Saturday, December 29, 2012

I think I've got too much muscle-memory/cemented wrong things in my hands to get Prelude 3. Maybe someday I will see if Practiceopedia says anything about un-cementing things. I think I will put it away again.

Worked on speeding up trouble spots in Berceuse. I couldn't even play them at regular speed! So they will require more work.

Speeding up LGR will require work on the last two lines.  The dynamics don't quite make sense, either.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Warm-up with random excerpt from (Flight).

Prelude 3 - 3 more notes

LGR - time to speed up to 100.

Berceuse - tested at 50, most is easy-peasy, but ran into trouble in faster runs.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Berceuse - dynamics ok at 40 (still not sure in a few spots), few flaws to fix marked with Xs. Mostly pedal changes. Need to bring out melody more, or might be microphone placement.

LGR - sped up to 88 and it's slightly falling apart, so need to practice Xs.

Prelude 3 - 3 more notes, sort of. Very tired and I think that affected my ability to use my fingers.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sped up LGR 4 clicks - seems ok, but run through again.

3 more notes in Prelude 3.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Field recording

LGR is up to a speed I can play it comfortably, the dynamics are close to being ready, and then I can start speeding it up.  I need to figure out how not to thunk the first notes in each measure in the section.

Berceuse still needs technical work at slow speed.

Prelude 3 - chaining seems to have worked. I now know why I couldn't play it before. It's going to be hard work to get it right, as I have to undo all the previous incorrect work I've cemented in my hands. Question is: do I want to?

I've been wanting to do field recordings and lamenting forgetting to take my microphone with me on walks and rides on several occasions.  And nowhere was that more apparent today than while stopped on my bicycle at a red light. The Greek Orthodox Church right next to me started chiming away.
So I need to find some way, pronto, to:
+ attach microphone to my bike
+ make it wind-proof
+ make it water-proof (especially today!)
+ record with small files that still sound good

Monday, December 10, 2012

Prelude 3 - 3 more notes learned in 20 minutes. It will take 20 more days.  However, gave myself a blister and De Quervain's acted up again, so I can't set a final goal yet. Just a goal to take 20 mintues of practice time to learn 3 notes per day when I can.

Worked a teensy bit on dynamics, of LGR, but didn't want to make blister worse. Need to set goals for LGR and Berceuse, as well.

Weird, now my right thumb tendons hurt and my left hand feels fine, however that was the one that hurt during practice.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Play it again, and again, and again...

After reading some tips from Practiceopedia, I was inspired to work on the problem spot in Prelude 3 again, this time using "chaining".  I learned 3 notes! It only took 20 minutes! /sarcasm. So it will take a very long time, and may not ever happen, but just doing it for sh*ts and g*ggles.

Worked on LGR dynamics.

Not enough hours in the day.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Berceuse - Worked on dynamics, breaths, caesuras, and tenuto on 3rd page. Oops, excuse me. Caesurae. I think I've got it how I want it, for the most part. I think muffling completely would be too jarring.

I moved a couple pedal changes because they are right in the middle of a quiet part. 

Need to work on the A♭ G♮ pedal change - it's really loud!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Railroad tracks

Thanks to one of the lovely members of yahoo's harplist, I now know the the double slash (\\) marking in Berceuse is a caesura.
Caesura - (/sˈʒjʊərə/ or /sɪˈʒʊrə/; alternative spellings are cæsura and cesura) is a complete pause in a line of poetry or in a musical composition. In musical notation, caesura denotes a brief, silent pause, during which metrical time is not counted. --from Wikipedia.

Next is to figure out if I want it to be a L.V. pause or a muffled pause.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A couple definitions I missed

Senza misura - an Italian musical term for "without meter", meaning to play without a beat, using time to measure how long it will take to play the bar. (wikipedia)
Ten. (Tenuto) - Italian, past participle of tenere, "to hold". The precise meaning of tenuto is contextual: it can mean either hold the note in question its full length (or longer, with slight rubato), or play the note slightly louder. In other words, the tenuto mark may alter either the dynamics or the duration of a note. Either way, the marking indicates that a note should receive emphasis. (Tom Gerou and Linda Lusk, Essential Dictionary of Music Notation (1996))

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Berceuse - based on listening to the last page sped up, I'm adding slight pauses (denoted by commas, although I could denote with "ten." or birds eyes on the note to hold) to make the phrases stand out in what I think is a better way.

Wish I could play for hours more, but am limited by my endurance. :(

Friday, November 30, 2012

Warmup with (Flight).
LGR - Left hand is flowing and has dynamic separate from right hand. sounds good sped up.
Everything aches.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Some definitions

As I'm working on dynamics, I'm playing much louder and consequently gotten the skin on the pads of my fingers to that really squeaky point that comes just as blisters are forming.  Here's proof. Ow.

