This clever quodlibet takes a collection of the most easily recognizable children's songs and mashes them up in a delicious way. The musical form of combining and overlapping popular melodies has delighted, entertained and occasionally scandalized audiences since at least the 15th century -- it is found in music from Ludwig Senfl to JS Bach's Goldberg Variations -- and the example presented here has as much light-hearted humor as any historical specimen.
Richard Glenn received both BM and MM degrees in music from the University of Redlands in Southern California. After serving four years in the Navy he moved to Basel, Switzerland, to study the lute at the Scuola Cantorum Basiliensis. He taught classical guitar and lute at UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and Orange Coast College. Richard specialized in teaching and performing on Renaissance and Baroque instruments (guitar, lute, recorder and viola da gamba) for many years, performing regularly with the Harmonia Baroque Players. Richard also loved children and was a magician when not making or teaching music.
Performance notes: Nearly everything about performing this piece is left up to the players, except tempo; the composer has given ensembles free rein to craft their performance however they wish. The simplicity of the notes and rhythms, along with the absence of any dynamic markings, give less-experienced players the opportunity to make fun music together without a lot of difficulty, while offering more advanced groups a blank canvas for interpretative possibilities. The easily identifiable melodies make sight-reading flow effortlessly, but players must be careful not to lose sight of the musical intent that keeps the audience engaged. As well, the key center of C Major never changes, which removes another source of interest for the listeners. To compensate, players might enjoy injecting new interpretation styles into their performance, such as adding ornaments, changing rhythms, changing tempo, including or omitting repeats, or any other tasteful affect that brings the music to life. When shouting “POP!”, it’s convenient to keep the recorder close by and to take the breath before the word, rather than try to fit the breath into the short rest after the word. In this way, the notes after the word will have full support, which is especially important in the final phrase.