We are back once again with another mini-episode of Accountability Thursday. They say that you should dance with the date that brought so we’re once again pulling from the NARD book. This week we are working on the solo ‘Omaha’ which is also our first 6/8 piece.
Aside from the time signature one thing that you might notice is that the author has designated a specific tempo for this solo. In previous, duple meter, solos we’ve normally interpreted their respective speed by using the commonly accepted range of 90 to 100 beats per minute. For this piece we need to aim for our finished performance tempo at dotted quarter note equaling 128 beats per minute.
The next thing to be aware of is the copious use of specific dynamic markings. From our experience we are aware that many ancient rudimental solos have no dynamic markings. In those cases common practice tells us to play the entire solo at the forte dynamic level with accents at double forte. However in “Omaha’ take care to perform crisp and articulate dynamic changes where notated.
Finally ‘Omaha’ is rather plain in contrast to previous NARD solos. It’s very repetitive and not particularly rhythmically interesting. With those factors in mind it’s imperative that the dynamics and accents are performed flawlessly. The author relies on those devices to bring musicality and intrigue to this etude. Upon practicing make sure you use a slow enough tempo to execute the dynamics correctly! It’s pointless to practice without the dynamics. Not only will you learn to hear the solo incorrectly but you’ll also have to learn it twice!
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You’ll be able to view the sheet music as well as see a performance of “Omaha”.
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