A New Approach to Ear Training_Leo Kraft - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text ADVANCED EAR-TRAINING and SIGHT-SINGING AS APPLIED TO THE. A new approach to ear training: a programmed course in melodic and harmonic dictation by Leo Kraft; 1 edition; First published in ; Subjects: Accessible. of material in most theory courses, A New Approach to Ear Training offers sirochaterfarm.tk sirochaterfarm.tk
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Improvisation Across Boundaries 17 Silence Another way of invoking heightened awareness is the use of silence in your improvising. While it is only natural in our ardent pursuit of musical skills to focus largely on making sounds and understanding the various ways they are melded together, let us not forget that music consists of both sounds and silence.
In fact, instead of thinking in terms of sound as the basic fabric of music, consider thinking of silence as the basic fabric and sounds as temporary interruptions in the silence.
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While it may be hard to find much music in which sounds are subordinate, in terms of length of time, to silence, an awareness of sound as a kind of a foreground phenomenon against a backdrop of silence can help get us out of middle-zone conception; it is yet one more way of expanding our boundaries and liberating us from day-to-day, conditioned modes of conception.
One involves how silence is framed: silence needs to be prepared, executed, and resolved. In order to prepare silence, a second point is important, which is the creation of variety within one or more of the basic non-syntactic elements: dynamics, density, or register. Ultra-soft, ultra-loud, ultra-dense, ultra-sparse passages can help create a sense of expectation. When followed by silence, this expectation fills the space and continues to propel the music forward even though no sounds are being made.
When prepared effectively, the silence can extend for some time, and then it is up to the musician to decide how it might be resolved. Resolution of the silence can be similar to how it is prepared e. Silence study This exercise is done in a solo format.
Play an improvisation of one to two minutes that incorporates at least one, and ideally several, prominent stretches of silence as part of the musical fabric. The silence needs to be more than merely the length of time to take a breath on a wind instrument.
One of the criteria for the effective use of silence is the sense that the silent moment is self-contained and complete as opposed to eliciting a feeling of discomfort, as if the musical flow has been abruptly interrupted.
Effective use of silence is experienced as part of the musical flow. Exercise 1x Solo Pieces The following is a series of formats for solo, unaccompanied improvisation.
Solo improvising challenges us to access a wider range of strategies to sustain interest. Solo improvising can be not only tremendously rewarding, it can help us cultivate skills that are invaluable in collective formats which, for most musicians, will comprise the bulk of their improvising. Section A will have no pulse; section B will be pulse-based.
In section A strive to use as much variety as possible along the parameters of dynamics, duration, density, and register. In other words, explore the extremes of these parameters very soft, very loud; very dense, very sparse, etc.
Use silence as part of the musical fabric; silence can be more than just a pause to take a breath, it can stand on its own as a self-contained part of the musical flow. Section B involves the establishment of a clear pulse. Seek to utilize dynamics and registral variety. You are encouraged to explore different layers of the pulse e. Exercise 1z The next solo pieces take motivic development to a new level.
Instead of developing a single motive, they involve developing two or contrasting motives by moving back and forth between them. Key to these exercises is that each idea is crystal clear, and that the ideas are clearly contrasting with one another.
Here it may be helpful to think of the contrasting motives as different characters on a stage in a theater piece. When character A enters, we immediately gain a sense of who he or she is, and that character B is a completely different personality. Clear ideas engage us and generate a sense of expectation about what is to follow. The clearer the ideas, the more likely they will be retained in short-term memory, which is required of the following piece.
Multi-motivic development solo piece Establish a motive A and allow it to develop briefly. Then introduce a contrasting motive B and allow it to develop briefly. Then return to A and develop it further, and similarly return to B and develop it further. Continue alternating the two motives.
Eventually, you may let the two motives merge. This may be done with and without pulse.
A, B, C. Exercise 1bb Unaccompanied time feels Set up a rhythmic groove on your instrument by repeating some basic idea, and then improvise around the idea, retaining enough of its basic character to sustain its role as a rhythmic anchor. Eventually your improvisatory excursions may become longer, but they should reiterate some fragment of the initial idea often enough to sustain continuity and the sense that you are playing on this particular groove.
For those who play single-line melodic instruments, this may be challenging given the rarity of this kind of opportunity. Recommendation: strive for variety in register and dynamics in framing this anchor, in addition to a crystal-clear sense of pulse. In other words, if the idea is two bars, then that should be followed by two bars of silence during which, nonetheless, a solid pulse should be felt.
Then, after a few iterations of the basic idea, gradually begin to fill in the spaces. Exercise 1cc Free or Open Collective Improvising Most of the above exercises, while not specifying style constraints in advance, have delineated at least one and often multiple improvisatory parameters.
These constraints will become more involved as we move further through the book.
As a complement to these approaches, it is not only highly valuable to engage in completely free or open improvisation formats—with nothing specified in advance—but these approaches can also yield highly magical and powerful results. At this point, improvisers need to call upon their utmost capacities in listening and creative engagement, because now there is nothing to fall back on.
The larger the free improvising ensemble, moreover, the more important these issues become. Free or open improvising can be a great way to process many of the concepts covered as well as to unearth entirely new ideas. In addition to the above considerations, two key issues bear emphasis in this kind of music-making: clarity of ideas and endings.
How do we define clarity? One criterion is the degree to which the idea stands on its own as a compelling statement that commands our attention.
Another is its capacity to suggest forward motion. In other words, clear ideas are more likely to generate a sense of what may come next—which may often involve some reiteration of the idea—than unclear ideas, from which future development is nebulous. In going into some strategies for ensuring clarity of ideas, it is important not to become enmeshed in value judgments when we improvise.
