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Violin Lessons: Bach - A Minor: 3rd Movement

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[MUSIC]
In this beautiful third movement from
the Bach A minor solo sonata, there're at
least
two voices always going through the whole
thing.
One of the voices carries an eigth note
pulse.
And so, it's your job to make the two
voices sound as
independent as possible, while still
respecting that pulse.
[MUSIC]
So, the trick is to
make the pulse sounds like
it's either sung with a separation or
on, on separate bows.
[MUSIC]
While the other voice is very smooth
because it's slurred, so how do you do
that?
You have to control the length of the
pulse note, so
some of the time your only on the one
string.
[MUSIC]
So, if there are sixteenth
notes in the theme, then the second
sixteenth note gets played
alone without the pulse note.
[MUSIC]
You can make
the pulse
shorter or
longer.
And, you can vary that through the
movement.
There may be
times where you
want
[MUSIC].
So, right there where there's a dissonance
and a resolution, I like a longer pulse.
[MUSIC]
Before going back
to a more normal shorter pulse.
Now, there are really no dynamics here, so
you make your own.
The, the, really,
the sky's the limit, as long as you stay
within a general gentle sound world.
And, you save your biggest moments for
either strong resolutions or
strong dissonances, then you can do any
dynamics you want.
They should be directed by the harmony, so
that's why it's important to recognize
where there's a dissonance.
[MUSIC].
So, this tritone
[MUSIC]
has to resolve
[MUSIC].
So for example there you have a decision
to make,
whether it resolves strongly, or it
resolves by releasing.
[MUSIC]
Here, I chose to release into there,
but they just can't be the same, so you,
that awareness of, of the harmony should
inform your decision.
Also a look at the contour of the theme
itself should inform your decision,
and it can be useful just to practice the,
the melody voice without the pulse.
[MUSIC]
Here, I'm naturally
very free with the sound and, and
perhaps freer with the dynamics
than I was when I had the pules note
going at, at the same time.
So, now that I've played that once,
I'm going to play it with the two voices
together and see how that changes things.
[MUSIC]
I think it makes
it more interesting,
and it brings out
the theme a little more.
You may notice that another thing that
happens when you practice just the theme
alone is that you go faster, and that's
natural.
It's easier to make a line when you play a
little faster.
So, you have to balance what, what's easy
to show the shape versus what's easy to
physically execute, and what may sound a
little bit rushed, a little bit hurried.
It's an andante movement, but andante by
the quarter, not by the eighth.
Now, the most difficult double stops to
play in this are fifths.
And those, you need to cover strongly with
the finger on both strings.
[MUSIC]
Quite a flat finger, and
one that's evenly on both strings with,
with a fair amount of finger pressure to
cover all those fifths.
Now, the bow has a role to play in this as
well.
You have to moderate the pressure on the
two strings,
decide when to lean on the lower voice,
when to lean on the upper voice.
Most of the time though, you'll be playing
them pretty evenly.
So, whatever two strings you're on,
you have to have the arm at the
appropriate level.
So, for D and G, D and A, A and E.
And, to go smoothly from level to level so
that you you don't get notes sounding by
themselves when they should be together.
Last thing I'll wanna cover is the start
of this.
Here, I would use my soft start,
which is getting the bow quite near the
strings, perhaps just barely touching,
hovering, and then moving the violin up
into the bow to start.
[MUSIC]