Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging

[I composed this  for my friends who’s first language is something other-than-English. English-first-language speakers  are welcomed to “sing-along”.]

Since I became a writer,

[I put my hand on a rock, looked up to the Sky and “yowled”: “I am a Writer”(1) – is  there any other credentialing?]

Since I have declared myself to be a writer – I’m having about as much fun as an old man can have.

I can’t wait to see what I’m going to find next on my computer monitor.   Michelangelo said he “discovered” David, inside of a block-of-marble.  I find essays hiding in my computer.    

I’m not in school; no grade to fear. It is not part of employment; no fear of a pink slip. I can’t hear the snickering from my readers.

Earlier, I suggested there were six –  stages of being a writer.(2)

I think I may have arrived at the dancing stage. I wake up each morning finding my next subject and considerations in my first cup of coffee.

I have discovered a phenomenon.   I had read about this before I started writing; I am surprised by the words and thoughts that appear on my laptop monitor, As if by magic, new ideas and stories seem to show up without stopping by my self-talking mind!  [“I didn’t know that I was going to say that”!] Now I have a greater need to discover what’s coming up on my monitor than getting to breakfast!

My Swedish buddy, bbnewsab,  said he suspected I had fun in building a story, as a “carpenter building a house, selecting the best possible pieces” Upon reflection, he is correct. The [very challenging]  English language,  has no less than 20,000 words among which an ordinary writer may choose. Making an English sentence more interesting is like using Jazz music to make an introduced statement more impressive.

Compare a simple English statement: “Bess, you is my woman, now.”   Only six words. (so the vernacular is grammatically incorrect – necessary for the character);  when reading it in a monotone; in a 4/4 cadence,  and without the context of the  Classic American Opera “Porgy & Bess” (3), it is of little interest.

[I have given you two musical  interpretations to the six-word sentence: “Bess, you is my woman now”    – (a) Fletcher Henderson  and (b) Miles Davis]

Now consider that we substitute notes for words: six musical notes.

Let’s introduce each note,  from a 12 note musical vocabulary (4), on a single musical instrument (or voice). Then using “call and report” technique, (5) state this same “sentence” with a different quality instrument. Using your musical “thesaurus” (only 12 pitches; repeated octaves) use different “words” (notes).. The selection of pitch, cadence, tempo, rhythm and dynamics makes the composed “sentence far more attractive to your audience.

Here is the fun: variation.  See how many ways you can repeat the original six-word (note) statement. Now in music’s words, (notes), you only have a vocabulary of 12 pitches- notes./per  octave, but with an experienced and skillful musician and with a musical conversation between two or more participants, you can make the original six-word  statement much more attractive! Now you can change, tempo, the volume, the dynamics, and the sequence, for fun.

The vocabulary of an English speaker is said to be 20, 000 words compared to only 12 notes (pitches) in music. So one can have fun choosing unusual words and playing the game of “don’t” use the same word twice.”(6)

Charles Clanton Rogers     Revised December 15, 2015,    Feel free to reblog  or Share

Author’s prerogative: Top Ten: In the #5  slot, “FDR is Dead”  has been replaced by this post.


(1)  Walt Whitman. Whitman,  1900. Leaves of Grass…
The American Heritage Book of English Usage. 1996. I CELEBRATE myself;.


(3) Porgy and Bess, George Gershwin,  Porgy and Bess is an English-language opera composed in 1934 by George Gershwin, with a libretto written by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin from Heyward’s novel Porgy and later play of the same title. Porgy and Bess were first performed in New York City on September 30, 1935,

(4) Why are there only 12 pitch notes (C, C#, …, B) in the world?
I learned that pitch is determined by a frequency of the sound waves. I know that each note has specific frequency Hz. For example, C3 is 130.8Hz and C#3 is 138.6. So what the heck is between those two pitch notes? If there are so many pitches between these half-step notes, how come it feels like almost all pitches in the world can be identified as one of the 12 pitch notes? Quora

(5)n music, call and response is a technique where one musician offers a phrase and a second player answers with a direct commentary or response to the offered phrase. The musicians build on each other’s offering and work together to move the song along and create a sound that’s inventive and collective. Outside of instruments, speakers and listeners also tap into call and response when statements (calls) are accented by expressions (responses) from the listener.
Mirroring the drum’s rat tat tat that sparks the piano’s twinkle of notes, when I facilitate ISKME’s Action Collabs, I use improvisational techniques to encourage participants to listen and build on each other’s contributions as they score their way to new solutions in education.

