On my Enigma page, I put forward a new theory regarding Elgar’s famous ‘Enigma Variations’ riddle. However, there will never be general agreement on the nature of Elgar’s ‘Enigma’, so I thought it would be fun to develop a new musical brain teaser along similar lines, but with with a definite verifiable solution. Unlike Elgar’s masterpiece, ‘An ‘Enigmatic Jape’ is not the highly personal work of a genius, but if you want to exercise your enigmatic brain cells then simply work out what 3 melodies need to be added to magically transform it into something more melodious.
Program Note (Riddle).Three melodies are missing here,
You cannot hear them with your ear,
But if you hear them in your mind,
The harmony should be quite kind.
And Every tune is from the hand,
Of men who lived in Elgar’s land,
Although their names might make you say,
‘They could be from quite far away’.
The first piece is just one of seven,
The next suggests a kind of heaven,
And these two answers can unlock,
The final piece which is baroque.
But if you need more help my friend,
Check out the four bars at the end,
D.S.C.H. might help you see,
A cipher used by J.S.B.
Full Guidelines for solving the Riddle
- A substantial portion each ‘missing melody’ can be played over a section of ‘An Enigmatic jape’.
- Each missing melody might be transposed into another key, but the note intervals are unchanged.
- Tempi of missing melodies might be slightly different, but relative note lengths are unchanged.
- The missing melodies cover all sections of ‘An Enigmatic Jape’, apart from the bridge sections (of one or two bars) and the Coda.
- Sections and bridge sections are separated by double bar lines.
- When missing melodies are added, the music becomes more melodious yet remains harmonious.
Do you know the Answers?
If you think you know the answer, or if you have any questions please contact me.
The full solution involves three composers, three missing melodies, an explanation of the links, and an explanation of the last four bars.