I've been invited to a joint student recital where each student played one or more pieces. What struck me the most is the lack of pulse in one particular performance.
In some compositions, the students played fast moving notes very evenly, like automatons while in others - quite chaotically. In both cases, one couldn't feel the pulse of the composition.
The musical pulse is best represented as a regular succession of strong and weak beats in a piece.
Just like a person who doesn't have a pulse is not really alive, in music, too, we need to feel the pulse for the music to breath.
If you ever forget to feel the pulse when you practice, try to count out loud the strong beats of the measure and even subdivide them. This is not very easy but it will allow your playing be perceived as flowing, as having some direction.
Alteration of strong and weak beats helps music come alive.
Ausra's Harmony Exercise:
Transposing Sequence in A minor: vii7-i
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.