(6) English is a rich and beautiful language, not least because England has been conquered by Vikings and Normans and has happily been open to foreign influence through its history. We know more of its wonderful rare words because English has been written for over a thousand years, and its many dialects are well described. That’s good enough for me. We shouldn’t need it to have the biggest vocabulary—which can’t be defined in any sensible way—to enjoy it. Counting words
The biggest vocabulary?
Jun 23rd 2010, 14:00 BY R.L.G. | NEW YORK, The Economist

50 thoughts on “# 5/10 My Writing Is Like A Jazz Solo 

  1. bbnewsab says:

    Dear KK, you should add these words to your title to make it even more evocative and “fragrant”: The joy of creation.

    By forming sentences you’re kind of imitating what can be read in Genesis, i.e. the act of creation of life and all that is necessary to support life. We notice that God must have liked what He was doing, because at the end of each day of creation He looks at what He has created and points out, to His own satisfaction, that it was good.

    Writing sentences, to choose words and put them in a special order, is – together with composing music (making sounds), painting (think of your favorite, the Chauvet Cave in France) and sculpturing (carving in stone and and seashells) – the four most important ways we humans have to play God, to imitate a divine Creator. (Of course our ancestors carved in wood, too, but those works of art have not survived the ravages of time.)

    That’s not a coincidence that those four activities are the main characteristics of what gives us our human chartacter.

    Have a look at . Our ancestors were the creators. How much our “cousins”, the Neanderthals, could do with regard to music, painting and sculpturing is debated here: . A highly recommendable article. Even the Neanderthals were humanlike, no doubt about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Your remarks are “too, too”. If you keep inflating me, I may float off like an untethered weather balloon.
      Your comment and others caused me to look at the Nationality of our readers. I judge that in 3/4 of them,- like yourself— English is their second language. [You recently wrote me that you wanted me to teach you English]
      It occurred to me that you and I could cater to “second-language writers on the internet! Think on that PV.


      1. bbnewsab says:

        Hahahah, I’m not afraid that you’re going to float off like an untethered weather baloon, KK.

        The fact is that by now I know you and your personality so much and so well, that I can conclude you’re not a hoity-toity person.

        In my eyes you are a teacher, a doer, a helper, and a contributor to the well-being of others. You have understood what the Golden Rule really means. Obviously you yourself feel good when you notice others around you feel good, too. The atmosphere in here, on your blog, is high. Maybe it can be traced down to “the joy of creative writing”, a topic you address in this special blog post? *hope so*

        One thing is for sure, KK. This blog of yours is full of enriching hope and positivism. And of valuable knowledge and wisdom.

        Finally, I want to travesty what Paul says in Galatians 3:28: “On this blog there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in KK’s quest for building bridges that unite people from all the world (North Korea included).”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. clanton1934 says:

        Yes, I’ll use those kind remarks, proudly, as my “Flag”. I’ll place it next to yours, PV (see the crossed Swedish & American flags on my recent post! KK

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bbnewsab says:

    Have a look at this homepage, KK: .

    There you find at least three very interesting articles with bearing to the joy of creation:

    1) . Poet Jane Kenyon’s Advice on Writing: Some of the Wisest Words to Create and Live By. Can be summarized as: “Be a good steward of your gifts.”

    2) . Nietzsche on the Power of Music. His conclusion: “Without music life would be a mistake.”

    3) . I Work Like a Gardener: Joan Miró on Art, Motionless Movement, and the Proper Pace of Creative Labor. “Art can die; what matters is that it should have sown seeds on the earth… It must give birth to a world.”

    So, by writing, KK, you contribute to giving birth to a better world, building bridges and so on.

    The circle is closed. You have found your own way back to the life of our ancestors! You are ONE of them. They are one of us, to day living “modern” humans. YOU, KK, has become a more or less divine-like CREATOR. Enjoy your life!


  3. You find essays in your computer? I’ve looked in mine, but I can’t even find most files!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. clanton1934 says:

    Hey Richard,
    My files have always been the mess also. But your reply is very bright and I suspect, universally felt!
    Please e-mail me one of your links you are pleased with, and I will post it on the Let’s play Geography web/post.
    bbnewsab and I, now have 22 Countries on Six Continents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bbnewsab says:

      But still no aliens??? Ill-boding. *or maybe not, have a look at: *

      Liked by 1 person

      1. clanton1934 says:

        First you associate me with Oliver Sacks & now Stephen Hawkings!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. bbnewsab says:

    BTW, I’ve noticed I’ve got e-mails from you, KK.

