Building the World

Take Five


Dave Brubeck: Image courtesy of

“Take Five” is the best-selling jazz single in history; the song is written in quintuple time, hence the name of Paul Desmond’s jewel performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Five is also a lucky number for Singapore: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Taoist houses of worship have graced the city since the 1800’s. In Singapore, music of five languages syncopates the air: Chinese, English, Malay, and Tamil are official, but some say Mandarin might be the most heard. Multiculturalism may be encouraged by educational standards: English is taught as lingua franca but each student in primary and secondary school also certifies in another of Singapore’s official languages. Should North America follow a similar policy regarding: English, French, Nahuatl, Navajo, and Spanish?

For more on Dave Brubeck, whose landmark album Time Out was the result of an international exchange in Turkey, and to hear “Take Five,” please see:

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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