My keyboard skills are genuinely modest.For me keyboard is a utility
instrument. But I often have music in "the clefs" that I have to read.
My major instrument is clarinet, and I first studied as a child with an
Italian trained symphpny musician. At the very first lesson (when I was
about 9) he started teaching me how to tranpose on
the clarinet using "the clefs." A child's mind works in strange ways,
because I soon mastered all kinds of transpositions and the clefs never
bother me. He would often stop me in the middle of a piece, and tell me to
finish playing it as if I had an A clarinet in my hands and the part was
written for a C clarinet. My mind clicked, and I went right on. And
there's never been a problem transfering those skills to the keyboard.
But what really reminded me about the open score was one of my students
whose graduate organ recital was a performance of the Art of Fugue. He
played from the open score (to "feel" the libnes as Bach did). And
explained why it was organ music, and not ensemble music as many thought.
And he also insisted on stopping where Bach stopped. You can imagine the
jolt that produced. His organ teacher told not to do it, I agreed somewhat,
but he did it the way he wanted to. JOLT. And that was the end of the
recital. Not even an encore to help us recover our sensibilities. It was
an emotional double whammy. The abrupt breaking off of the musical sounds,
and the realization that it represented Bach's death.
Anyway, playing from open score's a good skill to develop, and if you want
to give it a try, I
think the best approach would be to use the Morris/Ferguson "Preparatory
Studies". They are still in print
and the music's rather nice, too. It might be too difficult and too
discouraging if you tackle the
Art of Fugue right off.
Post by **©©
Post by Arthur Ness
I was being a bit facetious and I forgot to provide a "<g>" after the word
"cheating." But I was a bit serious, as well. There's something in the
experience of playing Bach from the score he would have used himself.
There's the "feel" of shaping the contours of the individual lines that
would be more apparent in an open score than a short score.
I guess before you tackle Bach in open score, you can work up to it with R.
O. Morris and Howard Ferguson, "Prepartory Studies in Score
Reading" Still in print from OUP. It's a gradual introduction to the clefs
with progressively ordered pieces.
There is a Kalmus edition that has the music in open score with a short
score parallel below the open score. Think about it. Why did Bach write it
in open score? Maybe you'll convince yourself.
Anyway Good Luck! You've obviously made wonderful progress with your Bach
keyboard survey. And that's quite a
Thanks, you've got me thinking about this. Tell me - do you play
a keyboard? If so, do you use open scores? I note that JSB also
wrote the four-part chorales in open score, by the way.