Arthur A. Clappé.

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pofarty of design was apparent, each measure was of uniform pattern, and which,
though enlirened by the introduction of accent, would eventually k>ecome tiresome to
the listener, or performer; but if the half notes be broken up into fractional parts,
lirotracted to greater length, or rests be incorporated, always keeping in view the cor-
rsot quantity for each measure, the character is changed and a new power of
•zpression has been added to our example, the tedium has been relieved, and new life
imparted thereto.

The rhythmic patterns* or designs into whioh sounds are, or may be formed, are
Inflnite. Music Is a mosaic of sound, endless in its variation, in its choice designs and
tone eolors, but amenable to the laws of symmetry and order. In each composition
there must be one prevailing figure, woven throughout, stamping its identity, and
giving coherence to the entire work. This figure is the matioet or theme; it may take
hut two notes to express; it may require more; it is the design for the whole melody.
The two motives will form what is tarmed a eeetian, two sections a phra$4 and two
phrases a 9miUne$f while the whole is named the iubfeet. Sometimes sections, phrases
and sentences include a larger number of constituting elements; when such is the
ase, they are said to be compound, but as a general rule the foregoing description will
e found a correct standard for analytical purposes.

Before any work can be performed with truly satisfactory mechanical expression It

Qst be resolved into its elements; otherwise, faults of phrcuing muat inevitably creep

i; particularly is this the case where a figure commences with initiatory, or starting

lOtet. The study of this branch of the subject is especially valuable to players on

wind instruments, as by it will be dearly shown w?iere, or where not, to take breath

and other particulars.

Tha regular rise and fall of metrical accent, as has been seen, appeals only to
flia instinct, that is, to the common feeling in man for law and order. But after all,
the view of a stretch of country, prairie-like in its evenness, although possessing an
inflaenoe of repose, has not the charm for the eye of a rolling, undulating landscape,
any mors than the latter affects our feelings like, or is comparable with, the boldness
and grandemr of mountain scenery. It is not the unbroken symmetry of a line of hills
ar mountains that ealls forth our admiration so much as those which, standing out in
bold relief and apiNurantly in defiance of the order of their surroundings, break the

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wmotonj of the Tiew and forcibly arrest onr attention. Here the expreBriim of wntrad
delighte us; this feature, or that, Tiewed separately, may not possess any special
elaims to beauty; but eren their ruggedness, their disproportion as isolated features,
are, when Tiewed in conjunction with the many other details of the landscape, so toned
and mellowed as to create within usjthe feeling that such is indispensable, and could
not be remoTed without marring the effect with which the scene in its entirety oyer-
powers U8. Similarly In music, this chord or that may be discordant, harsh, strident,
as a single cfaronmstance ; or, again, a strong emphasis here, or a sudden nuance there,
may appear for the moment to destroy the harmony and proportion of a melody, yet,
when such are considered in connection with the entire composition, it will be at once
peroelTedy it is to these very features the work owes its chief claim to expression
to beauty of coloring, to force of character.

Irregularities of chord progression and accent are then forces of expression. That
there may be no doubt of this, examine the fifth and sixth measure of MendeUnohn'f
Wedding March, which, in defiance of all law and precedent, he treats as follows :

Had Mendelssohn been more orthodox he would no doubt hare written the abort
thus: ^ ^ M.i _ j^J

or in some similar manner. Bat he felt be had something to express, and Wrote as in
the first example. Any person comparing the two will at once be struck by the oppo-
site effects produced by the differing harmonic colorings, and at once perceire that to
Mendelssohn's original harmony is to be attributed the peculiar and striking expression
of the measures quoted, rather than to the flow of the melody.

The following, taken from Gounod's '* Faust," will giro an example of irregular
IMoent, where the laws of metrical accent haTC been Tiolated :

^^ffl rJIrg




Oompare the above with the method of performance indicated by the law of metri-
cal accent, which demands that the first beat following the bar line shall be the most
strongly accented. What is the result of conformity with the law f Loss of oharaotei^
or expnasion, at will easily be seen by the subjoined :

€h>nnod knew what he wanted to express, and wrote it; the end-— good effect—
Jnatifying his non-compliance with the elementary Uw of accent. Hence, it will be
•sen, from the two foregoing examples, that irregularities of coloring and accent ars
•zpressV>nal characteristics of great potency, relieving monotony and giving richness
and beanty to melodies otherwise of no special import.

