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Theory Geek
Also see:
Culture Test
Toby Appel's Guide to the Orchestra
You might be a theory geek if . .

  1. you whistle in style brise

  2. your favorite pickup line is, "What's your favorite augmented sixth chord?"

  3. your second favorite pickup line is, "Would you like to raise my leading tone?"

  4. you only sing tunes that make good fugal subjects

  5. you have a poster of Allen Forte in your room

  6. you know who Allen Forte is

  7. you dream in four parts

  8. those "parasitic" dissonances make you queasy, especially when left unresolved

  9. you can improvise 16th century counterpoint with no trouble, but you frequently forget how to tie your shoes

  10. you can look at a piece by Bach and say, "You know, I think he could have gotten a better effect this way . . ."

  11. you can answer your phone with a tonal or a real answer

  12. you like to deceive your friends and loved ones with deceptive cadences

  13. you only drink fifths, and then you laugh at the pun

  14. you feel the need to end Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony with a picardy third

  15. instead of counting sheep, you count sequences

  16. you find free counterpoint too liberal

  17. Moussorgsky's "Hopak" gives you nightmares

  18. you wonder what a Danish sixth would sound like

  19. you long for the good old days of movable G-clefs

  20. the Corelli Clash gives you goosebumps

  21. you have ever quoted Walter Piston

  22. you can hear an enharmonic modulation coming a mile away

  23. you like to march to the rhythms of Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du printemps"

  24. your license plate says: T351.

  25. you have ever tried to do a Schenkerian analysis on "Three Blind Mice"

  26. you have ever tried to do a Schenkerian analysis on John Cage's 4'33"

  27. you confuse fish sticks with ground bass

  28. you found No. 27 funny

  29. you have ever had a "Gurrelieder" party

  30. you have ever pondered on what an augmented seventh chord would sound like

  31. bass motion by ascending thirds or a sequential pattern with roots in ascending fifths immediately strikes you as "belabored"

  32. you lament the decline of serialism

  33. you know what the ninth overtone of the harmonic series is off the top of your head

  34. you have ever dressed up as counterpoint for Halloween

  35. you can name ten of Palestrina's contemporaries

  36. you enjoy the tang of a tritone whenever you can

  37. you have ever found a typographical error in a score by Berio, Stockhausen, or Boulez

  38. you have ever heard a wrong note in a performance of a composition by Berio, Stockhausen, or Boulez

  39. you have ever played through your music as if the fingering markings were figured bass symbols

  40. you suspiciously check all the music you hear for dangling sevenths

  41. when you're feeling prankish, you will transpose Mozart arias to locrian mode

  42. you keep a notebook of useful diminutions

  43. you have composed variations on a theme by Anton Webern

  44. you know the difference between a Courante and a Corrente

  45. you have trained your dog to jump through a flaming circle of fifths

  46. you have ever used the word "fortspinnung" in polite conversation

  47. you feel cheated by evaded cadences

  48. you liked differential calculus because it reminded you of set theory

  49. every now and then you like to kick back and play something in hypophrygian mode

  50. you wonder why there aren't more types of seventh chords

  51. you wish you had twelve fingers

  52. you like polytonal music because, hey, the more keys the merrier

  53. you abbreviate your shopping list using figured bass.

  54. you always make sure to invert your counterpoint, just in case

  55. you have ever told a joke with a punchline of: because it was polyphonic!

  56. you know dirty acronyms for the order of sharps

  57. you consider all music written between 1750 and 1920 to be "rather elementary"

  58. you memorize dates and times by what they would sound like in set theory but you also know what page it is on in the Riemenschneider edition and how many suspensions it has in the first seven bars

  59. you got more than half of the jokes in this list


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