tied quavers everywhere!

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Knut
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by Knut » 24 Oct 2017, 11:07

John Ruggero wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 21:57
But the normal tapering of notes is something musicians do as a matter of course. Trying to notate it in some exact way is absurd.
Given the solid precedence for this notation, at least in the works by many of those considered the masters of the French-Russian school of orchestration, I think it's hardly necessary to go that far. Presuming that notation is supposed to illustrate the composer's intentions, whether or not a decrescendo is involved doesn't strike me as particularly relevant.

But anyway, since I seem to be in the minority here in accepting this notation as a legitimate, practical and logical means to a particular end, I won't harp on it much further, except to say that the added impractical level of precision that you attribute to this notation seems unnecessary to me. The only implication I see is the release of a note between two beats, or more precisely, after the entrance of a particular note in another voice. I wouldn't consider that absurdly precise.

As for the practices of Beethoven and others, you might very well get the same effect by simplifying the notation to only include full beats, but only at the musician's/conductor's discretion. Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky Ravel and others clearly chose to spell it out to prevent any ambiguity. In doing this, they also gave the musicians a helpful clue of any transitions they might be involved with, at least whenever the notation was used exclusively in conjunction with overlaps.

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David Ward
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by David Ward » 24 Oct 2017, 13:42

Here perhaps is a sort of case in point. See the scan of a sketch from the 1980s/90s.

In rehearsal the baritone at first cut short the ‘F’ on ‘there’ just a touch (no more), but enough for the ‘all hell from orch’ to lose its shocking effect. Perhaps if I had tied to something short on the next beat (in the score as eventually written), this would have been sung as intended from the start. Anyway, once explained that it was undesirable for even a tiny gap, it was OK. The result can be heard starting just 9 seconds into this http://www.composers-uk.com/davidward/far_haaf.mp3 (The ‘all hell’ is a bit distorted in the transfer to MP3, but otherwise OK.)
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George M19
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by George M19 » 24 Oct 2017, 13:48

To the original topic,

When I was in University Choir, our choral director would make us write in these tied notes that spill over to the next beat if it wasn't written in the score. For example, when conducting in 3/4 some people would cut off on his "up" of beat 3 when he wanted to note to end after its duration (full 3 beats), so this made it clear for everyone that the cutoff would be held for a full 3 beats (ending on the downbeat of the next measure).

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John Ruggero
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by John Ruggero » 24 Oct 2017, 14:10

David, your solution to tie something over would certainly be the best one and works particularly well in this case, since the "orchestral hell" would cover the release.

Knut, as usual I don't think we are far apart. If precision is required, then by all means notate it. But if precision is not required and is actually a negative, don't notate it. There are times for precision and times for imprecision, everything in its season. It's the mechanical application of the same rule to all situations that I think is absurd.

George M19, your remark again illustrates why it is a shame that the simple tenuto mark has been hijacked as an accent.
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Knut
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by Knut » 24 Oct 2017, 14:56

John Ruggero wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 14:10
David, your solution to tie something over would certainly be the best one and works particularly well in this case, since the "orchestral hell" would cover the release.
Seconded!
John Ruggero wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 14:10
Knut, as usual I don't think we are far apart. If precision is required, then by all means notate it. But if precision is not required and is actually a negative, don't notate it. There are times for precision and times for imprecision, everything in its season. It's the mechanical application of the same rule to all situations that I think is absurd.
I said the same thing, in so many words, in a post prior to yours, which is why I got confused by your reaction.
John Ruggero wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 14:10
George M19, your remark again illustrates why it is a shame that the simple tenuto mark has been hijacked as an accent.
I'm guessing the reason for this is the now established classical convention that a note should last it's entire value unless modified somehow. Granted, there are a lot of stylistic cases where results of this may differ, and even more cases where a reminder is appreciated.

It's interesting that in jazz, the tenuto has upheld more or less it's original meaning; jazz musicians will play quarter notes short unless specifically modified by a tenuto, or if the tempo is sufficiently slow. For them, the tenuto does not involve an accent.

