NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC
VOL 5, NO. 1, Spring, 2003
© 2003 Copyright of David E. Smith Publications
All Rights Reserved. Made in U.S.A.
Table of Contents
The Publishers' Space
The Lone Arranger Space
The Brass Space
Each Of Us Is Unique
THE PUBLISHER'S SPACE
“Hymnsembles” is a bulwark publication for DESPUB and the first three volumes have sold thousands of copies. This is a pre-press notification of Volume IV which will be released in the coming months. It is being nicknamed “Classical-Sembles” because of the established veteran hymns included, viz., “Be Still My Soul,” “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” “Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring,” “The Lord is My Light,” “The Lord's Prayer,” “Lutkin Benediction,” “Sheep May Safely Graze,” “Thine is the Glory” and “Wachet Auf.”
by David E. Smith
Psalm 150 was a front-runner in the field of sacred instrumental music and founded by David Winkler. The company has had different ownership and various distributors over the years and has now come to rest with DESPUB. Writers included in this catalog are: David Winkler, Douglas Smith, Jim Lucas and several others. There are solos and ensembles for woodwinds and brass as well as orchestra, “Five and More,” incidental music and more... Keep checking “What's New” in the website at www.despub.com for developments on this company in the DESPUB family!
Hymnsembles are designed to serve larger ensembles with non-traditional or incomplete band and/or orchestra instrumentation. Groups that are limited can make use of cues and/or doubling of parts. The arrangements are available in eight part books ($7.95 each) and a full, mega score which shows all part books and sells for $14.95.
WWW.DESPUB.COM is about to present a new feature in catalog items. In the “What's New” and then later in the “View Catalog,” patrons will be able to view music and hear it as well through the Finale Viewer interface.
Those who don't have the view can download it through the www.despub.com website. The catalog items that will have this feature will increase in the near future and hopefully with time the majority of the catalog will have this capability.
DESPUB is also pleased to announce the availability of new arrangements by Dana F. Everson.
They include: “Just Over in the Glory Land” (cl. trio #118311 & sax trio #129317); “I Have Come From the Darkness” (woodwind quartet #130420) and “Showers of Blessing” (woodwind quartet #130421); Brass quintets: “Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart” (#145530), “Give Me This Mountain” (#145528, optional sextet), “Brighten the Corner Where you Are” (#145533), “Look And Live” (#145527, optional sextet). These are available at your dealer today!
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To have Faith is much like having an opinion, the only exception being that, where other opinions might concern politics or sports, this is an opinion on whether or not God exists. By living the presence of God, Faith is transformed from an opinion to a relationship. God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality that you know intimately, meet every day, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.” Taken from A Way in the World, Ernest Boyer, Jr.
by Harlow Hopkins
To candid, reasonable men, I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought, I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing-the way to heaven: how to land safe on that happy shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. John Wesley
Why do we not set apart an hour of living for devotion to God by surrendering to stillness? We dwell on the edge of mystery and ignore it, wasting our souls, risking our stake in God. From Man's Quest for God by Abraham Joshua Heschel
The future, whatever you do about it, will become the present, and so there is no need to try to jump out of the present into the future. From Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom
We do not all have the flexibility in our lives to be able to make the time and establish the space for a weekly day of apartness. But, let's be realistic. There is in the lives of most of us a good bit more freedom and flexibility to organize such a dimension, if we really want to. From A Place Apart by M. Basil Pennington
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THE PERCUSSION SPACE
The Importance of a Sticking System One of the most important as-pects in the development of a percussionist is the use of a consistent sticking system. This will develop the hand movement to the point that the player will automatically play with the best sticking for a passage without having to think about it. If you have to take the time to think about the sticking while reading a composition you will probably have difficulty playing it.
by Billy Madison
It is best to learn a single sticking method to where it comes naturally before working on alternate sticking systems.
The most common sticking system is known as the right-hand lead method. In this method the right hand will always play beat one and will begin each beat if the rhythm uses eighth notes, sixteenth notes, or faster. It works very well and helps beginning players to develop a steady beat. This is not the only acceptable method, but it is easy to understand and many method books incorporate it.
