sabato 28 febbraio 2015

Preliminary piano lesson

Here is a video that presents the lesson in a few minutes preliminary to start playing the piano: a beneficial activity for the body and for the whole person.

In the video are explained in a simple way the fundamentals of proper approach to the instrument.

It clarifies that a state of muscle relaxation is functional with the proper performance. The rhythmic pulse is the basis of our coordinated movements and everything corresponds precisely to the physiology of our natural breathing, in the two phases inhaling and exhaling.

From the very nature of our body comes the music!

sabato 14 febbraio 2015

Study of Tallis motet "If ye love me"

Thomas Tallis (1505 ca. - 1585) (ca. 1505 - 1585) was a famous English musician of the sixteenth century, organist and composer in the chapel of the Royal Court. His work also has a great ecumenical value
If ye love me
because, while remaining faithful to the Catholic faith, he worked for the liturgical service of the new Anglican Church.

The motet If ye love me is based on the text of the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verses 15 to 17:

If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may bide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth.

The execution of the motet is not particularly difficult for an amateur choir: prevail consecutive notes (ie the conjunct motion in the musical scale); polyphony is simple and the effect extraordinarily effective, fervent in the expression of God's Word.

Here the music, in F (a fourth above compared to the original key), which is used routinely in amateur choirs:

Thomas Tallis

Thomas Tallis

I propose audio files, where I exercise, in every section, every single phrase: first by rhythmic reading of the text, then with the repeated listening of each phrase. After this, propose to exercise two or three contiguous phrases and finally the entire part of each section.

Listen section of sopranos: Tallis, If ye love me, soprani

Listen section of altos: Tallis, If ye love me, contralti

Listen to the section of the tenors: Tallis, If ye love me, tenori

Listen to the bass section: Tallis, If ye love me, bassi

domenica 8 febbraio 2015

The learning of a Bach Chorale, phrase by phrase

BWV 147We can learn to sing a Bach Chorale with a simple teaching aid prepared for the purpose. It is not just for beginners, both for the high quality of the author, and for the need to use the German text (translations are not advisable). However, we choose the famous Choral "Jesus bleibet meine Freude" BWV 147, which is certainly not among the most difficult.

An audio file can be prepared by live performances at the keyboard: an electronic organ or piano. The choice of the piano is preferable because the piano produces more effectively the musical phrasing, by means of changes of dynamic and accentuations; however presents the disadvantage of not reproduce the human voice and the words of the text. 

To overcome this problem, many choirs use other methods of study: the most used is the realization of the parts in MIDI format. This technique undoubtedly presents some advantages: first, allows singers to listen to the single part, but also the part inserted inside the polyphony; furthermore, using a new technologically advanced system, you can hear even the words of the text, always made with the procedure of electronic processing.

Our perplexity, regarding the use of the MIDI, consists of the mechanicalness unmusical effect, which excludes not only the dynamic and accentuations, but even the breaths and the natural mobility of tempo. Even the execution of the text may have problems of accentuation and pronunciation. The ongoing technical development are trying to adapt the mechanical means even in the face of these problems, however, we are still far from a result that can be considered similar to that of a human performance.

I therefore propose the audio files teaching performed live. I introduce first of all the reading of the text:

Jesus bleibet meine Freude,
Meines Herzens Trost und Saft,
Jesus wehret allem Leide,
Er ist meines Lebens Kraft,
Meiner Augen Lust und Sonne,
Meiner Seele Schatz und Wonne;
Darum lass ich Jesum nicht
Aus dem Herzen und Gesicht.


Jesus remains my joy,

the comfort and life's blood of my heart,
Jesus defends me against all sorrows,
he is my life's strength,
the delight and sun of my eyes
my soul's treasure and joy;

Of my soul the joy and treasure;
therefore I shall not let Jesus go
from my heart and sight.

The musical part:
Jesus bleibet meine Freude

Here is the rhythmic reading of the text. Listen: Bach, Jesus bleibet meine Freude, lettura ritmica

In audio files dedicated to individual sections, I propose the rhythmic reading of each phrase, followed by listening to music, every phrase proposes the immediate repetition of the musical line. Listen: Bach, Jesus bleibet meine Freude, soprani

For the altos, to accustom the ear is also expected to listen to their part together with that of the sopranos, who in the live performance often deceives the singer less experienced. Listen:  Bach, Jesus bleibet meine Freude, contralti
Listen now part of the tenors: Bach, Jesus bleibet meine Freude, tenori

And finally the bass part; also this provides the end listening along with the part of the tenors. Listen to the bass part: Bach, Jesus bleibet meine Freude, bassi