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Sep 29, 2023 - 12:43:53 PM
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2514 posts since 12/11/2008

Sure, keeping steady time is a wonderful thing, but one of the most emotionally potent aspects of Romantic Era Classical music is the way the metronome is often just done away with. It's something that allows the music to breathe just like a human being breathes. It allows the music to be funny. To be angry. To be helplessly in love. In other words, to express emotions.

Sep 29, 2023 - 6:48:12 PM

JonD

USA

168 posts since 2/12/2021

I'm inclined to agree with Debussy. You could think of it as just an inverse version of the 'rhythm rules' statement. But to me it also implies something about the quality of what is between the notes. Think about 'fast and sloppy' and 'fast and clean' That cleanness is what lets each note shine, as opposed to a sloppy string change or some other extraneous noise. Even if every note is on pitch and on time, it's less musical. A third way to think about it is what the space contributes back between notes. An acoustically great room can really make a difference, and for the most part that reflected sound is only perceived between the notes. But whether Mr. Debussy had any of this in mind or whether he was just being arch or mysterious, who can say. Bzz Bzz.

Edited by - JonD on 09/29/2023 18:50:48

Sep 29, 2023 - 7:15:13 PM
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15012 posts since 9/23/2009

The sound of one hand clapping is the same thing I hear in the woods when Bigfoot approaches...

Sep 29, 2023 - 8:56:09 PM

2514 posts since 12/11/2008

To be sure, if you want folks to dance, you gotta find a comfortable dance tempo and stick to it. If, on the other hand, you want to reach for the stars and twist peoples' heads around, provide a few tempo changes along the way.

Sep 30, 2023 - 9:25:56 AM

142 posts since 4/17/2023

Technically... I'd suggest an exercise to help with bowing direction (and bowing in general). A fiddler can lay the bow on the strings, leave it, and do a lot of nice things from string to string. But, whatever the tune, instead concentrate on the bow striking each string/melody note separately...the bow leaving the string (or at least lifting somewhat) each time. Think about the bow as it makes initial contact with the string... every time...every note. Feel the rosin connecting with the string and the little bit of scrape that's needed to make the tone... every time...every note.

This exercise can ease tension the bowing arm, create lift, clarity, and definition whether the bow is going up or down.

Musically... A basic definition of rhythm is "a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound" is. But don't fall into the trap of thinking there is "one" correct pulse. Good players "play" with this and find their own phrasing. For instance, two players tapping the same downbeat can play the same tune and not gel stylistically. They have to make a conscious effort to play together.

Oct 6, 2023 - 5:37:26 PM

3646 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

Sure, keeping steady time is a wonderful thing, but one of the most emotionally potent aspects of Romantic Era Classical music is the way the metronome is often just done away with. It's something that allows the music to breathe just like a human being breathes. It allows the music to be funny. To be angry. To be helplessly in love. In other words, to express emotions.


Have encountered some of those musicians, esp at jams, espouse various similar view/theories of metronome, how music breathes, emoting, twist peoples' heads around; dramatic affect, other various other romanticized ideas of rhythm, non-steady beat... how successful were they in pulling it off these theories to those put into practice? Well it does seem to work to elicit emotions to those listening to results; might seem funny, twisted, helplessness, make one want to cry, or stir grief, anger (esp with fellow musicians); and increase sense of drama. laugh

Similar observation, listening to or playing music with a solid steady pulse; I don't ever recall listeners objecting to, cause to be expressionless, or music would be overall improved if only they had randomized, or elimination of a perceived constant. Nor that steady pulse lacks ability to express emotion, nor shows lack of caring for music, or some death of musicality. Overwhelmingly the opposite, steady pulse is fundamental underlying core; not just dance music, nor music with obvious "in the face" rhythmic music; but pretty universal to listeners positive experience of music; integrated; even providing perceived temporal framework many other aspects of musicality and expression rely on.

Just to point out might want to be aware whatever, interpretation, theories...   might not achieve desired result; nor reflect what listeners, and other musicians experience or value. The reasons why.

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