Expression

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Tonit
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Re: Expression

Post by Tonit » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:24 pm

ronjazz wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:40 pm
Tonit wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:09 pm
ronjazz wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:03 pm
Just a couple: in the little Dm Bach Prelude, Segovia pauses before the E7b9/G# as well as before the Fmaj7 with the 4th-finger barre; neither of these pauses is necessary nor musical, but probably a habit "practiced" into his interpretation.
It's G sharp diminised and not E7b9/G# that I note for the sake of confusion among the visitors.

It makes sense to rit (or pause if you like) here as it is the transitional point to Am key for a while. Like we tend to (but not always) ritardando on JSB's transposition points.

Also, the root of root-position F major seven chord (as in pop chord symbol) is the lowest note before it gets to E pedal. So that it also makes sense here to pause/ritardando to mark the point when the bass has started moving from the pedal and finally arriving at the lowest note.

This is what comes to my head as I see the performance.

Cheers,
It's an E7b9 that LOOKS like a diminished, it's function is to go to the Am, and there is no expressive need to pause because of a modulation, especially since the melody is in the bass. If anything, the slight pause should be on the A following the E7b9, since that's where the melody "settles".
No without the root E.

It is not any issue analyzing a baroque piece with jazz harmonies, but only when it is properly done.

The jazz answer is, you can only "substitute" the ascending dim7 chords with V7 of the target, or further extend it to iim7(b5)/V7 or otherwise which in turn can be subed by the original dim7 with any of the dim7 constituent note in its bass.

Besides, you can ask about your "V7(b9) of Vm7" chord in the context of BWV999 Prelude composed in the Baroque era among classically trained musicians. It should be analyzed as:

" i (new key): vii o7"

and so in this case

" a: vii o7"

Furthermore, it is widely believed that, JSB was not aware of any "cadence" principle that was established by J.P. Rameu.

If you see what it means, JSB was not aware of any dominant-tonic motion ie V-I when composing, even though the analysis results suggest JSB musics mostly follow the principle.

And IMPO, this aspect (composing freely without cadence awareness) has been contributing to the long lasting charm of JSB compositions unlike those overly abundant cadence-based ones.

Having said all that, it goes without saying that, your own interpretation and musicality behind it should be championed (i.e. should allow nobody to prevent those from being exactly expressed by yourself).

Cheers,

Luis_Br
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Re: Expression

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:54 am

ronjazz wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:40 pm
Unfortunately, on our instrument, "expression" was set by Segovia, and it all too often included ritards and rubato where technical difficulties existed, rather than as expressive devices.
I am not quite sure this is exactly the point. I don't like his Bach very much either, but there are more difficult passages in the Torroba's sonatina he does not include the rubato/ritards. Maybe a bad habit, developed from an overall concept of technique? I don't know...
I agree modern players generally have more agility to play faster with more fluidity in a general concept. But a lot of modern players generally have weak vibrato and they almost do not use them, which makes LH playing by far easier. Right hand almost do not move at all. At the end they cannot achieve the same dynamic and sound varaiety and contrast, which is also a matter of technique.

Rognvald
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Re: Expression

Post by Rognvald » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:51 pm

"And IMPO, this aspect (composing freely without cadence awareness) has been contributing to the long lasting charm of JSB compositions unlike those overly abundant cadence-based ones.

Having said all that, it goes without saying that, your own interpretation and musicality behind it should be championed (i.e. should allow nobody to prevent those from being exactly expressed by yourself).

Cheers," Tonit



Very nicely stated, Tonit! Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Tonit
Posts: 585
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Re: Expression

Post by Tonit » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:44 am

Rognvald wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:51 pm
"And IMPO, this aspect (composing freely without cadence awareness) has been contributing to the long lasting charm of JSB compositions unlike those overly abundant cadence-based ones.

Having said all that, it goes without saying that, your own interpretation and musicality behind it should be championed (i.e. should allow nobody to prevent those from being exactly expressed by yourself).

Cheers," Tonit



Very nicely stated, Tonit! Playing again . . . Rognvald
For the benefit of doubt, the "cadence" here in the context obviously is a harmonic one. There is also kind of melodic "cadence" that he obviously followed.

And as an additional note, what I think is important is the definition of "breaking the rule".

One of the premises to do so include knowing the rule we are breaking.

We could arbitrary interpret any tune and "express" ourselves therewith for sure.

It's a complete freedom after all.

But (as always)... You are free and that is why you are lost - Kafka

Our conviction of how we go about demolishing it would be by far stronger when we knew it.

So that it's like we would be boxing sharper (or more daringly if you like) with it, delivering blows at wherever they work the most on the opponent (i.e. the rules).

And so, it is equally important to explore, when we prefer a certain way of expression that goes against the ordinary, why you prefer in that way, what is behind your breaking the rule.

It becomes a great starting point to further explore our inner galaxy as well as outer one.

