Re: "play with proper stratigies"

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Posted by Matt G on September 30, 2001 at 21:02:50:

In Reply to: "play with proper stratigies" posted by jlb on September 30, 2001 at 19:37:13:

Maybe to further add to the comments, I would think that the strategic idea is one of overall ensemble playing. Joe S. was heading in the right direction with this, and Sean has taken this to a much broader, life process type of approach as far a being able to continue to make music on the tuba. My idea of strategic tuba playing has more to do with me listening then me playing. When I am going to play a melody that has been played 800 times already in the piece, am I going to make it my own? No. The composer simply wanted a timbre change and not 801 different interpretations of his idea. When I go to take a breath how should I do it? Well I would have to know who is playing, what they are playing and how my part fits in to the mix. As Joe mentions with intonation, if you are in tune with the tuner, but out of tune with the ensemble, who is right: tuner or ensemble? Also, one of the key things I learned in high school is that dynamics are all relevant. Percy Grainger's FFF was far different from Tchaikovsky's. Playing pp in Brahm's is different than Mahler. We cannot and should not relate a dynamic marking to the reading on a decible meter. There are times that we can make our presence known and others were we should do our best to blend and be as transparent as possible. This takes a lot of musicianship outside of the practice room and the rehearsal hall. We have to listen to as much music as we can and really pay attention to the devices of a composer as to how he convey's his/her thought through the ensemble in which we are playing. We should pay attention in our Music History courses and gain as much knowledge as possible about periods of music and their performance practices. Even though the tuba is relatively new, we can benefit from learing about Baroque period ornamentation.

Also, as Sean mentioned, we should strive to do everything with the long term goal in mind. Even though I don't get to play and practice like I did when I was in college, the practice sessions and techniques I used and learned are what helps me now pick up the horn cold and not embarass myself.

In all reality "strategy" is the key to everything we do. There will always be a goal and a set of options to accomplish it. Which options we choose and how well we execute them determines how rewarding the final outcome will be.

Matt G

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