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Bbc Counterpoint


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Counterpoint is a music quiz show on BBC radio 4 which has been running for many years.

I just listened to the 1st semi-final of this year's contest.

In the 1st round was this question: "The English version of which musical instrument was invented in 1829 by Sir Charles Wheatstone?"

 

The contestant asked the question gave the answer "the clarinet".

Neither of the other contestants made a guess.

 

edited to add: I know I typed capitals for "BBC" in the header, but it has appeared with only the 1st letter in as a capital. This problem was reported by someone else recently in another topic.

Edited by John Wild
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A later question on the same Counterpoint was 'what was George Melly's autobiography called'.

 

:lol: I'd forgotten about that! And how did I manage to miss the first semi-final?

 

Must have a listen later today.

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The correct answer to the question is the "Symphonium" ! I bet the BBC got the answer wrong. The "C" word is not mentioned in the 1829 patent. In fact reading the patent and the accompanying drawing;it would seem that substituting a bellows for the wind chest of the symphonium was very much an afterthought, and he does not give a separate name to the instrument thus created.

Wheatstone did not anyway claim to have invented any sort of musical instrument at all, but just the arrangement of the buttons, which is fairly similar to the arrangement on standard English Concertinas.

 

Inventor.

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I've just reread the original question (you should always listen to the question carefully) and it is the "Ching" or Chinese organ. though perhaps "Mund-harmonica" which Wheatstone mentions in the 1829 patent is equally correct. Interestingly the mund-harmonica appears to have been known as an AEolina, not a mouth-organ in England at that time; drop a couple of letters and what do you get ?

Inventor.

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Interestingly the mund-harmonica appears to have been known as an AEolina, not a mouth-organ in England at that time; drop a couple of letters and what do you get ?

Inventor.

 

Aioli - one of my favourite sauces! Oh sorry - that's three letters.

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Counterpoint drives me mad - I'd really like to like it, but the parochial attitude to anything that isn't Western classical music (and classical in the strictest sense, eg starting with Haydn and ending with Beethoven) annoys me every time I try to listen to it.

 

To be honest I've never forgiven it for an outrageously patronising comment about crumhorns a few years ago - insult Renaissance windcap instruments at your peril and feel my wrath :)

 

Edited, as usual, for spelling ...

Edited by Steve Mansfield
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Counterpoint drives me mad - I'd really like to like it, but the parochial attitude to anything that isn't Western classical music (and classical in the strictest sense, eg starting with Haydn and ending with Beethoven) annoys me every time I try to listen to it.

 

 

I couldn't agree more Steve, and I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks this way - I was beginning to think it was me....

 

Adrian

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Counterpoint drives me mad - I'd really like to like it, but the parochial attitude to anything that isn't Western classical music (and classical in the strictest sense, eg starting with Haydn and ending with Beethoven) annoys me every time I try to listen to it.

 

 

I couldn't agree more Steve, and I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks this way - I was beginning to think it was me....

 

Adrian

 

Definitely you are not alone Adrian.

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Counterpoint drives me mad - I'd really like to like it, but the parochial attitude to anything that isn't Western classical music (and classical in the strictest sense, eg starting with Haydn and ending with Beethoven) annoys me every time I try to listen to it.

 

Well, that attitude starts with the name of the program, doesn't it?

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Counterpoint drives me mad - I'd really like to like it, but the parochial attitude to anything that isn't Western classical music (and classical in the strictest sense, eg starting with Haydn and ending with Beethoven) annoys me every time I try to listen to it.

Well, that attitude starts with the name of the program, doesn't it?

 

I would have expected some interest in Baroque music at least then... :)

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