September 7, 2010

Name That Tune

In a bizarre string of bad technological breaks, I have just spent four days of my life sifting and sorting through my music files on iTunes.   It all started with the addition of a new computer, and my overly naive belief that transferring my music from the old to the new would be simple, easy, and painless.  

Attempt number one resulted in the duplication (and triplication...if that's such a word) of the majority of my files.  So, instead of approximately 3,500 music files my folder showed close to 8,000. Two days of sifting, sorting and playing files resulted in a clean organized system.  Somewhere along the way I also learned that I could have purchased a $20 program to transfer the files, playlists and CDs in a more civilized manner. Too bad I didn't get that memo sooner.

The most difficult part was sorting through approximately 300 music files that had no name, no album and no home.  But, to my amazement and surprise I managed to find all of the files a home and I discovered how well I really do know my belly dance music. I was proud of my ability to 'name that tune' because I had  to listen to each snippet and then figure out what album it belonged with.  In many cases, it was a duplicate so I could just match up the times and delete the extra copy.  In some cases I had to play it over and over again, and even 'dance' the music a bit to figure out when and where I had used that song before. 

In a strange twist of fate, the next time I turned on my computer it asked me if I wanted to search for any music files to add to  iTunes.  Sleep apparently causes a memory loss, so instead of shrugging off that suggestion I told my computer, 'yes' and then watched in horror as my two days of work unraveled before my very eyes.  And now, two days further into this misadventure I am finally back to a clean set of files, with all my songs in their proper home, all my CDs with the appropriate artwork and a sense of wonder over my ability to sort through so many songs and know their name without hints.

I think back to when I first started dancing and didn't know anything about the music.  Everything ran together, I didn't have an ear for the difference in rhythms, instruments, composers or musicians.  Apparently all these years of immersing myself in the music has paid off.  I noticed this last week when I watched a show and could name the songs of most every dancer performing.  It was nice to sit there and think "ok, that's Ya Mustafa" or "hmmm...such a nice take on Jalilah's version of 1,001 nights" and although I don't want to play "name that tune" with my CDs ever again I'm feeling quite proud of my musical knowledge and acumen.  

So Internet, I dare you...could you take 100 songs off your iTunes list and name them all without peeking at the label or artist?  It's a daunting challenge but I suspect you're up to it!

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