Archive for March, 2013

The Origin of the “New Symphony”

Hans Rott

Hans Rott

By Zachariah Friesen

Hans Rott was a prodigy. His new approach to the symphony was admired throughout Austria and was the subject of great discussion in musical circles in 1880. He was a Wagnerian composer, now considered the long lost link between fellow Austrian composers Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler. Likened to those Great Masters, Rott’s innovation and development of his themes as well as the orchestration and the propensity for heavy brass writing characterized his music. Themes of his Symphony No. 1 in E minor are nearly identical to that of Mahler’s “Titan” Symphony No. 1 that radically changed the concept of a symphony forever. It is believed Continue reading ‘The Origin of the “New Symphony”’

Tips for Teaching Rhythmic Fundamentals to Music Students

By Carolyn Walter

I can scarcely think of anything more fundamental to musicianship than rhythm. With few exceptions, I find that a solid rhythmic foundation is truly the root of a good performance.  A piece played with otherwise flawless accuracy sounds sloppy or even falls completely apart without proper rhythmic control; never mind if the notes were pitch perfect, the dynamics were  masterful and the ornamentation was authentic. I feel this is true regardless of ensemble size, style or instrumentation.  A choir/orchestra with 100+ members needs to hold together with precision, as does a small ensemble with just a handful.  Even an unaccompanied soloist playing in a very free, rubato style must have a strong sense of pulse to deliver her musical message most effectively.

Like so many things in music, the basics of solid time and rhythmic notation and accurate interpretation can be explained in a few hours . . and perfected over the course of one’s entire life.   While the elementary process of counting correctly can be summarized in just a couple of pages in a basic theory or method book like the following:

Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory Standard of Excellence Edly's Music Theory for Practical People

I find that Continue reading ‘Tips for Teaching Rhythmic Fundamentals to Music Students’

10 Facts about Mahler

By Zachariah Friesen

Mahler

As a young aspiring trombone player, exploring the world of Gustav Mahler, I listened to his 5th Symphony at least 20 times before I understood any of it. One night, after returning from an audition in Los Angeles, I listened to his 5th Symphony on repeat all the way back to San Francisco. At about 2am, and the 3rd repeat of the symphony I was finally able to wrap my head around it. The next hour listening to that symphony was truly one of the most enjoyable moments of my life. Here are some things that I’ve learned about Mahler that you may not have known: Continue reading ’10 Facts about Mahler’



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