VIOLA & PIANO/MUSIC THEORY LESSON X. GRADE 0.

Funny thing about me. I only wear pearl earrings when I’m either going out someplace, practicing my instruments, or studying music theory. I feel that, wearing the accessory will subconsciously lead me to want to do either of the two–whenever I wear them, hence why I do so.

I have now moved onto Part II of Kindergarten-level theory, after Kindergarten–I will thereon move onto a trilogy of university textbooks for more practice. My teacher had made mention, that he could easily teach me how to get to fourth-grade viola in a good two years. In-between, I study piano diligently. I love both instruments. Each has a different personality. Alexandre is more contemplative and pensive, whilst Gaspar is more passionate and sweeter.

Pianistic (Alexandre) portion (Week II):

This week, I focused on learning…
1) The C Major Chord, for the left and right hand. (C-E-G).
*Playing compositions “Brother John” and “Here’s a happy song.”

2) Introduction of the B for both the left and right hand.
(The fifth finger is shifted from the C to the B).

3) The G7 chord (the simplified version, with the omission of the fifth of the chord). As written in the book (Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course), they instruct you to play “B-F-G” as opposed to “G-B-D-F” (they can be arranged in any order). G is the root note, to the chord.

For now, I will focus on learning the basic method firstly.

They instruct you to play from the C Major chord, to the basic fifth-less. So, switching positions with the 5th finger from the C key to the B key when changing from a C Major chord to a G7 chord.

*Playing composition “Mary Ann”.

3) Playing tied notes. One of the simplest ways, to denote an extension of time is through tying notes. It is akin to the convention of, addition, within mathematics. One sight-reads the notes, by their added value–hence, playing that note for the denoted duration.

*Playing compositions “Going Home” and “Merrily We Roll Along.”

Synopsis: The introduction of the B note, and the G7 chord.

Note: I am still exercising my fingers, mainly my fifth and fourths.

Out of all genres, for piano, Jazz is my favorite. In-fact, Jazz in general is my favorite genre above all else.

If I had to choose what kind of pianist I would become. A Jazz pianist, hands-down.

Here is some inspiration. Ryo Fukui entered into the music scene fairly late. He began learning how to play the accordion at the age of 18, only then on, to start teaching himself the piano at the age of 22. There upon, he became a Jazz pianist. Although, I do at times feel disheartened that I had not started the venture of music earlier, I am grateful that at least, I get to… A lot of people, are unfortunate to never create any kind of art, for the sum of their entire lives. Instead of music, I began expressing myself through the modality of drawing since the age of 7, due to growing up just above the poverty line (music is an expensive endeavor). My being a researcher, drawing teacher, and eventual PhD graduate is what grants me the opportunity to study music at the age of 25. It lead me here. Therefore, drawing is what I have to thank for my finally having the opportunity to do music.

It is for that reason, although times may get difficult I try my very best to never miss a day of practice. As much as physical constraints can allow me to. What matters, is that I do it every day. Even when days are dismal. Every. Single. day.

Where do I hope it’ll lead? I have no perceivable destination. All I know is that I must.


Next week, I focus on slurs, 3/4 time.

He’s high off of music. Either that, or he’s a jazz pianist sucking on that reefer.
His musical sheet is Mozart Minuet No. 2, K. 2.

To be fair though, he gives some damned good advice.

More pianistic inspiration.

I like to watch this video on repeat, sometimes. Just watching how Evans would maneuver his fingers–and place them in relation to the keyboard. Just relax he says. And clearly, he is relaxed.

Although, I hope to hell he isn’t coked out…

Evans is another sad story, of sorts. All he ever wanted was a child. When listening to his oeuvre, I can feel the sadness. That longing. That’s why I love his pieces, I suppose. I know that sadness.

Viola (Gaspar) portion:

Bowing with my Gaspar.

I am instructed this week to:
+ Bow the D Major notes. D,E,F#,G,A,B,C#,D. The open strings of both A, and D on the viola give way to these notes from first finger to third.
+ I must continue keeping with the metronome, just as well.
+ My sound production, and quality must be worked on. I am not using enough of my bow, and I am skimming. I must add more weight to the bow, in-order to produce a good sound. My instructor also criticized that I like to add extra notes, during my playing (I do that subconsciously).

Sound quality refers to quality of sound, whilst sound production refers to how one makes noise. Sound quality is increased, via the care one takes in applying weight and speed to the bow. Intonation (finger placing) is also key.

My instructor has faith in me, that he will be able to push me through four grades viola in two years. Therein, after that, it should take another two or-so years to get up to University standard.

Who knows? By then, I may just enter the conservatoire with piano instead. It remains to be seen.

One thing is elementary. I do not stop doing this. This is my life now.

Theory and section:

There is no heavy theory this week, as I am learning of that through the piano book and have completed the first preliminary AMEB music craft book. That asides, I have spent time notating the Treble clef, Bass clef, and Alto clef from memory. I use all three clefs, between piano and viola.

My Own Compositions (Gaspar Suite):

The suite is named after my Viola (Gasparini). It is a whole collection, of compositional practice. The collection could be considered programmatic, although I will admit that the suite was created purely through emotional impulse, and experiments. It is my first venture into composition. Hence, it’ll be rough around the edges. It is with that, that I hope to improve with each piece/variation added into the suite. So far, there is a total of 18/100 in the collection. I am inspired, by emotion to create above all else. Callings of the heart, so-to-speak. That is why I am doing music. To express myself.

With that, I went off and created more compositions to add to my Gaspar suite. Here is one, called “A Visage Like The Moon.”

This is an edit of the original ‘Le Mirroir Fantastique’. I preferred the key in A, as opposed to the former. To me, it’s a lot like falling in-love for the first time… however it is not mere declaration, but one of trepidation. One does not choose to fall in-love. The Violin cellos, and Contra-basses connote ‘heart beats’ in the piece… whilst one of the accompanying violins, mimics an EEG monitor.

I do not know what true love is. However, I dream of it.

I had decided, which-ever instrument I master faster in a span of a year or two. Piano versus, viola, I will adopt that one as my main instrument and then take up a sibling instrument. I.E: Violin to viola, and another keyboard to accompany the piano. I had thought of the organ (the organ has music sheets with two bass clefs). As for what genre I would pursue. Jazz on piano, romanticism on viola. The race is on, between the two.

As for how long? As long as it takes. Time is of no issue.

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