Saturday, June 24, 2017

MUSIC Inside Us

Everyone of us has music inside. And it is not an abstract statement, but scientifically proved fact. Molecules of DNA "sound" inside us and it is very important if music from outside is in keeping with music inside us.

Scientists pay great attention to researches concerning music’s influence on human beings. Attention to such researches has increased recently and their results are interesting and convincing. For example, after listening classical music cows have increased their yield of milk and mimosa and petunias have grown faster and burst into bloom 2 weeks earlier. 120 breast-feed mothers took part in experiment in Japan. Some women listened classical music, other women listened pop and rock music. In first group the amount of milk increased in 20 per cent, and in second group - reduced twice.

Such researches are the attempt to synthesise science and art (music). But in ancient India science and art were considered to be the parts of single creative power. All knowledge of ancient India one can find in the Vedas (Holy Indian Scripture) and one of four main Vedas Sama-Veda is entirely dedicated to music. According to the Vedas the creating of the world started from the primordial sound "OM", which appeared while division of the Almighty (Sadashiva) and his creative energy (Adi Shakti). "OM" was the foundation of the universe and the first musical sound.

Human subtle system consists of 7 main chakras (energetic centres) and 3 channels, which rule mental, emotional and physical life activity of person. 7 chakras of our subtle body revolve with certain frequency and form an octave, which consists of 7 tones of proper altitude. Intervals between them should reflect intervals between chakras. These tones were called musical sounds - notes (’svars’ in Indian music). They sound - sa, re, ga, ma, pa, da, ni and they are in keeping with chakras - from first till seventh. 5 notes can change (fall and rise), creating 5 additional sounds (left and right aspects of chakras). Thus, these notes are built-in subtle body and represent the ideal "repository" of information, the repository of those feelings, emotions, wishes and thoughts, which composer or performer has.

While listening music a person receives some influence on subtle level, which later appears on physical body. Same notes can bring destruction or good, it depends on the inner condition of person. For example, anger, aggression, drug intoxication and so on, which have power over the mind of composer or musician, will find the reflection in his music. There are some styles and forms in music which reflect only such bad qualities. Such music may do harm not only the musician, but also a person who listen to it. Clear, inspired people, who have lucid mind will never create such music. They created only folk music with great variety and classical music which has its roots in folk music.

Let’s listen to music, which is in keeping with music inside us.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Music education makes you smart. Smart people educate themselves with music. Both are true to an extent. What is it about music that increases you brains efficiency? From a teacher’s standpoint, the answers are quite obvious. Because music education is such a broad topic, let’s condense it to the studying of an instrument... more specifically the piano.

Teachers have noticed through the years that students seem to get sharper mentally with every lesson. Even the ones that don’t practice a lot seem sharper at the end of a lesson as compared to the beginning… although many teachers can think of a couple of past students who seemed to get more sluggish with every lesson. Thankfully, those types of pupils were the exception rather than the rule. So what aspects of mental capacity are improved by piano playing?

Hand eye coordination vastly improves with instrumental training on the piano. You can better judge distances between notes while playing of notes simultaneously, and there are a whole list of coordination demands that come from the gradual improving of fine motor skills.

Reading skills expand. If you think of music as a language, you are constantly improving your musical vocabulary with more compositions and technical exercises.

Memory, both visual and touch, is given a workout. In this regard, the phrase “use it or lose it” comes to mind. Musicians who constantly memorize new pieces just seem to be sharp in the memory capacity, provided they have a fairly healthy lifestyle.

EQ is forced to develop when performing the works of other composers. You really must feel and understand what a composer felt when composing a work; you will have trouble performing the work effectively for others if you don’t.

Apart from studying the piano, the study of theory and history go hand in hand with the study of any instrument. Knowing about the history of a composer helps you to interpret a piece and improves your music knowledge base. Interpretive improvement is also achieved through the comprehension of a piano piece’s structure. This understanding is obtained through theory knowledge. Music theory is often compared with math and it can be improved gradually, provided the student has a sound foundation.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

6 Steps in Arranging Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach for the ORGAN in 4 Parts

Have you tried to make an organ arrangement of a popular aria or a choral work? If not, it is worth giving it a try because not only you will have a lot of fun in the process, will be able to create a new organ piece that you will love to play but also you will learn a lot about the composition itself. In this article, I will describe how to make a 4 part arrangement of the famous Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach for the organ in 6 easy steps.

1. Take a music staff paper and write the treble clef for the right hand, the bass clef for the left hand, and the bass clef for the pedals. Connect the 3 staves into a system.

2. Add a key signature (F sharp) and a meter signature (3/4).

3. Write the Violin I part in the right hand with the stems up in triplets.

4. Write the Violin II part in the right hand with the stems down. Be aware, that according to the usual practice in Bach's time, in the original score this part is notated using dotted eight notes and sixteenths which should be played together with the last note of each group of three notes in the top voice. When you transcribe it in the right hand part, you can use groups of quarter and eighth notes in triplets.

