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Barbara Dennerlein Wants To Perform Pipe-organ


Guest spottedmetal

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========================

 

Well, we've from "non-art" to "not great art," which can only be a good thing. As someone who plays both classical and light music, I find myself asking whether Bach could ever have been a Gershwin, or whether Gershwin could ever have been a Bach, and I come up against a brick-wall.

 

That's why I'm not clever enough.

 

MM

 

I am not sure that it would matter. Neither am I sure that it would be desirable. It often seems to be the case that good jazz musicians cannot play classical music convincingly - and vice versa. There are of course exceptions, one of the most obvious being the late Dudley Moore.

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It often seems to be the case that good jazz musicians cannot play classical music convincingly - and vice versa. There are of course exceptions, one of the most obvious being the late Dudley Moore.

 

 

========================

 

I'm sure you are right, and I'm struggling to think of the exceptions. I suspect that America is the place where you might come across the rare cross-over breed.

 

I often wonder quite why this is, because although I can do odd bits of jazz-style playing, I do find it very difficult.

 

MM

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. . . there are some very fine, young, home-grown performers who contribute to this board. To suggest that Arts Council funding should be used to finance entertainers from overseas does offend me

Dear John

 

Sorry to go back to this but last night I realised that you have hit a nail on the head here, although it might be a thumbnail instead B)

 

The night before last I had the good fortune to be able to go to a concert of six Vivaldi concertos in a rather nice prison. Luckily the inmates had ceased to inhabit it a few centuries ago, the bridge that served it has been incorporated in to a museum years ago and it's been used for musical recitals for the past century. For classical concerts it's a brilliant location with erudition beyond the norm in the level of target audience available.

 

For Vivaldi there might have been around 30 in the audience in the venue for 200. One son came willingly whilst the other stayed back. Only three people clapped after the first movement of the first concerto.

 

Last night, both my sons dragged me to a jazz trio in the same place. Same advertising. Parallel leaflets. Same marketing personnel, location and ticket prices. Around 100 in the audience, and they all clapped seemingly on every key change.

 

Doesn't this say it all? The proof is in the pudding and all that . . . Concerts have to entertain, as such jazz trios as last night were perceived to have entertained. The instrument has to entertain, and that's not in tea-dance mode of Tuesday nights: the organists who play the organs have to be entertainers in order to compete.

 

Whilst I regard Barbara Dennerlein's musical innovation as more than mere entertainment and her pedal technique as pioneering where classical organists are apparently trying and failing, you have asked the right question: who among home grown performers are entertainers?

 

Carlo Curley and . . . and who else . . . ? Ignoring the benefits available from international inspiration who else, home grown, can draw the younger generation crowd that the organ badly needs?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

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Only three people clapped after the first movement of the first concerto.

 

I'm delighted to hear that of your audience only three were so ill-mannered as to applaud between movements.

 

A lot hinges on whether you regard the player as an entertainer or a communicator. In my view, the music must entertain, and the instrument must entertain. The player is there to draw out the colours from both instrument and music and not be guilty of making either into a sideshow in order to inflate his/her ego.

 

In my experience (speaking as someone who until very recently has been seriously struggling to make ends meet), something which is good will blossom and grow as long as you can sustain belief in what you're doing and integrity in the way you're doing it. In my view there is no need to compete; indeed, competition has very little to do with music as some of the best and most profound, moving and entertaining music hardly shouts at all.

 

Without naming names, at least one of the people you have earlier mentioned on this thread as being deserving of arts council funding has played at one of my churches and is exceedingly unlikely to be invited back. If that person were, through your good offices, to be in receipt of public money, I would (like John C) be not terribly amused as this year my income from about 50 hours of playing a week will be less than that of a teenage supermarket checkout clerk or burger jockey.

 

Somewhere I have an article by Kevin Bowyer in which he defined the word "approachable" as the point to which the audience can be bothered to listen. So if you want somewhere to stick your public money, do half an hour's Googling on Kodaly and the Hungarian music education system, then consider whether it might be more artistically sustainable to use that money to breed audiences who are willing and able to appreciate the music that is already before them without dressing it up in clothes which do not (and should not) fit. What you will find in your research will explain why, in their political riots last year, protestors sang their chants in faultless 4- and 5-part harmony whereas we bewail the fact that we can't get audiences to turn out for anything which doesn't have lots of base instincts - noise, smoke, flashing lights, hollow showmanship and banging. We are a generation of musical cavemen. Looking at the current GCSE syllabus, is it any wonder?

