Saturday, 28 April 2018

Understanding Dynamics: raising the floor.

Understanding Dynamics: raising the floor

Image result for il caffe diventa forte translation


As I teach, I witness new ways of thinking about things.  Often Students express, "I had never thought of it that way!"  This happened in a lesson and felt it was important enough to share.  In fact, that is the reason that I Blog.  In the privacy of the lesson, Students have break-through moments.  These moments are brief, but last a life time.  The brief moments are part of a larger lesson and that is what they pay for.  I will Blog little ideas which crop up from time to time: I also Compose, to inspire you to Compose.  The resources are free, the Teaching is not.  Lessons may be booked through the contact form on the website.

What are Dynamics?

Dynamics are the forces applied to something.  Aerodynamic is the impact of the force of air on an object.  Group dynamics is the forces which personalities impact on each other. Dynamics within Music is the force which is applied to the instrument.  More or less force applied to an instrument produces varieties of tonal colour and volume - volume means mass, not loudness.

Raising the floor with Piano

Secondary school Students, studying Music are often taught that if what they are listening to has an Harpsichord in it, then it's Baroque Music.  That is a good broad definition.  Toward the end of the Baroque period the Pianoforte was invented.  Silbermann in Germany and Cristofori in Italy were making the first explorations into inventing an instrument - the Italian word "Strumento" means tool - which could play with a greater range of tonal colour.  As the player applies different Dynamics, different tonal colour is produced.  

It is the pressure which applied which produces the difference in tone.  The misconception is that "Forte" means loud and "Piano" means quiet.  Consider the following phrase, "Il caffe diventa forte": "the coffee becomes strong".  The coffee does not become loud.  That doesn't make any sense.  Whether giving Singing lessons, or Instrumental lessons, the same conversation comes up often: play forte and the tonal colour will become richer, like coffee.  Having discovered that "forte" means strong, that raises a question about "Piano".

"Piano" means floor.  It is the base level from which we play. As you make music, consider applying more strength (Forte) and getting all the way down to the floor (Piano).  Consider the level of your floor.  By raising the level of the floor, the lowest level of strength will increase and stronger forces produce warmer tones. 

 Raise the floor and your tone will improve.


Robin's Experience and Style

Robin Thornton - Teacher At a young age, I decided that I wanted to be a Musician. I did not believe that I could support...