Improvisation should be a process of mindful and joyful play; we are engaged in the moment, we attend as fully as possible—mentally, aurally, emotionally, physically—to what is happening around us, and we embrace what transpires and the opportunity to contribute to the flow in whatever ways we can which include playing or not playing.
Moreover, any idea that might be deemed less clear may, through simple strategies, be transformed into a highly compelling musical statement. Let us first consider some approaches that may enhance clarity.
First, it is important to emphasize that clear ideas need not be complicated or virtuosic.
A single, short staccato note surrounded by silence can be a crystal-clear idea, as can be a long tone that is held for five or ten seconds or more. Clear ideas are like characters on a stage; when they enter, you know immediately that this is a new character, a new entity with its own personality, history, and future potential.
One strategy for promoting a sense of clarity is to create ideas that utilize the extremes of some of the basic non-syntactic elements—such as dynamics, density, duration, and register—considered earlier. In no way is this to suggest that the interesting and crystal-clear ideas that use these parameters are not possible. Rather, the process of consciously stepping outside of these parameters may require us to engage more fully—to be more present—in the creation of ideas, and this can carry over to situations in which we may create ideas that, say, utilize mid-range dynamics or register.
Another helpful strategy may be to combine non-syntactic extremes that may be less commonly combined, such as extremely soft flurries, or loud, short notes, or high, soft tones separated by long stretches of silence. When an idea is introduced that is not as clear as it might be, one strategy may be, instead of jumping in with a perhaps nebulous sense of direction, to simply wait and see if the first player or players may achieve greater clarity on their own.
Another is to play something entirely contrasting to the first idea, which may compel the musician who plays it to shape it into a more accessible form. Transparency, Laying Out, and Soloing Two of the most important aspects of collective improvisation are the capacities to lay out— to not play for possibly extended periods of time—and to play transparently, as these allow the ideas of others to move to the forefront.
A New Approach to Ear Training
A third necessity is the ability to move to the forefront when the music calls for it. One of the signs of mature improvisers is the ability to move fluidly between these roles.
The ability to listen intently and not play is much like being a good listener in a conversation; sometimes in the course of human interaction the most valuable contribution is made by simply listening in a heartfelt way to what our partner or colleague is saying. The same holds for music.
This will not only provide ear training results, but it will also increase your overall ability as an improviser and accompanist on the guitar. Connecting your ears to your fingers is the most important aspect of any solid ear training exercise for jazz. The first exercise focuses on singing along with your technical workout on the guitar. Hearing guide tones will not only help you learn to hear voice leading movement between chords, but it will also allow you to target these guide tones in your soloing lines at the same time.
Vocal exercises are an effective way to learn any new tune and are often the most efficient way to get those tunes memorized and under your fingers on the guitar. But, did you know you could use these same backing tracks in your ear training exercises?
The first backing track exercise focuses on learning chords and chord progressions by ear. Use those small gains to build up from, not to be negative about. No reference to any other pitch is required to establish this fact. Many musicians use functional pitch recognition in order to identify, understand, and appreciate the roles and meanings of pitches within a key.
To this end, scale-degree numbers or movable-do solmization do, re, mi, etc. Using such systems, pitches with identical functions the key note or tonic, for example are associated with identical labels 1 or do, for example. In the fixed-do system used in the conservatories of the Romance language nations, e.
Functional pitch recognition has several strengths. Since a large body of music is tonal, the technique is widely applicable. Since reference pitches are not required, music may be broken up by complex and difficult to analyze pitch clusters, for example, a percussion sequence, and pitch analysis may resume immediately once an easier to identify pitch is played, for example, by a trumpet—no need to keep track of the last note of the previous line or solo nor any need to keep track of a series of intervals going back all the way to the start of a piece.
Since the function of pitch classes is a key element, the problem of compound intervals with interval recognition is not an issue—whether the notes in a melody are played within a single octave or over many octaves is irrelevant.
Functional pitch recognition has some weaknesses.
Music with no tonic or ambiguous tonality  does not provide the frame of reference necessary for this type of analysis. When dealing with key changes, a student must know how to account for pitch function recognition after the key changes: retain the original tonic or change the frame of reference to the new tonic.
This last aspect in particular, requires an ongoing real-time even anticipatory analysis of the music that is complicated by modulations and is the chief detriment to the movable-do system. Main article: Interval recognition Interval recognition is also a useful skill for musicians: in order to determine the notes in a melody , a musician must have some ability to recognize intervals.
Some music teachers teach their students relative pitch by having them associate each possible interval with the first two notes of a popular song.
Among other things, this makes it easier to hear how intervals sound in different contexts, such as starting on different notes of the same scale.In section A strive to use as much variety as possible along the parameters of dynamics, duration, density, and register.
For instance, fast sections may be represented with highly active images, sparse sections with simpler markings, etc. Functional pitch recognition has several strengths. Tasting Harmony taps into the ability we all possess to discern the different flavors of food items and uses that ability to establish an emotional connection to your note choices by providing you with a harmonic menu of eighty-one different sounds played in all twelve keysthats nine hundred and seventy-two chords youll hear and taste with each listening to the play-along CD.
A new approach to ear training : a programmed course in melodic and harmonic dictation
Free or open improvising can be a great way to process many of the concepts covered as well as to unearth entirely new ideas. download the selected items together This item: These subdivisions and expanded durations may be thought of as rhythm layers, a concept that we will return to when we move into improvisation in time feels.
Instead, when improvisations reach such peaks in intensity at points far enough into the piece where they could serve as endings, the culminating chord or event—rather than being sharply cut off as in an orchestral work—tends to decay into something more resembling the first type of ending.
Nonlinear hearing In an improvised music rehearsal or concert in which you are not playing but listening to others, focus on experiencing each moment as an autonomous entity, whose meaning is independent of what precedes and follows it.
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