Discussion:
The Question of Instrument
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JPD
2013-02-20 13:18:25 UTC
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Glenn Gould rehearsing a few opinions that should be of interest to
guitarists:


Fadosolrélamisi
2013-02-20 15:28:21 UTC
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Post by JPD
Glenn Gould rehearsing a few opinions that should be of interest to
http://youtu.be/sWwi5M_F9Gs
You see, towards the end, I wish they would have use Kazoos for their little singing interlude, that would have given back to this unrivaled instrument its
letters of nobility!
JPD
2013-02-20 17:30:28 UTC
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Post by Fadosolrélamisi
Post by JPD
Glenn Gould rehearsing a few opinions that should be of interest to
http://youtu.be/sWwi5M_F9Gs
You see, towards the end, I wish they would have use Kazoos for their little singing interlude, that would have given back to this unrivaled instrument its
letters of nobility!
Sonority vis a vis structure. Gould cares about structure and not so
much about sonorities. Some people talk as if structure is all that's
important. (Jazz guys and their analyses, for instance. Gould mentions
this in a subsequent video -- I think it was in the 3rd part.)

But this won't work so well for a classical guitarist. I tried to
approach this idea in the thread about playing guitar pieces on piano.
It doesn't work because the beauty of guitar music depends a lot more
on sonorities, colors, etc., than on structure. There are a few guitar
pieces that, because of their structure, would be of interest and
maybe even beautiful on other instruments, but not many. (Sor/Segovia
1 comes to mind.) Our very best pieces -- Falla's "Homage" and
Britten's "Nocturnal", for instance -- are lost without the guitar,
and without a guitarist who loves the sound of the guitar for itself.
Gerry
2013-02-20 18:45:49 UTC
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Post by JPD
Sonority vis a vis structure. Gould cares about structure and not so
much about sonorities.
I didn't hear that: I heard that he didn't think that most composers
would insist on the fidelity to their (at that time) limited choices.
In the case of Ruggles he indicates an absolute disregard for how
others might orchestrate.
Post by JPD
Some people talk as if structure is all that's important. (Jazz guys
and their analyses, for instance. Gould mentions this in a subsequent
video -- I think it was in the 3rd part.)
I wonder what "Jazz guys" you're lumping altogether in one groupthink.
Post by JPD
But this won't work so well for a classical guitarist. I tried to
approach this idea in the thread about playing guitar pieces on piano.
It doesn't work because the beauty of guitar music depends a lot more
on sonorities, colors, etc., than on structure.
And would does not have the same sonorities, colors, etc. on other
instruments, just as every actor does not have the same voice and face.
But that never implies that voice and face are irrelevant or sit in
some measure of superiority relative to their lines of dialogue.
Post by JPD
There are a few guitar pieces that, because of their structure, would
be of interest and maybe even beautiful on other instruments, but not
many. (Sor/Segovia 1 comes to mind.) Our very best pieces -- Falla's
"Homage" and Britten's "Nocturnal", for instance -- are lost without
the guitar, and without a guitarist who loves the sound of the guitar
for itself.
It's a question of fidelity to the original score and the projection of
fidely to the composer. So much of piano literature is out of reach of
a single guitar because of the guitar's limitations, but that doesn't
mean that a wholly suitable, and conspicuously modified version of a
piano piece can't be configured for guitar or multiple guitars. But
first one has to violate or dismiss the principle of fidelity to a
composer whose intent in this regard would be unknown, or if known
disregarded as irrelevant to the performers.

Similar is the task of bringing the comparative thimble-full of guitar
lit. to the piano.
--
Music is the best means we have of digesting time. -- W. H. Auden
Steve Freides
2013-02-21 00:33:52 UTC
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Post by Gerry
Post by JPD
Sonority vis a vis structure. Gould cares about structure and not so
much about sonorities.
I didn't hear that: I heard that he didn't think that most composers
would insist on the fidelity to their (at that time) limited choices.
No, I don't think that's what he said, either. He said that some pieces
lend themselves to specific instrumentation, even require it, while
others are concerned primarily with their own internal musical structure
and, as such, could be performed on a variety of instruments
successfully. It has to do with whether or not the composition is
primarily concerned with its own musical structure or not.

-S-
a***@gmail.com
2013-02-21 04:50:20 UTC
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Post by Steve Freides
Post by Gerry
Post by JPD
Sonority vis a vis structure. Gould cares about structure and not so
much about sonorities.
I didn't hear that: I heard that he didn't think that most composers
would insist on the fidelity to their (at that time) limited choices.
No, I don't think that's what he said, either. He said that some pieces
lend themselves to specific instrumentation, even require it, while
others are concerned primarily with their own internal musical structure
and, as such, could be performed on a variety of instruments
successfully. It has to do with whether or not the composition is
primarily concerned with its own musical structure or not.
-S-
Glen Good is gould!
Gerry
2013-02-21 06:38:06 UTC
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Post by Steve Freides
Post by Gerry
Post by JPD
Sonority vis a vis structure. Gould cares about structure and not so
much about sonorities.
I didn't hear that: I heard that he didn't think that most composers
would insist on the fidelity to their (at that time) limited choices.
No, I don't think that's what he said, either. He said that some
pieces lend themselves to specific instrumentation, even require it,
Which piece died he mention that required it?
Post by Steve Freides
...while others are concerned primarily with their own internal musical
structure and, as such, could be performed on a variety of instruments
successfully. It has to do with whether or not the composition is
primarily concerned with its own musical structure or not.
I guess we watched different videos.
--
Music is the best means we have of digesting time. -- W. H. Auden
Steve Freides
2013-02-21 22:20:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry
Post by Steve Freides
Post by Gerry
Post by JPD
Sonority vis a vis structure. Gould cares about structure and not
so much about sonorities.
I didn't hear that: I heard that he didn't think that most composers
would insist on the fidelity to their (at that time) limited
choices.
No, I don't think that's what he said, either. He said that some
pieces lend themselves to specific instrumentation, even require it,
Which piece died he mention that required it?
Post by Steve Freides
...while others are concerned primarily with their own internal
musical structure and, as such, could be performed on a variety of
instruments successfully. It has to do with whether or not the
composition is primarily concerned with its own musical structure or
not.
I guess we watched different videos.
I'll try to watch again, but he did mention one or two specific pieces
and that was the general impression he gave.