Cheers,
Last edited by Tonit on Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

amade
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Re: Expression

Post by amade » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:23 pm

ronjazz wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:40 pm
Unfortunately, on our instrument, "expression" was set by Segovia, and it all too often included ritards and rubato where technical difficulties existed, rather than as expressive devices. The recent posting on youtube of Segovia's 1954 Paris videos really show us that even at his height, he managed to break the musical line by being too careful or insecure with his technique. There are musical places where expression of rubato or rhythmic fluidity really is expressive; Segovia did not always choose those spots. Williams didn't possess the same fear of difficult passages as Segovia, it would appear, and some have decided that he is, because of his technical mastery, too academic or purist in his approach. Some may regard him as "staid", in spite of the remarkable energy and forward motion he brings to Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. I would posit that advances in technique allow us to hear the music more as any composer intended, rather than through a prism of struggle.
Thank you for this paragraph of common sense, at least as it is understood by the musical world outside what Julian Bream referred to as the "guitar ghetto." But beyond this, If one analyzes the phrasing in many Segovia's transcriptions, for example, the courante from Bach's Cello Suite #3, one cannot find any consistent musical rhetoric resembling that found in that broader professional world. Whether it be Horowitz, Heifitz, Richter, Menuhin, or Gould, consistent principles of phrasing are apparent (each with his own individual qualities). This is also true of the phrasing principles used by guitarists such as Williams, Bream and Parkening. Of course not all of Segovia's performances have such arbitrary phrasing; some performances utilize these principles to great effect, for example, one of Segovia's later renditions of Granados's 'La maja de Goya.' But there are many examples where one encounters an almost chaotic approach to phrasing (and tone color), particularly in the early part of his career. I think it unwise to deprecate these performances, as the approach may be grounded in tendencies found in modernist art and music concurrent with Segovia's formative years. It is an interesting way to hear Segovia's more idiosyncratic interpretations. But one should probably be cautious about imitating them.
DJB

Rognvald
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Re: Expression

Post by Rognvald » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:34 pm

"But there are many examples where one encounters an almost chaotic approach to phrasing (and tone color), particularly in the early part of his career. I think it unwise to deprecate these performances, as the approach may be grounded in tendencies found in modernist art and music concurrent with Segovia's formative years. It is an interesting way to hear Segovia's more idiosyncratic interpretations. But one should probably be cautious about imitating them." Amade


Very well said, Amade! When one listens to a developing player/artist on any instrument, there are always creative meanderings that are a necessary part of this development. And, in the case of a musical genius like Segovia, they must have been both practiced and improvisational. Are these not necessary elements for artistic growth? Can a musician be creative and personal in his/her music without these spiritual/intellectual avenues? Much of the bad(in my opinion) but technically correct music played by our generation of "Music Machines" is directly the result of a penchant for technical exactitude and devotion to the written notes. When we play, for better or worse, we must express our musical personality or we will be delegated to the halls of technically exact elevator music created for braid dead automatons. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. As an aside, I have often leafed through music/literary manuscripts from over 20 years ago and read my notations which, at the time, seemed creative and expressive but today after 20 plus years of personal evolution would not work for me now as they did then. My hope is that as a musician/writer, I will continue to evolve. Imagined perfection is Death of the Soul.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

claudiabarton
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Re: Expression

Post by claudiabarton » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:52 pm

Part of the best performances sometimes seem to come from a player who engages with something nebulous, like the spirit behind the piece of music - it is hard to explain what I mean, but sometimes I hear someone playing and I can tell they're transported to some other place, almost a sort of mystical thing, lol...
"I hired a coach to take me from confusion to the plane..."

Rognvald
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Re: Expression

Post by Rognvald » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:24 pm

claudiabarton wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:52 pm
Part of the best performances sometimes seem to come from a player who engages with something nebulous, like the spirit behind the piece of music - it is hard to explain what I mean, but sometimes I hear someone playing and I can tell they're transported to some other place, almost a sort of mystical thing, lol...

Exactly, Claudia,
And this, for me, is what the best music does for both the musician and the listener. I once attended a CG concert by the guitarist Paul Moeller. He was 21, I think, at the time and when the concert ended, I sat in my seat for at least ten minutes absorbing the beauty of his very expressive musical message. I also had that feeling when I saw the late Jazz tenor saxophonist--Gene Ammons live at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago in the 70's before his untimely death. This is the real meaning of Music and this is what the best musicians can do for your soul. Thanks for your reply. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

claudiabarton
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Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 4:41 pm

Re: Expression

Post by claudiabarton » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:38 am

Happy you are playing - and thanks for sharing some of your experiences - very uplifting thoughts to start the day!
"I hired a coach to take me from confusion to the plane..."

Luis_Br
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Re: Expression

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:18 pm

Back to the first post, several composers, specially the romantic ones, write down expression intentions. Mertz writes stuff like: tristamente, doloroso, misterioso etc. I generally spend much more time working the "expression" trying to achieve what I think would sound the way he asks, than working on simply playing cleanly the notes.
Certainly the problem is not just learning to use color or dynamics. Working to shape the phrasing intention is difficult and require a lot of work. Recording yourself is good tool, because sometimes we are so concentrated on the technique that we forget the musical result. I also think our brain kind of expect some intention and think we played it, when we actually didn't put enough expressivity. Generally when checking a recording, I discover I should enhance the dynamics and contrasts much more.
With my last teacher, we could spend a whole 1 hour lesson just working one phrase, to shape the right intention. He is a master player, to the level of a Russell or Barrueco, nontheless he showed me how he also recorded more than a hundred takes from some piece phrasing, until he could achieve the kind of expression he was satisfied with.
I think someone posted tihs Stiedl masterclass somewhere in the forum. I think this is a good example how someone who already plays technically well could work to enhance the expressivity of musical intentions.



