Sunday, February 23, 2014

Companion Post 2 from Orchestral Trombone Playing Video

In continuing the posts from the video on answering questions on orchestral trombone playing, this post comes from a certain section of the video.  At various times in the video, I speak about the era we are in and what seems to be the acceptable fashion in many orchestras for trombone playing. Near the end of the video, around 22.37, I raise the question, "Is there a even need for greater and greater nuance?" This was asked concerning this particular era that we are in. The answer is YES, there is! But if the fashion and employment opportunity says NO, meaning if you do this or that you won't pass through the gate, (the various rounds  in an audition), then one could say there is not. So much of education is based around job placement. Employment based education is not just happening in music schools but overall in any school of learning. 

That is why I have witnessed people knowing orchestral excerpts, just the excerpts, and not knowing the rest of the piece at all. There is a 'formula' being taught on how to make excerpts 'attractive' in an audition setting. If we are only trained in our schools to play good at the audition, what in the world is that doing for the music and our own sense of musical connection, meaning and purpose? Depending on how heavy and intense that training is, it could be extremely difficult to retrain ourselves  to be more flexible, if that should become a desire. Years ago if you saw a staccato on the page you would play it really short, almost pecky. That could have been viewed as extreme for certain musical styles but very fitting for others. If you went to an audition then and didn't play really short or sounded really heavy on tenor trombone at a tenor trombone audition, it would most likely not have fit that style and you would not advance into the next round. 

This brings up a great territory about being true to the composer's wishes. A student of mine at NEC asked a great question about this that I will answer on video soon. But to just start probing the territory, can any age, given that they have changes in style, actually know the original  wishes of the composer? Especially if the performer is being 'true' or totally attached to a particular school of playing?

Here ends companion post 2.

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