IOW, Bach is mostly concerned with musical structure and therefore most
of his pieces can be moved to different instruments, but his point was
that this is a piece-by-piece decision. Mostly for Bach, you can move
to different instruments.

-S-
Gerry
2013-02-22 01:01:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Freides
Post by Gerry
Post by Steve Freides
Post by Gerry
Post by JPD
Sonority vis a vis structure. Gould cares about structure and not
so much about sonorities.
I didn't hear that: I heard that he didn't think that most composers
would insist on the fidelity to their (at that time) limited choices.
No, I don't think that's what he said, either. He said that some
pieces lend themselves to specific instrumentation, even require it,
Which piece died he mention that required it?
Post by Steve Freides
...while others are concerned primarily with their own internal
musical structure and, as such, could be performed on a variety of
instruments successfully. It has to do with whether or not the
composition is primarily concerned with its own musical structure or
not.
I guess we watched different videos.
I'll try to watch again, but he did mention one or two specific pieces
and that was the general impression he gave.
IOW, Bach is mostly concerned with musical structure and therefore most
of his pieces can be moved to different instruments, but his point was
that this is a piece-by-piece decision. Mostly for Bach, you can move
to different instruments.
Sure, some will work some won't. I just didn't hear him say that that
some pieces "require" one instrument or other, or that "internal
structure" of some pieces make them non-transferrable. It's not that
disagree with that, without reworking the piece; it's that I didn't
hear him cover what couldn't/shouldn't be done.

I didn't him really address any specific transfer, only to speak of how
pieces for earlier keyboards were, in general, easily moved to piano.
They both mused on what "Bach would think", but I sensed that if Bach
would have threatened suicide, his needs weren't really so important.

Just my response.
--
Music is the best means we have of digesting time. -- W. H. Auden
Steve Freides
2013-02-22 02:53:35 UTC
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Post by Gerry
Post by Steve Freides
IOW, Bach is mostly concerned with musical structure and therefore
most of his pieces can be moved to different instruments, but his
point was that this is a piece-by-piece decision. Mostly for Bach,
you can move to different instruments.
Sure, some will work some won't. I just didn't hear him say that that
some pieces "require" one instrument or other, or that "internal
structure" of some pieces make them non-transferrable.
The idea is that pieces that are about their own structure, which is
most but not all Bach, are easily transported, while pieces that are
about idiomatic writing for a particular instrument are just that,
concerned about exploiting the capabilities of the instrument. And, of
course, there will be many places along that continuum.

-S-
Gerry
2013-02-22 17:33:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Freides
Post by Gerry
Post by Steve Freides
IOW, Bach is mostly concerned with musical structure and therefore
most of his pieces can be moved to different instruments, but his
point was that this is a piece-by-piece decision. Mostly for Bach,
you can move to different instruments.
Sure, some will work some won't. I just didn't hear him say that that
some pieces "require" one instrument or other, or that "internal
structure" of some pieces make them non-transferrable.
The idea is that pieces that are about their own structure, which is
most but not all Bach, are easily transported, while pieces that are
about idiomatic writing for a particular instrument are just that,
concerned about exploiting the capabilities of the instrument. And, of
course, there will be many places along that continuum.
But of course I agree with all of that. Any piano piece can't simply be
picked up by a lone guitarist and played. But the restrictive nature of
the world's repertoire as played, say, by a trombone is even more
vastly difficult and obvious.

I just didn't hear him discuss the restrictive aspects of idiomatic
writing, I heard him addressing the general inclination for pieces
written for one keyboard to be easily produced on another. And in the
case of the Ruggles piece that it could be performed with myriad other
orchestrations.

If we had an intellect like Gould's making the rounds in guitar
performance, it would be nice to hear his/her view of transport from
piano to guitar and vice-versa. I don't find any intellectual strain
in the transition from harpsichord ot piano.
--
Music is the best means we have of digesting time. -- W. H. Auden
Steve Freides
2013-02-22 18:28:38 UTC
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Post by Gerry
I just didn't hear him discuss the restrictive aspects of idiomatic
writing, I heard him addressing the general inclination for pieces
written for one keyboard to be easily produced on another. And in the
case of the Ruggles piece that it could be performed with myriad other
orchestrations.
I hit on someone's play list and listened to the whole interview - maybe
what I heard wasn't in the specific link given at the start of this
thread but elsewhere in the same interview.

-S-
Gerry
2013-02-22 21:45:54 UTC
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