Friday, April 12, 2013

New Tiny Toy

See that little gizmo, slightly bigger than a postage stamp, attached to my music stand?  my new metronome.  For them as don't do music, it's a device meant to assist in playing at tempo, and makes various sounds to enable you to do this.  You set it at the number you need, it ticks or beeps or flashes or whatever you want, to keep you on track.

It's great for practicing solo the pieces you play in a consort, so you don't get to be the person dragging behind or trotting ahead (that's my besetting sin, always too alert), and though it's not something to use all the time, it has its value.

This is amazing, new to me, so tiny and with all kinds of functions, meter, value, volume, you name it, shipped to me from Betty Lao, if I remember rightly, in Singapore.  Anyway, this is a great new toy, very portable.

It used to be that only your music teacher had a metronome, which in the early medieval period when I learned piano, was a triangular wooden thing with a removable front behind which lurked a pointer that could be set to tempo to tick and wag back and forth, little tyrant.

One of my recorder friends, a very firm lady, now long gathered to the recorder group in the sky, used to whip her old wooden metronome out when we played at her house and insist on using it.  She lived in an old house with a wonky wooden floor, and when she set down the metronome, not only did the clicking echo loudly, but it clicked out of rhythm, as the machine swayed a bit on each iteration on and off the tick,tick,tiiiiiiiiiickticticiticiticit,tick, tick.  

But all my protests were in vain.  She insisted that it MUST be accurate because it was a MACHINE!   So we sort of blundered along, but we weren't very good anyway, so I guess it wasn't much loss.  I think I play better now!  We always hoped the metronome had been tidied away and we 'd assure her that it was no trouble, we'd manage without it.  She was loads of fun, most of it unconscious on her part.


  1. Oh what fun to have a new metronome - electronic! Gadget of gadgets! I had one of those triangular tick tocks, and loved it. I'd set it when playing a recording and it was hilarious to hear the recording going fast and slow - kind of depended on the turntable which wasn't the most up to date (no not a crank up Victorian!! - My dad kept one of those in the rec room in the basement and would spend hours listening to Gallicurci and Lily Pons!! (The two being totally un-comparable in my opinion).

  2. I used to quite like the metronome on the odd occasion it came out at my piano lessons (I am by no means implying that I kept the beat well, I think Sr Francis Xavier thought I wasn't worth wasting it on). Funny because I hate ticking clocks so it must have been the mechanical-ness of it which I liked.


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