[NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC]

NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC

VOL 4, NO. 1, FEBRUARY, 2002

 NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC
VOL 4, NO. 1, February, 2002


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

Table of Contents
The Publishers' Space
Thinking...
Lone Arranger
String Space
Christian School Music
Be Fishers of Men
Percussion Space
Brass Space
Potpourri
Woodwind will return in the next issue



GREAT NEWS! As of May 2, 2002, David E. Smith Publications will become the exclusive distributor for Washington Music Ministries with the music of Bob Walters and Rich Heffler. Stay tuned for details...

THE PUBLISHER'S SPACE
by David E. Smith


  • "How Beautiful Are The Feet" (from "Messiah") a level 2.75
  • Solo for flute, oboe, clarinet, alto and tenor sax; "But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming" (from "Messiah") a level 4 solo for bassoon, trumpet, trombone, tuba and cello
  • "The Love Of God," clarinet or saxophone trio
  • "A Servant's Heart," clarinet or saxophone trio
  • "As The Deer," clarinet or saxophone trio
  • "A Passion For Thee," clarinet trio
  • "When I Survey,” horn trio, accompanied
  • "Hallelujah! What a Savior,"horn quartet, accompanied
  • Brass Quintets, "Lead On O King Eternal," "Hallelujah! We Shall Rise," "And With His Stripes," "And He Shall Purify," and "O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings" -the latter three from "Messiah" and can be adapted for quartet if desired
  • Brass Sextets: "How Can I Fear" and "Jonah" from the popular "Patch The Pirate" series
  • New for strings ensembles: are a violin trio, "God of Abraham Praise"
  • String Trio, "Near To The Heart Of God"
  • String Quartet, "Softly And Tenderly"
  • Keyboard "Sacred Piano Duets Vol. 2" and "Sacred Piano and Organ Duets"
  • New for young band, "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus"
All these new pieces will be shortly sent to our first issue dealers where you can take a first look at these pieces. For more details as to levels, prices and options go to our Website (www.des pub.com) -double click below, and go to "What's New" or "View catalog."

 

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The Christian should be a humble person. The Christian should be a confident person.

THINKING...
David Eudaly (Guest Writer)


How does one reconcile those two virtues? Christians are not supposed to have an inflated view of their importance. But neither are we to be insecure, plagued with constant feelings of self-doubt. We are to evaluate our gifts properly. The book of Romans gives us a clue: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has give you.” (Romans 12:3)

We are to be confident without being cocky, self-assured without being arrogant. A good athlete who does not believe in his ability will sit on the bench. A public speaker who is so nervous that he can't remember his speech will not be effective. An overly-cautious driver who lacks confidence is a hazard on the highway.

Self-confidence is absolutely essential for the Christian as well. Confidence enhances the use of our spiritual gifts. Paul told Timothy, “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (II Timothy 1:6, 7).

If you lack confidence, you're not going to be able to teach, sing, encourage, or effectively use the gifts God has given you.

Confidence also enhances our personal testimony. Can you imagine Lee Iacocca coming on television and timidly saying, “We hope our cars are OK; maybe you ought to try one?” No, he comes on with confidence and says, “If you can find a better car, buy it.” And he becomes believable.

We Christians should not be hesitant about our salvation. If we are apologetic about our beliefs, we're not going to convince anybody. But when we can say with confidence, “Christ has forgiven me; Christ has given me new purpose in life,” then our testimony is believable.)

Confidence also enhances our personal joy. Reader's Digest reported that we are born with two innate fears-only two the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are acquired. I believe that nearly all the others are from the Adversary and they need to be unlearned.

It is a terrible thing to go through life being afraid of people- insecure, inhibited and always lacking confidence. Life becomes a continuous, exhausting effort to avoid embarrassing yourself. There is a special joy that comes to people who aren't afraid any more. It is wonderful to be able to say confidently with Paul, “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13).

