Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Name that tune!

 Ever been at the rink and suddenly another skater's music comes over the PA system and the music is so glorious that you want to hear more of it--but you don't know the name of the piece or the composer?  What? No never? (well,  hardly ever?)  Meh, it happens to me all the time.  Coach A.  introduced me to a phone app called SoundHound a few weeks ago.  Of course I never have my little celery fone in my pocket while skating, but that may have to change--at least for Free Style sessions where good, unknown to me, music is lurking behind almost each program run-through.

SoundHound works on iPhones and I'll bet there's an android version as well.  You can learn about it here .

So, last night I was at the rink, as is my usual Tuesday evening wont, when a fetching waltz suddenly came out of the overhead speakers.  Of course my phone was locked safely away in the car.  This was during my warm up while my coach was busy with another skater, so I tracked down the coach who's skater was going through her program and asked him what the music was.  He smiled and in a thick accent said "Is Don Quixote by Minki."  Minki?  never heard of him.

 After getting home I started snooping.   First thing I learned was that there was a ballet, composed by Ludwig Minkus, named Don Quixote.  I found the entire ballet on YouTube and after a bit of searching narrowed the music I was looking for down to Act I:  Entrada de Quiteria (Kitri)

Once I had narrowed things down, I decided to test SoundHound:  I played both the entire ballet and also just the Kitri parts over the load speakers to see if the app would ID them correctly.  It locked on to the entire ballet in a flash, even correctly identifying the Sofia National Orchestra.  The actual song I was after took a couple of stabs (I had to crank up the volume a little) but the app got it right in the end.  Not bad for a free app.

I really must be more daring with my little phone.  One never knows when a snippet of great music will present itself.