Long Song

Gavotte from Mignon is coming along.  It’s long, and it’s complicated.  There’s a passage that goes minor (I think I can say that) and even without that there’s a lot of back and forth between naturals and flats and sharps throughout.  Eventually accidentals just become the notes that you play – no big deal I’m sure, but right now they are a challenge for me.  This piece comes right after Witch’s Dance, which also includes a lot of accidentals, but on a smaller scale and while working with simpler and more predictable melodies, so it’s easier to “hear” them in that piece as I play.  Along the lines of my ear not being quite as helpful on this one, Gavotte is greatly helping my reading capabilities – so far there are all of two measures or so that I don’t have to look at as I play, this about 3 weeks into working on it.

I’m only about two lines from the end of the piece – we’ll probably finish it off in tomorrow’s lesson.  I’m excited about getting to the end because the final notes are plucks – several single note plucks and then two chord-producing strums.  I’ve never done a strum, and so far I only have one other pizzicato moment – two notes that get repeated once –  from my first Gavotte.

If we do get through the rest of the song tomorrow then I’ll spend at least one more week with it before moving onto the next piece – also called Gavotte.  Teacher told me in last Wednesday’s lesson that many kids get frustrated with Gavotte from Mignon because it’s so difficult and long.  The song also has a different feel from the other classical music I’ve been working on, and I’m enjoying that quite a bit.  I read something about the French-ness of the piece being charming, but I have to admit that I don’t know enough to appreciate what that might be about.  Whatever I am, I’m definitely not frustrated – rather I’m quite enjoying stepping up to the plate of this work.  It would have been a terribly bad idea to start playing the violin again if I weren’t into doing hard things!

Thanks for reading.


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