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What do you know about the Intensity from your teacher, textbooks, musical articles?

Do you focus on Intensity sometimes during your work on a new piece?
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How can you explain your vision of Intensity to the others?
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The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education (Read 1657 times)

Offline vladimirdounin

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Only a couple of decades ago, all the cars were very beautiful and very different from each other: a Mercedes could not be confused with a BMW, a Jaguar with a Toyota.  Nowadays, witnesses to hit and run accidents have a big challenge to identify the makes and models of cars because almost all models of all makes look practically the same.

The reason for the unification of the cars' appearance is not the lack of talent or imagination on the part of their designers but simply the dominance and supremacy of two factors: 1 – speed and 2 – money.  If an automaker wants to manufacture a car that will reach a high speed with low fuel consumption,  he/she has to make the car with a very specific shape,  because any other shape will have higher wind resistance. No one will buy a car of the same class if it has a much slower speed with a much higher fuel consumption. Who wants to pay much more for a much slower car?

However, in Music, speed and money (cost of education and preparation of new programs or songs) should not be considered to be superior to the most important factor in Music – its beauty.
Nowadays performers usually have "no own face", exactly like mentioned above cars. Their music gets faster and faster but we can not hear any thought behind these Hanon-style acrobatics on keyboard  instead of beautiful music that can touch our heart.

EVERYONE, not only people with a special gift or talent, can play beautifully. I'd like to remind the reader that for music to be played beautifully, there are three and ONLY three requirements: 1.Right Notes, 2. Right Timing and 3. the  Right Intensity, or “Personal strength” of each note.  THERE IS NOTHING ELSE.

Yes, I didn’t forget about the pedal, but this is already in the area of acoustics. We use the pedal differently if we are in a hall with a strong, long echo, as opposed to being in a hall with a very bad, dry acoustic, or even in the same hall with a lot of people in our audience as opposed to an absolutely empty hall.   In addition, the use of the pedal is always different in a slow tempo versus a fast tempo.

Thus, if you play the correct notes written by a composer, and you play these notes with accurate timing and your stressing and softening of each note is correct, you can not wish for anything better: you have played  beautifully.  Everyone, including yourself, will be pleased with your performance. However, if any of these three elements is wrong, no one will like your music, and your audiences will hint that perhaps you should play basketball, computer games, chess, but not the piano.

There is no need to explain the importance of correct notes – everyone understands this. It is a little bit more difficult to understand the idea of accuracy in Timing.  In the half century that I have been teaching, I had only one student who NEVER argued about the importance of absolute accuracy in Timing because his main job was... laying tiles.  At the beginning of our lessons I asked him if he would be paid if the tiles he lays were a bit different and not at the same distance from each other.  After this question, I never heard any protest from him, such as, for example, that his timing is good enough already, etc.

The most challenging requirement for playing beautiful music is understanding the Intensity required for each note.  Many students and performers do not realize that music is a normal human language and ALL rules of language are applicable to Music as well.  Nobody would understand and tolerate our English, French or German, if we stress the wrong vowels in the words. For example: “tomorrOw” instead of tomOrrow; “s'il vOUs plait” instead of s'il vous plAIt; or “DeutschlAnd” instead of DEUtschland.


In Music there are the same strict norms and rules of correct stressing and softening of EACH note of ANY song.  Our audience does not accept our mistakes in this field.  No one would say that he/she does not like your Intensity, of course – they would say: we don't like your music in spite of your correct notes and right timing.

From my experience, I can say that these mistakes in Intensity are not usually numerous.  Most often I can detect one to three mistakes in Intensity in a short song (3-5 pages).  However, if the student repeats these same mistakes in Intensity 20-50 times in his 3 minute-long song – it sounds really ugly.
 
The good news is that this problem is very easy to solve.  If the student knows exactly what he/she does wrong and what he/she needs to correct,  then the correction happens IMMEDIATELY and not only for one mistake but for all 20-50 mistakes in the song.  Thus, this is a very productive and impressive way to teach and learn. Thanks to this “technique of teaching”,  I have advertised, for over decades, my lessons with the following very attractive words: “Immediate result, or you DON'T pay!”

Here I invite anyone who is interested to post the link to ANY of his/her performances on YouTube in the comments section below my post. It can be ANY piece and  ANY level from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to the “Islamey” by Balakirev,    I promise to point out the same one to three of the most persistent problems in the performance and give my instructions on how to fix these problems IMMEDIATELY and for ever.