I forgot yesterday when I analyzed my pieces that I didn't know what the composer was asking for. So here is a vocabulary list:
Maestoso - ma·es·to·so  (mäs-ts, -z) adv. & adj. Music In a majestic and stately manner. Used chiefly as a direction. [Italian, from maestà, majesty, greatness]
Poco accel. (poco accelerando) - go faster little by little
Sempre - sem·pre  (smpr)adv. Music In the same manner throughout. Used chiefly as a direction.[Italian, always, from Latin semper]
Conto - a monetary unit in Portugese? Ah. Lento. Italian for WRITE LEGIBLY.
Cantando - Singing style. ?
Più moto - more motion.
Più agitato - more agitated, with implied quickness.
Velocissiomo - very fast, very quick, very speedy.
There are also some commas and double slashes (\\) at the ends of some measures. Commas denote a breath mark for singers. Double slash = ?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I discovered a new book at the library called "Practiceopedia" by Phillip Johnston.  It's available at the website Inside Music Teaching. It also seems to have fallen into that "out-of-print-charging-an-arm-and-a-leg-syndrome" over at amazon. $687.90? Really? Even the $125.50 used copies are a rip-off when you can order it direct from the source for a reasonable $39.95. 

Anyway, it had a wealth of practice tips - so many I couldn't get through them all in the time allotted, and I'm trying to incorporate some of them:
+ Analyzing the piece before you learn it - ie, what would you want a critic to say after hearing you perform it? You should have 4-6 descriptors.  I've never thought about that before in concrete terms, so I'm eager to see if it will make a difference in the finished product.  Before, I analyzed pieces as far as what key they're in and when it changes.
+Practice scales. IN TIME. And get them precise.
+Practice piece slowly, then add in dynamics at slow tempo, then speed up. This is very opposite what I was taught, and it's stressing me out, surprisingly. But, what can it hurt? (Besides my hands.) And I'm not getting the results I want using the old way so I need to try something different. You should be able to record the piece slowly, without fault, and use software to speed it up and have it sound exactly the way you want.

Lariviere - scales from = 50 - 200. Try (flight) instead - much more interesting.
LGR - Analyzed. Finger stabbed with scissors prevented serious work, and serious work is definitely needed.
Berceuse - Analyzed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

LGR sort of up to ♩=100 - worked problem spots to 100, but then couldn't play it all together.
Berceuse shakily at ♩=40.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finally got Prelude 5 edited to the best of my ability. Let's see if I successfully uploaded it and spelled the link correctly.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Figured I'd just go ahead and commit to (re)learning Folk Song 1 since I was kind of already doing that. Got the first 2 lines to ♪=80 in order to play at d=40.

Berceuse - watch out for low E's, otherwise good to start speeding up.

LGR - quick run-through.

Have some sort of mental block against getting the rest of Prelude 5 edited. Probably because it's crap. :P

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sort of got LGR to 90. Sort of got Berceuse to 50. Played Folk Song #1 at ♪=50.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm writing this entry with my Bamboo tablet! My hand muscles were fatigued for some reason and didn't get any better the more I played and I didn't really feel like practicing today so just did some Bochsa etudes. To change things up l tried playing Major exercises in minor as I was as playing. My technique went to sh*t as I was figuring out if I was playing in natural minor, harmonic minor, or melodic minor. Ie. no sharps, 1# on the way up and down, or 2 sharps on the way up and none  on the way down. Also, key changes threw me for a loop because the circle of 5ths really does jack for me. I have to do the "it's the key that's a minor 3rd above" thing. It sounded more interesting, at least, and kept me more mentally engaged.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Got some work done on Berceuse - had to dial it back to 35, though.  I was working on the glisses and my fingers felt blistery so I stopped before going on to LGR.  But then started working on Chou Wen-Chung's Folk Songs.

Also, I've gotten page 1 of Prelude 5 finished in Audacity, however, when I sat down to start working on it again, I somehow got sucked into figuring out what Jay Z and Kanye sampled in No Church In The Wild and if I could do the same thing in Audacity. Oh, right, I was transcribing more of Real Life by Tones on Tail and got hooked by that bassline in the second half of the song, and my mind made a connection to that "Dodge commercial with the cool song".  It turns out the "bass" hook in NCITW is actually a guitar riff slowed down by about 30%.  And I figured that out after about an hour of trying to configure my computer to record itself, when the only thing I needed to do was shut down and reopen audacity after changing my settings. Urgh.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I am completely addicted to this:

My fingers are itching to learn it!

The other Flagello (Berceuse) I skipped today.

LGR - got it up to 80 mostly except for one pedal change.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Berceuse - Page 2 & 3 huge chords need more work.

Whittled 14 takes of Prelude 5 down to 5.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I have been practicing, just not posting every day. LGR - pushing up to 80. Berceuse - trying to get to 40. Work on tempo changes.

Today working on getting Prelude 5 files onto my computer and re-assessing quality and useable parts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Re-upholstering my couch and my hands have been bothering me from the staple gun, so I've been grabbing minimal practice time here and there when I get a chance.

Today I was able to really practice and am completely wobbly on LGR and Berceuse. Sort of sped them both up LGR to ♩ =72 and Berceuse to ♩= 40.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Recorded slow playthrough of LGR and Berceuse. Lots to work on. Going to try adding dynamic before speeding them up this time.

Also, I probably will never get a good recording of LGR unless I get a new harp. :(

Friday, October 5, 2012

Played through both Berceuse and LGR with metronome. LGR was a little faster than I wanted because I can't find a metronome that goes down to 30.

Also playing with click tracks in microphone and Audacity.  Audacity has what I want, microphone doesn't. Would need a laptop to record in Audacity - or really long cords.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I finished up Berceuse and was able to play both that and LGR through at half speed perfectly. Achievement unlocked! as the kids these days say.  Although, maybe I should record myself to make sure.

