February 2008

Epiphany ... again!?...Is that a repiphany?

February 27, 2008 21:27

What is an epiphany you get over and over again? A re-piphany? I have been having one of these for some years now. I finally have formulated some rules to help me quit repiphanizing.

I keep learning my etudes out of order. Late in the process I realize that I haven't done my finger preparation (or as Harold Berkley calls it in his Schirmer editions of etudes "advanced fingering")

I have decided to formulate some rules to help me start more effectively.

The left hand objectives of learning every etude include the following

1. Determining the earliest time that any finger can be held down.
2. Determining the length of time the finger can be held down.
3. Determining which strings the finger should cover while it is held down
4. Determining the earliest moment a finger pattern can be formed
5 Forming the pattern on and over the string at the earliest moment possible

All of the above should be contemplated before shifts wherever possible. At some point one also starts understanding that it isn't always the earliest opportunity but rather an optimum opportunity; however, that is best learned after one has solved earliest.

I have been working for some time on one particular etude and applying these rules has helped my legato enormously as well as helped me improve my velocity and intonation..

I also have come to believe that the primary values of any etude (viz a viz the left hand) is the opportunity it gives the student to solve the finger preparation problem.

One of my strongest childhood memories of watching violin soloists and professional orchestra players was how little they moved their fingers. When I watch students and amateurs I notice how much they move their fingers. I hope to make my fingers invisible.

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February 2, 2008 08:20

Several months ago I bought an iPod. I bought the one with the most capacity, 160Gb, I have a large collection of CDs and I was determined to put as much of it as possible on my computer and on the iPod. It only required 25Gb. (That is 19.1 days of continuous listening). I decided that the iPod would be the main playback medium and I connected it to my stereo system but I (poor me) had to walk across the room to make my selection. Periodically I had to carry it upstairs (again poor me) to sync it to my computer for new downloads and newly ripped CDs.

Then I found out about Apple TV. It is essentially an iPod that connects to your TV and stereo system and allows you to wirelessly sync to your computer, directly connect to the Internet for Youtube, and playback videos, podcasts, etc. all using a remote control from your couch. Apple TV is about the same price as the iPod I bought.

Now my entire CD collection is available at my finger tips. I know for the first time, how many different versions of the Beethoven Violin Concerto I own. My wife is happy because there are no empty jewel boxes spread over the house waiting to be resynched with their CDs.

Regrettably it also shows big gaps in my collection. I am woefully short of Schumann, Chopin, and Schubert. I have very little Stravinsky, Bartok and Prokofieff. I have a lot of Bach but there are big gaps in keyboard works. I only have a couple of the cantatas. I don't have significant portions of the string quartet repertory.

But I have a lot of music that I will probably never listen to again and there is so much more to listen to that I don't own. I could kill a lot of time just listening.

When all is said and done I would trade it all for 6 nights a year of participation in playing chamber music in my home.

4 replies | Archive link

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