Playing Articulations on the carillon

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Playing Articulations on the carillon

Postby FrancesNewell on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:25 pm

John, I greatly enjoyed your lesson video. You showed how you play a staccato with a very light touch.
You demonstrated a legato by playing more forward on the baton.
Now, please explain how you play a marcato tenuto, as shown on this sample of "IN DULCE JUBILO II, by Roy Hamlin Johnson
(copyright 1970 by the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. Re-scored and handled by John Gouwens 2002)
On the opening Ab, I see a marcato tenuto. My instinct is to roll my hand forward on the baton, then do a light, sharp snap of the wrist.
How do you play it?
Also, on the next Ab to Gb, the bracket seems to indicate playing both notes with the right hand.
I can understand the melodic line here, my instinct would be to play right hand to left hand, then play the next Eb with my left hand.
I would not want to cut short the marcato tenuto on the Ab. Also, it looks like the Gb and Eb are both accompanying notes, so why not play them both with the left hand?
Any suggestions on how to play the marcato tenuto, then the staccato while still keeping a smooth line?
You're still playing a phrase here, you don't want it to sound like a hiccup!
Is there any reason why the melody notes are not all stems up and the accompanying notes all stems down? That might make the phrasing clearer.
Since I am the first to post a musical sample on this forum, please let me know it it comes across clearly on your end and if I have done it according to correct copyright protocol.

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Re: Playing Articulations on cthe arillon

Postby FrancesNewell on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:32 pm

I am trying again on the music sample for my previous post.
In Dulce Jublio II, by Roy Hamlin Johnson. Copyright 1970 by Thye Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. Re-scored and handled by John Gouwens 2002.
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Re: Playing Articulations on cthe arillon

Postby JohnGouwens on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:33 pm

Excellent question, Frances! Actually, what I do with this is identical to what I demonstrated in the video on the Gary White "Etude." Quite often carillon composers use the tenuto dash not as an articulation but in the sense of a slight accent - in this case obviously to bring out melody notes from the surrounding figuration. (It has always annoyed me that the tenuto dash has three different meanings in music, but of course I can't change that tradition!) :mrgreen: Legato "forward" stroke on the tenuto notes, snappier staccato (but not loud) on the other notes. Note Roy put in some staccato dots on those notes in between. This is as good an example of the two touches as the others I talked about on the video. If you use the touch the way I'm suggesting, the listener will hear a "legato" melody emerging from that texture.
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Re: Playing Articulations on cthe arillon

Postby FrancesNewell on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:08 pm

Great, John, but what I'm after is how to play a real tenuto, as one would see in an orchestral score, meaning: held out longer with a bit of a surge on the note.
Can we do that on a carillon bell without necessarily playing it louder?
Also, my orchestral scores and others sometimes use a staccato tenuto, indicated by the tenuto marking with a staccato dot over it. It means: come down on the note, hold it out longer and swell it, then jump off it like a diving borad, to launch you into the next phrase.
Can that be done on the carillon?
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Re: Playing Articulations on cthe arillon

Postby JohnGouwens on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:55 pm

Well, to be honest, you might be able to get some shades of variation between the "staccato" wrist touch and the "legato" forward arm stroke by doing something in between. It's challenging enough to get people to recognize the distinction between the extremes, so that I'm uncertain that you could put across a distinction that is discernible. You can surely give it a try. I'm sure I've sometimes done some in-between things, and sometimes there isn't time to do the "legato" touch fully anyway. Just to illustrate another point, in Roy Hamlin Johnson's "Elegy," there's an extensive section with triplets that begins up high, softly, and gradually accelerates while doing a crescendo. Certain notes are accented, and Roy borrowed a marking convention from Scriabin, using staccato dots, then tenuti, then accent marks, all of which were actually intended to indicate increasing degrees of accent, not "real" staccato at the beginning, etc. Thankfully, Roy had notes included in the score (which in the end I edited anyway) to make the intentions clear.

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Re: Playing Articulations on cthe arillon

Postby FrancesNewell on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:18 pm

Thank-you, John,
This is fascinating! Clearly, as we do more articulating distinctions, we must all be very clear in explaining our articulation markings! The journey continues!....
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Re: Playing Articulations on cthe arillon

Postby JohnGouwens on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:28 pm

As a composer, if you want to have any hope at all of your intentions being realized, yes, you need to explain what you want. Since I know Roy Johnson personally, and knew John Pozdro well, among others, I didn't hesitate to phone composers and ask them questions. (Sometimes the resulting conversations were rather entertaining.)
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Re: Playing Articulations on cthe arillon

Postby JohnGouwens on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:51 pm

By the way, Frances, the only way I know that you can put a "surge" on a note is with a tremolando, though some bells tend to "develop" their sound a little more slowly (some say, anyway). Once the clapper is off the bell, your interaction with it is finished.
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