Saturday, 11 May 2013

Music Out of the Pages: Singers

Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey
Menolly drifted on thoughts of triumph until sound invaded her reflections. Male voices, laughing and rumbling in conversation, carried on the clear night air. The voice of harpers; tenor, bass and baritone, in amused, argumentative, cajolling tones, and one querulous, sort of quavery, older, whiny voice. She didn't like that one. Another, a velvet-soft, light baritone, rose above the cranky tenor, soothing. Then the Masterharper's deeper baritone dominated and silenced the others. Though she couldn't understand what he was saying, his voice lulled her to sleep.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Music Out of the Pages: Learning to play

Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey
As she pushed back the sleeping furs, she heard the sound of voices chanting. The rhythm was familiar. She smiledm identifying one of the long sagas. Apprentices were being taught the complicated timing by rote, just as she had taught the youngsters in Half-Circle Sea Hold when Petiron was sick, and later after he died. 

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
He'd tried it out. It was easy to play. In fact, it was almost impossible to play badly. It didn't seem to matter how he touched the strings- they still rang out the tune he had in mind. It was, in solid form, the kind of instrument you dream about when you first start to play- the one you can play without learning. He remembered when he'd first picked up a harp and struck the strings, confidently expecting the kind of lambent tones the old men coaxed from them. He'd got a dischord instead. But this was the instrument he'd dreamed of...

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Music Out of the Pages: Percussion

Soul music by Terry Pratchett
Bam-bam-a-bambam, bamBAM.
'Shave and a haircut good value for two pence,' said Lias.
Imp looked hard at the stones. Percussion wasn't approved of in Llamedos either. The bards said that anyone coul hit a rock or a hollow log with a stick. That wasn't music. Besides it was... and here they'd drop their voices... too animal.
The guitar hummed. It seemed to pick up sounds.
Imp suddenly had a nagging feeling that there was a lot you could do with percussion.
'Can I try?' he said.
He picked up the hammers. There was the faintest of tones from the guitar.
Forty-five seconds later, he put down the hammers. The echoes died away.
'Why did you hit me on the helmet at the end there?' said Glod, carefully. 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Music Out of the Pages: What can you play?

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
A large bronze horn lay across his knees.
'Glod Glodsson,' said the dwarf. 'You just play the harp?'
'Anything with strings on it,' said Imp. 'But the harp us the queen on instruments, see.'
'I can blow anything,' said Glod.
'Reallly?' said Imp. He sought for some polite comment. 'That must make you very popullar.'
The troll heaved a big leather sock off the floor. Lias picked one up and flicked it with a finger. It went bam. 
'Music made from rocks?' said Imp. 'What do you calll it?'
We call it Ggroohauga,' said Lias, 'which means music made from rocks.'

Friday, 3 May 2013

Music Out of The Pages: Secret listening

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
But she could hear all the jollity outside; and with no small effort, she made herself enjoy the singing. Five Harpers, two drummers and three pipers made music for the Impression Feast. She thought she recognized Elgion's strong tenor in one song, but it was unlikely he'd look for her at the back of the kitchen cavern.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Music Out of The Pages: A sorrowful sound

'Music out of the Pages' is usually a Monday feature on my reading blog (The Story Factory Reading Zone). In it I share an extract from a book that talks about music. For May only it will also feature here, roughly alternating with another feature entitled 'Books Out of Music'.

Please feel free to join in with either (or both) of these features by linking a post on your blog/twitter etc. in the comments.

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
Harper, your song has a sorrowful sound,
Though the tune was written as gay,
Your voice is sad and your hands are slow
And your eye meeting mine turns away.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Music Out of the Pages: Difficult audiences

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
The wall behind the stage had clearly seen action. He stared at it as Lias patiently stacked up his stones.
'Oh, just a bit of fruit and old eggs,' said Glod. 'People probably got a bit boisterous. I shouldn't worry about that.'
'I'm not worried about it,' said Imp.
'I should think not.'
'Its the axe marks and arrow holles I'm worried about...'