JimLucas Posted May 23, 2006 Share Posted May 23, 2006 "Plot" - Many people don't require or expect a "plot", a movement toward a single goal, even if they enjoy one when it's present.Fair enough, but there are nonetheless items in any performer's repertoire that work well as openers, closers, encores or two-thirds-of-the-way-through-the-second-half-ers. ... Absolutely. I certainly didn't intend to imply that one shouldn't pay attention to the structure of a performance. This entire thread is based on the assumption that one should, and the question is either how to arrange the structure or (more appropriate, IMO) what factors to consider in constructing a performance. My point is that "plot" is only one of many potentially appropriate structures. "Entertaining" - To me that word implies adding some sort of "decoration"... patter, body movement, some sort of "show" above and beyond the content of the individual numbers. ...but that also can be overdone to the point where it's worse than none at all (IMO).I agree absolutely with your last statement, and there's no single rule for this. For "this" or for just about any factor. My contention is that believing in a "single rule" which covers any factor for every performer or performance is a fairly reliable recipe for disaster. Paying attention to the possibilities and results has the best chance of working, though that's also an area where people's skills differ. After a while, if an individual or group discovers a "single rule" that works for them, then that's great. But it certainly doesn't insure that it will work for someone else. I wonder whether the careers of Alistair Anderson, John Kirkpatrick and Last Night's Fun would have been quite so successful if they hadn't used such devices as body movement, witty patter, and onstage banter, respectively. Maybe not, but there are others who have been quite successful without making heavy use of those techniques. (And I remember Alistair as much for his witty patter as for his body movement, but it was his playing that led me to follow him around.) Have you also practiced and timed the speaking parts in between "numbers"? That's not the only important aspect of performing, but it is the one most often neglected.... In my own set I allow an average of five minutes per item including chat, but allowances need to be made for, say, a long ballad, or a piece which I know I might like to ramble on about. I try to maintain a record of the actual peformance length of each item in my repertoire (including both individual tunes and medleys I construct from them). And I try to time things more than once, on different days, to get a sense of my own natural range of variation. On some numbers it's very small, but on others it can be considerable. I also practice speaking parts -- sometimes in both long and short variants -- and time them. Although I never recite those speaking parts word for word, having practiced them provides a framework which keeps me from going too far astray on the timing. Also in arranging a set, durations are as important as other factors. E.g., the story behind the tune "The Spanish Cloak" (="The Munster Cloak") is fairly long compared to the length of the tune itself, even played through 3 times, so I'll normally follow it with something longer and at most a few words in between, or even "introduce" the next number only after I've played it. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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