'Taur Music: or, old wine in new amphorae

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Posted by Lucius Appaloosius on October 20, 2003 at 22:17:44:

Poster's IP was:
(Lucius steps softly out, surveys the slumbering herd - anaesthetized, most likely, by his mind-numbing verbiage - and mutters to himself):

I had thought I might have stimulated some discussion with my confessions; but, no. A biography without shadowy nemeses, hairbreadth escapes or mysterious benefactaurs is unlikely to generate any interest; perhaps it were best to stick to the old, time-tested subjects.

Music, I see from my researches into this board's dusty archives, is a fairly safe topic; I suppose I might deposit my pennyworth in this slot, and see if anything comes out.

Music, in fact, has been one of my chief solaces since my arrival in this human world. What better way to relieve the loneliness, the constriction of an alien form, than to lose oneself in pure harmony?

Sometimes, in the enchantment, I can almost forget my present state; I feel my old limbs back again, ready to pound the earth and paw the air. What music, then, inspires this?

I know that there is no one genre of music that appeals to all centaurs; I speak only for myself. As an antiquarian, I find some of this sorcery in certain pieces of early music; in the stately prance of a pavane or the galloping heartbeat of a basse danse; in the sunlit splendor of a well-played cornett or the furry richness of krummhorns.

Perhaps it is the innate nobility of our race that conjures up such associations. What am I to say, then, of my other musical weakness; which strips me of all pretensions of dignity, and makes me want to kick and caper like a foal in springtime?

I refer, of course, to

(He catches himself, and resumes his quiet soliloquy, as the herd settles itself back to sleep)

It may be that syncopation best suits our double-hearted nature; or I may just be influenced by a grandsire who played second trombone in "Waistcoat Willie's Ragtime Centaurchestra"; but this music has ever reminded me of my lost heritage. Just listen to most anything Joplin wrote; but especially some of the set pieces from "Treemonisha". He *must * have known some 'taurs when he wrote the "Real Slow Drag". Look at the lyrics:

"Dance slowly,
*Prance* slowly,..."

Slim enough evidence, I admit; but there it is.......

Even the lesser-known rags are centaurean to my ears: "Black and White Rag", "Creole Belle", "Temptation" and the like still revive in me that desperate longing for my proper form.

In fact (and here I come around to a self-serving plug - please don't hit me -), I was inspired enough by these masters to attempt a composition of my own. As this was written during my years of isolation, I avoided any centaurean reference; but the spirit is there - especially in the final strain.

Not wanting to take too much credit (or rather blame) for this essay, I wrote it under Bill's name, and gave it a title emphasizing my debt to the borrowed plumage of my predecessors.

If the link below fails to work, you might try the site


and click on the link there, to hear this piece played (on harpsichord, no less) by Linda "Shirley the Rat" Skernick. Be advised, though, that it *does* take some time to download..........................

Hoping to hear your opinions when you wake, I am

Your humble servitaur,
Lucius Appaloosius

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