Pages 52 – 54

The “Eighteen Exercises in Articulation” uses an eight measure, eight note study in the key of C major. This study is in the range of one octave and provides a nice workout in the middle of the saxophone and over the break. It is presented eighteen times, each with a different articulation pattern. Paul de Ville uses various slurred note groupings and combinations of slurred and staccato notes.
Students frequently skip these types of etudes as they don’t realize their benefit. Just because you have mastered an exercise in an all slurred form, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can play it effectively with variations in articulations. Also, articulation has a tremendous impact on the interpretation and phrasing of a line of music. Altering the articulation can change the entire meaning of a melody so it is important to be fluent in these various patterns.
If anything, the Universal Method doesn’t go far enough in the study of articulation. In the “Grand Daily Exercises for Flute” by Taffanel and Gaubert, eight or more articulation patterns are suggested for each etude. I believe that de Ville should have offered some instruction in regards to playing these studies. He uses various combinations of slurred and staccato notes, but never explains how staccato means separate (not short) and how the staccato note must be “set up”. Also, which notes are more important, as determined by the articulation, and how they should be emphasized.
The hard core saxophonist will probably want to transpose these into a few different keys.
As always, your comments are welcome.
Thank you,
bass sax n tuba

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Published in: on October 6, 2009 at 6:46 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Nice! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?


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