Once a system of sticking has been established it is important to then experiment with other sticking options. Not every passage follows the rules for a sticking system and the player needs to be able to play whatever sticking may be necessary. Snare drum rudiments are an excellent way to train the hands for different sticking situations. Practice them regularly and apply what they teach to all of the different percussion instruments.
Always look ahead when reading a passage and watch for unusual sticking requirements. If the music has stickings marked always follow those markings first. Later, if the sticking doesn't work well for you the way it is marked, you can experiment and find the best sticking for you.
The important thing is that you have a sticking plan for every situation instead of just haphazardly playing with whatever hand happens to strike the note. Be prepared and always use the same sticking each time you play a passage and you will have less difficulty in the performance.
Billy Madison has taught instrumental music in the Arkansas Public Schools for 16 years. He studied composition with Jared Spears and Tom O'Conner. Madison has played percussion with the Northeast Arkansas Symphony since 1978. Madison holds the BME (Instrumental Music), the MM (Music Theory and Composition) and the SCCT in music. All three degrees were granted by Arkansas State University.
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THE LONE ARRANGER SPACE
The Ledgerwood Piano Duets
by Dana F. Everson
...are excellent examples of 4-hands/1-piano arranging. There are three freshly crafted exciting selections in the Sacred Piano Duets series (Volume I). One hopes that David R. Ledgerwood will add many more to the piano duet repertoire! Not only are they suitable for, say, a cheerful evening church service, but they are also happy choices for school music competitions, demonstrating technique, coordination between players, and zestful rhythms that match and support the message of each tune. The difficulty is rated at 3.5. In general, the two players should be at approximately the same technical level. Each player has opportunity to take the melodic line throughout these pieces.
CAMP MEETING MEDLEY takes full advantage of the pentatonic scale as part of the introduction and accompaniment to Brethren, We Have Met Together, There Is A Fountain, How Firm A Foundation, and Saints Bound For Heaven. The writing is clean, never cluttered or overly ripe. There are dynamic and tempo changes as well as a short section in minor that provide contrast and variety.
ONLY A BOY NAMED DAVID is short, to the point, and written in C major and F major. It is very accessible and just downright fun to play. This could be a Sunday School opener, with it's vivid images of David twirling his sling in preparation for the big strike against Goliath.
SOLDIER'S MEDLEY seems designed to exhort the listener to realize his responsibilities as a soldier in the Lord's army. Although it is energetic, and quotes bugle calls in the introduction, it gets right down to serious business with Sound the Battle Cry in octaves in the Piano 1 part. One can hear the "rolling of the cannons", the intensity of battle, and the temporary lull between skirmishes.
(I may be reading more into this arrangement than was intended, but it certainly draws forth very appropriate images of the Christian life not as a playground, but as a battleground!)
A slower, more contemplative section asks Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone? Finally, A Volunteer for Jesus brings the arrangement to a rousing finish.
I am admittedly partial to these arrangements partly because of my own past experiences as a school band director (I love marches!) and also because I know the careful craftsmanship of the arranger personally. These works ought to be added to every church and school pianist's library eventually. Also, I would highly recommend them as models to study for those of you who would like to improve your arranging for piano.
Dana F. Everson is a faculty member at Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin, where he teaches music theory, instrumental arranging and conducting, woodwind methods, private woodwinds and piano, and conducts the Northern Brass, an ensemble that travels representing NBBC.
Everson holds the B.M.E. degree from Michigan State University, Master's Degree in Saxophone Performance, Michigan State University and a Master of Sacred Music from Pensacola Christian College. He has over 200 published works.
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THE BRASS SPACE
The Art of Phrasing: an Introduction
by Dr. Phil Norris
How do we interpret various phrases? Phrasing can be one of the most challenging aspects of performance. Of all the choice musical wisdom I've encountered, the following has proven to be among the most useful. Here is a very brief introduction to the subject.
