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More Emphasis 💥 PHRASING 💥
It's IMPORTANT!
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (10 votes) 
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Fiddlerman
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June 16, 2022 - 11:52 am
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ELCBK said
@Fiddlerman -

THANKS TO YOU!  🤗 

For me, it ALL began HERE:

Fiddlerman said:

Phrasing can make your performance special. To phrase is to do with music exactly the same thing you do when you tell a story or communicate language expressively. Use dynamics and expressions to convey your feelings about a piece of music. Some of the ways of phrasing are moving tempos forward or slowing down, making crescendo’s (getting louder) or diminuendo’s (getting softer) show direction or emphasize certain vital notes. Very often the traditional way to phrase in music is to get louder as you go up and softer as you go down in the scale but this is not a rule. Singing the piece in your head as you play helps understand how it should be played.

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. 

I feel honored to have been the one to introduce phrasing to you. :)
Believe it or not, I had to work with some of my professional colleagues to get them to understand. Some musicians get into an orchestra based on their incredible technique but never take the time to feel the music.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ELCBK
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June 16, 2022 - 6:49 pm
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@Fiddlerman said:

Some musicians get into an orchestra based on their incredible technique but never take the time to feel the music. 

https://www.memesmonkey.com/images/memesmonkey/52/52c25c9f85d97c5e369146264ccd954c.jpeg

 

...robots will replace people like that. 😳 

 

Found a segment in a Master Class with Steven Dann (British Columbia) - an important perspective on not letting a shoulder rest define your movement - how both hands work together for holding a Viola, or Violin, while playing. 

Also excellent tips/info about PHRASING, so starting this video at 00:13:00 in.  'Holding' & 'hands working together' starts at 00:18:15.

 

 

This is a Viola Master Class, but pertinent info for ALL Fiddlers.

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d3/b3/2b/d3b32bec1a55d0badfefc17928604bf2--violin-cartoon.jpg

 

...like this thinking of freeing myself, along with my instrument - by working together! 

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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June 22, 2022 - 6:22 pm
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When I was doing paper theory exams, one of the questions was always to isolate the phrases in a piece of music. A phrase is a small coherent section of a piece of music, as it is in speech.

When it came to playing, I was taught to think of a musical phrase as being like archery - you have a number of notes from as few as 2 or 3 to half a dozen or more, and the last is the most important, the target, and you play the whole phrase aiming to hit it - don't fluff it. "Take me out to the ball game." It can be treated as one phrase, don't dare fluff "game"! Or you can divide it up further - "out" is important. "ball" is equally as important as "game" and so on. But in this case, these are mostly rhythmical emphases, as it is a popular song.

Things like crescendos and diminuendos are less for phrasing and more for musical expression, which is only part of what you play during a phrase.

Solveig's Song is a good piece to analyse and divide up into its phrases - i.e. which are the most important notes. Or indeed the Ode to Joy. But don't get hung up on the paper analysis - let your ears tell you what's required. Paper analysis chops a piece up, but a player has to play from beginning to end flowingly.

That Hilary Hahn video is too advanced to be much use to you (ultra modern music rarely has phrases), unless you realise that the best way you are going to get through a piece of music like that is to listen to it and pick out the target notes (basically the tonics and thirds and fourths and fifths) and just play it to reach them like stepping stones and enjoy them when you get to them. I've only briefly listened to it, wondering why it was posted, but there is an element of "call and response", perhaps, it seemed to me, and that's another way you can divide such a piece up into phrases.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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June 23, 2022 - 5:50 am
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Phrasing IS musical expression. 

Musical phrasing is the method by which a musician shapes a sequence of notes in a passage of music to allow expression, much like when speaking English a phrase may be written identically but may be spoken differently, and is named for the interpretation of small units of time known as phrases (half of a period). A musician accomplishes this by interpreting the music—from memory or sheet music—by altering tone, tempo, dynamics, articulation, inflection, and other characteristics. Phrasing can emphasize a concept in the music or a message in the lyrics, or it can digress from the composer's intention, aspects of which are commonly indicated in musical notation called phrase marks or phrase markings. For example, accelerating the tempo or prolonging a note may add tension. (Wikipedia)

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Gordon Shumway
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June 23, 2022 - 7:57 am
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A musical phrase is a section of a melody with a defined beginning and end.

Phrasing is the division of the melody into its phrases: without it, you have musical diarrhoea.

Wikipedia has some useful stuff and it has some rubbish.

