Music In Words

Flute your way through isles of sound,
Surrounded by a sea of notes.
The crotchet rises, the quaver rests,
The breve on the horizon floats.

© Copyright Robin McShane – August 2014


10 comments on “Music In Words

  1. This is fabulous Rob.sometimes a short poem can really hit the spit, just like a piece of music. I, too, have only come across the do, ray, me in connection with the Sound of Music era! An interesting discussion between you and Cynthia about language and the difference in cultures. I had no idea that the American way of describing notes was different. I,too, had many piano lessons way back, with the metronome sitting sternly on the top of the piano refusing to allow me to rush through pieces and go home!😊

    Now I will leave you to crochet a other poem full of musical stitches! 😊😊


  2. Now it’s all becoming clearer..I’ve been having fun researching this. Terms like breve, crotchet and quaver, semiquaver, are more “international”, and derived from medieval times, whereas the more arithmetic terms –quarter, half, eighth, sixteenth, whole,—are chiefly used in the USA (where I happen to have had way too many piano lessons, as a child!) Thanks! (We also name the notes a, b, c…etc…..instead of do, re, mi..etc.)


    • Interesting! Thanks! I’m learning too… Grew up and studied piano in England, hence my understanding! Always fascinates me how words across the English speaking countries are used and often have different meanings and associations! When I came to South Africa, it was amazing how differently certain words were /are used! Sometimes like another language – especially with the many different cultural influences here! Thanks for your insights!


  3. You’ve contributed to my education today. To me the word “crochet” has always meant that dextrous thing similar to knitting, by making endless loops with a small hook. So I consulted Google and discovered that you must have meant “crotchet”, another word for a quarter note….in all my years of playing the piano, would you believe I never encountered the term “crotchet”! Is it particular to flute players, or wind instruments?


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