Also, I realized I can play "Hurt" on the harp, simply by using G♭ and F♮. That would have been helpful... ulp... 7 years ago.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Berceuse - Skipped the glisses, finger still hurts from blister. 1/2 a page left to learn before it's a repeat of what I've already learned.

LGR - Went over last 2 lines again at ♪=52. Work on harmonics and get them PERFECT.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I did indeed give myself a blister practicing glissandos yesterday. It's a small one because I stopped sooner rather than later. But it's still a small spot of hurt so I didn't play today.  

Instead, I listened to approximately 1:42:26 of Prelude 5 in order to determine what's useable. As usual, on the first listen, nothing sounded great to me.  Oh, and I never want to hear it again. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Berceuse - Going really well at ♪=92, maybe even too slow because 32nd notes at ♩=35, which is faster.

LGR - Pretty much learned, just need to speed up and polish.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Berceuse - goal: have whole thing at ♪=92. Do not rush triplets.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Starting Berceuse - last measure has a triplet in it.

Played slowly through LGR.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Voice Leading Exercise

I used the Yahoo! Media Player I found here and put the javascript in my blog's design template.  What do you think?
I wrote something I actually like! And it's also an excuse to see if I can actually put a player in my blog post.
Player is there! But no music!

ETA: I recorded Prelude 5. Whether I have something useful or not, we'll just have to see.  If not, TOO BAD. I am done with it and I am done with Prelude 3.  I am calling it quits.  Maybe I'll pick these up again someday, but not likely.

Worked on LGR.

Read through Berceuse again and I think this is going to be an enjoyable one to learn (for a change, apparently!).

And wow, playing music shuts everything else. I completely missed two (well, more like 2.5) appointment-type things today.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tried to record Prelude 5, but couldn't play it AT ALL, microphone ran out of batteries, extension cord took a bit of work to find, etc. etc.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Slightly more productive today. Going to try to record Prelude 5 for reals tomorrow.

ETA: Oh, dur, I also got a new page up on my website today for NIN -

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Completely unmotivated today. Tried to practice Prelude 5 and got worse as it went along. So instead "practiced" Vers La Source, LGR, and Berceuse.

Chipped away at more coding of website.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Recorded Prelude 5 to see where it was weak.  The whole thing is weak. I'm tired... of thisss piece...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Finger to the point it doesn't hurt when I play at all. Yay!

Poking around fixing behind the scenes things on the website and designing new pages.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pinky better enough I could play with minimal pain, and of course, I played more than I planned - I missed playing severely.  Just did some exercises.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I think I've actually sprained my pinkie, perhaps multiple times. It was swollen when I woke up this morning so it is splinted and taped to my 4th finger and I'll see what it looks and feels like tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I think I now have a blister on top of my cyst. Or it's just coming closer to the surface.  Really uncomfortable when playing now.

LGR - end part up to 1/2 speed. Still think it'll need a lot of work.

Prelude 5 - Still need to work on big picture idea of what this is about

Prelude 3 - Trouble spot slightly better after having played it slowly every day.  Keep doing this for all eternity?

Monday, September 3, 2012

I need to play the last two lines of LGR at ♪=40! S o o o o   s l o o o w w w . . .

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Apparently, heat is not the normally wonderful thing it is when used on a finger which has been bent backward.  And my thumbs were hurting while playing.  Bummer.

Played a little Hasselmans before I had to stop.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Prelude 3 - Even practicing this at 44, I knew less than I did yesterday. What is it about these particular measures?

Looking Glass River - Learned 2 more measures.

Prelude 5  - Was losing concentration after working on LGR so decided to quit instead of waste time.

I Finaled LGR and I realize the ending is going to take a LOT of practice.

Going to try to do voice leading with the "melodies" I've been counterpointing, maybe.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Looking Glass River: Refreshed what I already knew and learned another measure at ♩ =60.

Prelude 3: tried those chords again, and yes, it was as if I'd never seen the music before.

Prelude 5: After playing along with Finale version, noticed new spots to fix. Worked on those today.  Need to work on thumb scale especially.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Prelude 5. Playing with adjusted and corrected Finale version.

Wrote a counterpoint I sort of like.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Prelude 5 - Listening to Finale version to see if I can get any insight.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

prelude 5 - at a loss as to what to do dynamically.  I basically know it, it just doesn't sound interesting in the true sense of the word: holding someone's interest.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The cyst in my thumb has migrated into the end of my finger, slowly moving along with the growth of my fingernail.  So now I have what is basically a blister deep in my finger, right where my thumb hits the string. And this configuration does not go numb and stop hurting the more I play.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Due to weather, took it easy and wrote some music - 5th species counterpoint.

Also, sitting and working on website. Red border trick from is really helpful for troubleshooting css.

And now for a bit of a lie-down... zzz...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Good practice today.

Prelude 5 - worked on getting consistent start.  keep working on problem spots

Prelude 3 - worked at 120

Looking Glass River - 1st page at 60

Probably taking today and tomorrow off because of heat...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to work.

