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  • Articles Forum to continue

    35 76.09%
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  • Would be willing to contribute articles

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Thread: Seeking writers for new articles

  1. #1
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Default Seeking writers for new articles

    The articles forum area is seeking written articles by its members.
    We would like to continue this forum area, but if enough people aren't willing to contribute, we may just as well merge what exists into the other discussion areas.

    So we are polling you, the members of this forum, if you would be willing to submit articles in this forum area from time to time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
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    I had completely overlooked this forum! I would br delighted to submit articles for consideration on subjects on which I might be considered to have a specialized knowledge. (i.e. Composition, Harmony, Western Musical notation conventions, Double bass playing, String orchestra repertoire, Orchestral playing, Philosophy of Art, etc.)
    I have often noticed on other forums (not all musical) that Articles just tend to be read and are generally not the spring board for discussion that sometimes the author hopes for. I would also like to see a formal discussion area encouraged for any articles accepted here.
    Lastly, articles should be submitted in private, not posted, then edited and selected by the moderators. This helps keep the subject matter within the scope of the forum and allows for filtering of dubious material, which might be concealed inside a 2500 word essay which would be posted in public, until someone was bothered enough to complain.
    I hope these comments are constructive and I look forward to the new articles forum.
    Fergus Currie

  3. #3
    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Like Fergus, I've only just noticed this section - too busy just keeping up with the chat I suppose.

    By its very nature, a section like this isn't going to grow quickly, because a detailed, considered piece of writing may take weeks or months to prepare, after the initial impulse to begin it. So I don't think the lack of recent postings is a good reason for disbanding the section and scattering these excellent pieces out into the forum in general.

    In principle I'd be happy to contribute; in practice, I suspect there are only one or two specifically musical articles I'd be capable of writing (such as a discussion of the windflower themes in Elgar's violin concerto). I'm better equipped for writing more generally about the philosophy of art, but that may not be what you have in mind. But also, because I do a lot of formal writing in my 'normal life', I admit that I do come here looking for relief from that - basically looking for good conversation, rather than the writing of essays.

    So I'm in favour of the long term view. Keep the section as it is, but occasionally bring it to prominence, like this. I think what's needed is precisely what's happening now - a reminder to people that these articles exist, and an invitation to contribute more.

  4. Likes Peter Lewis liked this post
  5. #4
    Senior Member marval's Avatar
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    I am not very good at this sort of thing, I do like being able to read articles. I think Elgarian's idea is a good one.

  6. #5
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Thank you, Fergus and Elgarian :-)

    To address Fergus' question about posting in private: This forum area is currently set up so that any new thread created does go into moderator queue for approval ... in other words, one of the staff has to release it before it goes public.

    I like the suggestion of an area for discussion about the articles ...

    Two questions then:
    1. Would you prefer the articles posted as "read only"? We could create a sub-forum off the Article forum area for replies and discussions.
    2. Would you prefer that replies and discussions be tagged on to the new article?

    Elgarian,

    Thanks for your reply on this. I appreciate your comments very much.

    Margaret,

    Thanks for your support for this, too. Who knows, you might be a better article writer than you think.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Kuhlau's Avatar
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    A quandry for me, this. While I write professionally, it's in an area not exactly best suited to make me a viable candidate for the submission of articles to a quality forum such as this. (In short, I work in advertising.)

    However, while I'd prefer not to submit articles - not least, because I have no formal musical education to speak of - I'm more than happy to retain a section on this site wherein those capable of and interested in so doing can submit their wrtitings. Hell, I might even read a few of them.

    As to the question of allowing others to comment on articles within the same thread, I'm undecided on this. I'm currently preparing to launch my blog upon the world (this is relevant - bear with me), and one of the things I'll be doing there is moderating any comments on my posts and allowing only a small selection of these to appear on my blog if I feel they add something of value to my original post - irrespective of whether or not such comments agree with or are critical of what I've written. Perhaps a similar approach might be employed in the Articles forum here?

    FK
    An everyman for himself ~ Classical music reviews & resources
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    Follow me on Twitter

  8. #7
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    I'd love for this board to continue, and I would like to contribute articles every once in awhile. I just need to know what I can do. I'm rather good with biographical stuff, and apparently criticism... and I could probably do quite well with other subjects as well, given a bit of time to figure out what I'm doing. I've been having an eye on this thread, really, and I'm rather excited to see an attempt at its revival (which I'm sure will be successful)!

