I am far from an expert in HTML.  I just use the 
bare minimum.  Having said that, it is (so far) a conscious 
decision to be uncluttered and graphics-free.  I have a notion 
(crazy?) that that does, or will, set me apart - or at least 
establish a consistent website personality.  Anyhow, I still zip 
around the web with good old, text-only, Lynx (on my good, old 
286).  Sure, I miss a few things by not being state of the art, 
but the advantages (free internet access, mind-numbing speed, no 
ads...) far outweigh the disadvantages. 

About guitar music: I have a huge collection gathered over the years 
from music stores in various cities.  Mostly what I get nowadays is 
things I copy from the Library of Congress, and what comes in Soundboard. 
The point is I'm not much of an expert on acquiring guitar music now, 
but I think most people go about it mail order, and the main place is 
Guitar Solo.  They must have a web presence. 

What I *wish* is that I had a bunch of people interested in 19th C. 
guitar music - like Carcassi and Giuliani - to whom I could send copies 
of pieces I find at LC for reimbursement of my expenses - a few cents per 
page.  That would be a lot more fun than doing something just for myself. 

ME: Subject: Lautenbuch, Bern 1556 

I recently found a facsimile edition of "Lautenbuch, Bern 1556" 
in the Library of Congress.  It's in German tablature.  I don't see 
it in your list of 16th C. lute tablatures and I thought you might be 

I know you don't set yourself up as the "answer man", but here's a 
question I submitted to : 

    I'd like to work up some 
    of the pieces, but my stumbling block is that there are no bar 
    lines, and it's not obvious to me how to work the given rhythms 
    into regular measures.  Things go awry very quickly if you just 
    count off 4 quarter-notes worth, say, of rhythm values and call 
    that a measure. 

    I don't see any dots associated with the rhythm symbols.  Could 
    they be implied in some places?  Also, sometimes consecutive 
    16th-note flags are shown separately, and sometimes 16th notes 
    are beamed together. 

THEE: Subject: Beatles Trivia Game 

I am a HUGE Beatles fan. I was reading through the 
trivia game and found a question that really confused me. One of the 
questions ask: 

  "Descibe the near-catastophe in May, 1963 in the Canary Islands which 
  would have cut short Beatle history." 

  The answer: "Paul almost drowned." 

Do you know anything about this? Even if you can't, thank you anyway. 

THEE: As far as barlines, I'm not sure I can give any definite answers, but here 
are some points: 

1) Much sixteenth-century music--esp. sacred vocal music--is unbarred and 
doesn't really lend itself to the modern use of barlines.  Dance music (and 
some popular songs), however, should come out fairly evenly, so the genre 
of the music is very important. 

2) The sources often seem to have the attitude that everyone would be 
familiar with a particular dance or melody and thus aren't too particular 
about meter and rhythm. Obviously, 400+ years later we're at a bit of a 
disadvantage . . . 

3) Much lute music is based on pre-existing material, so it might be 
possible to compare the tab with an original source (compare the titles 
with other lute tabs--German tablature is very often "translated" from 
earlier French or Italian sources).  If you can do this with one piece, it 
may help in "decoding" the treatment of rhythm and meter for the whole tab. 

4) Dots are sometimes left out (or don't show up well in the facsimile!); 
two sixteenths beamed together may indicate a dotted quarter before 
them--try this out to see if it works. 

5) Look for slower movement in the bass and chords to find an underlying 
rhythm; often bass notes will move on the beat and there will be a full 
chord at the beginning of what we would call a measure. 

6) Finally, realize that barlines in lute music, when they are used, are 
not necessarily used in the same manner as in modern musical 
notation--they're really just visual dividing lines in many cases--and 
meter is more subtle than in later music.  The rhythm, on the other hand, 
is very important and should be carefully worked out . . . somehow. 

THEE: Date: Mon Apr 20 

It was indeed a sad day yesterday.  This morning, I printed out 
three Reuter's stories for you, if you want them.  They've got all 
kinds of nice misinformation.  Did you know, for example, that Wings 
"dissolved after death threats McCartney received in the wake of John 
Lennon's murder prevented the band from touring." 

There is also some question of the day Linda McCartney died.  Some reports 
are saying Friday.  Also, it is being commonly reported that she was a 
lifelong vegetarian.  I thought she told Conan O'Brien that she was 
sitting down to a big plate of lamb stew when she saw the light. 

I also forgot to mention that the latest "New Yorker" has a very 
distressing development from the direction of Sean Lennon.  I haven't 
read the article yet, but here's the "Washington Post's" coverage from 
last Wednesday: 

        Conspiracy theory alert: Sean Lennon is sure the feds were involved 
     in the death of his father, ex-Beatle John Lennon. "He was a 
     countercultural revolutionary, and the government takes that kind of 
     [stuff] really seriously historically," says the 22-year-old singer in 
     this week's New Yorker. 

        M$#^ [computer glitch]n pleaded guilty to shooting Lennon in front 
     of his Manhattan apartment in 1980, but Lennon says C#@%@&n was not 
     "just some crazy guy who killed my dad for his personal interests." 

        Why would Uncle Sam want Lennon dead? "He was dangerous to the 
     government," said the son. "If he had said, 'Bomb the White House 
     tomorrow,' there would have been 10,000 people who would have done 

I think the young chap needs to brush up on his history.  The 
killing happened during the Carter administration, not Nixon's.  We 
know that John and Yoko were honored guests at Carter's inauguration. 
Ah well, that's just a small part of a sad week for Beatle fans. 


Contact Donald Sauter: send an email; view guestbook; sign guestbook.
Back to Donald Sauter's main page.
Rather shop than think? Please visit My Little Shop of Rare and Precious Commodities.
Back to the top of this page.

Helpful keywords not in the main text: Hself = generic name, male or female (Himself, Herself). LC = LOC = Library of Congress.

Parents, if you're considering tutoring or supplemental education for your child, you may be interested in my observations on Kumon.