It's not like I don't often do silly, quasi-creative (?) things with words that might find their way into this blogstream, but they too often get scattered in the margins of Twitter and Facebook; so here's some stream-of-consciousness stuff that I'm moving from the ephemerality of social media to the relative permanence of a blog.
A former student who plays both violin and viola is now studying in London and wrote a Facebook post complaining about the absurd names the British give to note values. After getting some confusing instructions about crotchets and quavers and the like, her lighthearted comment was:
"I'll just pick these notes and start playing here."
To which I reflexively replied (because it's hard-wired in me):
"'I'll just pick these notes and start playing here' - spoken like a true violist."Truth is, she wasn't even playing viola, but I learned that too late for me to keep from thinking about the intersections of quavers and quivering violists, so I found myself constructing the following bit of verse:
The violist's bow quivers when faced with a quaver,I now found myself in a mental maze of viola/archery connections, and soon took to Twitter with the following set of couplets:
Any less than a crotchet brings sure misbehavior.
The composer who hopes for such bows to deliver
had best leave those quavers unused in his quiver.
Archers use bows to deliver their arrows,
Violists use bows to deliver their errors.
Archers keep arrows for later in quivers.
Violists make errors whene’er they see quavers.
The archer depends on a string that is taut.
Violists are best when they’re taught to play naught.
The archer’s string sings when an arrow’s dispatched.So there you go. The blog is back.
The viola sings best when there’s no strings attached.