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Quartertones

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[male] I just played a piece that my friend wrote, and it had a lot of quarter tones in it. So I tried to figure out a way to play them, but it was really hard. It kind of threw off my hand position. [Paul Katz] Right. It can throw off your hand position, throw off your ear. And there's so much music being written with quarter tones now. Quarter tones are in a lot of traditional ethnic music from other cultures. So as we play more and more world music and those cultures mesh together, we need that. It's also great because when you get through with this, you're going to realize what a big distance a half step is. Right? There's a lot of intonation and decisions that can be made inside of a half step. Even when you're not playing quarter tone music, the fact that you've played these quarter tone scales is going to make your ear sharper just even for a traditional repertoire. Okay? So let's take these first 3 notes. [playing notes on cello] Open A, A#, B, and C. Just play those for me. [playing notes on cello] [Katz] Right. What usually happens is the ear is going to start to get confused. So I want you to memorize these sounds [playing notes on cello] and be particularly conscious of the resonance of the C. [playing notes on cello] [Katz] So it's like this. [playing notes on cello] A#, B, C. Can you try a quarter tone scale now, one octave up to A. The shift always takes us to the note. That's where you want it. Am I right? [playing notes on cello] The shift takes us to A#, the shift takes us to B, the shift takes us to C, to C#, D, E♭, E, F, F#, G, G#, A. All right? [playing notes on cello] >>[Katz] You're on A#. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] B natural. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] C. And you want to check your resonance, right? [playing notes on cello] >>[Katz] Good. You were just a hair flat, but check yourself there. Otherwise you might continue flat. Okay, now we're going to— Okay. Now. [playing notes on cello] >>[Katz] And C#. There. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] D. And you check your resonance here with your open string. Good job. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] E♭. E♭. Right. See how it's important to say it? Otherwise you lose where it is— Good. D again. [playing notes on cello] >>[Katz] E♭. Good. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] E natural. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] F. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] F#. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] G. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] G#. [continues playing notes] >>[Katz] Almost home. [chuckling] A. And check your harmonic. Good. Right. So you can take that another octave, but I'll give you a week to do that, okay? So play them for me next week, and let's see if you can develop some virtuosity in quarter tone playing.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 53 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 39
Posted by: destella on Jan 23, 2012

Quartertones
Cello lesson with Paul Katz

For supplementary texts to this cello lesson, .pdf downloads and more lessons on related topics, please visit Cellobello.com:

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