martedì 30 settembre 2014

Studying a piano piece in an effective way

FingeringI responded to a question in a forum that was set like this: "what is the ideal method to study well a piece on the piano with the minimum of expenditure of time and energy?"

The question is complex. First, the "ideal method" is a subjective choice, because it depends on the psychological characteristics of the individual.

To begin the discussion, I suggest some preliminary tasks:

1) Read the music in theory: try to sing the parts, such as the main melody, but also the bass and possibly the inner parts; try to follow the music at the right time, also helping with the hand movements (similar to those of the conductor); is therefore a mental reading and at the same time voice and gesture. This is to keep all the parameters of the sound, those written and those that can be deduced from an analysis or a subjective choice; then try to imagine them in your mind; Finally, try to translate them into movements of the body functional and effective.

2) try to finger the piece; if the fingerings are already marked on the score, try to hide them and look for your fingering; in this way you can immediately enter into the hearts of executive problems. The fingering prescribed in the score (which is rarely the work of the author, more often than a reviewer) can be studied later, as compared with your choices; but the starting point must be a careful personal observation of the figuration of music, so that it can be done with a proper fingering. The fingering has two purposes: to find the most comfortable position; find an effective application of the choices of phrasing.

3) identify the physical movements appropriate to the individual rhythmic movement (meaning always up to beat the next movement): in this way, when you go to the piano you already have a full awareness of what needs to be done to make the most of every single passage.

giovedì 18 settembre 2014

Singing involves body and soul

I translate a short excerpt (p.75) from the most famous German method for chorus: Basiswissen Kirchenmusik 2 (Chor- und Ensembleleitung), ie Fundamentals of church music, volume 2 Conducting of choir and ensemble), which moreover defines ecumenical text, because it is intended to churches of various denominations.

Vocal choral training
Initial reflection  

The song is a gift to humanity. Only man can lead immediately to the expression his emotions and his feelings and express themselves artistically singing.  

Singing is a holistic event for both the singer and the listener.  

A singer who presents an happy song convincingly see happy faces in the audience and even if the text has not been understood.

Conversely, it has effects on listeners when a choir sings only forced and loud. In a relatively short time, the public will react with discomfort, lose interest, you will cough and clear your throat.

Voice and mood are directly related to each other. 

In speaking and singing the individual becomes a person (from the Latin personare, resound through something).  
Even in language use reflects the fact that the use of the voice is always about the whole person: be willing, to get better or worse, determine, agree, to assent - all examples of holistic and communicative part of the voice.

The work on the voice so is always work on the whole person, body and soul.  

So far my translation. Particularly interesting, in the original German, the pun between Stimme (voice) and Stimmung (mood), with various derivations verbal wohlstimmen (which I translated as: being willing), bestimmen (to determine), abstimmen (to agreed), zustimmen (to assent).