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Without naming names, at least one of the people you have earlier mentioned on this thread as being deserving of arts council funding has played at one of my churches and is exceedingly unlikely to be invited back. If that person were, through your good offices, to be in receipt of public money, I would (like John C) be not terribly amused

Dear David

 

Perhaps the issue of public money here is distracting us from the real issue - how to best promote the organ.

 

The suggestion was made only for the reason that when one sees public funds spent on creating cracks in floors in the name of Art, one is inclined to think that the organ is as worthy a cause as any. Indeed, in particular as people value more what they invest in, and often don't value what they are able to take for granted, the fact that little or no public funding is directed at organ promotion speaks for itself in terms of the lack of interest that we see.

 

Public funding of some organ events, of the right sort of the right performers, would be an investment which would make the instrument be seen publicly as worthwhile. This is only a suggestion and a component of the formula which may one day be necessary to generate the interest level that the instrument needs. In identifying any one performer in particular we might not yet have achieved the right formula but one has to put some toes in water somewhere . . .

 

However, public funding is not the real issue: it's not necessarily who, nor how to be funded but more generally how to really shake up interest in the instrument, and in the most profoundly good repertoire that it supports. Going through the previous thread on this item,

http://web16713.vs.netbenefit.co.uk/discus...p?showtopic=443

it wasn't easy to find on a quick perusal at least to find anyone in Britain save Carlo himself: people were questioning the ageing of some of our outstanding performers and asking where we are seeing the next generation coming from without great certainty of answers.

 

The issue is not simply about putting on the best of music - at a venue for 700 people, it is commonplace for 680 people to miss a good organ recital.

 

With regard to toes in water it sounds as though the toe that you have valuably placed there found the temperature unsatisfactory and it would be extremely helpful to hear of your experiences privately in due course.

 

Many thanks and best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

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We are a generation of musical cavemen. Looking at the current GCSE syllabus, is it any wonder?

David,

I'm not sure that the current GCSE specs are the main problem. The one I use at my school (EDEXCEL) includes a compulsory unit on serialism. OK, it doesn't deal with it in any great depth, but at least youngsters are being encouraged, indeed compelled to listen critically to less 'approachable' music. A couple of years ago, I had a student who became fascinated by serial techniques to the extent that he composed a 2nd Viennese-style piece as part of his AS submission...it was a swine to mark!

 

The night before last I had the good fortune to be able to go to a concert of six Vivaldi concertos

Spottedmetal,

I cannot imagine anything more likely to turn anyone, youing or old, against western art music more quickly and violently than an evening of Vivaldi.

 

Cheers,

Paul.

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We are a generation of musical cavemen. Looking at the current GCSE syllabus, is it any wonder?

 

David,

I'm not sure that the current GCSE specs are the main problem. The one I use at my school (EDEXCEL) includes a compulsory unit on serialism. OK, it doesn't deal with it in any great depth, but at least youngsters are being encouraged, indeed compelled to listen critically to less 'approachable' music. A couple of years ago, I had a student who became fascinated by serial techniques to the extent that he composed a 2nd Viennese-style piece as part of his AS submission...it was a swine to mark!

Cheers,

Paul.

 

Then your students are lucky to have such a teacher. I heard a heartbreaking story from someone of my close acquaintance last night.

 

Perhaps I shouldn't have laid into GCSE so much as primary education. The fact that Hungarian children of 6 and 7 all sing daily, usually in parts, read music, because of using sol-fa have a vague notional understanding (even if only by feel) of what a tonic-dominant shift is or what a relative minor is... can you imagine??!!

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Looking at the current GCSE syllabus, is it any wonder?

 

You should see the forthcoming changes at GCSE/AS and A2, i wondered how hard it would be to water down water, but that is in fact, what we're getting. For the kids I teach, they learn far more outside the classroom than they do in it. Choir, even the Jazz Band and the improv skills are much more worthy, ditto trips out to live concerts.

 

I do take the point about serialsim though, we do OCR and I've been amazed at how a number of kids have latched on it in a positive way. I think its becasue its SO far removed from anything familiar. The same can be said when we've listened to people like Ligeti, to name but one.

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We are a generation of musical cavemen. Looking at the current GCSE syllabus, is it any wonder?

