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I have decided to not move to England...

...because I really don't see how I will survive having to refer to music notes as semibreves, minims, crotchets, quavers, semiquavers, demisemiquavers, and hemidemisemiquavers.

No, really. "Hemidemisemiquavers"???

How in the world is this easier than whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second, and sixty-fourth notes? How is a whole note a semi-anything?

When their music makes sense, then I shall reconsider.



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2016 02:03 am (UTC)
Well, then... I've never ever heard such a fascinating reason not to move somewhere!

I do have to agree with you, though; I'd never figure out such a system.
Dec. 22nd, 2016 01:38 am (UTC)
I'm taking this online music theory course offered by the University of Edinburgh (with their gorgeous accents!) and this lesson on rhythm just floored me with these terms! If I do move to England, I will want to continue performing music, but I don't know if I can ever get used to this.
Dec. 19th, 2016 04:48 am (UTC)
Music wouldn't be a reason for me to not move. I don't know how to read it in the first place.

But I agree: those names are weird!
Dec. 22nd, 2016 01:39 am (UTC)
Bonus perk: Walking around all day saying "hemidemisemiquaver" irritates my husband. :D
Dec. 19th, 2016 05:59 am (UTC)
To be fair, hemidemisemiquaver is just an awesome word on its own.

Dec. 22nd, 2016 01:40 am (UTC)
"Crotchets" actually makes sense! In a comment below, flowsoffire says that the French term for quarter notes is "croches" because they look like hooks. So now it's obvious the English borrowed the word.

It's still dumb, but at least there's a reason. :D

Edit: Okay, I just reread flowsoffire's description, and the French call the eighth note the "croche", while the British call the quarter note the "crotchet". So we have returned to not making sense.

Edited at 2016-12-22 01:54 am (UTC)
Dec. 19th, 2016 07:03 am (UTC)
The thought that there would be musical differences never even crossed my mind. A lot of terms and expressions are different here, but surely learning to cope with them is half the fun? And yes, I am more than a little biased about this...

Edited at 2016-12-19 07:06 am (UTC)
Dec. 22nd, 2016 01:46 am (UTC)
It just doesn't make sense! You can actually derive the rhythm pattern from the US names of the notes, while the British names don't mean anything.

I guess I'll have to learn it if I want to move. *grump*

Dec. 19th, 2016 08:52 am (UTC)
Wow, you USians do like to try and make things dull sometimes! ;-p

(To be faier, you don't normally need to worry about anything more than a semi-quaver! I've never had to use the others yet. But aren't crotchets and quavers more fun than, er, what is the US equivalent, then? *squints* A whole and a half? How dull that must be. You poor souls!!)
Dec. 22nd, 2016 01:51 am (UTC)
It may be dull, but it makes sense. A whole note is a four quarter notes, like 1 is four quarters. You can't look at the word "semi-breve" and figure out that it's made of four crotchets.

On the other hand, you can't look at the name "Southwark" and figure out that's pronounced "suh-thuck". I swear, it's just a British conspiracy to keep everyone confused. ;)
Dec. 19th, 2016 01:27 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha ♥ I actually love those words, but that is from a completely non-musical perspective.

I think France is about the same actually: we have rondes, blanches, noires, croches, doubles croches, triples croches and quadruples croches :D Calls to mind my far-off Music classes memories. Those weren't so bad if you were used to them though: unlike the English equivalents, they're basically a description of what the note actually looks like on your sheet :)
Dec. 22nd, 2016 02:02 am (UTC)
Now, see, at least the French terms have a system. It's actually useful for one person to say to the other (in roughly-translated English), "White golf club, hook, hook, black golf club", though it's far more useful to the musician to say "half-bar, eighth-bar, eight-bar, quarter-bar".

I thought that your list of words actually shed some light on this, as you use the term "croche" and the British use "crotchet", but then I realized they are two different things - eighth notes for the French but quarter notes for the British. Sigh.
Dec. 19th, 2016 11:42 pm (UTC)
"It's tradition, it doesn't have to make sense! We won't change who we are just for the rest of the world's convenience."

