Rhythm in Music
Robert Baldwin, Music Director for the Salt Lake Symphony, Music Director for the Utah Philharmonia, and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Utah shares his thoughts on the importance of rhythm, meter, and tempo – an aspect of music often neglected when focusing on notes, pitches, timbre, sound quality, etc.
Dr. Craig Jessop, director of the American Festival Chorus, stresses this as well. Dr. Jessop uses “count singing” – a method he inherited from studying with Robert Shaw and the Robert Shaw Singers. This is where the notes are sung by singing “One, Two, Tee, Four”. This ensures the musicians keep an “inner pulse” going on inside their head when the time comes to put actual words to the music. It also helps musicians know exactly when notes are moving, beginning and ending of phrases, and note durations. Dr. Jessop swears by this practice.
I’ve emerged from the pit thinking about rhythm and tempo. I’m there all week with the orchestra putting together Carlisle Floyd’s opera, Susannah. There’s a lot that can go wrong on stage, and even more with this show as it includes live gunshots! All in all, it was a good first rehearsal. The only lingering issues are finding a consensus with rhythm and tempo.
Certainly, these are two things that are very important to my craft as a conductor. Tempo control, metric organization and rhythmic precision are all something that is a great responsibility for all of us–the conductor, singer, and orchestra. But behind all my admonishments to “watch the stick,” “play the subdivision correctly,” and “don’t rush (or drag),” there is a deeper truth to the importance of flow and rhythm in the music.
“Time is like a superglue, keeping our story in order as we navigate the world…
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Posted on April 17, 2012, in Music Education, Thoughts on Music and tagged afc, afc ben, afc ben burt, afcben, afcben burt, afcbenburt, afc_ben, afc_benburt, american festival chorus, american festival singers, americanfestivalchorus, americanfestivalsingers, arts, arts education, beat, before the downbeat, beforethedownbeat, ben, ben burt, benjamin, benjamin burt, breath, breathe, breathe in music, breathing, breaths, burt, choir, choir conductor, choir music, choral, choral music, chorus, classical, classical music, Conducting, conductor, count singing, craig jessop, director, Education, impact of music, inner pulse, jessop, meter, music, Music director, music education, music impact, music teacher, music teaching, music teaching tips, notes, one two tee four, opera, orchestra, orchestra conductor, orchestra pit, phrases, phrasing, pit, pitch, pitches, pulse, rhythm, Robert Baldwin, Salt Lake Symphony, saltlakesymphony, sing, singing, sound qualiity, symphony, tempo, timbre, tone, United States, University of Utah, utah, utah classical, utah classical music, utah music, utah philharmonia, utahphilharmonia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.