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The Worst Case Scenario

Not all CWRU music is worth hearing

Ruchi Asher

Issue date: 9/25/09 Section: Worst Case Scenario
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CWRU is fortunate to have a great number of talented musicians to grace the campus community. Luckily, there are a number of outlets for these musicians to express their talent, through instrumental ensembles and choral groups. Many residence halls are even equipped with a piano and music rehearsal rooms for the aurally inclined to express their creative desires. There are even a few pianos placed in public areas around campus for the occasional impromptu performance, such as in Thwing Atrium. During evening receptions or random spurts of creativity, melodious notes float through the community air.

Personally, I'm a big fan of public outlets for music. Freshman year, afternoon naps were pleasantly punctuated by viola concertos floating through the freshman dorms. Even this year, living in Greek housing, I occasionally have the pleasure of doing homework in the living room to the dulcet tones of someone playing Ben Folds's "Bitches Ain't Shit" on the baby grand piano. Unfortunately, not all members of the Case community are quite as talented as their CIM counterparts, and there are specific occasions where the less skilled musicians should try and reel in their desire to play various renditions of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for the entire student body to hear.

For example, the piano in Thwing Atrium ought to be reserved for those who actually have a sense of how to play. To clarify: just because a student can plunk out the melody of "Heart and Soul" does not mean he has a legitimate ability to make music. Honestly, being able to play the melody and harmony simultaneously little demonstrates one's musical prowess. Until I hear that piece played single-handed at double speed in a minor key with jazz-like improvisational embellishments, "Heart and Soul" does not in fact, serve as a performance piece, worthy of repeating over and over again at lunchtime in Thwing.

I, like any other polite Case student, do appreciate the musical spirit that abounds. But please, if one insists on performing in public spaces, perhaps during hours when others might be trying to enjoy a delicious meal or even study in solace, one must really consider whether the performance is worth hearing. After hearing the aforementioned Hoagy Carmichael classic for the 10th time, poorly plunked out with only half of the melody discernable, I would advise this perpetrator of this musical massacre to please spare me before my ears, and those of everyone around, legitimately start bleeding all over the Thwing Atrium. Thank goodness University Hospitals and the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center are located nearby.

Granted, there are those who may not be classically trained musicians but are still talented performers whose skills can be enjoyed by all. But still, next time, before making a public musical debut, perhaps the average CWRU student should question whether the public is ready for the unveiling of his musical masterpieces.
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