Saturday, December 10, 2011

Find The Right Tone

I've only been doing this for fifty-four years. With a little experience, I might get better.

Harry Caray
Hello Kate
I once heard an interview with a famous world class violinist who was about to start off on his farewell tour of concerts around Europe and America. The interviewer asked him what he was going to do in his retirement and the musician answered that he was going to work on his intonation.

That may sound at first like a frivolous thing to do in one's retirement. No golf, no fishing, no traveling, no watching TV, no snoozing on the back porch? But intonation is a very important and complicated thing for a musician, and particularly for a violinist for whom the change from one tone to another may be a slight movement of his finger on the string.

Intonation isn't just a matter of playing the right tone. It has to take into consideration the other tones around it. and how it effects those tones by it's harmonic scale. Every tone produces a series of overtones which vibrate in unison with it. Those overtones have an effect on the rest of the scale. A single tone also has to be considered for it's place in a melody or a chord. Intonation is an important study. It is something a musician could spend his whole life thinking about and working with. A single tone has a life of it's own, Two tones together are the beginning of a melody. Three tones together make a chord. A tone is the raw material of music.

Other artists have building tools and raw materials that are similarly vital to their work. A painter may make a vast number of exciting works but now and then he is back at the basics of drawing, trying to get the line (the tone) right, to see better, to articulate better.

Retirement doesn't just suddenly remove an artist from these considerations. Even if the book is put on the shelf to gather dust, the contents of the book are still in the artist's imagination, orbiting around his consciousness. I think I have learned a lot about acting in the past ten years during which I have done no performing. There is more to know than I will ever know.

"What are you doing in your retirement, Dana?"

"I'm still learning my lines."
Dana Bate - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up
Look here.

This is an invitation for anyone and everyone to post a entry of their own on my journal, Vagabond Journeys

The end of the year holidays are soon upon us and since it is a time for celebrations, remembrances, resolutions and plans for the future I know that people have a lot to say.

Not to take away from the postings on your journals, but to add to the joy of my own celebrations is why I invite you to write for mine.

I want to read what your thoughts are about this magical time of the year. This invitation is open to everyone: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Agnostics, Atheists and the Uncertain.

Tell me your thoughts on Chanukah, Christmas, Ashura, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, New Years Eve. or any subject you associate with this holiday season.

There are no limits in regard to length. The only limitation is that, for reasons so far unexplained to me, my blog does not take photographs, animations, videos or pictures of any kind. I deal in words.

Please accept my invitation. Send your entry to my email address I will copy and paste it into my journal and it will be displayed promptly. You may sign your name or not as you wish, and you may leave a link to your blog or your email or not, as you wish. I will do NO editing or censoring. Eloquence is not necessary, mind or heart or both is all.

All are welcome. Admission is free.

So far I've only received 2 entries from guest authors. If I don't receive more than that I will withdraw this invitation on December !5th and get on with my life.


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