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Practice of emotional scenario #2746276
06/22/18 06:51 AM
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It is interesting to know whether participants in the forum practice creating a preliminary emotional script for improvisation, even spontaneous ; so to say, the plan for emotional improvisation ?

https://www.medicaldaily.com/emotio...ppiness-activates-different-brain-367718

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Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746657
06/24/18 05:21 AM
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I am not a jazz pianist but I do play and record a great deal of improvisation. Emotion has nothing whatever to do with my actual act of improvising, I can say that with certainty. If I were dependent on how I feel while playing I doubt I would ever get anything recorded. I have never really understood the notion of inspiration and emotion as a creative driver, the sort of thing assumed in Hollywood films about musicians; it has never happened to me. What I improvise is guided by completely abstract considerations, closely concerned with my idea of beauty, but emotion and beauty are far from identical. When I listen to it later on, I sometimes choose to impose "emotion recollected in tranquillity", along with any other associations and images which spring to mind, but prepare an emotional script ? Good heavens no, I have absolutely no idea even of what notes are going to come out when I start to play, never mind any emotions.

Interesting question though, let's see who does and who doesn't.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Ted] #2746658
06/24/18 05:40 AM
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It is certainly true that I experience an immense delight during improvisation, a rejoicing in the serendipity of the abstract idea stream, but I doubt that is quite what you were asking about.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746668
06/24/18 07:44 AM
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My observation is that when I improvise music with a strong rhythmic drive (heavily syncopated) I seem move with the rhythm, Sort of like when someone dances in their seat when listening to music that moves them. I don't know whether this is emotion. I figure my "musical mind" is connecting with the motor part of my brain (the cerebellum ?).

My observation (of myself moving to my rhythmic playing) was from watching video I made of myself playing piano.

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746676
06/24/18 09:05 AM
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I think this is a great topic. I have analyzed Bill's playing, for example, and sketched out the emotional trajectory of his performances. For example, I Will Say Goodbye sounds to me like a voyage through hopelessness and hopefulness, with hopelessness seeming to win at the end haha..I think the intentional emotional trajectory is one of the major things that makes the great players and composers great..nuances of happy/sad, pathos, rising and falling emotion..is there hope or not?


Last edited by Dfrankjazz; 06/24/18 09:06 AM.
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Dfrankjazz] #2746677
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Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
I think this is a great topic. I have analyzed Bill's playing, for example, and sketched out the emotional trajectory of his performances. For example, I Will Say Goodbye sounds to me like a voyage through hopelessness and hopefulness, with hopelessness seeming to win at the end haha..I think the intentional emotional trajectory is one of the major things that makes the great players and composers great..nuances of happy/sad, pathos, rising and falling emotion..is there hope or not?

I would not want to go too deep into the world of Bill Evans - precisely for the reasons you indicated. Otherwise, I would have to call my psychologist ; his music acts on me too much . Especialy "The Last Waltz".
Brrrrrr!

Last edited by Nahum; 06/24/18 09:21 AM.
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746775
06/24/18 07:03 PM
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I totally agree with Dave. This is what music is - that, as it is composed/performed/delivered by the musician it emits and evokes feelings. It is what makes you like/love a particular pianist/composer over another - HOW and WHAT they make you feel. It certainly separates the great ones from the others. Sorry for you that you feel that way about the great Bill Evans. He happens to be my favorite composer/pianist who I Listen to and study. I am grateful for the emotional places his music and playing takes me to. Even the saddest ones. For a very long time I could not listen to "We Will Meet Again" without crying my eyes out. Now, I play it on the piano every day. Wonderful to feel emotions and how they change from day to day when you listen to the same music.


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746784
06/24/18 08:12 PM
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I do not agree with Dave in the slightest, although I admire him very much and always listen to his videos, which I thoroughly enjoy. No good making assertions without backing them up with examples i suppose, so here's my effort of yesterday morning, recorded without an ounce of emotion.

Improvisation 381


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Ted] #2746813
06/24/18 10:31 PM
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I'm firmly in Dave's camp: music (indeed performing arts in general) are all about the performer conveying his or her emotions to the audience. Without emotion there is craft, not art (just in my opinion!). However, to answer Nahum's question:

1. When improvising, I do not plan out emotional content in advance. It must arise from how the music makes me feel at the moment.
2. More deeply, I think the beauty of music is that it taps into emotions at a level deeper than consciousness. I may have had a lousy day and be feeling lousy about life, but I may produce joyful sounding music. Is it tapping into joy beneath the surface? Is the joyful sound really representing something else? I have no idea and don't care. In those good moments, the feelings go from the music into me and back into the improvisation, with as little interference from the rational brain as possible.