    As for one of the questions Krummhorn posed:

    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    1. Would you prefer the articles posted as "read only"? We could create a sub-forum off the Article forum area for replies and discussions.
    I'm not sure how the result of the first question would work, honestly. I'd kind of like it to be somewhat more interactive and accessible. Maybe have a little Sticky or something telling people new to the board to read the article before posting their response? It could work either way, I'm just not entirely sure how you propose the "read only" thing work... I think it'd be less user-friendly, just on the surface of what I can figure out.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

  9. #8
    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    1. Would you prefer the articles posted as "read only"? We could create a sub-forum off the Article forum area for replies and discussions.
    2. Would you prefer that replies and discussions be tagged on to the new article?
    I think 'read only' would be more suitable, especially if there is to be serious discussions afterwards. In this case would there would be no chance of discussing a 'work in progress' - amendments an additions would have to be footnoted by the author.
    I also think that tagging the articles here is a very good idea. A list of discussion points either suggested by the author or devised by the admin. could be listed with hyper-links to the appropriate sections of the forum.

    I'm off to write something about Bottesini! (perhaps...)
    FC

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    It is disappointing that no one feels competent to write an article for this part of the Forum, especially given all the apparently very knowledgeable people who regularly post here.

  11. #10
    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
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    Would you be interested in this personal account of practicing a new piece?

    Here is the first 3rd approx.

    Getting to grips with Mr. Bottesini.

    Bass players have a rum deal as far as solo music is concerned. A wise man once said 'the bass solo repertoire is made up of works by fifth rate composers except for Bottesini who was second rate!' He might have been right, but had it not been for Bottesini being not only a second rate composer but a first rate bassist, the repertoire would be incomprably poorer. Every bassist who reaches a certain level no doubt tackles at least one piece by him. Usually it is the Elegy in D which is porbably his most popular solo piece. Beyond the already difficult Elegy lies a whole legacy of intimidatingly pyrotechnical solo music for bass and piano. His output was enormous for this combination and no composer before or since has come close to this vast body of work. The amazing thing about all this music is its insanely high level of virtuosic demands on the bass player. Of course Bottesini wrote with the purpose of showing off his own talents on the instrument but the duets which must have been played with students or fellow musicians have two parts demanding some high degree of technical skill so he must have realised that someone else might eventually play this music. Personally I have about 4 or 5 pieces 'on the go' at one time which come to about 25 minutes or so of program. As I mentioned my plan this year is to relearn some stuff and record afew pieces for the internet. Included in this program is the idea that I would learn at least one new piece by Bottesini. I chose a lesser known piece which is about 4 or 5 minutes long which would make a nice opener for a recital - Allegretto Capriccio.

    I had never heard this piece played or even looked very closely at the score I have in a collected edition which I bought twenty years ago! Since I was looking for a 'new piece' then, I leaved through the scores and this work just jumped out at me. It is quite simple in structure and not too taxing on the listener. A gentle scherzo with a pretty tune and a flourishing finish, the piece breaks down into about 6 seperate sections.

    Practicing a piece like this is best done with a strict regime so I planned a week of practice, each day divided into slow note bashing, very slow bow control, memorizing session and finally consolidation. So last Monday I set off with the first page open infront of me. Before I even start playing I warm up with some long notes and finger exercises, some position shifts and slow scales for intonation. I use very little rosin so I spend most of this time removing rosin from the strings and bow with a dry cloth. Once that is out of the way, I reset the metronome to a speed which I can play each note and concentrate on its tuning, tone, dynamic etc individually. this often means rediculously slow! Years ago Ninian Perry told me that it is very important not to practice mistakes. He means if you get something wrong in your practice then you have to unlearn it (even if you only got it wrong once) and then relearn it correctly. A waste of valuable time. So really slow pracice to begin with. The piece will eventually reach a metronome marking of about 156 so I set my metronome at.... 22 (44 played at half speed)! Yes very very slow. Next is the problem of fingering.
    It is not a good idea to start without having a clear idea of what you are going to do. One bar at a time I work out a fingering which will not only produce the best sound (longest string length) but will set me up for the next bar or some leap coming up. Only now do I start to play. Repeat the bar or two in question several times, making sure of the tone, rythm, bowing, fingering etc until it has all 'sunk in'. This is continued until the end of the phrase and then the pieces are put together 2 at a time, at this tempo until the phrase is complete. Then gradually the metromone gets shunted up, playing the phrase at least 4 times at each setting.

  12. #11
    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
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    Thankfully this only lasts for a few days and soon the piece begins to take shape, but how?
    As I practice each phrase seperately, (only being concerned that I finish in a sensible position to begin the next phrase if need be) my fingers and bow get used to the phrases one by one and develop a 'tactyl' memory of the music. A tactyl memory means that you will be able to play the phrase without thinking about the mechanics of moving your fingers. By using your ear which will then subconsiously guide your hands to make minute adjustments rythmically, dynamically, in intonation, etc. This hybrid between mechanically learning the notes and then allowing yourself to be flexible about interpretation is a key asset to filnally producing a musical rather than mechanical performance.
    There are phrases which are technically harder that others and thus they will need special attention. In the Allegretto Capriccio one such passage is the wide leaps between alternate stopped notes and harmonics just less than half way through. I'm going to get technical here so this bit is for bassists only.---

    I found after some practice that I can use the harmonic F# on the D string (where you would normally play a 'B' in 4th position) followed by the harmonic G (where you would play middle written C on the G string) in this passage. It significantly simplifies the shifting involved in this passage. ----

    Back to the real world.

