One of the most amusing aspects of Google Analytics is it will tell you what search engine keywords have brought people to your blog.
Not only is it entertaining to see the sheer diversity of searches, it’s quite an “interactive” experience: I find myself wanting to answer the questions that have prompted the searches in the first place.
Example? how to pronounce the word 'gerontius' elgar or speak or gerontius
That one made me want to reach out into the ether and begin explaining the various traditions of ecclesiastical and scholarly Latin pronunciation and which it was that Elgar was mostly like to be familiar with and hence his preferred pronunciation. And I began hoping they found something illuminating online, despite the badly constructed search terms.
Which is the other thing: I’d never realised before how many people actually don’t have a clue how to use Google. They type in single commonplace words, like relevant or string. They ask natural-language questions like what happens inside a music concert or what do you feed a Christmas beetle? and include all sorts of words that will only slow down or muddy the search.
Or they include a search term that’s plain wrong. This one – stravinsky waltz lehar petrushka – had me crying out to my imaginary seeker “It’s Lanner Stravinsky quotes in Petrushka. Lanner, not Lehár”. An understandable mistake, that one. Alas, there’s a netizen perpetuating the error, which goes to show what a dangerous, slippery thing the blogosphere is should one be seeking actual knowledge.
Then there are the stats. Discounting those searches that are clearly for the blog itself, the most popular searches include café du caveau palais royal (I assume these are people who are trying to find the actual café, not people who are interested in the history of ice cream as it connects to Mozart) and Atlanta’s balls.
But first place for the search that most frequently arrives at Thomasina’s Last Waltz belongs to this question and its variants: what tempo should the last waltz be played at?
I’m not a ballroom dancer, but my guess is you’d want to play it at something like a strict tempo, i.e. 115 to 130 beats per minute. Or if it’s “The Last Waltz” by the other Engelbert Humperdinck they’re after, YouTube would suggest it’s quite a bit slower, maybe 110. But notice how the dancers can’t actually waltz to this…