Saturday, March 18, 2006

Fingering and Articulation II

A lot of little errors seem to occur during this process, which are no doubt the result of the speed at which I try to get the task accomplished, and the "situation" I find myself in while performing it: I'm sitting in front of the computer on a performance chair, left foot on a footstool, and I have a guitar in my lap. As I work out a measure or so, I reach forward, grab the mouse, and put the symbols in the score. As a result of this, I have been catching a lot of little sh... er, stuff as I re-read my way through the score.

Since adding the right and left hand fingerings is just the first stage of this process - there are also position and string indicators to consider (Though this cute little fugue will probably not require any string indications) - I'm just going to add the second two pages today. There are a couple of minor changes to the first pages, but nothing significant enough to re-post them yet.


Another aspect of this process to consider is that the sheer number of possible solutions in some of the situations - especially with respect to right hand options - means that revising details of the fingerings really continues right up until the piece is ready for performance, and sometimes even beyond that point.

*****




Happily, I was able to add the ties back in for the 2-3 and 7-6 suspension chains, just as I did for the 4-3's. This again resulted in less than the most immediately idiomatic fingering solutions, but the musical result is definitely worth the effort. Also in keeping with the overall scheme of pattern making with the articulations I again eliminated the ties in the concluding measures of the thematic phrases - measures thirty-five, thirty-nine, forty-three, and forty-seven on this page.

However, this has lead me to contemplate making an actual musical change to the piece: Since the removed tie is in the lead voice in measure thirty-five, the resulting re-attack of the open E string is now less than fully satisfying. It's as if the phrase now wants an F-sharp on the fourth sixteenth note of the measure, and since the upper two voices are a sixth apart, this would work out just fine from a musical point of view. Not only that, but at the the corresponding points in measures thirty-nine, forty-three, and forty-seven there are thirds or sixths in the same positions, so I could make a thematic element out of the change. Since this significantly adds to the fingering complexity, I'll have to think about it, but I am leaning toward making this change at this point.




For the non-contrapuntal episode which starts the final page (And which is a harmonized version of the subject in augmentation), I had two different goals: First, I needed to get from the upper reaches of the guitar's fretboard back down to open position, and second I wanted to achieve a keyboard-like effect akin to pedal and release on the piano to allow the harmonies to ring. So, I used a simple series of chord forms that just naturally descend back down the neck (This will be more obvious when I add the position indicators). As for the right hand fingerings here, I have used my "c" finger since before I played in the classic style, so this is just the natural way that I execute passages like this. I doubt any other classical player would - or could - use these right hand parts. My philosophy here is that I compose these pieces for myself, so they are going to reflect how I play them, and not how I think a classical guitarist would want to see them (The twin staves are likewise just the way I prefer to see and work with the music).

Finally, I was able to add the ties back into the final suspension chain in the concluding stretto section, and because of all of the open strings involved, this was actually the easiest passage to do that with.

*****

Wonder how many errors I'll uncover when I go back through this again tomorrow.




I love this Armstrong: The first time I saw it I did a double-take because I thought it was a nude. I'm sure that must have been his intent. Clever use of color and texture.

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