AVA243: Comparison of Dupre's Improvisation Method On A Free Theme With Sonata Form
Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start Episode 243 of Ask Vidas and Ausra podcast. This question was sent by Luciano and he writes:
Dear Mr Vidas,
Thanks for your reply.
Apart the mini course I have a question /big doubt and hope you can clarify.
-I found your article "Steps in Composing Organ Sonata " of 13/09/2012
and found it very interesting and clear: it is a kind of Template which I'm using with satisfaction
(I'm Composer Amateur and write music only for my satisfaction).
- Many years ago I studied the Book of Marcel Dupré :Cours Complet d'Improvisation à l'Orgue"
and find something similar but not the same : it is a Binary form exposition
I'm sure you know this book and
-my questions are
1)are these Templates (yours and the one of Dupré the same thing or not ?
2) Dupré explanation does not mention a secondary theme (is he referring to a
3) In the Dupré Book 1 Page 59 there is a General Plan of "his" Form
But now I'm confused since there are substantial differences if compared with your Steps
Thanks in advance if you will have time to clarify
V: So what Luciano is studying Ausra I think is from from the first volume of Dupre’s Improvisation Method Book on the organ. It’s a free form. It’s not sonata form but improvisation on the free theme. Basically improvisation on one theme because sonata form has two themes.
A: Yes, it’s especially necessary. If there aren’t two themes it means that the piece is not written in a sonata form.
V: Yes, so what he sees in Dupre’s first volume the form is used mostly in french conservatory settings for examinations for prizes for contests they have at the end of the year for improvisation. This is a good method to follow if you want to improvise in a strict way to have a binary or ternary exposition. It’s a good starting point I would say.
A: True. In general I would think that there is no need to compare these two different materials because they are completely different. Because you are discussing different forms.
V: Yes, Luciano probably read my article about improvising or composing organ sonata which is of course based on real life works and they must have two themes or even more.
A: Yes. Two at least, you have to have two but you also could have another two themes actually in exposition plus introduction.
V: Right. So I think Luciano is in a good way to advance his compositional or improvisation steps and techniques. Do you think that composing and improvising techniques are similar Ausra?
A: True. I think that one is based on the other.
V: You are absolutely correct and right now I’m currently composing every day first thing in the morning on my Sibelius software and I have a midi keyboard connected to my computer and Sibelius has the function called flexi-time input. You can play on the keyboard while metronome is beating and the music will be notated on the screen right away. It can be done with as many as two adjacent staves. So what I’m doing is first I’m recording right-hand and left-hand parts then later pedal parts, improvising basically them. So of course in earlier times it wasn’t very perfect, this type of method of inputting notes because lots of syncopations, lots of strange ties and rhythmical discrepancies were always present because human hands don’t play very rhythmically. Right? But now with later upgrades Sibelius has various plugins you can clarify and update your score automatically afterwards. Sort of clean up.
A: Yes it’s good that technology advances so fast.
V: And so yes you have to do some manual work and editing but not nearly as much as before. So that’s how I am able to create quite fast those pieces in the morning and dedicate to my friend organists. So I hope guys you also are creating right, Ausra? We are also recording this conversation. It’s a form of creativity don’t you think Ausra?
A: Yes. Some sort of form, yes.
V: Because you can have various ways of expressing yourself. In texts, in pictures, in audio like we are doing, or in sounds, maybe you are playing some kind of instrument, or in video, you are videotaping yourself. Or doing it even live. Now you could do many kinds of streaming online, on Facebook, on YouTube. It’s all there after your done and your listeners will start to enjoy afterwards right away.
A: That’s right, so just keep creating something.
V: Ausra what would be your suggestion or ratio between consuming and creating. Let’s say organ music. Sightreading and creating.
A: I don’t think it could be a ratio that would work for everybody. I think everybody has to find his own way.
V: For Luciano, OK.
A: I don’t know. He didn’t tell us so much about himself except that he is an amatuer composer. I don’t know if he intends to play his own works or not.
V: But when you play other works of other composers of past or present or both, your knowledge increases, your musical taste increases, right?
A: That’s true.
V: Then you can express your ideas in a richer way.
A: That’s right. But you know as I found out in the United States while studying that usually during your study years you try to play as much repertoire as possible, to study as much different various repertoire as possible. But after that you sort of narrow yourself down into one particular subject or one particular area. Do you think that’s a good thing?
V: Well that’s the system we have now. Creativity is not a big part of our educational system currently but it doesn’t mean it has to be that way for everyone. If the school or institution or conservatory or university gives you some things to study it doesn’t mean that that’s the end of your education, right? You could study additional works and you could create your own things in your spare time in the mornings or evenings. Because yes, it needs to be supplemented because it’s not complete. Creativity is just beginning to be incorporated into the normal academic curriculum.
A: Yes and now things are changing so fast and life, new technologies coming out every day, new discoveries. I think that creativity will be the basis to survive.
V: Yes because machines will replace everything.
V: And even creativity too, eventually, but not as fast as a year or two.
A: Let’s hope for that.
V: Yes. We all know there are videos of for example fake videos with President Obama saying something which he even didn’t say. Artificial Intelligence created that video based on the speeches that President Obama made in earlier times.
A: Yes, that’s a scary thing, that somebody can analyze your speeches and then to create something out of those speeches.
V: So the ratio, I intentionally asked Ausra about that because I read in one article online or even I’ve heard on the podcasts, I like to listen to educational podcasts while I’m doing some kind of other activity because it doesn’t take my time. So on one podcast, the podcast was called The Solopreneur Hour podcast and they told that the ratio between reading and writing had to be 3:1. If you write for one hour, you read for three hours. So it could be less or it could be more. Don’t you think Ausra that it could apply to organ?
A: True. Three hours of playing repertoire and one hour of creating, improvising or composing.
V: That it doesn’t have to be three hours, it can be maybe one hour of playing repertoire and twenty minutes of creating something.
A: Seems fair.
V: And then don’t forget to share, right? Because what’s the point of creating if you’re not sharing, if you’re hiding under the table. Thank you guys, this was Vidas.
A: And Ausra.
V: We hope this was useful to you. Please send us more of your questions. We love helping you grow. And remember when you practice…
A: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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