[NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC]

NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC

VOL 4, NO. 4, WINTER, 2003

 NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC
VOL 4, NO. 4, Winter, 2002


© 2002 Copyright of David E. Smith Publications
All Rights Reserved. Made in U.S.A.

Table of Contents
The Publishers' Space
The Lone Arranger
Thinking
Brass Space
Potpourri
Meet Phil Norris
Woodwind Space
It's More Than A Game




Preach Christ Always
And As A Last Resort
Use Words.
St. Francis of Assisi

 





David E. Smith Publications, LLC is pleased to announce that it now carries the new pedagogy book by Julie Barrier, Jim Hansford and Mark Johnson entitled The Instrumental Resource, published by Genevox.

THE PUBLISHER'S SPACE
by David E. Smith


The book offers hundreds of pages about

  • practical applications for growing church and school instrumental programs
  • historical perspective on instruments in worship
  • sharpening the skills of directors
  • creating a knowledge base for students, and
  • inspiration for use of instruments in worship
The price is $54.95 and available today!

DESPUB can provide you with this publication as well as the multitude of other offerings from Genevox.

Also recently released is a new piece by William Himes for concert band and brass band, Amazing Grace. It is published by Rosehill Publications in England. The Concert Band version is RMPC0261 and sells for $66.00 while the brass band version, RMPC0239, sells for $33.00.

These and other quality arrangements from Rosehill are available from DESPUB.

A New Offering from Stockton Music Services... This series of books is designed to be an instrumental accompaniment to Songs & Hymns of Revival. Special efforts have been taken to make the book accessible for the limited player. The primary focus was to have high readability. Each book consists of a two line system, the melody for an instrument and an appropriate harmony part. With a minimum of four players, a complete harmony may be provided. One player is all that is needed to start an accompaniment group. Price is just $39.95 for each part book- 551 hymns arranged.

Finally, with great pleasure we announce that DESPUB has very recently become a distributor for Hope Publishing Company. The choices for customers continue to increase!

For more information on these items check the web site or call. David E. Smith Publications, LLC 4826 Shabbona Rd. Deckerville, MI 48427.

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Composer and arrangers are desperate people, sometimes. They will go to great extremes to get fresh ideas for their creative projects. For example, Beethoven poured ice water on his head. Haydn, seeking creative stimulus beyond his immediate environment, prayed for ideas.

THE LONE ARRANGER
by Dana F. Everson


 

One fear of most writers is the quicksand of sameness; the problem of cliches and staleness both of technique and of spirit.

Why does it happen? One reason is that we tend to build our writing around our strengths (which we should do). But if we always write in our strengths, and never even ATTEMPT something different, something that we haven't done before, we will tend to fold up into our little shells, crouching in a fetal position and never moving creatively outside the comfortable womb of familiarity.

If I am strong at vocal writing, I should try writing an instrumental piece now and then. If I am very comfortable with brass quartets, I should launch out into the deep and try some string ensembles occasionally. If I am used to a few safe keys, perhaps I ought to try an "unsafe" key periodically. If I use the exact same form constantly, it may be time to try a form outside my usual "three times through plus an ending". Or, maybe I should get out the oldest hymnbooks on my shelf and play through some of the songs that aren't heard very often any more.

Meanwhile, strengthen your weaknesses with good books (see my earlier LONE ARRANGER article "Don't Forget the Books") and with good listening.

Be bold (but not obnoxious), and take a long, hard, objective look at your recent writing. Compare it with the master composers of the Baroque, Classical and much of the Romantic period. Then ask yourself the tough question: "How could I more effectively deliver the message of this great song in an appropriate, yet fresh and LIVING manner?"

And, by all means, pray for the Lord's help and direction. You could even try a little ice water!

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 MBBC. 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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THINKING...
by Albert E. Day


The man who is within the family of the Church is better equipped with friends than any other man in all the world. William Barclay

If you wish to live richly, deeply and spiritually you must cultivate the “world within.” It is a thrilling world...with the Heavenly Father as our companion... The Nashville Tennessean (Mid 1940s)

We never really adore Him, until we arrive at the moment when we worship Him for what He is in Himself, apart from any consideration of the impact of His Divine Selfhood upon our desires and our welfare. Then we love Him for Himself alone.

