Limerick Completions & Additions
by Leonard Lehrman

Submitted To Though Not Printed By The New Music Connoisseur

There was a composer named Cage
Who was known as a musical sage
with "4:33"
His motive, you see
He brought silences to a new stage.

There was a composer named Beach
Who could play the piano and teach.
Her notes were sublime
But she lived at a time
Fame for women was just out of reach.

There was a composer named Luening
Whose career he was always retuning
Electronics he found
Were certainly bound
To be helpful, though not without pruning.

There was a composer named Ives
Who led two quite disparate lives
He composed with endurance
While selling insurance
His music gave some people hives.

There is a composer named Glass
There seem to be few in his class
With his minimal style
He's shown lots of guile
And is best enjoyed while smoking grass.

There is a composer named Crumb
Whose music is never too glum
His spiral-shaped staff
Once got a brief laugh
'Specially when piano strings he would strum.

A composer we call Takemitsu
Came from the land of ju jitsu
His music is slow
Rarely fortissimo
It takes time, though eventually it hits you.

Sam Barber, a neo-romantic
Wrote music that wasn't pedantic
With American pride,
Shunned the Boulanger tide
But those fair-haired boys just drove him frantic.*

*This is based on testimony by tenor Loren Driscoll:
"Marc Blitzstein was always the perfect gentleman while coaching me;
but Sam Barber once chased me around a piano!"

In completing the works of Marc Blitzstein
Did I have to compete with his hits? Nein.
For aside from Threepenny
He didn't have many.
Does my style fit his? P'rhaps, but his fits mine.

Elie Siegmeister studied with Riegger
And Boulanger, worked with Charles Seeger
To the top he soared
On the ASCAP Board
But was never a Composer Leaguer.

Posted Dec. 16, 2010