There are three primary elements we use to convey musical meaning: timing, note length and dynamics. I want to deal with the third of these in this article.
Regarding timing, the nature of each piece determines how flexibly the tempo can be treated. For example, a faster or more technical type piece is more likely to call for a steady, unwavering tempo than a slower, lyrical piece. For more expressive works, subtle timing changes (rubato) are often called for. Much of the time the use of rubato is obvious to an experienced musician. This tempo variation gives a more human sense to the music much as our heartbeats change with our mood. This treatment is something younger performers need to experience and be taught either through example or instruction. We also know from historical accounts that the amount of rubato changes over time and varies from place to place. What was stylish fifty years ago may be considered old-fashioned now.
As to note length, there are two broad approaches: legato and staccato. But there is a continuum of staccato from very slight detachment to very short notes with a large amount of detachment. These differences of staccato are determined by the tempo and historical or stylistic practice, which again will vary according to time and place.
More mysterious than these two basic elements is that of the dynamic shading of phrases. It is this aspect on which I hope to shed some light in the material that follows. I first learned about this from Robert Marcellus, former principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra. He played under George Szell from whom he learned these important principles of interpretation. In the interests of time and space, I'll give just one example of each type. But I trust that the examples will provide enough clarity for you so that you may identify each type as you study, prepare or perform various pieces.
There are four phrase types. Once you identify the type, the dynamic interpretation is much clearer. I must say at the outset that interpretation is an art form and not an exact science. Many phrases fall neatly into each of these four types, but some appear to be a combination of phrase types while others defy a rational interpretation and seem to work in opposition to these general rules. The final judge of good phrasing may rest with personal taste or with the performer's convincing presentation. Some people can be persuasive with their forceful nature alone or in defiance of the content. Musical performance can be like that. But as the saying goes, “you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.” True musicality is rooted in intelligent musical understanding, and those who understand the musical language will know right away if an interpretation makes sense or if it's uninformed.
The first and most common of the phrase types is the melodic phrase. The dynamic shading follows the general direction of the line. Every slight rise or fall within the phrase is usually not shaded dynamically. In this type, the melodic element is the dominant force of the music at that moment.
The second type is the appoggiatura phrase. We find these often in phrases from the Classical period. Mozart, Haydn and others used this type often. The Romatics also made use of this type for heightened tension. The word “appoggiatura” means “leaning tone.” and is an unexpected note just before the end of a phrase which resolves to the expected note. As a more accurate term, I prefer to call these non-harmonic phrases. Technically, appoggiaturas are non-harmonic tones approached by an interval greater than a major second. The greater the leap, the more emotive the effect. But this type of non-harmonic tone may be of any kind (e.g. suspension, accented passing or neighbor tone, retardation) besides an appoggiatura. The dynamic shading of this type is to crescendo to the non-harmonic tone and then relax to its resolution.
The third phrase type is the harmonic phrase. This kind is perhaps the most difficult to determine when markings are not present. In this type, the harmonic element of the music is the dominant force of the music at that moment, exceeding the melody in communication power. The dynamic shading usually runs opposite the melodic direction, but in the final analysis, the dynamic shading should respond to the harmonic progression. This is commonly found in lines that descend and crescendo or vice versa.
The fourth phrase type is the rhythmic phrase. This type is perhaps the fewest in number, and it is often a part of a combination phrase. This type occurs when there is little melodic or harmonic force in the music and the rhythmic element is dominant. It's most-often seen as a series of repeated pitches in a rhythmically-driving moment in the music. Musical drumming makes use of this phrasing.
Rather than playing rolls or rhythmic figures with no dynamic change, the figures contain subtle crescendi. It makes good musical sense for even a series as short as three repeated pitches to provide some dynamic interest to those notes.
Here's a classic example:
The following is a well-known example containing a combination-type phrase:
With these four types in mind, we should no longer look at any line of music in a haphazard or blasé way.. It behooves us to give interest to the music in the same way actors present their characters or how speakers engage us with vocal variety. And since we communicate so much of the emotional message of the music through dynamic interpretation, the knowledge of these phrase types should help us present a more convincing, more eloquent performance.
