Music EC-12 CD=9.Methods & Tech for Playing Musical Instruments Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Music EC-12 CD=9.Methods & Tech for Playing Musical Instruments Deck (16)
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What musical term is a direction for the performer to pluck the strings of an instrument rather than use a bow?

A. Sforzando
B. Marcato
C. Pizzicato
D. Portamento

Answer C is correct.

Pizzicato is an indication that the strings are to be plucked rather than played with a bow. The effect will be a short note that begins and ends abruptly.



Sforzando is a musical direction strongly accent a note, to be played in a "forced" way. The abbreviation for sforzando used in a musical score is sfz.



Marcato is a musical term meaning "marked, stressed, or accented." This can mean each note is emphasized or accented to some degree. The superlative form of the word is marcatissimo.



Portamento is a musical direction to the performer to carry the sound very smoothly (very legato) from note to note, and sounding pitches in between any two notated pitches. This is used most often in vocal and string music.


Détaché bowing and stroke

Begin by having students bow in a plastic or paper tube, progress by bowing in the tube attached to the top of strings, then have them bow across their resin. Progressing to bowing on the string, beginners should pull and push the bow back and forth across a string, parallel to the bridge, approximately half way between the bridge and the fingerboard. Students should master short bow strokes, then gradually lengthen bow stroke as mastery develops

It describes how to teach the détaché stroke. The first bow stroke students typically learn is the détaché stroke. It is characterized as a generally smooth articulation with a separation of sound caused by the stopping of the bow, but the sound produced will not include an accent or silence like the martelé or staccato stroke, respectively.


Staccato bowing and stroke

Have students “pinch” the bow by adding slight downward pressure with the index finger into the bow stick, which should slightly bend the bow. “Hook” the string before pulling it across the string, then stop to create silence. Emphasize the necessity of the silence in this stroke

It describes how to teach the staccato stroke. Staccato bowing is distinguished by silence following a played note and by the effect of alternating sound and silence created by consecutive staccato notes.


Martelé bowing and stroke

Have students lean slightly with the bow hand into the bow stick, then pulling on the string to produce the desired accent, followed immediately by a release so the bow glides more freely and with less volume than the accent. The bow must stop briefly between consecutive strokes

It describes how to teach the stroke. A martelé stroke has a distinct accent at the initiation of the stroke, followed by decreased volume, and there is silence between each stroke. The accent (initial volume) distinguishes it from both détaché and staccato.


Spiccato bowing and stroke

Have students gently bounce the bow on the strings, parallel to the bridge, using finger movement and slight bending of the wrist, but very little arm movement. Because of the subtleness of the movement, this stoke should be heard rather than noticed as “bouncing”

It describes how to teach the spiccato stroke. Spiccato is a stroke characterized by the bow bouncing (gently) on a string. The sound produced is similar to staccato, but is produced with less downward pressure on the bow.


The appropriate daily practice routine for a beginning student studying a brass instrument

Divide daily practice into two or three sessions to avoid fatigue: Session 1 - Warm-up, lip-slurs, and technical routines in moderate ranges and volume, Session 2 - études and solo studies, Session 3 - review and embouchure building. Practice until muscles are very fatigued to build range and endurance.

This routine is a general guide which suggests a methodical and consistent daily approach to warming up and practice techniques for brass players. It allows for an appropriately gradual warm-up, technical work with the études and solo studies, and building range and embouchure to close practice for the day. The less-experienced the player, the more structured the routine should be, particularly in the warm-up and technical exercises.


Sitting posture for brass players

Sit forward, back is away from the chair back, feet flat on floor, spine is straight, chest is naturally up and out.

Chest should be naturally up and out, but avoid raising the chest too high.


When selecting orchestral literature, the music teacher should... 1) , 2) , and 3)

1) consider the abilities of the orchestral ensemble
2) consider the objectives the string players are expected to reach
3) recognize and consider what elements of a musical work will (or will not) facilitate the growth and development of their skills


Three of the most important elements to consider when selecting literature for a middle-school orchestra

1) Technical abilities of sections within the orchestra (e.g. cellos)
2) Appropriate challenge of musical work (or works for a concert program) related to ability
3) Technical learning goals for the group

The technical ability of each section within the orchestra and the technical objectives for the orchestra are two of the most important considerations for an orchestra director when selecting literature for his orchestra. Analyzing and determining how a musical work provides an appropriate challenge to an orchestra also represents one of the most important literature selection considerations.


Tom, a first-year middle school band director, is having difficulties getting his ensemble to play in tune. He is struggling to remember which of the many factors affect what instrument. Which of the following is NOT a factor that affects pitch in brass or woodwind instruments?

A. Outer diameter of barrel/tube
B. Airspeed
C. Length of barrel/tube
D. Dynamics

Answer A is correct.

It is the INNER diameter of the cylinder, barrel, or tube comprising an wind instrument that affects pitch, NOT the OUTER diameter. This may be easier to conceptualize with recorders made of plastic. Hypothetically, two NEARLY identical soprano recorders have the same length and same inner diameter, BUT the walls on one of the flutes are thicker, resulting in a larger outer diameter. Assuming the recorders were otherwise identical (mouth piece, fingerholes, volume of air in the barrel, etc.) the two instruments would play in tune. A third recorder with a smaller inner diameter, and less volume of air in the barrel, would theoretically play higher than the other two instruments.


(a factor that affects pitch in brass or woodwind instruments)

Instrumentalists must have a sense of the speed in which the air goes through an instrument and need to be able to control that speed. Generally, an airspeed that is too slow typically leads to sharping, and an airspeed that is too fast typically leads to flatting. Steady and focused airspeed is the goal, which facilitates playing the exact desired pitch, which decreases intonation issues.


Length of barrel/tube
(a factor that affects pitch in brass or woodwind instruments)

The length of the cylinder, barrel, or tube comprising an instrument affects pitch. In fact, length and inner diameter are two of the main factors that distinguish differently pitched instruments (e.g. Bb Trumpet, C Trumpet, D trumpet). The less volume of air in the barrel, the higher the instrument will “sound” – a piccolo is inherently higher than a flute. Tuning can consist of making small changes in the length of the barrel, adjusting the volume of air, and in turn, altering the frequency of the pitch.


(a factor that affects pitch in brass or woodwind instruments)

Generally, for brass instruments, playing louder has a tendency to push the pitch sharp, while playing softer tends to make the pitch go flat. The tendency is generally the opposite for reed instruments (particularly the clarinet and saxophone), but a player’s embouchure and the strength of the reed can affect that tendency. Instrumentalists should know their instrument’s tendencies and how to compensate for them, so they contribute to good ensemble intonation.