Saturday, February 04, 2006

Dynamics

I have never really liked classical music, neither to play it nor to listen to it, but there's something I have always envied from classical composers and players: the dynamics of their songs. You can find classical pieces that start with almost inaudible notes, forcing you to pump up the volume of your CD Player if you want to hear them, and end up so intense that you have to lower it or the violins will blow out your speakers...Modern music, however, lacks these dynamics. I guess is not only musicians' fault, but also producers' one, since they seem to strive for constant-volume tracks. Old jazz was a bit different, specially if played by big bands, since the large number of instruments allows a better control of volume and intensity. However, small ensembles or even solo players also have the chance to create very dynamic pieces. Just listen to Santana for example, he is a master of this.

I invite you to try it. If you play something like saxophone you can control the volume of your playing quite easily (those like me used to play with neighbours will probably have a better control when playing soft :-P ), and if you play guitar, you can control your volume with an expression pedal or simply with the intensity of your strumming. If you are a singer, probably you don't have the same dynamical and tonal range as Barbra Streisand, but you should listen to some of her classical recordings to see how adroitly she can control the intensity of his voice. And if you play in a band, tell you bandmates about it! Good luck!

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