I need to follow more music related blogs and be followed by more music related blogs.
Please reblog this if any of the following apply to you:
-You play an instrument
-You study classical music
-You love classical music
-You play classical piano
-You love classical pianists
-You post about classical music
-You love talking about classical music
-You want to dedicate your life/you dedicate your life to classical music
-You study in a conservatory
-You want someone to talk to about classical music.
-You love any of the following:
*Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky
*Herbert Von Karajan
*Luis Herrera de la Fuente
You know you want to, those high notes nearly killed your eardrum. Be warned, though, flutes can double up as good stabbing weapons.
Hmmmm… be cautious about that one. The oboe is angsty and tense, you do not know when they will lash out and you will never know when they will strike.
As a clarinetist, I can assure you that we are weak, mostly harmless, but WEIRD. You may not be the same after fighting us.
All bark and no bite. No brains either. Just fight them, they show off too much for their own good.
NO! Do not fight the bassoon, they are an endangered species and we must protect them.
What do you have against them, you can't even hear them. The french horn didn't do anything to you. The french horn is peace and chill, let them be, you have no reason to fight them.
YAAASSS! FIGHT THAT TRUMPET! PUNCH THEM WHERE IT HURTS- IN THE EGO!
Are you stupid you'll get knocked out with the slide you silly person
DO NOT FIGHT! Their instrument is heavy and metal and WILL give you a bad concussion.
Nope. Uh uh. Bad idea. They whack stuff. They move big, heavy instruments. They own numerous instruments that could double up as a weapon. Do you want your eye poked out with a mallet?
1st & 2nd Violins:
YOU'LL BE SWARMED DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY THERE ARE???!!!???!!!!!!
Yeah, you may as well fight them. But you've already hurt them by calling their instrument a violin, so I don't know why you'd want to cause them further pain. But sure, go ahead. You have nothing to lose.
Make sure to get them after a long, tiring rehearsal, that way their legs will be weak from sitting down for so long and they'll be close to an emotional breakdown. Just be careful, you don't wanna get hit their instrument.
Best not. Carrying around an instrument like that, they probably have SOME muscle.
HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET??? NOOOOOOO!!!!! YOU DO NEVER FIGHT THE CONDUCTOR! DO NOT FIGHT THE CONDUCTOR! IF THEY DON'T MAKE YOU PLAY THE PIECE ALL THE WAY THROUGH AGAIN, THEY WILL POKE AND JAB YOU WITH THEIR BATON THEN THEY WILL FENCE YOU WITH THEIR BATON AND BEAT YOU AND THEN THEY WILL USE THEIR BATON AS A HARRY POTTER WAND AND AVARDA KEDAVRA YOU OKAY? DO NOT FIGHT THE CONDUCTOR! YOU WILL DIE! THEY ARE MAD AND UNPREDICTABLE AND NOT TO BE FOUGHT.
PSA for string players: How to straighten your bridge if it’s starting to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa - especially due to the pegs pulling the top towards them:
Anchor both hands underneath the black parts (fingerboard and tailpiece) and use one thumb to gently push in the general direction you want to go and the other thumb is to act like a safeguard so you don’t push the bridge over.
In general, aim for a 90° angle from bridge to the top of the instrument on the tailpiece side.
Look for gaps at the bridge feet in case it’s telling you something different. When I fit a bridge to a top, it will fit seamlessly. There will be no gaps if it is standing up straight where it is supposed to.
***I have seen some rental violins that have the bridge carved at a lean and in order to get it straight - the feet don’t fit. I pull it as straight as I feel comfortable, which usually means not all the way. Get a new bridge if yours does this. The bridge will fall over more easily and pitch recognition might be off compared to a well fit bridge.***
If the bridge isn’t moving, make sure there is pencil lead in the grooves to help lubricate the crossing of the strings.
When I was in college as a player, I am aware that I probably broke a bridge because of letting it lean when I was trying to tune my violin after a peg popped due to humidity. 😳
I thought it was a fault of the bridge, but now I’m pretty sure it’s just because I let it lean for too long and it eventually folded under the pressure of the strings - equaling a broken bridge.
It was startling and I’m lucky I didn’t cause more damage from the tailpiece hitting the top after the bridge snapped in half. 🙊
Bridges don’t generally wear out. They might warp and eventually snap due to leaning, but if taken care of, I’ve seen well maintained bridges in action over 30 years old.
Masterclasses can be a daunting prospect for musicians. Playing to a prominent musician who is then going to critique and teach is a big thing. In addition, there will probably be an audience. Here are a few ways you can bring your A-game to the masterclass:
Preparation is key; it goes without saying but it is absolutely vital to be prepared. Have your piece ready to perform. Try to arrive early to set up and relax before your performance. Make sure that you have had rehearsals with an accompanist (if you need one) before the day. If there is an accompanist you haven’t played with before, try to have at least a conversation with them about the way you want to play. If this is not possible, try to communicate clearly with them while playing. Make it known when you want to do something different with the tempo, etc. There is nothing worse than being prepared but having your performance suffer due to miscommunication with the accompanist. Good accompanists are like gold dust so when you find someone who you play well with, never let them go!
If you can, it’s always good to get a feel for the space you’ll be performing in. If you can have a prior rehearsal at the venue, it’s a good idea to get used to the acoustics and work out any adjustments you make have to make with dynamics etc. By being extra prepared, you’re giving yourself the best chance to do brilliantly in the performance.
Have an extra score ready for the visiting professor. This is useful, as they can pinpoint specific places in the music that they want to talk about. Also, the visiting tutor can write things onto the score directly which you can then study afterwards.
If you can, record your masterclass with audio and / or visual. You can then use the footage to add to your portfolio and for your own archive too. Recording the class is a good way to reference or remember anything you may have forgotten. The video footage is recommended because you can also look at the visual aspect of your performance.
Finally, remember that a masterclass is only someone offering their opinion and ideas on how you could play the piece. You don’t have to implement all their advice into the piece; you may not even agree with everything the teacher says. The point is that you have the opportunity to play to a professional and they give you ideas to play with. Be prepared to try new things and experiment with metre, tempo, timbre and everything in between!
Mahaliah Edwards is a student at the Birmingham Conservatoire and a blogger for Behind the Bridge.