Having now briefly reviewed the expression of irregularity, we are better prepared
to anderstaad what is termed Buttbxioal Aocnrr, a knowledge of which is indispeoF

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Mble to th« iiutramentalitt who would pkra§$ oorrectly. Music wedded to words In
■aoh % m»naer th«t one is felt to be the oomplemeat of the other, presents Tery little
diiBodlty in phruiiig. Thtrefore, the vooalist has % great adrantage oyer the iostro-
B«ntalist s for if he follow the puaotuation, aooentuation, and spirit of the Terse, h«
must, at least, approximate to correct phraseological delivery, however much the poetic
quantitiee may demand a complexity of musical* rhythms; but, where the words 9x%
disassociated from the music, the case becomes widely different. What was rendered
dear by association with the words, now becomes ambiguous, and requires the utmost
eare and attention from the performer to render intelligible.

Rythmical accent, in the grouping of sonnds into definite figures or patterns^
appeals to the intelligence both for elucidation and appreciation. Music has its points
of repose, as represented by the , ; : • in prose, and it is as necessary to attend
to them faithfully in one as in the other. In instrumental music such signs are not writ-
ten - knowledge and feeling can alone indicate them ; therefore, how requisite is it to
have a dear conception of melodic construction, in order to avoid errors in phrasing.

One cannot listen to the bands of the country without at once feeling that this sub-
ject is too often imperfectly misunderstood, not by amateurs alone, but by so-called
professionals, from whom Isetter things should be expected. It is true that oomposera
and arrangers do not always write their music, with regard to the rhythmical divisions,
as carefully as should be ; but this is no justification for bad phrasing on the part oi
the performer. It is his business to supply what negligence has omitted.

Let OS now take a few examples :

» rrj

The rhythmical pattern here, commencing with the initial note, concludes on th»
iecond note of the second measure, marked *. It would manifestly be incorrect ta
break that design for the purpose of taking breath before the g had been played. Yet
there is no mark to indicate otherwise, and in nine cases out of ten players would breath
after the 0, grouping the two g^» with the next rhythm, thus destroying the design
The correct phrasing would be :

Here the rhythms are so uniform in pattern that a little care renders them dear*.
The same may be said of the old French air following ; but where the slovenly writiDg
of the compoaer has destroyed their resemblance :


The rhythm here is surely
b«it« if played according to the above slurs, the perspicuity of th« design is lost. Th# 1

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pIffMlDf is oomot as marked underneath, and breath shoald only be takwi al the «li
el eaeh rhythm.

The next, "D mio tesora/* from Mosart'a ''Don Joan/' \a a familiar example of
rarying rhythms :

I Biiytliia.

JBtajtlmL I Btaythm. |

The breathing points are marked by the oomma. Where rhythms correspond
throughout, they are said lo be rsguUMr, but where, as in the last quoted example, they
▼ary, they are termed irreffular.

Rythmical accent, as will be obserred from the foregoing, includes metrical. It
may not be so apparent on the surface as the latter, yet where a melody is performed
with due regard to rhythmic design a subtlety of nuance, a refinement of emphasiSi
ineyitably becomes manifest, consequent upon the effort to articulate each phrase oo»
reotly in accordance with the grammar of melodic construction.

The following rules, by Mr. Lussy, may serre as a guide in disooTering tha
rhythms in music :

1. " We must find out if the notes are arranged In groups of two and two, threa
and three, four and four bars on a similar symmetrical plan. Each group, diatln*
fuished by its difference from or resemblance to the preceding group, eyidently forms a
vnir, a rhythm or a section, according to its length.''

9. '* We must find out if in these groups of bars the same notes, or notes of tha
(Mme length, are repeated and if they are terminated by a longer note or a reet."

8. " Aboye all, we must pay attention to the feeling of repose giyen to the ear by
the last note of each group, and distinguish whether it is merely a pause, leaying a
desire for something to follow or a definite and final close."

If the examples preyiously giyen bjs analyzed by the aboye rules, these latter will
more easily become intelligible.

Dynamic characters and words as: =»- -^ p, fp,/« 2f , omcendo, diminuennU^
etc., require inyestigation, in order to giye that degree of force to a compot^ition which
their application would seem to demand. A melody may, on the whole, be of a soft or
subdued nature, yaried at times by ct€9oend9 or diminuendo, p'« or /'«. Where such
Is the ease, the greatest discernment is necessary, to ascertain to what extent thesa
apply, whether to one or more rhythms. Such can only be decided by the context
and by careful examination into tha expression of sentiment. To continue a er€$ 'end§
ttdimimundo beyond the limit of one rhythm into that following, unless the sense of
tlM melody require it, would be to make a graye error, reyenging itself by lose of t^

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loroefol ehanotar mi whtoh efwy rhythm most depend, more or lese, for Its tme

The art of phrasing oorreotly, implies attention to all the details of articulation^
BQOh as the legato, §enu-legato, ttaeaUo, puntato. The exact method of applying them
depends (1) on the nature of the work, (2) on individual taste. There is but little con-
formity among musicians on thesa points, as the subject has never been reduced to set
rales, yet, it will be well, in the absence of such, to remark that a legato passage should
inyariably be commenced with a decided accent, while its dose should be correspond-
ingly weak, and the last note made short, leaying an unmistakable rest between it and
the note succeeding. This note applies to all legato passages, whether composed of
two notes or a greater number. It is usual among good performers to emphasize the
first of a legato group of notes, irrespective of its position with respect to metrical

Id sneh passages the accent is really transposed, the weak becoming the stronf
and tP'e versa. Syncopated passages are performed in a similar manner.

