Matching Items (17)

A Performance Guide for Playing Johann Sebastian Bach's Violin Partita no. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002, Partita no. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004, and Partita no. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006 on Alto and Soprano Saxophone

Description

The saxophone is privileged to have a wide variety of repertoire from contemporary composers. Due to its invention in the later half of the nineteenth century, it has no repertoire

The saxophone is privileged to have a wide variety of repertoire from contemporary composers. Due to its invention in the later half of the nineteenth century, it has no repertoire written by baroque composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach. There are several published arrangements of Bach’s three solo violin partitas including that of Ronald Caravan and Raaf Hekkema. These collections either do not present every movement of each of these three partitas, or they do not present them in their original keys. An advantage to arranging these works in their original keys is that saxophonists have the opportunity to learn more about the works by playing along with recordings of great violinists such as Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn, something that would be very difficult to do if they were not in the original keys. In Ronald Caravan’s Bach for Solo Saxophone, Caravan includes a collection of many unaccompanied works by Bach for saxophone but does not include all of the movements from the three partitas and they are not in the original keys that Bach wrote for. In Raaf Hekkema’s Bach for Saxophone, Hekkema arranges the entirety of the three partitas, however they are not set in the original keys that Bach wrote for. In addition to these points, those collections do not provide information of the life of J.S. Bach, baroque performance practice, mechanics of the baroque violin, baroque dances, and advice on going about the mechanics of these pieces from a saxophonist’s perspective. This information is very useful to a young saxophonist who is trying to fully understand and perform Bach’s three solo violin partitas.

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  • 2020-05

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A Mechanical Analysis of Trained Violinist Kinematics

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Central to current conceptions concerning the function of the nervous system is the consideration of how it manages to maintain precise control for repetitive tasks such as reaching, given the

Central to current conceptions concerning the function of the nervous system is the consideration of how it manages to maintain precise control for repetitive tasks such as reaching, given the extensive observable mechanical degrees of freedom. Especially in the upper extremities, there are an infinite number of orientations (degrees of freedom) that can produce the same ultimate outcome. Consider, for example, a man in a seated position pointing to an object on a table with his index finger: even if we vastly simplify the mechanics involved in that action by considering three principle joints - the shoulder, elbow, and wrist - there are an infinite number of upper arm orientations that would result in the same position of the man's index finger in three-dimensional space. It has been hypothesized that the central nervous system is capable of simplifying reaching tasks by organizing the DOFs; this suggests that repetitive, simple tasks such as reaching can be planned, that the variability in repetitive tasks is minimized, and that the central nervous system is capable of increasing stability by instantaneously resisting perturbations. Previous literature indicates that variability is decreased and stability increased in trained upper extremity movement. In this study, mechanical discrepancies between violinists of varying levels of experience were identified. It was hypothesized that variability in the positional error (deviation from an expected line of motion) and velocity of the bow, as well as the produced variability in resultant elbow angles, would decrease with increasing proficiency, and that training would have no observable effect on average peak bow velocity. Data acquisition was accomplished by constructing LED triads and implementing a PhaseSpace 3D Motion Capture system. While the positional variance and peak velocity magnitude of the bow appeared unaffected by training (p >> 0.05), more advanced players demonstrated significantly higher variability in bow velocity (p << 0.001). As such, it can be concluded that repetitive training does manifest in changes in variability; however, further investigation is required to reveal the nature of these changes.

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  • 2018-05

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Analysis of Applied Thumb and Index Force in Trained and Untrained Violinists

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The purpose of this experiment is to study whether there is a difference in applied finger force between violinists of different skill proficiencies. It has been hypothesized that more experienced

The purpose of this experiment is to study whether there is a difference in applied finger force between violinists of different skill proficiencies. It has been hypothesized that more experienced violinists will apply less force during play in their thumb and index fingers. It was found that there was significant difference in the peak forces applied by the index finger, thumb, and grip (p < 0.05) in all groups except beginner and intermediate violinists in peak thumb force. Significant differences were also found in the continuous force applied by the index finger and grip as well as the standard deviation of the continuous force applied by the thumb (p < 0.05). Additionally, there were no significant differences in the correlation between continuous applied index finger and thumb forces or latency in index and thumb force between different levels or proficiencies (p > 0.05). Due to these results, the hypothesis could not be fully accepted signifying that further testing must be performed.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

Finding Space: A Modern Violinist's Role Explored via EP

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In my path through both the academic and the professional music world, I have realized that violinists traditionally operate in a very limited role when it comes to pop music.

