Conductors can't read dynamics

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Roger Thorne

Active Member
Yeah! I'm still here :lol: :lol:

James is quite right with that comment though.
(although personally I wouldn't say its the most important issue)

:roll:
 

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
geeesh...

Dynamics....
so long as p is louder than pp... mf is louder than p... f is louder than ff... and so on.... so what.... ffffffffffffff's is just the loudest dynamic in a piece.... as ppppppppp is the quietest....

i feel it's a little unfair to just come out and say conductors dont read dynamics... because they do... and also give own interpretations of the piece.... as already has been said...

At the end of the day... conductors (well, most) make music...

4 main important things for making a band play music...
sound, balance, tuning, rhythm

so, dynamics, not at top of list :roll:
 

eckyboy

Member
"4 main important things for making a band play music...
sound, balance, tuning, rhythm

so, dynamics, not at top of list "
I have to disagree with that one as sound, balance & tuning go hand in hand with the dynamics.No point some playing mp,others playing ff etc as balance goes out the window ruining the sound and making any band sound out of tune as the chords won't be filled.
Fair enough on the rythm though :wink:
 

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
no point in putting dynamics in if the rest isn't right...
I hear a lot of top conductors saying to get the other 4 things right first; then dynamics can be worked upon later... balance is just making sure the tune can be heard over the harmonies...

As a composer, I get notes on the page first, then shove dynamics in... same thing with conducting a piece...
It's how you approach the music...
that's my personal opinion

;-)
 

eckyboy

Member
Fair comment Naomi-just my humble opinion :(
No point with dynamics if you can't play the notes I suppose :oops:
Except you could play them ppppp and hope no-one hears you :lol:
 

James McFadyen

New Member
Naomi, good point. :wink:

However, One must think of dynamics as an intergral part of the music.

Playing the notes isn't the key issue, it's playing the notes well and with style. if u read the dynamics properly, the whole piece will fit together, when ur marked pp, there's a very good reason for, it could be a solo line over the top at mf, in which case dynmaics should be adheared to in line with the dots.

Conducting style isn't the issue here as these differ quite considerably, but what I am talking about nice sounds verus dirty sounds - I used my Opposition of Mars because that is a very good example.

So Naomi, having read why I wrote the last four notes of it ffffff, what would you do as a conductor. I would really like to know! :lol:
 

Accidental

Supporting Member
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I thought the fs and ps under the dots are just there to tell us what volume to play, and instructions re. style and tempi are written in words. Perhaps if you want a specific sound/style you could say so, rather than assuming people know that's what all the extra fs mean?

But what do I know.... I'm not a composer :wink:
 

James McFadyen

New Member
like I said, in the original score it was marked with 6 f's and the word explosive. I have now changed this to 6 f's and the word blastissimo.

What puzzles me the most is why ppl r objecting to blasting, come on surely if a composer is giving you a chance to blast a few notes u'll take it with open arms! :wink:
 

eckyboy

Member
not trying to put you down James but to be honest-who would want to listen to such a piece :?
no point playing music if no one wants to listen--I could well be way off here :cry: but find a lot of the new compositions are trying to be different just for the sake of it
 

James McFadyen

New Member
Alec, I will refrain from responding to that, i'll give u the benefit of the doubt :wink:

U didn't seem to mind when u played it at tullis! :wink:

and we're only talking about 4 notes! :wink:

"Where once I was blind, now I can see" I'm not much of a bible person, but I think sometimes things can be answered froma simple quote from it.
 

eckyboy

Member
I said I wasn't putting you down it was a general statement about new compositions--I personally think Dove descending which is a respected piece has quite a lot of unlistenable passages.
I wasn't even hinting at the majority of your music which I have played and enjoyed and always told you so :wink:
 

James McFadyen

New Member
eckyboy said:
I said I wasn't putting you down it was a general statement about new compositions--I personally think Dove descending which is a respected piece has quite a lot of unlistenable passages.
I wasn't even hinting at the majority of your music which I have played and enjoyed and always told you so :wink:

Alec I'm with u. The most stupidest piece I've ever heard was 4'33 by John Cage - it's just silence! :wink: The guy obviuoly forgot to take it his medication that day and every other day.

There's also another piece by Terry Riley (the grandfather of minamalism) for prepared piano called The Orchstestra of Tao - sounds like bagpipes gone wrong, can't think of anyone who'd want to listen to that, but hey they do.

Alec, Brass Band music is very listenable compared to other stuff, even some seemingly unlistenable bits are still tuneful.

The most important concept to remember about music is that it's about what the composer is painting, what story is he telling - take Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (I keep using that as an example for some reason) Penderseki (the composer of it) wanted to portriat the disaster and forbodeness of it, where as I wrote Elegy to the Victims of Iraq with the opposite in mind.

