Virtual piano
http://www.bgfl.org/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks2/music/piano/index.htm – click to open, then click to activate the keyboard which you can operate with mouse or keyboard.

 C  C#  D  D#  E F  F#  G  G#  A  Bb C1  C#1  D1  D#1  E1  F1
 a   w  s   e  d  f   t  g   y  h   j  k    o   l    p   ;   ‘

hhhjhgd kkk;lkj kjhh;khgd saasassdyh hk;;;lkkh – typed out on virtual piano, will render a reasonable approximation of a section from ‘The Heart Asks Pleasure First’ theme from The Piano by Michael Nyman. To be fair, his version is slightly better 😉

I hated piano lessons as a child. Hated the instrument, hated the teacher(s), really uninterested in the whole thing and was equally bad at violin, flute and cello. Possibly more was expected from me as both my parents are reasonably competent musicians (dad was church organist, and was paid for it too, mum LRAM* violin and paid soprano in church choir also). Me, not so much. So growing up with music everywhere is probably what made me loathe participating in it, although I’ve always enjoyed listening to it. But that piano bit is lovely, even if my crap rendition isn’t.

On my ‘to watch’ list is the first in a series of three Channel 4 programmes about music. The pianist James Rhodes presented the first installment in which he played piano for people with mental health conditions. He also wrote a really interesting article encouraging everyone to get off their butts and do something with a bit of passion. I don’t disagree with his sentiments but alas, where learning a musical instrument is concerned, I simply can’t be bothered. Good article though.

Recently I have been wondering if, now that I’m a very good touch-typist (maybe “Grade 7”?), I have any transferable skills from typing that would help in learning to master the other form of keyboard. I’ve always been able to pick out a tune OK, but that’s mostly the intervals helping me (up a bit, down a bit, up a bit more). I wish I could be bothered to find out though 😉

Online tuning forks

A happy musical childhood memory was playing with the tuning forks and pitch pipes that my parents had. I used to try and work out the pitch at which our old electric hob rings were humming at. They made a very distinctive twang when switched on and there was actually an octave difference between one of them and the pitch the oven hummed at. I miss that oven.

Sadly tuning forks also feature in alternative medicine, a quick way of extracting money from people. I wrote about it here and received a few comments from ‘true believers’ in tuning fork therapy. I will not be publishing any comments that are favourable to tuning fork therapy I’m afraid 😉

*Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Muzak^ – I’m led to believe there was a lot of Greensleeves at the awards ceremony.
^Kidding! LRAM is a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music.