Where the last note of a legato passage is followed by another of the same pitoh»
Che former will be weak and short, presenting a good breathing place, and the latter an
emphasized note.

A group of rapid legato notes ending on the point of metrical accent do mot, at a
general rale, rob that point of its proper accent, but, at the same time, such being the
last of a slurred passage, is made shorter than its appearance would infer.

Wonld be playeds

Limitation of space forbids us treating this subject of phrasing at the length iti
importance deserves; but we think sufUcient has been said to draw the attention of
readers of Thb Mbtronomb to the neoessity forgiving it their deepest study.

Tins is another element entering largely into the subject of musical expression.

Time may be considered under the heads of (1) normal, (2) emotional; normal, aa
Implied by the structural character of a melody; emotional, as dealing with those slight
deviations from the normal tempo occasionally oceurring either written or felt to ba
needed, in which most good compositions abound.

Italian terms, such as adagio, andante, allegro, preitOf are most commonly applied
10 indicate the normal speed at which a piece of music should be played in oider ta
show off its beauties to the best advantage.

These terms are ambigaooa, to say the least of them, and should be discarded lot
the more certain marking of metronomic figures. They are to uncertain In their apptt*

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Mdoa, »nd ooiiTey to little of the oompoeer's ide« of the nto of speed, m to give rise
to the greatest difference of opiaion between oonductors» performers and annotaton.
Nor are they alone in their disagreement as to the true oonoeption of these terms, as
any one may see by examining the works of even the greatest writers and noting the
diyergenoe of thdr views of the same term. For instance, take the following from
Handel's "Messiah:" **Comfort ye," and <*The people that walked in darkness "-^both
are in G time and the speed is indicated by the term LaurglMo^ yet the former is usually
taken at about the rate of MM J ■■ 40; while the latter moves as about the rate of MM
J ■> 68, or twenty-three degrees to the minute quickerl

Beethoven's Senates display similar discrepancies. Take the Finale of the 6th
Senate, marked PrMfitniii^, C, usually played m •■ 106, and compare it with first
movement of the 7th Senate, PreitOf $, and which is generally performed at ^ •■ 188.
Surely, this is an inversion of terms with a vengeance!

Now. one instenoe of divergent opinions between conductor and composer. De»
Kontski has the third movement of his popular *' Beveil du Lion " marked " Ten^
Marcia.** Tempo Marda may mean anything from J> or J ■■ 108, to 8-4 J ■■ ISO, of
||i cj — 60. Theodore Thomas intorprete the Tempo di Mard as meaning about J m^
182; while De Kontski himself, on being questioned with respect to his ideas of thf
tempo, states that J ■■ 112 was what he had in view.

Thousands of other examples might be given to prove tha absurdity of emi^ying
the arbitrary Italian speed terms which custom alone sanctions, and common sensa
oondemns. Composers, who still persist in using the ordinary words, should not com*
plain if the effect of their work is sacrificed by being performed at a tempo slower, of
quicker than they conceived requisite.

That musical expression depends much on the speed at which a piece is plajed,
goes without saying. This can readily be tested by playing any gennina Sootoh Strath-
spey, or Reel in slow time, when, it will be noticed, that what in one case was the very
exemplification of jolity, provoking the feet to movement, becomes in the other
pathetic, or as lugubrious as a funeral march. Yet, what are conductors to do, espeol*
ally in new compositions, or in old, in absence of tradition or specific speed signaturesi
They can only rely on their own Judgment or instinct. The structural elemente of tha
work must be carefully investigated, note by note, passage by passage, rhythm by
rhythm, and from these must be determined the trnnpo best adapted to bring out ite tma
meaning. It is only by such consideration that the normal tempo can be discovered*
Compositions with great elaboration of rhythmical accent or harmonic coloring, Just as
surely indicate a slow tempo, as does the more regular rhythm and simpler harmony
demand one relatively quicker. In polyphonic worlLS full of contrapuntal, canonic and
fugal devices, the time must not be too quick or the ear cannot follow, nor the mind
grasp, the intricacies of this style of composition, if the parte follow too rapidly ona on
the other. Fugue playing is the penchant of many organiste, and nearly all perform
them too rapidly. What is the result? A chaos of sound, cacophony, where nothing
but euphony should exist, metrical and rhythmical accent Jumbled up in hopeless oon-
fusion, the meaning and expression ruined. Such is the result.