In my path through both the academic and the professional music world, I have realized that violinists traditionally operate in a very limited role when it comes to pop music. Rarely are string players integral to a song, and rarely are they allowed to indulge in creativity or improvisation. This three-track EP explores the various roles and functions that both the violin and the 21st-century violinist can have, beyond the stereotypical string pads in ballads and non-rhythmic, chordal accompaniment. The first track explores the violin providing chordal and rhythmic foundation of a song, containing only vocals and a midi bass as non-violin elements. The second track investigates the importance of production skills and strings providing the melody for a groove based up-tempo electronic drop. The final track is a more traditional yet accessible composition for piano and string quartet, inspired by the work of Ólafur Arnalds and Max Richter, potentially viable for modern dance choreography. The process of writing, recording, and producing this EP served as my first legitimate foray into the professional songwriting world. It is a testament to my battle with, and a temporary victory over, toxic perfectionism. This is an affliction that befalls creators of all trades: the crippling fear of putting out something less than perfect resulting in nothing being put out at all. Finally, I have put something out, something I am solely responsible for, that represent my original creative work. This EP seeks to set a blueprint for the capabilities of modern string playing and modern string players often neglected in the modern popular music sphere. It is the culmination of all I have learned as a musician, technically, professionally, and emotionally.

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  • 2019-12

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A performance guide of Fazil Say's Sonata for violin and piano and Cleopatra for solo violin

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There are a significant number of musical compositions for violin by composers who used folk songs and dances of various cultures in their music, including works by George Enescu, Béla

There are a significant number of musical compositions for violin by composers who used folk songs and dances of various cultures in their music, including works by George Enescu, Béla Bartók and György Ligeti. Less known are pieces that draw on the plethora of melodies and rhythms from Turkey. The purpose of this paper is to help performers become more familiar with two such compositions: Fazil Say's Sonata for Violin and Piano and Cleopatra for Solo Violin. Fazil Say (b. 1970) is considered to be a significant, contemporary Turkish composer. Both of the works discussed in this document simulate traditional "Eastern" instruments, such as the kemenҫe, the baðlama, the kanun and the ud. Additionally, both pieces use themes from folk melodies of Turkey, Turkish dance rhythms and Arabian scales, all framed within traditional structural techniques, such as ostinato bass and the fughetta. Both the Sonata for Violin and Piano and Cleopatra are enormously expressive and musically interesting works, demanding virtuosity and a wide technical range. Although this document does not purport to be a full theoretical analysis, by providing biographical information, analytical descriptions, notes regarding interpretation, and suggestions to assist performers in overcoming technical obstacles, the writer hopes to inspire other violinists to consider learning and performing these works.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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A comparative analysis of the two sonatas for violin and piano by Krzysztof Penderecki

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One of the most notable composers of the twentieth century, Krzysztof Penderecki played a vital role in the development of new sonorities and compositional movements in the latter half of

One of the most notable composers of the twentieth century, Krzysztof Penderecki played a vital role in the development of new sonorities and compositional movements in the latter half of the century. Penderecki wrote two sonatas for violin and piano, one in his student days in 1953 and the second in the twilight of his career in 1999. Given the almost fifty years that separate the two works, these sonatas provide valuable insight to Penderecki’s development as a composer over the course of his career as well as give evidence that his own unique compositional style was in place at a very early age. Despite the large span of time between the completions of these two great works, these sonatas share many commonalities. With regards to key aspects such as form, tonality, rhythm, texture, articulation, and more, this paper will analyze and compare the two works to define the ways in which they are similar as well as the ways in which they differ.

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  • 2016

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Paul Schoenfeld and h\s Four souvenirs for violin and piano (1990)

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Four Souvenirs for Violin and Piano was composed by Paul Schoenfeld (b.1947) in 1990 as a showpiece, spotlighting the virtuosity of both the violin and piano in equal measure. Each

Four Souvenirs for Violin and Piano was composed by Paul Schoenfeld (b.1947) in 1990 as a showpiece, spotlighting the virtuosity of both the violin and piano in equal measure. Each movement is a modern interpretation of a folk or popular genre, re- envisioned over intricate jazz harmonies and rhythms. The work was commissioned by violinist Lev Polyakin, who specifically requested some short pieces that could be performed in a local jazz establishment named Night Town in Cleveland, Ohio. The result is a work that is approximately fifteen minutes in length. Schoenfeld is a respected composer in the contemporary classical music community, whose Café Music (1986) for piano trio has recently become a staple of the standard chamber music repertoire. Many of his other works, however, remain in relative obscurity. It is the focus of this document to shed light on at least one other notable composition; Four Souvenirs for Violin and Piano. Among the topics to be discussed regarding this piece are a brief history behind the genesis of this composition, a structural summary of the entire work and each of its movements, and an appended practice guide based on interview and coaching sessions with the composer himself. With this project, I hope to provide a better understanding and appreciation of this work.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Violin Curriculum Incorporating Visual, Aural and Kinesthetic Perceptual Learning Modalities

