Friday, December 24, 2010

Octaves roasting

It being the day before Christmas, it's time to air out the old interval song, which dates back to graduate school, with various tweaks and revisions since (I think Kathy Dupuy and I made up the first version in 1984 while walking in Princeton from a restaurant). Sung to the tune of Mel Tormé's Christmas song, and also available on my web page. Credit to Hayes Biggs for the second line, and maybe the fourth line, of the bridge. So get into the holiday spirit and learn your intervals. 

Or else.

For the uninitiated, I have put the intervals in red. Because you are worth it.

Octaves roasting on an open fire,
Major sixths nipping at your nose,
Major seconds being sung by a choir,
Chromatic alterations of the scale.

Diatonic scale.
A turkey and some mistletoe
Major sixths make the season bright.
Major seconds with their eyes all aglow
Will drop a perfect fifth tonight.

There's minor sevenths on their way.
They've loaded lots of minor seconds on their sleigh.
And every minor sixth will want to spy
To see the supertonic prolonged over five.

And octave offering this simple phrase
To major sixths one to ninety-two.
Although it's been said many times, many ways,
Meet the Flintstones. To you.


Eighth line the way Tormé sings it:
Will drop diminished fifths. Tonight.



Hence Judy Garland and Mel Tormé




Or you could go with the other gold standards — Nat King Cole



and Tony Bennett.