I never had a problem to help my students in “LIVE” mode. I do not believe that music is only for special, gifted people. No one needs to be “specially talented” in order to learn one’s  mother tongue.  Everyone can do it,  and it is the same with the language of music.
 
I believe that in “ON LINE” mode, my knowledge and experience should provide the same results and promise never to blame my student but only myself  if my student can not understand me and make the desired corrections.

Unfortunately,  these corrections are not free,  for you will have to pay for them by reducing your TEMPO,  the speed of performing, at least initially.  It is not your fault, and it is not the fault of my instructions.  It is because of the nature of our brain.
 
Our brain consists of at least two major parts: the “human-brain” and the inherited from dinosaurs or lizards computer-like perfectly designed and polished over millions-of-years “computer-brain”.  This “computer-brain” perfectly operates our entire body,  quite often without any control from our “human-brain”.  All dancers, hockey players, racing drivers, etc, (like we, musicians, of course) can perform perfectly only after downloading the precisely accurate, correct program from our "human-brain" into our “computer-brain”.

Unfortunately, this “computer-brain” does not like and understand the goals of our “human brain” and is  unbelievably stubborn. Therefore, we have to repeat the same,  ABSOLUTELY THE SAME action,  without any alterations, no less than 20 – 200 times, and sometimes even more, to explain our goal to our “computer-brain”.  Only after this really difficult time of  fighting with a stupid and stubborn “computer-brain” does it start to obey us at last.  Each of us should be prepared that this fight  ALWAYS  takes its time;  no one can skip this painful process.  It is only after this process of repetition of our NEW vision/hearing of the piece that we are working on that we will be able to reach the previous tempo,  played WITH A NEW QUALITY  in our art that will amaze ourselves and our listeners.  There are NO shortcuts on this way.
 
On many occasions, I performed in such a way where anyone from the audience could approach me and bring me their requests, express opinions, etc.  Here I can reveal one small but very interesting secret: For fast-tempo music (like La Campanella, Hungarian Rhapsody, mechanically very difficult  etude, waltz or polka),  the pianist can get a standing ovation and a lot of “Wows”.
However, it is only slow-tempo music that generates requests for an encore (to repeat the same song again) accompanied with a $50 - $100 bill tip.  I never met any exception to this rule. (For some of us musicians this point can be important as well.)
 
For those pianists who perform music in an ugly way, fast tempo is not a choice but a real necessity, because it is real torture for any audience to listen to their bad music.  It is obvious that short torture is much better than long torture.  The faster the tempo – the shorter the torture.  Therefore, all the bad pianists have to play as fast as they can, and they do it, as we know.
 
Everyone has to ask him/her self: am I ready to spend so much time and effort just for beauty in my performances when I can easily get high marks in exams or at competitions just for playing fast?  The MAJORITY of modern performers and students say: “No! No way,” and play exactly like the others around them play: ugly but fast.  As a result, they can hang diplomas and certificates on the wall above their piano, they and their relatives can be proud of these deceptive pieces of paper,  but they will never be really happy with their own music and will never touch the hearts of their audiences.
 
"Speed above the all" is a very wrong but a very popular idea nowadays.   Speed, however, without proper intensity, hides much of the beauty in music. This lack of emphasis on beauty is the biggest problem of modern musical performing and education. This lack of emphasis on beauty is what is contributing to the high drop-out rates of people taking music lessons, and the ever diminishing audiences for classical music today.
 

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OF MODERN MUSICAL PERFORMING AND EDUCATION
«Reply #1 on: May 22, 2017, 09:49:24 AM »
Hey, I can go with all that.  Timing and intensity are maybe more interwoven than you assume though?
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OF MODERN MUSICAL PERFORMING AND EDUCATION
«Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 02:53:23 PM »
I actually read through the first half then when you got to the the whole 'post your video' stuff I just skimmed the rest.

I disagree with the part where you said intensity is the most difficult thing to remedy.  I think timing is because it's harder to hear as a performer.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 04:36:17 PM »
Actually rach, Chopin agrees with you.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 08:31:41 AM »

Thus, if you play the correct notes written by a composer, and you play these notes with accurate timing and your stressing and softening of each note is correct, you can not wish for anything better: you have played  beautifully.  Everyone, including yourself, will be pleased with your performance.


