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… where ”scores” can be either a verb or a noun.
After noticing the appearance of an early Hello! Project piano score book on the Hello!Online tracker, I poked around the Intarwebs and discovered …
¡¡HOLY FLYING PANCAKES!!
Officially licensed (at least it claims to be) downloadable Hello! Project sheet music, available at @ELISE and at YAMAHA ぷりんと楽譜. (There may be other sites too, but I didn’t find any.) There’s not a whole lot, but I did find scores for a number of H!P songs, some of them piano arrangements but the majority just featuring the melody and lyrics. Some other J-pop artists seem to have much more available, but several dozen H!P scores is certainly infinitely more than I thought were publicly accessible.
This is a complete solution to “Hello! Project no Puzzle desu yo.“, which I posted a week ago. I’ve broken down the solution into stages so that you can use them if you’re stuck on something, or if you want to skip the arduous title-finding stage, or if you don’t want to deal with kana at all. Also, the titles are whited out so you can check individual titles without having others spoiled for you. The titles are given in both their original kana form and also in directly mapped romaji (capitals for katakana, lowercase for hiragana; small characters treated like regular characters; all characters separated by spaces).
C-ute’s new single, “LA LA LA Shiawase no Uta”, has a lot of la‘s, including an amazingly long ending sequence of 124 la‘s, as maiZe noted not too long ago. While this song no doubt contains more la‘s than any other Hello! Project release to date, it turns out that it does not have the longest sequence of consecutive la‘s. Any preliminary guesses as to what song holds that title? :-o
So, stricken as I was with curiosity, I wondered what other long sequences of la‘s there are, and Googling through ProjectHello, I put together a list of the fifteen longest la sequences, not counting those that appear within songs containing even longer la sequences. Not that all those other nonsense syllables out there are insignificant, of course, but la seems to be the most common, by a landslide.
I now present the 15 longest la sequences in the Hello! Project library, or at least those I could find, as I have no intention of checking to see if I’ve missed anything. In video format even! Now you can listen along for an entire whopping six and a half minutes of nonstop la-ness (to improve the flow, I cut out some of the fadeout sections, so not all the la‘s are there, but there are still close to a thousand left). Here they are from shortest (19 la‘s) to longest (136 la‘s). Some of them contain other utterances besides la, but they’re not part of the main melody, so I don’t consider them to be interrupting the flow of la‘s. If you’re still breathing when it’s over, you’re better off than I am.
I have a puzzle for you all! But first, a few quick notes regarding recent releases:
- Berryz Koubou’s Dschinghis Khan PV: This is definitely Berryz’s best video to date, and one of the freshest things to come out of H!P in recent memory. I had it on repeat for an obscenely long amount of time while I was working on the puzzle below. You can count on this being in the top 10 on the Countdown next year (speaking of which, I’ll resume this year’s countdown soon…), unless H!P manages to top this in the months to come.
- Buono!’s Café Buono! album: While waiting for my physical copy to arrive, I listened to the tracks recently floating around on the Interwebs. I must say, this is by far the best album I’ve heard in a while, and I actually enjoy every single track. To put this in perspective, almost every one of my favorite albums has a few duds. Out of the entire corpus of non-classical music I’ve ever listened to, which spans a number of diverse genres, there is only one other album for which I honestly enjoyed every single track. That album was M2M’s Shades of Purple (2000). So this is quite an extraordinary achievement for Buono!, and I’m looking forward to the group’s future work.
OK, now on to the puzzle.
One of my hobbies is solving and writing puzzles, particularly the kind featured in the annual MIT Mystery Hunt. These are typically not traditional-type puzzles (crosswords, sudoku, etc.), though many of them borrow the format of traditional puzzles or combine different kinds of traditional puzzles. Generally, the puzzles come with few or no instructions (and those that are present are usually cryptic), and part of the challenge is to figure out how to solve the puzzle before actually solving it. The solution in each case is usually a word or short phrase. The entire Mystery Hunt is generally organized into rounds of puzzles, so the answers to the puzzles in each round combine to produce a meta-puzzle, and so forth.
Recently, I decided to combine my interests in puzzling and H!P and produce an H!P puzzle. The following is the result of an all-nighter soundtracked by nonstop repeats of Dschinghis Khan. I have another puzzle too, but I need to work out a few bugs before I can present it.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, while I love compiling rankings of works released by Hello! Project, I refuse to give a subjective ranking of individual people, for various reasons. But Paul Thomas’s new poll is just so shiny I couldn’t resist…
So here is my objective ranking of Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, and ºC-ute, using criteria that (I assume) no fan actually uses, consciously or not, to determine their favorites, though the near-perfect (except Kamei) spectral order of MoMusu is rather interesting and makes me suspect someone on the inside might be using a similar criterion to assign costume colors…
Sure, it might be a coincidence, but really, the probability of at least n – 1 out of n elements randomly appearing in a specified order is .* In MoMusu’s case, n = 9, so the odds are about 1 in 5582.77. Hmm…
* I leave the proof of this formula as an exercise for the reader.
Buono!’s upcoming album, Café Buono!, has nine new tracks, out of a total of twelve. This struck me as quite an impressive number, so I decided to look at H!P’s total album output and see how many original tracks were on each.
I considered all official albums containing work primarily by Hello! Project artists, including mini-albums, best-of albums, and compilation albums, but not including singles, soundtracks, or remix albums. For the purposes of this assessment, “original” refers to tracks not previously released on an official Hello! Project CD, and does not include alternate versions, remixes, rearrangements, instrumentals, covers of recordings previously released by Hello! Project, or openings, endings, and interludes that aren’t complete songs. Covers of non-H!P recordings are included if the artist is the first H!P artist to cover the respective recording, since I have no easy way to determine with certainty whether a song is a cover or not.
Results appear below in Table A, sorted by number of original tracks, and Table B, sorted by release date. I haven’t double-checked these figures, so there may be some errors.
Assuming all of the 9 new tracks are complete songs (this preview suggests that at least 8 of them are), it looks as though Café Buono! beats out most of the competition. Given that the Iida and W albums consist largely of covers, and that Ai no Dai 6 Kan‘s count includes two tracks originally from a musical that weren’t released on CD, I think we can say that Café Buono! and Matsuura’s Double Rainbow tie for the title of “most original” H!P album, by number of new tracks alone, if all new tracks on these albums are non-covers.
Can’t wait … ^_^
EDIT: I just realized I completely forgot about the FOLK SONGS and Douyou Pops series. But these are cover albums anyway. I’ll fill them in later…
My last post has apparently sparked a “laugh riot” of a debate that’s now more than three times as long as my original post. If you haven’t seen it yet, you may find it worth reading. Or maybe not.
As always, I appreciate your feedback, positive or negative. It’s always good to know how effective my communication is.
And now, on to the next batch:
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Since classes actually started this week (yesterday), I’ve had less time to devote to blogging, so I’ll probably post less frequently. Unless I feel like sacrificing my grades to the Altar of Tsunku … which is mighty tempting. I’m actually skipping a class right now to write this. Terrible, I know. But this is more interesting.
In compiling my top 100 PV countdown, I’ve now run into a roadblock, as I’m about to introduce the first Morning Musume video on the countdown. Unfortunately, I can’t discuss it properly without putting it into perspective first. The reason is because there are only two acts in all of H!P history for which my enjoyment hasn’t been relatively uniform but rather concentrated on distinct periods. They are Morning Musume and Maki Goto, and Gocchin isn’t as significant since her later era ended after only three singles and my enjoyment of her earlier work is pretty uniform. So I’m posting this entry as a framework in which to evaluate the MoMusu videos.