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To be a versatile violinist, one needs interdependence of aural, visual and kinesthetic skills. This thesis introduces aural, visual and kinesthetic learning modalities, and explores the way each is used

To be a versatile violinist, one needs interdependence of aural, visual and kinesthetic skills. This thesis introduces aural, visual and kinesthetic learning modalities, and explores the way each is used in the Suzuki, Paul Rolland, Orff, Kodály, and Dalcroze methods, as well as in Edwin Gordon’s Musical Learning Theory. Other methods and pedagogical approaches were consulted and influential in developing the curriculum, such as the teaching of Mimi Zweig, but were not included in this paper either because of an overlap with other methods or insufficient comparable material. This paper additionally presents a new curriculum for teaching beginning violin that incorporates aural, visual, and kinesthetic learning in a systematic and comprehensive manner. It also details a sequenced progression to learn new repertoire and develop proficiency with rhythm, solfège, reading and writing musical notation, and left- and right-hand technique.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Balancing Mathematics and Virtuosity: A Performer’s Guide to Sofia Gubaidulina’s Dancer on a Tightrope

Description

Sofia Gubaidulina’s Dancer on a Tightrope (Der Seiltänzer, 1993) for violin and piano is an excellent example of the sonic capabilities of both instruments. To convey the balance and uncertainty

Sofia Gubaidulina’s Dancer on a Tightrope (Der Seiltänzer, 1993) for violin and piano is an excellent example of the sonic capabilities of both instruments. To convey the balance and uncertainty of a circus act, Gubaidulina makes ample use of rhythmic variation, flexible melodic gestures, compound meters, dissonance, and indeterminacy in notation of musical time. Due to the intricate nature of both parts, this can be a difficult work to perform accurately. This paper is an accompanying document to the score to explain notations, suggest performance techniques for both instruments, and provide a thorough analysis of the complete work.

Students of Gubaidulina’s music can find numerous studies detailing her biography as a Soviet and post-Soviet composer. There are many dissertations on her string works, including the string quartets and string trio. However, there is no performer’s guide or existing study that would provide insight to Dancer. Most of the existing literature on Gubaidulina is not based on sketches but relies on analysis of published sources.

In researching this document, I drew upon the manuscript collection for Dancer on a Tightrope housed at the Paul Sacher archives in Basel, Switzerland. I compare sketches with the published score and analyze the work’s structure, melodic aspects, harmony, timbre, and practical applications of the extended notation. I will also compare Dancer on

a Tightrope to Gubaidulina’s works from the same period, violin writing, and other chamber music. Many of the rhythmic and pitch ambiguities in the published score will be clarified by a sketch study of the piece. For assistance with piano notation and performance, I suggest techniques for the most careful way to play inside the instrument to avoid damage.

I contextualize Gubaidulina within a Soviet and international context. It is essential to view her work within a broader twentieth-century framework, her life as a composer in the USSR, and in light of broader socio-political trends. Gubaidulina is one of the foremost Soviet composers who has earned international recognition. This performer’s guide will advance and encourage performances of Dancer on a Tightrope and help disseminate knowledge about this work.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Instrumental vibrato: an annotated bibliography of historical writings before 1940

Description

The use of instrumental vibrato in certain periods of classical music performances has become a highly debated and often fiery topic. The scholars of yesterday had only a few sources

The use of instrumental vibrato in certain periods of classical music performances has become a highly debated and often fiery topic. The scholars of yesterday had only a few sources with which to gain a better understanding of the definition, mechanics, employment, and prevalent attitudes of those coming before them. This project aims to develop the foundation to a better understanding of instrumental vibrato by compiling primary source material written before 1940 and secondary source material relevant to that period into an annotated bibliography. The source materials in this study were mainly comprised of treatises, tutors, method books, newspaper articles, and dictionaries. The instruments covered in this study included the violin family and relatives (viols, etc...), woodwinds (including recorder), members of the brass family, organ, other keyboard instruments, guitar/banjo/lute, theremin, and prototype
iche instruments (such as player pianos). This project investigated 309 historical documents, finding 258 contained writings about instrumental vibrato. Of those, 157 were presented as bibliographic annotations. The author found no consensus at any time in the history of Western art music between 1550-1940 that vibrato is wholly acceptable or wholly unacceptable.

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Date Created
  • 2012