Chamber Music-Balancing the score
Chamber music: balancing the score – living music through structure
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
― Albert Einstein
Einstein besides his extraordinary accomplishments as a physicist was a reasonably good amateur violinist who loved playing chamber music. His words give us some insight into the marvellous way that chamber music can engage the most intense and intimate parts of our lives.
Einstein’s appreciation of the structure and the interplay of different forces inherent in chamber music also reinforces for us the need to learn how to respect and balance the diverse qualities each member brings to their chamber music role.
Some of the skills (in addition to technical capacity and musical knowledge) that a violinist or violist needs to develop to be an effective chamber musician include:
- Greater sensitivity to voice
- Awareness of tonal blend
- Rhythmic rigour
- The ability to listen
Really, performing chamber music effectively is a little like building good human relationships or being a good conversationalist. And a key aspect is developing the ability to listen to others. Having the humility that allows each member to value the contribution of the other players is critical—to be able to truly say, ‘I hear where you are coming from’.
And just as knowing where you stand is important to making a valued contribution in relationships so too in chamber music each player should be strong in their rhythmic awareness. A strong rhythmic foundation makes it easier to be spontaneous and creative in your musical communication.
Awareness of your own contribution and the ability to listen in turn helps you to be more aware of how you fit into the overall picture and to be sensitive to the voices of others.
Chamber music offers perhaps the most rewarding experience for any violinist or violist and there are some great tools you can use to develop your skills as a chamber music conversationalist.
All violin and viola students, young and old, intermediate or advanced are invited to join Pro-Am Strings’ free live online class, ‘Chamber music—Balancing the score—Living music through structure’ and discover the ultimate joy of chamber music.
Join Gregor Hrabar, your online violin/viola teacher and learn how you can take chamber music conversation to a whole new level.
This post was written by Stylus writer, a former professional violinist/ violist who has taken his gift for phrasing and tone into the world of words. You can learn more about his work at http://styluswriter.com/