Joe's Blog

Twelve ways of simplifying a passage physically.

September 9, 2020

These ways all involve altering, in some specific way, the sequence of
notes played in the passage; as through omission, magnification, or
distortion.  Once the distortion is brought back into focus we have a
new understanding of what that part’s function is within the whole
phrase.  There is always something special about witnessing something
in the process of coming into focus, that is taken more for granted
when it begins already being in focus.

1. Simplifying physically by purposefully changing the loudness of certain notes.
2. Simplifying physically by changing the rhythm of the notes.
3. Simplifying physically: by leaving notes out and compensating by for
the lost duration by holding other notes longer
4. Simplifying physically by omitting certain notes and thus revealing new connections between less proximate notes.
5. Simplifying physically isolating certain notes of a phrase and giving those notes a new and different expressive contour, thus revealing musical potential in a phrase hitherto overlooked.
6. Simplifying physically by transposing the octave range of certain
notes and thereby removing large skips and jumps between notes in
a phrase and modelling the cohesiveness inherent in the phrase.
7. Simplifying physically by holding down one note of a phrase while
continuing on to play several of the upcoming notes: in order to
homogenize and create greater unity to the sound of the phrase.
8.  Simplifying physically by repeating some or all of the notes in
the phrase so they sound twice or more in a row.  Like a sculptor
bringing out a three dimensional curve.  Or doing the same to feel
like one has more than an ephemeral moment to perfect how a note sounds.
9. Simplifying physically by placing a fermata on a certain note in order
to suddenly increase appreciation of how that note functions in the phrase.
10. Simplifying physically by placing a fermat on the note that comes
just before a note that is hard to reach or articulate.
11. Simplifying physically by eliminating the rhythm and playing each
note with the same duration as every other note.
12.  Simplifying physcially by first making it even more difficult, and
then experiencing the relative ease when returning to the original
degree of difficulty

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