October 6, 2016

Playing and Seeing Scales

When I received this postcard from Sarah Honeychurch, I traced my fingers over the threads. Just two colours but I could detect 3 lines. Each line is made up of 5 strands. I spread them apart, clear lines against the bright background. It reminded me of the Circle of Fifths and I wondered "Could I play that?".

This was not a random thought pattern, as I've been prompted by Laura Ritchie's MUS654 course. In Laura's post here, she talks about visualising scales and making them tactile. I've been thinking about the Circle of Fifths and the lovely, tidy visual that it gives you. Check a Google Search for Wallpapers for visuals of that. I start by placing the scale numbers around the string points and then wrote out the patterns created by the stringwork. Now to choose the key. I'm playing the clarinet and it'll be a solo piece. I have the freedom to choose what key this should be in. I think about colour and different energies in the day as I listen to "A Lecture Demonstration with Pandit Nikhil Banerjee". I'm given bright yellow by this postcard but this uplifting colours is drawn down by the dark colours of the cotton.

In my first attempt at the 3 lines, I play crotchets with the equal spacing that I see. I'm thinking about the space that is created in the middle, the smaller spaces created between the lines. The importance of playing silences, rests and spaces between.

I try to merge them but I'm unhappy with the results. I turned to a different app and chose another  key. The final attempt. I decided to use these notes as an ear and articulation exercise. The notes were discordant in some parts and I kept wanting to change it. This was good ear training.

Visualising scales is fun!

Resources and apps:
Camera, clarinet, Baazart, Score Creator, Acapella, PicPlayPost, Soundcloud