David,

I'm not sure that the current GCSE specs are the main problem. The one I use at my school (EDEXCEL) includes a compulsory unit on serialism. OK, it doesn't deal with it in any great depth, but at least youngsters are being encouraged, indeed compelled to listen critically to less 'approachable' music.

[

 

I agree - we do AQA and I include a unit on minimalism.

 

AJJ

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You should see the forthcoming changes at GCSE/AS and A2, i wondered how hard it would be to water down water, but that is in fact, what we're getting. For the kids I teach, they learn far more outside the classroom than they do in it. Choir, even the Jazz Band and the improv skills are much more worthy, ditto trips out to live concerts.

 

I do take the point about serialsim though, we do OCR and I've been amazed at how a number of kids have latched on it in a positive way. I think its becasue its SO far removed from anything familiar. The same can be said when we've listened to people like Ligeti, to name but one.

 

Generally speaking, the greatest ammount of customer resistance that I encounter when teaching GCSE is when we're doing the 'Popular Song' unit. Britpop and club dance are considered rather passe (to put it politely) by the students - especially by the rockers (who in my GCSE groups generally outnumber the classical musicians by a factor of c.2:1).

 

As for the new A level specs..don't get me started, I'm likely to go postal.

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I do take the point about serialsim though, we do OCR and I've been amazed at how a number of kids have latched on it in a positive way. I think its becasue its SO far removed from anything familiar. The same can be said when we've listened to people like Ligeti, to name but one.

What is it that they are latching onto though? I hope it is genuinely the music. I only mention this because I well remember that when I was at school and our music teacher introduced us to serial music the pupils who went for it in a big way were the lower achievers and misfits. Despite proclaiming the music "great", they really had no interest in it at all. What appealed to them was merely the rebelliousness and anarchy of it.

 

Generally speaking, the greatest ammount of customer resistance that I encounter when teaching GCSE is when we're doing the 'Popular Song' unit. Britpop and club dance are considered rather passe (to put it politely) by the students - especially by the rockers (who in my GCSE groups generally outnumber the classical musicians by a factor of c.2:1).

Which makes me wonder what their attitude to jazz would be. Perhaps they would love it - I really don't know - but I rather associate it with the tastes of my generation. There's nothing particularly "with it" about jazz; it's by now a long-established art form with a respectable history. I enjoyed Barbara, by the way, but eventually lost interest because she went on longer than the music was able to sustain.

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What is it that they are latching onto though? I hope it is genuinely the music. I only mention this because I well remember that when I was at school and our music teacher introduced us to serial music the pupils who went for it in a big way were the lower achievers and misfits. Despite proclaiming the music "great", they really had no interest in it at all. What appealed to them was merely the rebelliousness and anarchy of it.

An excellent reason for liking any art form. Bring it on.

Regards,

Paul (ageing punk)

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Yes, I agree - if it does in fact lead to liking an art form, which in my case it did - until I later decided I could gain greater satisfaction from more traditional idioms. But the point about the "misfits" (for want of a better word) is that it didn't convert any of them to classical music, ancient or modern, because they didn't give a dam about the music. All they were really doing was showing their support for something (anything) that got up the noses of old fogies (it is probably relevant that the teacher had made it obvious that he really didn't much like this type of music). So it was simply a culture statement that had nothing whatever to do with music. They were posturing.

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Generally speaking, the greatest ammount of customer resistance that I encounter when teaching GCSE is when we're doing the 'Popular Song' unit. Britpop and club dance are considered rather passe (to put it politely) by the students - especially by the rockers (who in my GCSE groups generally outnumber the classical musicians by a factor of c.2:1).

 

Which makes me wonder what their attitude to jazz would be. Perhaps they would love it - I really don't know - but I rather associate it with the tastes of my generation.

 

Vox,

as regards jazz, or any other 'not with it' music, my experience is that most young musicians (whatever their musical background/discipline or personal taste) are quite willing to explore the unfamiliar. The objection from some of them to studying Britpop was because they believed that its inclusion on the syllabus was a patronizing attempt by somebody on high to be trendy and give 'the kids' what (s)he believed that they would like. I am in full agreement with them on this point.

 

As one of my present Yr 11 said,

 

'Sir, why can't we do the real Beatles instead of the plastic Beatles?' (i.e. Oasis). Why not, indeed?

 

I suspect that a parallel may be drawn between the attitude of some towards music exam specifications and that of some others towards church music/liturgy...

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I'm delighted to hear that of your audience only three were so ill-mannered as to applaud between movements.

