Sor head !

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Philosopherguy
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Re: Sor head !

Post by Philosopherguy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:00 am

To my mind, you are over-thinking this piece. Each individual chord is supposed to ring together. The exception to this "letting ring" is that you have to mute notes that will not sound good with the next chord.

If you look at bar 7, up top it has a quarter rest and just below that is an eighth rest, so the math does add up. You play beat one(c), then beat one-and(g), then beat 2(e), the beat 2-and(c). Then the next chord in the bar is played the same way: 3(d) then 3-and(c). 4(f#) then 4-and(c). 4 beats in the bar.

This is very clean notation compared with some! I don't think, in music, we have to be too literal with all note values, especially with the guitar which is a very romantically played instrument in comparison to some others. These are open to experience with what sounds "right" and good taste.

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BellyDoc
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Re: Sor head !

Post by BellyDoc » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:10 am

This is opus 60 number 9, and it's one that I play frequently. Numbers 8 and 9 in this opus are particularly fun for me because I play them fully respecting the stem-down = p, stem-up = i/m technique, and I really enjoy this.

I have my own interpretation of perhaps a reason that particular measure (7) appears to be notated differently, and it has to do with Sor's technique of the thumb. Granted - I'm a beginner musician, studying outside of a formal academic environment so my "interpretation" is really the impression I get by performing a sort of amateur intellectual exercise of reading between the musical lines. I think I've probably branded myself as a little bit of a nut job because of how I've been approaching Sor's studies, so take that into account.

My thinking is that one of Sor's goals with this exercise and the one preceding it was to have the student experience the use of the thumb, it's different tonal quality, and it's particular quirks of control. For me, the challenge has been to have a dynamic difference between a strong bass note that sustains appropriately, while playing a softer middle voice also with thumb. In several places the middle voice is shared by a thumb and then an index, and experiencing and controlling those tonal differences has been valuable to me.

To me, then, the use of eighth notes vs. quarter notes isn't just about acknowledging a length of sustain - because we already let these notes ring. It's a dynamic difference. Getting into the mindset that measure 7 is to played with notes that would ring longer is a sneaky way of inducing a crescendo.

Anyhow, that's how I play it, and I like the way it sounds! Your mileage may vary. :)
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geoff-bristol
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Re: Sor head !

Post by geoff-bristol » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:02 pm

Ok - thanks all - and thanks B-D - interesting. I do not want to sound too clinical - I do not play that way at all.
Is there recording of it here somewhere - I would be interested to hear it played.

PeteJ
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Re: Sor head !

Post by PeteJ » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:34 pm

I cannot see what you mean. All the notes that should have tails have them and the parts are clearly distinguished. Where is the problem? I seem to be missing something.

The only potential oddity I see is the single crotchet rest in bar which (being pedantic) should perhaps have a rest for each of the top parts.

Rasputin
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Re: Sor head !

Post by Rasputin » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:21 pm

I think it was all cleared up except for the question of why the second half of bar 7 and the first half of bar 8 are notated differently. Obviously you'd think that this is supposed to indicate some difference in how they are supposed to be played, but it's hard to see what this could be.

PeteJ
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Re: Sor head !

Post by PeteJ » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:20 am

Bar 7 is notated perfectly. Ignore the other parts and just examine the middle part and you'll see that that it is notated clearly and correctly. The crotchets are crotchets and the quaver is a quaver.

If you still don't get it then I'd suggest trying to write some simple music. You soon learn why things are done in a certain way when you have to do it yourself.

PeteJ
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Re: Sor head !

Post by PeteJ » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:24 am

BellyDoc wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:10 am
This is opus 60 number 9, and it's one that I play frequently. Numbers 8 and 9 in this opus are particularly fun for me because I play them fully respecting the stem-down = p, stem-up = i/m technique, and I really enjoy this.
Hmm. I fear that you're respecting an idea that is wrong. The direction of the stems has nothing to do with how the notes are fingered. The bass line is usually stems down but then so are many other notes, and you can play the bass line with your nose if it works.

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Sor head !

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:25 am

geoff-bristol wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:02 pm
Ok - thanks all - and thanks B-D - interesting. I do not want to sound too clinical - I do not play that way at all.
Is there recording of it here somewhere - I would be interested to hear it played.
In the thread [goto=]viewtopic.php?f=1&t=109053[/goto], we all posted our recordings of Sor Opus 60, #9. Unfortunately, it is not trivial to search through the entire thread. We are working on that problem (but it will not help for the past).
Yisrael van Handel
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Rasputin
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Re: Sor head !

Post by Rasputin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:33 am

n.m. Irritable this morning...

BellyDoc
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Re: Sor head !

Post by BellyDoc » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:54 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:24 am
BellyDoc wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:10 am
This is opus 60 number 9, and it's one that I play frequently. Numbers 8 and 9 in this opus are particularly fun for me because I play them fully respecting the stem-down = p, stem-up = i/m technique, and I really enjoy this.
Hmm. I fear that you're respecting an idea that is wrong. The direction of the stems has nothing to do with how the notes are fingered. The bass line is usually stems down but then so are many other notes, and you can play the bass line with your nose if it works.
Your concern that this is a misguided endeavor is noted, and is probably not wrong! So I appreciate that you haven't utterly flamed me for my comment!

