Lessons at Hugo’s

December 18, 2006

hugo.jpgToday at Hugo‘s I had a new waiter. I noticed he had a treble clef tattooed on the inside of his right forearm, and a bass clef on the inside of his left forearm. I couldn’t resist asking whether he was a pianist, so I did.
“No, I’m a keyboard-guitar-bass-drums player” he rattled off as though he’d said it before. Upon learning I am a UCLA Professor in Composition, he told me that he had been a composition major and that I kinda looked like HIS composition teacher at NYU. “It was a great education but none of the stuff prepares you for what you really need to know.” I asked him in my most professorial tone whether he could write and fugue or an invention. “Yes, I knew it all. I knew it in highschool, and then I had to sit through 2 years of Music Theory just cuz every one has to. Don’t get me wrong, you learn the rules so that you can break the rules, but that doesn’t get you too far in the real world.”

He had no idea that I had just been kvetching about the same thing to my colleagues but I dared not confess that to this excellent composer-waitperson.

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