Joe's Blog

The voice as an ideal model for the piano.

January 10, 2021

W.B.’s lesson

By singing, you are taking control over the piece instead of the piece
taking control over you.  The latter case occurs when the piece forces
your body to follow a certain order of muscle movements and thus
hiding from you the inner soul of the music.

Singing molds the phrase:

It is as if the voice is an active and tangible force, generated from
deep within the body that can take the static objects of the keys, key
which always stay in the same left-right position relative to each
other, and mold those keys into the shape of a phrase.  The voice is
a “demiurge”* and the keyboard the inchoate** mass of an earth ready
to be formed and shaped.

Through the simple device of using the words spoken when counting out
loud as syllables when singing the pitches of the music, one can
combine bring all the benefits and dynamism of singing into the realm
of rhythm as well as the realms of sound production and phrasing.  So
even counting can devolve back upon and rest on the spiritual energy
of the voice.

In W.B’s case, we simplified the sung counts into a mantra-like succession of identical syllables that repeat, something as simple as “la la la la…” .

* Originally an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and
maintaining the physical universe.  It was originally a common noun
meaning “craftsman” but gradually came to mean “producer”, and
eventually “creator”, and “second god”.  (Wikipedia)

** Without discernable shape

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