 

A lot hinges on whether you regard the player as an entertainer or a communicator. In my view, the music must entertain, and the instrument must entertain. The player is there to draw out the colours from both instrument and music and not be guilty of making either into a sideshow in order to inflate his/her ego.

 

In my experience (speaking as someone who until very recently has been seriously struggling to make ends meet), something which is good will blossom and grow as long as you can sustain belief in what you're doing and integrity (snip)........

 

 

==============================

 

 

I wonder if I may make a plea for a little common-sense here.

 

As I see it, there are two distinct schools-of-thought. There are those who believe that the organ can be popularised by the introduction of "entertainment value" and those who think that this is somehow bastardising art. I would suggest that both views are quite wrong.

 

If really pushed into a corner and asked to come up with something entertaining, I could probably do it without recourse to gimmicks, using nothing more than the repertoire written for the instrument.

 

Consider the following:-

 

Bach's (CPE?) Pedal Exercitium

 

Bossi - Giga

 

Widor - Toccata (you KNOW the one)

 

Bach - D Minor (Yes, the OTHER one)

 

Hollins - Song of Sunshine

 

Bervelllier - Mouvement (for the jazz freaks)

 

Swain - Riff Raff

 

Mushel - Toccata

 

 

There are lots of other examples, and in the short list cited aboe, the music is generally not over-complicated from a listening point of view, and retains some degree of aural clarity. Rhythmically, much of this music is quite exciting.

 

I suspect that the really IMPORTANT contribution to this debate is that relating to the Hungarian Kodaly-Institute thread, because that is not unique, by any means, in central europe. Love of music....all music.....really starts when people want to make a noise and be heard. The human race is incredibly noisy at even an early age, and gets even noisier as it gets older.

Within each and every one of us (with perhaps a few exceptions) is both the ability and the desire to make, hear and enjoy rhythms and sounds; whether organised or disorganised. Young children bash drums, ring bells, make screeching noises, put lollipop sticks in bicycle spokes, make racing car noises and generally make their presence known in no uncertain terms. Even the deaf like vibrations and rhythm, so it isn't just about sound. It's basic instinct, and it comes naturally as form of communication and a desire to interact with other vocally and sonically.

 

If we go right back to first principles rather than discuss end-results, we would perhaps realise that musical or non-musical sounds are a part of life, but civilisation has evolved various ways of encapsulating sound in such a way that it is ordered, recognisable and, in the best of endeavours, quite beautiful. However, that is only possible when people are exposed to things of real worth; by which I do not mean either fashionable or elitist things for their own sake. Furthermore, it starts in the most formative years.

 

Now "spotted metal" and myself have communicated privately about this, and shared our views, but in essence, I believe that we are living in a society where children are more or less abandonded by adults from quite an early age. They see the world through an illuminated screen, they listen to music through headphones and loudspeakers, and if they sing or make noise, they are silenced by adults wanting to watch TV etc etc. Worse still, adults never include children in anything social once they reach the age of about 11. There is "their" world of pop culture (which moves very fast), and the adult world , and no wonder there is no communication across the generations. Indeed, loneliness and confusion are two of the most prevalent ills among the young, and quite naturally, they gather together in an attempt to find mutual support. This is the "gang culture"....kids isolated from adults and the mainstream of life; abandoned to the fate of peer convention and potential criminality.

 

Of course, there are remarkable exceptions, and not every teenager joins a gang, but to some degree, it is echoed right across the social spectrum. Even the better off are so busy working and surviving, they probably have no idea what their offspring are doing half the time, and tragically, that can be involvement in drugs, alcohol and vandalism; even among "better class" children. Cocaine has become the Sherbert of well-off youth in the better class areas.

 

(A pause for an amusing moment here. A young man who is a friend of a friend who was visiting, announced that he, " Had some Sherbert in his bag," and went to get it. Horrified that he might be about to snort cocaine in my living-room, I was amused and relieved to find that he had, in fact, brought sherbert sticks with him!!!!!! LOL)

 

To return to the Hungarian experience, I would expand this to include the still strong influence of catholicism in Poland, (which produces strong and stable families), the extraordinary legacy of educational establishments from the former communist regimes in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia and elsewhere, the "old" selective system still prevalant in the Netherlands, the well disciplined education in China and Japan, the utter reverence for education in India, and doubtless other systems across the world. Compare that to the social-disfunction of children and teenagers in America and the UK, and the difference is very striking, to say the least.

