Saturday, 25 February 2017

A Lullaby

I've been learning to play the violin for four months now and I'm loving it. It's a very difficult instrument to learn but there's nothing like the resonant music you get from a stringed instrument, especially one that you play so close to your ear. I think the violin is the instrument that sounds most like the voice; I seem to remember hearing a radio programme about concert parties in the First World War which said that it was the violin that most soldiers wanted to hear. Violin music can sound like singing and it can sound like crying - that's got to make it pretty special.

Needless to say, my violin playing might make you cry but not because it's beautiful. Learning to play in tune is one of the hardest things to do (that and the bowing, using muscles you didn't know you had, relaxing your hands while still keeping control ...). I put off learning for years because I didn't think my musical ear would be good enough. It turns out that learning actually trains your ear so I needn't have worried.

I am now able to attempt simple tunes which is very exciting. I may not be able to play them properly but they do sound lovely when my teacher plays them so that gives me something to aim for. The first piece that I really worked on and loved was the  Brahms Lullaby.

Now you may be wondering why there's a doll in the picture. Meet Tiny Tears, my much loved doll. I saw the television adverts for her when she first came out in the 1960s and really wanted her. On Christmas morning I opened a big box to find, not only Tiny Tears, but also lots of clothes for her and even a carrycot - all made by my Mum.

I don't remember many specific presents from when I was little and this is the only one I can still remember unwrapping so that tells you how special this doll was. Anyway, back to the music ... Tiny Tears was advertised with a special song to the tune of the Brahms Lullaby.
                                                        'Tiny Tears, Tiny Tears, 
                                                         You're my very own baby,
                                                         Mummy's here, Tiny Tears, 
                                                         Singing you a lullaby'.

So, before I even learnt to read music, let alone play it, this was my first introduction to classical music. Now my doll sits patiently listening as I try to play her lullaby.

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