We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And a Happy New Year?

We went to Lee Anna and Sawyer's school last week for their Christmas program. It was awesome. Lee Anna's teacher led the class in singing several festive songs, while a young lady played on a small organ-like instrument. The accompaniment and the melody were only tangentially related to each other in the harmonic sense. Perhaps they couldn't hear each other? No, they were each way too loud to use that for an excuse. Maybe we just have more to learn about Arab Music. No, wait, "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Jingle Bells" are both Anglo-American melodies.

For the music theory geeks out there, I think they were trying to sing Jingle Bells in our traditional major-key setting, while the accompaniment was set in the relative minor. Try it at home: play in a-minor while you sing in C major. It works pretty well, but the three-year-old set just didn't quite grasp the depth of what they were trying to accomplish. It's not on this particular video clip, but they also sang "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" with an entirely new (though strikingly similar) melody. 1-3-3-4-3-2-1-1, 3-5-5-6-5-4-3-1

Lee Anna seems to be protesting this lack of harmonic concurrence. She didn't sing a lick the whole time. Perhaps it's just a young case of stage fright. Evidently, her classmates were not so stricken.

Alas, she's only three. Maybe next year she'll bust out and sing for everybody.

And a good time was had by all.

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