Conductors can't read dynamics

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by James McFadyen, Feb 6, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Now we all know that Brass Bands have that nice sound! But r we ever go get any dirty sounds out the Brass Band - I think most will disagree with me here, but sometimes I think BB's can be too nice and polished sounding!

    If a composer writes fff on low notes for cornets, then he wants them 'raspy' because fff that's what they notes would sound like.

    For example, in my testpiece Opposition of Mars, last four notes are marked ffffff, with 'Explosive!' written over the top. Now, when this gets played as a testpiece one year (if :( ) will conductors rather abusively say only play it ff because that will give a nicer sound. Common sence yea? Yea! but if someone write ffffff for a BB tutti, they don't want a pleasant sound, they want it over-blown. To help conductors see why dymanics are so important to be adhered to 100% of the time, I will be changing 'Explosive!' to 'Blastissimo' that way there should be no confusion to what I want. Not being selfish, but it is my own music and surely I klnow what I want. and indeed if they don't over blow it, it will be totally the wrong colour and that IS a bad mark of the conductor and not the players (for a change!) :)

    Anyhow, just wondered if anybody in here thought that maybe some 'dirt' could be a nice BB touch at somepoint?

    IMHO, some banders only think pleasant is good - let's hope we don't have a brass band playing in a horror movie -------- oh no the blonde is getting stabbed a thousand times (let's play suger blues! ; )

    Most will disagree I'm sure, but hey, worth a try! :wink:

    I think I'm just talking crap now, it's been a long day! :lol:

    FYI - Don't read too much into the thread title, wasn't what I meant! :lol:
  2. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Classic arrangement of I've Got Rhythm by Alan Fernie. Euphoniums late on marked to fluttertongue "rough" ... I relished in it!
  3. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    what? you want us to play nicely sometimes? :shock:
  4. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Writing a piece in ffffff from start to finish would be a lovely idea, wouldn't it, even if just for a laff! :wink:
  5. Wonky_Baton

    Wonky_Baton Active Member

    I dont think an arranger or composer should have any need to write ffffff. Three would do with a style marking on top. If a band tried to play 6 f's the pp parts would have to be really really quiet in comparison. Explosive maybe isn't the right expression. Maybe we can have a competition for the right word. Raspy Farts would be my choice or even better Explosive Raspy Farts. Might sound better translated to Italian!! :D
  6. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    This is the exact thing I'm talking about!

    fff give a very loud sound, full power - but with ffffff my intensions are fairly clear, especially with Blastissimo written over top.

    That is the sound and colour and effect I want.

    For sensible writing ff is enough with a top dynamic of fff, but sometimes u just need that extra punch!

  7. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    When I see ff it is usually the cue for me to play very loudly (top of my volume) :shock: ... but I see your point. Surely ff with accent is good enough though. :)
  8. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    All conductors, even the best of the best will ensure that a ff with an accent or thereabouts is played with attack but still will a 'nice' tone, or at least without hammering the instrument. Although taking hammers to instruments seems like John Cages' idea of music - Can anybody say Psycho! :wink:
  9. eckyboy

    eckyboy Member

    I take it you want no tone James,as you can't possibly blast and have tone.It would make it a level playing field right enough. :lol:
  10. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Spot on Alec!!!!! :wink: :wink:

    Or at least no real nice tone, it should be loud and over-blown!!!

    Any band who doesn't play the last four notes that way will be destroying what I wrote. I can be flexible sometimes, but at the end of the day I'm gonna write the way I want to and that is all that matters.

    It is ridiculous to argue with what a composer wrote. (unless of course it shows clear signs of bad technique!)
  11. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    forte (loud)
    fortissimo (very loud)
    farte (very, very loud)
    fartissimo (very, very, very loud)
    doppio fartissimo (very, very, very, very, very, very loud)
    doppio, doppio fartissimo con forza (very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, loud, with force!)

