In the key of Monday

This morning I was having trouble remembering a sequence of days of the week, so I tried substituting an octave of musical notes (Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do). My theory was that, unlike days of the week, I generally find it easy to remember musical chords, since they are associated with particular sounds.

Since I grew up playing the piano, I thought of the white keys, where an octave of the major diatonic scale is CDEFGABC. So I tried using C for Sunday, D for Monday, all the way up to B for Saturday.

But that just didn’t feel right. And it took me a while to figure out why.

Then I realized that practically speaking, my week starts on Monday, not Sunday. So, for example, if a meeting or class is scheduled for three times a week, it’s going to be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A meeting or class held twice a week is liable to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Suddenly it all clicked into place: The major chord CEG for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the minor third interval DF for Tuesday and Thursday, with A for Saturday or B for Sunday added to make a sixth or seventh chord.

When I think of a sequence of days in this way, it becomes easy to remember it, as a chord or a melody — the music of my week.

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