Timothy's Blog

Timothy's blog on dulcimers, music, nature and life!

Play music in the moment!

When you’ve developed a performance piece, or even just something you’ve learned which you like to play on your own, it may be easy to simply draw on your memory of the way the composition goes, and bring it out and replicate it.

Or it may turn out to be a big challenge to reconstruct all the details in the way you intended originally, and you have to struggle to get it right.

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Playing an instrument or playing music?

When I perform, people often ask me how long I’ve been playing the hammered dulcimer.  I think they mean this question to compliment my apparent years of study, probably many, you know, to learn from teachers how to develop the appropriate virtuosity on the instrument.

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Using body language for expression

Using body language for expression

Musical phrasing and interpretation are affected by the way the instrumentalist moves.  It often marks the difference between cold, dead music-making and compelling, electrifying results.

A lot of dynamic effect can be achieved with a very efficient and slight movement, as when a hammered dulcimer player uses mostly his fingers to flip the hammers in just the right way, with shoulders and elbows moving the hammers to the note locations.

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