You must remember it's not about tunes, it's about landscapes and feelings and emotion and doing what needed to 'get across' what you want.

To look it unmusically; one mans junk is anothers treasure.

I never worry about ppl liking all of my stuff, it's something that a composer cannot control, I just write what I want to get across and hope that it will reach and touch someone.
 
No Offence to the Composer but he needs to look at his Composition NO ONE IN THE RIGHT MIND would right a piece in ffffff not even someone who was writtin it 4 a champ section BAND no one can play ffffff or whateva its called.

I fi was the MD i would change it to fff thats loud but not as loud so i wouldnt be trying to RESUSITATE 3 quarters of the band.

:lol: lol :lol:
 

Your_Daddy

New Member
What are you on Brass bands arnt like an orchestra for example.
Brass bands are meant to be big and meety but still be able to make it nice sounding
:D
 

drummerboy

Member
James McFadyen said:
Alec I'm with u. The most stupidest piece I've ever heard was 4'33 by John Cage - it's just silence! :wink: The guy obviuoly forgot to take it his medication that day and every other day.

Technically, it's not silence, the 'music' is all the noise that happens around the place when you 'play' it, such as people coughing. Though having said that, it is as silly as it is groundbreaking.
A silence in a piece of music can be as effective as the loudest chord (take Resurgam and Corpus Christi as examples)
 

James McFadyen

New Member
Your_Daddy said:
What are you on Brass bands arnt like an orchestra for example.
Brass bands are meant to be big and meety but still be able to make it nice sounding
:D

What part of Blastissimo is being missed here! :wink: a mean blow the fuck out of the instrument, it's ur chance to blast! :wink:

If I wanted it nice I would have written it differently.
 

James McFadyen

New Member
drummerboy said:
James McFadyen said:
Alec I'm with u. The most stupidest piece I've ever heard was 4'33 by John Cage - it's just silence! :wink: The guy obviuoly forgot to take it his medication that day and every other day.

Technically, it's not silence, the 'music' is all the noise that happens around the place when you 'play' it, such as people coughing. Though having said that, it is as silly as it is groundbreaking.
A silence in a piece of music can be as effective as the loudest chord (take Resurgam and Corpus Christi as examples)

no it's just silence. It's a piece of music composed entirely of silence for the whole 4'33. The only noise that occurs is that of the audience and any ambient noise. It was one of cages' extreme way to remove the composers personality from music.
 

James McFadyen

New Member
lilcornetgirl said:
NO ONE IN THE RIGHT MIND would right a piece in ffffff

As a composer I find statements like these rather amuseing! :wink: I am allowed to do whatever I want; my music is very mild compared to a lot of the serious 20th century stuff.

It's like the French Horn thread, as soon as ppl say that it cannot or shouldnot be done, the first thing I'm going to do is write a piece for Brass Band and 4 French Horns!

Simarily, if ppl say I should not or cannot write extreme dynamics in music, the first thing i'll do is do it.

u can not say I'm barmy coz I use ffffff for a huge dirty climax in my music, I can think of over a dozen pieces of music with worse sounds in them.

I guess I have proved my point, BB's just only think nice tones - like I said I hope BB's don't do horror film scores!! :wink:

As a composer I find it rather strange why I should feel obliged to re-write a score just coz players didn't like it, again this only seems true in the BB world, all reveloving around the players, ooh me me me, look at me I can play 45 million different scales really fast. Sorry to be blunt, but by telling the world that noone in thier right mind would right ffffff is poposterous, In my opinion :lol:

Let me put it another way, if a big name composer was to use a dynamic of ffffff, what u do then? argue saying he's doing it wrong, or say well he's famous so he knows what he's doing. The main concept is being missed here, one that everyone seems to be forgetting - what is the composer trying to do in his music!! - I have already given u the logic in why such a dramatic dynamic was written. A composer cannot be wrong, it is impossible to be wrong, composition is an artform with no barriers - what if I wanted to portrait gargoyles and their gastly sight, I wouldn't nessesarily use extreme dynamics, but I will do everything and anything I feel nessesary to protrait such a thing, that is the important thing. weather something sounds nice or 'correct' inst a consideration in composition, at least it wasnt at the RSAMD when I did postgrad there! It's about what we're trying to say, trying to put across.

I feel that is the real issue here, the fact of using ffffff is merely just an example of such an extremety.

Also, without hearing the composition, you can't really comment on weather or not I made a mistake in writing it ffffff Blastissimo. There are however plently of spelling mistakes in this post! :wink: :wink:
 
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