Solo A Musical Journey IV

Kelski takes violin lessons from Mosa and searches for Little Rhaus at the same time. [Weekend Challenge]

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A Musical Journey IV

Postby Kelski on November 12th, 2018, 3:23 am

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Timestamp: 55th of Fall, 518 A.V.

Continued from: A Musical Journey III



"Vibrato is next thing you need to know about, Kelski. Vibrato is a technique of the left hand and arm in which the pitch of a note varies in a pulsating rhythm. It is achieved by fingertip movements which alter the length of the vibrating string. There are different styles of the vibrato, ranging from the use of just the fingers, to the use of the wrist or even the whole forearm." Mosa said, finally taking a breath. "The speed and amplitude of vibrato oscillations can be varied for musical effect by using different techniques." Then the old woman picked up her violin and demonstrated, showing Kelski what was needed to achieve the Vibrato.

"Violinists oscillate backwards, or lower in pitch from the actual note when using vibrato. Aural perception usually favors the highest pitch in a varying sound. Vibrato does little if anything to disguise an out-of-tune note." Mosa paused again, her sharp eye trained on Kelski once more. "Vibratos are hard to master and have taken many violinists I knew eras to master, so don't feel bad if you don't get it right away."

Kelski tried. It wasn’t nearly the same effect as the old woman achieved, but she still managed a bit of it, getting the idea of what Mosa was trying to convey to her.

"Now, in regards to a violin string, the ends of the string are nodes. By changing the position of one of these nodes through tension and length at the bridge, the violinist changes the effective length of the vibrating string and thereby the note played. So, by lightly touching a string with your fingertips at a node while bowing close to the bridge, harmonics can be created. These replace the normal solid overtone sounds of higher pitches bowing normally produces. There's a real formula that goes into this. Exactly half way along the length of the string will produce an octave higher in pitch. A third of the way along the string can produce an octave and a fifth higher. This is the way we get multiple tones in a song. A really good instrument will provide all sorts of these harmonic variables, which new violinists need to be aware of.” Mosa said.

Truthfully, Kelski was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. But she dragged in a deep breath, hung on, and reminded herself of how hard jewelcrafting seemed when Master Li was just getting started teaching her. This couldn’t be any worse… this had to be easier. Music was instant gratification. She put effort in and sound was produced. That was far better than learning theory after theory with no way to actually participate in the skill.

“But I don’t want to get you involved in reading and writing music just yet, Kelski. That’s a lot to bite off until you get more comfortable with the violin. Then I can teach you basic music theory and a bit about reading notes.” The old woman injected, cutting herself off from a tangent before she got one started. Harmonics. Mosa was teaching harmonics.


Count: 511
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 900
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Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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A Musical Journey IV

Postby Kelski on November 12th, 2018, 3:28 am

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"Now, there are two types of harmonics. Natural and False. A natural harmonic is the pitch (resultant) that is produced by lightly touching an open, vibrating string at one of the nodes located at 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc. the length of the string. A false harmonic is a harmonic whose vibrating string must be falsely created by stopping the string to the desired vibrating string. This is done by pressing strongly with a lower finger (usually the first, except in the case of third harmonics or fourth harmonics using an extension fingering — the latter being uncommon), and then obtaining the resultant by touching lightly with a higher finger one of the nodes at 1/2, etc. the length of the shortened string. Its important to know how to do this because so much good violin music calls for it. I want you girls to have the fundamentals including knowing how to do these 'pauses' and keep things going." Mosa said.

Kelski thought it made sense. She also thought she needed to start a sort of notebook with notes like this in it so she could remember what Mosa was saying. So setting down her violin and bow, Kelski bade Mosa to hang on a moment, and went to retrieve a blank book and a quill and ink.

A ceramic voice she barely heard whispered… “About time the girl started taking notes. Kids these days…. think their memories are perfect. Sheesh!” Kelski hissed in displeasure, sure now that Little Rhaus was close, very close, and laughing at her every mistake… maybe even making fun of her trying to learn from Mosa. Would he have gone easier on her? Probably not. It didn’t matter. She wanted to get all this that was in her head down on paper before anything else distracted her.

Then she spent several chimes writing notes, repeating to Mosa what Mosa had told her to make sure she was getting it right. The two women went over some of the concepts they’d talked about multiple times until Kelski understood… and gave Kelski time to sketch out a violin, label its parts, and do the same with a bow. She also tucked the scrap of paper in the notebook and labeled it ‘fingering chart’ and decided to call the new book ‘Kelski’s Songbook.’