With such an arraignment of charges against the Italian terms to denote speed, Ifc
must be self-evident thai they are useless and should be abolished in favor of the met*
ronome indications. The metronomic figures should be the only guide to deoida th«
normal tempo, but, at the same time, those words relating to modification and style, aa
muUMUf eaUande, acoeUerando, itringMbf raUrniUndo, pmUndod^ at«.t might aliB
be retained to good advantage.

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The dep«rtare from normal time either indioated or imparted by the performei
may be termed 0m(4ional time. Saoh « modifioatioD of tempo, whea iotrodooed at the
right momeut, adde greatly to the effeot of a work. In many instanoes the composer
4ias givea guides, but not in all. There are a thousand subtleties and deriations the
artist may feel, which the composer has not marked and could not if he tried. Here
the emotions are called into actiye operation and the performer becomes the interepter
of the meaning of a language but half expressed by the oonTentional signs in music.

Now to dose. Artistic expression is a subject upon which one may speculate, but
fail to explain. The reason of that power which the artist may exert, through the
medium of music, over the hearts and minds of others, cannot be analyied, cannot be
dissected. It is a gift of GK)d, one of His seoreti, and defies human power of explana-
tion* The artist feels and portrays his feelings; here the expression is morose, there
Joyful, here pathetic, there proToking to laughter, here pleading, there impassioned,
here simple, there rising to a pinnacle of sublimity and grandeur, which carries his
hearers along in spite of themselves, subsenrient to his genius. He cannot tell you why.
Bufficient for him he feels it, you feel it and both stand in reyerent awe before a power
Irhich lifts the mortal out of himself for the time being into the regions of the immortal.
Artistic expression, like the sun, has a life-gifing power; where it penetrates it illumi-
tiates, and where its beams fall, there it rsTcals that which was hidden.

l(annerism, while it must, as a necessity of individual personality, enter largely
Into expression, cannot be considered the sum total of artistic expression; on the con-
trary it may descend to positive vulgarity, although coupled with the highest technical
abilities. Evidences of this are not wanting, unfortunately for the amateur musicians
df the land. Salf-styled artists tour the country season after season whose exhibitions
and performances are a positive disgrace to the musical art Truly, they astonish their
audiences; but do they touch their sympathies ? Do they appeal to the intelligence or
to the heart? They have excited wonderment, but not love. In the persons of such
men the modest spirit of the true artist has no abode. The I am /protrudes at every
pore, and music is subordinated to tha end of glorifying the man at the expense of
the art.

If genius cannot be acquired, many of its traits may be copied. Listen to good
artists, shun the pyrotechnical musical mountebank; rather pay ten dollars to hear a
sitnple ballad artistically rendered, than ten cents to listen to stupid and meaningless
•how pieces of the vulgar virtuosi. The attempt to copy from good models must result
In the improvement and cultivation of taste and refinement, but to imitate a poor exam«
pie can only tend to drag one down to a low level of musical morals. Cultivation of
the imagination, fostering the growth of musical perception, and devoting one's self to
tbe development of an appreciation for the true and beautiful in art, should be the con*
stant aim. Good music, old or new, and no other, should be constantly studied, with
a view to draw forth its meaning, as well as to conquer its technical difficulties. Such
a course must strengthen, must elevate^ and while it cannot give the genius of artistie
expression, it must result in producing a degree of musical ability, delightful alike to
the possessor and to those who may have the pleasure of listening to his efforts.

The limits of an essay do not admit treating of musical expression as fully as it
desei ve8 and requires; but we think, those who have followed what is here written
will, if not previously acquainted with the subject, learn much having a practical appU-
oation to band and orchestra work.

If this small contribution shall succeed in inciting one mind to explore more f ullj
this single path of the many which lead to the summit of musical excellence, the writer
will feel that his effort has not been in vain.

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Langet, O., Tutor fob the Flute. $1.25.

Popp-SoussMAXN, Complete Method fob the Obdinabt and Boehm Ststbic
Flute (Kngliwh and German).

Part /, $1.00. PaH II, 76^. Part III, $1.00. CompleU, Paper, $2.60. Cloth,

Uniyebsal Method fob the Flute with Endish and German Text, containing
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Par</, $2.60. Par* //, $2.60. C<wipfete, Paper. $4.60. Cto^A, $6.76.

Deviennes, Flute Method, A Complete Method in every branch with Table of
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DuvEBGE, Method fob Boehm System Flute, with Table of Fingering for the
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Triple Tonguing, Cadensas, concluding with several Airs witn Variations.

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L'Indispenbable — A Modebn School of Pebfection fob Flute
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Online LibraryArthur A. ClappéThe band teacher's assistant or, Complete and progressive band instructor ... → online text (page 7 of 9)