Playing the Story
The wind ensemble students have been exploring music analysis through story. Resident Artist Chris Schroeder(trumpet) shares his experience:
Sometimes music can tell a story. Loud or soft, fast or slow, long or short articulations- the way we play affects the feeling of the music. Certain sounds and tunes remind us of a place, a time, and may even suggest a character.
In the Bernstein and Dudamel wind rehearsals we have been exploring the concept of story in music as a way to connect emotionally with a piece and enhance the musical product. Listening to the melody and examining the dynamic and articulation markings that tell how the music should be played, we create a musical narrative together. Through discussion and analysis, students decided that a raucus, minor tune was a band of pirates, while a gently soaring theme seemed to be about a stroll through the countryside.
Allowing their imagination to guide the musical process, the sound from their instruments has more energy and vitality. The articulations and dynamics written in the music are more clearly defined, and there is a noticeable improvement to their musical expression. The music becomes their way to express an idea or a feeling.