When Paul speaks of his confidence in the Christian life he uses the word competent three times. That word means, sufficient or qualified. It is the same word used in II Corinthians 2:16 where he asked, “Who is equal to such a task?” This passage gives the answer. The Christian CAN be equal to the task through Christ.

(To be continued in the next issue)

David Eudaly is a Building Contractor and lay Minister who resides in Bloomington, Indiana.

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What Can a Trombonist Teach Us?

THE LONE ARRANGER
by Dana F. Everson


I have a theory about those trombonists who had a healthy dose of the good old traditional marches in their band training.

My theory is that trombonists have a head start in becoming successful arrangers. Think about it. In the traditional high school band setting, the trombonist sits between the tubas and the trumpets. In front of them are the horns. They have the "oomps" on one side, and the "pah-pahs" in front. Meanwhile, the trumpets play the melody most of the time.

So what? Everybody in the band is exposed to the melody, harmony, accompaniment and bass. What is so special about the trombones? The difference is, they are playing the countermelody; that is their most common function. This is, musically speaking, half way between the bass and the melody. This is especially poignant during a traditional march. So, the trombonist learns, if only by musical osmosis, how these elements can combine to form the textures and harmonies which will work, in principle, with any combination of instruments or voices.

The tensions that swell and subside between and among the voices add color and dimension to the total musical portrait. The great composers of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic ages, almost without exception, studied counterpoint as a basis for composition. The rhythmic interplay, the intervallic relationships, and the harmonic implications of two or three concurrent but independent lines can form the basis of the most complex compositions for the largest of ensembles.

Study the orchestral works of Brahms, for example, and you will be amazed at his command of counterpoint. It is a core value of his musical expression. There is no question that a good sense of counterpoint adds a valuable tool to the arranger's treasury of devices. And, I submit, that it does not matter so much HOW the writer gains this sense, but that it IS gained.

Some may learn the fundamentals best by formal classroom study or with a tutor. But there is no substitute for playing and hearing complete concert examples.

I am not suggesting that the ONLY successful writers were/are trombonists, but that the trombonist is in the perfect place, musically, and often geographically in the band setup, to train his ears in the theory of counterpoint. And, he will gain all the more if he is deliberately listening and analyzing as he plays. Perhaps arrangers who have never played trombone would benefit by sitting in the trombone section and observing. Better yet, take up the trombone and ask to sit in the local high school or community group, especially when they play marches.

In high school, I did just that. Switching from saxophone to trombone during marching season only, I gained many insights into the interweaving of polyphonic texture.

That's it. That's my theory. I would like to take a vote. All those who agree with me, please contact David E. Smith and let him know! All who disagree, please contact David E. Smith and let him know! All who have no opinion either way, please contact David E. Smith and let him know!...and then keep surveying your trombone section; searching for that potential arranging genius who is perhaps just a few rehearsals away from deciding to try his hand at writing music.

Dana Everson is on the faculty of Northland Bible College in Wisconsin. Prior to that he was an Asst Prof of Music at Delta College in Michigan. He has over 125 published works.

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Good Buy? or Good-bye! - Part 2

THE STRING SPACE
by Jay-Martin Pinner


A Layman's Guide to Purchasing a Bow for Violin, Viola, Cello or Double Bass

The first of this series of articles focused on the basics of purchasing an instrument in the violin family.

The focus of this column is on the selection of a violin, viola, cello, or double bass bow. Generally, the instrument is purchased first, followed by the purchase of at least one bow. An exception is the bassist who purchases a good bow first, transporting it in a hard-shell bow case for use with a school-owned instrument until a bass can be purchased. Bassists also may choose between a French bow and a Butler or German bow. Since the bassist must use a different bow hold for each type bow he should seek the advice of his teacher or orchestra director before making the final decision about which bow to purchase.