I wouldn't rate my comment as "advice" as I'm far too much of a beginner to have anything more than a single person's experiential perspective. That said, I really do enjoy what I'm doing, and plan to continue.

I would argue that there are two separate questions that deserve not to be crushed into one. The first is whether or not the stem interpretations are intentional, and the second/separate question is whether or not there's any value in paying attention to them even if they are.

With regard to the first question, my reading leads me to conclude that these were intentional indications based on the technique of that time, and that Sor's compositions remain at least compatible with it. Also, stem indications in modern prints appear to faithfully repeat what I can find from much older images files such as what are available on this site so I consider the information well preserved. Again, I'm not a scholar on this topic and I would be happy to be directed to any readings that offer dissenting opinions, but I do feel as though I'm picking up on the intentions of the composer.

Is there any genuine value to pursuing this, even if I'm correct? For that question, I'm not at all qualified to answer. I suspect that, at a minimum, if it adds to my enthusiasm to engage the music and play my guitar, it has value. Is it the road to excellence? At 51 years old, and having been playing earnestly for 2 years, I have modest expectations. As a matter of personal testimonial, I'm very pleased with the technical progress I've made in the time that I've had so far, and I do specifically enjoy the musical result I get from this particular technical aspect of my playing.

For me, these beginning studies of Sor are like brilliant little sparkling jewels. Musically beautiful, emotionally pure and innocent, each piece seems to build upon the lessons of the preceding ones in an incremental way. I feel as though the stem indicators are part of that. They may or may not represent the easiest or most modern/logical way to play the notes, but they represent interesting challenges put forth by the master. I feel as though he had teaching points he wanted to make by challenging the student to coordinate in a certain way, or to experience and learn to control the differences in tone created by thumb vs. fingers. Could the teaching point be "modernized" by interpreting that it's easier to learn these fingering alternatives on simple studies so that they're in the tool box of techniques when, later on, they may make a bigger difference? Again... I'm not qualified to answer. I'm just having giddy fun with it!

... so ... yeah... maybe I'm a little nutty about this. I'll own up to that. My entire awakening to musical interpretation and expression is an experiment in being a little nutty. The rest of my life is so serious... I needed balance. ;)
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Sir Isaac Newton

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PeteJ
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Re: Sor head !

Post by PeteJ » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:41 am

I'm not sure I grasp what's happening here. You're free to play the pieces as you like, of course, but the direction of stems is not a safe guide to fingering. The inner parts may (and usually will) also have stems down. The usual practice is to play the bass-line with the thumb, not all the notes with stems down.

If the music is in more than two parts on one stave, as it usually is for Sor, then clearly the inner parts will have to share the same stem-direction with the bass and treble parts. You'll tie yourself in knots trying to play all the stems-down with the your thumb, and it won't make musical sense. Sor is not unusual in this respect but uses the same conventions as everyone else.

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Sor head !

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:21 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:41 am
You're free to play the pieces as you like, of course, but the direction of stems is not a safe guide to fingering.
Pete, Sor did use stem-down to indicate that the thumb should be used. You will find exceptions, such as when there are two notes with stems down. I am in the office now, and do not have a really good example to point to. But if you look at Opus 31, #12, the lower note of the thirds and sixths have the stem pointing down. Sor definitely meant them to be played with thumb and index finger. Obviously, if there is a lower note in the chord, it should be played with the thumb. But even if the lower note is on the second string, Sor meant for it to be played with the thumb if the stem is down. In Op 31, #19, the 4 1/32 notes are meant to be played by alternating thumb and index finger, even though they are on the first string.
This is radically different from modern fingering. However, if you read the Sor Method, you will see the differences (and similarities) between Sor and modern methods.
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Rasputin
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Re: Sor head !

Post by Rasputin » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:14 pm

Yes, of course Sor intended notes with stems going both up and down to be played simultaneously with p and i, as a way of working on RH coordination.

PeteJ
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Re: Sor head !

Post by PeteJ » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:15 pm

Erm, no, that's not it. The direction of the stem is not an instruction for fingering. It indicates which part the note belongs to. Usually the lowest part is played by the thumb but it's not a rule and you can play the tune (all with stems up) with your thumb if it works. Generally it's the bassline that is played with the thumb, not all the notes with stems down. The latter approach would tie your RH in knots.

Yisrael - Sor uses down-stems to indicate the part, as do all composers. This is just the convention. If he writes in three parts on the one stave then the middle part will have stems down and will not be played with the thumb. If we try to play Sor using our thumb on all the down-stems we'll find it impossible.

Sor may have given instructions additional to the score for some didactic pieces, but these are additional. If we split Sor's stave into three or four individual parts then all the notes below the centre of the stave would have stems down, and this would have nothing to do with fingering.

Where a note has both up and down stems this indicates that the note belongs in two parts, one of which may be the bass.

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Re: Sor head !

Post by Rasputin » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:58 pm

He also believed that the combination imapimp should be avoided lest the darker corners of our mind should latch onto it and lead us downward into the world of vice (stroke gangsta rap).

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