jump to navigation

“I Can Name That Theme in 3 Notes” January 6, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Mindfulness, Music & Dance, Word Play.

Do any of you remember the show, Name That Tune

From Wikipedia:

Name That Tune is a television game show that put two contestants against each other to test their knowledge of songs. Premiering in the United States on NBC Radio in 1952, the show was created and produced by Harry Salter and his wife Roberta.

Part of the show involved a “bidding war,” of sorts.  Contestants would declare, “I can name that tune in 7 notes!”  Their opponent, feeling confident, would claim, “I can name that tune in 6 notes!”  And so on.

Some songs, especially the classics, are readily recognizable in 3 notes.

By way of example, Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty ~ Baker Street ~ A Timeless Classic.

Another example ~ Dream On, by Aerosmith:

What do classic songs and Name That Tune have to do with blogging?


Blogs with a consistent and identifiable theme tend to attract an audience of “repeat readers” who view that theme as worthy of note ~ Branding 101:  How to Promote Your Blog Like the Big Guys Do.

Now, one way to do that is to try to figure out WHO is in your audience and then attempt to discern WHAT they want to read about.

Wow!  That sounds tough! 

As we discussed in Our Field of Dreams:

Writers are admonished to consider their intended audience in choosing what to write about and how to present their thoughts.

But how does a writer know who will be in the audience?  

Most times, they don’t. 

If a writer doesn’t know who’s in the audience reading their words, how can they accommodate the audience’s divergent views on life and love and the pursuit of happiness? 

Most times, they can’t.

Hmm . . . what to do? 

Well, let’s take another look at Our Field of Dreams:

Life is our Field of Dreams . . . 

Whether or not something I write resonates with a given reader  depends on the reader.  If I write honestly, my intended audience will appear while those who are not intended to be in my pool of readers will drift away.

When we are enjoying the journey, we stop worrying  about finding our intended audience ~ we trust that our intended audience will find us.

That sounds infinitely easier that trying to read the minds of potential audience members ~ just write honestly, from the heart, and wait for YOUR audience to appear.


So, back to the issue of themes. 

Can you name the theme of SLTW in 7 notes? 


How about 6?  Or 3?  Or even 1?

Let’s look at the categories listed: writing, humor, nature, inspiration, life balance, animal welfare, spirituality, books, movies, parenting, pets, gratitude, happiness, frugal living, health & wellness, creativity, food & drink, etc. 

What do the 35 categories used on SLTW have in common?

At first glance, not much. 

But as you read through a few of the posts on SLTW, you may start to see an underlying theme emerge ~ one of mindfulness, awareness, acceptance, and seeing things as THEY are, not as WE are.

Most posts encourage readers to think for themselves, to examine some of the “truths” floating around . . . to see if they are true at all.

I can name that theme in 3 notes:  Be. Here. Now. 

Or, to quote one of The Wise Men of Our Age:  Just. Be. Yourself. 

I can name that theme in 2 notes:  Just Be. 

Or, to use Sandra’s terminology from Always Well Within:  Simply Be

I can name that theme in 1 note:  Authenticity

Or Freedom

Yeah, Freedom is good.

No Rules.  Just Write!

Quotes to Ponder: 

He who trims himself to suit everyone else will soon whittle himself away. ~Raymond Hull

Trust yourself and you will know how to live. ~ Goethe

Related posts:  The Meaning of Freedom (Woman Wielding Words)


1. Richard W Scott - January 6, 2011

Well-crafted post, Nancy. One of the best you’ve done, I think. Using internal pointers, external references, and exposing the innards of the blog theme. Very nicely done.


On the music bit–I used to hate that “Name That Tune” show. Why? Not because I couldn’t recongize most songs on the radio within 3 – 7 bars, but because they would do their own arrangement and hide the tune. Cheaters.

nrhatch - January 6, 2011

Thanks, Rik!!!

This post popped into my head while I enjoyed the journey through Nitrous Oxide land (a/k/a the land of OZ) this afternoon!

Tricky rabbits. 🙂

But, you’ve got a point ~ it’s probably NOT the notes of Dream On that catch my attention, it’s the actual arrangement and ethereal quality of the first few chords.

nrhatch - January 6, 2011

Actually, I take that back . . .

