Tag: Mendelssohn

Technical Command and Musical Knowledge



These days I have been giving this simple guidance to my students. Whenever they get stuck in their practice, they must ask themselves, “is it technical or musical?”


Technical Command means two things : 1. appropriate application of technique, and 2. sufficient command of the technique applied.


For TC 1, you must find which technical application you need to execute that certain passage, is it more of a forearm rotation or an upperarm rotation? Is it the palm grip or knuckle issue? Or are your fingers not close enough on the keys before execution? Etc etc. Or for TC 2, you have the right technical application but you have trouble in making it happen with solid control, then how are you going to fix it? Is it just about slow practice that magnifies the movement? Or is it a preparation problem, meaning you don’t prepare your hand position early enough prior to the execution of the pattern in question?


Musical Knowledge on the other hand, includes : 1. harmonic and structural analysis of the music (form, sections, phrasing, tonality, key changes, chord progression, notes: chord tones and non-chord tones, and relationships between notes i.e. intervals etc) , 2. historical background of the music (genre, the composer, and the period – other genres, philosophy, aesthetics, and other arts e.g. literature), and 3. interpretation resulted from the understanding of both 1 and 2.


I would point out MK 1 is what most need for the basic interpretation for MK 3. Without 1 there is no basis and knowledge as to where one’s performance interpretation and discretion arises from. How do you know what to do with that particular phrase or chord or note in terms of emphasis, articulation and dynamics? What do you feel and how do you present it and what is the difference when there is a minor 6th but not minor 3rd, or even, and augmented 5th? Of course, now I am pointing out a very small detail here, but always, especially when you have little experience in analyzing the music, start with something big. You start with bigger sections, then find out where each phrase starts and ends, and also the repeated /similar patterns in terms of melody and rhythm. Look for the chords especially some special sounding ones, and the cadences which define the keys and key changes. Where are the secondary dominants? The pedal points?


Let me discuss further in the next post. I think there is already a lot to digest for now. Always one step at a time.


Until then,


Teresa Wong


內在旋律線:鍵外之音

內在旋律線:鍵外之音 (Inner Voices : The Lines Between And Beyond)


大部分學生即使不只是專注於主要旋律線,也只會著眼於右手要彈奏的樂曲內容。他們忽視了左手的情況、低音音區,甚至低音線。而且很可能連內在旋律線也顧不上。

內在旋律線為甚麼這樣重要?因為它們組成了樂曲的必要元素。當我們忽視樂曲中的一部分,就不能充分表現它的內容。以拼圖為例,一幅50塊的拼圖只拼合了30塊,我們看到的會是甚麼呢?當然只是整幅圖畫的一部分,儘管是很大的部分。另一個例子是填充題。還記得小時候學習英文文法時那些填上詞語來完成句子的練習嗎?內在旋律線就是那些不見了的字。I _ _ going to _ _ _ mus_ _ m on _ _ _ day.(有時甚至是不見了的字母。)它們只是方程式的一部分,來幫助表演者和聽眾從整體上理解一篇樂曲。

要把內在聲音更圓滿地展現,就要從三個主要方面著手。


第一,用心觀看。

理解內在聲音的結構,看它們各自如何發展演進,又怎樣互相連接交流。

你不只是閱讀和觀看音在樂譜及鍵盤上的位置。

要真正明白它們在某處出現的原因。


第二,用心聆聽。

彈奏時跟隨旋律線的發展。留意每個音,把兩個音之間的空間連接起來。

要合時按下對的琴鍵,靠的不只是聆聽。

而是要用心傾聽音符在某處出現的原因。


第三,用正確的技巧展現聲音。

用心理解和聆聽後,是時候彈奏了。你要在同一時間單手彈出多過一個音時,就要用手掌來彈。要彈出一個和弦,就要感受把音往內向掌心輕輕抓住的感覺。不要用手掌按著琴鍵。準確一點說,就是不要用手掌和手指之間的關節按著琴鍵。

要用心細察雙手做出的每個動作。

專注於樂曲中的每個細節。注意手指、手掌、手腕、手肘、手臂、上身和後腰的每個動作,以及腳的重量轉移。


先聆聽內在的聲音,再把它們恰當、準確、優美地展現出來。



黃穎妍


附註:用心留意要怎樣把樂曲彈對,並彈得優美,而不是想著怎樣避免彈錯和彈得不好。

Teresa Wong: Venetian Gondola Song

April 29, 2012


Teresa Wong plays “Venetian Gondola Song” (Venetianisches Gondellied) by Felix Mendelssohn.

[qt:http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/video/gondola.m4v 640 360]

Teresa Wong

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