Klarinet Archive - Posting 000354.txt from 1995/03
From: Barbara E Longair <longairb@-----.EDU>
Subj: Feeling faint? Try smelling salts
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 1995 18:44:40 -0500
> I have a student who is getting a pinched, restrained sound in the clarion
> register. I ask them to repeat the same passage, this time with a "dark"
> sound. Voila, something changed, the tightness, the "eee" was gone from their
> sound. Another I asked to imagine the darkness of a french horn rather than
> the brightness of an oboe. That worked too.
> I have grown up with these metaphors and they work
> for me and for the majority of my students. I use bright and dark to get rid
> of a piercing sound, or to produce one where appropriate. To try and define,
> or put a tangible meaning to an intangible sound takes a large output of
> energy. We use subjective, abstract concepts everyday when being taught, or
> teaching music. If you have a sound concept in your mind that can be
> translated by the words bright and dark then what is the fault of using those
> terms? How is this different from a conductor who wants something to sound as
> gentle as the falling rain? Not everything in this world has to be defined by
> scientific, concrete facts. The most important thing is the sound, and if
> in an effort to achieve that sound we use such ill defined words as bright and
> dark then go for it. Woe be to those who shoot such efforts down.
> One who can live by faith alone,
> Barb LonGair