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Who Said You Can't Go Bach?

by Eva Pasco 

Who Said You Can't Go Bach by Eva PascoGrowing up during the Sixties, in 1964 I entered Lincoln Jr. High as a seventh grader. Bewildered, but determined, I dexterously manipulated the combination lock on my locker to ditch books and pick up others for the next round of classes with an allowance of two minutes to get to my destination before a tardy slip was issued. That same year the Beatles arrived in the  US, and made their first television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Soon the British Invasion revolutionized music with the likes of The Dave Clark Five, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, The Rolling Stones, The Animals…Since being hip meant keeping up with bits and pieces, I could recite the top 40 hits backwards, shared the latest gossip printed in Tiger Beat, and divulged the latest 45s or albums I acquired over the weekend from Ann&Hope.   


 On the subject of music, one of our curriculum “electives” was Music. Elective, my achin’ Bach – Art, Music, Home Ec or Shop were indiscriminately assigned to students each semester. No one in their right mind would have elected to take Music which was so far removed from the beat. We gotta get out of this place if it’s the last thing we ever do! Mrs. Nightingale- that’s right- a diminutive music teacher with the last name of a singing bird – would see to it we stayed caged and warbled for her. 


I’m telling you now, the first thing to tick me off about Music was when Mrs. Nightingale grouped us according to our singing voices by listening to a solo acappella in front of our classmates.  Maybe I could have reached the high notes most of the girls before me attained, but I’ll be darned if I’d screech off key for everyone’s amusement. Humbled and disgraced, I accepted my teacher’s verdict – alto – one of the boys!  


Despite the chip on my shoulder, I began to roll over for Beethoven, Bach, Handel, and Mozart – dudes I previously lumped as foppish with their powdered wigs, knickers, and puffy ruffled shirts.   Beethoven earned my respect for continuing to compose even after becoming completely deaf.  I especially appreciated Bach’s organ fugues after realizing his “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” set the ominous mood for many a horror movie classic.  I enjoyed being able to distinguish each composer’s major opus by the characteristics of each symphony.  One day my father came home from work with a pile of discarded mystery albums minus their jackets and centers.  He fashioned a wooden disc to accommodate those doughnut holes which fit over the spindle.  Though the primitive solution produced somewhat of a drag, I delighted in the discovery of classical music. 


Who said you can’t go Bach?  I subtly introduced classical music to my students during independent work time.  They balked at first, but eventually, begged me to play various compositions. Thanks to Mrs. Nightingale, I grew to appreciate the first wave of the long-haired European Invasion – Bach in the day!  



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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



 Signed copies of the Paperback, 40 % off suggested retail, may be acquired at the Authors Den Signed Bookstore via Eva’s web page:



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