August 2016

Morpheus Walking



Morpheus Walking- B. Barrie






Do you ever think about the ornaments that might occur in an upcoming piece? The Simple or Long Appoggiatura; the Short Appoggiatura or Grace Note; Portamento; Double Appoggiatura; the Turn; Trill or Mordent- all are wonderful ornaments that can bring such character to music. They all take practice, both mental and physical to perform well. Pages 108 and 109 (Section IV, studies 48-54) in the Arban Complete Method are concerned with the Short Appoggiatura. The explanation in English of how to play a Short Appoggiatura is found on page 87. Start slowly as the written tempos for some of the studies could be on the edge of your technique. Record yourself playing an exercise and then listen to it. Listen for clarity of the line, no abrupt clipped notes (good releases!) and be sure to keep the main rhythm clear and exact.

You may find Short Appoggiaturas in music you may play: Martinu -Sonata for Trumpet; Andre Jolivet- Concertino and French and Italian operas of the Romantic era come to mind. When you hear a player perform them with skill and grace you will smile and realize that even for limited occasions to perform them, you will want to be exemplary!




Arthur Honegger (1892-1955) The Intrada for Trumpet in Ut (in C) is a wonderful and dramatic composition. Here are several performances for you to compare.

Maurice Andre

Eric Aubier

Wynton Marsalis

Reinhold Friedrich

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Of Interest

Good things to hear are read.

1 David Bilger- “I play Yamaha” **A wonderful sound…


2 Mark Gould relating stories about Mel Broiles


3 Niklas Eklund- Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne: Eternal Source of Light Divine


4 Maurice Andre – Concerto in Bb Major, Telemann


5  Tine Thing Helset – Adios Nonino, Piazzolla



My Arban Characteristic Studies self-challenge continues this month with numbers 7, 8, 9 and 11! If you are new to these studies, your goal should be the correct notes and rhythms at a steady tempo, even if slower than the marked tempo. Gradually you work to arrive at the marked tempo and begin to add as many nuances as you can. For example in # 7 do you know the meanings of the printed words? Knowing the meaning of Allegro, Più mosso, Più lento and Più agitato, will help the performance of the study have character, musical expression and be with the composer’s original intentions.

I think there are a variety of things to consider or watch for as we prepare these studies. What details do I try to observe and perform better each year? Some things for you to ponder could be- In #8 at line 5 there is a lovely cadenza. Can you play it with style and abandonment?  Have you done the sections on cadenzas (Page 152)? In #9 the articulation patterns are constantly changing, can you stay focused and aware? I think #11 requires a light articulation to facilitate measures 9 and 10 but then needs great finger and tongue co-ordination for measures 11 and12. And as the study continues you need to stay relaxed so that the lip slurs of a third (g-e; f-d and e-c) in the last section flow and don’t seem rough, sluggish or stiff.  The better prepared your fundamentals are from the earlier sections of the Arban book, the better you will play these test pieces.