I think your post mixes up 'beauty' and 'correctness' in a very unhappy fashion. It should be clear to anyone that there is not one simple formula for the 'correct' way of performing such complex music as, say, a Beethoven sonata. Besides, the performances that some would accept as the most 'correct' are rarely the most beautiful.


In the half century that I have been teaching, I had only one student who NEVER argued about the importance of absolute accuracy in Timing because his main job was... laying tiles.  At the beginning of our lessons I asked him if he would be paid if the tiles he lays were a bit different and not at the same distance from each other.  After this question, I never heard any protest from him, such as, for example, that his timing is good enough already, etc.


i think this is the best part of your post, and a very brilliant example of excellent teaching. My congratulations to you for coming up with such a great way of conveying the importance of timing in performance!


The most challenging requirement for playing beautiful music is understanding the Intensity required for each note.  Many students and performers do not realize that music is a normal human language and ALL rules of language are applicable to Music as well.  Nobody would understand and tolerate our English, French or German, if we stress the wrong vowels in the words. For example: “tomorrOw” instead of tomOrrow; “s'il vOUs plait” instead of s'il vous plAIt; or “DeutschlAnd” instead of DEUtschland
 

Well, again it is very easy to learn basic pronunciation in a way that will make people understand and 'tolerate' our language. However, this is not enough if you want to keep discussing beauty in performance. Many very bad actors, for example, can stress all the words in their script correctly. To be an excellent actor, achieving beauty, originality and conviction in your speech, you have to do a lot more than that.


Everyone has to ask him/her self: am I ready to spend so much time and effort just for beauty in my performances when I can easily get high marks in exams or at competitions just for playing fast? The MAJORITY of modern performers and students say: “No! No way,” and play exactly like the others around them play: ugly but fast.  
 

There is no real evidence to corroborate this statement, is there? I for one simply don't think that it is true.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 09:37:10 AM »
I woudn't say fast, certainly ugly.  You have to live life to live music.  That just doesn't happen.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 09:18:50 PM »
I think your post mixes up 'beauty' and 'correctness' in a very unhappy fashion. It should be clear to anyone that there is not one simple formula for the 'correct' way of performing such complex music as, say, a Beethoven sonata. Besides, the performances that some would accept as the most 'correct' are rarely the most beautiful.


Any 'beauty' starts with 'correctness'. The very first duty of any pianist is to play precisely a Beethoven sonata but not some Hanon exercise, Debussy or Joplin - like it usually happens. If I am in an art class and have to draw a portrait of a beautiful girl, I should not draw one of her eyes bigger than another and on different distance from her nose and three legs instead of two.

Nobody stops me from drawing some special expression of her face that came from my imagination, some unusual posture of her body, even her flight instead of standing or sitting. However, in any case I should not distort her beauty.

Maybe my point of view is too traditional but I will never forget my visit to the biggest in the world Museum of Modern Art in London UK - Tate Gallery.  This is a huge piece of land (billion of dollars value in the centre of London) covered with a glass cupola. I was the ONLY one person in the world, who was interested to look at this disgusting art (because I had no money for anything better at that time), nobody else was there. If today we are losing our audience - we are too close to Tate Gallery in Music and too far from Beethoven.
 

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 10:09:04 PM »
Well, again it is very easy to learn basic pronunciation in a way that will make people understand and 'tolerate' our language. However, this is not enough if you want to keep discussing beauty in performance. Many very bad actors, for example, can stress all the words in their script correctly. To be an excellent actor, achieving beauty, originality and conviction in your speech, you have to do a lot more than that.

We definitely 'can do a lot more than that' after we satisfied MINIMUM requirements. Unfortunately,  even this minimum is too difficult for the majority of performers. For example, some very famous pianists (not only one pianist) recorded  Mozart's "Turkish  March" instead of original "Rondo alla turca" (dance) written by Mozart  -  real military march: heavy, primitive and awkward.
I can share the feelings of comments on You Tube; "Now we know that NAME  LAST NAME could not play Mozart"

Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #8 on: May 24, 2017, 08:25:22 AM »
I am glad that you specified that the 'correctness' you are writing about is a minimum requirement, and therefore I take it not quite enough to make a performance beautiful.

Your comparison with drawing a picture is interesting. I suppose it's at least theoretically possible that a portrait of a beautiful person will be beautiful as long as it's drawn 'correctly', with the right proportions, the correct number of legs and eyes etc... ::) However, I'm not sure even here that correctness is sufficient. If instead you chose to take a photo of the girl, you could hardly accuse the result of being incorrect, but would it always be beautiful?

