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Bwv Numbers?


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Many will recall with delight, the words used to teach pupils the rhythms of music, such as "Cold fish & chips" where there are triplets over two quavers, for example.


Then there were those memorable words which no-one ever forgets, which describe the opening of the Bach C-minor Fugue:-


"Uncle John has lost his trousers"


After 44 years of learning the organ (I'm still working on it!), I couldn't quote a single BWV number to save my life, but then, I'm the sort of person who never calls anyone because I cannot remember the telephone numbers, I can never remember my credit card pins and I just go blank when I see a speed-limit sign (:lol:) ( B) ).


I am verbal sort of person, and numbers mean nothing to me, even though I did used to account for £600,000,000 of other people's money (a worrying thought!)


So why can't we replace those stupid BWV numbers with something that people like me can remember?


Who enjoyed the "Two Ronnies?"


One of Ronnie Barker's standard techniques, was to fit words to tunes, with often comical or hilarious results......an old music-hall trick.


I'm absolutely SURE that the following Bach fugue subjects will be instantly recognised by everyone.....even by mathmetisions....mathemat.....I can't even remember how to spell number-crunching!


"I'll give you such a clout, if you put it about, that the vicar's son and me are having fun etc."


Poor old Elsie's lost her bra, and see how they wobbles, when she rides the cobbles etc.


Any other offerings?





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Here are Ebenezer Prout's well-known ditties for the WTC.


And, of course, there is the reply from a student, which I can't find a reference for, but remember as: 'O Ebenezer Prout, you are a silly man, you just play Bach fugues as quickly as you can'. (I've found a reference that offers 'Oh Ebenezer Prout, what was it all about?...' which clearly goes to the same g minor fugue.)



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You should check out the Flanders and Swann rendition of the Mozart Horn Concerto, viz:


"I once had a whim and I had to obey it, to buy a french horn at a second hand shop", etc.


Every time I hear it now this silly little ditty pops into my brain. OK for Mozart, but please lets give JS a little more respect......

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It's definately worth a page or two. I find it much easier to play if I've got something like "Uncle Joe has lost his trousers" running through my head - if I don't suddenly burst out in a snigger or two - it actually helps to shape the phrases....


I don't know any of them but there was one about when Bach was an old man (BWV 542, I think.... :P

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