 




THE BRASS SPACE
by Phil Norris


There are two broad aspects of performance: artistry and craft. Some aspects of performance overlap the two, and it's in these overlap areas where perhaps the most critical performance areas exist.

 

Artistry (mental-psychological aspects) includes:

1. Musicianship - perhaps a summary word for all that makes for a musical versus a mechanical performance.

2. Phrasing/Feeling - shaping the individual line in accordance with natural dynamic direction (there are four basic kinds of phrases, a topic I'll discuss in a future issue).

3. Style - the way notes are shaped agogically (length), dynamically (degree or range of loudness), and tonal weight (a dynamic issue in part but also dealing with the lightness or heaviness of sound production).

4. Nuance - how subtly or extremely the dynamics, articulations and note lengths are presented.

5. Concept - how one's mental image motivates the performance; this would include the musical goals of the performer as well as the emotional and mental messages the performer wishes to convey to the audience.

6. Form - how one's awareness of the music's architecture shapes the timing and stylistic aspects of performance; repletion of material may dictate the need to change some element(s) for the sake of interest/variety.

7. Effect - the end result of the artistic decisions one makes in preparing as well as performing the music.

8. Timbre - the particular tone quality, or range of tone qualities, conceived and presented to an audience; this includes the resonance or fullness of tone, a factor of vowel or oral cavity shape and volume.

9. Tempo - the connection between speed and concept; often tempo terms convey important interpretive ideas (e.g. andante means “to walk;” allegretto implies a light style, largo implies grandeur or majesty).

10. Ensemble - the interaction of performers one to another with regard to rhythm, pitch, style, tuning, and dynamic; there is also the expressive interaction and communication between performers as well as toward the audience individually and as a group.

Craft (psycho-motor/means to an end aspects) includes:

1. Technique - skills related to handling the instrument, having command of the playing or singing in order to communicate the message inherent in the music. This can be as basic as hand position and posture or as complex as fingering, rhythmic/pulse sense, tuning, or use of the tongue (articulation).

2. Procedure - the approach one takes to learning and mastering the instrument or music to be performed.

3. Method - the particular materials or exercises one might use to develop the necessary skills for instrument mastery.

4. Articulation - the use of the tongue to present a wide array of note styles: legato, staccato, marcato, loud, soft, moderate; this would also include the particular vowel used which creates various resonances of timbre; in addition, the way a note is started and ended as well as the way phrases are commenced and concluded is part of articulation.

5. Scales - mastery of fingerings of scales, arpeggios, intervals and chromatic alterations involved with playing in all keys and modes as well as atonal music; considering the large amount of melodic material that incorporates these elements, their importance cannot be overstated.

6. Endurance - the physical stamina developed in the way one plays; this includes the issues surrounding embouchure, muscular tension and manner of blowing.

7. Timing - having a physical as well as mental sense of pulse and rhythmic subdivision of the beat.

8. Trial & Error/Experimentation - trying different aspects of timing (tempo, note length), timbre and dynamic to present a musical product in keeping with the composer's intent AND reflecting our personality.

The overlapping areas, aspects with artistic AND craft concerns, seem to include:
1. Intonation/Pitch
2. Rhythm/Timing/Articulation
3. Breathing/Respiration
4. Dynamics
5. Trial & Error/Experimentation

Where artistry and craft overlap, I believe we have very important aspects of performance. The essential components of effective communication always include performing in-tune with appropriate style (note lengths, weight, and use of dynamic) in addition to an emotional and intellectual “message.” Timing and use of dynamics are the two most important vehicles through which performers communicate their messages.

There is also a question of motivation, whether the player's focus should be on concept or on the physical means. Can the elements of craft be motivated by artistic/conceptual aspects or only by pure concentration on the production/process detail? Perhaps the answer isn't an either/or but a both/and.

There are moments in our development of playing skills that require concentrated attention on technique. Of course, for that moment, musicality is sacrificed, but only IF the player remains at that level. Once a skill is learned and is mostly automatic (I call this a “reflex”), the attention can once again be given to the musical product to bring about the physical actions necessary to make the music.

I've practiced from both approaches and found that the best musical results occur when we maximize the artistic aspect and motivate the physical craft from image. But this is not to say we never approach music-making from the physical emphasis, particularly in the practice room. But this should be minimal. When we can, it's better to “trick” the body into getting the musical result by keeping our “eye” on the desired product than by focusing on the means to that product.