Even if it would, can this lesson be easily transferred to our field? The object reproduced in a musical performance (a Beethoven sonata) of course has inherent beauty, but it's not the same as human beauty, which is there for all to see. The musical work has to be realised with the help of a competent musician, playing correctly but also with a sense of timing and drama - someone able to convey the emotional content of the piece, someone with a profound knowledge of the instrument the music was written for, etc etc.

Which brings me to another thing that puzzled me with your initial post:


Nowadays performers usually have "no own face", exactly like mentioned above cars. Their music gets faster and faster but we can not hear any thought behind these Hanon-style acrobatics on keyboard  instead of beautiful music that can touch our heart.

EVERYONE, not only people with a special gift or talent, can play beautifully. I'd like to remind the reader that for music to be played beautifully, there are three and ONLY three requirements: 1.Right Notes, 2. Right Timing and 3. the  Right Intensity, or “Personal strength” of each note.  THERE IS NOTHING ELSE.
 

In other words, you find a lack of personality in today's pianists, but in the next sentence you seem to argue that the only thing required of the performer is to play the right notes with correct timing and intensity. What is it then that you are looking for when you ask for the performer's "own face"? To me, your formula for correct playing sounds like it would result in exactly the kind of unification you deplore when it comes to cars.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #9 on: May 24, 2017, 12:28:30 PM »
Sunday I was at a live performance by a local pianist. 

She has that magic sound some call touch.  She might play the same piece as other skilled performers, but for her it comes out better.  Both unsophisticated listeners and experienced musicians rave when she plays our events. 

What makes the difference?  It is subtle imperceptible differences in timing, in how notes overlap.  Obviously she plays the RIGHT note values; just as obviously these are not precisely what is notated, or she wouldn't sound so much different from everybody else. 
Tim

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #10 on: May 24, 2017, 10:01:48 PM »
Sunday I was at a live performance by a local pianist.  

She has that magic sound some call touch.  She might play the same piece as other skilled performers, but for her it comes out better.  Both unsophisticated listeners and experienced musicians rave when she plays our events.  

What makes the difference?  It is subtle imperceptible differences in timing, in how notes overlap.  Obviously she plays the RIGHT note values; just as obviously these are not precisely what is notated, or she wouldn't sound so much different from everybody else.  

Unfortunately, I did not translate my book "Secrets unknown to Music Schools"  from Russian into English - I will do it,  when somebody helps me to translate "my English" into the normal English.  One of the  chapters  is exactly on the same topic - about  mentioned by you tiny differences in timing between the notes that written on the same beat:   https://www.proza.ru/2016/07/27/869

I heard about this way to play from Neuhaus and Golubovskaya 50 years ago but detailed information: how exactly to practice to get desired delay of some notes (servants) from leading notes (queen) I knew from one student of Neuhaus' student's Yakov Zak. He recommended me to apply this technique to my La Campanella, otherwise top notes can not be as shiny as they should be.  The results changed my mind on this technique for ever.

The funny thing is that my wife played sometimes in Sun City Resort instead of me. And she did these delays under my instructions but did them too, too obvious.  However, when I did not need her substitution of me anymore and started to play there self, I encountered protests: somebody fell in love "with her angel-like TOUCH" and was very angry to listen to my "just  plain, standard  thou brilliant technique"  instead of her. (My wife was not a pianist at all,  she played perfectly only her Domra - kind of mandolin with 3 strings)

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 10:47:23 PM »
I am glad that you specified that the 'correctness' you are writing about is a minimum requirement, and therefore I take it not quite enough to make a performance beautiful.

Your comparison with drawing a picture is interesting. I suppose it's at least theoretically possible that a portrait of a beautiful person will be beautiful as long as it's drawn 'correctly', with the right proportions, the correct number of legs and eyes etc... ::) However, I'm not sure even here that correctness is sufficient. If instead you chose to take a photo of the girl, you could hardly accuse the result of being incorrect, but would it always be beautiful?

If the girl (Sonata by Beethoven) is beautiful then ANY correct,  accurate photo of her ( rendition of Sonata) should be beautiful as well automatically.  I am talking about normal, honest, respectful approach to the object in spite of the fact that some pervert can make photo  of  the girl by a hidden camera under her skirt or in dentist's chair, of course.  In case of "just correct portraying" at least NO ONE  would say that this girl or this Sonata is ugly.