 

One thing I wrote about to "spotted metal" was the wonderfully incisive moment in the latest "Harry Potter" film, where a "Ministry Approved" teacher arrives at "Hogwarts" to teach "Defence against the dark arts". There is the priceless skit, as the teacher announces that in future, they will only be learning "The theory of defence against the black arts," because they would never need to worry about it, and such things needed "to be learned in a safe and secure environment, approved by the ministry." Then comes the best bit, "We are here to pass the examinations; which is what education is all about."

 

It is the exact mirror image of a whole social-system of token exchange. The entire structure of society now being based on money (and more importantly, the system of money exchange), means that people no longer realise that advantage to one brings disadvantage to another, and that even token money still represents bales of hay and bags of sugar. The theory of life has begun to outweigh and overshadow the practicalities of life.

 

What has this got to do with music?

 

I would suggest a great deal, and for the following reasons. As anyone knows, the theory of music means absolutely nothing except to a musician, and musicians are people who DO music, rather than merely listen to it. In a society which sits children in front of a TV, hands them headphones and i-Pods and seeks to entertain them rather than involve them, we see the growth of a style of age-related apartheid, where there are "us" and "them." No wonder the kids rebel, and involve themselves in whatever is interesting, exciting and perhaps dangerous........like stealing cars, hurling bricks, fighting and drug-dealing.

 

Oher than sport, music is one activity which can actually give people something to do, and it doesn't have to cost the earth. Singing has always been a very cheap pursuit, yet in old age, people in old-folk's homes still sing together or hum the tunes they knew in their youth. It is so basic and means so much, and the fact that people naturally sing songs together, means that music brings great social cohesion and crosses boundaries of age, circumstance and to some extent, educational achievement. Music is, I suspect, a great social leveller.

 

I smile when I think of little Latvia. Grab two teenage girls and two teenage boys off the street, and you've got yourself a choir!

 

They are the most singing people in Europe....forget Cambridge and the Vienna Boy's Choir. Listen to the Latvian Radio Chorus, and your jaw drops open in awe of them. Mozart never sounded that good, even when he was alive. Remember the moment I described with the Latvian Youth, who launched into a section of Bach's B-minor Mass at a postal depot? For him, that was normal......that's what Latvians do!

 

The problem of "organ appeal" is not unique to the instrument. The same would be true of string quartets, harpsichord recitals and consort-music for viols.

 

What they each share is specialisation, which can only be properly appreciated by those who already know something about music. Knowing about music is knowing how to DO IT, and it doesn't matter HOW we do it. If children only ever sing, they are directly involved in the creative process in an organised way, and this is probably the seed which blossoms in later life. The church choirs were the spwaning ground for organist-tadpoles; not the organ itself.

 

This is, I believe, why the Leeds Catholic Diocese choral initiative is so vitally important, just as singing is the backbone of Latvia's music, and Estonia's, and many other country's music. To see hundreds of children singing together, with glee, even if it isn't quite King's College or Westminster Cathedral, is to witness the creative process in action, and children DOING something rather than being spectators. From creativity and the ability to create, comes the confidence to reach out towards higher things, of which the organ is just a tiny part.

 

Consider this as a final thought. Which branch of music has never had a problem recruiting the young?

 

Pop music? Choral music? Piano music? Violin music? Orchestral music?

 

No, the answer is the Brass Band movement, where children have hands on experience from the start. From those stumbling beginnings and raspberry sounds, the likes of "Black Dyke" and "Brighouse and Rastrick" continue to delight and astonish by their utter virtuosity.

 

How odd that it began with church musicians and organists in the working class districts of Victorian England, where mothers drank gin and children were abandoned to whatever fate befell them.

 

Is it any different to-day, with all our political correctness, and when people talk only of examinations and a "safe and secure environment" in which to learn?

 

MM

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Why?

 

Why does the organ badly need the younger generation crowd?

 

Will 700 kids, lured to a recital by balloons and other gimmicks, produce:

 

More and better organists?

More and better organ music?

More and better organs?

More and better organ recitals?

 

J

 

 

SNIP

... who else, home grown, can draw the younger generation crowd that the organ badly needs?

 

Best wishes

 

Spottedmetal

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Generally speaking, the greatest ammount of customer resistance that I encounter when teaching GCSE is when we're doing the 'Popular Song' unit. Britpop and club dance are considered rather passe (to put it politely) by the students - especially by the rockers (who in my GCSE groups generally outnumber the classical musicians by a factor of c.2:1).

