Fermata

April 25, 2004 at 10:26 PM · Just a small trivial question, if a fermata is right at the end of a piece on top of the double bar line and not on a note, (such as the final movement of the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings), what does that mean? Do we pause after we play the last note?

Replies (15)

April 25, 2004 at 10:37 PM · thats the only explanation that seems plausible to me, if its the last movement

April 26, 2004 at 02:39 AM · That was always my understanding as well.

April 26, 2004 at 06:43 AM · During the fermata, no cell phones are allowed to ring, no babies are allowed to cry, no one can scream, "Bravo!" This also enables the musicians time to clear the stage in case of a mob that throws rotten vegetables.

April 27, 2004 at 12:50 AM · Haha, nice Emily.

I interpret it as a pause. Everyone on stage holds their breath and position untill the conductor lowers his baton. Then the fermata is over. :)

April 27, 2004 at 03:24 AM · Greetings,

Matt, no, no and no!!!

Never give those damn conducters the power of life and death over string players!

What were you thinking?

Cheers,

Buri

April 27, 2004 at 03:31 AM · It was my understanding that such a pause invariably occurs at the end of a piece whether a fermata is featured or not. In fact I train my little ones to do it when prepping up pieces for performance (how pretentious am I??) - it looks good and impresses examiners;)

April 27, 2004 at 05:34 AM · Greetings,

recently I heard a conducter tell an orchestra, this music begins in infinity andf returns to infinity.

He probably read it on a prune can,

Cheers,

Buri

April 27, 2004 at 06:33 PM · no conductor could ever think that up on his own.

April 27, 2004 at 08:51 PM · I once read a quote by Sir Thomas Beecham - something like 'As long as you start and finish together, the audience doesn't care what happens in between'.

April 27, 2004 at 11:03 PM · I actually think it's meant for photo ops at the end of the piece.

April 28, 2004 at 02:26 AM · Even though you are joking Sue (I really hope.) you definately do not want to have pimples in a performance, ie. A Wind CRACK. When the piece is over you want your audience to snap out of the musical trance, or stand on the chairs and clap until you give an encore (gotta love those moments).

July 25, 2004 at 10:12 PM · Depending on where the fermata is placed it could mean several things going from an interruption on the music, a hold, to a prolongation of the values of a figure (including rests), an many others...and can be followed or not by a cut-off according to the circumnstances.

I´m not familiar with Tchaikovsky´s Score, but if the fermata is over the bar line, maybe it is an interruption of the sound an not a prolongation or hold for the last note. That means that the last note or figure should keep his value, nor short o long and that the music and sound should be stoped there, interrupted (by a cut-off or a sign), and the lengt should not be left a discretion of the conductor or concertmaster, but at the last figure value indicates.

You will probably love to ask a conductor about a more specific and maybe correct information.

Gabi

July 26, 2004 at 01:12 AM · Now that this thread has been brought back again, I would like to make a correction on a mistake on my part: the fermata is actually on a quartet note rest, not the double bar line as I had previously thought. That being said though, it still does not make much sense.

And Gabi, thanks for your reply. Actually during the rehersal the conductor himself told us that he too has no clue. Well I do have a new idea...perhaps Tchaikovksy wrote down the music so fast that the fermata was mistakenly placed on a rest instead of the note, or perhaps his manuscript was so ambiguous that the editor of the score decided that the fermata looks more like to the rest's side. Any Tchaikovskian scholars here?

July 26, 2004 at 04:16 AM · I´m not a Tchaikovsky scholar, but I´m very sure that he know exactly how he wanted things to be done--But still, mistakes can be done.

Depending on the score, if everyone had this rest with the fermata, is just to take a pause and breath, that kind of interruption is very often used just for keeping the "mood" or just as a preparation for next entrance (maybe a tempo change,a slight indication of new dynamic to create surprise...), or just to create the feeling of a fade out, who knows!?...it really depends on what´s next.

Some examples: New World Symphony Dvorak, second movement, mm.105-108, Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, first movement, mm4-7.

Gabi

July 26, 2004 at 02:26 PM · Hi,
a fermata over a rest can also indicate that it is a rest where nobody plays anything.
Bye, Jürgen

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Violin-Strings.com

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Warchal

Barenreiter

Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe