Russian Tonality.

January 28, 2005

I’ve been listening to audiobooks while I practice guitar in the morning.

I’ve been practicing really intensely in the morning; running scales. I found a music theory website (I don’t know a lick of music theory; I mean, I should say, I know it when I feel it, when I play it, but the names of the scales and the chords I never learned) and I’ve learned stuff like the Mixolydian mode, the Dorian mode–things which previously seemed incomprehensible and hilarious to me.
I’m peculiarly drawn to the minor scale. I’ve never cottoned to that scale, until now.
I think it’s because I downloaded an audiobook of Chekhov’s short stories–the Black Monk, the one where the pudgy officer goes into a dark billiards room and makes out with a girl he never identifies–and they’re great. I’ve never read them. All those doleful Russian dudes wandering through spooky gardens with pale Russian heiresses–it imbues that minor scale with a certain melancholy Russian ambience.