Learning to improvise

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nickenator, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. phittle

    phittle Pianissimo User

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    I worked with a tenor player early on who advised…."if you can sing it….you can play it"….He always told me to learn the lyrics to a tune as part of the process of learning the tune….Definitely helps as you progress from playing licks to actually making statements and communicating with the other players on the bandstand.
     
  2. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Phittle sez:
    "He always told me to learn the lyrics to a tune as part of the process of learning the tune".
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    Damned! I thought I was the only one that did that! I'll have students to learn the lyrics and to understand what they mean. It's our job is to interpret what the composer wants. We need to know the story and how that story can be sung through the horn. Buy that tenor player a Coke!
    Dr.Mark
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    You're not alone by any means here Dr. Mark. Eddie Brookshire, our quintet leader insists that when we are playing music with lyrics that we play reading the words not the notes. His interpretation is that the notes are only a fair attempt at graphing out the true rhythm of the piece. In fact he states that the concept of making rigid time holds a musician back, and that all music should be written without making the beats in a measure.
     
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    If there are lyrics, the instrumentalists certainly should adapt the lyrics' phrasing to how the music is played. I've never realized the timing (speed) of a song has that much to do with the set number of beats in a measure or the value of each note. IMO some of this came about only by laziness of composers who didn't want to show all the sharps, flats, and naturals or count tied simple marks. Yeah, I'd possibly become blinder counting a sixty-forth note "tick marks"(which to my knowledge I've never played, or been able to play precisely), but when such was tied 64 times to match what is now a quarter/quaver/crochet note I'd hope I had some other interest than music. Still, the question that remains is: what is the actual duration time of the beat for a quarter/quaver/crochet note? Given a quarter note = 120 the actual duration time of a quarter note beat is only a half second in western music vis BPM. Could this change throughout a song? Certainly, but show me the printed music where such is annotated. All this said, a conductor can perform music however he/she interprets it, or likewise however a small band agrees to play it, fast or slow.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Notation marking changes in tempo are all over the place in classical music: Basic Tempo Markings

    Tempo refers to the rate of speed at which a piece of music it to be played.
    Basic tempo markings

    All of these markings are based on a few root words. By adding an -issimo ending the word is amplified/made louder, by adding an -ino ending the word is diminished/made softer, and by adding an -etto ending the word is endeared. The metronome marks are broad approximations. Note: Metronome markings are a guide only and depending on the time signature and the piece itself, these figures may not be appropriate in every circumstance.

    Larghissimo — very, very slow (20 bpm and below)
    Grave — slow and solemn (20–40 bpm)
    Lento — slowly (40–60 bpm)
    Largo — broadly (40–60 bpm)
    Larghetto — rather broadly (60–66 bpm)
    Adagio — slow and stately (literally, "at ease") (66–76 bpm)
    Adagietto — rather slow (70–80 bpm)
    Andante moderato — a bit slower than andante
    Andante — at a walking pace (76–108 bpm)
    Andantino – slightly faster than andante
    Moderato — moderately (108–120 bpm)
    Allegretto — moderately fast (but less so than allegro)
    Allegro moderato — moderately quick (112–124 bpm)
    Allegro — fast, quickly and bright (120–168 bpm)
    Vivace — lively and fast (≈140 bpm) (quicker than allegro)
    Vivacissimo — very fast and lively
    Allegrissimo — very fast
    Presto — very fast (168–200 bpm)
    Prestissimo — extremely fast (more than 200bpm)

    Additional Terms:

    A piacere — the performer may use his own discretion with regard to tempo and rhythm; literally "at pleasure"[4]
    L'istesso tempo or Lo stesso tempo — at the same speed
    Tempo comodo — at a comfortable (normal) speed
    Tempo di... — the speed of a ... (such as Tempo di valse (speed of a waltz), Tempo di marcia (speed of a march))
    Tempo giusto — at a consistent speed, at the 'right' speed, in strict tempo
    Tempo semplice — simple, regular speed, plainly

    Terms for change in tempo

    Composers may use expressive marks to adjust the tempo:

    Accelerando — speeding up (abbreviation: accel.)
    Allargando — growing broader; decreasing tempo, usually near the end of a piece
    Calando — going slower (and usually also softer)
    Doppio movimento — double speed
    Lentando — gradual slowing and softer
    Meno mosso — less movement or slower
    Mosso — movement, more lively, or quicker, much like più mosso, but not as extreme
    Più mosso — more movement or faster
    Precipitando — hurrying, going faster/forward
    Rallentando — gradual slowing down (abbreviation: rall.)
    Ritardando — less gradual slowing down (more sudden decrease in tempo than rallentando; abbreviation: rit. or more specifically, ritard.)
    Ritenuto — slightly slower; temporarily holding back. (Note that the abbreviation for ritenuto can also be rit. Thus a more specific abbreviation is riten. Also sometimes ritenuto does not reflect a tempo change but a character change instead.)
    Rubato — free adjustment of tempo for expressive purposes
    Stretto — in faster tempo, often near the conclusion of a section. (Note that in fugal compositions, the term stretto refers to the imitation of the subject in close succession, before the subject is completed, and as such, suitable for the close of the fugue. Used in this context, the term is not necessarily related to tempo.)
    Stringendo — pressing on faster (literally "tightening")
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    They messed up. They left out the term for tempo EXACTLY midway between slow and fast which is halfast (pronounced Half-assed)
     
  7. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    That's very interesting. I guess there are many occasions where my wife thinks I'm midway between slow and fast. :-)

    Mike
     
  8. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    That reminds me of the little boy who was asked by his teacher to spell "harass". The boy asked "Is that one word or two"?
     
  9. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi gmonady,
    You stated:
    "In fact he states that the concept of making rigid time holds a musician back, and that all music should be written without making the beats in a measure".
    ----------------
    Okay, I'm confused. I'm not sure of Eddie's definition of rigid time.
    When I play, I use a concept called forward motion (actually a really old concept). For example, Bach's music moves forward in a way that makes everything lead up to beat one, not beat four.
    Dr.Mark
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Come out and hear it first hand from the man (Eddie) when we play in Pittsburgh on the 23rd of this month. I know you and Eddie would hit it off as his 72 years of life experience in addressing musical theory and perspective is just amazing. I have learned more practical music theory from Eddie then the entire 4 years I spent at the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory, and that's not a dig on UC, which has a fantastic music program. That's just reflects more on how inspiring Eddie can be.
     

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