5. Write the Soprano part in the left hand one octave lower. This way the chorale tune will sound in a tenor range. The chorale tune will sound well on a solo registration, such as a soft reed.

6. Write the Cello part in the pedals which will be played using soft 16' and 8' stops.

The Violin II part will fit nicely to the right hand part. Although there are some voice crossings between the two violins, in general, the right hand can play these two voices very easily. You can play this part using flutes 8' and 4'.

Because in this arrangement you have to play 2 voices in the right hand, for some people who have little proper organ training experience it might not be as easy as it may seem. If you are at the beginning stages of organ playing, I recommend the 3 part version which will also sound very well. Just omit the step 4.

After the process of arranging this fantastic piece for the organ you will know how the piece is put together on a much deeper level than before which will also help you to advance in the field of music theory.

You can play your arrangement from the written down version on paper or you can use your favorite music notation software to transcribe it. Choose whatever is more comfortable for you but do not forget to treat your arrangement as a genuine organ composition while you play and practice it.

    By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe organ? If so, download my FREE video guide "How to Master Any Organ Composition" in which I will show you my EXACT steps, techniques, and methods that I use to practice, learn and master any piece of organ music.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Your Search for the Perfect OBOE REED

This might sound crazy coming from someone that owns a reed making business, but the best reeds for you are the ones you'll make yourself. At MKL Reeds and Oboe:Space, we get many questions about finding the ideal reed and what we think the "best" scrape is.

As an oboist, you'll always be striving to make better reeds. But without sounding too zen... the answer is already in you. What you need in a reed is unique and depends upon you, your personality and the way you play. There is no "best" or "right" reed for everyone, no matter who you are.
Even when you make your own reeds, your own definition of the ideal reed should change and evolve with the musical situation you are in.There are a few qualities that MUST be present in a reed, no matter whose it is or where you get it, or even what "kind" of scrape it is.

A good, functioning reed of any kind RESPONDS and is STABLE.
When those 2 core qualities are present, the other benefits that come along for the ride are plentiful. In my opinion, having response and stability (most often) takes care of pitch and even results in helping produce a respectable tone because the reed is both easy to play and is holding together properly.

Oboe Reeds

Before I think or do any kind of detailed scraping, however, my reeds must have these core qualities. It must respond when I want it to and it must hold together no matter where in my mouth I put it or how I choose to blow. Getting to this stage of the game in reedmaking takes skill and practice, but is pretty much the same from reed to reed (assuming I continue to use consistent materials, like shape and gouge, and also that your gouge is good and centered).

I don't know if other reedmakers actually think of reedmaking this way, but I would venture to guess that even without thinking about it, these are the core qualities "everyone" goes for initially. Thinking about RESPONSE and STABILITY first keeps me focused. I strongle recommend not going for any more "detail" until you have these 2 qualities in your reed. This will make sure that you have a strong foundation for a good, consistent, dependable reed. These are the reeds that we strive to sell to our customers at MKL
Now that we've covered the basics, things can get more personal...

The "best" reed for you enters next, when you start applying your own personal tastes, preferences and habits. Unless you find someone who plays JUST like you do and has exactly the same oral physiology and uses their air the exact same way you do (you will never find that person), then the "best" reed for you is the one that you make for yourself.
It's that simple.
Commercial reeds satisfy the basic needs of oboe players, but in most cases can't don't and shouldn't go beyond that. I won't argue that you may find some really great reeds for yourself out there, but I'd still say that even the great reeds you find could be surpassed with your own reedmaking efforts.
So beyond response and stability, what goes into making not just a good, but a really great reed? We'll save the importance of a good gouge for another time, because that is a big topic. But besides having a great gouge, (which in itself is a quest and an art) you need the shape that works for you.

There are tons of things to consider when choosing a shape, and you'll only find what's right for you through experimentation. The right shape for you will "fit" with your gouge and offer you things in a reed that you might never have thought about. You might discover that what feels really good to YOU is to have a reed that is slightly wider, allowing you to feel slightly "under" at first. Then you find either you like that feeling because your air gets you up to pitch perfectly, or you might make a note of this and use this shape for making the "best" reed for playing with that church organ pitched at 438.

You might find a gouge/shape combo that makes amazingly focused, smallish reeds that are "best" for chamber music. There might be yet another combo that makes the most perfect low-register reeds for that second-oboe audition.The possibilities are endless, and this is only one aspect of the freedom you have when making the best reed for you. Finding a gouge/shape combo is very individual and specific to you and your tastes.

Other qualities that change from person to person are how large the opening of the reed is and how much is scraped out of different areas of the reed. Of course, this all comes back to the different physical attributes of each person. Think of all the obvious differences you see from one oboist to another, like height, stature, age, etc.

These differences are important when choosing the best reed for you. Not to mention the many difference you can't see, like the palate, tongue or position of teeth. These are differences that make every oboist sound and play differently.Another important thing that determines the "best" oboe reeds for you is your instrument. You might think, "an oboe is an oboe," but it is really a bit more
complicated than that.When people ask what the best reed is for them, you can't possibly know the age/ quality/type of instrument they are playing on.

I do pretty much stand by my belief that "a good reed is always a good reed," but there are certain qualities of an oboe that necessitate certain qualities in a reed. You'll find it rather hard to find any reed that "responds" on an oboe that is really out of adjustment. Again, who better to make a reed for your oboe than YOU? No one else deals with the trials and tribulations of your oboe everyday, so how could anyone else make the best reeds for it?

Although it is hopefully pretty easy to find and/or make yourself a decent reed, there is so much more opportunity available to you when you start to make your own reeds and experiment with what you need, and what your instrument may require as well. Reedmaking is truly an art, and like any art, it is up to the artist to mold and shape it.

    By Maryn Leister
    Oboist and entrepreneur Maryn Leister helps beginner, intermediate and professional oboists become happier oboe players.
    She is owner of the oboe learning company MKL Reeds and publisher of the Reed Report and Oboe Success Tips Newsletters. Each newsletter is full of straightforward tips on becoming a better oboe player and on taking control of your oboe reeds.
    Get your free subscription to the Reed Report newsletter and start your own journey towards a more rewarding oboe future right away. Sign-Up now and get your FREE Oboe Reed Tips!

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How to Practise OBOE SCALES

To practise oboe scales regularly is an important part of learning the oboe. They are an important part of learning any other instrument too. Scales teach us correct fingerings for each key signature, they help us to develop finger sequences and train us to use the appropriate alternative fingering where there is a choice. As we learn and extend our range they are the perfect way to incorporate the high and low notes into our practice so that we can cope with them when we meet them in pieces. As we become more advanced, scales can also form the basis of work on all aspects of technique.

Albrecht Mayer playing the oboe.
Albrecht Mayer playing the oboe.
(Photo credit: 

There are four crucial issues which need to be addressed when practising scales. I will deal with each of those issues in turn.

1) Know the key-signature of the scale you are practising. This may seem obvious, but it is amazing how many students I have taught over the years just tried to 'bumble' their way through without thinking first. As a fellow oboe teacher I worked with many years ago used to tell his pupils, "How do you expect to be able to play in any key where are the notes are jumbled up if you can't play them in simple step order?" This may be a bit simplistic, but it is a good point. So, to reiterate, you cannot possibly practise oboe scales effectively if you are at all unclear about the key-signature.

2) If you are playing scales which use the octave keys, make sure that you are using the right key at the right time. Oboes made for young students usually have separate Octave Keys. The back key is used for the notes E to G# in the second register; the side key is used for top A to top C. If you use the wrong one, or both at once, the notes will be out of tune. However, on an oboe with Semi-automatic Octave Keys, you can keep the back key on whilst adding the side octave key. The very high notes in the third octave are a different issue which I won't deal with here.

3) The use of correct fingerings is also very important in the practice of oboe scales. The oboe does not have many alternative fingerings, especially when compared with the clarinet or bassoon, but the ones we do have must be used when required. Trying to cheat and avoid using them will ultimately backfire on you. As you develop your playing you will find, more-and-more, that you encounter problems which cannot be overcome by cheating. The two principal alternatives we meet on the oboe are the 'Forked-F' and the 'Long D#/Eb' key. Persevere with these alternatives from the start and you will make life much easier for yourself in the future.

4) A number of oboe scales require the player to begin on the lowest notes of the instrument which is often a problem for many. To explore this particular issue in depth would take several pages, but, to state the basic issue, it is all a question of the balance between the air pressure (Diaphragm) and the lip pressure (Embouchure). To sum it up in simple terms, it is all a question of 'more push and less bite!' You need the air pressure to activate the reeAlbrecht Mayer playing the oboe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)320d, whereas too tight an embouchure will actually stop the reed from vibrating; - result a hiss and no note!

Most aspects of technique can be tackled when you practise oboe scales. During scale practice it is possible to focus on issues such as posture, tone, intonation, etc. etc.

Practising scales can be quite a boring business at times, so the technique most oboists use is the 'little and often' approach. We are told that the human brain much prefers information in 'bite-sized pieces'. Information delivered in this way tends to produce a better response and sticks in the memory better. Rather than trying to practise oboe scales for half an hour at a time, spread 5 or 6 minute 'bursts' of scale work through your practice sessions. I have always found this works very well, both for me and for my students.

So, in conclusion, to practise oboe scales is an essential part of your learning of the instrument. If you avoid them you will stunt your development as an oboist. Perseverance is a critical quality here as the work is never as interesting as playing tunes. Apply the advice above and, hopefully, you will develop a good playing technique which will carry you through all the tricky passages you will meet in your oboe playing life.

    Robert Hinchliffe is a professional oboist, composer, teacher, conductor and music director. This article is based upon over 35 years of both playing and teaching the oboe. If you have found this article helpful and would like to know more, please visit

    Article Source: EzineArticles