Music puzzler

Okay, I could have foisted this trio of cameraphone videos on a pianist friend and asked her to try to identify the piece (hi, Skye!), but then I thought: wouldn’t it be more fun to ask the world wide internets?

Here’s the situation.  I was riding my bike back home yesterday afternoon, and heard the sound of piano wafting through an open window.  I circled the bike back and stood there underneath it for minutes on end, loving the piece, before it occurred to me that I could record it and ask someone what it was. There was a ton of gorgeous music before the passages recorded here, which, I suppose if you know the piece, you know. If’n you don’t, well. Take my word for it.

Since I’ve never used the damn cameraphone video jobbie before this, you’ll have to excuse the unimaginative camera work.  Half-way through the second clip it occurred to me that at least I could point the camera at something other than the Modigliani-esque winter shadows. So then I feature the second smartest bike accessory I’ve ever purchased (after the front tire’s mini “flickstand”). Not because it has any symbolic significance whatsoever. Really I just needed to capture the sound, which is emanating from the window above the garage in front of which I’ve stopped.

S’pose I could have pointed directly at the window, but somehow that would have felt kinda creepy. Like more brazenly clandestine.

Anyway! So can anyone tell us what this music is?

You have three clips of around 50 seconds each on which to base your estimation.  I wish I were flush enough to promise to buy you your own copy of the music, in gratitude.  Instead I can just say: Thank you! (And the cause of literary accuracy — if I actually wind up posting the stream of consciousness thingie this inspired — thanks you!)


11 thoughts on “Music puzzler”

  1. My feeling is Chopin, especially the last clip made me think that. But I don’t know which piece. Or it could be some Chopin-esque composer I am not familiar with.

    You know, I probably shouldn’t tell you this, it will just feed your gear/gadget lust, but if you had a iPhone, you could have held it up to the window, and launched a program called Shazam” which would have sampled the song, accessed some giant clip database in the sky, and told you what the piece was. I’ve seen it in action and it is pretty cool. Not enough to make me get an iPhone, but pretty cool nonetheless.

    So I can’t wait for a definitive identification for someone who really knows.

  2. Ho-ly-crap. Git out no way no way. Hold up the thing and get a music ID????

    I am writing my gadget freak brother in law RIGHTTHISVERYINSTANT.

    Meanwhile I await the slow-moving, but moving-nonetheless gears of the LD reading world.

  3. Have iPhone and Shazam – unfortunately the quality of the recording does not seem to lend itself to being identified by Shazam.

    If you could clean it up a bit, perhaps…?

    It does sound a bit like Chopin – his music for piano is mesmerizing!

  4. Thank you for trying, liferunner! With the random spare moments, I’m trying to figure out how to figure this out, using free snatches of music on the internets. Not the most efficient. But it is making me grateful for Chopin.

  5. I have no idea what the piece is (I’ll do some research though) …but OMG you have sun! And the coolest bike accessory!

    Love, from Birmingham, UK.

    [Where it is 3C (apparently that’s 37F in American money), dark, grey, overcast and where I still can’t get my old bike bell off to get my new supercool bike bell on].


  6. Thank you, miriam! Will rummage forthwith. Inadvertentgardener, you have no idea how warm the cockles (?!) of my heart get thinking about folks procrastinating from work listening to this random afternoon piano playing wafting through some person’s open window. But really, it was gorgeous, the whole thing.

    Juliet, welcome! Love TO Birmingham, UK (home I’m sure to many things, not least of all to the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies, aka the Good Guys, if you were to ask any of my grad school chums. Frankfurt School being the Bad Guys. Could also slice it: Optimist/Pessimist? Kinda broad strokes here, which is why no one from the loftier planes of academe is missing me since I snuck out the side door years ago…). But I digress! The bike accessory was courtesy some used toy shop, where I went after the boychild’s first haircut. He needed something to cheer his poor Sampson self up with, and I forget what I got him but this choice item I knew was made for me. A little distracting, though, since as you ride the propeller spins madly and one really has to keep one’s eyes on the road.

  7. My encyclopaedic friend tells me (after about 10 seconds of listening) that it’s Beethoven Piano Sonata 21, Opus 53, aka the ‘Waldstein’ sonata. I’d love to take the credit but I don’t deserve it; I was getting sidetracked by Saint-Saens…

    Oh Birmingham Cultural Studies. How ironic that its final nemesis turned out not to be Frankfurt at all, but the University of Birmingham management. I know people who still won’t set foot on campus because of the lingering bitterness over its closure.

    I haven’t yet found a way out of academia though I’m working on it but I’m now far enough through my PhD to need to finish the thesis first.

  8. Bingo! We have a winner! Since I just pledged a no-latté week and purchased Seymour Lipkin’s Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 2, Sonatas 11-22, on iTunes for $9.99.

    Don’t tell the house financier.

    Sonata No. 21 in C Major, “Waldstein,” Op. 53 is what we got here. The third movement, Allegro con brio. And the brio we got was right about smack dab in the middle of it. Beautiful. And Juliet, please do thank your encyclopaedic friend, since now I can listen to the gorgeous runs up and down over and over again as long as I want. ‘Till the hard disk breaks down, or ’til I forget to save the data to the next media storage system, or what have you.

    Best wishes on the timely completion of your Ph and D, sister! Mine’s forever A.B.A.D. (all but ALMOST dissertation, since I bagged right before orals). Can’t say which life paths would have been different had I polished it all off, but I do appreciate the book learnin’ (and sweetie-snaggin’) I managed to get in before I left.

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