"The Metronome"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Ed, what does this have to do with the original post or subject of the thread? Also, moderato is a tempo marking. Dolce is a style marking. How is it that "dolce" would throw you for a loop? Yes, there's latitude, but not when they have completely different meanings. (Yes, I realize that "dolce" is generally used when the tempo is slower, or "moderato," but it still has a different meaning.)

    The truth is, most musicians could use more time working with a metronome. I can't even begin to tell you about all of the times I was playing as a praise band drummer where we'd come to a point of the song where the drums dropped out, and the remainder of the band couldn't maintain that same tempo for even a single freaking measure with me there beating time for them. Not one, single, measure. It was mind boggling to me that the average amateur musician's sense of time and tempo was that bad.
     
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    If a musician cannot perform well without a metronome ... or even drums, I'd recommend they seek another occupation / interest as IMO they are not a musician. Most of my multi-brass renditions are without either, my first having studied the entire score. Certainly, an accomplished concert pianist doesn't need either also.

    There it was printed in a field march ... "dolce" ... and I jerked my head. Appropriate in many love songs and hymns, but not in a field march! That was when I was thrown for a loop. What the arranger wanted was the trumpet section to fade lower in sound just sufficient a young girl to run on the field and scream," Daddy! Daddy"! The definition I know is "sweetly or tenderly". Truly, it was a very tender moment of re-union. Still, the student composer/arranger should have set a diminuendo as was how we did play it. So ended the Vietnam War in a very favorable surprise incident, among many to the contrary.
     
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I agree, but keep in mind that the people I'm telling you about aren't "musicians" - they are IT Professionals, nurses, police officers, computer programmers, school counselors, etc. They play music on the side and for church because they feel it is their calling to do so - that's their chosen ministry. By contrast, although I'm currently an IT Professional and SQL Server database administrator, I was a professional musician (well, for the military anyway) for a decade, and continue to gig and get paid, which puts me at a semi-pro level. What I do musically and what they do musically are fairly different - I don't think it's arrogant to say that either, it's simply a matter of what skills and talents we choose to cultivate first. Music has always been a top priority in my life - I have structured my entire life around music so that I could continue to play and gig. In my first enlistment in the Army Band program, I was offered the "Green to Gold" program - essentially, the Army would completely cover my education provided that I stayed in their ROTC program, and became a commissioned officer in a field of their choosing upon graduation. I turned it down. (A girl in my class at the Armed Forces School of Music did Green to Gold and recently retired as an O5/Lt Colonel in the JAG Corps.)

    In any case, some people have good time, some people don't - that's just a fact of life. I know a drummer who literally is metronomic, and he always was - he just has an innate ability to keep time.

    Heck, even at the Armed Forces School of music, there was one Jody call with a bunch of syncopated figures that almost everyone rushed. It used to boggle my mind. these were MUSICIANS at the school of music for crying out loud! It's much less common for a musician to have a good sense of time than you might think.
     
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Patrick, while I did attain a minor in instrumental music, I don't know but a few who can count vocally all sixty seconds of a minute. Too, be truthful, I'm not sure I can now with COPD, but I once upon a time was able to.

    Here in Jackson, there are three churches. The Baptist church has an electric organ they won't have repaired or replaced, thus an 86 yo "plays" an out of tune piano for the "choir" and congregational singing. The ceiling light bulbs are a single sixty watt and the piano has no reading light. The pianist looses her place and starts over. My friend and close neighbor sings in that choir ... and admits he cannot read music. He just sings the melody as he has since he was child, but he does have a clear baritone voice. The Methodist church has a pipe organ that only now needs a repair on two pedals and has a young woman pianist doing her best to learn to play it well. However they have no choir. The average Sunday congregation in either seldom now exceeds 25, and thankfully so, as neither have that many current hymnals. The Episcopal church here has a small converted pump pipe organ built in the early 1800s and someone that really enjoys playing it, but now has health issues worse than mine. No choir and no congregational singing. They've only seating for 100 and usually have attendance near that. I've stated it otherwise, but the Baptist Church will play my CD of Christ the Lord is Risen Todayfor the 3rd year over their outdoor speakers as a call to worship for the joint Baptist - Methodist sunrise service.

    About every morning when my wife and I have breakfast at the Embassy Café, we are joined by two who can play an organ very well. One had been my wife's Home Economics Teacher and plays at the Episcopal Church in nearby Weldon , and the other plays at the nearby Galatia Baptist Church. With his birth infirmity God gave him a gift of this ability. Formerly, he played for the Salvation Army in Norfolk VA.

    I will say, when you play alone, the tempo is always right ... whatever you want it to be ... you are your own conductor. It may not work when you play in a ensemble or orchestra ... but it might.
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all of the degreed musicians I've known over the years who suck.
     
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Time has allowed me to hear many more than 21 "musicians" who haven't a major or minor in music degree that think they can play a musical instrument or sing well ... and some are acclaimed by the masses ... a very few earning a livelihood exclusively with music.

    At a time the State of Maryland would have allowed me to teach music in their public schools where for 2 years I taught math and earth sciences to 7th and 8th graders. I wasn't being paid enough to support the lifestyle my 2nd wife wanted and she found someone she thought would. He didn't either, but I didn't have to pay alimony any longer. I went west and started my LEO career.
     

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