Notes vs. Music

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpettrax, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. trumpettrax

    trumpettrax Piano User

    Mar 18, 2006
    So when do you stop playing notes and it becomes music? I was playing some stuff I thought would be pretty easy yesterday and i was listening to myself play and just stopped! It sounded like i was just playing a bunch of notes. Didn't sound musical at all!!!!! :(

  2. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    MUSIC isn´t what the sheet music says.
    Instead, MUSIC is what the sheet DOESN`T say!
    Once we have mastered the notes, the REAL work begins.
    This includes making up our mind about all those things
    that the sheet doesn´t tell us, and this should partly be
    done WITHOUT the horn, humming through melodies,
    finding the possibilities that the piece provides and
    deciding which of those possibilities to choose.

    I suspect that we all tend to spend far too little time
    just THINKING about the music, this without the horn.
    Could that be true in your case also?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  3. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008
    You can find some good ideas here:
  4. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Learning to play musically is just understanding the language.

    Reading the notes on the page is just like reading english. (or any other language)

    You have to look for the phrase and structure of the sentence. Don't speak in a mono tone. Use a lot op punctuation.

    Therefor, we take the trumpet, put it to our mouth, and play music.

    See how I broke up the sentence? no different than a musical line.

    Take something like a Clarke study that is all sixteenth notes. It's written in groups of four notes per group. as an exercise, lets plat the last note in each group as a pick up to the next three. You just made the line say something different. Now, take the same thing and make the last three sixteenth notes pick ups to the first sixteenth in the next group. The same line now says something different just by changing punctuation.

    Here is the same idea in english:

    What's that in the road ahead?
    What's that in the road, a head?

    I wish I could play these things for you. you would understand right away.

  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Reading is one thing and interpretation is another. Just try to play like you're singing and sometimes you'll say to yourself. "Hey that was musical". Its great that you're listening to yourself.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It isn't notes vs music. Just like it isn't vowels and consonants vs conversation.

    Notes are basic tools. They have pitch, length and sonic qualities. When we combine several notes, we need to sort where they belong in time. When the timing is good and the sonic qualities, pitch and length line up, we get a melody. When our brains are turned on, we can turn the melody into music.

    So, you need to get your notes together, then place them accurately in time with the appropriate sonic qualities. If you think that your practice is unmusical, but you have played musically before, you are guilty of face time (or have deceived yourself in the past). Random attitude instead of paying attention is probably your problem. Just slow down. That takes care of a multitude of sins!
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Listening to one's self is alway tough. Important, but tough. Try this:
    Get a piece of paper and a pencil and seriously listen to what you are putting on the recording. If you hear things you don't like or it seems unmusical, WRITE IT DOWN! Then work on fixing it. After working on it, record it again to check for improvement.

    I still stick to my claim "you have to sing"
    I've had many students sluff through a practice and just play the notes.
    Of course I'd get pissed at them. Why? I tell them "Even if its an exercise, you make it sing and make it beautiful, otherwise its labor lost".

    You're ahead of most of the pack in that you're smart enough to record yourself. Just do what the rest of us do. Work it till you get it right and make it sing.
  8. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    The comparison between music and language is a good one. When we learn to talk as babies, we hear the spoken language and copy it (poorly at first). Then when we have mastered copying what others say, we can begin to create our own, unique way of speaking. The world's greatest orators developed the same way.

    I have found that to be the case with music. If I am trying to learn a piece, I listen to a recorded version (if possible - buy a CD or even Youtube). That gives me an idea of what the REAL sound is, not just the notes. Then, I can play it in my own way. Not necessarily to copy it - although that is all I can do at first - but to develop a sense of the musicality of it and then apply my own interpretation and style. Of course, I am not nearly as good as the artists that made the recordings I hear so I would do very well for myself if I could play it exactly as they do but, again, that is not the real point. I can play the music my own way even if it is far from elegant at first but at least I have heard what the MUSIC sounds like - not just the notes - and then I can try to maintain the musical effect even though it is in my own way. Sometimes what I try to do doesn't really work so I drop back to sounding like the recording until I can come up with something that I like that is my own.
  9. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    Music is something I hum in my thoughts and then play it on the horn :p I do play notes just to play some tune I don't know by heart. But mostly I am just improvising something in my head and then playing it.

    I guess you can distinguish the notes and music just by the sound. If it has rhythm and some spirit, you 'll know it's music :)
  10. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

    Apr 17, 2009
    Winnipeg Canada
    This is what I find wrong with some symphony orchestras. They are very technical but the music is lacking.

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