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Subtraction

In the Drop-in Wednesday morning class series, I realized that I had been doing a mathematics run. The first week was about addition. The next was about division. So last week, I decided to try subtraction. (Can you guess what is coming this week?)

We worked with a series of 8 beats that gradually whittled itself away to 1. There is not a lot of music that fits this pattern, so in lieu of a recording I am offering one of my own compositions for you to play with. I’ll leave it to you to explore ways to use it for movement. If you are stuck for ideas, go through the previous posts. Many of the techniques and suggestions will work well here.

This piece is meant to be a springboard for improvisation, kind of like a jazz ‘head’. It’s also something of a Dalcroze two-fer: there is a harmonic association (two things put together) tucked in. Hint: it has to do with the intervals. Try it on the piano!

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Beat-Division-Multiple Series in 4/4

Here’s the series we did at the end of today’s drop-in class. It is somewhat of a classic. It’s in simple quadruple time (for example, 4/4). One measure of beats, one measure twice as fast, another measure of beats, one measure twice as slow. In 4/4, then, it would be 4 quarters/8 eighths/4 quarter/2 half notes.

Try it in canon between the feet and hands (drum is nice here); left and right; hands and voice; piano and voice, etc.

In this recording, I play the basic pattern once through, then twice through in canon. The left hand follows the right. We usually associate the right hand with the hands, and the left hand with the feet. In my own practice, I tried to loosen the iron grip of this association by doing it as the reverse. I was only partially successful!

This is just one example of a series with basic pulse levels. Why not make up your own? Change the meter or the tempo. Better yet, improvise the canon. For an added challenge, try a three part canon: feet/hands/voice. All of that should keep you busy. For best results, I like to precede this kind of technical stuff with enough juicy, free, open movement to grease the wheels (sorry, mixing metaphors again) before heading down this thorny path.

Enjoy!

Open Level Drop-in class for February and March has begun. See the “Dalcroze Annex” in the menu at the left to find out how to join us.

Also starting this week is another round of Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Solf├Ęge, Improvisation and Pedagogy at the Kaufman Center.

Please join me for some fun. And who doesn’t like fun?

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Open Class Returns in February

I’ve updated my course offerings for this semester. To see them, click here, or visit the Dalcroze Annex in the blog menu.

I am offering another Open Level Drop-in Dalcroze Eurhythmics class in February and March of 2021. I really enjoyed the format this past fall. It was great fun to see old and new faces. 45 minutes goes pretty quickly, but I always felt invigorated and ready for the day ahead by the end. It was a wonderful surprise to have such an international group. In our final sessions, there were just as many ending their days as there were those beginning their days!

I hope you’ll join us. There is a suggested $10 fee per class this time, but if money is tight for you, please come anyway and take the class for whatever feels right for you.

Once we start the sessions, I’ll be adding blog posts for related practice.

Hope to see you soon!

Michael