Beyond the Impossible/Music and Sound Effects

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Events in Music that are not possible. Only list examples that fit this description

  • The first movement of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata has 128th-note chromatic glissandos. The third movement of Moonlight Sonata has a "Presto Agitato" tempo and 16th-note arpeggios, nearly impossible to play by human hands. Some pieces composed after he went deaf are literally unplayable.
    • In the same vein, "Circus Galop" by Marc-André Hamelin, which is playable if you can find two people whose thumb-and-pinky stretch is 13 or 14 inches. In fairness, Hamelin wrote the thing for self-playing piano, and it is not meant to be performed by wetware.
  • Shawn Lane's guitar playing.
    • Also, Buckethead, for figuring out how to play a song that Shawn wrote to specifically NOT be playable.
      • To clarify, Shawn Lane made a recording by playing one note at a time on a guitar and then stitching them together impossibly fast, at impossibly wide intervals, that he was sure no human could play. Buckethead, thinking it was a legit recording, then proceeded to figure out how to play it for real, IN REAL TIME.
    • Tim Miller falls into a similar category for different reasons. He doesn't often play impossibly fast, he just plays lines that come from a system he developed and thus are harmonically near-impossible to conceive of for guitarists who aren't him. It does indeed hit the ear incredibly strangely.
    • Shawn Lane notably is still the fastest guitarist in terms of notes per second played in a controlled fashion. Some guitarists can play more notes per second, but they can't maintain rhythm while doing it. Theoretically speaking, some of his work is impossible to play until anyone else develops the same level of controlled speed.
  • The Barenaked Ladies have a song where the word orange is rhymed. Three times.