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Excellent Approach For Creating Forward Motion
on January 31, 2005
Despite my reviewer name (CPT Scott, my other career is as a Certified Personal Trainer), I have actually been a full time piano teacher since 1981 and teach about 45 lessons a week. While I am passionate about playing and teaching classical music I also studied jazz quite intensely at Berklee College of music and took some lessons with Jazz pianist Hal Galper.
The reason I mention Hal, is because the approach to note grouping in this book is very similar in concept to Hals approach to creating melodic lines with forward motion. He would actually have you practice scales in a way that had forward motion by using approach notes and target notes, you wouldn't start on the tonic of the scale but would play "in approach" to the tonic.
I have been teaching people to improvise using these concepts since I took those lesson with Hal over 20 years ago. I know Hal has a book out called "Forward Motion" but I've not gotten to check it out yet but I'd be surprised if it also isn't fabulous.
Both Hal and this book "Note Groupings" are revelatory ways of looking at music.
Anyway, after reading "Note grouping" I was listening intensely to Alfred Brendel, whose one of my favorite pianists. I could hear him using "note grouping" in his playing. You can hear often hear him doing subtle crescendo's up to the last note before the downbeat of a measure and just as he reaches the down beat there is a feeling of dynamic resolution.
I think this book is a real eye opener, a way for musicians at all levels to learn to look at music in a way that will create more flow and dynamic (both in terms of dynamic level and also using rhythm dynamically in the agogic sense).