It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything but a blog.  Lately my life has been edit, edit, edit.  Writing something new is like climbing back on a bike after falling off and getting a bad road rash.  So far I’ve dragged out the vacuum cleaner, called my mother, and done the laundry.  All blatant and transparent efforts to avoid getting on that old bike because it probably has flat tires and loose chains.  Besides, I might not remember how to ride!  

The ideal innocent Spouse Candidate

The ideal innocent Spouse Candidate

By the way, I trash-canned  last week’s blog about taxes.  Ick! Who wants to read about unjust tax burdens? Apparently no one as even my regular commenters were morbidly silent.  Of course, not knowing about tax law is what got the main character in my still unnamed WIP into such dire straits.  But the subject of taxes seems to turn readers off and I can understand why. 

Regarding the afore-mentioned unnamed WIP, lately when I think about the story I hear a symphony – crashing, rebounding, weeping, laughing – full of tragedy and romance and the occasional light moment.  But I don’t know anything about music (after five straight years of piano lessons, my instructor wouldn’t let me go near anything but a scale). So I called a friend who knows a lot more about

MusicDummymusic than I do.  She entertained the idea for awhile and then sent me this list:

(Musical terms are beautiful, aren’t they?)

  • A cappella – without instrumental accompaniment
  • Ad libitum (ad lib) – the speed and manner of execution are left to the performer
  • Appoggiatura – one of more grace notes that take up some note value of the next full note
  • Arpeggiato – a way of playing a chord, starting with the lowest note and moving successively higher.
  • Mozart

    Great CD to write to!

    Glissando – a continuous sliding from one pitch to another, or an incidental scale executed while moving from one melodic note to another

  • Augmented sixth – predominant function chords, resolving to the dominant. Chromatically altered subdominant chord
  • Obbligato – required, indispensable
  • Ostinato – obstinate, persistent
  • Poco a poco – little by little
  • Portamento – carrying; sliding in pitch from one note to another, usually pausing just above or below the final pitch, then sliding quickly to that pitch.
  • Recitativo – one voice without accompaniment
  • Rinforzando – reinforced, emphasized, often applied to a single note
  • Ritornello – a recurring passage in the first or final movement of a solo concerto or aria
  • Sense misura – to play without a beat, using time to measure how long it will take to play the bar
  • Syncopation – a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of downbeat rhythm, with emphasis on the sub-division

She felt Arpeggiato – a way of playing a chord, starting with the lowest note and moving successively higher – most fit the theme and tempo of UNNAMED.  I’m leaning towards Recitativo – one voice without accompaniment.  


Mozart soothes the savage cat!

Anyway, time to get on that bike and ride. Enjoy the symphony of your life, whether it be either Poco a poco or Sense misura or …

(Thanks JO!)

11 thoughts on “Recitativo

  1. Jan, I love the name Recitativo! Also the definition: one voice without accompaniment. As you know, I’m a music lover, so musical things always grab me. I will tell you though, that I’ve gotten some unexpected feedback from advertising companies–one large one in particular–about “target readers” (mine anyway) and music. I’m happy to go into more detail offline. Since your book isn’t about music, the stuff I’ve learned might not apply at all. Recitativo is a beautiful word and title for sure.

    As for getting back on that bike, what a perfect analogy. Starting a new novel is such a challenge, and I felt real fear as I was editing my second and had no idea what the third would be about. But take your time and it’ll come to you. I know it will.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! It must have been quite a pleasant surprise to hear from the advertising company! I need to read Living by Ear. I’m sure I’ll be able to identify with the heroine! In fact, I think you’ll have a very large target audience! : )

  2. Well, how about that, Jan. When I first opened your blog post today and saw the title, I was immediately drawn to it. Perhaps it’s simply the fact that I’ve been a musician my whole life–and how awful of your piano teacher to only allow you scales! There’s so much music to be made. It broke my heart.
    Regardless, a little bit of vacuuming can certainly clear the head of words and make you welcome the thought of a few more hours of quiet editing.
    Love the title, if it ends up being the winner. Look forward to the unveiling!

  3. Thanks! My piano teacher, a Russian, was a firm believer in the classical method. I was a tomboy so I’m sure I exasperated her with my restlessness.

  4. Morbidly silent, eh? Yeah, tax info does tend to have that effect 😉 I love all of the music terminology and Recitativo could make for an intriguing title. I never did learn how to play the piano very well. Too much coordination required with one hand doing the treble cleff and the other hand the bass cleff, but I did take a music theory class where I learned how to program an entire symphony into a keyboard and then manipulate the music with a computer program. My high school band teacher as amazing.

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