Bows have been made from many different materials, most commonly fiberglass and wood. In the 1930's bow makers even experimented with aluminum. The demands for aluminum in World War II curtailed further experimentation. (There is at least one example of an aluminum violin and bow in the collection at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Having played on that instrument with that bow I can say with some authority that the sound is metallic at best.) In the last decade graphite and carbon fiber have been used successfully to create bows of surprising strength and agility, capable of producing the subtleties of the great wood bows at substantially less cost. A typical student fiberglass bow, strung with horsehair rather than synthetic hair, costs between $45.00 for violin and $85.00 for double bass. A good quality entry-level student pernambuco wood bow may be purchased for between $275.00 for violin and $350.00 for double bass. Viola and cello bows cost within these ranges.

Pernambuco (pronounced per-num-boó-co) is the wood of choice for both student and professional bows due to its density and flexibility. While applewood and cherrywood bows may be purchased for significantly less money; such bows are not recommended. Bows made from these inferior woods are usually of poor quality, tend to warp or break easily and do not respond well in the hand. Brazilwood is also used for less expensive, student bows. Though it is better than the cheaper woods it is not as durable as pernambuco.

Many students begin with fractional size string instruments and matching fractional size fiberglass bows strung with horsehair. This is quite satisfactory despite some teachers' insistence upon using a wooden bow. As a student progresses to a bigger and better quality instrument the need for a pernambuco wood bow increases. A fiberglass bow can only mimic to a certain extent the weight, balance, and performance capabilities of a wood bow.

Choosing a bow takes time and patience and the assistance of a reputable and knowledgeable instrument dealer or teacher. Old bows by the great master bow makers can cost thousands of dollars. New bows by recognized makers also have high price tags. The most expensive bow might not work well on a particular instrument, so it is important to set a budget and stay within your financial comfort zone. Avoid the assumption that the higher the price the better the bow will work with your instrument.

When choosing a bow:

1) Decide whether you prefer the French style (round) stick or the German style (octagonal) stick. This is largely a personal preference though some performers prefer one style over the other. The octagonal bow is only slightly more expensive. That expense is so minimal that it should not factor into the final decision.

2) Sight down the stick from frog to tip and be sure the stick is straight.

3) Check for a good cambre or downward curve from the stick to the hair when the hair is tightened. A stick with little or no cambre is useless.

4) Find the balance point of the bow by balancing it on two fingers. A well-built bow will balance within a few inches of the bow grip.

5) Better bows will have their weights indicated in grams. A heavier bow will generally do more of the work without forcing the player to add unnecessary weight from the arm and hand.

6) Check the bow's fittings: the winding, the frog, the tip, and the turn screw. Pernambuco wood is graded according to quality. A bow-maker usually reserves better frogs and mounts for higher quality wood. Mounts start at the low end with nickel (German) silver, and range to the high end with sterling silver and a quality ebony, tortoise shell, or ivory frog. A Parisian eye frog indicates that the pearl dot on the frog is encircled with a single or double ring of silver.

7) Draw the bow slowly across the strings with the contact point near the bridge playing a forte dynamic. Check for spots in the bow that "grab" or "squawk." If such spots occur consistently they may indicate weaknesses in the bow that can hinder tone production.

8) Play spiccato, slurred, martelé bowings and check the bow's response.

9) Whether buying an old bow or a new one check for hidden repairs, especially at the tip and on the lower end of the stick beneath the frog. Check the frog to see if it is original or if it has been replaced. A reputable dealer should inform a buyer of any defects or repairs that would affect the playability and value of a bow.

Take your time and try out as many bows as you can. Get good advice. The right bow in your budget is out there, and with patience you will find it. Happy bow hunting!

Jay-Martin Pinner is head of the String Department at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. He supervises the University's String Instrument Repair Shop and is responsible for the procurement and maintenance of pre-college and University-owned instruments.

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During the next several issues of Lines and Spaces I plan to discuss several aspects of a developing Christian school music program; including a basic philosophy, the Pre-K program, elementary general music, secondary general music, and choral and instrumental music. I also plan to discuss effecting issues such as staffing and budgeting, performing groups and performances, and repertoire selection. The following section is a sampler of these planned discussions.

THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL MUSIC PROGRAM: Part 2
by Rick D. Townsend


Early Childhood General Music Daycare centers exist in a rapidly growing percentage of Christian schools for many reasons, not the least of which is the high profitability margins that they add to an educational institution. If your school operates a daycare center, then your first, best opportunity to influence children and their parents is through early childhood music classes. Seldom have I experienced the intensity of gratefulness and interest that I have received from parents of my early childhood music students. It has become one of the most satisfying parts of my ministry. I will continue this discussion in the next issue of Lines and Spaces.

Elementary General Music

I usually recommend that an elementary (and early childhood) music teacher be the first specialist added to a school faculty, although this relatively low-profile position is not usually viewed as a highest priority item. Since I am known as a band director, the recommendation usually surprises administrators, who are often even more surprised by my admonition that the greatest music instruction emphasis be focused on the preschool and lower elementary grades. True music literacy can begin to take place only after children have developed an extensive listening vocabulary in music. It is also during these early years, for example, that suitably applied music and movement activities provide an appropriate foundation for stylistic and rhythmic music understandings throughout life.

The committee that developed the national “Opportunity to Learn Standards” in cooperation with MENC recommended that students receive elementary music instruction five days per week, including three days of general music plus two days of singing activities such as a graded choir program. While this standard is still far from being universally adopted in public schools, Christian schools, possessing the most meaningful purposes for their music, should strive for five-day early elementary music as soon as suitable teachers become available.

Many good comprehensive curricula are available for elementary music classes, but I believe that the most promising is Jump Right In (2000) published by GIA publications (1/800/GIA-1358), in which Edwin Gordon's Music Learning Theory principles guide the sequencing of music instruction. The methodologies developed for Jump Right In incorporate a balance of the best Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, and Phyllis Weikert strategies to provide an unparalleled music learning synergy. The tune base is represented by a broad range of appropriate folk musics selected, primarily, for the specific musical functions that they best demonstrate. Jump Right In has not gained wide acceptance because its use requires that the practitioner either receive extensive training at certification workshops held throughout the eastern United States each summer, or attend a college or university that emphasizes Music Learning Theory principles. I teach our pre-service teachers to use the Bob Jones curriculum in Christian schools, but modified by the skill sequences and appropriate movement activities as presented in Jump Right In.

Secondary General Music

We are now aware that only approximately two-thirds of the most gifted 20% of musicians actually choose to be in music groups. This translates into seven highly gifted music students out of every hundred students in a typical high school who will have no involvement with organized music. This realization has led to an increased number of non-performance music classes now being offered at the high school level. This often incorporates a new model for music appreciation classes based on individual compositional experiences for non-performers and a host of music creativity activities. One wonderful result of this new emphasis is that young composer clubs are being developed for performing musicians AND non-performers at many schools.

Secondary Choral & Instrumental Groups

For band, I discuss why I prefer 5th grade pre-band taught as general music by the band director, followed by 6th grade beginning band. I also discuss the importance of (1) a daily rehearsal schedule for all instrumentalists within the school day, (2) scheduling protections to allow the college-bound to participate in both choral and instrumental music throughout high school, and (3) small ensemble opportunities for all students. I discuss performances and informances as they can be woven into the cultural fabric of the church and school. Finally, I describe an affordable private lesson system that can be instituted as enrichment for all students.

I find that most music teachers appreciate learning new strategies for assessing and grading individuals within performing groups. I will recommend a broad-based motivational system that can be effective in encouraging music students to participate in music beyond the performing group - one that serves as an effective basis both for individual and program assessments.

Budget - Everybody Benefits, so everyone shares equally in cost- Pre-K through 12

Although it is often the most difficult issue to resolve when planning a quality Christian school music program, funding does not have to be as painful as we have made it. There are good strategies for sharing the cost of equipment in a way that can provide long-term stability for the program with a minimum of difficulty for the families. I am not an advocate of paid private lessons for most beginning players (although they are appropriate for some), and will explain my rationale for this position.