ETA: Found another mistake, this time in Looking Glass River, either in the accidental or pedal markings. The B♯ or ♮ harmonics in the 2nd to last line. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Prelude 5 is at the point where I can mostly work on shading.  I need to record it to catch the storyline and figure out how to bring that out.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Yesterday, I poured a significant quantity of simmering water on my left hand, leaving me with no desire to do anything with it but to stick it between two ice packs.  However, I really wanted to play and had big plans before the scalding, so I wrote music instead. It was a good compromise - I spent more mental than physical effort.

Today it's been blasted hot outside and in, so even though my hand is almost completely healed (!), I had no energy to play.  So I wrote more. And then practiced a little because my hands were stiff and simply screaming at me to play. 

And now I'm a bit wrung out and feel the need to recline on the couch with a mister bottle.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Prelude 5: Worked on detail spots.
Prelude 3: Played trouble spot slowly a few times.
Looking Glass River: Played through once very slowly. It doesn't seem like it will be too challenging, however, I read about someone else who had learned it and it took them a year. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Started Looking Glass River by Rudolf Forst. Keeping it real slow to start with.  Need to slow down Prelude 5, too. Different parts keep slipping in and out of my mind as I'm playing so I can't consistently work on anything.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Routine maintenance on my bike ended up taking 6 hour instead of 2, so minimal harp due to time and tiredness.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Low motivation day. Prelude 5: did get one good run-through where I could actually hear the music.  Not able to play up to speed, though - couldn't focus enough.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Prelude 5: Got the whole thing up to speed almost. Need to work on problem areas. Largest area on pg 1.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Working on getting 1st page over 132. Also, working on prob spot in Prelude 3 again.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sort of maintaining at 132.  In other words, working the stiffness out of my arm after taking a tumble off my bike. Again.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Prelude 4 done except for second page 16th notes.

Prelude 5: learned 1 page today at half speed. Rest is repetition so hopefully will be done soon.

Prelude 3: Not sure what to do about this one.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recorded Prelude 4 and have notes:
- tempo (need to get it nailed down in my head, as it changes from 72 to 56)
- 1st & 2nd lines (still get surprised by some of the notes!)
- quieter on finger brushes
- phrasing
- loud octaves
- just a few notes in chords
- last page pp
- bass too quiet

I don't know if some of the sound stuff is me or the microphone.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I think I'm starting to get a mental block on these Preludes. I seem to forget how to read music when playing them. But I did start Prelude 5 after having brain freeze on the last 5 chords that need learning for Prelude 4. Prelude 5 is going to be another super-fast one I will need to work on s l o w l y.  Luckily, I sort of learned it a few years ago and it's coming back quickly.  Goal is to work Prelude 5 up to ♪=112 consistently.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Prelude 4: 5 more chords to learn then it's on to dynamics and tempo.  Learning chords two at a time so I can get the quick placing.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wish I had more time to practice. Prelude 4: need to figure out how to go from 72 to 56. And start adding dynamics.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Playing around with melody (cantus firmus) and single counterpoint instead of practicing (re: blister). It is difficult to write music I like.

Real Life is 3rds in sets of 4 16th notes - accents are throwing me off, which happens in music I read, too.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prelude 4 almost done. A few spots just need worked up to speed.

Transcribing: Just figured out one tiny part of Real Life's rhythm.

Also, I have blisters.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Prelude 3 - Everything except trouble spots easily up to 200. However, thumb joint started hurting and swelling while working on chords, so will work on Prelude 4 for a while.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Prelude 4 - chords - work at ♪=40?  So chords in 3rd and 4ths split in half.

Prelude 3 - Once I was able to get page 3 closer to speed, it started making more sense - the rhythm is like how I used to play the piano before I could play.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sometimes stretching makes me feel euphoric, sometimes not. Today was a sometimes not day. Just couldn't muster the concentration needed. And my finger is still tender.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

More work on Prelude 4. Middle section is up to ♩=56, but will need work on smoothness and dynamics.

Prelude 3 2nd page is still not sticking in my brain. As soon as I try to play the whole thing through, it's like I've never seen the page before. 3rd page need to work up to 200.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I *do* have a blister.

Prelude 4 2nd page worked more measures to 56.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Either poked a hole in my finger while rewiring a lamp, or gave myself a blister while practicing - couldn't play Prelude 3, worked on Prelude 4. Still in learning stages.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I think it's working - I successfully played the stuff I worked up to 200 two days ago at 200 consistently.  The newer stuff, however, not so much. Maybe it will sink in in a couple days.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Apparently speeding things up and forcing myself to play faster works. 144 seems like a snooze.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Played some Debussy - need to get decent version of Clair de Lune. Seriously, Salzedo, WTF.

Experimented playing tiny snippets up to speed in order to get past 144. It seemed to work - playing subsequently more slowly was easier. Right hand thumb is still throwing a wrench in the works. I'm over compensating by rotating my wrist to give myself leverage.  Could it be time to restart strength training on thumb? Concerned thumb joint might explode again.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sore muscles from working out, but lots of energy from working out, but tired from working out, combined to make me not feel like concentrating on learning anything yet ended up playing for an hour.  Salzedos Preludes (not Srebotnjak!), Vers La Source, (Flight)... basically whatever was on my music stand.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Was all excited that I was doing well on Prelude 4 until I realized it's ♩=56 not ♪=56.

