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#3976 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 15:15

Actually many of our modern instruments have only just arrived where they are, and it's not hard to argue that we're merely another point along the time-line, and that they'll continue to evolve.

 

I've been thinking about it and a couple of things occur to me.

 

One is that quite a nice aspect of recorder playing is that it's easily possible to experiment with so many points along the journey.  I know costs vary a lot, but it's easy enough to get hold of such varied instruments as

  • a reproduction of either of the Tartu or Dordrecht instruments
  • accurate reproductions of mediaeval and renaissance instruments in assorted pitches
  • general-ish baroque instruments as well as specific reproductions
  • simple modern designs (I'm thinking eg Moeck Flauto Rondo type instruments)
  • something a bit different like an Adri's Dream
  • something very modern like a Mollenhauer Helder

and no doubt other variations I haven't thought of.

 

The other thing I think, which is a bit off-the-cuff and could very well be wrong, is that musicians must have been a more adventurous lot once upon a time.  Based purely on anecdotal evidence, and the impression I've been given by the (very) few professional musicians of my acquaintance, they seem quite conservative and resistant to change nowadays.  When I played saxophone, reeds were just the bane of my life, always breaking, never quite right.  I think modern plastic ones are great, but the reed players I know generally hate them, and think there's really something not quite right about a reed you don't have to pamper.  Would so much change have taken place in the eighteenth century if people then had been as resistant to change as they are now?  Or maybe the changes crept in more gradually than seems to be the case with hindsight.

 

BTW in case anyone has not noticed, there is some great free music around at the moment.  NY Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera are both streaming an opera a day - today's offerings are Eugene Onegin and Siegfried respectively, and the Berlin Philharmonic is offering a free month of full access to it's digital archive.  We enjoyed a brilliant performance of Mahler's 2nd Symphony last night, suitably uplifting for the times.  There are probably other things on offer too.


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#3977 elemimele

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 21:07

Bagpuss: thanks for the comment on playing like Baroque; I reckon that's heroically difficult, and was impressed by the lady I heard have a go. And as for knobs at keyboards, as an ex-organist I'm staying firmly silent on that one.

 

OaG, food for thought. I suspect some of these things look more rapid from where we stand than they did at the time. Ten years is a long time when you're living through it, but the blink of an eye in retrospect. 

But the media have a role to play, too. Although it's possible to learn about new developments from web-searches or media, I suspect media and recordings have slowed the rate of evolution by making the world much more homogenous. Everyone knows what an orchestra looks like, so if you change something, you're going against a whole world of experience, and you're in direct competition with a hundred years of recordings. Hm, I need to keep thinking about this...


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#3978 AdLibitum

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 07:05

That's an interesting point! And of course if you want to play in an orchestra, you need to play a "standard" instrument. Whereas that wouldn't have been a problem in earlier times, because the music wouldn't have been so specifically orchestrated.
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#3979 Zixi

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 08:08

Artists are capable of huge innovative leaps while remaining conservative over other things... maybe it's that. I agree with elemimele over 'time' - it's weird what the brain can do with it at the 'time' and afterwards.

 

Just caught up on the thread - you've all made me smile! So thank you! :)


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#3980 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 13:59

It's good to have something to smile about.  Staeps is making me smile at the moment - mostly when I compare his figure for how long something is supposed to take to play, and how long it actually takes me :)


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#3981 AdLibitum

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 19:55

As my harp teacher once put it when we were looking at the insane tempo prescribed for one piece, what planet do these composers live on?

My copy of selected van Eyck pieces arrived in today's post. :) I've already hacked my way through Daphne once, but didn't have time for more. You see all these articles on what to do with the extra spare time - what spare time?! (I shouldn't grumble because my job can be done remotely, of course. I shall just stop reading these articles.)
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#3982 elemimele

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 20:05

mmmmm enjoy Van Eyck! There's a lifetime's pleasure there, because you can keep revisiting them.


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#3983 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 09:48

As my harp teacher once put it when we were looking at the insane tempo prescribed for one piece, what planet do these composers live on?

 

Not the same one I live on!  I'm looking at a fragment from Staeps now.  It's 3 lines and he gives it 15 seconds.  That actually sounds reasonable, 5 seconds per line, BUT:

  • the lines are 4 bars long and consist of pairs of slurred quavers
  • in the first two bars the slur is from a more stressed to a less stressed note, but that changes to the other way around for the second two bars
  • the key changes for each line
  • the keys are horrible: 5 sharps, then 5 flats, then 3 flats

It takes me a fair part of the 15 seconds just to work out what all the keys are :(


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#3984 Zixi

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 10:07

OK I need Staeps and I'm not sure I'm certain what it is! I'd also like a tin of marvel and a few ex-battery hens to rescue...

