Friday, August 29, 2008

An Unrelenting Beat


For a musician, there is nothing more humbling than playing with a metronome. It forces you to accept a beat, not letting you slow down or speed up EVER! It just sits there going Click-Click-Click on a constant interval indefinitely.

I have been playing a Brahams sonata for at least 6 months now, so you would think I would know it and be able to execute it at a reasonable given tempo.

What an eye-opener when my friend and teacher Bill suggested that we try it with a metronome this morning. The hard parts sagged. The sections of quarter notes were too fast.

It’s not that you would ever want to play any piece at a constant tempo, but Bill’s point is you can’t think about adding color and interest until you have mastered the art of playing it with a metronome at approximately the performance speed.

The last time through, he turned off the metronome and I luxuriated in those ritards and excited places of acceleration. There’s still work to be done, but I’ve definitely made a lot of progress.

Speaking of not missing a beat and making progress, how about that speech from Barack Obama last night? I must say I’ve become somewhat of a political cynic in the last decade, but last night I could feel a dormant patriotism pulsing through my being as he spoke. He seemed positive and at the same time practical and realistic. He thoroughly trounced the Republicans without resorting to the dirty tactics they have been using. He really made me believe in the change that he has been promising all along as he proceeded to spell out the specifics. As his family joined him after the speech, I found myself hoping this would be the next First Family. For the first time in a long time, I feel hopeful for this country; I feel proud to be an American.

3 Comments:

Blogger Pauline said...

"last night I could feel a dormant patriotism pulsing through my being as he spoke"

oh yes!

my feeling is that McCain cares more about politics, Obama cares more about people. it's about time!

7:33 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- People have taken a backseat to politics for a long time. It is about time!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

for the first time in a lonnnng time, I am taking an interest and investing my feelings in politics. I am finding my heart being swayed by first Hillary (and I loved her speech) and then by Barack. I loved it when he said that he would invest in preschool education, pay teachers more and expect higher standards.

3:47 PM  

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