Paul Mitchinson is a part-time writer and a full-time father of two. He writes when he can. » more about me

I hesitate to call Alex Ross wrong on anything. But upon closer examination, it appears that he has seriously erred in his description of the “presidential chord,” which I referred to below. Perhaps he was misled by the otherwise excellent posting of J.D. Considine.

guitarBut consider the image at your left, which has been cropped, blown up, and enhanced. (Click for a larger image.)

Bush’s fingers are not placed on the lower E and A strings, as someone attempting to play a G-major chord might do, but rather on the A and D strings. Thus, he seems to be playing the notes E (unless his thumb is touching the low E string, perhaps making a buzzing G-sharp), C#, F, G, B, G#.

This has monumental implications, as Ross will surely agree. Bush’s pitch series does not have a Forte number of 6-Z11, but rather the very different 6-Z49. Instead of “a hauntingly ambiguous chord that brushes against the ghost of a now defunct tonality even as it stares ahead remorselessly into the chromatic future,” it seems to be suggesting something rather different.

Turns out Bush really was just being a jackass.

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