    They will, of course, be answered by me, but not tonight.

    Meanwhile, I expect you, KK, to hold the fort in my absence. 🙂

    I’m coming back here tomorrow. You know, KK, my bird’s nest is here on your blog.

    All the best for you, my friend! // PV

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      I’m counting on you nest, please!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. clanton1934 says:

      Good morning PV. Send me one of your links for “Geography” KK

      Liked by 1 person

  6. bbnewsab says:

    Will be done soon, KK. But just now I have to join my “camel caravan”. But I shall soon return to your beautiful oasis.


  7. bbnewsab says:

    Here’s a must-read for you and ALL of you, if you like to play and grapple with words, for example by reading or writing (a.k.a. the metaphor “the two sides of the same coin” as KK himself put it the other day).

    Click this link: .

    The words you use in your daily life reveal a lot about you. They can tell your readers or listeners who you are, your personality, your mood, your well-being, your rank in the hierarchy in your group/community, your education, your (verbal) IQ and so on.

    Words can be either content (or meaning) carriers. Or function carriers, i.e. connecting, shaping and organising those other content words. (Nouns are content carriers; they create images in our minds, think of the noun “car”. The function carriers don’t create images in our minds, but they provide a context in which the content carrier words are used.

    By watching how folks use content-carrying and function-carrying words, we can gain insights into how they think, how they organize their worlds and how they relate to other people in their group/community.

    BTW, that same article also presents a list of the most used English words in daily life communication. Guess what those words are.

    You guessed (I hope) correctly! They are all function carriers, necessary if you want to build bridges to unite people and create an air of better understanding.

    After reading this article, why not comment upon it (its facts, data and messages) here in the comment field?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Appalling: the word “I” is a strong first place; the word “you” is a weak!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bbnewsab says:

        I noticed that, too. And that I-users have more health issues than We-users (or You-users).

        Frequent I-users seem to have less social skills than We-users. It looks like evolution has formed us not to be lone wolfs but instead working and living together.

        That’s why I like you bridge builing activities, KK.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. clanton1934 says:

        Yeah Man! Again in “Sapiens”: primitively men all over the World, organize themselves into tribes of 150 individuals, taking care of one another to hunter and gather, nursing, defending and inventing morals, then policing and gossiping.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. bbnewsab says:

    Thinking even more about words. Here’s the start of an article that unfortunately is behind a pay wall. But the introduction is free.

    I quote:

    ALONGSIDE almost every creation myth about the origin of the Earth or the genesis of humankind, you’ll find another story about the diversity of language.

    In the Old Testament, “confounding the one language” is God’s punishment on humans for building the Tower of Babel.

    In Greek mythology, Hermes divides language to spite his father Zeus.

    The Wa-Sania people of east Africa put it down to a jabbering madness brought on by famine, while the Iroquois story tells of a god who directed his people to disperse across the world.

    Do you know of more such myths? If so, please share your knowledge here in this comment field. I want to know more about this topic/subject (why there are as many as 7,000 languages spoken here on planet Earth).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Harari in Sapiens says that all language was started in order to “gossip” about one’s neighbors (who is sleeping with whom. He also says that is still the most frequent use of language, (watch TV)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. bbnewsab says:

    I like that “gossip” hypothesis. A language is necessary if humans live together in groups. From “simple” grunts (= a mixture of function and content “words”), warning calls (= also a mixture of function and content “words”) and gestures (think of sign language) the communication technique is evolved and elaborated.

    The history of languages is also about the evolution and development of languages. From phonems (specific sounds) to words. From words to sentences. From sentences to books.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. bbnewsab says:

    @KK: You wrote: Yeah Man! Again in “Sapiens”: primitively men all over the World, organize themselves into tribes of 150 individuals, taking care of one another to hunter and gather, nursing, defending and inventing morals, then policing and gossiping.

    Just now you’ve got 146 followers. Close to 150.

    So what should we name/call our “tribe”?

    “The Cave men who started to like writing” tribe? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      “Readers/writers Tribe”

      Liked by 1 person

  11. bbnewsab says:

    Yes, much BETTER!

    RWT is the (new) name of our tribe. The Readers/Writers Tribe. Closely related to the Bear Clan who 30,000 to 35,000 years ago decorated the Chauvet Cave in France with awesome cave paintings.

