How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

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Knut
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by Knut » 26 Mar 2016, 20:41

OCTO wrote:Knut, if your argument is valid than you have to accept the legato (slur) within the tremolo, do you?
Also, the need to change the bow within very long tied notes doesn't argue anything contrary. Good musicians can change the bow inaudible.

Avoiding accents by tying, when accents are not present, is tautology. In tremolo playing no musician will play accent on every single note, in the case when the accent is not present.
Not writing ties within tremolo is a very long tradition and is clearly understood and prefered by professional musicians. I only see a need to write ties (dashed!) in the case music is extraordinarily complex (ferneyhough like).

The final argument against the tied tremolos is that two non-tied and two tied notes are technically performed exactly the same and the audible result is exactly the same; and their result completely equals with the technical execution and audible result of two tremolo notes of different pitch. (Simple explained using tremolo and two notes:
- same pitch tied OR
- same pitch non-tied OR
- different pitch
= same execution and same audible result*)
*here I don't refer to pitch, but to force, power, accenting, acoustical differentiation.

And if the acoustical result between two tied and two nontied notes of the same pitch is the same and the bow maneuver is the same, than the tie is redundant.
To be honest, I'm just asking the question and have no strong opinion either way (yet), but I agree that you would need to accept legato if ties were to be accepted.

My thinking is that if you view unmeasured tremolo simply as a coloristic effect, similar to col legno or sul ponticello, it makes somewhat more sense to me to accept, or indeed demand, both slurs and ties in this context. The argument about long sustained notes indeed seems relevant to me if this is the correct understanding, just because the sound of an unmeasured tremolo is perceived as continuous.

However, if unmeasured tremolo, as I've advocated earlier in this thread, should be understood as a continuation of the measured repeat, it makes very little sense to introduce slurs or ties only for this particular species of tremolo.

I may very well be a tautologist, but my own use of practices on this subject has more to do with pragmatism. I am not about to risk someone playing an accent in my music where they shouldn't be, and since my understanding was (and still is) that opinions differ on this subject, I applied them just to be sure.

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John Ruggero
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by John Ruggero » 28 Mar 2016, 20:20

As a possible postscript to this "long and winding" thread, I would like that report that a admittedly superficial exploration of Ravel's orchestral music at IMSLP (which included the complete Daphnis ballet score and several other orchestral and stage works), turned up only one untied string tremolo series! (Two untied tremolo notes in his opera The Spanish Hour, an error? I also discovered that Ravel does not use many extended single-note string tremolos in his music. He seems to prefer two-note string tremolos.)

A theory: I think that most would agree that Ravel was a highly logical composer, and that his scores are very beautiful for the eye as well as the ear. Maybe it just bothered him to notate string tremolos differently from percussion tremolos and other string held notes, in spite of the long tradition behind it—and especially when they occur simultaneously as on page 2 of Daphnis:
Ravel tremolos.jpg
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tisimst
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by tisimst » 20 Apr 2016, 14:41

Sorry to bring this thread up again, but I have to ask since I'm pretty sure the tremoli in the Violin/Viola sections, top system, are intended to be played at the same repetitions regardless of the note's duration, but is the tremolo notation correct? Should they always have 4 tremolo slashes or should the slashes+beams = 4? It was my understanding that it is the latter, but I'm curious to hear what you all think... This is from Grieg's Piano Concerto in A-Minor, second movement. Time Signature is 3/8. Tempo is 16 = 84.
grieg-piano-concerto-adagio-excerpt.png
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by MJCube » 21 Apr 2016, 01:38

To me the implication is “always as fast as possible, regardless of tempo variations”. This is the earliest (1868) example I’ve seen of that style of notation I mentioned (quoted in the first post). I think this notation is fine, and some regard it as required. If it were written with 3 slashes on the eighth notes and 2 on the 16ths, that would only make it look as if perhaps a measured tremolo was intended.

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John Ruggero
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by John Ruggero » 21 Apr 2016, 20:20

More and more, I think that a simple trem. marking over plain notes would be better than all those slashes, which illustrate how far one composer went to make sure that he got a tremolo in a very slow tempo.

Then slashes would be reserved for exact measured repetition, and the musical world would indeed be a better place.
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erelievonen
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by erelievonen » 25 Apr 2016, 11:51

John Ruggero wrote:More and more, I think that a simple trem. marking over plain notes would be better than all those slashes, which illustrate how far one composer went to make sure that he got a tremolo in a very slow tempo.

Then slashes would be reserved for exact measured repetition, and the musical world would indeed be a better place.
John appears to suggest abolishing slashes for unmeasured tremolos altogether, in favor of a verbal "trem." instruction.
I cannot agree, as that would logically lead to notations such as this.
Left = "John's way", right = the traditional way
tremolo.jpg
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Last edited by erelievonen on 25 Apr 2016, 16:24, edited 2 times in total.

OCTO
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by OCTO » 25 Apr 2016, 12:41

tisimst wrote:Sorry to bring this thread up again, but I have to ask since I'm pretty sure the tremoli in the Violin/Viola sections, top system, are intended to be played at the same repetitions regardless of the note's duration, but is the tremolo notation correct? Should they always have 4 tremolo slashes or should the slashes+beams = 4?
If I understand you correctly, you wonder if there is a difference between :2 tremolo and :3 tremolo?
There is no difference between these, the same speed, and even if no tie is present, these notes would not be separated by accent (example measure 2, violin 1, 2+3 beat).
This one looks like Russian score, no?

I think the engraver (or Grieg) wanted to avoid differentiation of tremolos by using note+tremolo, but just taking the fastest tremolo for all values.
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Knut
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by Knut » 25 Apr 2016, 13:13

I look at this as a conceptual issue similar to that debated earlier: Those who view unmeasured tremolo as a direct continuation of the measured tremolo will likely take the beams or flags into account, and the number of slashes will thus depend on note value. On the other hand, those who view unmeasured tremolo as an isolated effect, will probably most often use Grieg's solution, with the same number of slashes (either three or four) on every note, regardless of it's value.

Both are acceptable solutions, and well established in the literature.

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David Ward
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by David Ward » 25 Apr 2016, 13:41

erelievonen wrote:… … …

tremolo.tiff
Somewhat OT, but rather strangely I can view your .tiff file in Safari, but not in (latest) Firefox, which I use by default. This also applies to your recent .tiff in another thread here, and with two different Mac OS.
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tisimst
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Re: How many slashes for unmeasured tremolos (including beamed)?

Post by tisimst » 25 Apr 2016, 15:08

David Ward wrote:
erelievonen wrote:… … …

tremolo.tiff
Somewhat OT, but rather strangely I can view your .tiff file in Safari, but not in (latest) Firefox, which I use by default. This also applies to your recent .tiff in another thread here, and with two different Mac OS.
I get the same experience using Opera.
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