Q: The new offices of the Roanoke Symphony (128 E. Campbell Ave.) have a special musical crosswalk. I can read music, and can tell you that the notes spell (bass clef) “B-E-A-D-E-D-B-A-G” and (treble clef) “F-E-E-D-B-A-G” but I couldn’t recognize the tune. Is it supposed to be a tune? Or is it just a homage to the wonderful shopping/eating you can find in downtown Roanoke?
Please get to the bottom of this mystery.
Roanoke, formally of Lincoln, Nebraska.
A: Thanks for doing a lot of the legwork on this question, Allison. I’ve walked through that crosswalk a few times and never took the time to identify the musical message embedded in it. It does not, alas, contain the opening notes to “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, which would, I think, be appropriate.
If it were played on a piano by someone who doesn’t really know how to play the piano (like me) it would sound like this: Crosswalk Melody
It was commissioned as a project of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra to help commemorate their move into new offices. It was a collaborative project between the city, RSO, and a local artist. The city’s transportation manager Mark Jamison and Arts and Culture Coordinator Susan Jennings paved the way with permits and technical support, and they enlisted the help of Mim Young, who executed the design and installation.