Finally, a song for engineers struggling to make measurements

-May 12, 2006

"The Measurement Blues"
Listen to the song:
Read the lyrics on page 2

Measurement Blues Live!
During the musical session at the 2009 IEEE EMC Symposium, Martin was joined by The Crazy Kings in a live rendition of "The Measurement Blues."

Watch the video or
listen to only audio

Check out Martin's other songs:
"Electrical Heroes"
"Below a Gigahertz"
"Check Designs for EMI Early"
"The Lab in the Corner"
"Red Eye Jedi"

Engineers have long run into snags when trying to get a job done. These snags can give you the blues. For example, you come in on Monday morning and find your test setup decimated. You worked over the weekend and had to take equipment from your colleagues—you know you've done it, so don't deny it. You also know you could be more productive if you had the latest equipment, but a little thing called "an equipment budget" gets in the way of progress. These and other situations can give you the blues, so I decided to write a song about it. I call it "The Measurement Blues." (Listen to the song or read the lyrics on page 2.)

Written while on a cross-country flight, "The Measurement Blues" touches on some of the reasons we get the blues as electrical engineers: equipment gone, equipment too slow, equipment out of calibration, and of course, Windows crashing during a test. That's about all I could get into a five-minute song, but there's more. Buggy software and instrument drivers, EMI problems, noise, and incomplete documentation are a few other reasons to get the blues.

What gives you the blues? Perhaps you've got your own lyrics you're just waiting to share. Send me an e-mail at

"The Measurement Blues" was recorded on April 27, 2006, at Melville Park Studio, Boston, MA.

See what others are saying about "The Measurement Blues."

Plus, check out the pictures and songs that other engineers have shared after listening to "The Measurement Blues."

Keeping the blues in tune requires a good ear, but sometimes you need help. The Intellitouch guitar tuner is cool when you have to tune in a noisy place and can't hear your strings. I wrote an article about how it works. After all, the tuner is a measurement and calibration instrument for a musical instrument.






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