What exactly is phrasing?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cantplaytrumpet, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. cantplaytrumpet

    cantplaytrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 2, 2012
    Exactly what the title says, and how do I incorporate it into my performance?
    And if there are any particularly good examples of phrasing, post a link to Youtube or wherever. :)

  2. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN

    I'll take a run at this, if only to learn more myself by others' responses. What musical genres do you enjoy? I like many different sorts, but lately I've really been enjoying some of Botti's stuff. And I always enjoy the smooth jazz produced by Clifford Brown, like Embraceable You Clifford Brown - Embraceable You - YouTube. Listen and sing through your trumpet is my suggestion. Please note that my reply is nothing original or new. Simply my assimilation of what I've been learning too.
  3. doingmybest

    doingmybest New Friend

    Jan 18, 2013
    Hampshire UK
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    A good resource here: Phrasing in music

    Hope this helps. Personally, I believe most musicality happens between the notes.
  5. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.
    Listen to Louis and Bix. 2 different styles with distinct phrasing.
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Play as if you are singing.
  7. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Exactly what I was thinking. Some music is already pretty well phrased by rest placement, and dynamics play a part in phrasing, too. The phrases should be semi-independent blocks of the song, that have a beginning and an end, and you need to play them that way, always leading into the next phrase - like a vocalist, and with musicality. Of course, the more familiar you are with a piece of music, the easier the phrasing (and musicality in general) becomes. That's what separates the boring mechanical-style player from the artist with style who people want to listen to.
  8. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Get sheet music of Schubert's Ave Maria. Put that in a computer or automated keyboard, have it play the notes. Then listen to Pavarotti singing the piece. That's phrasing. The back of the Arban method contains multiple short pieces, many taken from the Bel Canto tradition, whose goal is to teach phrasing. Arban emphasizes the necessity to listen to "bonne musique bien interpretee" (well played good music) by other instruments but especially the voice. I believe we have most to learn from listening to singers.

    Another great example of phrasing:
    Bizet - Je crois entendre encore - Alain Vanzo - YouTube

    As an amateur with limited command of the musical language, I find that good phrasing is easiest to hear with voice pieces on relatively simple melodies. I guess that with many other instruments, it would take a certain level of expertise in the instrument to hear good phrasing. The voice is more instinctive. However, I also like to listen to the different versions of the Bach cello suites by various masters.

    This example is nice too:
    Voi Che Sapete - Le Nozze Di Figaro ( The Marriage of Figaro ) - Maria Ewing - Mozart - HQ - YouTube
  9. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    Good phrasing to me means recognizing that the music is written in blocks of melodic segments alot like a conversation is made up of sentences and paragraphs.

    Your job is to not inappropriately chop up those segments in a way that doesn't make sense. It means holding those dotted notes their full value... It means shaping and tapering dynamics to match the shape of the phrase. it means breathing in the right spot musically... Nit just because you need air.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Now this IS phrasing!

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