Phrasing and musicianship

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
DavidKH
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by DavidKH » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:31 pm

Play with a smile! Yes! I have to work on that a lot. I recently videoed myself for the first time ever using my iPhone and I looked like this was the last thing on earth I’d ever get to do. LOL!

Dirck Nagy
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Dirck Nagy » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:53 pm

Wuuthrad wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:54 am
Additionally, pieces often make me think of a story or even a mini play so to speak. ...
This works really well with some pieces, especially Romantic-era, where composers deliberately wrote "representational" music.

I also sometimes visualize the performance venue for an ideal performance. Who is the performer? Who is the audience? What does the auditorium look like? What color are the lights? Stark and bare? or crowded with eager listeners? Or are we outside in a magic garden in the twilight?

mvisscher
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by mvisscher » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:28 am

Lots of great suggestions here regarding narratives, imagination and singing...so easy to lose track of this while caught up in technique..

With guitar music, it's really important to separate the voices and isolate the melody, then you can work on phrasing each line individually before you reassemble them. This also removes the many fingering limitations of multi-voice structure and allows you to play melodies whatever string and position sounds most satisfying, which may have a huge effect on how you hear the line. Once you've worked on shaping your outer voices, try playing your bass voice while singing the melody and vice-versa...not easy when you start but you get to know your piece on a completely different level. ( and you may find yourself caught up in technique again...)

If you're a true guitar nerd you may actually find this fun...good luck.

VasquezBob
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by VasquezBob » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:00 pm

"Phrasing" is an excellent subject to fully explore. I would really like to read more comments on phrasing, as I am reading whatever I can find on the subject. I'll be 'bach' to contribute some thoughts.

Richwilly
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Richwilly » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:52 am

On a train at the moment so just a very quick reply. There are some excellent videos of interpretation masterclasses by the conductor Benjamin Zander on YouTube. You might find them very inspiring and interesting.
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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:22 pm

The following book teaches phrasing in an easy-to-understand way: Metodología de estudio para la ejecución e interpretación de la guitárra clásica by Mario Amaya Suárez. My high school Spanish (with occasional reference to a dictionary) was quite sufficient to read the book. It is available on the Internet.
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Lawler
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Lawler » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:30 pm

VasquezBob wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:00 pm
"Phrasing" is an excellent subject to fully explore. I would really like to read more comments on phrasing...
Singing the line while playing a piece when practicing was mentioned earlier. When singing the line (and it can be done with the upper voice or a lower voice), simply deciding where to take a breath can help one discover a lot about what's there in the structure of the music, phrase-wise - if you do it in a way that sounds natural in the flow of the line. Singing the line can clue you in also, in a very tactile way, to important musical figures (note groupings) in the line, and help you determine how you want to use dynamics and articulation to shape them the way that best fits the piece. All in all, a great way to get inside the music. And get the music in the head. IME when the music is in the head, playing expressively is a natural result.

Also good to understand the harmony, especially regarding cadences (which mark, in a more "official" structural sense, the ends of phrases).

CarlosSanJuanito96
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by CarlosSanJuanito96 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:59 pm

The majority of comments will definitely help you get on the right track for phrasing.

Emotion is key, I'll often listen to something that I learned to play early on in my music career and just be appalled at the complete lack of emotion - I suppose I was much to focused on the technical aspect of it. Make the audience feel what you feel (and I don't mean pre-performance jitters).

Sing through the piece absolutely. It works best for me to listen to the piece and play through it enough times that it gets stuck in my head. Then throughout the day, even when I'm not practicing, I sing through the piece and I go where my breathing, mood, and overall interpretation take me.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand trapped in awe, is as good as dead."

-Albert Einstein

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freestroke
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by freestroke » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:08 am

Wuuthrad wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:28 pm
Justfun wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:34 pm
I'm trying to model Kyuhee Park she is a master at Phrasing.
But one must think through out the piece, How would a singer sing what is written, Breath etc..

Fred
This is a very important part and I often overlook it.
If I do remember to breathe at rhythmic intervals related to the music, it has a beneficial effect on everything!
When I was first learning the Sor studies, back in 1971, Lyster Bass occasionally had me actually hum the melody or a harmony as I played them for him in our lessons, the purpose being both to teach to me to breathe (at all! lol) and let the music breathe a little along with me.
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

VasquezBob
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by VasquezBob » Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:56 am

Great ideas on phrasing. Many thanks to all. Bob

VasquezBob
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by VasquezBob » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:30 am

"Singing the line" …. first time that I've heard that suggestion and it sounds excellent, thanks to Lawler. I'm not sure what way is best when there are no words but, I will try sol-fa and also, 'la, la, la', I guess. Should be fun.

Wuuthrad
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:00 am

VasquezBob wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:30 am
"Singing the line" …. first time that I've heard that suggestion and it sounds excellent, thanks to Lawler. I'm not sure what way is best when there are no words but, I will try sol-fa and also, 'la, la, la', I guess. Should be fun.
Excellent idea! I find a simple "Ah" or "Oh" also works when I'm devoid of any lyrical inspirations, which is quite a bit too often.

Sometimes I will sing to my dog, as she's often my only audience when practicing, and she seems to remember pieces and certainly appreciates her name being sung.

Music does soothe the savage beast after al!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

VasquezBob
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by VasquezBob » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:42 pm

I was trying to explain phrasing to a friend today by using the "ABC song". I hope that I got the 'emPHAsis" correct; and, we also used a melisma at the end. Fun stuff.

VasquezBob
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Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by VasquezBob » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:35 pm

Wuuthrad wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:00 am
VasquezBob wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:30 am
"Singing the line" …. first time that I've heard that suggestion and it sounds excellent, thanks to Lawler. I'm not sure what way is best when there are no words but, I will try sol-fa and also, 'la, la, la', I guess. Should be fun.
Excellent idea! I find a simple "Ah" or "Oh" also works when I'm devoid of any lyrical inspirations, which is quite a bit too often.

Sometimes I will sing to my dog, as she's often my only audience when practicing, and she seems to remember pieces and certainly appreciates her name being sung.

Music does soothe the savage beast after al!
Thanks for the suggestions, BobV

VasquezBob
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:54 pm

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by VasquezBob » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:36 pm

Lawler wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:30 pm
VasquezBob wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:00 pm
"Phrasing" is an excellent subject to fully explore. I would really like to read more comments on phrasing...
Singing the line while playing a piece when practicing was mentioned earlier. When singing the line (and it can be done with the upper voice or a lower voice), simply deciding where to take a breath can help one discover a lot about what's there in the structure of the music, phrase-wise - if you do it in a way that sounds natural in the flow of the line. Singing the line can clue you in also, in a very tactile way, to important musical figures (note groupings) in the line, and help you determine how you want to use dynamics and articulation to shape them the way that best fits the piece. All in all, a great way to get inside the music. And get the music in the head. IME when the music is in the head, playing expressively is a natural result.

Also good to understand the harmony, especially regarding cadences (which mark, in a more "official" structural sense, the ends of phrases).
Thanks for the suggestions, BobV

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