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Apr
6
comment Whether to change a piano teacher
Thanks. I guess I feel that if you think you are, like me, a person who needs to understand then try this experiment: learn something without understanding it. You may find that as a result you grow as a musician. This isn't a general rule, just something to play with.
Apr
6
comment Compositions or songs written for black keys only
Not just blues, Benjamin Britten uses the tritone frequently and there's an interesting section on its uses in the tritone wikipedia page
Feb
23
comment What to do when you get lost in a jazz song?
There's a lovely anecdote of Stéphane Grappelli looking increasingly concerned during an improvisation. When a band mate (John Etheridge) asked what was wrong Grappelli replied "What tune are we playing?"
Feb
19
comment What do I need to start playing violin amplified?
Do you want to amplify the acoustic you already play on, or are you open to buying a dedicated electric violin?
Feb
19
comment Two simultaneous notes for singing?
Or sing the part that feels more comfortable for your voice and that those around you are singing, and pray your musical director does not ask you to sing the other one!
Jan
16
comment Lyrics for additional verses in LilyPond?
This is cross-posted from here and possibly the mailing list. I'm confused about where questions like this should go (and my confusion is cross-posted here and here!)
Jan
7
comment How many voices do violins usually play in modern orchestral music
I don't think that's the question?
Jan
7
comment How many voices do violins usually play in modern orchestral music
Exactly, it would be worth knowing the standard of the orchestras the OP is targeting. I'm a 2nd violinist in a local amateur orchestra and we cope fine with two parts (firsts and seconds) or further dividing one part into two (i.e. inner desk player does the bottom part, outer player the top) but I get in a bit of a tiswas when there's an 1st, A, and B part (or more) since I cannot rely on glancing at the section leader to see what she's doing.
Jan
7
comment Free software to create a score from scratch
I second LilyPond, but I'd only recommend it to folk comfortable with text based notation (as @cjm points out). Since the OP has a StackOverflow profile with questions on SQL and PHP I think LilyPond's language will be make sense.
Jan
4
comment Distinction between same notes played on different strings
On the violin notes of the same pitch sound different if played on different strings, partlly because the violin sounds different higher up the fingerboard. Sometimes when I'm playing in orchestra the composer (especially Elgar) will write "Sul G" meaning that the entire phrase should be played on the low G string. Hard, but sounds wonderfully eerie if you can pull it off. Also as the violin is not fretted an open string sounds very different from the equivalent note on a stopped string. Folk fiddlers often use this to play both 'versions' of the same note together as it sounds rich.
Jan
4
comment Distinction between same notes played on different strings
I don't understand the phrase "without distributing these phrases in the intended manner across three strings they become pointless"
Jan
1
comment Is there a known point in history where dissonance became acceptable?
Don't forget Carlo Gesualdo (1566 – 1613) bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01w3rp4
Dec
2
comment vocal exercises to perform while driving to work
I do exercises on my bicycle in to work (folk at junctions must think I'm mad). Even just the breathing exercises (e.g. imagine you are a pint of beer, filling from the bottom) are useful. And simple scale work: 1 ... 1,2,1 ... 1,2,3,2,1 ... 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 .. etc.
Nov
17
comment Why is the double bass the only instrument in the violin family tuned in fourths?
Brilliant - I read once (I think in a note in the RCM museum) that one of the ways of telling something in the violin family from something in the viol family was how the body joins the neck. Violins join perpendicular while viols slope in. It's always bugged me that double-basses seem to break this rule. But they don't!
Oct
22
comment Clean and polish an old violin
Interesting - is 'linen oil' lanolin?
Oct
3
comment What's the correct term for a 'professional' composer?
Don't worry @jjmusicnotes, I will mark an answer. I've taken to leaving questions open for a few days to encourage more answers. I hope that's OK.
Oct
3
comment What's the correct term for a 'professional' composer?
Interesting - but the amateur composers who worked with us were also published
Oct
2
comment What's the correct term for a 'professional' composer?
I do realise that most, if not all, composers will also get money from other things like performing, teaching, conducting. You look at someone like Mahler and it's a wonder he had time to compose at all. I meant more a distinction between someone who is, say, a bank manager but also composes and someone who is just doing music. Still someone like Borodin messes with that distinction too! Anyway, great answer. Thanks.
Oct
2
comment What's the correct term for a 'professional' composer?
I like the term 'established'; that does bring weight.
Oct
2
comment What's the correct term for a 'professional' composer?
The trouble is, unless they are a household name, it is hard to distinguish a professional composer you have never heard of from an amateur composer you have never heard of without looking them up. It would be great to find a term that avoided the web search for the composer's biography