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Bach again
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (5 votes) 
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Jim Dunleavy
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November 21, 2021 - 3:19 pm
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I've been working on the Gm section of the Bouree from Suzuki Bk3 and this is where I'm at at the moment.

Comments, critique etc would be appreciated. 

smile

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katie m
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November 21, 2021 - 3:51 pm
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Really good!! Enjoyed listening to that. How long have you been playing for?

 

katie

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JohnG
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November 21, 2021 - 4:37 pm
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Being neither skilled nor familiar with the piece, all I can say is great! There is no way I can criticize or suggest, so just keep it up!

The old curmudgeon!

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ABitRusty
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November 21, 2021 - 5:06 pm
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sounds great Jim!  

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stringy
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November 21, 2021 - 6:28 pm
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cant criticize jim I am not as good as you. I am glad you posted this as I now know what it actually sounds like, especially when played well, I can play the first part but didnt really know how the second bit sounded,  I was a bit baffled when it changed key, so thanks for posting, lovely sound. Your bow pressure, spèed and tone, as well as relaxed presure towards the end and beginning of each stroke really are  lovely to listen to. Not to mention your intonation which is excellent, cant fault it, I would love to hear it again in a few months. Thats the kind of playing I am aiming for especially intonation and bow pressure which I fail on.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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ELCBK
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November 21, 2021 - 7:48 pm
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@Jim Dunleavy -

FABULOUS! 

It's very obvious you improved your bowing and settled down to getting serious! 

Sounds wonderful, Jim - I'm very Impressed! 

 

My 2 cents, for what little it's worth, now that you've got the mechanics out of the way, maybe ask yourself - "what makes this piece sound like Bach?"

I could be mistaken, but believe you might just be slurring in some places that shouldn't be. 🤔 Don't think Bach is supposed to sound as nice & smooth as you play it. (lol) 

I only have this to use as a reference, certainly NOT saying this is the perfect way to play it - just using for an example: 

Bourrée - Suzuki Violin Book 3

This might be of some help - Fidderman mentions:

Exaggerate dynamics and make every single note count. Sometimes we feel as though we are playing dynamics but in order for others to hear them, we need to do much more.

https://fiddlerman.com/tutoria.....ing-grace/

 

 

I hope that some day I can play as well as you do!

Thank you for sharing your videos and your progress - I've really learned a great deal from all this. 🥰

- Emily

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Mark
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November 22, 2021 - 12:09 am
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Jim Dunleavy

Sounding very good,

Thank you for posting.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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BillyG
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November 22, 2021 - 2:01 am
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clapclapclap @Jim Dunleavy !

Well done, enjoyed listening !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Jim Dunleavy
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November 22, 2021 - 4:02 am
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Thanks for all the kind comments folks.

@katie m I've been playing about 7 years now.

@stringy There are plenty of tutorials and demonstrations for the Suzuki version on youtube. Most of them are slightly different to my copy in the Gm section in that they replace some of the Eb s with E naturals - I'm assuming it's to simplify the left hand, as they don't sound quite right to my ear. I'm playing the part I downloaded which has mostly Eb (there are some legitimate E naturals though).

@ELCBK I'm playing all the dynamics, bowing, slurs etc as per the part I've got; these may well all be editorial though, as in my experience the Bach originals don't have much in the way of slurs or dynamics marked. You've inspired me to go and check out as original a cello version as I can find though, to see what the differences (if any) are. As you say, I'm not really bringing out the dynamics as much as I should, so I'll work on that.

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Jim Dunleavy
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November 22, 2021 - 10:54 am
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I've found an edition by Anna Magdalena Bach, who apparently was Bach's wife, so presumably knew how he wanted it played. There are a few slurs marked, but nowhere near as many as on my edition. However, there are clear reminder flats marked on those Eb s that Suzuki has E naturals on, so it's clearly a Suzuki simplification, as I suspected.

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ELCBK
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November 22, 2021 - 10:31 pm
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@Jim Dunleavy -

I've always loved this piece, so you've really stirred up my interest! 

Found this - goes over the specifics, using the last sheet music you just found. 

...might be of interest to you. 

Bach Masterclass: Bourées from Suite No. 3 - Musings with Inbal Segev

A little music theory may come into play when analyzing this piece - Bach was forefront in the evolution of tunings during his time. 

Great article here: 

What does the Well-Tempered Clavier sound like in actual well temperament?