Most Christian schools over 250 students will require a budget of at least $5000 per year for equipment and supplies. With this level of funding over many years, adequate equipment and supplies will be provided for each elementary classroom, as well as for each Jr. High/High School homeroom. A broad, varied collection of recordings will be readily available for in-school listening and for home projects. Funding will provide for a growing instrumental inventory and choral and instrumental library, for cost-sharing of specialists/clinicians, for incentives and awards, and for a host of other requirements of excellent music instruction.

Staffing

I will present the case that a school of 100-125 requires, and can justify the salary for, a full-time music educator who is capable of developing and monitoring several local volunteers in addition to performing daily teaching duties. An additional half-time teacher is required for a school of 126-175. Two full-time teachers can satisfy the needs of a K-12 school of 176-350, as long as there is only one elementary classroom per grade. Beyond that, administrators should plan to add one additional half-position for each additional 150 students - mostly to accommodate the growing elementary and pre-school classroom needs.

Above that, piano lessons should be available during the school day-offered by an independent contractor. This is a tremendous help to families without becoming an administrative burden for the school.

Conclusion

Although these program levels currently exist in few Christian schools, I talk with many administrators who understand the commitment that will be required to develop Christian school music excellence. It is now our responsibility as music educators to identify and develop music programs that fulfill the mandate inherent in our great calling. By the grace of God, I believe that the year 2020 will see these standards, and more, in place as The Normal Christian School Music Program.

Rick D. Townsend currently serves as Director of Music Teacher Education and Director of Instrumental Music at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, Wisconsin. With over 25 years of experience as a music teacher in public and Christian grade schools, he brings a broad base of experience to the subject. He holds the PhD degree from Michigan State University, where he also taught the graduate level Curriculum and Methodology course in 2001. He has been published by David E. Smith Publications, Band World magazine and the Journal of Music Teacher Education.

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THE PERCUSSION SPACE
by Billy Madison


The word erroneous is defined by Webster's Dictionary as, “Wandering about; containing or based on error; mistaken; wrong.”

Erroneous sounds are far too common in the world of percussion. It is the wrong sound at the wrong time that can destroy an otherwise wonderful musical performance.

Most, if not all, erroneous percussion sounds can be eliminated with a little planning and advanced preparation.

Below are a few of the most common erroneous percussion sounds and how to avoid them:

1. Sticks or mallets clicking together as they are picked up or set down-

make sure the sticks or mallets are placed on a trap table or music stand covered with a towel. They should be picked up by each hand separately if possible. If one must pick them up with one hand then place a finger (or two) between them to act as a cushion and silencer.

2. Two (or more) drums, cymbals, etc. vibrating against each other-

check all drums, cymbals, etc., before playing, to make sure they are not touching each other. This is probably most common with timpani and as long as the rims (or other parts) are not touching each other there should be no rattling sound.

3. Wrong instrument inadvertently struck-

this is usually caused when the instruments are set up too close together. They may not be touching each other causing a rattling sound, but if a player doesn't have enough room to maneuver there is a greater chance of the wrong instrument being struck accidentally.

4. Extra noise as instrument is picked up or set down-

depending on the instrument, this can usually be solved by using a good trap table or a sturdy music stand with a towel placed over it for placing the instrument(s). It may also be necessary to use a rug on the floor to cushion the instrument. Also, if it is tambourine or any instrument with moving parts (i.e. Jingles etc.) the player should have the instrument positioned to play before it is picked up. Use as little motion as possible when picking up or setting down instruments.

5. Instrument accidentally knocked over-

this is usually caused by poor placement of instruments. As in #3 the players need room to move around from one instrument to the next. Always allow plenty of room for equipment setup.

6. Dead sound from certain keyboard notes-

this is one that seems to baffle younger players over and over, but is usually rather simple. Either some of the bars are out of alignment or the music stand is too close and is actually touching a bar or two. Realign the bars or move the music stand.

7. Ringing during rests-

again, this one is also an easy one. Simply muffle the instrument during rests. This is not always necessary depending on what the other instruments are doing, but if actual silence is desired muffling is a must whether it be a ringing cymbal, timpani, triangle or anything else.

