1. Noun. Kaiser - the title of the Holy Roman Emperors or the emperors of Austria or of Germany until 1918.
2. The nickname of a hard-ass music professor.
Harald Weisner wasn't universally known as "the keiser" or king, but when a fellow student told me of that sobriquet, I soon learned that it fit.
Weisner taught Music Theory and Ear Training 3 (We called it Ear Straining). He was a typically thorough and organized, but he also underestimated and, by his attitude, indicated that he thought very little of our intelligence or abilities. He moved through basic harmonic concepts in the Theory class (By comparison, the kids at UC moved at light speed, getting to concepts far beyond what covered.) telling us repeatedly, in so many words, that these ideas were far over our heads.
Now, there are several ways to view this. Weisner is a very bright man and perhaps he should have kept certain thoughts private, but I believe his greatest mistake was to not encourage his students, regardless of their abilities. It was his egotism that got in the way, plus I believe that he had arrived at a very poisonous stage in teaching: he believed in his own failure. I think that "Harry" thought of himself as being a very great composer (a common delusion among profs and a spirit killing one at that) and that the world hadn't recognized his greatness. He cited a colleague who had garnered awards and performances who knew "that I was a much better composer." Inside, he had poisoned himself with these ideas. In fact, of all the teachers, it was Weisner who most embodied this rhetoric of failure and passed it on to his students.
The evening ended with us all hanging about in the living room listening to some Kansas that a friend of mine put on. When asked his learned opinion, his reply was simple: "It's modal." Never a big fan of rock or popular music.
My impression that I have taken away from the meeting is that, somehow I surpassed what he had expected me to accomplish. He stated, "I'm surprised that you're still doing this."
As opposed to selling shoes? Did you think music was a goddam hobby for me?
The next impression was that I had baffled him. He muttered and meandered and couldn't think of anything real to say about the score. Now please realize that I was DEEP into complex music at that time. I was using all sorts of complex procedures to create the music (cell composition) and I genuinely believe he was a little blown away by what he saw. If it was simple and stupid, he would have flatly stated so. He didn't know what to say:there's the clincher baby.
Mein professor liked the ladies back in the day. Evidently this hasn't changed.