Prelude 3 - Have to work trouble spot thoroughly and slowly every day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Prelude 3 - still falls apart at ♪=144. Still need to play it slowly to memorize that section.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Worked on about 2 measures of Prelude 4 before giving up from feeling cold and having a drippy nose. And sleepiness.

I did post Prelude 1 finally.  The one that made my thumb joint explode.  So it's not a great version, but it's the only one of me playing it that's ever going to be in existence.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Prelude 3 pg 2 up to ♪=144.  Need to start slow and work up again.

Prelude 1 almost done in Audacity.

Ignoring transcribing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Page 2 up to 100, start out less tomorrow and work back up.

Dizzy interrupted practice.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Prelude 3: start speeding up - pg 1 done. Pg 2 start at 56 and work up. Remember where accents are and 3rd octave F is loud.

Prelude 4: start at ♪=50 after tempo change and work up.

Transcribing: Entered what I could in Finale.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today was one of those days where I don't feel like tuning.  Or concentrating.


Prelude 4 opening triplets up to ♪=132. Will be better with concentrating. Prelude 3 run through was... not bad.  Need to work on trouble transitions. And the 16th notes.

Website only has 50M, not 50G, so need to take things down.  And slow loading times for songs. Third strike?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Recorded Prelude 3 - need to:
+ count 123-12 to get swing
+ still work on line 2 pg 2
+ practice detailed dynamics

Prelude 4: up 2 back 1 to get it under fingers.  DO THIS.

Transcribe: Real Life is unfathomable.

Using foam that I'm allergic to for pillow stuffing is not a good idea.  Wool batting, however is fine. And potentially has non-lethal vapors should there be a house fire. Not that I'm expecting one.  

Strike two for web hosting (1-2 day customer service).

Friday, May 18, 2012

Can almost play Prelude 3 at ♪=132 - that's averaging parts I can't play well with parts I can play at speed.

Started on Real Life. Thought I wasn't going to be able to figure out the chords, but I think I managed - first part is Amaj and B♭maj arpeggiated.  I does change key after the break.

Finally making a cushion for my harp bench so I can stop flattening my accent pillows.  Thankfully, I didn't get rid of the leftover foam from making my harp cover.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Come back to 2nd line after rest of piece is finished. I have about 1 more page to learn - everything else is repeats.

Finished Movement of Fear. Slightly more interesting chords than Christian Says. In E minor and possibly B harmonic minor in some spots.

Stuck on one spot in Audacity.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Augh! This piece is killing me!

Enjoy the last + in the measures in Zarabanda.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My thumb base joint started hurting and got worse as I played, so I cut it short after .... hey 1.25 hours! Go me. Anyway, I cut it short, but not before getting the 2nd line pg 3 up to 160 comfortably (not including thumb pain).

Prelude 4 started, and sounds like it's going to be really interesting. And easier. The opening glisses are in a weird tempo and I need to remember to count.

Wish I could play more today!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Audacity: Got one whole pass in order. Got stuck on finding an error-free passage on pg 3, so working on it later.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Slept most of the afternoon away, so had energy to just play - lots of Salzedo in 5/4.

Monday, May 7, 2012

So tired - just played a few Etudes.

Audacity - organized and labeled all tracks.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I was smart today and practiced before playing Terminator Salvation.  I had to ice my hand when I got home. *giggle*

Playing line 2 and 3 takes immense concentration. It will take a lot more work. Got it up to about 100 and still sounding good. So maybe goal for tomorrow is 120.

Was going to work with Audacity today but can't stop listening to B-Boys.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Practice: Started over and started slowly. Now have 2nd line pg 2 to 80 satisfactorily. Now I can start speeding it up.

RIP Adam Yauch. *sigh*

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Practice: Worked up to 160. Need to work very slowly instead, over and over, maybe about 80 or less.

Transcribe: Need to listen to some things in phrygian mode.  Also, relisten to phrygian guitar mode.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Workout + work on tough lines = sore arms.

Finished transcribing Christian Says to the best of my abilities.  It sounds hilarious in Finale with the instruments I picked.

Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm taking this week to do some more digging on HMLKKBCJ - Hattie Mabelle Lynn Knapping Kittridge Barker Childs Jacobs.

I found another directory listing from 1897 in Worcester Mass for her as Mabelle Lynn, Mrs., a music teacher, at 345 Park Av. "h. do." What does that stand for?  In the abbreviation index it says h. = house and do. = ditto.  Ditto what? She lived and taught at home?

She's also listed in 1898 at the same address.  In 1899, she moved to 11 Murray Ave.

In 1906, she and Henry Jacobs are listed in the real estate record section of the Worcester City directory as follows:
Jacobs Henry L & Mabelle L. Childs, 5 Benefit, blds $5100; 4320 ft. $2800.
I'm going to assume she did NOT own a building with Henry and have that info published in a city directory while she was married to Harry. But hey, you never know.

The contents page says "Real Estate Record: A complete transcript of the city assessors' books relating to real estate, showing name of owner, size of lot, and valuation of every estate in Worcester." Why are there two prices? Does that mean they bought the building together before they were married?

She is listed in 1898 city directory as Alhambra Mandolin, Guitar and Harp Club Director, and in 1899 and 1900 as Alhambra Mandolin, Violin, and Harp Club Director.  She was also listed under orchestras as the Director of the Alhambra String Quartette.