I outlined the post BEFORE going to the dentist. But I wrote it (in record time!) under the lingering effects of the N.O.. 😉

Judson - January 7, 2011

When I was little, our family went to NYC and we were in the audience for one of those old quiz shows. I forget which one (but, that’s not important) … in the warm up, the band played a version of Name that Tune with the audience. They played what was obviously the first 5 notes to “The National Anthem” … Hah! That’s what everybody guessed. Well, they then played those notes again and picked up the pace after the 5th note. It turned out to be that really old tune “I’ll Be Down to Get You in a Taxi Honey”. Same first 5 notes .. totally different pace, totally different song.

nrhatch - January 7, 2011

You figure with only “8” notes to play with . . . we’ve got to have some overlap, right? 😉

2. timkeen40 - January 6, 2011

I have to agree completely with the notion of just writing what you write. I can not be anybody other than who I am. If I write a story that is wildly successful and it is not me, then what have I gained?

Great post!


nrhatch - January 6, 2011


If we pretend to be someone we aren’t, in order to get people/readers to like us, any “success” we achieve would be a rather hollow “victory.”

And what if they didn’t like the “fake us”? Wouldn’t we always wonder if they would have liked the “real us”?

When we stop hiding who we are, we have more energy to become more fully who we want to be.

Thanks for an astute comment.

3. Cindy - January 7, 2011

Fine post, Nancy.
We have an Afrikaans TV programme here called ‘Noot Vir Noot’ … I can’t stand it ;p

nrhatch - January 7, 2011

So many channels filled with horrid shows. 😦

4. Alannah Murphy - January 7, 2011

Well said Nancy. Here’s a funny thing on the Aerosmith song, the title didn’t ring a bell at all but then I clicked on the clip, and within 1 second of hearing the beginning, I went “oh!” because of course I know it but I never knew the name of it lol.

About wondering what to write, I could never write to an audience. I have to write what I feel like writing, and hope that it resonates with the right people, and those who don’t care for what I am saying can drift away and find other blogs that they can comment on.

nrhatch - January 7, 2011

That’s so cool that you immediately recognized the song by note, rather than name.

There’s a time to consider our audience ~ if we want to write for kids, we need a different approach than writing for philosophers.

But, especially in the blogosphere, it seems that we should be writing the blog that WE would want to read . . . and hope that others agree with our subject matter and style, no matter how esoteric or eclectic.

Alannah Murphy - January 7, 2011

Well said and very true 🙂

5. kateshrewsday - January 7, 2011

I think I’d tune into Noot Vir Noot just to hear the presenter say it a lot.

Ours was presented by a most unauthentic gentleman with a plastic smile called Des O Connor. But on a whimsical day Phil challenges me to name that tune in one. No clues or anything. Just name it in one.

nrhatch - January 7, 2011

I don’t remember the host’s name or what he looked like ~ I think I must have watched it back in the 70’s.

The details of the show are buried in Purple Haze. 😉

There are songs I might recognize in a note, or two but the naming of them is another matter entirely ~ shifting around dusty files in the attic to identify artist and song title is often an exercise in futility for me.

6. Judson - January 7, 2011

Alas … my blog is billed as “The random musings of (an aspiring writer), etc,” …

And random it has certainly turned out to be!

— Judson

nrhatch - January 7, 2011

Random, eclectic, unique . . . it’s all good.

7. nancycurteman - January 7, 2011

Great post. I especially found the section on describing the blog theme in three words, two words then one word. Good way to discover a basic, nitty gritty theme.

nrhatch - January 7, 2011

Thanks, NC.

I’ve been considering the current scope of SLTW and wondering which direction to head in 2011. This exercise helped. 🙂

8. 4minutewriter - January 8, 2011

Ah, Dream On. Took me back. They don’t make music like they used to. I must be getting old…
I’m struggling these days with how to stay on theme without falling into boring repetition. Not sure how to get around this.
I like how you know exactly what you and your blog are about.

nrhatch - January 8, 2011

Thanks, Zoe. I’m always impressed with your pots. They are also succinct morsels of thought provoking nutrition. 🙂

9. Naomi Estment - January 8, 2011

GREAT post, Nancy! Absolutely love that final Goethe quote…oh, and I was expecting you to pare down the “Just Be” and “Simply Be” to “Be” 😀

nrhatch - January 8, 2011

You’ve got a point, Naomi.

Freedom lies not in DOING more, but in BEING more.

What Say YOU?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: