This is one of Lear’s “useful object” verses. There is something seductive about a fan so the setting employs a suitably dusky mode, slightly Eastern or Arabic in flavour. It is not a round but the voices perform a simple double canon in pairs: soprano paired with alto and tenor with bass. The augmented seconds between the e flats and f sharps might need a little concentrated ear effort as will the tuning between upper and lower voices. But it all makes sense. Then comes a further challenge pitching the opening notes of the “puffy puffs”. Aural memory of the opening Ds should assist in finding the harmonies in relation to this note.

Perform the whole setting in an unhurried fashion maximiding the contrast between the smooth, seductive quality of the outer sections with the childlike playfulness of the puffs. The final “puff” could be randomly harmonised, spoken or whispered.

Level: medium

"F Was A Fan"

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