If you were to go back to yesterday's blog, you will note that I had written about the Battle of Midway in the spring of 1942, in context with my section on Admiral Yamamoto, and the ensuing destruction of the Japanese Empire's ability to continue waging offensive war, resulting in its inevitable defeat.
What I failed to mention was the cause of Midway in the first place - that cause was another great example of my core reason for yesterday's blog; namely, Imagery.
After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt made it known that he wanted retribution against Japan as soon as possible - what could be done? At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, our army was not much larger than Portugal's standing army, and a good portion of our fighting ships at Pearl Harbor was either gravely damaged or sunk.
It so happened in early 1942; a naval officer by the name of Low happened to be landing at a naval air base, when he noticed fighter planes practicing the dropping of bombs on the shape of an aircraft carrier etched into the ground.
And so that mystery we call Imagery came into place :
After some thought, Low asked himself if it would be possible for planes to take off from an aircraft carrier - I will save you considerable time, by simply outlining the actions thereafter:
The question eventually got to General "Hap" Arnold, head of the Air Force.
That question registered - Arnold put into motion actions that would answer that question and he enlisted the aid of a retired air force officer and famous winner of international air race trophies. His name, James H. Doolittle. It is not generally known that among innumerable personal accomplishments was his earning a PHD in aeronautical engineering at M.I.T.
And the Imagery was handed over to this man. The result was the Doolittle Raid in April of 1942, one of the most defining operations of the war.
Imagine 16 B-25 medium bombers crowded on an aircraft carrier's deck, each safely taking off with a ton of bombs, headed for Tokyo and three other cities in Japan.
The Japanese militarists were thunder-struck by this event. No such attack on the Empire was thought possible - and here is what caused the inevitable demise of Japan's war:
The Japanese government suffered a knee-jerk reaction by pushing forward a plan to extend their defensive circle further out into the Pacific, and they chose to occupy the island of Midway to do just that. Unknown to them was the reality that the Japanese secret naval code had been broken, and that American forces were lying in wait for them. The result? The results that you already know about at Midway.
The imagery of Low; then the vision of Doolittle, making the Impossible a reality.
What is a canon? It is, in simple terms, a melody, followed in another part by itself at a given distance.
What is canon cancrizans? It is a melody, followed by itself BACKWARD (cancrizans, in Latin, means crab). Therefore, the first measure in the piece becomes the last measure backward, moving from right to left toward a melody that is proceeding in the initial part, from left to right. Eventually these parts meet in the middle, resulting in a piece of music.
What is a table canon? It is a melody, followed by itself both backward AND upside down (!), each part moving toward itself and meeting somewhere near the middle, for completion by the composer. In other words, imagine ONE sheet of music played by, say, one flutist. The other flutist in the room has the same music in his possession, and places it UPSIDE DOWN - and they create music together.
Imagine the staggering level of visualization needed, not only to write that (those!) melody (ies!), coupled with the commensurate harmonies implied that meld the tunes into a complete musical offering.
How imagery, at a high level, catapults Technique into a different kind of dimension...
You can be witness to these forms of canon by visiting the domains inhabited by Bach and Mozart.
Labels: as for imagery - wow!...