I am trying to find any ancestors, and it seems that her cousin May Belle Grace Dadnum (1876-1941) married Henry Irving Everett (1877-1921), and they had a son Dana Whiton Everett(1915-1985). He married Doris Emily Jenner (1916-2000) and they had a daughter Dorothy L Everett who died in 1978 at the age of 40.  But she apparently had children, and so far that seems the only possible connection to Mabelle.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Practice: 2nd page 2nd and 3rd line need to memorize. Need to learn entire piece then polish.

Transcribe: Got a lot further. My big problem is still rhythm, but it is getting easier. And I can recognize a fifth without having to sound it out.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Good practice - stretched and ate vegetables before. Makes a difference?  Need to buckle down and power through trouble spot w/16th notes on 2nd page.

Got printer ink so I can print out music I finally got spaced right in Finale.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Domain transfer failed again, so website is still not up. So far, everything is going as I expected. :/

Continuing Audacity work.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It took over 20 minutes to get music spaced properly in Finale. It was a case of "select this before you perform this action, but we're not going to tell you what you have selected".

Lower goal tempo for P3 to something like 152.

Worked on p2 of P1 in Audacity.  I may have some useable portions, but that opinion changes every time I listen to it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Practice - Groggy from allergy meds. Skipped the 2nd line and tried the 3rd. Feel like it's doable now - hands not so stiff as previous few days.

Trans -

Monday, April 23, 2012

Practice: Another flubby finger day.  I feel like maybe I need a "pre-workout shake" before I practice on days I'm tired. 2nd line was impossible hand apart and together today.

I heard a few more notes in transcribing, but only could be sure of 2.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tendons and joints stiff and swollen, possibly due to allergies, possibly due to getting woken up at 3am by neighbors. Practiced a little hands apart on Prelude 3 and got nowhere.  Or maybe I did - I'll see tomorrow.

Transcribing later.  ETA: Got a large part into Finale, and that seemed to make things make even more sense.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Practice: Hands apart works really well - when I learn pg 2 line 2 that way I can keep them separate and discrete in my brain as opposed to "AAAAAHHH! EVERYTHING'S HAPPENING AT ONCE!"

Transcribe: I can't hear worth S**T.

My website is down and will be until one of the two companies I'm switching between figures out what's going on.  Which means probably forever.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Practicing: 2nd line on 2nd page needs to be learned and practiced hands apart, otherwise it sounds like a complete mess, in addition to being "modern".

Transcribing: Decided to block out entire song, ie A - verse, B - chorus , C - interlude.  Everything is 4 measures, except one verse is 6, there's one inexplicable key change. Having it blocked out may help to write down what I'm hearing as I'm listening to it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Out with a cold/allergies/whatever. Played a little to keep limber.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Practicing: Played 1 hr? Got 1st page Prelude 3 up to speed, and beyond, sort of.  I need to remember it's not as fast as I originally thought. ETA Oh, right. Forgot I recorded to see how I'm doing -
Right hand is louder, even at pp. Try to make it less plinky. Let left hand come out for once!
Transitions in 3rd line (again) and chords in 2nd to last line.

Transcribing: I realized I've been fantasizing about getting really good at transcribing and adding it as a separate component to practicing. So now I'm trying to start the habit of doing that. Will go do that after break.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Only played 15 min. Hard to play longer when tired.  Did work through a problem spot in 3rd line.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Difficult to stay within 1/2 hour. 

Another thing that helps with practicing - taking frequent breaks. Like, really frequent - every 10 minutes.

Thumb swelling a little more, but not in joint, so that's good?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

1/2 hour - Worked on Prelude 3. Getting speed up to ♪=200 line by line.  Thumb still appears ok.

Monday, April 9, 2012

1/2 hour - muscles and finger pads hurt, but not joints - thumb joint still seems unswollen.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tried playing for 1/2 hour. With all the arranging and tuning, ended up being 10 minutes.  My thumb joint initially hurt when I bent it after plucking a string.  However, that went away about 5 minutes into playing. However, however, that could be due to my usual "pain in hands goes away when I play". 

I tried closing my thumb more like the left one, ie not aiming the tip of my thumb at the 1st finger knuckle, but the thumb knuckle to 1st finger 1st phalanx/knuckle area.  Kind of like when you make a fist puppet.

I am hoping that I am not just paranoid and that the cyst does not look bigger after playing.

So my goal is to play 1/2 hour every day for a week then bump that up gradually as I get back into shape. I will not be playing Prelude 1 again, though, that's for sure.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thanks to Ed Galchick, I now have non-hopping pedals!

Now if this stupid cyst would just go away...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Getting my harp looked at (again) tomorrow and hopefully getting my pedals back in perfect working order.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Playing aggravates the cyst in my thumb, so I'm taking another unwanted vacation from playing.  Awesome.

Listening to Prelude 1 I need to fix the following things:
+Faster sounds better
+Arhythmic section in tempo
+1st gliss smoother

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I read the surprising news on a medical website that smashing a cyst with a heavy book "could, in fact, cause further injury."

Not playing today, just continuing to listen to the multiple recordings. So far, faster sounds better.

