The Bach Motif

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:J_S_Bachov_Kriz_B-A-C-H.JPG

Bach’s name forms a musical motif. The German note B is equivalent to the English B-flat, and H indicates B natural. So if you revolve this cross counterclockwise, the note at the center takes successively the German values B (treble clef), A (tenor clef), C (alto clef), and H (treble clef).

Bach himself used the four-note motif as a subject in The Art of Fugue, and it’s appeared since in works by Schumann, Liszt, Rimsky-Korsakov, Poulenc, and Webern.

Scherzando

http://dme.mozarteum.at/DME/nma/nma_cont.php?vsep=93&gen=edition&l=1&p1=11

In 1991 Harvard’s music library discovered a lost canon of Mozart, the composer who Leonard Bernstein said offers “the spirit of compassion, of universal love, even of suffering — a spirit that knows no age, that belongs to all ages.”

It’s called “Lick Me in the Ass.”

Encore!

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/538633

One candidate for the world’s shortest play is The Exile, by Tristan Bernard.

The curtain rises on a mountaineer in a remote cabin. An exile knocks on the door.

EXILE: Whoever you are, have pity on a hunted man. There is a price on my head.

MOUNTAINEER: How much?

The curtain falls.

But shorter still may be Samuel Beckett’s 1969 play Breath, which lasts 35 seconds. As we view a bare, litter-strewn stage, we hear a baby’s cry, a person inhaling once and then exhaling, and then another cry. At the play’s West End debut, one audience member said, “I just want to put on record that I thought the whole evening was completely bogus and pretentious.”

(Thanks, Adam.)

Topsy-Turvy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Verbeek-rocanoe.gif

The great thing about Gustave Verbeek’s comic strips is that when you reach the end of a page, you can invert it to see the story continue.

He created 64 such comics for the New York Herald between 1903 and 1905.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Verbeek-rocanoe.gif

Menagerie

the puzzled fox

This 1872 Currier and Ives print is titled The Puzzled Fox: Find the Horse, Lamb, Wild Boar, Men’s and Women’s Faces. There are eight human and animal faces hidden in the scene. Can you find them?

Ironically, the birds that are visible have now disappeared — they’re passenger pigeons.