Sunday, December 31, 2006

A no-gimmick New Year Eve

My ears are telling me that they would appreciate some peace. Crowds and noises are undesirable in my opinion. As such, other than getting myself a hair-cut in the later part of the day, most of the day today was spent at home.

I spent quite a bit of time practising on the double bass today working on G Major scales for much of the time. The G Major scales proved to come in very handy when I started to practise on my parts for the P.I. Tchaikovsky's Neapolitanian Dance (from Swan Lake) that I will be playing for the upcoming concert on 10 Jan 2007. There are some very challenging parts in that work, and practices do matter.

In addition, I work on my parts for I. Berlin's Ragtime. My objective was to memorise the solo part that my double bass part has, and to play it from memory. It was quite a satisfying practice.

The greatest challenge was perhaps to figure out how to play Dragonetti's Solo in e minor. My goal was to work out as much of it as possible on my own before I go for lessons with my double bass tutor. I figured that if I could try to accomplish as much of the technical details on my own, more of my lessons could be spent on learning to play the Solo in e minor musically.

At the back of my mind, I am aware that I appear to be a little behind time where preparations for the diploma practical exams are concerned. That makes me feel undecided if I should sit for the exams this August/ September or if I should do so only next May. I still have to work on playing three other works, preferably one each from the Baroque, Romantic and contemporary period. Then again, because Dragonetti's Solo in e minor is so demanding, I suppose if I were to manage it, I am almost one-third done?

Another thing on the back of my mind is whether I should play Kepyer's Romance & Rondo or Dragonetti's Solo in e minor. Both works are from the Classical period, and I would prefer not to play two works from the same era for the exams.

Romance & Rondo is generally less demanding technically than Solo in e minor, except that I have to work on making sure that I can be competent in playing the many passages in Romance & Rondo that require the use of harmonics.

On the other hand, Dragonetti's Solo in e minor is interesting in its own way. It does sound more difficult than it actually is. Having said so, some passages from Solo in e minor are very challenging and demanding to play for my level, be it technically or musically. If I could play this work well, my performance will likely awe the examiners listening to it. But if I were to play this, I will need lots of time to practice.

So here is my no-gimmick New Year Eve, with me spending the day and the evening practising. In the evening, I spent some time doing a page from a past-year music theory paper. I confess that I would prefer sitting down to analyse the works that I have been practising than doing past-year music theory papers. Then again, I suppose I have to do things one step at a time, i.e. to build a good foundation in music theory before I can have the skills to analyse the works on my own.

Meantime, wishing all of you good health and fulfillment for the New Year.

In case you wonder what you could do on New Year's Day, you might like to know that there will be free admission to several museums tomorrow. Check this URL:

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