David Yeagley

Notating the Tear

March 30, 2009 15:09

In "Romantic" music, there is a particular performance manoeuver in voice and in violin ( and perhaps in some other instruments) that immitates a human tear--in its natural, vocal, speaking action.  When some one has "a tear in the voice," it is a kind of breaking up of the tone.  Like, when you are trying to talk and cry at the same time.  It is difficult to describe, verbally, but everyone knows it when it happens, and recognizes it when it is heard.

It may have started in vocal music, in opera, possibly in Jewish cantorial.   Richard Tucker (Rubin Ticker) was quite good at it, of course. 

My question:  does anyone know how to NOTATE this little jewel of expression?   I can't recall seeing it in vocal or in violin music.  It is done, often, but, tastefully and only in certain kind of music.  (I know the old Budapest String Quartet used it in the Beethoven Op. 18 set.) 

In most instruments, including piano, there is something called a "grace note."  This could be an immitation of the vocal or violin "tear." 

If anyone has any idea of what I'm trying to get at, please direct me to some score or some source that tells me how to notate this tear for the violin (or the voice.)  I know it is a grand tradition.  Coutry Western vocal music, of course, in ghastly, criminal excess, aggrandized the tear beyond meaning.  But, still, it is a phenomenon, and sometimes I really want to use it in my music.  I simply do not know how to notate it.

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New Solo Violin Music

March 25, 2009 13:25

My name is Dr. David A. Yeagley.  This is my first post on Violinist.com, and I am very happy to have the privilege, for which I duly thank Ms. Niles, editor.  I can think of few experiences in life more touching than the sound of the violin.   I was originally captivated by the Bach solo violin works, but that was years ago.  As a composer, I have only now begun to explore solo violin for myself. 

I have recently complete a collection of five solo violin works, Meditations & Rhapsodies.  Two of these have already been performed, publicly, and I include here links to both.  

Meditation and Rhapsody No. 1  (Lina Bahn, violinist)

Meditation and Rhapsody No. 2  (James Stern, violinist)

There are three more which have not been peformed, or even studied.  (They are all in print, however.)  I'm sure there will be more.  I should be most interested in the general opinion of violinists in regard to these pieces.  I have written orchestral works, but these are my first violin solo works. 

Before I say anything further about the nature of these compositions, from the aspect of musical evalution, I would be most appreciative of any reactions of performers to the two examples linked above.   Please comment.

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