Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Score Reading and Emails

Wednesday April 9th. This morning began with one of my last score reading classes.

Score reading means that I get a score of an orchestra or chamber music piece and am supposed to be able to play it on the piano. The hard part is not only that there are a lot of different instruments and that I have to try to read them all at once (which is hard enough with my slight dyslexia). More over we are supposed to be able to read all different clefs  (such as alto clef for viola and tenor clef for cello), and all different transposing instruments, which can transpose into almost any key. (Note for non-musicians: By transposing instrument is meant an instrument like for instance trumpet in Bb, which means that when there stands a C in the trumpet score, it sounds as Bb, so every note in the score sounds a whole tone lower, which means you have to the whole time play it one tone lower than what is written. Some other instrument, like for instance clarinet in Eb, you have to transpose the line the whole time a small third up. Now imagine how it feels when you have a score with Clarinet in Eb, an other clarinet in A, French Horn in F, violins, violas (with a different clef), cello and contra bass (which in it’s turn transposes an octave up) and you are supposed to read what is going on in all these voices at the same time!). Everybody keeps saying “oh, it’s not that hard for you, you are a pianist anyway!” but I have to say; this has nothing with pianism to do. My friend Matilda is a violinist, and I have to say that we are more or less as good (or bad) in score reading anyway. Score reading isn’t a very common subject, only composers and conductors have to study it. (Although I heard it’s not compulsory anymore for conductor students at the Sibelius Academy, which surprises me very much!)

Anyway, so this morning I came an hour earlier to the classroom and was given a 4 page extract from Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde. But I have to say, although Wagner has a lot of transposing instruments (and also rare ones like horns in Db) I really like Wagner when it comes to score reading! It’s quite funny how it sounds like nothing while I’m transposing something wrong and you have no idea what should be going on in the music, but at once when I get all notes exactly into place, it sound absolutely fantastic! That is the best reward ever!

After my 30 minute score reading class I had lunch and was writing emails the whole rest of the afternoon until a seminar about contemporary piano music began at 16.15. There is SO MUCH to take care of as I have my own composition concert coming up on the 14.5! I have to find altogether 30 musicians for performing my pieces, a sound technician, a concert hostess, a light man, plan rehearsal schedules which are supposed to suit all people and many more things… So this afternoon I once again used 3 hours only for email for planning one concert. Getting a bit worried about the amount of work the upcoming festival of new music “TampeRinging” 20-24.8 will be, which I will be arranging together with Henri Sokka and Matilda Seppälä and other Tampering members.

Anyway, at 16.15 it was time for a seminar about all kind of experimental piano music, after that quickly home to change clothes before the opening of the already nationally established new music festival Tampere Biennale 2014.

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