classical indian music on theremin?

Posted: 1/6/2009 7:43:22 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Gordon C. wrote:
Oops. I didn't mean that bit. I meant this note:


I don't think that Clara was attempting to use a quarter tone for dramatic or artistic effect. I think she was just a bit sharp.

There are parts of the Fuleihan Concerto where she plays a full semitone sharp of the note the composer wrote.

As surprising as this may seem to you, I have no problem with that at all.

I am only fixated on PITCH when the theremin playing has no other redeeming attributes to make up for bad intonation.

Posted: 1/7/2009 5:15:38 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Actually, not surprising at all, now that I have had chance to mull it over.

Before I pointed Vocal Lab at Clara's work, I used it on one of my own pieces (Dance Of The Flower Pot Men) and was surprised to find that I was on key significantly more than random chance would suggest. Given that I have spent the last three years [i]not[/i] trying to be in tune and that the piece was recorded without any reference tone whatsoever (as is my way), I expected to hit proper notes only infrequently. But - as I have long suspected - it seems that there is a subconscious or instinctive aspect to playing the theremin, and I am apparently unable to shake off the ubiquitous influence of conventional Western music.

So I thought to compare my results to the gold standard - Clara - and was astonished to find that her intonation was quite a bit weaker than my ears were telling me. Had I bought into the Clara mythology so much I was fooling myself? Well, yes and no. I think better to call it "the triumph of musicality over intonation."

One of my other interests (Freemasonry) involves learning and reciting reasonably long monologues. Generally people fall into three categories - the first is beginners who have just about learned the words and stumble, fumble and mumble their way through it with prompts and clangers a-plenty. (One that seems appropriate to this forum is "this transistory life" instead of "this transitory life" - it's amusing, but it also betrays a lack of understanding.) They get congratulated for making it to the end without fleeing!

The second category I call the technicians - almost totally word perfect, but they might as well have read the script out loud as taking the trouble to memorise it - it comes across as dull as dish water and devoid of meaning. They get congratulated for remembering all the words.

The third category is those people who really understand what they are saying. As often as not what they say is almost as poor a match to the script as the first category, but it really doesn't matter because the words are alive with meaning and the listener totally gets what what it is all about. They get the most heart-felt congratulations of all.

It seems to me that this parallels the range of theremin players quite well.

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