"Halloween Special 2019"


Page 1. Sheet music for the melody and onomatopoeia for the rhythm of "Funeral March of a Marionette" by Charles Gounod. Panels 1 through 3. We see an abstract outline, into which steps the distinctive silhouette of Hugh Mann, accompanied by the caption "Hugh Mann presents... The World On A String Halloween Special." Panels 4 through 6. Hugh Mann, communicating through a series of handwritten, hand-held signs, says, "Good evening. Tonight's tale of suspense is brought to you by harmony." Panels 7 and 8. The E minor scale, illustrated in block diagram at the 12th fret on the low strings. Caption reads, "Here, we have the E minor scale. A beginner could use it. And indeed many do." Panel 9. Hugh Mann has the diagram propped up on an easel. He examines it through a magnifying glass. Caption reads, "But look closer at this common place scale, into the mystery at the heart of all commonplace things."

Page 2. Panel 1. The three Dots are faces on the diagram. Dot #1, who occupies the E note at the root of the scale, says, "In E minor, these are the most stable notes. E, the root." Dot #3, who occupies the G note nearby, says, "G, the 3rd." Dot #2, who occupies the B note above, says, "And B, the 5th." Panel 2. Dot #1 says, "Stability is useful for a few reasons." Dot #3 says, "It can provide a point of rest in a phrase." Dot #2 says, "Or finality at the end of it." Panel 3. The three Dots fall towards another block diagram, this one empty so far. Dot #1 says, "But these notes are comfortable." Dot #3 says, "They can be overused." Dot #2 says, "Most guitarists fall prey to this." Panel 4. The Dots approach closer to the grid, nearly there. Dot #1 says, "Thankfully, there's a remedy."

Page 3. The Dots are on the E minor diagram again. This time, they occupy different positions. Dot #1 is on the A note above the root. Dot #3 is on the F# note near the root. Dot #2 is on the C note above. Dot #1 says, "This is the 2nd." Dot #3 says, "The 4th." Dot #2 says, "And the 6th." Panel 2. Dot #1 says, "These notes provide tension." Dot #3 says, "Ending a phrase here creates an unfinished feel." Dot #2 says, "As if it needs another phrase for closure." Panel 3. The block diagram has expanded, extending the E minor scale all the way from the E note at the 12th fret of the bottom string to the G note at the 15th fret of the top string. Dot #1 now occupies the D note on the D string. She says, "Or you can move further up, to the 7th, which is D." Dot #3 now occupies the F# note on the D string. She says, "Or the 9th, which is the F# above the octave." Dot #2 now occupies the A note on the G string. She says, "Or the 11th, the A above the octave." Panel 4. Dot #1 says, "Lean on these notes for riffs and phrases." Dot #3 says, "And less on those roots, 3rds, and 5ths." Dot #2 says, "Our example is in E minor, but it's generally true."

Page 4. Panels 1 and 2. Hugh Mann puts on a flight cap and goggles. Through signs, he says, "I hope this comic has enabled you to keep your listeners in suspense, where they belong." Panel 3. Hugh Mann is in the cockpit of his flying vehicle, the String Wing. He says, "Happy Halloween to all." Panel 4. The String Wing takes off into the night sky. Panel 5. Hugh Mann has skywritten, "And to all a good night."

"The World On A String" site and contents
CC BY-SA 2023 Ken Alleman
except where indicated otherwise.