Slurs again

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David Ward
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Re: Slurs again

Post by David Ward » 22 Aug 2017, 13:48

BTW and getting a bit OT from slurs (relates very much to legato, though, so not too far off); if anyone is interested, I can explain the rather unusual (for these notes) slide positions specified for the trombone on the scanned page of full score.

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Re: Slurs again

Post by Knut » 22 Aug 2017, 14:36

John Ruggero wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 12:50
The following unforgivable “correction” in the Cortot edition shows two units, which could lead to an unmusical performance:
Just to be clear, I am not advocating such alterations in existing works, I'm only questioning whether it's the best form of notation available for the particular effect it's meant to convey.

The Cartot is much worse than only separating the l.h. into two figures; it actually separates into three since the first quarter is isolated. Additionally, the editor saw fit to doble down by including a staccato dot in addition to the rest, and misplaced the pedal up marking to make absolutely certain that Chopin's intensions would not be carried out.

I'm not sure I would object if the figure was simply split into two units, but that is clearly not the case here.
John Ruggero wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 12:50
The following example is interesting in that Chopin first uses a normal legato throughout the first LH phrase, and then encorporates “unwilling” release into the following parallel phrase. Clearly the use of two slurs for the second phrase would have been an error in logic as well as leading to distortion in performance.
Thank you, John, for this example, which illustrates perfectly a situation where it would be most appropriate to use a rest rather than a staccato dot for a portato-like effect. Given that the same figure is played several times entirely legato before the release is incorporated, I think the single slur is entirely appropriate as well.
David Ward wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 13:48
BTW and getting a bit OT from slurs (relates very much to legato, though, so not too far off); if anyone is interested, I can explain the rather unusual (for these notes) slide positions specified for the trombone on the scanned page of full score.
I don't doubt it, so please do.

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Re: Slurs again

Post by David Ward » 22 Aug 2017, 16:01

Knut wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 14:36
David Ward wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 13:48
BTW and getting a bit OT from slurs (relates very much to legato, though, so not too far off); if anyone is interested, I can explain the rather unusual (for these notes) slide positions specified for the trombone on the scanned page of full score.
I don't doubt it, so please do.
The basic principle is that to get a genuine legato on the trombone, it is best if the slide and the lip are not going in the same direction. If the slide is shortening, and thus raising the pitch of the fundamental, and at the same time the pitch of the musical line (as buzzed by the lip) is also rising, especially by relatively small intervals, there is real risk of portamento (when not wanted). If on the other hand, the two are going in opposite directions (or the slide is not moving at all) a clean legato is possible. In this line I wanted a clear distinction between intended (marked) glissandi and clean legato.

I was probably over-fussy at the time in marking (#)5, rather than just 5, for slide position for the B flat in bar 398. The 5th harmonic is indeed a bit flat (by equal temperament criteria), which can sometimes be more apparent in the longer slide positions, but trombonists are well used to compensating for that. My #7 and #4 though are more sensible markings, as the 7th harmonic (here in first the 7th slide position and then the 4th) is way out and close to mid-way between two equal temperament notes, unless corrected.

My web-site is off for a few days (something about ‘a decision to move the domain to a different registrar to avoid problems in the future’) but when it's back, I should be able to provide a link to the sound of this passage as recorded by trombonist David Purser with the London Sinfonietta.

BTW, it is more usual to mark slide positions with Roman numerals, V, VII &c, but they take up more space, so in the past I've favoured the Arabic numerals. No-one has yet complained.

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Re: Slurs again

Post by David Ward » 22 Aug 2017, 18:31

And how might a trombone player do it without the positions' being specified?

The same principle (slide against legato pitch), but not so comprehensively and probably not playing the high G# in the 7th position. The singer at this point represents a real smoothy, an oleaginous seducer, so I wanted an equivalent from the trombone plus bucket (velvet tone) mute. It seemed to work.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Slurs again

Post by John Ruggero » 23 Aug 2017, 10:54

Knut, I am glad the second example was convincing. Regarding the first example. it might be helpful to list the various possibilities:
Chopin Slurs op 25 no 11 .jpg
Examples A-C show the effect Chopin wanted: a carrying through of the A# so that it strains to connect to the C. Another possibility would have been a portato dot on a dotted A# with no rest, but this would have implied a longer A#.

Example A shows the slurring as in the first measure of the autograph. Example B as in the second measure of the autograph. Since it is not clear which Chopin intended, editions vary concerning the inclusion of the first note in the slur. The first French edition didn't incude the first note. Example C shows a possibility that Chopin did not choose.

Examples D-G show a completely difference effect; the sharp release of the A#. This was apparently not the effect Chopin wanted.
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David Ward
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Re: Slurs again

Post by David Ward » 26 Aug 2017, 14:49

David Ward wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 16:01
… … …I should be able to provide a link to the sound of this passage as recorded by trombonist David Purser with the London Sinfonietta.
Here it is: (I hope it works!)
http://www.composers-uk.com/davidward/s_queen.mp3 The trombone, with bucket mute, starts at once a bit before the page of vocal score quoted above and rather more before the page of full score, but if anyone does want to hear an illustration of the style of trombone legato described and notated, this is a good example.

A question: In 1982 I wrote both accents > and ‘anti-accents’ which are a small shallow ‘u’; but if recopying it all I'd probably do without the anti-accents, which seem unnecessary or at least over-fussy (and potentially confusing): what do forum members think?

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Re: Slurs again

Post by erelievonen » 26 Aug 2017, 15:30

David Ward wrote:
26 Aug 2017, 14:49
A question: In 1982 I wrote both accents > and ‘anti-accents’ which are a small shallow ‘u’; but if recopying it all I'd probably do without the anti-accents, which seem unnecessary or at least over-fussy (and potentially confusing): what do forum members think?
In my thinking, an anti-accent sign is only meaningful if it is placed on a beat that normally would be accented. None of those in your example are on any beat, so I'd consider them unnecessary.

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Re: Slurs again

Post by David Ward » 28 Aug 2017, 16:43

erelievonen wrote:
26 Aug 2017, 15:30
In my thinking, an anti-accent sign is only meaningful if it is placed on a beat that normally would be accented. None of those in your example are on any beat, so I'd consider them unnecessary.
Thank you.

I think that what I wanted (which is what I seem to have got in the linked recording) was a very strong contrast between accented notes and the ones which immediately follow them (from both trombone and singer [and later bassoon]).

I suppose the question might be: would I have got the same without the anti-accents? My guess is that I would have done, but if anybody here thinks otherwise, please do let me know.

If I ever do get round to general revision of this and other pieces from the past, removal of surplus markings (clutter) seems quite a good place to start. One's notation improves… (although computer software can interfere more than a little).

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