The important idea here is that Bach split the difference between meantone and 12-TET (Twelve Tone Equal Temperament). He wanted to have every key be usable, but he did not want them all to sound the same. Instead, Bach tuned so as to give each key a distinct harmonic personality, with some a bit sunnier and smoother, and others darker and edgier. The point of the WTC (Well Tempered Clavier) was not, “Hey, you can play music in all the keys now.” The point was, “Hey, you can play music in all the keys now, and they all sound a little different, so here’s some music that takes advantage of those differences for a range of emotional effects.” 

So how does Lehman’s proposed Bach tuning sound? Peter Watchorn used it for his recording of the WTC. The sunniness of the C major prelude is matched by its more consonant tuning, while the tragic quality of the E-flat minor prelude is matched by edgier tuning. 

Relating to this, from the "Traditional Fiddle Intonation vs. Classical Violinist Intonation" thread, here's a video to consider. 

Intonation: Expressive Intonation - Violin Master Class

 

You also have a choice in what frequency you wish 'A' to equal, since 415 Hz is today considered standard for Baroque music. 

 

https://www.woodtv.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2019/10/fall-colors-lake-county-101419.jpg?w=1280

 

Sorry, I got carried away thinking of color in music! 🤣

- Emily

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Jim Dunleavy
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November 23, 2021 - 7:29 am
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@ELCBK Thanks for those links - interesting stuff.

Just to put a spanner in my theory about the Eb v E natural I found a video of Yo-Yo Ma playing the piece and he plays some of them natural, as does the cellist in your link. Back to the drawing board on that one then!

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Mouse
November 23, 2021 - 8:14 am
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@Jim Dunleavy Wow! I was attempting, note I am saying “attempting” Bach on my cello when I took lessons, and continued after. I know how difficult that is. Bach has a lot of black on his sheet music. Meaning, a lot of notes! It always causes a panic through my body when I see a lot of black on my sheet music. A statement I made often in lessons. My instructor always laughed. One time he said he could color them red and get rid of the black. LOL

I loved this. To me, the Bach pieces I have heard sound like party music where the people of yore would have done their beautifully coordinated graceful dances. I could see that happening here with your playing. 

I have issues with those long “phrases”(?) he has in his pieces. I always had issues connecting them. I can’t make sense of it. If I can’t make sense of it, I have major issues. I love Bach, but find him so hard to play. I do keep trying, though. I can make sense of them when I listen and they are played correctly, as your video. But, when I am learning a Bach piece, and it is broken into pieces and choppy, I can’t make heads nor tails because it makes no sense with all those notes choppy, and sections broken apart when I am trying to figure it out. Your video is beautifully done!

I also tried some if the Bach piece sections that I could do on my cello on my violin and viola. I find them harder to play on my violin and viola, KUDOS to you!

I am just so impressed with your video because of what I stated above. I have watched it 3 times already. So impressive. You look so relaxed and natural when playing it. 

I know you are after critique, I have none, but I do have questions. I hope you don’t mind.

How long did it take you to get to this point?

How did you break it down to learn it?

Did you do any special side exercises for technique on the side to help with certain spots in the piece?

Like I said, I have not given up in Bach and might be able to get back into my cello again, soon. 

This was fantastic. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Jim Dunleavy
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November 23, 2021 - 9:21 am
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@Mouse Thanks for the kind comments.

To answer your questions: -

- I started on the first (G major) section a month or so ago, but I've been working on this section for a couple of weeks.

- I practiced each repeated section separately then put them together. I still haven't got to the stage of playing the whole thing through with the Da Capo, just each section separately.

- The only special thing I did for this piece was to look up a few tutorials and example performances on youtube to get a feel for it. Other than that it was just a question of getting to know each phrase and then putting them all together. The trickiest bit for me was (still is!) the extended pinky up to a C in the G major section - I'm still struggling to get that and the B that follows in tune consistently.

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Mouse
November 23, 2021 - 9:34 am
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Thanks, @Jim Dunleavy. I keep forgetting to check for YouTube videos. I am so into sheet music in hand. I will have to remember that. It might help me make sense of pieces. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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November 23, 2021 - 4:38 pm
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@Mouse -

You might be interested in the 'Bach Masterclass' video in my previous post - it's cello. 😊

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Mouse
November 23, 2021 - 5:54 pm
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Oh, I don’t think I am ready for a master class. 😂😂😂😇 I have to get back to basics. 

Jim, however, seems to have mastered the nuances of Bach!

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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November 23, 2021 - 6:07 pm
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@Mouse , and everyone else -

I watched.  She gives great tips that anyone can benefit from.

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