    Your blog, KK, is the oasis for this RWT “clan”. I think that the content word “oasis” fits better than “cave” to use when describing the characteristics of this special tribe or clan.

    Do you agree, KK? After all, you’re the leader of the pack. 😀


    1. clanton1934 says:

      Cue up the song:” Leader-of-the-pack”

      Liked by 1 person

  12. bbnewsab says:

    Oh, when I wrote those words, the leader of tha pack, I came to think of this BEAUTIFUL & MOVING story of Twenty-One, another leader of the pack. Kind of the Einstein of wolves.

    To all readers of this RWT Blog i say: I doubt you can read that article without getting tears in your eyes. (At least I couldn’t.)

    How about you, KK, the leader of this RWT “pack”. 😀

    In my eyes you share many of your personality traits with Twenty-One.


    1. clanton1934 says:

      I’m not familiar with “twenty-one” . Do you have a link for it?


  13. bbnewsab says:

    Gosh! Did I forget to link to that article? Here you can find the Twenty-One story: .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Great story; I’ve Shared it already

      Liked by 1 person

    2. clanton1934 says:

      See Blogger’s GPS I just now published 11:40 EDT


  14. clanton1934 says:

    Thank you the story “twent-one”
    It’s is truly remarkable how “the driving force” (“inexplicable”) occasionally sends in a”Napolian” amongst the grunts.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. bbnewsab says:

    “To send in a Napoleon amongst the grunts”

    Hahahah! Liked that metaphor very much.

    Using metaphors can sometimes be like domesticating wild animals. You must hold a tight rein on the words you choose to use.

    When you succeed in doing that – and you just did that by constructing the above metaphor, KK – you become kind of the Siegfried & Roy of the RWT (the Readers & Writers Tribe). *Oops, now I, too, gave birth to a new metaphor; I think that being here, at this beautiful oasis of yours, KK, is good for waking up and activating one’s creative mind.*

    Many thanks for offering this oasis for us who yearn for “les beaux arts” of music, painting, writing, thinking and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. bbnewsab says:

    By mentioning music in the comment above, my mind went to this article: .

    I believe that the Bear Clan of the Chauvet Cave in France also used music to please and revere their Hidden Causal Agents to be successful in finding meat and other food.

    Maybe they used music instruments like those pictured in that article?

    What do you think, KK?

    And what do you, who just read this comment, think about music among those of our ancestors who lived, say, 25,000 to 75,000 years ago?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. bbnewsab says:

    Listen to Neanderthal flute music here: .
    Of course the melodies played on this flute are out of place and time, but the sound of the flute is (almost) the same as that the Neanderthals could hear with their ears 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.

    Yet again my mind reels. And tears fill up my eyes.

    How about you, folks? Are the same strong emotions stirred up inside you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Oliver Sacks, in “musicology” [music therapy] music is more fundamental in human communication than verbal.
      It is interesting and troubling that not every human has this. There are the tone deaf and the “unstirred” compare with color-blind. My guess is that “grunting” became singing; followed closely by the flute; i would guess before words.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bbnewsab says:

        Communication by using rhythms (i.e. music) is much older than using words (language). Music is a predecessor of spoken language. No doubt about that.

        Dr. Sacks would have been highly fitted for being a member of our RWT (Readers & Writers Tribe). Don’t you agree, KK?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. clanton1934 says:

        All of us, in RWT, would sit on the floor, at his feet; I would be there with a bucket catching the “pearls” which falls from this uncommon giant. KK

        Liked by 1 person

  18. bbnewsab says:

    I can stand behind every one of your words above, KK, and support your views.

    Rhythms are to be found everythere, for example from dripping water. Have you ever thought about how soothing it can be lying inside a tent or sitting on a porch listening to raindrops falling, not on your head but on the roof?

    Raindrops were surely seen as gifts from the gods by our ancestors living on the African savannahs. And could be celebrated by grunting in chorus. Or by blowing in a hollow bone flute. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. clanton1934 says:

    Curriculum committees, all over the US, debate the priority of subjects to be required in public schools. Unfortunately, the “performing arts” frequently fall to the bottom of the lists and not infrequently, cut out to save expenses. This debate fails to acknowledge that the performing arts and music can communicate the most important human emotions with “more of a punch” than mere words and sentences. Go to the Opera, listen to “Madam Butterfly” sing her lament. I can not adequately explain those universal feelings – even if one does not know the literal translation. ccr

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bbnewsab says:

      Very good point, KK!

