Understanding musical scores
Understanding musical scores

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Understanding musical scores

3.2.2 Instrumental tone colour

You have looked at the score of Variation 1 in some detail in the previous sections, and have seen how the music is represented.

In this video Filipe, Siobhan and Christopher talk about different elements of instrumental colour that they work into their performance of this variation.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_musical_score_vid_1039.mp4
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Transcript

NAOMI BARKER:
Let's talk a little bit about variation one. Now, here, the piano has the melody, but there's some really interesting things happening all around that tune. Felipe, tell me a little bit about what you're doing in the bass part.
FILIPE DANDALO:
The variation one, the whole variation one in the bass part is played in pizzicato, which means to pluck the string.
In fact, the word in Italian, pizzicato, means to pinch so producing a sound like-- [PLUCKING BASS STRINGS]
NAOMI BARKER:
That's a wonderful sound. Would you like to demonstrate the beginning of that section for us?
FILIPE DANDALO:
Sure.
[PLUCKING BASS STRINGS] 
NAOMI BARKER: 
Thank you. That's the kind of foundation for the rest of the group to work with. Kimi, your viola part sits in the middle as a filler for the harmonies. And now, there's a lovely conversation over the top of that between the cello and the violin. How do you coordinate that between you?
CHRISTOPHER MANSFIELD:
There's so many factors that you have to try and match. So for instance, if Siobhan puts more emphasis on the first note, then I have to try and match that. Or if she plays one slightly louder, then I should try and either do the same or do something completely different so that it's like a conversation.
NAOMI BARKER:
So you're listening to each other all the time and responding to each other?
CHRISTOPHER MANSFIELD:
Yeah.
[VIOLIN & CELLO PLAYING]
NAOMI BARKER:
And then Siobhan, you've got some really interesting things that happen after that.
SIOBHAN DOYLE:
Yeah. He adds then, in my rests, he adds in some ornamentation-- very high, almost bird calls or something-- over the top.
So there's-- [VIOLIN PLAYING]
NAOMI BARKER:
And all of that then has to relate back to the piano, which is playing the tune.
End transcript
 
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