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MusicMnemonic

Having never learned to read music as a young person, I always wished for a mnemonic system for reading music that made sense to me. The illustration above might look complex, but to me it’s simpler than memorizing a bunch of different mnemonics for each of the two staves (which look basically alike and are connected in one grand repeating pattern).

Maybe this won’t work for everyone (or even for me!), but I had to give it a try. I give you two all-purpose mnemonics that work for the both lines AND the spaces on the bass and treble staves. One for going up the staff – Fucking All Cows Eat Grass By Daylight – and one for descending – Found Dead Because Got Evil Cat And.

No matter where you start, on a line or a space, in the Bass Staff or the Treble, these two mnemonics provide quick reference for the ascending or descending lines or spaces.

For example, if you start at the F (F3) on the Bass Staff, (the line with the two dots of the Bass Clef symbol on each side) you should be able to name the lines, going upward or downward, using the appropriate mnemonic. (Fucking All Cows Eat Grass By Daylight goes up, Found Dead Because Got Evil Cat And goes down)

Or if you’ve memorized one or two note positions on each staff (I’m shooting for the B in the center of the Treble Clef and the D in the center of the Bass Clef) you would start in the middle of the mnemonic on whatever letter you’re at, and repeat as needed. (e.g. if counting downward from the D in the center of the Bass Staff, you’d think Dead Because Got Evil Cat And Found Dead…

Sorry about the profanity, but trying to learn to read music puts me in a profane mood.

My music vocabulary is pretty shaky, so feel free to correct me if you see a usage error or (heaven forbid) a mistake in my image.

Polly Vinyl, Art Thereminist

Polly Vinyl, Bozeman Montana’s most prominent Art Thereminist, is scheduled to appear May 12, 2018 at the Bozeman Labor Temple’s upcoming Support Group show with Zenitram Jr. and Shane De Leon(FB event).

Needless to say, Polly is excited to appear on the ticket with these great artists.

Polly, who boasts a Facebook followership of 61 individuals (as of this writing) first made a name for herself performing in a pink evening gown, along with karaoke tracks, in front of Cactus Records in Bozeman. She has also appeared in various incarnations such as Dolly Vinyl, Cowgirl Thereminist (with the Dirt Farmers, 406 Brewing), Holly Vinyl, Yuletide Thereminist (with a masked mystery harp accompanist at Bozeman’s Christmas Stroll), and as part of the lounge-inspired Piano/Theremin duo, The Cliff and Polly Show (with Cliff DeManty, at Wild Joe’s).

For the May 12 Labor Temple show, Polly is working on a 30-minute set which will include an informative Theremin-accompanied exploration of the history of American productivity and a salute to ice skating legend (and Polly’s own shoe-string relation) Sonja Henie.

In preparation, Polly penned new lyrics to the “The Swan,” (AKA, Le cygne, the penultimate movement of The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns) which the legendary Clara Rockmore immortalized as a Theremin classic.

Polly will offer opportunities to purchase laminated “The Swan” lyrics bookmarks (and autographed 5×7 photos) at the performance, but interested parties can purchase “The Swan” bookmarks via Polly’s publicist, Goodwerks Creative, or her Etsy vendor, Kitschatorium.

The all-ages show begins at 8pm.

Lyrics to The Swan


I think Kip Rosser is really cool. He’s a Thereminist, which is cool enough in itself, but he also seems like a genuinely generous, encouraging person. His free series of Theremin tutorials has an inviting quality that appeals to me.

I’ve wanted to do his tutorial series for a long time, but it drove me absolutely bonkers trying to access the lessons in order on his site, and I find Youtube’s ipad interface completely mystifying. It was just impossible for me to use Kip’s well-meant “I’ll post these all out of order and you just search for the lesson you want” navigation system, since certain lessons (e.g. 1, 3, 8, 20) don’t show up on the search.

So for my convenience, I’m going to post a little library of links to his first 25 videos, in order. (Kip, if you’re out there reading this and you hate this idea, let me know and I’ll unpublish the post.) I’ll post the rest when I get time, but right now I have to go practice my Theremin. 🙂

1: http://kiprosser.com/?p=166

2: http://kiprosser.com/?p=175

3: http://kiprosser.com/?p=202

4: http://kiprosser.com/?p=197

5: http://kiprosser.com/?p=453

6: http://kiprosser.com/?p=350

7: http://kiprosser.com/?p=208

8: http://kiprosser.com/?p=371

9: http://kiprosser.com/?p=515

10: http://kiprosser.com/?p=529

11: http://kiprosser.com/?p=378

12: http://kiprosser.com/?p=401

13: http://kiprosser.com/?p=80

14: http://kiprosser.com/?p=488

15: http://kiprosser.com/?p=121

16: http://kiprosser.com/?p=419

17: http://kiprosser.com/?p=431

18: http://kiprosser.com/?p=498

19: http://kiprosser.com/?p=522

20: http://kiprosser.com/?p=134

21: http://kiprosser.com/?p=411

22: http://kiprosser.com/?p=437

23: http://kiprosser.com/?p=540

24: http://kiprosser.com/?p=479

25: http://kiprosser.com/?p=540

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