November 2012

The Life of the Adult Amateur Player (4)

November 9, 2012 12:58

I'm working my way through the Suzuki books for viola. I have always loved the Vivaldi Concerto in A Minor for Violin, which is something of a milestone piece in the Suzuki violin repertoire, being I believe the first opportunity the repertoire presents to learn a full concerto. I was however quite disappointed to realize that while the allegro and presto movements have been included in the Suzuki viola repertoire (book 4), the highly expressive largo movement has been omitted. I don't know the reason for this but when my teacher suggested that I play it anyway, I jumped at the chance and started hunting for the score. After much searching, I concluded that the score was simply not available, commercially or otherwise. It seemed nobody had bothered to transpose it for us violists. Next my teacher suggested I do my own transcription. That sounded like a reasonable plan and I set to it with staff paper and pencil … only to get frustrated by the demands those long runs of 32nd notes placed upon my penmanship. That's when I decided to experiment with music notation software. Naturally I looked at the well-known programs first but of course they were too pricey. Then I tried an open source program but found it too difficult to master. (Heck, I would have had to really read the manual!) So I ended up using what a friend of mine told me is popularly referred to as nagware, or, the free trial version of a program which prompts (nags) me to register it every time I open it. Nevertheless, when I select the "remind me later" option it still allows me to open and use the program, a consideration for which I am truly grateful. If I ever get around to buying a program, it will probably be that one out of--if nothing else--sheer gratitude.

And so, early this morning I did something of which I am quite proud: I uploaded my transcription to the IMSLP Petrucchi Library, from which you or anyone else in the world can now download it:

It’s my little gift to the violists of the world. I suppose having shared this story someone is inevitably going to let me know that a transcription was already available elsewhere. Hey, that’s fine too. The knowledge wouldn't diminish my pleasure at having given something of even just a little value to a community that means more to me than any other community in the world… musicians.

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More entries: June 2012

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