Archive for the ‘Knowing the Score’ Category

388 • Fly me to the moon

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Think of a popular melody and imagine how it would look like in notation. The particularities and idiosyncrasies of interpretation are between the notes and have to be discovered. Melodies of the classical repertoire have to be grasped in the same manner! You have to get back to the state before notation, not try to execute the surface of the score. The music is not in the radio as far as perception goes; it isn't in the black dots either as far as rendering goes.

387 • Facets

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

In the Classical style the smaller parts (harmonic progression) are self-similar to the larger parts (structural form) in a musical composition in a proportionate, architectural manner.

In the Romantic style or the smaller parts became more fluid while the larger parts remained classical - an evolutionary process.

In the Late-Romantic style both parts became more and more fluid until they fully dissolved, deteriorated, mixed, or scrambled in the Modern Style.

This inevitably brought musical evolution to a screeching halt (after the humanity defying inferno of the Great World War Conflict of 1914-1945) and since then stylistic cloning commenced for the past 50 odd years. But cloning prevents evolution - due to degradation - and musical language in the western world will have to consider itself possibly at a dead end by the 16th clone generation.

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384 • Occam’s Razor

Friday, October 19th, 2012

All things being equal, a simpler (more natural) interpretation (of the score) is better than a more complex (artificially augmented) one.

383 • The composer’s beaming is not only organization of time, but also instruction of movement.

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

372 • James Tiberius Kirk giving a piano lesson

Friday, July 6th, 2012

I don’t believe in a no-win scenario in the piano score.

371 • As long as you are in a committed relationship with the composer, you can and sometimes have to be unfaithful to his score.

Friday, July 6th, 2012

306 • Expressive interpretation is the amalgamate of 10% primary information and 90% context.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Primary information such as notation in word or score.

Context equals all other information such as knowledge, instinct, tradition, taste, and talent.

287 • Terms of speed and volume

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

There is a substantial hypothesis about the use of the following term:

Diminuendo = softer and slower

Decrescendo = softer Rallentando = slower
Crescendo = louder
Accelerando = faster

Allargando = louder and slower

As musical terms received their definition after composers used, and sometimes introduced them, in idiosyncratic ways, this theory seems to be applicable in some composer's scores, Schubert for example. See: 259 • Principles in classical music are not a precise science.

280 • Fortissimissimo

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

I once witnessed, in Italy on a beautiful piazza at lunch with eight Italians, a heated debate about the proper parlance of ppp. One side suggested the traditional “piano-pianissimo”, but the other side insisted on the more colloquial “pianissimissimo”. It came to a very, very loud food fight, quite fff, and I decided to stick with the grammatically questionable "pianissimissimo" as the group supporting that version was more expressive with a wilder variety of gestures and better at flinging antipasti.

244 • The score is as incomplete as this statement:

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

The sc re is as inc m ete as t is s ate ent: the black dots on th pa e do not co ta n all the inf mat n for pro er interpre ation of the comp sition.

It does imply without symbolic representation on the page: B ild long phr es, pl y with dy amics and emotio s, li ten to t e harm ni s, be fait ful to the rhy m, sing the mel dy, be expr ssive!

Veryoftenitisalsounclearwherethewordsorphrasesendthatisonlyaproblemifyouarenotanative speakeryoumightneedtoreadthesethreesentencesafewtimesbeforeaddingproperrhythmandmel odyandthusderivemeaning.

We extrapolate and integrate the missing elements and thus derive meaning due to the knowledge (information) and understanding (intelligence) of grammar, syntax, and context.

  • A weblog of thoughts, ideas, concepts, observations, suggestions, research, methodology, discoveries, rules, exceptions, aphorisms, and secrets from pianist to pianist.
Total number of posts: 436
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