A note about dynamics

In the states when we hear a UK band we are often amazed at the dynamic contrast. As I sit through rehearsal after rehearsal here, it has started to dawn on me that UK bands think of dynamics as a bigger ratio then we do.

Over here MF is twice as loud as P, like wise PP is twice as soft. Think what this means for F to FF. Can you play twice as loud when your part says F cresc. FF?

When your part says P dim PP can you really play twice as soft?

When I started thinking about it in these terms I realized my mental dynamic continuum has gotten a whole lot wider and the dynamic markings in my mind’s eye, have a whole lot more space between them.

Also, tonight I was able to sit next to Colin Brook (first 3rd of B&R). I was only there for 1-piece before being asked to cover the flugel part, but that 10-minutes was inspiring. The key to his dynamics? Easy. He is a great player. Period. Plays a Wick 2 but I’m sure the MP doesn’t matter.

Before we started he was practicing a run of sextuplet semi-quavers marked FF. Every note was right in the center. No wasted effort, loud as hell, clean, and absolutely in control. Yes he has played 3rd cornet for almost 20 years and considers himself a specialist but he is just a really, really, really, good player. And with rock solid time.

Finally, Area Contest is in March. Before rehearsal Colin had his part out for the test piece and was learning 1 measure at a time.
Hmmmmmm….. doing a little homework ahead of the class…..might put him in the “exceeds expectations” category rather then “meets expectations.”

Just sayin’ his quality as a player is no mistake. He works at it.


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