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POTPOURRI...


"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that world cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"After silence, that which comes next to expressing the inexpressible is music."
Aldous Huxley

 

Be an organ donor.
Give Christ your heart.

 




MEET PHIL NORRIS


Dr. Phil Norris, Associate Professor of Music, a native of Pennsylvania, has taught at Northwestern College, St. Paul, Minnesota, since the Fall of 1993. Prior to that he taught at colleges and secondary schools in Indiana, Oregon, Illinois and Kansas. He teaches courses in instrumental music education, music theory, trumpet, music technology, and music history.

Dr. Norris' music study has been at Grace College, Winona Lake, Indiana, in music education and at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in trumpet performance, band conducting, and instrumental pedagogy. His graduate work was with such prominent Chicago area musicians as Vincent Cichowicz (trumpet), John Paynter (band/conducting), Arnold Jacobs (wind respiration and brass), and several other principal wind players of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 he completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance at the University of Minnesota where he studied with David Baldwin and Gary Bordner.

As a writer, Dr. Norris has published over 25 band and brass pieces with Volkwein, Columbia Pictures Publications, and David E. Smith Publishers. He is in frequent demand for commissions and has written for commercial, church and educational clients all over the United States. He has arranged and composed in serious and popular styles with equal facility. Mr. John Paynter wrote of his music, "...absolutely superb! Such great imagination, musicianship, practicality, and general effectiveness." Mr. Robert Page of the Cleveland Symphony Chorus remarked about Mr. Norris' Psalm 90 that it was a "Wonderful festival piece." In 1997, Crown Music Press in Chicago published his Top 50 Orchestral Audition Excerpts for Trumpet, now in its third printing which includes an endorsement by Adolph Herseth (former principal trumpet, Chicago Symphony), one of the greatest living symphonic trumpet players. Crown Music is about to release Uncommon Ceremonial Works for Trumpet, a collection of ten works.

As a performer, Dr. Norris has been an active soloist with ensembles of all types. He is also an accomplished studio player with numerous commercial and album recordings to his credit. In addition, he has performed with symphony orchestras (Salem, OR and Alexandria, VA), the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and was principal trumpet of the Clarion Brass Quintet of Washington, D.C. He is also in high demand for weddings.

As an educator, Dr. Norris has taught at secondary and college levels in both instrumental and choral music. He has a fresh, vibrant approach to teaching, emphasizing practical fundamentals with the goal of musical expression in terms of human experience and spirituality.

In 1981 and 1986 he was listed among "Outstanding Young Men of America," and in 1990 he was listed in "Who's Who in American Education." He is a board member and past-president of Christian Instrumentalists/Directors Association (CIDA). Dr. Norris frequently publishes articles on wind instrument pedagogy.

For state, national and international conferences, including the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, he has presented clinics in band and brass techniques, wind respiration, wind and percussion pedagogy, and arranging. Last Spring he was selected to present a workshop on player perception of tone for the International Trumpet Guild's (ITG) conference in Manchester, England. The ITG Journal published his article on this topic in its January 2002 issue.

Phil, his wife, Julie, and their three children live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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THE WOODWIND SPACE
by Harlow E. Hopkins


THE SINGLE-REED LIGATURE

The ligature is a rather small piece of the single-reed player's equipment and rarely gets much attention-in master classes, or even in class or private lessons-but aside from a rubber band or string there is nothing else for a player to use to secure the reed on the mouthpiece. At some point in a player's career consideration of the ligature must take place.

Several years ago the late Robert Marcellus was conducting a clarinet master class and at one point toward the end of the week asked for questions. “What is the best ligature?” he was asked.

There was a rather long pause, and he answered, “A dead man's thumb!” Laughter filled the room, but everyone knew what he was getting at.

When looking for a reed, I would guess that most experienced players soak several reeds and then position them one at a time on the mouthpiece, and, while holding the reed with the right thumb, play the notes which can be fingered with the left hand.

One can determine quite quickly whether or not the reed has possibilities and time is saved by not having to secure the the reed on the mouthpiece with the ligature. Mr. Marcellus' point was well-taken by all in attendance.

There are a number of ligatures on the market today. Across the years I have used several-both metal and plastic. Most of the metal ones were silver-plated but I used one for a while which was gold-plated.

