Friday, November 16, 2018

NEW YORK ORCHESTRA

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"Toscaniniontour". Licensed under PD-US via Wikipedia.
Entertainment is certainly a very popular element found all over in New York. People love to see live music and they can find it where various types of orchestras person. You can even listen to them when you are at live productions such as the Phantom of the Opera. There are certainly some wonderful productions in New York that one can enjoy. Some of them take place on a regular basis and others only perform on a special basis.

The longest running orchestra in the United States is the Philharmonic. They have been in place since 1842. They have performed more than 15,000 shows and they always get rave reviews for their efforts. Tickets for their shows sell out fast and there are always plenty of people who show up for tryouts to be a part of this musical group. Plan to pay a premium price though for any performance by this well known New York group.

If you will be traveling to New York in the future, check online to find out about the various orchestra performances that will be taking place. This can be a wonderful treat when you get some time to relax. Many of them are at really nice locations and so you can decide to have a nice dinner that evening as well.

Sometimes though various New York orchestras have been known to travel to other locations. You may find you are able to catch a performance of theirs much closer to home. They are definitely worth the price of a ticket though as you won’t find live music this great too many other places. Yet if you can’t get enough of it you can buy CDs with the sounds of the New York orchestra on them. You can also download songs to your iPod.



For those that have big musical dreams, the quest for being accepted to join one of the various orchestras in New York is one that can come true. It takes plenty of hard work and dedication in order to do so. Of course, there is a great deal of pride that comes with the territory when you are performing in the New York orchestra.



Thursday, November 15, 2018

CONTRABASS TROMBONE - Music Instruments of the World

Contrabass Trombone - Music Instruments of the World



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Trumpet - Tone Versus Range

English: Trumpet mouthpiece front view large
Trumpet mouthpiece front view large  - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the trumpet world, high note playing is perceived as one of the more difficult tasks of learning to play.  Trumpeters tend to believe that they have to switch to a "jazz mouthpiece" to achieve high notes on a trumpet.  So then they have this belief that they play 2 different mouthpieces - one for tone, one for high notes.

What's interesting to me is that while some mouthpieces can tend to aid in the ease of producing faster air, that's all a high note really is.  Players who turn to shallower cups tend to play with a brighter sound in general (hence the jazz mouthpiece).  Once in a concert setting, they tend to return to a "C" cup or a "B" cup and regain a "classical" tone (hence the classical mouthpieces).

If a player learned to develop a clear upper register on a "C" cup, they wouldn't necessarily have to switch mouthpieces and confuse muscles, air stream, embouchure, or their minds with varying degrees of myths!

The mouthpiece that I've developed is close to a "C" depth, what I've changed for my playing is the rim size.  I have found that the rim size affects my comfort - not my tone.  There are other variables in the anatomy of a mouthpiece that will either enhance or hinder one's tone and range, such as backbore, throat size, etc.  But if we stay with a standard backbore and throat, such as in the Bach line of mouthpieces, we can change tone just by changing cup depth.


This is what most trumpet players don't want to face up to - if we just did the work without looking for equipment to do it for us, we'd come out with a lot more money in our pockets and a lot less frustrated!  My line of mouthpieces are great because they don't offer a bunch of hocus-pocus, empty promises, or claims that they will give you range that you don't already have... they do offer a more comfortable rim, and variable rim sizes in a kit form - something that most manufacturers don't do.



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

OPERA MUSIC: History, Evolution, and Rebirth

English: Photograph of the facade of the Metro...
Photograph of the facade of the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, New York
 (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
If you've ever attended an opera, chances are you were enchanted by the timeless allure and sense of sophistication of this beautiful style of music and performance.  It is truly amazing to reflect on the fact that this enduring genre has been going strong for over 400 years, and even enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the United States and abroad.

Opera's roots are firmly European.  The very first opera house, actually a theater designed to host opera performances, was built in Venice, Italy in the 1630's.  Composers of the day were mingling dramatic stories with music that ebbed and flowed.  Audiences clamored to experience this blend of music and literary art on stage, and thus opera was born.

In those years, singing and dancing were commonplace at most public gatherings.  Due to the size of crowds, strong powerful voices were recruited to perform certain singing parts, both male and female.  In time, singers were specifically trained for operatic performances, a practice that continues to this day.

As the 17th century dawned, the popularity of opera spread to other European countries, like France, Germany, and England.  Indeed, some of opera's most famous works come from composers not native to Italy, like Mozart, Richard Strauss, and Georges Bizet.

The Passion Blooms In The United States

As a land of immigrants, it is only natural that those coming to the United States brought along their skills and passions.  Certainly, this is clearly most evident in New York, where the Metropolitan Opera House opened in 1883.  Opera spread to other cities across the country, and audiences filled theaters nationally.  Later, well-known opera master like Enrico Caruso, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, and Giuseppe Di Stefano displayed their unique talents to a vast and appreciative American audience.

The Present Day

Opera continues to attract and enchant, witnessed by the fact that 135 opera companies operate in the United States today.  Recently, there has been a surge in opera's popularity, as these innovative companies reach out to those unfamiliar with this musical style.  An inclusive educational approach has taken hold and broken down some perceptions that opera is only for the elite.  Casual informative lectures, subtitles, and relaxed dress codes are just a few strategies opera companies use to attract attendees.

Most importantly, many of these same companies have developed training programs for young singers.  Many of these young artists are now performing and thriving in venues across the country.  It is hoped this continuing education approach will keep opera thriving and vibrant for generations to come.



Monday, November 12, 2018

How to Develop a Great FLUTE Embouchure

CatalĂ : Detall de l'embocadura d'una flauta tr...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Learn how to develop a great flute embouchure and you are well on your way to being a great flutist.

Embouchure is a French term for the position of the lips and facial muscles used when producing a sound on a wind instrument.

Keep the following steps in mind...

1) The facial muscles and lips should be relaxed.

A tight embouchure with the corners of the lips pulled back and lips stretched produces strain and stress, a puny sound, and tires the player quickly.

Strained facial muscles inhibit the air from flowing freely out of the body. It's like putting your hand over a garden hose--the water is slowed down.

Try these exercises...
a) Pout as if you are unhappy or angry.
b) Imagine the corners of your mouth are reaching down to the floor. 
c) Roll your bottom lip out and try to hold a pencil with your bottom lip.

2) Keep the lower jaw relaxed as well.  Imagine this...
a) You are holding a golf ball in your mouth.
b) Your lower jaw is falling off your face onto the floor.
c) Try to yawn with your lips closed.

3) Concentrate the strength and power in your abdominal area. 

That's where the airstream originates.  You need a fast airstream pushed from the abdominal muscle up through your lungs and out the mouth. If your lips are strained, this gets in the way of that rushing air coming out and your tone is not nearly as vibrant as it could be.

Keep these important elements in mind and you will develop a great flute embouchure.