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Just Play

The Sensible Flutist: Just Play

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just Play

I played a church gig this morning. The music director and I chose to play arrangements of hymns and spirituals. The "just play" concept that Liisa encouraged at Summerflute hit me like a ton of bricks when I played "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

The arrangement was a simple one, but its understated simplicity allowed me to stand out of the way so I could just play. I welcomed this ease into the rest of the music in the service.

Give yourself permission to enjoy this "just play" attitude in all your music. Here's two tunes that I connect to on a deeply personal level that I'll explore this week and in essence create my own Tone Development through Interpretation collection of tunes. Remember that the melodies Moyse included in his book are as much as a part of his musical heritage as the music below is my own. I encourage you to be creative as you creatively explore the music you connect to most in order to integrate that ease and familiarity into unknown pieces.

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At July 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM , Blogger Olya said...

Thank you for this wonderful reminder. I sometimes catch myself treating hymns as I do exercises. Instead of thinking about the lyrics I think about air angles and vibrato speed. Or worse the chores I will need to be doing that afternoon. Not good. Sure they sound ok, but they loose soul. I need to remember that while I might not be touched by that specific hymn, it's a praise directed at God and a ministry to others. Not a bunch of notes on a page.
I, too, love both hymns, and we even sang the hymn set to the Ash Grove tune at our wedding. Have you ever heard it sung by a choir? Check it out

At July 25, 2012 at 7:03 PM , Blogger The Sensible Flutist said...

For those of us that are religious, I think hymns are a great way to connect the music to something greater than ourselves. Because we know what it's connected to, it's a wonderful exercise in determining what the composer's intent is for each new piece we learn.
Thanks for the additional youtube link! Love it!


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