Postby Jean-François Delcamp » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:19 am
Please start by downloading the latest version of volume D05.
If you are new to the course, please read this message to familiarize yourself with the conditions for participating in the lessons. You should also read the first message in lesson 1, where you will find advice on how to make the most of your study time and on the methods of practising that I recommend.
Now we are going to work on a series of exercises:
To render polyphony clearly, you have to be able to control the force applied by each of the fingers plucking the strings.
Here is a little exercise. The first few times that you try it, the exercise will seem impossible to master. Tell yourself that this difficulty, though very real, will be resolved after an hour of diligent work.
We'll start with 2 voices, exercise 107, page 159.
- Bring out the bass played with the thumb. Then bring out the soprano played with the ring finger.
Next, 3 voices, exercise 108 page 159
- Bring out the bass played with the thumb. Then bring out the soprano played with the ring finger. Then bring out the alto played with the middle finger.
And now 4 voices, exercise 109 page 159
- Bring out the bass played with the thumb. Then bring out the soprano played with the ring finger. Then bring out the alto played with the middle finger. Finally bring out the tenor played by the index finger.
Once you've managed to bring out a single note in a chord, you've got it beaten!
The easiest thing to start with is to bring out the bass with the thumb.
It can help to exaggerate the movement of whichever finger is plucking more strongly than the others, as I demonstrate on this video.
There are other ways of distinguishing one voice from another. You can apply a different articulation to one voice from that applied to another. For instance, you might play one voice staccato and the other legato. You can also distinguish voices by varying the timbre of each voice. For example, you could play the bass with the flesh of the thumb and the other voices with the nails. We'll see these other techniques in the next lessons.
Today we'll look at 5 pieces.
- page 18 Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
This piece in two sections is based on a sequence of 4 chords: D minor, C major, D minor, A major.
This sequence of 4 chords is repeated in bars 5 to 8, with the last two chords both incorporated into bar 7, in order to be able to finish on the tonic in bar 8, with a chord of D minor. Luys de Narvàez made use of the same contracting together of two chords in bar 7 of his Diferencias sobre guardame las vacas (previous lesson).
As for the rhythm, in the first section, bars 1 to 24, the beat is divided into 4 eighth notes (quavers). In the second section, bars 25 to 64, the beat is divided into 3 eighth notes (quavers). The tempo remains the same, with the overall length of a bar switching from a half note (minim) to a dotted quarter note (dotted crotchet).
Feel free to improvise on this sequence of 4 chords.
- page 46 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Menuet Anh. 132
This is a minuet with two voices, in the binary form (AABB). The minuet here is in E minor. The first part concludes in the key of the relative major, G major. The second part concludes in the main key, E minor.
- page 76 Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856) Ländler opus 12 n°1
A Ländler based on 3 chords, A major, D major and E major (the three bass strings of the guitar). It's easy to make it ring out. The 3 eighth notes (quavers) which start the Ländler can be played freely, without strict tempo. This will help to emphasise (by contrast) the stability of the tempo from bar 9.
I ask you first to work on all these exercises and tunes for a week and then to upload your recordings of:
- page 159 Delcamp Polyhponie N°109
- page 18 Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
- page 108 Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja
I thank Geoff (GeoffB) who has helped in the translation of my lessons into English.
Exam qualifying submissions: :
Delcamp Polyhponie N°109
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja
It's a little early for this lesson's recordings but I thought it might be helpful to submit a slowed down section from Wascha Mesa. Of course it will only be helpful if I've got the rhythm right so someone please let me know if it's wrong! I haven't put in the repeats and there is the odd wrong note (an extra bass note in bar 46 and a wrong bass note in bar 49) but I thought it might help someone.
At the moment I'm rather more worried about El Postillon . I'm not sure why I am struggling so much. I think it's mostly because it's unlike most pieces I've played before, the majority of which have been study/arpeggio pieces. Which I guess should be a good reason to try harder with it.
Gabriel, the recordings sound great and it's good to see that you've managed to get a camera working. Both songs sound very accomplished, with no obvious weak points and some good dynamics in both. The only piece of constructive criticism I can think of is that you could bring out the last few descending notes in the final chords of El Postillon?
I was hoping to do my recordings this weekend, but was too busy with other stuff!
Goran, my only comment, other than how well you handled the shifts into the higher positions, is that something sounded a little out of tune, which was a shame. I'm very impressed that you've had time to record the Bach. I've struggled with the required pieces in this lesson, as the videos below amply demonstrate. They really need a lot more work. The 'glitch' around 1:23 in Wascha Mesa (not long after one of several spurious notes at 1:17) isn't an edit by the way!
Sorry to not have commet you earlier
-Washa mesa it's well played. Perhaps measure 24 , there is somethings. The fermata could be more marked and the associate rest note (D) not sure is respected. The secon part would require some more of practice, but actually the all piece it's already musical
-El postillon : really need more pratice. Actually the reading is correct and you managed to play it completely It isn't a easy one
Perhaps, you could take care of several basse note value (string damping) especially for quaver basse which could be stop. It would be more legibility
-Polyphony : More marked on the first chords than the last, but it's well done
Pentti Kotilainen wrote: Here are some hasty recordings.
Well done Pentti
Washa mesa and El postillon both need some more practice but are in good way
Becarful in El postillon to well respect the doted eigthth note for example measure 2, 4 and 5 there're all too short or had forget their dots