Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One of Life's Minor Annoyances

If you spend much time listening to classical music on your car radio, you've probably had this experience. You're driving along, thinking your thoughts. The announcer murmurs softly, as hosts on classical radio do, and a symphony begins.

After a time you notice that the music has faded. In fact, the sound has stopped.

So you turn up the sound. Still nothing. You turn it up some more and--


"What the--!" You grab for the knob or stab at the button--anything to muffle that crashing crescendo of sound. Where in hell did that come from?

It was one of those lulling symphonic moments, some point where the composer decided that the bassoon should just exhale slightly, or the violins mutter a low note. But with the road noise, there's no way you'll hear it at normal volume. And probably not when you turn it up to the max. I've always wondered whether anyone else has encountered this ... and whether it's been used in a movie. I can imagine it as a gag that startles someone into driving off the road--say, Chevy Chase. But the setup would probably be so boring the scene would be cut.

1 comment:

Dave Kennedy said...

In college I had a math professor who always had lyric-less techno going in his office. I once commented "I wonder what the mathematical similarities are between some and classical". His response was "Well, I don't know what the mathematical similarities are, but I know that while I can fall asleep to techno, I can' fall asleep to classical. It will lull me to sleep, and just as it fades out, BA-BA-BA-BUM-DA-DA! and I'm awake again."

I also think you're right - I could definitely see this in a Chevy Chase movie.