Notespinner

Thoughts on composing, teaching and performing music, by Fergus Black

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A concert opera on stage with orchestra

Unstaged Opera

My wife and I have been to the opera. But we prefer to go to unstaged opera: that's when an orchestra gives an orchestral concert, but instead of playing an overture, concerto and symphony, they play an opera instead, with the soloists standing out front.

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The West Front of Westminster Abbey with Union Jack projection.

The impact of Brexit on the Church musician

This humorous article about putting together a Lessons and Carols service for Christmas in the brave new world of the UK leaving the EU, first appeared in the December edition of the Stamford All Saints' December 2018 magazine.

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Musical Dreame - some of the best English enunciation

Singing in english

Why is it that some singers manage to pronounce words clearly when they are singing? and others do not. Opera singers are notoriously hard to understand: something I suppose to do with singing very loudly. Wide vibrato doesn't help, and singers have a lot of vibrato. I blame large auditoria.

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A pencil - 2B, the only hardness allowed for marking music

Pencils

I recently came across a comment by Richard Egarr of the AAM, in an interview for the Cambridge Alumnus Magazine. Does anyone else do this? Ban pencils in rehearsals?

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hands on an organ keyboard

Nerves

I was depping on the organ the other day in a normal parish church near here. It was communion, and the choir was trying to sing And Didst Thou Travel Light by Richard Shephard under my direction from the piano.

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A drawing of a woman with fingers to her temples, concentrating.

Memory Lane

Some pianists, (many well-known concert artists, in fact) find playing from memory easy, and some find it very difficult. The pointers in this article, from Pianist magazine, may help.

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