I just suppose I needed to excise my Doctor Who music headcanons.
(Basically, that Ten is the musician of all the reboot Doctors–and a whole separate sub-theory about how the pinstripes look like a musical staff. Which is COMPLETELY far-fetched. Anyway!)
Just listen to this and imagine that the Doctor is playing a totally piano version of it and it’ll be awesome. ;-)
(Also, Gallifreyan music often sounds discordant to humans because it’s got so many more melodies incorporated and there’s so much going on. But the Doctor often just plays Earth music when there are companions around because, hey, even if it’s a bit simple for him he likes it too.)
Rose watched as the Doctor’s hands flew over the keyboard, playing a precise series of notes like a cascade of glass drops hanging in the still air. His look of concentration was mirrored in the perfect black finish. The music was deep and powerful, like a force of nature.
“You’re doing all that… by memory?” she whispered in awe. The Doctor shrugged, playing three passionate chords and carrying on with the piece. “That’s incredible.”
“One of the perks of having an eidetic memory,” the Doctor murmured, continuing to play.
“How are you doing that with just two hands?” Rose asked.
“It’s… hard to explain.”
“Could you teach me?” Rose asked eagerly. The Doctor glanced up at her.
“You won’t be able to play like this—not at first,” he warned. Rose shrugged.
“Practice, I know, but any amount of time to be able to play like that… Half that well,” she said. “That’s worth it.” The Doctor grinned and slid over on the piano bench, making space for her.
“Now, keep your wrists up, but relaxed, and your fingers curved,” he directed. Taking her flat hand, he pressed her fingers on the keys. The piano made an indignant, discordant donk! Rose giggled. Then the Doctor gently formed her fingers into a graceful arch and pressed them down again. The piano went plonk! again. “See how much more force you have to use when your fingers are flat? You’re stronger when you keep a natural curve to them. Don’t play with your hands flat—it’s a waste of time and energy, and it’ll tire your wrists out in no time flat.” Rose laid her hands on the keyboard, but her wrists seemed to have another idea—the moment she tried to press down on the keys, her wrists caved in. “Here.” The Doctor took Rose’s wrists gently, supporting them. “You’ll build up your wrist strength with time,” he said encouragingly. “Now, press the white keys, one after another. Don’t stop until you’ve played right back to the beginning.”
“What does that mean?” Rose asked, frowning. The Doctor grinned like a little kid.
“You’ll figure it out,” he said. Obediently, Rose started to press the keys he indicated, stopping eight notes later. The Doctor smiled. “Exactly right. That’s a scale, C major. Whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, whole step, and right back to C, an octave higher. Think of whole steps as a sort of measurement of a tone’s pitch.”
“And half steps are just half that size,” Rose said.
“Right. We’ll stick with C major at first. No need to bother with the black keys just yet—those’re the other half steps. This is a major chord—your basic chord.” He pressed three keys in unison. “This is a seven chord—it’s got a bit of discord but never mind that, whenever you use it it’ll be resolved into a major chord, nine times out of ten.” He guided her hands to the right keys, pressing down the chords.
Rose and the Doctor sat down at the piano, and she began to play a simple melody. The Doctor’s hands darted around hers, playing an intricate and powerful cascade of notes, and they wrote their own song, just as they always did.