Hemidemisemiquavers <3 I can imagine a British tv series when such a word is used in a casual conversation so non-native speakers can extend their vocabulary. #Watching_BBC_With_A_Pen_And_A_Piece_Of_Paper

I couldn't live in Victorian England because I couldn't handle dealing with money. There's pound, shilling, pence, guinea, florin, sixpence, half crown, you're making this all up, Arthur Conan Doyle!

On the other hand... *coughFahrenheitcough* ;)
Dec. 20th, 2016 12:56 am (UTC)
[On the other hand... *coughFahrenheitcough* ;)]

I have to agree with you there! Having worked in labs for a long time, I'm much more attuned to C than F, and my home fridge is set to Celsius. Confuses the daylights out of most people seeing my fridge set to 4 degrees and my freezer to -20! I'm not even sure what the Fahrenheit equivalents would be, but I know that my enzymes belong frozen at -20C.

Although I do know that -6 degrees F is mighty cold (-21 C, and it was awful this morning!)....
Dec. 22nd, 2016 02:14 am (UTC)
I used to be better with Celsius, back when I was still doing science, but that was decades ago. I just keep in mind that -40 is identical on both scales and 0 Celsius is equal to 32 Fahrenheit and interpolate from there.

Dec. 22nd, 2016 07:32 pm (UTC)
For practical puspose, I use the approximate method for the Fahrenheit/Celsius transition: subtract 30 and then divide by two. You can do the opposite to switch Celsius into Fahrenheit. If I ever go to the USA, I must remember not to freak out when I'll see a frigde set to 40 degrees!
Dec. 22nd, 2016 07:50 pm (UTC)
Right... 40 degrees would be very hot! I guess you'd be fine with my fridge, then.

There are apps that convert it easily, but I just go with what I know.
Dec. 22nd, 2016 02:12 am (UTC)
Oh god the money! Yes! I have a part of a story written out where there's a scene of Martha trying to figure out whether or not she was given the right change, and the attendant, having decided that she must be stupid because she's both female and black, had given her weird coins just to make it harder.

It's pretty obvious in the Harry Potter books that JK designed the system of knuts, sickles, and galleons to make the money complicated like the old British system, but the old British system is far worse. :D

Fahrenheit... That can go take a leap off a high cliff, as far as I'm concerned. I'm accustomed to the system, but it's terrible and Celsius makes so much more sense. The worst part is that there's some amount of trying to get Celsius to stick here in the US, to the point where no one knows what you're talking about anymore. Case in point: It's common for very cold weather to be described as "below 0", but is that below 0 Celsius or Fahrenheit? One is much worse than the other. You'd think it'd be Fahrenheit, but no... People tend to say freezing weather (not horribly freezing weather) is "below 0" and they actually mean Celsius. ARGH.
Dec. 22nd, 2016 06:50 pm (UTC)
It's sad to admit it is something that could happen to Martha.

Yeah, knuts, sickles and galleons are pretty easy ;) Weird coins (too many of them, with weird names and weird values) is where it gets complicated and it was said galleons are gold, sickles are silver and knuts are bronze so at least you know what you've got. That system may even be more intuitive than modern British coins where sizes of coins tell you nothing about their values...

By the way, when it comes to "how many sickles make a galleon" stuff I'm sure JK just picked random numbers, but I wondered how many different coins the wizarding world would have, you know, to represent any price with lowest number of coins. But of course wizards wouldn't have thought of that and they probably have 1 sickle coins only and everyone knows the spell to make your purse weight less. Oh, the cultural differences between the Muggle world and the wizarding world!

Well, "freezing" actually means "below 0 Celsius", doesn't it? If the water outside turns into ice, it's freezing even if your thermometer shows 20F - I'd like to see it, it'd feel so weird ;) But, I'm getting that you're used to say "freezing" when it's much colder than below 0 Celsius. It's never good when words confuse.
Dec. 20th, 2016 03:46 pm (UTC)
This is totally a good reason to rethink the whole thing...*grins*
Dec. 22nd, 2016 02:15 am (UTC)
I have to wonder if it's even worse in Canada. For any system that's different between England and the US, Canada seems to look them over and select the worst traits of both. :D
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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