      I don’t know, no one does, but I strongly believe that in the Bear Clan tribe in France they used what today’s economists woukd call “terms of trade” within the group. That is, all members of the group knew that some of them were artistically talented. While others were unusually efficient hunterers. And so on.

      That insight probably led the tribe’s shaman or medicine man to make a decision like this:

      “Listen! I want A and B to stay here in the Chauvet Cave in order to decorate the walls with different figures and other patterns to please the gods, thereby helping our hunters to find and kill more game. Then C, D, E, F and G leave the group to do the hunting. Afterwards we all share the quarry in a fair way. Even though A and B don’t participate in the hunting, they contribute to a successful game hunting.”

      And so it was decided. All members of the group agreed.

      I also believe that kind of decision was a good one not only for the group’s survival but also for its unity and harmony.

      Likewise I believe that even a modern society is better off if “les beaux arts” are subsidized and supported. By supporting “food” for the mind – and not only food for our bodies – the members in a group are able (have better opportunities) to flourish and prosper together. Especially music has uniting – and inspiring – powers!

      Do all members in this RWT group (RWT = Readers & Writers Tribe) agree? Let’s meet and discuss this topic, and others, in the comment field, while sitting around the camp fire, chatting.

      This RWT tribe/group is guided by democratic ideals! So your voice is both needed and wanted!


  20. clanton1934 says:

    The cognitive impairment of these committees is further illustrated by their failure to understand the effectiveness of communication between adolescents e.g. “Popular music” I’m sure that more money is spent on the entertainment industry as presented on the Voice and _”______Got Talent” but academia ignores that!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. bbnewsab says:

    I think my blog post about our brain’s two different information processing systems (IPS #1 vs. IPS #2) illustrates that dilemma.

    IPS #1 is quick and easy to use. You just listen to what your heart and your guts tell you to do.

    IPS #2 is built on logical – not intuitive – thinking. It’s questioning, critically analyzing, exploring, kind of prolix, not a quick fix.

    Unfortunately religion primes people to use IPS #1. Just believe, never question, obey the authorities. trust them. In God, the highest authority of all, we always trust.

    It’s so sad! Isn’t it?


    1. clanton1934 says:

      Mental impairment, all forms is sad, especially among university trained physicians, surgeons and candidates for President of the US.
      There is a book in my e-books Titled The Believing Brain, that argues that a (surviving) evolved human brain is “programed” with a believing bias.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. bbnewsab says:

    Here’s a lecture given by Michael Shermer, the author of The Believing Brain: .

    I myself haven’t listened to this lecture (it’s almost 1h 20m long), but I’ve read in some skeptics’ forums/blogs that it’s worth listening to.

    In my (other than) “humble” opinion most (?) American GOP representatives, senators/presidential candidates etc seem to suffer from mental impairment, mostly as a result of their religious priming. Their stance is anti-scientific.

    To cite verses from the Bible to disprove, for example, that global warming is (at least partly) caused by humans – or to lobby for more rigid anti-abortion laws by referring to outdated biblical verses – could never happen here in today’s secular Sweden. At least not at the moment.

    Have a look at this video: .

    Such a member of the Swedish parliament would have been “silenced” (in an orderly way, of course) and put in “quarantine” (maybe taken to a mental hospital for examination, care and, maybe, rehabilitation measures) because he or she would probably be considered seriously deluded in a way that dishonors and puts to shame also the political party s/he represents.

    But in the US almost everything seems to be OK if only it’s said or done in the name of Jesus, in order to glorify Him and/or the Bible.

    With that said I now see it’s time for me to join my camel caravan to leave this beautiful oasis, belonging to the RWT group, headed by its “medicine man” KK, for another desert trip.

    Anyhow, I do hope I’ll be welcomed back by the RWT medicine man in spite of my harsh remarks, seen above, about the American GOP members. After all, the GOP members are NOT building bridges. They look and act like isolationists, splitters and dividers. All in the name of Almighty God.

    If you don’t believe me, ask Ahmed Mohamed, the 14 year-old clock maker, who was arrested and put handcuffs on when he proudly tried to show and demonstrate his homemade clock.

    Good night from Sweden! Over and out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      This “Believing Brain” thing is such a comfortable cacoon that about half of my countrymen choose never to leave it and therefore they never spread the wings of their mental butterfly! K

      Liked by 1 person

    2. clanton1934 says:

      PV, You are definitely welcome back.I need you to come and take away the Krytonite which is threatening RWT. KK


  23. Janice Wald says:

    Thanks for sending this to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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