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746838
06/25/18 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
Sorry, I see only the text.

Last edited by Nahum; 06/25/18 12:50 AM.
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746847
06/25/18 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Ted
Sorry, I see only the text.


I don't know why that would be the case. Clicking on the link takes you to a post on Pianostreet which has an attached file, "381_conclusion".
You should be able to listen to it and download it.

Clicking on www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=65132.msg689130#new or entering it in your browser will do the same thing.

Last edited by Ted; 06/25/18 01:43 AM.

"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746853
06/25/18 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
[quote=Nahum]

I don't know why that would be the case. Clicking on the link takes you to a post on Pianostreet which has an attached file, "381_conclusion".
.
Thank you, Ted! In the words of song: "I was blind but now I see!"

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Music Me] #2746855
06/25/18 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Music Me
Sorry for you that you feel that way about the great Bill Evans. He happens to be my favorite composer/pianist who I Listen to and study. I am grateful for the emotional places his music and playing takes me to. Even the saddest ones. For a very long time I could not listen to "We Will Meet Again" without crying my eyes out.

You do not understand me: Bill Evans is not just a supreme jazz pianist, but the first in jazz history who has all the necessary qualities - technical possession of the instrument and sound, theory, jazz thinking, ability to arrange for the piano, the ability to improvise, the ability to comp, the ability to interpret , composer's talent - were developed in a balanced way ; and I love him very very very very very much! . I talked about his emotional impact on me, from what I'm trying to fence off. In this sense, he reminds me Shostakovich's music, where tragedy always shines under external joyfulness .

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746877
06/25/18 05:54 AM
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The Time Remembered documentary really lays it out. Super well done. The tragedy in the music came right from his life experience needless to say.

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746879
06/25/18 06:11 AM
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I think that part of Evans is just the persona he and those marketing him wanted to convey. No doubt he was a gloomy character but I think its been exaggerated.

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746884
06/25/18 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by KlinkKlonk
I think that part of Evans is just the persona he and those marketing him wanted to convey. No doubt he was a gloomy character but I think its been exaggerated.
Musical improvisation is characterized by the fact that it can not be lied through. Judaism views music as the deepest expression of human essence.

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746908
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Read the book The Big Love by his last girlfriend Laurie Verchomin.

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2746933
06/25/18 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted

Sounds good; but this is not enough to represent the difference between the presence and absence of an emotionally scenario.

Three of my students play 2 recordings; the first spontaneously, without emotional tuning, the second with a given scenario. I'm playing in the end.

https://yadi.sk/d/ZGidLVeQ3YNwb8

The first pianist, he said, doesn't know how to improvise. Second likes to improvise, but doesn't have a clue what he does. An interesting example with a beginner saxophonist (playing 1 year): in his second recording he starts in the first chorus play meaningfully beyond of simple riffing ; but in the second chorus loses focus. My emotional scenario: someone angry asks questions, and the other tries to calm him down.


.

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747018
06/25/18 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Ted

Sounds good; but this is not enough to represent the difference between the presence and absence of an emotionally scenario.


That's right, the listener is at liberty to impose whatever meaning he likes. Therefore what the performer is thinking or feeling is irrelevant. Or the music could have been generated by a computer program such as David Cope's. I think a strong case could be made that music actually conveys no meaning at all, emotional or otherwise.

Last edited by Ted; 06/25/18 05:39 PM.

"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747019
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Originally Posted by Nahum
[ I'm playing in the end.


.
https://yadi.sk/d/dAo4n-8b3YPeWF

https://yadi.sk/d/uV4oPoXt3YPegC

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Ted] #2747122
06/26/18 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
I think a strong case could be made that music actually conveys no meaning at all, emotional or otherwise.
Yes, Stravinsky claimed this in his conversations with Robert Craft. You as you wish, but I treat this statement in the same way as "Jump higher than a belly button ." A non-serious statement by a serious composer. Hot gesugt (Yiddish)...

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747221
06/26/18 04:35 PM
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So as I'm understanding this conversation, we're pondering whether music has inherent emotion ?

If I'm understanding, I'd say we impose emotion on music we "get" when it effects us in a certain way. I remember getting emotional hearing someone play Beethoven's Waldstein sonata - the 3rd movement brought some emotional/sentimental feelings. It's some magnificent music.

