Timothy's Blog

Timothy's blog on dulcimers, music, nature and life!
JAN
20

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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899 Hits
SEP
26

A musician's feedback loop

A musician's feedback loop

When we play music on our instruments or when we sing, our ears hear what we’re doing the very instant each sound is made.

Our brains --- consciously or subconsciously --- immediately make an assessment: Is it in tune?  Is it exactly in time with the overall flow of the piece?  How well are the tone and the volume and the phrasing matching the goals of the performance?

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2763 Hits
SEP
22

A few quotes from great musicians about the performer's relationship with the music

A few quotes from great musicians about the performer's relationship with the music

Although these three quotes are all from Classical performers, I think they apply to any genre of music and indeed to many roles in life!

This is an element of my own view of musicianship, as articulated by three of my favorite players. By the way, it's an honor to the Jewish people that all four of these guys are of that lineage (as are many other great musicians).

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10440 Hits
AUG
29

Emphasizing harmonic 'inner voices'

Emphasizing harmonic 'inner voices'

Do you know what the letters ‘SATB’ mean?

That’s the shorthand for the common choir and hymnal arrangements in which there are four parts for the four ranges: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.

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3503 Hits
APR
04

How I arranged 'There Is a Fountain (Cleansing Fountain)'

How I arranged 'There Is a Fountain (Cleansing Fountain)'

It seems as if everyone who knows the old Appalachian folk hymn ‘There Is a Fountain’ loves it, with its Civil War manner of simplicity and sentimentality.  The refrain that repeats the last line of each verse for a lingering contemplative moment is a dear American musical statement.

I certainly join with the throngs who are endeared to this piece.  And all my life I’ve heard it performed, at times as a beautifully quaint folksy instrumental, or as a formal congregational hymn, or a sweeping operatic showpiece, or a Bluegrass gospel number, or a jazz improv, or an Indie acoustic pop song, or a fundamentalist inspirational solo…

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33517 Hits

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