Saturday, January 2, 2016

Musical Time: The Story of a Metronome Who Wants to Make Music

“I want to do more than click and tick all day! Music! I must make music,” Galileo the Metronome said. 

For hours on end, Galileo sat on Cadence the Composer’s piano, keeping time with his pendulum-swinging arm. Cadence turned him on and off, adjusting Galileo’s beats per minute, depending on the piece he was writing.

“I can’t take this anymore! You are only using me for my fixed rhythm,” he said to the Composer.

“You are such a necessity! You have no idea how lost I would be with your steady tempo,” the Composer said.

“No one plays music at an exact tempo. I can’t even align myself with your expressive pieces,” Galileo said. “Strings! I want the strings of a violin on my neck! So, someone can play melodies through me . . .”

All at once, Galileo threw himself off the side of the piano onto the floor of the Composer’s home. 

“Oh no! My lovely Galileo!” Cadence said, gathering the scattered pieces. “What will I do with you now?” 

Cadence gathered the shattered and broken metronome and placed his pieces in the trashcan beside the piano.

“I’ll have to stop by The Music Store for a new metronome tomorrow, maybe one with blinking lights,” he said.

Meanwhile, Galileo’s parts were tossed throughout the wastepaper basket. “Oh, I ache worse than ever . . .”

In the morning, when the composer’s son, Winkel, found the Metronome’s pieces, he glued them back together.

“Well, you’ll never click like a metronome again, but maybe I could make you into an instrument,” Winkel said. 

Winkel pulled and plucked four strings across Galileo’s neck. Then he tightened them to exact pitches—E, A, D, G. 

“I’ll finally be able to make music!” Galileo said. “It was rash but jumping off the piano was for the best.”

By the time Winkel had reconstructed Galileo into a tiny violin, Cadence replaced Galileo with a new metronome.

“One day you’ll be known as rare as a Stradivari violin,” Winkel said, constructing a separate bow for Galileo.

“Please, play me!” Galileo said. “Don’t wait! Sounds waves will start from the friction of the bow on the strings and carry to the bridge. The bridge will send the vibrations through the instrument, and then we have music!”

As Winkel placed his bow to Galileo’s strings, the former metronome made music and has never stopped since.


Copyright 2016 Jennifer Waters

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