how do you play with EMOTION.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by perfect cadence, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. how do i put feeling and emotion into my music..... like i'm living the music?
  2. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Close your eyes when you play ;). Seriously though, try and watch sheona white on horn playing the begining to Music of the Spheres on the 2004 European Championships In Glasgow, THAT is some serious emotional playing!
  3. wonder what the band would think if i was sat playing with my eyes closed and swaying like an old drunken fool.....
  4. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    would probably go unnoticed.:biggrin:
  5. probably.... i'd just hear endless chuckles from 2 of the front row cornets...... mentioning no names
  6. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    Just play with correct phrasing, nice sound and confidence and I'm sure emotion will follow.
  7. Ruthless

    Ruthless Member

    Most things do go unnoticed by the Euph section;)

    Find out whether the music is meant to be angry, loving, playful etc. and have that thought in your head when you play it. I'm sure your conductor will explain the feeling required for the music if you ask (He's a very nice man!)
  8. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Igor Stravinsky once said that Music contains no emotion whatsoever and that it is totally impossible for music to convey emotion. At face value, it is very easy to dispute this claim, but if we look closer we find that the music itself indeed does not give us anything, it's simply our reaction to it. I could probably explain that one better, but you know what I mean.

    So the question over how to play with emotion really depends on your own personal understanding of the music and your own life experience. In my opinion, it cannot possibly be taught.
  9. kierendinno

    kierendinno Member

    ok.... well heres a tip babes.... next time 1 of your boyfriends dump you, instead of sobbing on my sofa, play a sad piece of music, an put allyour feelings into that. like "the way we were" or something
  10. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hehe, you said it, not us.

    Great to see such enthusiasm for creating new and interesting posts here on tMP, but we do ask that you simply keep them on topic, and please only use the default text colour for post text - as it makes for extremely difficult reading when you use that glossy pink.... beurgh...;)

    Not much to ask surely... thanks. :tup
  11. thankyou for deleting the little convo
  12. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Just try to stay on topic in the future... thanks!

  13. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member


    But if that's true, nothing will ever "contain" emotion (or at least no art foms: paintings, pictures, poems, movies, ...)????
  14. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    As I said, it's our own interpretation of it which comes from our seperate experiences, none of which are exactly the same.
  15. I agree with Ruthless, it's a bit like acting. For the few minutes that you're playing the piece, act as if your angry, or sad, or ecstatic, or whatever, and feeling the emotions that the piece conveys. Then play as if you are talking or singing to someone in that mood. By "living it", your conductor means experiencing those feelings yourself.

    Putting yourself into the right mood is your starting point, and sometimes the techniques will come naturally from that. Or you might have to figure them out.

    In extreme cases, music can express machinery (some marches aren't far off!), conveying a strict, precise and military sound - represented by sharp staccato notes and a flat, emotionless tone (no vibrato).

    Cantabile is nearly the opposite, represented by a soft, mellow style with a full sound and plenty of variations in the notes.

    Keep trying to express whatever feelings a piece seems to need; and take an interest in learning what feelings are conveyed by certain styles of playing, and you'll pick it up.

    TIMBONE Active Member

    I am a great believer in knowing something about the composer. What do they say about why they wrote that particular piece, where were they and what were they doing in their life when they wrote it? It is also good to know about the composer and their life experience. Tchaikovsky's sixth symphony is wonderful music, when you know something about his life, the music becomes even more than wonderful. He said that it had no programme, which speaks volumes, because when you look into his life experience, you realise that it is autobiographical, expressing his triumphs and tragedies. Six days after it's first performance, he commited suicide. What is this if it is not intense emotion.
    I think what Igor Stravinsky was saying, in context, is that musical notes themselves do not contain emotion. If you heard his "Rite of Spring" for the first time, not knowing what it was or who it was by, it would be a musical tapestry, interesting in places, but maybe a little confusing. However, if you know what it is about, and know something about the person who wrote it, then it takes on a whole new meaning, and it makes you feel something.
  17. dickyg

    dickyg Member

    Yes, think it first!!! - You have remembered!!!!!!!
  18. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Stravinsky was quite anxious to avoid any undue emotion in some of his works: one of the reasons why Oedipus Rex was set in latin was to distance it from the listeners, who simply had the narration in their own language - originally French. With "Les Noces" he tried various instrumental combinations for the accompaniment - including a very colourful setting with several cimbaloms employed - but in the end settled on the monochrome sound of multiple pianos and percussion, so that the accompaniment could be just that - in the background, without any emotional connotations.
  19. Ruthless

    Ruthless Member

    Dicky, I am eternally grateful for all you have taught me about musicality. You always read the performance notes and explained where we should be going with the music especially in test pieces. I certainly served us well over those glorious years.

    I guess one classic is where he read revelations to understand what was required of the Angels in our finals test piece at Birmingham (I'm hopeless with names of music "Appocolypse Now"?) They aren't very nice at times. We played the music with this in mind and got slammed by the adudicator for not having "nice angels" sometimes you can not win!! (That day we didn't!! We came just outside the prizes)
  20. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Warning :eek: long boring essay ahead:

    No, they don't. A piece of music cannot "contain" emotion. The emotion is purely the listener's (or the viewer's) reaction to what they see or hear. The trick as a performer or artist of any sort is to somehow induce these reactions in your audience. We, as an audience, have "learned the code" used by musicians trying to convey emotion from an extremely early age - in other words we have an emotional reaction to things like careful phrasing, vibrato, rubato, etc. - however, make no mistake; it is a learned reaction, we are not born knowing it. A good player will know how to use these techniques to induce the required reaction in the audience. You can also learn how to do this, you pick it up through listening to other players and analysing how you react to what they do. Try listening to musicians from other fields as well - try Jacqueline duPre playing Elgar, Pavarotti from the 70s singing Puccini arias, Miles Davies' slow stuff, or (seriously!) Abba's "Winner Takes it All".

    If you took an Amazonian tribesman with no experience of Western music and sat him through a performance of Resurgam he'd be scratching his head at the end, because he hasn't yet learnt the link between the sounds the performers are making and the emotions they are trying to induce. Children get "indoctrinated" quite early - my 4 year old is good at identifying "happy", "sad" or "scary" music, but of course it isn't the music itself that is emotional, it's her response to it. Interestingly, despite having pretty cheery lyrics, she identifies the song "What a Wonderful World" as "sad music", possibly because it's slow and it's used in the film Madagascar at a point where the story becomes sad. So she has associated it with an emotion that possibly neither the composer nor the performer intended.

    Even if you understand what the performer is trying to do, sometimes it doesn't work because we're all human and all different. For instance, Tim gave the example of Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony earlier. Personally the last movement leaves me cold, but I know a lot of people are left drained by listening to it. The piece that really affects me is Mahler's 3rd, especially the last 3 movements. I have to sit quietly in a darkened room after listening to it, but I know for some people it's a bit long-winded and over-the-top. A bit like this post.:oops:

    Good topic :tup , sorry to rattle on so much.