Yesterday the piano tuner came and fixed my piano. I had a broken string as I suspected. Instead of replacing it, he spliced it. I guess that’s the usual first step. He said the strings can be expensive. I suppose if that doesn’t work he will replace it for me. Anyway, it’s holding so far and he promises to return to retune it in a while after it has stretched.
He also tuned the piano which is nice.
I asked him about renting a bit nicer piano for the August gig. When he discovered that Hope faculty types are playing with me, he said it might be possible to cheaply rent one from the college. It would depend upon if they were available or not. Cool.
I hadn’t thought of the Hope connection until he said that he would have to check with the chair of the music department. I pointed out that the chair’s wife and daughter were both playing on this gig. Also another adjunct professor as well as Grand Rapids Symphony player. That’s when he said there was probably discount available. Something about Hope college professors getting a good instrument I guess. It’s certainly cool with me.
The piano tuner’s name is Kelly Bakker and I have had him tune pianos for each of the three local churches I have worked for. Plus bought my present piano from him. I am happy with his work.
Kelly took a look at my harpsichord project. He thought it looked like a lot of work. Yikes. Well, we’re committed now. He also took some old jacks I was going to throw away for parts for the crappy harpsichord at Hope (they have a good one which I have not played…. but they have at least two crappy ones which I played years ago).
I rescinded the deadline I gave myself to try and have my piece “Dead Man’s Pants” completed by this afternoon’s trio rehearsal. I continue to do rewrite on it. I think I am improving it. It’s best to let compositional decisions set for a few days before distributing parts and I’m still in the throes of making these decisions. This is fun for me. Why terminate the process early when the players are so adept anyway?
I would also distribute parts to the rest of the musicians who have agreed to play. I am expecting some shifts but as long as I have a drummer I think I can make last minute adjustments if people drop out or have conflicts.
I got up this morning and started looking hard at my score. I discovered that the first two themes are primarily comprised of phrases of four measures. I didn’t do this consciously but it does provide the kind of unified coherence I am looking to make sure this particular version will have.
I plan to spend the morning looking hard at the relationships between the sections. I know that I have already changed stuff to make it more coherent and improve it in general. Now I am planning to be more calculated. This seems to be a way that my composing evolves from inspiration to perspiration.
And having a copy of the software, Finale, is extremely helpful.
I went over to the Hope College Music library and checked out a couple of books yesterday.
I specifically wanted to look at Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations in the late 18th century Sonata by James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy.
This is a very intelligent scholarly up-to-date (2005) look at its subject which is one I have thought about for a while. I reread Bathia Churgin’s 1968 article, “Galeazzi’s Description of Sonata Allegro” while I treadmilled yesterday.
Hepokoski and Darcy organize the ideas around Sonata Theory and musicology in general in a helpful way specifically mentioning authors and books I have read and helping me see them in their various schools of thought. Very cool.
In my post-education reading and studying I am much more likely to agree with the musicologists and music theorists than when I was in school. I think this is because in my college education, most of my teachers though they were excellent tended to represent schools of thought that were ebbing and actually were not as logical and coherent as what I run across now in my reading. That’s how it seems to me, anyway.
This makes keeping up in the field interesting.