Knit to This: Chopin’s Mazurkas

By Ann Shayne
December 15, 2018

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19 Comments
  • Delightful! I had no idea this was available on You Tube, but not surprised. I could get lost on this channel for days. Not only the Chopin – all of the Beethoven Sonatas, complete with the real-time sheet music. Plus everything else. Thank you for sharing!

  • Love this! I have found my knitting music for this gray rainy day.

  • I love MDK, and I love Kay, and I am sure I would love you if I met you, Ann…and I will check out the mazurkas. But: just as we need to be mindful of racial bias, so too do we need to be mindful of bias against mental illness. I know it is common usage. I know it is a turn of phrase. And yet. There are other words to use besides “schizophrenic” to describe chaos or confusion. Nuff said, and hopefully said with love for all that is MDK.

    • Actually the term is defined as “contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes” in M-W. Absolutey the correct word to use.

      • But still….. there is so much prejudice against mental illness that it would be helpful to find another term. Just look at the concept that mass shootings are often perpetrated by people who are mentally ill, which is definitely WRONG but still out there in the world.

        • Judy— Random thought: we have a rather large amount of mental illness in my (big) extended family, and I’ve found that for the other people in the family, the hardest and most damaging thing is dealing with the people with personality disorders (borderline, narcissistic…) — functional but dramatic and looking for trouble, and with no empathy— rather than, say, my schizophrenic uncle and great-aunt, who were gentle souls in their own little worlds. When I see the news profiles of mass shooters, for the most part they seem much more likely to have personality disorders than a thought disorder like schizophrenia. Obviously I’m diagnosing people I’ve never met, but you get the idea. 🙂 I think people unnecessarily fear folks with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, when really it seems like in general, folks with personality disorders (including, I would argue, our narcissistic President) do a lot more harm.

      • I think that definition comes from the old days, when schizophrenia (the illness) was viewed as sort of a “split brain” or “split personality” thing, which obviously it’s not. The definition of the word still stands, but as a physician with an M.A. in English (weird but true), 🙂 I think it’s kind of a correct but old-school usage because the understanding of the illness it’s based on has moved on.

        • I am charmed and intrigued that you are a physician with a Masters in English but beyond that I am so happy to be part of this community where a word choice engenders such an interesting and non-confrontational discussion. Civil discourse, I miss it.

    • I have eagerly read this whole discussion and want to say that I love MDK and I think both of you, Anne and Kaye, and everyone else who follows and reads is terific. There is so much love and kindness on this site. I too am part of a family who knows mental illness, including schizophrenia. I know that the comm on usage is not meant to hurt or haRm in any way. And yet…for those who have ever known anyone who has struggled with schizophrenia, its common use still stings. Please let’s keep talking about this and because the English language is so rich with choice I’d like to suggest that perhaps we can consider alternatives.

  • Oh, how I love all things Chopin. Thank you!

  • Perfect choice! Thank you!

  • Mazurka in g minor, Op 67 No 2 is my personal favorite!

  • Perfect! Brings back the lovely memories of my daughter playing.

  • And for those for whom Chopin is too recent, there’s a ton of wonderful early music on YouTube. Medieval, Elizabethan, seasonal and year round. I knit to madrigals.

    • As a North High School Madrigal Singer, I approve this message! Still get to sing madrigals now and then with my Old Ladies Singing group and it’s always such a pleasure to be in a world of changing time signatures.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! Unfortunately, I’m working today instead of knitting, but this music is definitely brightening my mood and calming my soul! And I’ll be looking for more mazurkas to extend the pleasure… please thank the Hubbo as well for nudging us all down the mazurka path!

    • Thanks for the you tube video of the Mazowse Dance Company. My mother took me to see them several times in NYC when I was in elementary school.

  • Contemplating how my first course of chemotherapy will treat me, I sit on my couch listening to my first mazurka whilst knitting. Pure bliss. Thank you for the introduction.

    • Oh and thank you for Kermit’s playlist. Some beautiful forgotten classics in there.