 

AdLibitum - Van Eyck is for me the absolute epitome of recorder music... It's a wonderful journey. The thing I really like is that a lot of pieces start off really easy so I can have a stab at them. Some seem to get insanely fast.

 

OaG - you *will* speed up... it's a challenge - part of the journey... :P


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#3985 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 11:30

The lesser spotted or herbaceous Staeps can be found lurking in quiet, shady corners of music shops; in its spring plumage, it looks like this:

https://www.universa...-ulrich-ue36968

 

What's a tin of marvel???

 

And, I'm sure I will speed up, but there is also the question of comparison.  For example, to check out a van Eyck piece, I listen to Eric Bosgraaf or Dan Laurin playing it and, let's face it, I will never be able to play with their level of virtuosity.  Likewise, I'll never be up to Staeps's standards.  And really, I don't actually care!


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#3986 Zixi

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 15:08

Oag - Ah ha - thank you! I remember looking at that before - recognise the cover - so maybe it has been mentioned before?! And it's treble which is why I haven't bought it... I really ought to press on with treble so I too can subject myself to Staeps.

 

Marvel is dried milk. I think I spoiled my best friend's day by reminding him of it... :blink:

 

The thing is that you (like me) spent your life doing something else and I bet Dan or Eric (nice though they are) won't be any good at whatever you did... and I confirm they couldn't have done what I did. And I bet they aren't such a good cook nor have they turned about the life of a very abused collie. And the difference is I can play Daphne - just not very well... so I'm going to sit here feeling smug... I advise you to do the same... :lol:

 

Ad Libitum - the working remotely thing is both good news and bad news but perhaps you are saving time on travel soooooo you have *that* time. I advise against reading anything about using time wisely, especially at the moment. There's an awful lot of nonsense written... and written with scant regard to grammar...or anything really...

 

I now have a study and a music stand so I'm inches away from taking up practice again... but I have very sore hands from all of the hand washing, decorating and moving and I'd like to know how a right handed person seems to manage to damage her left thumb so much... :rolleyes:

 

 


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#3987 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 17:49

Oag - Ah ha - thank you! I remember looking at that before - recognise the cover - so maybe it has been mentioned before?! And it's treble which is why I haven't bought it... I really ought to press on with treble so I too can subject myself to Staeps

 

I'm sure I've mentioned it before - coming to grips with it has been one of my "must get around to some rainy day" activities for a while.  However, I'm playing it on tenor, transposed from the original.

 

I should also add: I don't think I will be killing myself to achieve perfection on some of the more tricky stuff because absolutely everything I choose to play is not in D-flat. 

 

> I'm going to sit here feeling smug... I advise you to do the same...
 
Consider it done!

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#3988 Zixi

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 09:47

Some of the exercises (from other books I have) are quite satisfying in any case so I assume Staeps is the same. I'm impressed that you transpose - I can't really then make any excuses for not (at least) trying...

 

I'm still batting away at the English Nightingale. I really do have to listen to it played properly as I have a distinct tendency to develop artistic licence and gradually drift...


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#3989 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 10:42

I'm impressed that you transpose

 

Don't be - I don't do anything as clever as transposing as I go.  I use lilypond's transpose feature.  It's a bit tedious typing stuff in but not too bad - for things like Staeps I do snippets at a time.  Ten minutes here and there (instead of playing spider solitaire!) has got me over half way through over the last couple of weeks; I'm way ahead with the transposing cf the playing.  For things like a single score - there is a lot of stuff only available for alto - I can do a couple of pages quite quickly and if it's something I want to work on, it's a very small percentage of the overall time.

 

I have a distinct tendency to develop artistic licence and gradually drift...

 

A feeling I know well.  I think it's very positive to think of it as artistic license - and what's wrong with a bit of AL in music?


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#3990 elemimele

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 16:20

for those who don't fancy LillyPond but also need to transpose, MuseScore also has a built-in transpose feature.

It can also understand weird clefs, so if you find yourself faced with something from IMSLP that uses historical clefs, you have the option of entering it visually as on the original (or checking it visually at any rate) before changing the clef to something modern, at which it will shift all the notes to their correct places.

As for transposition, I envy those who can transpose properly. Properly-trained organists are usually brilliant at it. But the nice thing about recorder is that if you can get the C and F fingerings, and play on treble or bass clef (and imagine freely which you're using, even if you're not...) then you have quite a range of handy transpositions without having to learn to transpose. But it does take some time getting used to it, and I find it hard to chop and change. And I can't play in a different octave - for some reason, that throws me completely.

But in the end there's nothing wrong with re-writing the music in the pitch that allows you to play it. The entire brass band industry always does it that way, which should be precedent enough for anyone.


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