Monday, March 12, 2012

So far, not so much useable recordings. There's bits and pieces, though.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The cyst does weird things to the feeling in my thumb - kind of painful but kind of numb at the same time, and it's translated to a different place than the actual cyst.  But despite that, I recorded again hoping to get something useful this time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My body decided it needed an extra challenge in learning the new way to play Prelude 1 and I now have a ganglion cyst in my right thumb joint. Yeehaw.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

All signs point to my harp actually having less tension on it.  Whew.

A few things should be apparent from the formula:
1. Everything else being the same, pitch increases as tension increases;
2. Everything else being the same, tension increases as scale length increases;
3. Everything else being the same, tension increases as unit weight increases, thus a heavier gage string will be under greater tension as a lighter one of the same length tuned to the same note;

This is not tension as in how it feels to play - that is referred to as compliance of the string, and that is the subjective "these strings feel tight and are more difficult to play" feeling the musician gets.
Worked on Prelude 1. Again. The good thing is I have it completely memorized with the old finger markings, and it seems to be translating well to my new finger patterns.  I have a feeling, though, that it will be like visiting a foreign country and speaking a different language.  The first couple days it will be fine due to severe concentration on wrapping your head around a different way of communicating. But then the third day will be completely bonkers - your mind can't figure out if you're speaking the new language or your native tongue - and you end up saying things like "s'il vous пожалуйста". 

We'll see how it goes.

Also, I got a tension chart from Bow Brand and their string lengths are almost FOUR INCHES longer than mine (up to 1" in the upper registers).  I'm thinking this will have a severe effect on the amount of ft/lbs pulling on my soundboard.  As well as on my fingers!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I had a revelation tonight that Prelude 1 can be played much more easily and less buzzy using 21 in the LH and 21 in the RH, instead of 2 in the LH and 421 in the RH like it's marked.  This is astonishing and depressing at the same time: astonishing - who the heck is this fingering for and why wasn't it just written 21? depressing - I will have to relearn the entire thing.  Yes, I could just keep playing it the same way, but my brain is already saying, "Yes! This is so much easier," and I can also already play it about a squinty billion times faster.

The stuff I recorded... whenever I recorded last, is not really usable. I think if I can relearn it, I can finally get it recorded.  How many months have I been working on this?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Recorded many many takes of Prelude 1. Hopefully, there's something usable. Wasn't really in the mood to play and had a hard time getting enough focus.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

No hand cramping, yay! 

Stress makes for bad practicing.

I'm reading "Moonwalking with Einstein" by Joshua Foer in hopes of improving my memory and memorization. And maybe I'll finally memorize Zarabanda.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I tracked down Mabelle a little further along her timeline and found that, unfortunately, she died on 14 Mar 1915 in East Providence, Providence, RI.

I do finally have a list of all of her husbands:
Married Willie E. Kittridge on 31 Dec 1884 when she was fourteen
Married Harry A. Childs on 12 Apr 1895,
and married Henry L. Jacobs sometime in the early 1900s

She doesn't appear to have had any children.

Coincidentally, her grandmother was also married three times.   Her mother was married just twice, first to Charles/Chas W. Lynn, (who may or may not have been in prison!), divorced in Windham Co, CT, then to Charles W. Barker.  Her mother's sister Julia F. (Knapping) Dadmun died in 1884 and step sister Anna (Balcom) Arbuckle died in 1871.  Julia F's husband died in 1907, but they left a child named May Belle.  May Belle was a soprano in the Boston area from at least 1899-1908. That name must have had some significance for that family! 

So Mabelle had the following last names over the course of her life: Lynn, Knapping, Barker, Kittridge, Childs, and Jacobs. Whew!

Mabelle and Henry lived in East Providence, Providence, RI, and are listed there on the 1910 census.  Interesting thing: the other members of their household are Raymond L Kirzman 28yo M from CT, and Kamichika  23yo M who emigrated from Japan in 1907.  I wonder what the story behind that is!

Now I'm curious what happened to my harp!  Was she still playing when she moved to Rhode Island? Did she sell it before then?  Did her husband Henry sell it when she died?  Did they keep it in the family? Did Kamichika take up the harp?

What happened to it?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It seems the modification I made to Prelude 1 fingering made a huge difference in my hand cramping up. And my hands have already seemed to memorize it, so yay! I hope to record it soon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

One of my lovely coworkers who is a little nuts (in a good way!) for genealogy found a little more information about HMLC.  On the 1880 census, she is 12 years old (which makes her born in 1868/7, which means she lied on her marriage certificate? Tsk, tsk!) and living with her parents Charles W. Barker, 42, a policeman, wife Sarah E. Barker, 33, and Mother-in-law Julie A. Balcome, 52.  Mabelle is listed as "Mabel H".

So, so far, I have her with the last names of: Childs, Barker, Knapping, and Kittridge.  What did she go by after getting divorced? I wonder...  And I just noticed her marriage to Harry A. Childs was his first and her second.

And, of course, I got sucked in to looking for more info. Her mother died in 1903 at the age of 55 (Mabelle would have been either  34, 35, or 36) from interstitial nephritis, or kidney failure, and was living at 11 Murray Ave.  Sarah's maiden name was Knapping. Charles is listed on the 1910 census as widowed and living with Robert and Carrie Macmillan at 5 Benefit St, however Mabelle is not listed.  However, however, that's the same address Mabelle is listed under in the Worcester Directory in 1906 and '07. Hmm...  Did she get remarried in 1907? Did she DIE?  Augh!