 

Which makes me wonder what their attitude to jazz would be. Perhaps they would love it - I really don't know - but I rather associate it with the tastes of my generation.

 

Vox,

as regards jazz, or any other 'not with it' music, my experience is that most young musicians (whatever their musical background/discipline or personal taste) are quite willing to explore the unfamiliar. The objection from some of them to studying Britpop was because they believed that its inclusion on the syllabus was a patronizing attempt by somebody on high to be trendy and give 'the kids' what (s)he believed that they would like. I am in full agreement with them on this point.

 

As one of my present Yr 11 said,

 

'Sir, why can't we do the real Beatles instead of the plastic Beatles?' (i.e. Oasis). Why not, indeed?

 

I suspect that a parallel may be drawn between the attitude of some towards music exam specifications and that of some others towards church music/liturgy...

Apologies, Paul. You are quite right and I think we were perhaps at cross purposes. I was forgetting that in this thread we are really discussing kids who are already musical and amenable. The ones I was thinking of were pretty much anti everything and everybody (though who knows what the right person might have been able to accomplish with them?)

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Why?

 

Why does the organ badly need the younger generation crowd?

 

Will 700 kids, lured to a recital by balloons and other gimmicks, produce:

 

More and better organists?

More and better organ music?

More and better organs?

More and better organ recitals?

 

J

To be fair, I think that we do need to enthuse and excite kids with a love of the organ If we fail to do that our instrument will be dead. I really can't believe that any of us seriously thinks we don't need to inspire this enthusiasm. The issue is how to do it. I doubt that gimicks will do it and I am quite sure that Vierne symphonies will put them off for life.

 

Consider the following:-

 

Bach's (CPE?) Pedal Exercitium

 

Bossi - Giga

 

Widor - Toccata (you KNOW the one)

 

Bach - D Minor (Yes, the OTHER one)

 

Hollins - Song of Sunshine

 

Bervelllier - Mouvement (for the jazz freaks)

 

Swain - Riff Raff

 

Mushel - Toccata

This strikes me as much more the sort of thing needed - an excellent programme in fact. (I've never come across the Bossi or Bervellier, but I can imagine.)

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As regards jazz, or any other 'not with it' music, my experience is that most young musicians (whatever their musical background/discipline or personal taste) are quite willing to explore the unfamiliar.

 

As one of my present Yr 11 said,

 

'Sir, why can't we do the real Beatles instead of the plastic Beatles?' (i.e. Oasis). Why not, indeed?

 

I suspect that a parallel may be drawn between the attitude of some towards music exam specifications and that of some others towards church music/liturgy...

 

Too true - we underestimate the sophistication and taste of some of our musical students at our peril. We should also remember as teachers or choir directors that it is the way we present the music that will ultimately allow it to succeed or not. The youth of today votes with it's feet (so to speak) - if we are enthusiastic then they will be. This may sound vaguely corny but it works - or at least has done pretty much for me for more years than I am going to admit on here and even though at times it leaves me totally kn :rolleyes:;):rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: d!

 

AJJ

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Am I correct in thinking that the score of this splendid work by Berveiller has never been published?

 

I was wondering that too... I vaguely remember John Scott (I think) saying, at a recital, that he'd got it "off the internet".

Any ideas?

Searches in the past haven't thrown anything up.

It's a great piece.

P.

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
As one of my present Yr 11 said,

 

'Sir,

 

I applaud any delving into music. But I doubly applaud how this student began the question.

 

But a story - sorry! When I taught, I really found that it was often my job to show the boys how to 'switch off'. They all seemed frightened of silence but they were quite content to have a Radio station switched on that constantly broadcast music that provided no programme of works/players in the Radio Times or in the daily paper. If they had the device switched on, I asked them to be constructive in their criticism. If they liked something - why did they? If it was something that they could not abide - why couldn't they? Surprisingly to all concerned, I found that less times music was just being played for playing sake and quite often a study was silent altogether when they were doing Prep. The education of restaurateurs into not providing music piped down belongs to the same scenario, I think. If there is music coming through holes in the ceiling, I sometimes ask for the Music Menu. That's fun and makes them realise sometimes that taste doth differ.

Lowest common denominator is not what I think was assumed we should strive for when our parents strove for perfection at conception.

N

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