HOUSTON—A Cantonese girl was forced by her photographer to play an unplayable melody on Tuesday morning. Song Sou Sik, 10, was minding her own business in class when a Caucasian man barged in with a cheap violin.
“He just came in an talked to me in super slow English, and assumed that I knew how to play the violin,” she said. “He then tried to draw a treble clef and a bunch of random notes and told me to play them, but he did it all wrong.
She added, pointing at the blackboard, “Look at this excuse of a song. This ‘song’ is unplayable.”
James Nicklesberg, 42, was hired by the Houston Elementary School to photograph talented youngsters. At the time, he was scheduled to photograph gifted musicians, but walked into the wrong classroom.
Nicklesberg later apologized to the youngster, who was more incensed by the fact that he didn’t know how to draw a treble clef than she was of his interruption.
“Everyone knows that the musical staff was invented by Guido d’Arezzo in the 11th century,” said Song. “Even I know. And I don’t even play the violin.” Song then demonstrated the proper way of drawing the treble clef. She added, “To be sure, what the photographer drew was not entirely incorrect. He just drew everything down a line, inadvertently replicating the now-obsolete ‘French’ treble clef used in the 17th and 18th centuries.”