Worked on Prelude 1 muscle memory.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Working on new fingerings for Prelude 1 that will help with hand-crampage.  Also working on getting new fingering memorized over old fingering.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tried doing more string calcs today, but need either the density of material (google turned up a range of 1276-1360 kg/m3 for gut and 1000-1140 kg/m3 for nylon) or the weight in lbs/in.  I am NOT weighing all 45 of my harp strings individually with a vintage post office scale from Goodwill.  Will call Vanderbilt and/or L&H tomorrow during open hours - the left coast is so behind everyone else.

Worked more on technique today and building up muscles to record Prelude 1. Prelude 3 is equally challenging.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Insónia is up!
Finished up Insónia today and going to post it later.  There's a lot of finger noise, but I'm pretty impressed with how well I played it.

Played more than practiced today, but did work on technique with Prelude 1 to see if I could adjust anything so my hands don't cramp up after more than one playing.  I found my right thumb needs to move differently - 2nd knuckle of thumb aimed towards 1st knuckle of 1st finger in the upper registers is the best I can describe it. This means my hand is at a different angle, too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Recorded Insónia today on a whim.
Need to:
+ listen to all 4 or 5 takes
+ pick out best one or parts
+ stitch together (in progress)
+ make reverse intro
+ post to site
+ apply reverb and filters

ETA: + and rest delts. or stretch them or something.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Finished up the string meas, the diameter is .01" less stretched.  Made a few charts to double check my numbers were right. Next up, calculations!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I feel like I learned nothing yesterday!  Need more work on percussion.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Still trying to record Prelude 1. It's hard to get any useful takes because my hands cramp up playing it after one time through.

Working on Prelude 3 and trying to coordinate soundboard taps. I'm definitely not a percussionist and they're easier to play faster.

Measured some string lengths, but had to stop because I was bending and craning my neck repeatedly.  String lengths may vary by up to 1/8" because I don't have sn accurate tool to measure them. What would you use?

Monday, January 30, 2012

I always forget when I'm sick how exhausting it is to hold up my arms to play.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"When silencing parts between vocal lines, please keep in mind that a sudden drop in background ambiance can have an bad effect, so at the very least fade the area around the silenced part, to minimize that effect. Rules to start with are, fade in quickly and fade out slowly. Alternately, use the envelope tool to lower the volume in that area. That way, you can comfortably change it later." - Audacity  The envelope tool doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Yet.

"When you're satisfied, fade out the last two thirds of the overlapping upper part of the track, and fade in the first two thirds of the lower overlapping audio." - Audacity  - emphasis mine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I've been exercising, adjusting my harp, and letting it settle.

Today, I started work on Prelude 2, and had just decided to try to record again, when it started (loudly) pouring rain.  Another day then.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Urg. This - - is what happened.  Usually, I plug the Zoom into my computer and it's no problem, but now it's saying it's plugged into F: instead of G:.  How do I fix that?  By doing the workaround found here: But does it work...  Yes! 

Now on to practicing...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Harp is finally restrung AND almost settled and string gauges measured.  I think I will measure the string gauges under tension, too, but after my harp has really settled. Maybe in a month? Or a couple weeks since then it will be next month.  This year is already flying by.

I exercised mostly today because Audacity was not playing my file properly so I couldn't hear what I wanted to work on.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Harp is finally restrung "properly" after having been strung "more properly" - moving the strings up one hole in the soundboard centered the strings in the discs up to 1st octave G!  I would expect harps normally only have this happen in the 7th - 4th octaves, and my soundboard is really not bowed out by much at all.

I'm also measuring string diameters as I'm cutting off the ends in prep for calculating tension/length/pitch.

This also means I could start recording again.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Worcester > City Information >Business Directory
Listed under Teachers > Music
11 Murray Ave: 1903, 1904
765 Main: 1905
5 Benefit: 1906, 1907

Listed under Orchestras
Alhambra String Quartette, Mrs. M.L. Childs, Director
11 Murray Ave: 1903, 1904, 1905

Friday, January 6, 2012

She is listed in the 1906 Cat Register book as owning a cat with one Mr. James H. Howland.  Maybe that had something to do with the divorce?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

On the 1900 census for Worcester Mass, there is a listing for Hattie M.L. Childs, musician.  It's got to be her!  She lived at 11 Murray Ave (possibly in an apartment) with her husband Harry A. who was a bookkeeper in a Printing? shop. She was born in Apr 1870, as was her husband.  They had been married 5 years and had no children.

Searching marriage records by Harry's name, I found a listing for him and Hattie M Lynn Kittridge on 12 April 1895,  so I really do think it's her. However on the marriage record, she's listed as a bookkeeper, too.  I wonder if she just up and decided to play the harp one day...

Her parents on the 1900 census are listed as: Charles W Barker,​ Sarah E Barker, on her marriage license they are: Charles W, Sarah E Knapping. ???

And sadly, Harry is listed as divorced in the 1910 census and living back at home with his mom.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm continuing to cobble together different pieces of Prelude 2. 

The 2nd sequence of chords is out of tempo, even with the metronome!  And I'm not able to remove the metronome clicking because I've already deleted the sample areas I could have used.

I need to re-record the whole thing after I restring my harp.

I'm becoming more of a critical listener (I hope).