At the same time, nobody stops us from enhancing the natural, initial beauty of our object. However, we must be sure that we are really smart enough for this job and really able to enhance but not to distort our object.

I'd like to remind the words of Josef Hoffman that NO ONE plays everything written by composer. He promised to point these lacks in performing to any pianist in the world.  Any good music is bottomless, we can discover new and new amazing things in the same song during whole our life.

My teacher Vladimir Nielsen played Moonlight Sonata hundreds of times. However, at his 89. he discovered suddenly that the most important feature of the 1st movement is "untroubled triplets" - they really hypnotize audience, if the melody is adjusted to them but note vice versa (triplets usually are adjusted to melody). This idea works perfectly. Many times I was asked already, how I do it?   "What is the secret?"     

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 11:03:18 PM »
I woudn't say fast, certainly ugly.  You have to live life to live music.  That just doesn't happen.

Sorry,  I did not understand your comments. Could you, please,  write the same but simpler, with more usual sentence and words.  Thank you!

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #13 on: May 24, 2017, 11:36:06 PM »


Which brings me to another thing that puzzled me with your initial post:

In other words, you find a lack of personality in today's pianists, but in the next sentence you seem to argue that the only thing required of the performer is to play the right notes with correct timing and intensity. What is it then that you are looking for when you ask for the performer's "own face"? To me, your formula for correct playing sounds like it would result in exactly the kind of unification you deplore when it comes to cars.

"Own face" means first of all that this pianist really had read text of Beethoven's Sonata and tried his/her best to understand it and bring everything he saw to his/her audience. Majority of the pianists prefer simply to copy CD of some famous performer instead  including all the mistakes of the original CD plus newly made by "copyist".  

Two pianists NEVER will see/hear in the text of the same Sonata the same music. Even I self never will play the same Sonata today in exactly the same way like I played it yesterday or 10 years ago, because today I am a different person from myself in the past. A lot of great pianists  begged recording studios to destroy their previous recordings because today they understood something new in the same pieces. (I know that "Melodia" studio could not pay salary to Vladimir Sofronitzkiy,  because he ordered them to destroy all his recordings and they did not).

Different actors read the same words of the same poem but a lot of differences can be heard  in the same text, up to opposite meaning.  The same about the Music: I  will never play like you, you will never play like me, or he/she.

After my graduation from Moscow Conservatory I still visited my friends in students' hostel. If windows were opened, I could easily say: who exactly is at home and practicing piano at the moment? Because everyone has own "handwriting" in music. We can not copy the handwriting of each other.


 We DO NOT NEED to create,  to invent  differences artificially.  We need just to be honest and do our best in our quest to understand genius.  

Offline dogperson

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 01:00:48 AM »
Just wanted to say I want to frame this part of your post:

 
..... If windows were opened, I could easily say: who exactly is at home and practicing piano at the moment? Because everyone has own "handwriting" in music. We can not copy the handwriting of each other.


 We DO NOT NEED to create,  to invent  differences artificially.  We need just to be honest and do our best in our quest to understand genius.  


Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OF MODERN MUSICAL PERFORMING AND EDUCATION
«Reply #15 on: May 25, 2017, 03:36:09 AM »
I actually read through the first half then when you got to the the whole 'post your video' stuff I just skimmed the rest.

I disagree with the part where you said intensity is the most difficult thing to remedy.  I think timing is because it's harder to hear as a performer.

If you reject an idea of video, let's talk about audio. Let me listen to your audio recording, then I will answer with my video: what did I notice in your way to play,  and how sounds my recommended variant of playing the same  bars? (This is my usual way to work with all my students).  Only  IF YOU AGREE,  that these changes are necessary and desirable FOR YOU,  I show you the way to make them.

This way is much more productive than simply words without music.

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OF MODERN MUSICAL PERFORMING AND EDUCATION
«Reply #16 on: May 25, 2017, 03:55:42 AM »
Hey, I can go with all that.  Timing and intensity are maybe more interwoven than you assume though?

Timing and Intensity are DEFINITELY interwoven - without any  "than you assume".   When I tried to publish HERE (on Pianostreet.com) some of the "Intensity Rules" in 2005, 2006,  2007,  ALL of them were based exactly ON TIMING.  Timing in the majority of cases DETERMINES the Intensity.

