Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ana's Musical Puzzler: the Answer


There were several good guesses as to the identity of the tune for which Ana had variations composed, but none were exactly right. The extra hint provided one guesser, that it was a traditional hymn tune, didn't seem to help. So here's the answer: the tune is the old Shaker hymn tune "Simple Gifts." Ana likes the words of this hymn too:

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be;
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

To repeat, the second variation, the Invention, which was the object of the puzzle, is here. Ana could play this one.

The final variation in a set of variations is often wilder and more flamboyant than those before it, and that is the case with these five movements. If you would like to hear the fifth and final variation (which Ana was unable to play), which is titled Gigue (a sort of jig, a lively dance), you may hear Rebecca Pechefsky perform it here.

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