They took a break, had a small light meal, and began again. Ember was gracious enough to cook a set of grilled cheese sandwiches, pairing them with tomatoes soup which both women appreciated. Her little niece gave Mosa a hug, kissed her cheek, and took a plate down to Ebon leaving one warming on the hearth for Kynier in case he came home early. Then neither of them saw her again the rest of the lesson. Ember was really great at making herself scarce when lessons were happening or work other than cooking needed to be done. Kelski didn’t mind. Her niece was a great cook and half of the reason they were still alive and not suffering from food poisoning was due to the teenager.

But lessons… back to lessons. The search for Little Rhaus would have to wait.


Count: 523
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
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Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Musical Journey IV

Postby Kelski on November 12th, 2018, 3:31 am

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“Now, we’ve talked about your left hand and what to do with it. Let us talk about your right hand now. The right arm, hand and bow are responsible for tone quality, rhythm, Dynamics, articulation and changes in timbre. The bow is held in the right hand with the thumb bent underneath the frog to support it and the other fingers loosely touching the wood of the bow.” Mosa said, holding up her bow and demonstrating the grip. Kelski copied it.

“Your middle and ring fingers are usually wrapped around the frog, but depending on your grip and hand size, you might hold the whole stick above the frog.” She continued. Kelski nodded, following suit, copying the older woman’s grip.

“Hold your little finger resting in a curve near the facet of the octagonal shape of the stick, next to the facet on the top of the stick which allows the fingers to ‘unweigh’ the bow. Your grip lightens and balances it if you use your thumb as a fulcrum….the support, or the point at which a bow is supported or balanced.” Mosa said, meaning it.

“There are many bowing techniques. Each one produces a different variation of sound. And if you combine the various bowing techniques with the various fingering techniques you can almost have an infinite amount of sounds. Violins can truly speak to those that practice and are gifted with them. Increasing the pressure of the strings is the primary way to produce louder notes on the instrument. You can add pressure by using the index finger of the bowing hand. Simply press down. If you increase the bow speed, that will also result in increases in volumes. Don’t play for volume though Kelski. Play for quality. A soft voiced instrument makes people strain to hear. A loud instrument makes them cringe. Don’t forget that.” Mosa added, smiling to the kelvic and demonstrating really quickly.

“Kelski, its really really important to note that a violinist can increase bow speed and still play softly at the same time. The two methods are not equivalent because they produce different timbres, pressing down on the string tends to produce a harsher intense sound." Mosa added, wanting Kelski to understand how versatile the violin could be.

“What’s a timbre?” Kelski asked softly, curious, having only ever heard the word from Mosa.

Suspiciously there was another snort. It sounded like disbelief at ignorance expressed. Kelski just glared around looking all over the floor and wondering how she was going to get a look under the couch. Feigning clumsiness, she accidently bumped her empty tea mug and launched it to the floor. It fell harmlessly against her foot and rolled down to the wooden floor unharmed. Kelski set aside her violin and knelt down on the floor to retrieve the mug. She looked carefully under both couches and saw nothing. Gods! Where was the statue!?! Rising, she resumed her seat, setting the mug more safely back on the table it had been resting on.


Count: 501
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Musical Journey IV

Postby Kelski on November 12th, 2018, 3:33 am

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Mosa continued.

“It’s just a fancy word musicians can use, Kelski. Tempre simply means the character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity. You could say tone too.” Mosa replied. Kelski nodded, understanding. There was vocabulary in her own chosen profession. It really made the skill distinct knowing its lingo. And she loved words… gathering new ones were incredible for her.

“Where the bow intersects the string is called the sounding point, Kelski, and it also influences timbre. Playing close to the bridge will give more intense sound than playing further away. Doing so will emphasize the higher harmonics in the music and garner attention. Playing the bow over the fingerboard, conversely, will make a more delicate light sound that will be reminiscent of peace.” Mosa informed, touching each part of the Violin as she spoke of it.

Kelski nodded, and called a halt for a few moments so she could take some more notes. It was important for her to get the terminology down right and for her to understand the concepts that would fade over time and with other types of excitement in her life. Mosa used the time to refill her tea and use the restroom, picking up her bow when she had decided it was time to move on again. Kelski put her quill down, recapped her ink, and nodded, ready to listen some more.

