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Violin Lessons: Elgar - Pomp and Circumstance

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Edward Elgar's Pomp and
Circumstance March Number 1.
Very cumbersome title that's a tune that's
known by several different names
the English, know it as Land of Hope and
Glory and it's immensely popular there,
and on the American side of the Atlantic
we sorta know it as the graduation song.
So when people hear it they think of caps
and gowns.
It's a great tune and in fact as Elgar was
writing it, he remarked to a close friend,
I've got a tune that'll knock them flat,
just knock them flat.
And he knew what he was talking about.
At the premier performance in fact, they
finished the entire
piece which includes a fast section, and
then this better known slow section.
And they had to play the slow section the,
what became known as Land of Hope and
Glory again and then the audience was
still standing and applauding wildly and
the, the conductor would later say merely
to restore order
I had to play the march a third time.
And, so it was a very rare double encore,
for a, a brand new piece.
And that's because the tune is so great.
So in this tune what we are going to look
for are dynamics
which we might also call phrasing or
You, you show direction, you show phrasing
by varying dynamics and when I say.
You go toward a note or you go toward a
That generally means that you crescendo
And you crescendo by manipulating the
variables of the bow.
Another challenge in this one is the mixed
You have eighths and quarters in different
patterns than,
than we've encountered them before.
And then finally, have a couple new
fingering tasks to take care of and
that they're gonna help us get around the
fingerboard and
play the tune more smoothly, which is a
big part of this one.
So let's look at a dynamic sketch here
sorta see where we're gonna go,
I like to start this one pretty simply,
we'll call it a mezzo range, mezzo piano.
A nice smooth and soft bow, and
if you go to the third bar after A.
And then in the second
group of four bars you can
go a little further.
All the way to the,
the middle of the third bar this time.
Now a brief word about fingerings in the
very beginning.
Why do I do an open string sometimes, why
do I do a fourth finger sometimes,
and it has to do with where you were
before and
where you're going after, so in the bar
after A.
There I play an open string,
because I don't want a, sh I don't want to
cross strings.
Those two strings belong together, but,
in the four after A, excuse me, five after
there I like a fourth finger, because it
goes with the notes as well.
And then an open there
for the same reason.
These are decisions you can make, and you,
you will be making, on your own.
But that's why I made them here in the
beginning of this tune.
Now if you'll look at two before C, you've
got a shift after an open string.
So you have plenty of time to make that
shift, but you don't have any guide
fingers to use.
So, for that you're just relying on your
your remembrance your memory of where
third position is,
but you have plenty of time to make the
shift so you can do it smoothly.
And if you look right at letter C there
you're shifting back to
first position, and so
do you remember you can lead with the
thumb going back down to first position.
And you don't have to get too specific
about these motions, but just know that,
that the thumb helps you remember where
the positions are, and
so you can lead with the thumb going down
to that shift
three after see you're matching the pitch
in that shift.
So both of those G's should
ring with the G open string.
That's how you know your dead in tune
At figure E, you've gotta shift
during a slur, and so just listen for
how smoothly you can make that,
rather than.
See the speed of the shift should match
the character of what you're playing.
The two just exchanges
places with the one.
Once you do it a bunch of times you'll get
it smoothly.
In the very next bar.
That is going to be a reach, up to that
fourth finger and
you want to leave the first finger down so
that you can come right back to that D.
And that's a feature all throughout these
When you leave that finger, the first
you can come right back to it'll be the
exact same pitch.
At figure G, there I'm using a different
fingering because it's getting louder.
I want to go over to the E string so I'm
gonna stay in first position.
And that's just a little shift
up to second position over the fifth.
So have the second finger already
on the A string before you shift.
The bar before H, when you put down the
third finger for
your B, you should also be covering the A
string as well so
that you can make that string crossing
very smoothly.
Right here.
That way you can just lean that third
finger over, and get that right into,
figure H.
There's a reach back.
So you reach first and then move the hand
down afterward.
And finally three after H there's
another chance to match a pitch with that
little sheft,
shift up to second position.
So, you've got a lot of different ways to
get around the finger board here.
You've got shifts, reaches, you're
covering two strings at once.
But each of those is a chance to really
make sure that you're right in tune and
moving the hand smoothly, which befits
this great tune by Elgar.