Part IV Musicality

This subject is too often overlooked or brushed-over by students.  It seems that once a player learns all the right notes and rhythms the objective is complete.  In my opinion, this is now the beginning!  In our world of fast food and computers people expect results too quickly; at least I believe this to be true in the music world.  Turning a phrase in a natural, improvisatory manner takes time and living with the piece.  Knowing the work so thoroughly that the work plays the player should be the objective.  At this point, repetition of a phrase is not for learning notes but for ingraining the spirit and direction of the phrase.  In most instances, this kind of musical confidence is brought about through experimentation with phrasing and time.  I dedicated a post that goes into this in more detail here.  MUSIC IS AN ONION

For me, addressing musicality in my warm up consists of things like:

  • Working on transposition.  My favorite books for this are Bordogni, Sachse and Caffarelli
  • Sight reading an etude.
  • Playing a ballad unaccompanied.
  • Playing a favorite musical etude that addresses a specific musical issue.  My favorite for this is the Charlier Etudes but I also enjoy the Concone(s).

It can be tempting to get carried away with this fourth area of your warm up.  Stay focused.  It’s important to set an objective before you begin.  Something like; “I’m going to sight read two etudes top to bottom no stops.”  Or, “I’m going to play through two choruses of Body and Soul in a cadenza-like fashion, improvising on the second chorus while maintaining the form.”  Or, “Today, I am going to find four etudes and transpose them to F trumpet.”

Perhaps you will get side tracked into a realm that you want to work for a while.  That’s obviously fine but also know that you can address this fourth area of Musicality in a concise and still beneficial manner.

Other related posts

Warm-Up / Development Routines

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Maintain your Warm-up Mode