But the language of music - at the level of middle Beethoven or Bill Evans must be cultivated. It takes time and effort. That brings up a question (for me anyway) - is the emotion inherent to the music if one has to take some number of years to appreciate it at (let's say) a "higher math" level. I could play (let's say - because I've marveled at Evans and Scott LaFaro together) "Waltz For Debbie" for my sister (who BTW has a very discerning tongue for wines) and see what she thought. I believe, though I've never tested it, that she'd just hear a nice melody - the bass line and harmony worked out with it would bypass her ears - her perception.

I think one has to unlock the language. The higher math of Evans harmony. I think the emotion is some sort of by- product of developed perceptions. These things are probably studied in labratories someplace. Hopefully any scientists studying this will know something about music - not always the case.

Beethoven's Waldstein 3rd movement
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBTeiGKyPLM

In case anyone's interested. This movie "The Music Instinct" is excellent. They do brain scans showing areas of the brain that are engaged when we play or listen to music. It has YoYo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, Daniel Baremboim, and various neuroscientists.


Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747224
06/26/18 04:56 PM
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By the way, check out (in "The Music Instinct") the Indian classical music at 38:30 in the YouTube video. Whatever emotion is being expressed, certainly has to be studied or cultivated in some way.

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747265
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Copious food for thought there, Dave. Your conjecture that perhaps some sort of intellectual aspect is a prerequisite for imposing meaning on musical sound is quite puzzling to think about. One’s personal perception, essentially a quale, keeps getting in the way of objective analysis. Evans and Beethoven go in one ear and out the other with me, but precise examples are not germane to the question. If I substitute Delius, Havergal Brian, James Scott, or other ones I really do like, the conundrum remains, and I cannot answer it. Thanks for the link to the film, which I shall devour at my leisure.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747349
06/27/18 05:09 AM
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Musical psychologists clearly say that the trigger of music is feelings, emotions and intellect . The music heard by listeners evokes feelings and emotions, the improviser-composer has the reverse order. Here is an example of my arrangement and playing, in the darkest period of my life, and to express it was the original intention - I wrote it for myself. Sorry for the terrible quality of recording- the result of copy from the old tape cassette.

https://soundcloud.com/jazzman1945/lailalaila

Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747358
06/27/18 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum

Musical psychologists clearly say that the trigger of music is feelings, emotions and intellect . The music heard by listeners evokes feelings and emotions, the improviser-composer has the reverse order. Here is an example of my arrangement and playing, in the darkest period of my life, and to express it was the original intention - I wrote it for myself. Sorry for the terrible quality of recording- the result of copy from the old tape cassette.


I find that very accomplished music, but had you not told me I doubt I would have registered dark emotions from hearing it. In any case, I envy you the ability to directly express emotions in playing and feel satisfied with the result. I am not very good at doing that, and my music tends to be independent of how I feel. Of course, it might be that I am simply something of a cold fish, that would explain a lot !


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747365
06/27/18 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
[Of course, it might be that I am simply something of a cold fish, that would explain a lot !
I do not believe that you have alexithymia!

Last edited by Nahum; 06/27/18 06:39 AM.
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747366
06/27/18 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Ted
[Of course, it might be that I am simply something of a cold fish, that would explain a lot !
I do not believe that you have alexithymia!


I had to look that one up ! No, I don't fit the definition at all, just a bit odd I expect and getting worse with age, like Louis Wain and his cat paintings. I am sure music is big enough to absorb us all; it would be a dull world if everybody functioned the same musically.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice of emotional scenario [Re: Nahum] #2747699
06/28/18 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
I am not very good at doing that, and my music tends to be independent of how I feel. !
As a child, being sick, I was very fond sit down at the piano and improvising, despite the doctor's instructions to lie in bed. It made me feel good, almost like a medicine. What came out sounded "slowed down," but not painful; the inner emotion was a clear "joy." So there is a distance between emotion and physical well-being . You play with emotions, even if you do not know about it. So why not create consciously some kind of general emotional improvisation plan, open also for spontaneity.
I will give an example: I worked with a student on a piece of Horace Silver "Peace."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV6QqWLml7s
https://www.swiss-jazz.ch/standards-jazz/Peace.pdf

The analysis of the melody clearly shows that it begins with a culmination, a situation unusual, usually the culmination occurs at the point of the golden ratio. Therefore, I suggested to the student to turn the whole structure in such a way that the beginning will be an agitated improvisation, which gradually calms down through the theme itself. Emotional pre-planning in action.


Last edited by Nahum; 06/28/18 04:21 AM.

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