Solitude in E minor: A Truly Morbid Discovery
For those that decided to stare into the depths of the sea for their childhood with Spongebob and the gang, volumes of references are available for any situation. One in particular involves the musically-inclined Squidward Tentacles playing for one of his uncultured neighbors, Patrick Star. The clarinetist pulls out a little ditty from the repertoire: Solitude in E minor. The second he hits the first two notes, Patrick falls asleep instantly, making comedy gold from the scrutiny of classical music.
The reference lives on in the hearts of wannabe citizens of Bikini Bottom, especially those who found themselves to be musicians. However, there is one problem: Solitude is not in E minor…
The piece, according to the first two notes played, sounds to be in F minor, or one half step above where it should be. Some may have no clue what that means, or wonder why it is a big deal. The easiest way to explain how the half step failure sounds to a musician is to imagine a scratched chalkboard, but the musician is the chalkboard. Several sensory inputs scream in agony when this occurs.
To keep the Patrick Stars of the readership awake, the musical explanation will not last long. The piece, Solitude in E minor, begins with a dominant to tonic grace note, followed by forte snores from the couch percussion section. In layman's terms, the music starts with a nice pillow elevator taking the listener to the correct floor, with some free chocolates, Chocolates… CHOCOLATE… upon arrival. The tried-and-true method of a opener is all well and good, but the incorrect notes destroy the very foundations of the piece.
Upon aural investigation, the notes are found to be ‘C’ and ‘F’: the dominant and tonic of the wrong scale. For E minor, the notes would be ‘B’ and ‘E’ for a nice ominous tone of a minor scale. The present F minor scale sounds too peppy for self-reflection and anguish. Perhaps this was an attempt not to emotionally disturb the young viewership of the program. For all the music nerds sitting on rock, not a boulder, of Spongebob references, this will emotionally disturb to the depths of Rock Bottom.