The Minors

In yesterday’s lesson we made it through to the end of the final piece in Book Three.  This Bach Bourree is beautiful, but it will take me a few more weeks to get it up to snuff.  Bourree Two (the piece is two back to back Bourrees) is a minor variation on Bourree One – it’s beautiful, and it’s challenging.  There’s a seven-note slur and other tricky bowing.

One of the primary challenges is that this second half brings my first occasion to work in G harmonic minor – my previous experiences with minor keys have been with melodic minors.  In this one, accidentals indicate whether to play open E (indicated with an accidental) or E flat, which is low fourth finger on the A string and is unmarked.  Very confusing for me!  When I see an unmarked E my brain says quite quickly that I get to pick whether to do open E or fourth finger – easy.  Now this key comes along and key complicates it mercilessly!  Other issues in the key exist, but that’s the one my brain is hanging up on most right now.  I’ll get there.

While I can say that the harmonic minor key is a problem at the moment, I’m only very, very slowly appreciating the differences between the three minor scales.  I did have a bit of a triumph in the lesson yesterday – in discussing the Vivaldi concerto in Book Four I mentioned C Major and then noted, with a slight bit of hesitation in my voice, that the relative minor is A Minor. While I know you go down two steps from the primary key signature to obtain the relative minor, the main way I knew is because the Vivaldi concerto – which has A Minor in the name – has no flats and no sharps in the key signature, the same as C Major.

But Suzuki didn’t think we newbies need to worry too much about all of that.  We are supposed to focus on making a beautiful tone.  I’m doing my best.

Thanks for reading.


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