389: Keeping Time

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Keeping Time
You can identify them ahead-of-time -- they lead with their left foot when the music starts.
Title text: You can identify them ahead-of-time -- they lead with their left foot when the music starts.


Listen to the music played here.

A member of a marching band, after spending seasons marching in time to their music for their shows, ends up naturally walking with the rhythm of any music they hear around them, like at a shopping mall. Pausing the music for a split second would throw off the rhythm, supposedly enough to cause them to fall. The line of music in the comic is a piano reduction of a well-known song, linked here. Randall talks about this music line in one of his talks.

This comic is part of the “My Hobby" series.

The title text refers to the fact that almost all marching bands start marching with the left foot, so marching band members tend to naturally start with the left foot.

From xkcd: volume 0:

Thanks to James Zetlen, who arranged the lovely piece in the comic for me.


My Hobby:
Pausing in-store music for a split second and watching the ex-marching band kids stumble.
[On a balcony overlooking a supermarket, Cueball presses a button on a pedestal. The in-store music, the first four bars of a well-known song, pauses briefly after the third bar, and one of the store's patrons falls on her face.]

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Also, as a note or fun fact: most militaries and their associated groups (like cadets in Canada) also do the same. Ribbit it's Toad! (talk) 05:38, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Another fun fact: anyone who went to a piano to hear what this sounded like inadvertently rickrolled themselves! 21:40, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Hey Randall, Please don't do this. You just lost the game. NinjaWolf064 (talk) 04:04, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

There doesn't see to be any explanation for the title text, does it refer to anything? (talk)

Ex marching band kid- you always start marching with your left foot, and songs in a parade usually start on the left foot unless there's a pick up note.

The trinket.io music code for the treble is <d- g- b- d'->4. <e- a- c' e'-> <e- g- a->4 <c f a- c' e'->4. <f b- d'- f'> a'-16 g'- f'8 <d- g- b- d'->4. <e- a- c' e'-> <c e- g- a->4 ~ <c e- g- a->2 r8 <A- a-> <A- a-> <B- b->16 <e- e'-> <B- b-> <e- e'->. (I couldn't be bothered to do the bass, due to its complexity.)

This would absolutely work on me. 17:24, 19 October 2021 (UTC)

I actually like this version of the song lol (as long as there are no lyrics.), is there any more/has anyone identified if this has the rest of the song? p l e a s e i n e e d t h i s t o b e a t h i n g r a n d a l l (yes i watched the talk) ⟨Winter is coming⟩ Marethyu (talk) 19:26, 6 May 2022 (UTC)