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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000005.txt from 2001/05

From: (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] Sousa waltzes and marches
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 01:12:43 -0400

Gary, here's my take on it:

Tunes such as "Bicycle Built For Two" are attractive melodies.
That's why people are still singing them and dancing them today. Old
time melodies need not be boring if you can highlight whatever gave them
their appeal originally. A Souza song sounds to me like an opportunity
for nostalgia --- good feelings about 'the good old days.'

Can you make a rich, round, golden tone with plenty of projection
be the centerpiece of your performance? Can you emphasize the waltz
rhythm and a sense of "this is how it was when America was young and
happy?" (Even if it wasn't always, in truth.) Can you make a "set
piece" out of the melody? Strong phrasing?

Certainly showmanship is part of performance. For example, at
every master class, the teacher usually manages to give some advice
about keeping the clarinet to your lips even after that last beautiful
note is finished. In this case, are you visible to the audience, such
that they can see sway in waltz rhythm as you play? Will some of the
other band members sway with you? Nostalgia. Set piece. Period
costume? I was only half kidding about a waltzing couple. Can you
offer a bouquet to one of the ladies in the audience?

Does your playing declare, "I love this old stuff! It had so much
heart!" If your music says that it does, then it does. That's what
you're doing for the audience --- you're giving them something that they
can't create for themselves.

....well, I'm not a performer, but that's how I would approach it.


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