It goes a little like this…

I have been watching artists doing live performances from their homes. They have to introduce their songs themselves, naturally, and they say, “I’m going to play this favorite of mine, Danny Boy, and it sounds something like this:”

Wait.

What is he comparing it to? It’s like saying, “It sounds something like Mozart,” and then playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Well? It sounds EXACTLY like that. Is he comparing it to something he hears in his head? Then how would we know that is not exactly what it sounds like in his head? We wouldn’t. So why would he tell us? Extraneous information.

Now a sculptor could finish a piece, and say, “It looks something like David of David and Goliath.” And it would if David was in his 20s and not Jewish. You could say that this image you have created is something from your own imagination and not a factual representation since you never met David or even saw him from a distance. In the same way, a composer has an aural image of his music and recreates it on the instruments of his choice. But if, as a composer, it’s in your head, why wouldn’t you reproduce it the way you hear it?

Why not say instead, “This is a song I wrote called ‘My Hideaway’ and I hope you like it.” You could jazz it up and say, “This song, ‘My Hideaway’ was originally conceived with a totally different instrumentation, but I’m going to play it on solo piano for you. I like this version very much! See what you think.”

And if what you’re going to play is only a little like how you wrote it, why not give it a different name? It’s like that gag in Monty Python…and now for something completely different. “Tonight, I’m going to play a variation on ‘My Hideaway’ that I call ‘Her Hideaway’ and though it has some common elements, it’s so far removed from the original that I changed the name.”

It sounds a little like this…” and “It sounds something like this…” are cliches we’ve had for ages, and if you take a cold, hard look at them, they make NO sense. Learn some new introductions guys!

 

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