Careers in Science: Musicology

The musicologist is having more fun learning the Gabrielli ricercar (#1) than he has had learning any music, ever, except maybe the bass line to Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ back in college.

Most things were more fun back in college, come to think of it, the musicologist thinks. With the Gabrielli piece, you have the music, which he likes, and the fact that it is one of the first compositions for solo cello, and the history of the instrument at the time – the invention of metal-wound strings and the effect of this change on the construction of the instrument and playing styles. Back in college, all you needed was a bottle of Blue Nun, a joint and a record player. And you only really needed one of those if it was good enough.

The musicologist wishes he knew more about music, but he doesn’t.

Here, this is interesting, synchronically speaking: the musicologist has been thinking about the Shadow. Maybe because he talks about Jung with a friend sometimes. Maybe because of something he read.

Then another friend tells his wife about a seminar she went on where you something something Shadow something a lot of money something over three weekends eight weeks apart, and it was her best experience with psychotherapy ever and she should know.

So he looks up the person who wrote the book and, ehn, Inner Child is there, and the musicologist immediately has a problem because, Inner Child? But the author gets good reviews on Amazon and the friend liked the therapist, so maybe he’ll give it a try. Although, that’s a lot of money.

The musicologist is waiting for some of her books to arrive from Amazon. They were shipped yesterday, he got an email.

While he waits, he talks to the friend who took the seminar. Not his wife’s friend who took the seminar, the friend he talks to Jung about sometimes, she took the same seminar somewhere else, or something. She wasn’t too crazy about it, because, Inner Child? But she liked a meditation they did, to find a Place.

At night, the musicologist tries the meditation. Even if it doesn’t work, it might help him sleep, not that he needs help lately.

Except he can’t remember the meditation exactly. Something with steps and counting backwards. Steps up or down? He can’t remember, and he’s not going to get up and check. He decides on steps down. Count backwards, steps downward, into the dark. Then something with a door, and you open the door, or go through it, or both. Then something.

The musicologist decides on ‘downward’ because he has been looking for his Shadow, and so even if he doesn’t find this Place, maybe he’ll encounter the Shadow, is the thing. The thought behind this. The idea.

He goes down and down. Then his wife says something to him. They talk for a while. Then a cat climbs up on his hip, the highest point in the bed, and goes all Lion King. Then he – the musicologist – gets comfortable and starts counting down again.

Next thing he knows, it’s 4.45 in the morning and the cat wants something so it’s meowing and knocking stuff around on the musicologist’s night stand. Not the lava lamp or the book, the little stuff in the basket, and the musicologist remembers a nightmare about a scary guy, somewhat younger than him, who was very angry and wanted to do him harm.

The musicologist says, Thanks, because he’s always thankful for nightmares, usually.

3 responses to “Careers in Science: Musicology

  1. anne

    And the first smile of the day is yours… thank you. Really you are splendid.

  2. kay

    anne is so right.