Richard Burdick's thoughts for his horn students
Tone is the most important thing
The singing quality of the horn has been praised over the years, yes, phrasing is really important too, but with out nice, or the correct tone to express the music, no one would want to listen.
Tone is what people hear, it should be beautiful and espressive.
Steadiness is a virtue.
One of the major criteria in today’s orchestra auditions is the correct tempo and steady, this is not soft is slower that Loud! Nor is it the less air you have, the fast you go in a phrase. Set the tempo and stay with it, after you can play something steady then you can go back and add the rubati!
If it is low, play it loud
I am not saying all loud passages need to be forceful. The low register of the horn has very long waveforms, these often need to be started before the beat, so they sound on the beat. But the real rule is, base on the fact that the higher tones project well and the lower tones project slowly. Playing them louder helps make a balanced phrase. If you have something like an octave leap, often you need to bounce off the low tone going to the high, like jumping on a diving board, digging in louder to provide the energy for the leap.
Phrase to the down beats
Yes, it is the musicians job to play the meter of the piece.
Tapper down the volume at the end of phrases except at the end of a piece of music, as appropriate to the music.
This rule really doesn’t apply all the time, but I have had lots of students who have no clue about ending a phrase. Yes, there are phrases that lead on to the next, or we have parts that are just part of a phrase, but overall a gentleness at the end of phrases is important.
This I think of as my radical rule
Slurs slow down, staccati speed up
Knowing this, then it is your choice to stay steady or not.
Play to the quality of the note and harmony
xxx -work in progress
If it is dissonant, it may not be bad
Put your fingering down while preparing to play
Always have your fingering set while preparing to play. Do not put down the correct finger during or after the breath. Set you fingering before breathing.
Fill up with air, but don’t over use your air
Use just enough air to produce the tone. If you have a tendency to use increased mouthpiece pressure to get the higher tones counteract this by letting more and faster air through. Try to keep your lips relaxed. With this technique tone quality should improve a great deal.
Music is change
Once a musician becomes fully proficient at actualizing what is written on the page, then what happens is music. A computer can actualize written music, but there is no soul and there is a lack of interpretation. Interpretation is what happens in between the notes or to the notes. If you are just playing the music from the written page it is not Music. When you play the music and add or change things then it starts becoming music. The summation of this is “Change makes Music.”
CD41 American Horn Music vol. 2
CD40 Retrospective II
Horn Quartets No's 1 - 5
CD39 Bach by Popular Demand
CD39 A sequel to
Easter Oratorio CD and his Favorites CD Bach Cantatas, 26, 84 & 99
CD38 Matthew Locke:
Broken & Flatte Consorts
CD38 Richard Burdick performs trios from the late renaissance: all 6 Broken Consort Suites and both Flatte Consort suites - 36 track of Christmas like music.
CD37 Microtonal music of Richard Burdick
Music By Duvernoy & Schneider
of the 40's & 50's
There are many lesser-known 20th century composers, who have great worth!
Let’s not forget the music of: