Archives par mot-clé : musical intent

voice sensations

The internal vibration of your body, springing out of the sound column, feeds your singing, which is next amplified by your instrument.

Being concentrated on the source of your internal song eliminates unnecessary tensions and fosters the link with your musical intent : you feel like filling up the space with your ​​voice.

The body literally vibrates with song and harmony. (…) The act of singing permits us to open a dialog with space so that we become flooded by its vibrations and merge with it, acoustically speaking.

The interactions between the singer’s physical body and the acoustic environment create a proprioceptive image of the body, and they structure a sensory-motor experience of the surrounding space in a perpetual dialog.

A professional singer with a great technique causes us to breathe fully, our pharynx opens, our larynx moves without tightening. The articulation is supple, passing from one syllable to another without breaking the melodic line, without losing intensity, and we are transported.

Teaching voice relies on subjective sensations that can only be described in words. (…) We have to make our sensations conscious so that they can be reproduced at will and associated to the corresponding muscular response.

Singing requires mastery over yourself to attain maximum sound output with minimum muscular effort.

Your sensations will be confined to the organs involved in singing. It sends acoustic stimulation to every part of the body, encouraging it to adopt certain postures. It helps to straighten the trunk, for instance, which helps it to resist the pull of gravity, thus increasing the charging effect on the brain.

When singing is well executed, it triggers a wealth of internal sensations that make the body into a vibrating instrument.

Alfred Tomatis, The Ear And The Voice
(translated by Roberta Prada and Pierre Sollier)

piano and fingers

As seen in other topics (instrument, highs & lows, sensations, convergence), your proprioceptive sensations should drive the instrument, following the path : brain > inner vibration > fingers (& embouchure) > instrument. To make the last step lighter, your fingers should stay close to the instrument keys, and the light end of your tongue close to the reed edge as well. Thinking your sensations first (from your natural breathing), while forgetting your connections with your instrument (i.e. your fingers – and embouchure for a wind player), make your fingers work out your musical idea and not disturb it.

In other words, your musical intent drives your expression, through your technique.

{ Ludwig Deppe (1828-1890) wrote that tone must be produced, not by finger stroke (…) but by coordinated action of all parts of the arm. }

Ludwig Deppe was opposed to hammering the keys, saying that one should not strike but should caress the keys. (…) Each finger had to work under the conscious direction of the will. He spoke of a mental map of the entire route from brain to fingertips and stressed that, together with fingers and hands, the mind should practice also.

(…) Training the ear went hand in hand with technical training.

{ Amid all the noise made by those who came after Deppe, a pianist and teacher by the name of Oscar Raif made some extremely interesting experiments. }

Raif concluded that it would be worthless in developing piano technique to attempt to augment the agility of each individual finger. The difficulty lies not in the movement itself, but in the precise timing of the successive movements of the fingers. Since timing is the product of perception and will, it should be clear that technique is initiated in the central nervous system. From there, movements must be coordinated as part of one action and governed bv our will.

(…) The finished performance must be preceded by frequently repeated, consciously willed primary movements.

Any normal bone-muscle apparatus is sufficient for the development of a high degree of technique because of the brain behind the hands.

(…) first, fingers are prepared on the keys to be pressed. Each finger then presses with a light downward movement only, never leaving its key. (Thus the size of finger movement is equal to the depth of the key). And playing proceeds very slowly, pianissimo, with the whole attention concentrated on fingertips.

The musical idea, always going slightly ahead, should stimulate technical development. If technical aspects take the leading role, there is the danger of degradation into superficial virtuosity.

George Kochevitsky, The Art Of Piano Playing