Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Applying Julie Landsman's rhythmic subdivision to practicing Kreutzer Etude #1

Though they share a common register, viola playing and horn playing are different animals. But all musicians share some similar concerns, and Landsman's Caruso method of subdivision is extremely helpful for understanding the most difficult part of playing any instrument: knowing exactly when.

I found it interesting to watch her subdivide while her student was playing long notes. She was not subdividing in constant sixteenth notes,

but instead she was mixing subdivisions within the measure like this:

or this.

I put that kind of subdivision (why had I never thought of consciously mixing subdivisions within the measure before?) into great use with the Kreutzer Etude #1 today (shown here in its violin form):

Using the mixed sixteenth note subdivisions during the long notes helps with bow distribution, and dividing the beat before the shift, and then during the last beat of the measure into secure sixteenth notes gives the shifted-to note a definite place to be in time, which helps it secure a place to be on the fingerboard.

It also reduces fatigue, both physical and mental.

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