On the subject of variations, let's try a varied format -- questions and small answers, as far as I have them. Here goes!
Why do people think that "Variations on a Theme" is a synonym for dull and/or boring? Musically, it's not the same old theme played the same old way -- it's a way to describe what happens to a theme in a number of different ways.
For example, "Variations on a Rococo Theme" by Petr I. Tchaikovsky, which some refer to as his cello concerto, starts out with a very simple theme I've known how to play for years. Some of its variations make good workouts; one is my favorite lullaby -- get out of here, Brahms! But some variations are difficult to read at the correct speed, let alone play -- and the original theme's melody sometimes disappears into the orchestra part, then comes back only to be in terribly high notes compared to the comfortably low originals.
When something has gone on all year, do you automatically fire off a "Happy anniversary" note? You don't send one involving the word "anniversary" until a year has gone by, do you?
(After some of the years I've finished, I'd rather have had a "How are you?" note instead of happier wishes. Also, remember that "anniversary" comes from the French word for year, an, or all year, annee. Never mind those childish "sixth-month anniversary" ideas.)
Are you planning to buy and send Christmas cards? If not, if you're thinking of just sending e-mails, think of this: How often have you glimpsed someone's handwriting and been thrilled? Now, how often has that thrill happened from an e-mail address?
(Does that one really need an answer?)
For more fun with words, stop by the Margaret Serious page on Facebook.
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