Listen, for example,  to the traditional way to play "Soldier March" from Schumann's "Album for the young". Usually both (and Timing and Intensity) are reversed upside down.  

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #17 on: May 25, 2017, 05:50:28 AM »
Sorry,  I did not understand your comments. Could you, please,  write the same but simpler, with more usual sentence and words.  Thank you!
Om.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline jimroof

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #18 on: June 07, 2017, 04:18:36 PM »
'EVERYONE, not only people with a special gift or talent, can play beautifully. I'd like to remind the reader that for music to be played beautifully, there are three and ONLY three requirements: 1.Right Notes, 2. Right Timing and 3. the  Right Intensity, or “Personal strength” of each note.  THERE IS NOTHING ELSE.'

I beg to differ with you on the above statement.  While from one viewpoint what you say is TRUE, that statement is like saying 'anyone can write a beautiful poem.  All they need to do is to use the right letters, in the proper place, and use proper punctuation'.

The fact is this.  Some people do not possess musical UNDERSTANDING.  They have technical skills coming out the wazoo, but they are not in touch with MUSIC as a LANGUAGE.  They can play all of their scales and arpeggios in every conceivable manner at breakneck speed... but cannot make any sense out of a simple musical phrase. 

Beautiful playing requires technique, but technique cannot make anyone capable of producing beautiful music if they have nothing to SAY with their playing. 
Chopin Ballades
Chopin Scherzos 2 and 3
Mephisto Waltz 1
Beethoven Piano Concerto 3
Schumann Concerto Am
Ginastera Piano Sonata
L'isle Joyeuse
Feux d'Artifice
Prokofiev Sonata Dm

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #19 on: June 08, 2017, 05:30:37 PM »
'EVERYONE, not only people with a special gift or talent, can play beautifully. I'd like to remind the reader that for music to be played beautifully, there are three and ONLY three requirements: 1.Right Notes, 2. Right Timing and 3. the  Right Intensity, or “Personal strength” of each note.  THERE IS NOTHING ELSE.'

I beg to differ with you on the above statement.  While from one viewpoint what you say is TRUE, that statement is like saying 'anyone can write a beautiful poem.  All they need to do is to use the right letters, in the proper place, and use proper punctuation'.

Let us check both of us statements on this topic with a simple test:
Ask anyone, who can write, to WRITE or PRINT  on the paper right letters of any poem of your choice  (Shakespeare, Shelley, Burns, etc) in proper place  with a proper punctuation. NOTHING ELSE is necessary to WRITE the SAME beautiful poem you love.  However, the same poem becomes ugly, if someone changed any letters or places of words.

Your analogy (comparison) is not accurate.  We must speak not about WRITING but about READING the poem aloud, what all performers do.

For correct performing not only right letters and right order of words are necessary but also CORRECT INTENSITY of all vowels of the words. We have no right to change proper stressing in the words.  If we pronounce yestErday instead of yEsterday, GermanY instead of GErmany,  or LondOn instead of LOndon any audience will be disgusted in spite of the great passion, the most charming voice and mimics of the performer.

This is the biggest problem of modern performing and teaching: no one teaches and researches  THE INTENSITY:  the right stressing and softening in our musical words. Some universities tried to research this problem but gave up. They came to conclusion that it is impossible to MARK intensity, therefore it is automatically impossible to research the Intensity and, of course, it is impossible to teach the Intensity. In their opinion, good performer must be BORN with the feeling of right stressing and softening in the words.

This conclusion is an obvious nonsense. No one is born with this knowledge, it comes from musical environment and education.

All these 3 statements are wrong: it POSSIBLE to mark, it is possible to research, it is possible to teach. I do it for many decades and invite everyone to do the same.

   

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: The biggest problem of modern musical performing and education
«Reply #20 on: June 08, 2017, 05:36:54 PM »

The fact is this.  Some people do not possess musical UNDERSTANDING.  They have technical skills coming out the wazoo, but they are not in touch with MUSIC as a LANGUAGE.  They can play all of their scales and arpeggios in every conceivable manner at breakneck speed... but cannot make any sense out of a simple musical phrase. 

Beautiful playing requires technique, but technique cannot make anyone capable of producing beautiful music if they have nothing to SAY with their playing. 

All these words are perfectly right: this is exactly what I am trying to say and spread.
               Thanks!

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