Jump to content

Virtuosity


Rod
 Share

Recommended Posts

Is it possible that there might be rather too many Concertina players whose interpretation of 'Virtuosity' appears to consist largely of maximum speed of delivery at the expense of almost all other artistic considerations ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 47
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Replace the words "concertina players" with the word "musicians," and it's probably still true.

 

This discussion is going on for a long time here on Cnet and is becoming quite simplistic.

Speed in itself is not wrong, or bad, or whatever negative label you want to give it. Speed for speed sake is.

There is certainly virtuosity needed to play well at high speed, but playing at high speed itself is no sign of virtuosity.

Is playing bad fast worse than playing bad slowly? Some tunes are best played slowly, some tunes are well suited for playing fast.

Does everything has to be played slow?!

Hermann

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it possible that there might be rather too many Concertina players whose interpretation of 'Virtuosity' appears to consist largely of maximum speed of delivery at the expense of almost all other artistic considerations ?

 

Could you name a few?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Replace the words "concertina players" with the word "musicians," and it's probably still true.

 

This discussion is going on for a long time here on Cnet and is becoming quite simplistic.

Speed in itself is not wrong, or bad, or whatever negative label you want to give it. Speed for speed sake is.

There is certainly virtuosity needed to play well at high speed, but playing at high speed itself is no sign of virtuosity.

Is playing bad fast worse than playing bad slowly? Some tunes are best played slowly, some tunes are well suited for playing fast.

Does everything has to be played slow?!

Hermann

 

I have no disagreement whatsoever with the opinions expressed by Hermann (chiton 1) but he gives me the impression that I have chosen a topic which has already been thrashed to death. I hang my head in shame !!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think many folk or traditional musicians play fast at the expense of musicality. It can reach the stage where you only really hear the beat of the first note of each bar, rather than the shape of each bar. Notes get slurred or missed, and the rhythm starts to get lopsided. The easy bits speed up then the difficult bits go to pieces.

 

The ideal musician knows when to play fast and when to play slow, and plays every note nicely. I would like to be able to play faster, just so that I would sound more convincing when I say that I prefer to play slowly!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This discussion is going on for a long time here on Cnet and is becoming quite simplistic.

Speed in itself is not wrong, or bad, or whatever negative label you want to give it. Speed for speed sake is.

There is certainly virtuosity needed to play well at high speed, but playing at high speed itself is no sign of virtuosity.

Is playing bad fast worse than playing bad slowly? Some tunes are best played slowly, some tunes are well suited for playing fast.

Does everything has to be played slow?!

Hermann

 

I have no disagreement whatsoever with the opinions expressed by Hermann (chiton 1) but he gives me the impression that I have chosen a topic which has already been thrashed to death. I hang my head in shame !!

 

No need for shame. I do not know if there was ever a specific topic on this issue, but the issue turned up in different topics in the past. There is always somebody fulminating about people playing too fast. But it is always said in a way that implies that fast playing (a priori) is bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe I am correct in saying that at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries in the United States of America, when the 'Cutting Contests', in which ragtime pianists met together to compete with one another, speed of delivery became such a predominant feature that it induced the great Scott Joplin to state publicly that it was never his intention or belief that ragtime should be played so fast. I guess there will always be musicians including, dare I say it, a few Concertina players for whom the basic concept of the 'cutting contest' will be their idea of fun.....it takes all sorts, but God forbid that music (in whatever form) should ever be allowed to degenerate into just another competitive sport.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And playing slow just for the sake of playing slow is a negative to me too.

Indeed, but it's a far rarer fault, and a far better one, IMHO.

 

The issue of speed for its own sake has a real resonance with the "Irish music is boring" discussion, since much of what puts me off is down to excessive speed. However as a problem I accept it is not restricted to Irish music, sad to say. I think it is a fault common among musicians of any persuasion who do not play for dance (or do not play with musicians who do). Traditional tunes are mostly dance tunes, and the requirements of the dance include an appropriate speed. Get too far from that, in either direction, and you start to damage the tune.

 

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The issue of speed for its own sake has a real resonance with the "Irish music is boring" discussion, since much of what puts me off is down to excessive speed. However as a problem I accept it is not restricted to Irish music, sad to say. I think it is a fault common among musicians of any persuasion who do not play for dance (or do not play with musicians who do). Traditional tunes are mostly dance tunes, and the requirements of the dance include an appropriate speed. Get too far from that, in either direction, and you start to damage the tune.

 

Chris

 

That pretty much says it all.

Edited by Mark Evans
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Traditional tunes are mostly dance tunes...

 

I disagree with this quite strongly. Traditional tunes are... just tunes - sequences of note values/durations. That's all. The nice thing about traditional music is that nobody tells you how to play them - you make it up yourself - what instrument, what style, what rhythm, what speed, what key, what tuning, whatever. Making it up is pretty much an essential part of playing the music. Good players can take almost any tune and use their imagination to play in a way that makes you (me anyway) wonder if there's any such thing as a good/bad tune - because 90% of the pleasure is in the musicianship, not the source material (in contrast to most "classical" music where the balance is probably swung the other way).

 

So, the point is, you can take traditional (or traditional 'style') tunes and play them for dancing... or play them for listening (e.g. with an audience), or play them for "playing" (e.g. an audience that is actually participating), or a combination of the these (e.g. go to a Blowzabella gig). However, playing a tune as if you're playing for dancing when nobody is dancing is just as silly/weird as playing a tune as if you're playing for a purely listening audience when people are trying to dance to it.

 

Having said that, there's not much worse than bad players trying to play fast...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My interpretation of "virtuosity" is "trying to play the right notes."

For
virtuosity
, "trying" isn't enough... "succeeding" is required.

"Succeeding?" I can only aspire so far...

Then I wouldn't consider you a virtuoso. Would you?

 

Aspiring is not the same as doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it possible that there might be rather too many Concertina players whose interpretation of 'Virtuosity' appears to consist largely of maximum speed of delivery at the expense of almost all other artistic considerations?

I doubt that most of those who play "too" fast -- on concertina or any other instrument -- think of it as "virtuosity". They just do it... without thinking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


Make a Donation


×
×
  • Create New...