[ fuh-RAH-goh ]
- A confused mixture: hodgepodge.
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem, painting, dance move—inspired by the word, farrago, where does it take me? Where does it take you? Learn more about “The Word” here.
Ben played the piano keeping his eyes fixed upon the score in front of him. Yet, he wasn’t actually reading the notes. He’d already memorized this piece from playing it over and over again. Ben’s eyes closed to feel the music.
The sound of the thin wooden reed upon the piano caused Ben’s eyes to perk open, and his fingers stopped moving over the keys.
“What have I said a thousand times?” his teacher, Alex said in a whisper.
“Always read the notes,” Ben muttered, hanging his head down.
“Yes. And were you?”
“I would think not, with your eyes closed!”
“But, I already know all the notes.”
“No. You think you do, but you missed three things while you played—one note too long, one too short, one too soft. You don’t feel the music, you play it as it was meant to be played. When you become a master… then you feel. When you write your own music… then you feel.”
Alex suddenly grabbed the sheets of music and tossed the pages into the air over his head. They scattered. Ben’s face dropped in shock from the act.
“Go,” Alex said. “Pick them up.”
Ben didn’t argue and began pulling sheets off the floor. He checked the page numbers and went to start putting them in order when another, whack! sounded from behind him.
“Don’t put them in order. Pick them up as you find them.”
He shrugged and picked up the rest of the sheets, returning them to the piano. Alex stared at him for a moment before speaking suddenly.
“What are you waiting for? Play. As it is. In the order it is.”
Ben sat down and hesitated. Then, stared at the sheet before him, focused on the notes of the page, and began to play. As Ben finished the first page, Alex moved the page for him to see the second. The transition between them should have been awkward, but it flowed instead.
Again, another page and another transition. The choppy jumble never came. And then he realized something as he hit the final note on the final page. Nothing felt off because he played it perfectly. As is, in the order it came to him. It felt right, even though looking back, the overall music was all wrong.
There was harmony in the chaos.
One thing I never learned when I took piano lessons was how to read music. I memorized like Ben, and I think it would be a really cool skill to play like he did in this story.
I’m not talking like the movie Whiplash. That guy was an ass! 😂. And in case you’re wondering, I’m not that kind of teacher. I’m the understanding type, the very patient type 👍. It’s just who I am.
Unknown order of pages, of notes, and just play them as they are written. Yet, I also think music needs to be felt. An interesting dynamic, but I like stories when the seemingly harsh instructor turns out to be really awesome instead.
What do you think of Farrago?
What kind of teacher would you be?
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did farrago or my story take you?
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Today’s word is from Merriam Webster.
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