I’m not commenting on Sarah Palin by posting this. I’m not commenting on anything political. It’s not my style; I don’t like to let people know where I stand in politics, to be honest. I prefer to keep ’em guessing. (Truth be told, I think those of us in teaching positions should be quite careful about things like this.) So this video below is NOT intended to be about politics. It’s about improvisation. I think whoever put this music with the interview just did a knock-out job.

I’d love it if the musician who did this did it for others as well. Just because he’s so darn good at it! 🙂

I try to get my students to improvise. I’ve commented on this before. Some of us who are classical musicians tend to get frozen when we have a bit of freedom. So I have students “give me a tune in the key of …” and let them have at it. Some do a great job. Some are entirely stumped. I improvise, but it’s certainly not anything to write home about. Still, it’s good to be a creator sometimes, rather than a creative, you know?


  1. Hmmm. If you had posted that clip w/o expressing your opinion of it and simply asked me what I thought of the overlaid music, I would have said, “Ugh!!”

    But I wonder if the aspects that I’m thinking about are the same as the aspects that you’re thinking about.

    So can you elaborate on why you think it’s a knock-out job?

  2. Are you saying “ugh” to the music, “ugh” to Palin, or “ugh” to something else? Do you dislike jazz, maybe?

    I just thought it was clever. And I also think English is so rhythmic and it’s fascinating to me how he picked up on the rambling and the rhythm and could do what he did.

    But you can still say “ugh”. I’m guessing we might disagree on other music too. 🙂

    That’s one of the things about music; one person’s treasure … and all that …. Or something.

  3. very clever!

  4. Come on, that is brilliant! If you want to feel inadequate about being a classical musician and not an improviser, this might do it! It is so reflective of human speech, which is something that all musicians should strive for in developing a musical line. Also, for some reason, very funny!

  5. That was definitely an “LOL”!

    Very clever indeed. My mother would have gotten a kick out of that, as a pianist. And she loved words. The two together was priceless.

  6. Don’t miss Dial M for Musicology’s
    Sept 29 Youtube post “wordless jazz”

  7. Why now am I thinking that it would’ve been even more cool done by, say, a trombone player using a plunger (a la Charlie Brown)? Probably just me…

  8. Okay, I totally missed the point of this on the initial viewing. I wasn’t saying “ugh” to Palin (though I find this clip hilarious) nor was I saying “ugh” to the style of music (which I like).

    On the original viewing, I thought the music was supposed to be some sort of addition to the clip — mood music if you will. I was thinking, “Too loud, what? What is the point of this?”

    Watching it again later — and after reading your comment, this is what I have to say: “Brilliant!!” Absolutely brilliant. I completely missed the point of it the first time around.

  9. Well … certainly got responses from this one! Thanks for joining in, all!

    Mr. Savant, I had actually linked to that wordless jazz video as well. Fun!

    Tim … now hold on there! You were a horn player, true (I guess I should say “are”, eh?) But aren’t you NOW also an oboe player? What’s with the brass reference?? 😉 (You know I’m just kidding, right?)

    SongMonk … I understand … sometimes we come at something from a different direction and miss something. It happens.

    Just a side note that’s sort of related: When I have a student who has difficulty understanding phrasing I sometimes ask him or her to put words to the music. This often helps a person understand where the commas and periods are.