Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Da Capo

Allegro
Lento
Sforzando
Rubato
Rallentando
These are the instructions which
The young pianist must obey;
A smattering of Italian, the lingua franca
Of classical music
Is acquired poco a poco;
As well as the dynamical terms
You need to know the name of
Each type of note from their symbols
Balanced on the horizontal staves
Like birds jostling on telegraph wires
Breve
Semibreve
Minim
Crotchet
Quaver
Semiquaver
Demisemiquaver
Hemidemisemiquaver
Then the groups of notes ~
Scales, major, minor,
Harmonic and chromatic,
Practised for an hour a day
From the familiar soundscapes
Of C and G major via the sonority
Of E and A flat major to the downright
Sinister C sharp minor;
Let us not forget the elegant
Spread of the arpeggio which
Tests the childish hand to the limit;
Nor the lisping grace notes and
Ornamental flourishes of appoggiatura,
Acciaccatura, mordant and trill;
Mastery of this knowledge is tested
By the Guilds and Colleges with
Their traditional theory and
Practical exams from Grades I to VIII
Certificates proudly displayed
On a thousand sideboards
Record these childhood milestones;
I gave up after reaching
Grade V...
Subito
Triste

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