8. Students practicing on the floor, their legs, etc.-

this is one of my pet peeves. Too often players will play on the floor, their legs, or anything available thinking they are being quiet during rehearsals when in reality they might be disturbing other players' ability to concentrate. The main problem I have with this is that most people perform the way they practice. On many occasions I have witnessed performances where members of the percussion section were very distracting when they should have been still during their rests. It's best to do individual practice away from a group rehearsal.

This is obviously a very limited list of common erroneous percussion sounds and how I try to teach my students to avoid them. Even though some may seem obvious, never assume that students will automatically figure these things out for themselves. Spend just a little time discussing these problems and their solutions. Take the time to set everything up properly before rehearsals and performances and you will hear fewer erroneous sounds.

Billy Madison has taught instrumental music in the Arkansas Public Schools for 15 years. He studied composition with Jared Spears and Tom O'Conner. Madison has played percussion with the Northeast Arkansas Symphony since 1978.

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Gems from Vincent Cichowicz Part II

THE BRASS SPACE
by Phil Norris


 

Here's a set of words/phrases and VC's thoughts that provide some helpful motivation for performance.

CONCENTRATION - focus on sound, pitch, rhythm, phrasing

PATIENCE - quality not necessarily quantity

ATTITUDE - watch ego and worry; make good sounds on the instrument with a minimum of effort

UNDERSTANDING - interrelation of body and mind

ANALYSIS - be careful; analyze the music NOT the muscles

HABITS & INSTINCTS - know how you react in various situations

CONCEPTS - imitation of fine models, of beautiful singing; have musical “guides”

ANTICIPATING - knowing how you fit in to the musical score (prominent, supportive)

REPETITION - in the proper way; build the habit correctly

CONTROLS - gained by past successes

PITCH - always listen, both linear (melodically) and vertical (harmonically)

DISCIPLINE - make yourself do it right with the mind attentive

FEAR - take work seriously, NOT yourself!

TEACHING & RETHINKING - helps you learn yourself

BALANCE - not too much tension but not too relaxed

PLATEAUS - keep at it; progress will occur with proper habits and musical thinking

LET IT HAPPEN - as opposed to make it happen; pressing or bearing down is counterproductive; the tone should be let go, thrown out, let loose

IGNORE THE PHYSICAL SENSATIONS - follow the mental tonal image

SPEED - watch impatience!

POSITIVE GOALS - beautiful sound should be the goal (tone, pitch, rhythm, musicality), not the physical production

I'll let his words speak for themselves!

Phil Norris is an Associate Professor of Music at Northwestern College, St. Paul, Minnesota, where he teaches trumpet and is an active performer.

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POTPOURRI
by Phil Norris


 

The steady discipline of intimate friendship with Jesus results in men becoming like Him. Harry Emerson Fosdick

A Christian is the highest style of man. Young

The church is not built as a shrine for saints; it is a hospital for sinners. *

Christianity is the good man's text; his life, the illustration. * * Author Unknown

 





 

Order Newsletter

Preach Christ Always
And As A Last Resort
Use Words.
St. Francis of Assisi
It is a truth that stands out with startling distinctness on the pages of the New Testament, that God has no sons who are not servants. H.D. Ward There was never law, or sect, or opinion did so much magnify goodness, as the Christian religion doth. Francis Bacon

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

BE FISHERS OF MEN


Be Fishers of Men. You catch 'em,
He'll Clean 'em.
A family altar can alter a family.
A lot of kneeling will keep you in
good standing.
Don't put a question mark where
God put a full stop.
Exercise daily. Walk with the Lord!
Forbidden fruits create many jams.
Give God what's right, not what's
left!
God doesn't call the qualified, He
qualifies the called.
God promises a safe landing, not a
calm passage.
Having truth decay? Brush up on
your Bible!
New pieces listed in our current Catalog which are now available:

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Copyright 2006 David E. Smith Publications, LLC.