The design of any ligature endeavors to provide a means of securely holding the reed in place while at the same time giving it as much freedom to vibrate as possible and produce the best possible tone.

Some position the screw(s) next to the chin while others are inverted and locate the screw(s) on the top of the mouthpiece, opposite the reed.

When the reed is secured in place the mouthpiece, reed and ligature in effect become one unit. Changing any one of the three affects the resulting tone. While it can be logically argued that the mouthpiece and reed are more important than the ligature, I know for a fact that the ligature can influence tone very directly.

Some players believe that fabric ligatures darken the sound. Some believe that an inverted ligature provides more even pressure on the reed than the conventionally-designed ligature.

The Bonade ligature was designed by Daniel Bonade, who for many years was principal clarinetist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and a man who trained many clarinetists at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was the father of the French-American School of clarinet playing.

The Bonade ligature is metal and has two slender bars which run parallel with the reed and provide the means for holding the reed in place. It has two screws.

The Luyben plastic ligature has four very small, circular projections, or very short tubes, which provide the contact points which secure the reed to the mouthpiece. It also has two screws.

A more recent addition to the family of ligatures is the Robert Vinson ligature, which is made of a plastic or composition sort of material. As much material as is possible has been cut away so that little material remains to secure the reed in place. This ligature has only one screw.

There are several more ligatures which could be discussed, but the basic types have been described. The serious clarinetist will at some point experiment with ligatures and determine for her/him self which one works best to assist in producing a rich, resonant, vibrant, pleasing sound.

Harlow E. Hopkins is Professor Emeritus at Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois, and continues there part-time as Adjunct Professor of Clarinet. He served on the faculty fulltime for 42 years, the final 29 as Chair of the Division of Fine Arts and Department of Music and 39 as Director of Bands. He holds a D.Mus degree from Indiana University, Bloomington.

 




The greatest gift of all was wrapped and laid in a manger.
Anonymous

Historically, the concept of structured early childhood music is not new. Kodaly, Orff and Suzuki discussed the value of early childhood music experiences. More recently, Musicgarten, Kindermusic, MusicPlay and a host of other specialized programs have moved structured music experiences into early infancy. This represents perhaps the most substantial expansion of music education's mission since the great conferences of the 1950s and 60s.

INFANT/TODDLER MUSIC PLAY:
IT'S MORE THAN A GAME
by Rick D. Townsend, Ph.D.


During the class, the students have experienced songs in major, harmonic and melodic minor, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian, locrian and in two Hungarian minor tonalities. They have experienced songs and chants in duple, triple and in four different asymmetric meters. They have experimented with several percussion instruments, and have had a brief opportunity to individually interact with singing and chanting puppets. From beginning to end, the students and their parents have experienced games involving large and small movements in shared- and self-space, utilizing the entire room at times and maintaining the smaller circle at other times.

Observers are struck by the fact that the students are infants between the ages of three weeks and 13 months. As soon as the infant class ends, a dozen toddlers arrive with their parents. The toddler class is, in turn, followed by a transitional class for K-4/5 children and their parents. The parents are a special bonus for the teacher. On weekdays, she teaches in a daycare center with only a classroom teacher assisting, and once each week she teaches a class for infants and toddlers in her church nursery.

Musical parents have long recognized that substantial music learning can take place from infancy onward. During the past decade, however, increasing numbers of educators have become involved in a concerted nationwide effort to develop and research theories and to develop methodologies for early childhood music settings. The result is that music educators can now choose from a growing body of methodologies and strategies designed to enhance early childhood music learning.

 

Often the class participants, especially infants through 2-year-olds, seem to be detached from the action. Although the children often seem to be unresponsive, adult participants are taught to avoid prompting. To the casual observer the class often looks like an adult music session with infants and toddlers present. However, be assured that the teacher's purposes are entirely musical and clearly structured.

Early Childhood Music's Purposes

The initial purpose for early childhood music is to provide a rich musical acculturation for the children. As with language acquisition, the earliest months of a child's life are all about acculturation and, ultimately, categorization. Toward the end of the first year, a child's language experiments take on the characteristics of the mother tongue. Similarly, and simultaneously, a child's music experiments also begin to assume the characteristics of their culture as they learn to distinguish music from language and random noises. Acculturation experiences may continue at increasingly higher levels for a lifetime, but acculturation represents the primary focus of infant and toddler classes. The teacher's lesson plan is designed to coordinate a broad range of continuous flow movement activities with a diverse song set including numerous tonalities, meters, media and styles. The children are allowed to soak it all in. This is structured, informal music instruction. “Structured” because the teacher carefully balances the musical experiences, and “informal” because the students are not required to perform to any predetermined standard. The teacher merely evaluates each child's responses in an effort to individualize certain parts of the lesson plan.