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John Ruggero
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by John Ruggero » 24 Oct 2017, 15:41

Knut wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 14:56
I said the same thing, in so many words, in a post prior to yours, which is why I got confused by your reaction.
I thought I made it clear that I considered the tied notation fine if used appropriately. If not, I am very sorry for the confusion.
Knut wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 14:56
I'm guessing the reason for this is the now established classical convention that a note should last it's entire value unless modified somehow
Notes without any markings are also shortened in classical music. On the keyboard, fast note without markings are played at about 15/16 their value, long notes without markings are also shortened by various amounts depending on style and circumstance. For that reason, classical musicians need a marking to show when a note is to be studiously held its full value, just like jazz musicians. And the need has been seen from the beginning of this thread.
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Knut
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by Knut » 24 Oct 2017, 16:42

John Ruggero wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 15:41
Knut wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 14:56
I said the same thing, in so many words, in a post prior to yours, which is why I got confused by your reaction.
I thought I made it clear that I considered the tied notation fine if used appropriately. If not, I am very sorry for the confusion.
Knut wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 14:56
I'm guessing the reason for this is the now established classical convention that a note should last it's entire value unless modified somehow
Notes without any markings are also shortened in classical music. On the keyboard, fast note without markings are played at about 15/16 their value, long notes without markings are also shortened by various amounts depending on style and circumstance.
Thanks, John, for the enlightenment!

As a chiefly none-classical musician, I have to say I'm surprised that there is a consensus about playing notes shorter by default in classical music, as this is contrary to what I was always taught about it and how I've perceived it (without thinking too hard about it, I must admit). As I said, style is an issue that will call upon the need for the tenuto mark as solely a marking of duration. With regard to tempo, however, my thinking has always been that notes are held as long as practically possible by default.

I'm also thinking that my reasoning for the change in meaning related to the tenuto might perhaps still be true, even if the idea only made sense in theory.

Anyway, this goes to show the value of actually playing many different kinds of classical music instead of chiefly being involved with it from behind a desk.

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David Ward
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by David Ward » 24 Oct 2017, 18:04

The Karajan style of legato whenever possible, even when there are no marked slurs, tended to give notes their full value, again whenever possible. This style is now generally out of fashion amongst younger orchestral conductors, who mostly seem to take a cue from the period instrument people and their practice of clear, clean articulation (and consequent separation), once again whenever possible.

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David Ward
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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by David Ward » 24 Oct 2017, 19:22

To add to that, I've just checked some recordings of ‘standard repertoire’ (Bach, Brahms, Grieg, Kodaly &c) by the venerable cellist with whom I'm currently collaborating on a project. Except where a certain ‘bounce’ is implied, or something else is clearly notated, or there are technique reasons for doing otherwise, he gives most (not quite all) notes their full notated value. I suspect that younger cellists would aim for something similar: “Sing! Make it sing!” &c.

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Re: tied quavers everywhere!

Post by Knut » 24 Oct 2017, 21:16

David Ward wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 18:04
The Karajan style of legato whenever possible, even when there are no marked slurs, tended to give notes their full value, again whenever possible. This style is now generally out of fashion amongst younger orchestral conductors, who mostly seem to take a cue from the period instrument people and their practice of clear, clean articulation (and consequent separation), once again whenever possible.
Thank you for that information, David.
David Ward wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 19:22
To add to that, I've just checked some recordings of ‘standard repertoire’ (Bach, Brahms, Grieg, Kodaly &c) by the venerable cellist with whom I'm currently collaborating on a project. Except where a certain ‘bounce’ is implied, or something else is clearly notated, or there are technique reasons for doing otherwise, he gives most (not quite all) notes their full notated value. I suspect that younger cellists would aim for something similar: “Sing! Make it sing!” &c.
Again, thanks for this. It's good to have my understanding at least partly confirmed. Even though it doesn't negate the need for a specific marking for full duration, at least it seems I'm not completely in the wrong.

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