Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our Sibelius and Chant Discussion

We talked about this today:


  1. acknowledgement that class wasn't comfortable using Sibelius to transcribe assignments
  2. acknowledgement that computerized music notation was a skill we needed to have when we represented ourselves as a musician with a degree
  1. acknowledged that the notation of chant was a barrier to performing it
  2. we reference it in history books, but don't know how to sing it
  3. talked through some of the lessons we already learned from this first exercise:
    • the first thing on the page was the C clef - showing us where "Do" was - not a note to transcribe
    • when we see notes stacked on top of each other, we sing the bottom one first and then the top one
    • if we see notes almost stacked on top of each other, we sing the notes left to right
    • little vertical lines in the chant were breath marks
A plan:
  1. we will familiarize ourself with Sibelius once again with little projects along the course of this semester
  2. we will use chant for the first project - first learning what the chant symbols mean - and then we will put it into Sibelius notation
  3. we will spend part of a class period in the computer lab using the basics of Sibelius in rendering musical notes and text underlay
  4. once we can transcribe the chant accurately into modern notation, we will conduct it

Conducting exercise 2-7

Videos are up.  Please send me an EMAIL review of this by Friday 5:00 p.m.  Use "Conducting Review 2-7-2011" as your subject line, please.

Here is a compilation of all my feedback to the class - maybe I said things slightly different to another student and you can get something out of it:

  • Prep beat a little too big – (the whole pattern is a little large for me, but I like the confidence.
  • Mistake in Ms. 4:  you were OK until you showed it on your face!
  • A little more definiteness in your cutoff gesture is needed.  Otherwise, good improvement.
  • Prep:  a little too far away from your body still.
  • On sustain in M. 4, keep your left hand still.
  • Good work on the rest and nice improvement on getting rid of the violence
  • Arm too close to side to begin with.
  • Prep beat needs to swing out in a pattern – I recommend like you were bringing someone in on b. 4 (prep on 3)
  • Good fermata sustain and cutoff with prep.
  • Your 2/4 pattern needs to have a little groove in it – swing out on b. 1 in a “J” pattern instead of straight up and down.
  • Good LH sustain
  • 4/4 pattern is a little stilted in b. 2 & 3, but you are coming along nicely
  • If you are going to swing out for prep beat, you need to start with hand closer to center of body.  You are starting too far out and having nowhere to swing arm.
  • Slight indecision with m. 4.
  • Slight indecision with prep for m. 7
  • Need more aggressiveness in bringing people in.  They need to see more energy from you if they are going to have enough confidence to produce a sound.
  • Also, your face needs to show some engagement and not distance.  I’m wondering if I’ve ever seen you smile during one of these conducting exams
  • Prep beat good, initial pattern good.
  • Forgot LH sustain in m. 4 and then ROLLED YOUR EYES.
  • On sustain fermata in m. 6, you needed to sustain the note a little longer before you went for the cut-off with prep.
  • Good job on the rest.
  • Slight indecision in m. 2.
  • Good job on the rest.
  • Starting too far out with arm/hand to give a prep on b. 3.  Bring arm in closer before you swing out, otherwise you start off a little off balance.
  • When your elbow moves so much it causes you to look labored in your conducting.  Work to refine your motion, using less elbow and less energy.
  • Don’t move LH when you put it out.
  • On chant section you really move elbow a lot.
  • LH phantom movements on cutoff of peace not really needed.
  • Conducting is all out to your right – move the whole thing in closer to your body.  Looks off centered.
  • Pleasant facial expression is comforting.
  • Good use of LH in sustain.
  • Good on the rest
  • Great last facial expression in the video.
  • Good work but you are thinking far too hard. 
  • Work towards relaxing in front of people and becoming more at ease with the gestures you are making.
  • Good work on the basics in this exercise
  • More aggressiveness needed.  It looks like you are following the group and not leading.  You have to have the mindset that you are there an instant before the group – showing confidence in what you are doing so that they have confidence to perform under your direction.
  • When you put LH out there, do it with intentionality – don’t apologize for what you are asking to do.