Most descriptive way MD's ask for musical style?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Mesmerist, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    955
    So what do you see as the purpose of an MD, David? To help the band achieve the best performance of which they are capable? Or to indulge in ego-tripping?

    If an MD can get across to a band or an individual what he wants, how he achieves that communication is entirely irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether he uses words, cracks a joke, picks up an instrument and plays it how he wants the band to play; the key point of conducting - as with teaching - is for the band to understand what the conductor is driving at. If any member of the band fails to understand what the conductor wants, then - clearly - the conductor has failed to communicate.

    (if the player understands what the conductor wants, but fails to deliver, that is clearly down to him - but it is the conductor's job to get the message across in a way that the player can grasp)

    If the player doesn't get the message, you may say "then the player is too dim" - but a good conductor ought to be able to communicate clearly with any and every member of his or her band.

    My stepfather told me this, about his time in the Army, in the 1930s:

    "If a man failed to understand the order, it was the officer who was called the fool by his superiors, not the man - because it was the officer's responsibility to frame his orders in such a way that any man under his command could understand them."

    One of the finest teachers I ever had was a corporal in the RAF, who told us this:

    "My job is not to show you how clever I am - but to show you that you can be clever, too!"

    And he did, too. Top man!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
    4th Cornet likes this.
  2. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    955
    At a guess, I 'd say Mr Newsome wanted it to sound heavy and smooooooooth - like a pint of draught Guinness in a Dublin pub!! :)

    Jack
     
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  3. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    955
    I think your 'Sarc' key is stuck, Mesmerist . . . ;)
     
  4. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    955
    . . . and ours by smutty jokes!! :cool:
     
  5. stopher

    stopher Member

    Messages:
    479
    Location:
    Bangor
    On the NYBBW course in 1999, James Watson asking the trombones to play a passage "less German, more American" so the troms played it the same way. There were a few other suggestions but the result was the same. In the end, after a few attempts, he just said " Can you play them short instead of long" and the desired result was achieved!

    I guess it's just the way things are communicated in the end to get the end result wanted
     
    Jack E likes this.
  6. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Gilroy, CA, USA
    Mozart once wrote that a certain passage should be played so smoothly that it was "like oil on glass."

    Jim O'Briant
    Gilroy, California, USA
    Music Director / Staff Arranger
    The Pacific Brass Band
    www.PacificBrassBand.org
     
  7. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Gilroy, CA, USA
    One of our Pacific Brass Band trombonists is a very fine musician with playing experience in "Pershing's Own," the United States Army Band in Washington, DC, a Doctorate in Music, and university-level teaching experience. He told a story about how one conductor wanted a particular passage played in a certain way; the trombonist disagreed with this interpretation. He said, "So we compromised. I played it his way in rehearsals and my way in the performance."

    Jim O'Briant
    Gilroy, California, USA
    Music Director / Staff Arranger
    The Pacific Brass Band
    www.PacificBrassBand.org
     
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  8. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,029
    Location:
    Shrewsbury, Shropshire
    I think this one is my favourite although the quiet farting cat is still making me snigger.

    Another one; to the horns (I think) "like a coochy bum feel"...
     
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  9. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Wantage, Oxfordshire
    Conductor said to us last night:
    "Don't just go through the motions; one day you'll be dead."
     
  10. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,029
    Location:
    Shrewsbury, Shropshire
    A gem to the bass section; play as fast as "poo off a chrome shovel". They did but then they are pretty awesome. :)
     
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