Playing with Style! The Semantics!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassneck, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Here's an interesting situation that's difficult to describe, but I'll try!

    We, as performers, try to create an aural feast for anyone prepared to listen and appreciate. Skills such as production, range, phrasing and dynamics are all basics that come with sensible teaching and practice. What intrigues me is how players develop a phonetic approach to playing ... using vowel and syllable sounds (vocal styles) to enhance performance. It is the mastery of this which, for me, separates great technical players from great musicians. Now, the dilemma is this ... are these attributes naturally picked up to different degrees by wind players and is it possible to teach them to pupils successfully. We already see methods where doos, dahs, tahs, tees etc. are in practice to help range and timbre but I honestly haven't heard it being taught in fine detail for musical style.

    Great musicians are identified and separated by their own approach to this and great bands usually are able to use a similar, but more simplified means of contiguity (they are able to play together in similar style).

    How aware are you of using different vocal sounds, changing timbre (colour) as you play to create a musical experience? Is it possible for you to teach that to someone or is it down to listening and emulating until their own style emerges?
  2. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I think it is something you can encourage but very difficult to teach. The player himself/ herself must be able to appreciate the musicality. I know plenty enough players that I describe as 'Ronseal players' - they do exactly what it says on the tin. All fine and dandy but not that much music coming out.

    I think listening to singers and their expression helps as does listening to violinists and chellists. I think Wynton Marsalis is excellent at changing tone, sound, timbre to suit his needs and can at times sound vocal.

    Generally, in my opinion players must be able to nderstand phrases and where the climax is in any given phrase. After that, it is then a matter of changing sound colours to enhance the phrase.

    Just my thoughts.

  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - what I am trying to describe amounts to a player's playing personality, ... what makes him or her distinctive from others! Rubato and phrasing do contribute but certain notes are darker or brighter depending ot the context of that moment, making the music speak to the listener. I just wonder how aware musicians are of this concept that sometimes is called style in it's broader form?

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