Archives for 26 Dec,2006

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teaching musical expression

I wonder sometimes about all those dynamics markings. Crescendo, pianissimo,
forte, mezzo forte. They give us a good sense of what the composer wanted, or
what the editor suggests. It’s important to know how to honor those ideas and
do them justice.

But how far do we go with them? Are they like clicks on a volume-control knob? Do we play at a marked volume until a new symbol appears? How much personal interpretation do we allow ourselves, or allow our students?

Do you treat expression as a higher level technique, something that is only added once more fundamental techniques are mastered? Or do you regard expression as fundamental, and if so, how and when do you incorporate it into lessons?

This question struck me suddenly one time when I was judging a high-level  [···]

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