Classes started this week, and it has been … special. We have a bumper crop of incoming students and a lot of wants and desires from the greater community to balance. And we’re in newly renovated classrooms with technology that’s still… quirky (to put it nicely). SO, that’s my excuse for no recorded music (not to mention, no recorded new-content music!) in my first class (I couldn’t get the sound system working). But I have plans for our next class.On Monday, I get to see my aural skills students for the second time. We will do an activity that has two goals: (1) identify the meter and (2) practice conducting –a new skill for many. The activity will run about 10 minutes and hopefully encompass 5-6 excerpts from a variety of styles.
For my new content, I’m exploring the website of the Hardanger Fiddle Society of America. I started my search for Hardanger Fiddle tunes on YouTube, but had no basis on which to choose an appropriate recording–is the performer well-versed in the traditions? are they playing in a standard way? I don’t know!… I was thrilled to find this page of sound clips on the Hardanger Fiddle Society of America’s homepage. I also love the way they have multiple people playing the same tune.
On first hearing, I had troubles finding the beat for the first few cycles of beats (what I would conceptualize as a few measures), but then it seemed crystal clear to me. So, my task before Monday at 9am is to (1) listen to a bunch of these clips looking for triple and quadruple meters, (2) read up on this style of music, (3) build a playlist for class. I wonder if I can find a website that will tell me how to pronounce the names of tunes and people….
I will report back on how the activity goes. I’m looking for a sense that it’s just as easy run this activity with this music than it is my normal collection of Minuets, quartet movements, and piano standards. And I’ll be looking for more musics with which to study basic meters. Suggestions welcome!