“Now, lets talk about bowing movements. There’s several of them and I’m just going to touch on them lightly. You can take notes if you’d like, Kelski. Just watch because some of these are a little complicated. I’ll demonstrate them, for its the easiest way to explain.” Mosa said, taking a bowing stance and tucking her violin up under her chin. She lifted her bow and spoke out of the side of her mouth. “The first is called Separated. It means you basically stop the bow on the strings to deaden or muffle the vibrations and thus create a muted accent to your music. The idea is that you spread them out and blend them into other notes so there is no actual noticeable pause or gap between the notes. The song continues on.” Mosa said, taking a step forward, lifting the bow and playing a very slow distinct tune that illustrated the separated bowing.

She moved on rapidly.

“The second type of bowing is called Hammering. Hammering is also a version of Sepration, but you use a great deal of pressure to make the action more violent, less subtle. Here, I’ll demonstrate.” She said, picking up her bow again and playing the very same song, only this time the soft gentle notes of the violin had turned violent. Kelski looked surprised, took quick notes, and glanced at her own violin. She wanted to try but Mosa made her wait.

Dropping her bow gracefully from its tucked place under her chin, Mosa continued. “The next form of bowing is called ‘struck’. It’s a stroke that begins from a heavily weighted bow resting motionless on a string. It sounds almost like a scratch or a bird hiss, but then it lightens up. It’s for effect, adding drama to music. I’ll show you.” Then, lifting her bow again, she played the very same time this time using struck techniques. Kelski was really surprised. It really changed the tone and … timbre?.. of the song, making it something completely different.



Count: 574
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
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Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Musical Journey IV

Postby Kelski on November 12th, 2018, 3:35 am

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"Spiccato is the next technique I want to show to you. It’s a very popular way of spicing up music. You use a semi-off-the-string bowing style to achieve a bouncing sound. You play it with a horizontal stroke.. and you don't bounce the bow. It only looks like you do because the string resists the horsehair being pulled across it, and causes it to dance. This technique becomes easier the faster it goes... and the bounce decreases. “ Mosa demonstrated again, while Kelski watched politely, curious, then nodded and tried it herself after she saw how it was done. It was fascinating.

Mosa wasn't done though. There seemed to be more. "Legato is the next. It’s when successive notes in a performance are connected without any silence or movement. This is a very very easy bowing technique... but make sure there are no separation of notes unless the music demands it via a fingering change." Kelski nodded, understanding this concept, longing run her bow over the strings, giving the Legato a try. Instead she took notes… lots of notes.

"Now, Sautille is a bowstroke that is played rapidly in the middle of the bow.. in a sawing motion. You get one bowstroke per note. Its rapid fire. Music notes the presence of using Sautille by placing dots above or below the notes on the sheet music. Sometimes they are even indicated by arrow-head strokes.... its a fun technique... great for relieving anger. More folk songs than formal pieces require this sort of bowing." She said, and Kelski nodded. When Mosa demonstrated this technique, it looked like a great deal of fun and like something Kelski wanted to learn immediately. She added a few lines to her list of bowing techniques and carried on. Re-dipping the pen, knowing the woman would want to read what she wrote eventually and would correct it if Kelski made mistakes.

Kelski thought she heard mutterings about old women, senile words, and craziness. Where in the world was it coming from? The Sea Eagle adjusted her vision and glanced all around. Nothing… there was nothing and no place the statue could hide. In a swift intake of breath, Mosa caught her attention again.

"Now... Jete or Richocet.... it’s a bowing technique that consists of throwing the bow on the string in the upper third of the bow on a down bow, so that it bounces and produces a series of rapid notes that are unusual and liven up any music, making it almost hauntingly beautiful. You can play a brief group or as many as ten or eleven notes at one time." Kelski thought this was just as fun as Sautille, but far more beautiful in the sounds it produced. Mosa did a good job of demonstrating and Kelski knew it would take her a bit to really get in the habit. She wanted to play more than anything now, but Mosa simply wanted her to listen. There seemed to be a lot of knowledge the old woman wanted to impart and Kelski wanted to absorb it. Time. There’d be time later. Except… there wasn’t always time. Kelski could hope though, and so she kept writing, taking notes as Mosa demonstrated.

Continued In: A Musical Journey V


Count: 535
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


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