Following acculturation, the second purpose for early childhood music instruction is to provide and guide appropriate imitation opportunities. Again, we see a parallel with language acquisition. Most toddlers begin to imitate the teacher and parents. Once the children begin to respond imitatively, the teacher alters the lesson plan in an effort to highlight tonal centers and beat/meter relationships. This all takes place within a rich environment of movement activities designed to enhance stylistic sensitivity, beat/meter competence, and general body awareness.

Our teacher's third, and final, purpose is to guide older pre-school children as they personally assimilate western music's tonal and rhythmic functions. Activities for K4/5 children gradually become more formal as the teacher recognizes that individual children are acquiring tonal and rhythmic audiation skills. When the child can coordinate breathing with singing, and body movements with rhythms, it is time for first steps in formal music training.

In most cases, until the child has achieved such coordination, pre-school music teachers can be satisfied to provide a steady diet of rich, broad acculturation and imitation activities. Internalized, aurally based music skills are not skills that we can teach to children. As with language acquisition, music syntax is most effectively acquired by children within the context of extended, age-appropriate acculturation, imitation and assimilation music experiences. This is the primary mission for early childhood music-to provide those contextual musical experiences that most effectively allow the child to experience and discover the joy and magic of music.

A Christian Perspective for Early Childhood Music Education

Up to this point, I have discussed purely technical aspects of early childhood music experiences. What, though, would be the Christian rationale for structured early childhood music? The rationale is the same as for all other structured early childhood learning. We seek to systematically prepare our children for a lifetime of Christian service and mature decision making, and we have learned that the first two years of life are critical for development of basic lifetime aptitudes and tastes.

We do not expect our children to develop language skills through informal, unstructured settings such as observed adult conversations or television viewing. Similarly, we should not expect our children to learn music from informal, unstructured environments like background music in stores or television and recordings. Just as we instinctively speak directly to our infants and toddlers, so also we must sing directly to them. Just as we provide class settings that demonstrate a broad use of language, so also we must provide class settings that demonstrate a broad use of music. The church provides a perfect environment for such settings, because our children not only have an opportunity to hear live adult music from infancy onward, but they are also grouped by age several times each week from the nursery onward. These are perfect opportunities to acculturate and to guide early music learning and taste acquisition.

If you wish to develop broad-based early childhood music teaching skills, I recommend the book MusicPlay by GIA Publications (1-800-GIA-1358). It includes a rich introductory section describing its theoretical foundations and purposes, four sections of lesson plans including songs with words, songs without words, chants with words and chants without words in a broad variety of tonalities and meters, and a CD demonstrating all of the above. Specialized workshops and seminars are held every summer at universities throughout the country. Additionally, professional educator workshops take place at many Christian school and church conferences throughout the year. For more information, or if you just wish to share ideas, please feel free to email me at rtownsend2 @charter.net. God bless you as you seek to influence a new generation that will love and serve our Lord through music.

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It is Saturday morning and the music teacher greets her once-weekly music class. At the teacher's direction the 12 students and their parents form a large circle on the floor. The teacher and a co-leader then begin the class with a major/duple “hello” song followed by a uninterrupted series of 20 songs and chants, each accompanied by a specialized game. There are few verbal instructions, as participants follow the lead of the instructors. The session lasts nearly 40 minutes before ending with a major/duple “goodbye” song.
"Speak only well of people and you need never whisper."
Anonymous
INGREDIENTS OF MUSICAL PERFORMANCE The following is a summary from a masterclass with Dale Clevenger, principal horn of the Chicago Symphony, some years ago. After all these years, I still find these concepts very useful in my work as a performer and teacher. This summary is also an excellent overview of the most important aspects of performance.
THINKING.. “Adoration” for the man of today is difficult... “Adoration” in its religious and original sense-the bowing down in awe and reverence, tinged with the fear of God-has become largely lost in superficial wonder and feeling. Edward J. Farrell
ARRANGING AROUND YOUR WEAKNESSES

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