Crash Course

by Jonah

My brother is in the living room, listening to early 80’s Michael W. Smith and knitting.

I have this habit of sticking my head into his room and asking him what he’s listening to if I’m not familiar with it. It may bug him, I don’t know, me checking on him like that. Sometimes I’ll just poke my head in to see what he’s doing, even if his door is closed. I know it would drive me crazy if he did that to me. Today he was listening to some full orchestral work. “Guess,” he said when I asked him. “It’s not classical,” I said, “It sounds like a movie soundtrack.” “How can you tell it’s not classical?” he asked, puzzled. So we spent the next hour or so listening to music and classifying it as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or otherwise. I opened up the three disc set Downey gave me for Christmas and made him put on Bach. “Hear the harpsichord?” I said, “Dead give away it’s Baroque.” There were other composers I wasn’t as familiar with. We put on Mendelson and tried to classify him. I went down and got the time line of world history and skimmed the music section of each year from the 1700s to 1950s. “Now put on that crap you were listening to again,” I said, after skipping through numerous CDs. “Can you tell now?” He nodded, took it off, and put on some Yanni. Sigh.

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