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Old 12-22-2012, 01:27 AM   #1
NyakoBwazo
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How important is following the sheet music exactly

Yeah, is 'getting creative' with playing the music looked down on?
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:35 AM   #2
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It all depends on what kind of music you're playing.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:45 AM   #3
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What do you mean?
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:52 AM   #4
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It's important, for example, when playing classical music in an orchestra.
It is not important, for example, when playing in a jazz trio.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:53 AM   #5
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If, for example, you're performing a classical piece...messing with music is VERY frowned on. Don't do it.

If you're playing a pop/rock/etc song, your probably can get away with some changes. If there's a distinct main melody, don't mess with that. But small tweaks to the chords and little embellishments shouldn't be a big deal.

Basically, the more formal the music, the more important to play it exact.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:56 AM   #6
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OK, Thank you for your imput ^^
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:39 AM   #7
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DO NOT DO it in a clasical setting youll have the music proffesor very peeved at you

also not smart to do it without warning in your rock band if they dont see it comgin...your bassist will freak out
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:45 AM   #8
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Also remember that if your are playing with a bunch of people, it might throw them off if you deviate from the written music. Just things to consider
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:01 AM   #9
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weird orchestra use sheet music but thet don't need it .i want rush to get some music stands and get some sheet music ha ha
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:51 AM   #10
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its not as important as most people make out to be. even in a classical setting. just make shit up when you can sight read it well.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:06 AM   #11
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classical is very open to improvisation (provided it's a solo piece, at least). obviously not shredding around and playing random notes as a guitar player might consider improvisation, but there's a lot of work that can be done by adjusting dynamics, tempo, accentuation, etc. that the performer is open to experiment in such a way as to respect the piece while still having expression available.

if you're playing with an orchestra, perform it exactly as your conductor tells you (in conjunction with the sheet music). if you're a little off in any aspect, it'll be really obvious with that many other people playing correctly, especially if you're not the only one playing your designated instrument.

just remember that the sheet music is often open to interpretation (unless the composer implicitly wrote it in mind of being followed verbatim, but it's always your choice on what you do with it, though you'll look like a dick probably). in a group setting, however, it's not your call to make. if you're sitting at home making youtube videos, do whatever the hell you want to it, but exercise common sense and people, for the most part, won't attack you simply for changing a few things around.

Last edited by Hail : 12-22-2012 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:57 AM   #12
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Great post Hail^^^
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibanezguitars44
If, for example, you're performing a classical piece...messing with music is VERY frowned on. Don't do it.



i haven't played/listened to many solo pieces in classical. but almost every one i've heard people embellish.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by primusfan
i haven't played/listened to many solo pieces in classical. but almost every one i've heard people embellish.

Yes but they change the tempo and dynamics. If it says "forte" or "piano", it's your decision how loud "forte" is or how quiet "piano" is.

But many times if you say that you can improvise, to a guitarist it usually means "add more notes". And that's not what you do in classical.

And usually you play solo pieces with a pianist (depends on the instrument, though). You must show your pianist how you want to play the song because if you two have a different view of the song (and both play it their own way), it will not sound good. Everybody plays the piece differently and that's why you need to practice with the pianist at least once before the gig.

And as Hail said, in an orchestra you need to play what the conductor says. And if he doesn't say anything, you play what the notes say. If all the musicians in orchestra played the song their own way, it would not sound good.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:10 PM   #15
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an orchestra is one thing. but people are just saying "classical." i just don't think that's true. people throw in trills and stuff all the time. even "add more notes."



the repeats are embellished, sometimes with "adding more notes" as i believe was period practice for baroque. i know it's not technically "classical" but i'm sure we're not splitting hairs here.

now whether the changes were improvised or not, i don't know. but i do know they're certainly not following the sheet music exactly. so to say, "DO NOT DO it in a clasical setting youll have the music proffesor very peeved at you" is not accurate.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:22 PM   #16
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Regarding classical performance, there are many nuances, which don't really need to be pointed out to anyone's who's not going in-depth. I simply gave a general statement covering practical cases.

Yes, for baroque and earlier music, performers are supposed to add embellishments. Even Liszt's written music is intended by Liszt to be covering only the basis for virtuosic improvised embellishments. But with that said, most classical music from the classical period to onward becomes increasingly dictated note-for-note by the composer as the mechanics in the music gets more complex. Of course, modern music allows for performance improv again via graphic notation, aleatory, etc.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:47 PM   #17
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The last two posts, though slightly contradictory, totally sum up the argument for me. There is a certain amount of freedom with any style of music (well, 99% of music), and what form this freedom will take totally depends on the precise style. It might take the form of rhythmical freedom, changes in phrasing/dynamic, or different pitches/embellishments, or whatever.

Exactly what freedom and where is really at the scope of a PhD, or beyond, for any particular style, but at the same time, hopefully within the realms of what is intuitive and common sense.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:31 PM   #18
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Also, worth pointing out, that there is a world of difference between CHOOSING to vary from the sheet music slightly, and NOT BEING ABLE to play the music as written.

In classical contexts, you are absolutely, positively, expected to be ABLE TO play the music exactly as written. If you can't, then you need to work on your reading skills and technical proficiency.

Trust me - when you are not playing the sheet music exactly because you're not able to, everyone will be able to tell.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:30 PM   #19
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Having done my degree in classical guitar, I'd say it really depends on who is adjudicating. In every field there are purists and free thinkers.

My first university level instructor (who was quite highly regarded on the world stage) was very much a purist. He was technical to an exceptional degree, and very much a perfectionist. If it wasn't on the page, you didn't do it, and if it was on the page, then you damned well better do it.

My next one was more about the music than the technical/purist aspect. If it made sense to add a ritardando at the end of a phrase, and thus, you did it, then there was no need to question your judgement. However, if your choices did not readily make sense, you can bet your @ss that he'd quiz you on it and get you to justify your choice - and if you couldn't, then you were simply playing it wrong. And if you could, but your reasoning was faulty, then you were simply playing it wrong.

If you needed to simplify an arrangement and leave out a note or two, that might be one thing, but adding notes to the composition puts you in a risky position - you are, in effect, suggesting that you know better than the composer as to how it should have gone. This sort of thing really is at least frowned upon, if not considered heresy, depending on the point of view of the listener/adjudicator.

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Old 12-23-2012, 01:40 AM   #20
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despite being a hardass, i'm from the school of free thought. mozart was very well known for not playing precisely what was written when given the work of other composers -- in fact there are anecdotes written of him saying that he even improvised an entire section. he changed the key when the composer intended it to be so, but the material contained was very, very different.

however, this is not license to disobey - mozart was unquestionably a master. musicians like us have much more of our craft to refine, and unless you're of the same caliber as mozart, you stand to gain far more from playing precisely as written.

hotspur's point about not playing what's on the page based on ability (or lack thereof) is EXTREMELY valid, important, and crucial - you'd do well to pay attention to it.
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