Dr. Phil Norris is an Associate Professor of Music at Northwestern College, St. Paul, Minnesota, where he teaches and actively performs on trumpet. He earned his DMA degree at the University of Minnesota. Phil is a former president of the Christian Instrumentalists and Directors Association and continues to compile and edit the CIDA Sacred List of Instrumental Music.
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THE WOODWIND SPACE
Enjoying One's Own Performance Do you remember when you first began to play your instrument? If your experiences are similar to mine, you played for your family every holiday. The ritual of Christmas, for example, included your playing for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and maybe even cousins; and it was fun! So what happened? Why-after so many positive experiences-do we all experience nervousness when performing?
by Theresa O'Hare; Guest Contributor
I have talked to many of my colleagues and peers and have gotten a variety of responses as to why we experience nervousness. Most young musicians do not experience nervousness until somewhere around the 7th or 8th grade. Why?
Well, according to JoEllen DeVilbiss, Director of the Central Illinois Conservatory, many adolescent musicians seek approval from teachers or peers that they haven't sought in the past. If we all remember our time as an 8th grader, we will all remember the need to fit in and stay cool. I believe that once a student experiences being nervous for a concert or competition, it becomes habitual or somewhat of a learned behavior.
A contributing factor to nervousness is also feeling uncomfortable about a performance. This usually comes from a lack of practice or feeling uneasy about technical passages.
So, I have pinpointed a few reasons why one becomes nervous, but now I need to be solution-focused and look towards possible remedies for this uneasy state. In talking with many musicians, there tends to be a common link. We all believe that the minute one walks on stage, one must forget one's self. What? you ask. How can I forget myself-especially on stage?
Chin-Fei Chan, a fellow flutist, says that she tells her students to practice their pieces until their confidence level is 110%. I tend to agree. In order to become super secure in the music, one must practice the pieces over and over. Memorize them. Take the difficult passages and incorporate them into your daily practice schedule. In practicing the runs, make up rhythmical and melodical variations. Analyze the runs and discover the chords outlined or the scale structure which is being used. Memorize that and then play permutations on those notes.
Additionally, in playing a solo piece or an orchestral solo, be aware of your musical surroundings and learn the parts as well as your own. (OK, almost as well as your own. You don't have to memorize the entire accompaniment!) I understand that this sounds more like an article on practicing, but I am as sure as the nose on my face that good and efficient practice insures a super performance.
So, let's say that I have “done my time” and practiced, memorized and learned about my musical surroundings. What next? This still doesn't explain how I can deal with my nervousness. Well, in being secure with the music, you can close eyes, listen and play. This is then the point that we stop being concerned with the notes and really then have the opportunity to let the music be communicated through us. One of my students, before a jury, became extremely nervous. She said that she felt she would be judged (hence the word “jury”, I suppose) and was afraid she would make a bad impression. I told her to get over herself! “The music isn't about you,” I said, “the music is about the music. So, just try to see yourself as the composer's instrument of communication.” Guess what? She played fabulously! And that is the key and the perfect ending to this article; just play the music and everything will be fine.
Theresa O'Hare has been playing in orchestras and teaching since 1987. She has performed throughout America and Europe as a soloist, in woodwind quintets and with string quartets. She is currently in the DMA program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has studied with James Pellerite, Richard Graef, Jean-Claude Gerard and Alexander Murray. She has participated in master classes with Michel Debost, Peter-Lucas Graf and Trevor Wye.
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EACH OF US IS UNIQUE
A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the House, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments-perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of it's own imperfections and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw. So, I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house?
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take people for what they are, and look for the good in each of them.
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To Table Of Contents David E. Smith Publications, LLC is pleased to announce the acquisition of a new company- ”Psalm 150 Publications.”
Preach Christ Always
And As A Last Resort
St. Francis of Assisi