If you think hemiola’s syncopation,
Inevitably you will enter late.
An audience can hear if there’s cessation
Of phrase within a rest. You should abate
Dynamic at the ends of lines Romantic,
In Classical, stay strong until the tonic.
And even if the tempo ends up frantic,
The singers must stay with the philharmonic.
Traditions going back to Bach and Handel,
Which Haydn pilfered, Beethoven purloined-
But such sublime homage is never scandal,
For through it different periods are joined.
And knowledge of what our forbears found pleasant
Illuminates our singing in the present.
To Jahja Ling, with admiration and gratitude.