  12. Kari Anson

    Kari Anson Member

    Well James as I've heard on many occassions - music is only a guide and is all down to personal interpretation. If you write fffff on a part it is up to the musical director to use their atrictic license and guide their band. If they don't feel the need to obliterate it with an fffff - (which in many instances is virtually impossible when taking into account the full range of dynamics, as Wonky said to acomplish that dynamic the pp would have to be non-existent) then so be it.

    Being the experienced, talented musician you are perhaps you could record the effect you would like and transfer it on to the internet - that way we could all get to hear exactly what you want. Alternatively let us know which contests the test piece is being played at and we could take a visit and see how other bands interpret it.
  13. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    ffffff in it's true COLOUR cannot be electronically faked. Pitty! u could try turning the speakers up really high! :wink:

    In my view, any band who doesn't overblow the last four notes, will be a wrong interpretation that's why I'm changing 'Explosive!' to 'Blastissimo'

    Any conductor who ignores this, may very well have a nice sound, but emmmmmm no, it's supposed to be blasted. ;)

    Sometimes things that sound wrong are right - and that is key issue - something many BB's won't appreciate because they are used to the nice sounds, the nice colours, the nice chord.

    Although mars in roughly the same size as earth, I wanted to portrait it as being bigger than earth, the reason for this is because Mars was coming closer to Earth at the opposition at the same time, I wanted sheer size weight and over-welming power. I wanted Mars to be the 'higher power'. That is the reason for such a huge climax to the piece of 6 f's (Blastisimmo) I also wanted the 'red' colour to be reflected in this chord, it's a heavnly chord, but played really dirty and loud, hot and spicey and lil bit magical! :wink:

    Now that I've explained why I've written it the way I have, does it make a bit more sence to you now?
  14. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    ... and that, my dear Watson, is exactly what gives any MD the right to direct the piece as he/she sees fit - and... is quite a contradiction in the same sentence there James!

    The person who can form an opinion as to wether the piece... "shows clear signs of bad technique" is the MD. So, if in their opinion this is indeed the case, which no-one can argue with becasue it is a subjective opinion - then the MD can ammend as he/she sees fit.
  15. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    ok! :wink:

    I retract that last part and rewrite it as: It is ridiculous to argue with what a composer wrote.

    The composer is the creator, the conductor is the interpreter while inject his own style and sound (without althering composers scores)

    Again, this is a brass band thing, I've already made the statement of Barbers Adagio for Strings played by the LSO and another recording of the work by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Vienna one is pure class and sound way better that the LSO vesion, yet the music remains unchanged, as are the dynamics)
  16. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    A test piece Gladstone is playing this year has a tempo marking of 160 (roughly, I can't remember the finer details). Yet the composer, on a CD conducting a band throuigh HIS OWN Piece took it at 140.

    Maybe the band couldn't hack the full tempo?

    Either way, I am doing the same thing with my interpretation. It still sounds impressive, and although it's not what the composer put on pen, it's what he has in his mind, for some cases.

    So Should I yell at the Composer and tell him he stuffed up? Nope.....I am copying him! Not his silly metronome marking. pfffffffft........

    My point for this ramble -
    Even the COMPOSER wants to use artistic interpretation. And if it's good enough for the goose, it's good enough for this Emu
  17. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Admittedly composer will change things if they are conducting, I've done it myself. especially as a player, I'll change my mind what mutes I want.

    I played under a famous scottish composer/arranger/conductor, who often changed parts of his score at his own command.

    The question is, follow his lead?? mmmmmm.??????
  18. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Yes, but ur forgetting one thing, he wrote it, he has the right to change anything he wants at any given time. most composers will sign their name and say authorised by the composer, just to clear up any confusion.

    There is also an issue of copyright in some cases of 'tampering' :wink:

    The most important rule of copyright: the right to object to derogatory treatment of work!!!!!!!! ;)
  19. eckyboy

    eckyboy Member

    you better not start on about copyright again James :(
    Rogers arround
  20. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    lol lol lol lol, oh!! ;) nice one Alec!

    Roger, search for Copyright act 1988, u'll get all the info there! :wink:

    Only kiddin' :wink:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page