Realising that ambiguous terminology ("phrase marks") might muddy these waters, I briefly looked at Eric Taylor, and he basically agrees with me.

If you are interested in music theory, don't read Wiki, read Eric Taylor. (in other words, a coherent book)

The problem with Wiki (and also paper encyclopedias) is, to get an overall picture of any subject, you'll have to read a very large number of re-directing pages and resolve all the self-contradictions they contain, since the different wiki pages will have different authors.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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June 23, 2022 - 2:47 pm
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I've read similar (to my quote) by way too many other sources (I deem reliable), totally unrelated to Wikipedia, for me to ignore them.  They all still basically say Musical Phrasing is about HOW you play a 'Phrase' - using the same elements described in the Wikipedia quote.

@Gordon Shumway said:

Phrasing is the division of the melody into its phrases: without it, you have musical diarrhoea

IMHO, breaking down a melody into it's phrases (or sub-phrases) IS JUST THAT - breaking down a melody into it's parts. 

So, for all intent & purposes of this thread, 'Musical Phrasing' is what we decide to do to those 'phrases' - sometimes with guidance from the composer, or Cultural/genre knowledge.  ...unless you have sources that state "Musical Phrasing" is never used in this context?

 

...more could be said about the types of cadence a phrase can end with, when trying to determine the beginning and end of a phrase, but thought we discussed this in the Cadences in Music Theory Thread

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ELCBK
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July 1, 2022 - 6:59 am
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Jim Dunleavy shared a Masterclass video by Roy Sonne on Vivaldi's Concerto in A Minor that shows potential bowing choices for what he calls, "Violin Artistry" - great stuff! 

The World of Bowing Possibilities Thread

 

He continued his lesson with this 2nd video - starting with Phrasing! 

 

 

Turns out Roy Sonne has quite a few WONDERFUL Masterclass videos - helping with Phrasing, dynamics and bowing, etc... including:  

"Liebesleid" by Fritz Kreisler 

"The Boy Paganini" by Mollenhauer 

"Spring Sonata" by Beethoven 

"Concerto in G Major" by Oskar Riediing 

Accolay, Viotti, Czardas, Bach, etc... and some Mazas Etudes! 

 

Roy Sonne Phrasing Masterclass Playlist

 

Excellent source if you want to learn how to add expression to your Classical music! 

- Emily

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ABitRusty
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July 5, 2022 - 8:35 pm
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I know we focus on bowed instruments here, but ive always liked how flute players manage phrasing of passages.  think alot has to do with breath issues, but i think they, in general, piece phrases together well.  whereas in fiddling the same tune, it could be easy to run everything together if not careful.  

example...hopefully she doesnt mind.  great playing.

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ELCBK
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July 5, 2022 - 11:28 pm
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@ABitRusty -

Yep, if only fiddlers could learn to breathe...

Hey, is this a sign you're giving your flute another go? 

Can't wait to hear it!

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ABitRusty
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July 5, 2022 - 11:36 pm
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oh...that bus hurt! rofl

no mam...maybe next decade if ever.  people can say what they want about instruments but that one is a bear. I still really like the sound though.  and play along tracks with flute are cool.   

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ELCBK
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July 18, 2022 - 12:36 am
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Ben Sung talks about "drawing the listener closer to the mysterious spiritual center of music", with "Meditation", from Thaïs (TEDx). 

Music moves and Melodic Motion happens when a pitch steps (conjunct), skips (disjunct), or leaps a distance to another (intervals) - in 1 of 3 directions; rises/ascends, falls/descends, or flat/repeats. There's 6 more combination patterns.

These pitch motions can also form shapes - Melodic Contour can be 1 of 4 shapes; Arch, Inverted Arch, Wave, and Pivotal.  These terms only relate to pitch.

https://phamoxmusic.com/melodic-motion/

https://phamoxmusic.com/melodic-contour/

I believe it helps if we can recognize these patterns in a phrase.  I think each evokes some emotional response on it's own, maybe gives us clues for where & how to enhance them with dynamics and rhythm, etc... 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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October 26, 2022 - 1:47 pm
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https://i.pinimg.com/736x/62/6a/02/626a02d8f1bb6c71c3d9dc6e5a4d6fa1.jpg

Muah Ha Ha... from the bowels of the Fiddlershop Resource Library - nice little article! 

"What is Musicality?"

 

Wonderful info for better EXPRESSION throughout this thread! 

https://www.lovethispic.com/uploaded_images/135370-Happy-Halloween.png

- Emily

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