I agree with Pavel and this is also what I miss in a lot of players. Instead of pure technique, the ability to give good expression to the piece is what makes a first class player.

Rognvald
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Expression

Post by Rognvald » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:37 pm

Luis_Br wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:18 pm
Back to the first post, several composers, specially the romantic ones, write down expression intentions. Mertz writes stuff like: tristamente, doloroso, misterioso etc. I generally spend much more time working the "expression" trying to achieve what I think would sound the way he asks, than working on simply playing cleanly the notes.
Certainly the problem is not just learning to use color or dynamics. Working to shape the phrasing intention is difficult and require a lot of work. Recording yourself is good tool, because sometimes we are so concentrated on the technique that we forget the musical result. I also think our brain kind of expect some intention and think we played it, when we actually didn't put enough expressivity. Generally when checking a recording, I discover I should enhance the dynamics and contrasts much more.
With my last teacher, we could spend a whole 1 hour lesson just working one phrase, to shape the right intention. He is a master player, to the level of a Russell or Barrueco, nontheless he showed me how he also recorded more than a hundred takes from some piece phrasing, until he could achieve the kind of expression he was satisfied with.
I think someone posted tihs Stiedl masterclass somewhere in the forum. I think this is a good example how someone who already plays technically well could work to enhance the expressivity of musical intentions.



I agree with Pavel and this is also what I miss in a lot of players. Instead of pure technique, the ability to give good expression to the piece is what makes a first class player.



Great post, Luis!
A picture, is indeed, worth a thousand words and this is why having musical examples with commentary is so important to these discussions. A few ideas from Pavel:
1. Play like a cello, not a percussion instrument
2. You must understand the music/period to play it well
3. The music needs to breathe
4. Pay attention to what is written for clues to its musical development
The other interesting aspect of the video, for me, was that the young student was a technically good player but like many "music machines" today lacked musicality. For many good musicians, musicality is instinctive. But the question remains--can a truly natural musicality really be taught and, if so, would it be discernible to the educated listener or fellow musicians? Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Luis_Br
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Re: Expression

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:38 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:37 pm
But the question remains--can a truly natural musicality really be taught and, if so, would it be discernible to the educated listener or fellow musicians? Playing again . . . Rognvald
When you listen to a top musician, can you guess whether he is playing instinctively or everything is coldly calculated and carefully rehearsed? I think you would be surprised.
I think musicality can be taught, and some people can learn it fast, others will take time and hard work. The same with mechanical technique, it can be taught but certainly those who have natural predisposition will have some advantages.

Rognvald
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Expression

Post by Rognvald » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:06 pm

Luis_Br wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:38 pm
Rognvald wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:37 pm
But the question remains--can a truly natural musicality really be taught and, if so, would it be discernible to the educated listener or fellow musicians? Playing again . . . Rognvald
When you listen to a top musician, can you guess whether he is playing instinctively or everything is coldly calculated and carefully rehearsed? I think you would be surprised.
I think musicality can be taught, and some people can learn it fast, others will take time and hard work. The same with mechanical technique, it can be taught but certainly those who have natural predisposition will have some advantages.

In a general sense, Luis, this is, perhaps, true. But, when I listen to guitarists like Ricardo Gallen, Judicael Perroy, Roland Dyens, Marcin Dylla, Fabio Zanon, Eduardo Fernandez, the Assad Brothers and father Segovia... all bets are off. There is a magic there that cannot be taught in a classroom or by a teacher . . . much as an especially beautiful rose that stands out among others in a well-tended flower garden. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Luis_Br
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Re: Expression

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:50 pm

Fabio Zanon had musicalization lessons at early age by a renowned teacher here in this area, who had a lot of students with strong musicality. As everything, I think there is a genetic factor, but also an environmental one.
I just think we can more or less compare with other teachings, such as mechanical technique. It is certainly difficult to teach someone in a short period, to become an amazing musician, with great expression and musicality such as those you mentioned. The same way it is difficult to teach someone to become a technical virtuoso. But the same way, there are exercises to excite and improve musicality, creativity etc.

Rognvald
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Expression

Post by Rognvald » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:21 pm

Luis_Br wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:50 pm
Fabio Zanon had musicalization lessons at early age by a renowned teacher here in this area, who had a lot of students with strong musicality. As everything, I think there is a genetic factor, but also an environmental one.
I just think we can more or less compare with other teachings, such as mechanical technique. It is certainly difficult to teach someone in a short period, to become an amazing musician, with great expression and musicality such as those you mentioned. The same way it is difficult to teach someone to become a technical virtuoso. But the same way, there are exercises to excite and improve musicality, creativity etc.

Hi, Luis,
I agree. I'm planning a discussion soon about this very thing and I hope you will chime in. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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