Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1812 Overture

When we heard the 1812 Overture on Friday night, it brought back college memories for me.

I don't even remember what class it was for, I assume it was for Music for Elementary Teachers class. I had to study a musical piece and write a short paper about it, and my piece was the 1812 Overture. I don't remember if I chose 1812 Overture or if it was assigned.

I'm so old that this was before YouTube or Ipods and our college library didn't own a CD of the 1812 Overture. I didn't have a car yet and didn't want to spend the money to buy a CD. (Plus this was before Amazon.com and it would have been a pain to find a store that sold it.) We could borrow books from other libraries, but I don't think we could borrow CDs. So I had to go down to the media center in the basement and borrow a record and borrow a record player. I had to sit down there and listen to the record, I wasn't allowed to take the record player out of the media center. So I listened to the 1812 Overture on a record probably about 25 times until I had the piece analyzed and was ready to write my paper.

A few years ago I ran across that paper as I was cleaning out. It was both sides of a paper, small print, single spaced. I analyzed the piece, talked about the history and the music. I asked questions to the (imaginary) students after each section. I don't remember but I assume I got a good grade on that paper. (I remember the few papers where I did not get a good grade!)

I often think of how easy college was for me compared to my parents because I had a computer instead of a typewriter. But memories like this make me realize how much easier college will be for the Lambs as compared to me. Or will it? Does the Internet make it more difficult for them to write papers without plagiarizing? Does the Internet make too much information to sift through as compared to my making do with what I could easily find at the library? One thing is the CUW library is much nicer than when I went there.

But all I could think of on Friday night was, how much better it is to hear the 1812 Overture performed LIVE instead of on a record.

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