    Having changed my fingering for this passage I went back and relearned the passage from the slow tempo back up again. Remember Ninian's comment about unlearning and re-learning? So if you change fingering you should re-learn the passage from the ground up so it become part of that tactyl memory I mentioned earlier.
    When you start to feel that the tactyl memory is 'kicking in' it is time to close the score and see what has really been learned. I don't get rid of the score completely at first but I do close the book and leave it on the stand. Things change completely in this new situation. Firstly we are forced to 'resource' something other than the printed page to play from. This is where you must try to access your tactyl memory which should ultimately be guided by your ear.
    Another point here is that this will not work at the final tempo! I cannot stress this enough because trying to play 'from heart' up to speed at first will undo lots of hard work. This week I have memorized the piece and I have actually put the score back on the shelf. The metronome went back to about half tempo and I started playing from memory section by section.
    I mentioned that I would write about joining up the sections, so here goes.
    In this (as in any other piece) there are sections which could be conceivably isolated even if the next section follows on without a pause (as is the case here). These are made up of short phrases which could be played seperately and usually consist of a few notes up to a few bars. Once you have learned a phrase and the following one you should try to make a mental concetion between the two. For example, The first phrase of the piece is 4 bars long and the second phrase strting a semitone lower than the last note of the first. They
    sound very similar, so you could play an echo effect in the second phrase or, as I chose, a question-answer feel for the two phrases. I found this works for the first eight phrases (which make up the first section). So I have a kind of dialogue going on the first section.
    Now the second section starts with a 3 octave arpeggio on G dominant 9th ending on a high harmonic A. This comes without a pause after the first section so I have to have a 'tag' or link which will get me into the second section. It is different every time but here's what I do: Towards the end of the first section There is an F natural which I consciouly tell myself is the seventh of the G arpeggio (even if it is actually a Neapolitan 6th in E minor). This reminds me of the second section so I'm mentally prepared.
    Once I have the whole piece together in this way I again start to shunt up the mentronome to about full speed within a few days (I got to 152 yesterday).
    Then I start to work out some interpretation. This is not an easy job but without this any performance would be dull and mechanical. I find it helps to think architectually about the music and build an idea about the structure of the piece before working out any individual 'corners'. In the Allegretto Capriccio there is a short section like an expostion followed by a modulating section. The third section is a flowing semiquaver section which comes back as the coda etc. When I get a feel for how the piece works as a whole I look for places where I can make some 'corners'.
    Corners are what I call ritenutos which link one phrase with the following one. For example, at the end of the question-answer exposition I make a tiny pause to get into the second sectrion. In order to get this pause I actually rush ever so slightly through the last phrase of the first section. Later on there is a point where the music 'circles' around a 'B' after an eight bar unaccompanied passage which sets up the recapitulation. This is a big corner and I will eventually take a lot of time over this passage even if for now I'm playing it in tempo.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by post-minimalist View Post
    Would you be interested in this personal account of practicing a new piece?
    Not particularly, and having read it, definitely not as it does not seem to fit in with the scheme of things in the Articles Forum.

    From my understanding, it would appear that the Articles Forum was originally conceived as a way of introducing discussions on the great composers, with the OP being a contribution by someone who took a special interest in that composer and hoping to stimulate discussion for the benefit of those keen to learn more.

    It seems strange that this Site has people who claim to have a particular interest in, and knowledge of, certain great composers, and yet they are either unable or reluctant to produce a short essay by way of introduction. Rather, all many of them is make semi-idolatrous remarks in favour of the composers ones they like (sometimes inconsistently as they get confused from day to day which ones they like), and derogatory remarks about composers they do not like.

  14. #13
    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    I would enjoy very much the ability of submitting articles. While not the most gifted writer by any means, I consider myself at least average and hope to learn more as time goes on.
    Keep the board and articles please!!

    Jim

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    I really want this board to continue... The discussions here can be great resources for music teachers like me.

  16. #15
    Senior Member chillowack's Avatar
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    I would love to contribute articles to this section: it would give me an opportunity to learn more about classical music and composers, since as they say, "the best way to learn something is to teach it."

    I also happen to be a journalist and novelist, and I enjoy writing anyway; so please count me in and do not abolish this forum!

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