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The First Four Notes Free read ô 100 º ❮BOOKS❯ ✯ The First Four Notes ⚡ Author Matthew Guerrieri – A uniue and revelatory book of music history that examines in great depth what is perhaps the best known and most popular symphony ever written and its four note opening which has fascinated musicA uniue and revelatory book of music history that examines in great depth what is perhaps the best known and most popular symphony ever written and its four note opening which has fascinated musicians historians and philosophers for the last two hundred years Music critic Matthew Guerrieri reaches back before Beethoven’s time to examine what The First. Was Beethoven JewishI have spent a day with this book and I can’t go on Not because it is horrid but because it is wonderful Every page is not only informative it’s inspiring The conseuence is that it’s got me off pursuing obscure possibilities that lead to further conjectures to research to possibilities potentially ad infinitum So I’m calling it a day until I can recover some euilibriumHere’s an example of what I mean Guerrieri starts with the hidden except to musicians eighth rest that begins the Fifth Symphony Who knew This magnificent work begins in silence Then it occurs to me in a flash that this rest serves exactly the same function as the silent consonant Aleph in Hebrew Although it has no sound in itself Aleph indicates a sort of preparation for the speech to follow euivalent to the conductor’s baton stroke The kabbalists consider the Aleph therefore to be the silent origin of all words indeed of the entire universe from the mouth of God The parallel with the creative mind of Beethoven is irresistible particularly in light of the fact that he was almost certainly entirely deaf when he wrote the symphony From nothingness to existence and yet an existence that is of a fundamentally different kind to its creatorMeditation on the eighth restAleph then leads to further thought The rest creates an odd musical stress as Guerrieri discusses in detail Although the piece is in 24 time there is only one beat and that is on the last note of the bar dah dah dah DUM This too is the general rule in Hebrew in which the stress moves toward the final syllable the mil ra This is very unlike most European languages in which the emphasis tends to move toward the initial syllables with a conseuent historical loss of final sounds It’s why English has few distinct noun cases; German has a few but these are indicated by the form of the definite or indefinite article not in the noun itself So Beethoven’s dramatic emphasis on the last note is in a sense unnatural for a German speakerIn my fevered state speculation on this unusual stress then becomes frantic Treating the bar as a phrase rather than a word The poetic meter of the first four notes is something called uartus paeon a poetic foot consisting of four syllables any one of which is accented or stressed In the Fifth Symphony it is of course the last musical word in the phrase Hebrew poetry at least its biblical form has no clear metrical structure However it does make a distinction between open syllables which end on a vowel and closed syllables which end on a consonant In the former vowels are long; in the latter preceding vowels are shortened given extra punch if you will to the final consonant This I think is the Hebrew poetic euivalent to the structure of Beethoven’s first bar giving even strength to that final musical word DUM while shortening or softening the previous notes in a sort of closed poetic formOn a roll now I can see the afternoon lost in the arcane subtleties of Hebrew grammar One of the peculiarities of Hebrew is that it doesn’t express verb tenses past present future and so forth with separate forms as in English and other European languages Most often the tense of a verb has to be picked up from context something that makes biblical translation a real art form little understood by evangelical literalists Interestingly the first four notes of the Fifth G and E flat are as Guerrieri points out ambiguous as to their key They could develop in several tonal directions It is not until the seventh bar that the key is ‘established’ as Beethoven’s favoured C minor This is eerily like a typical Hebrew sentence whose tense can’t be determined until sufficient context has been establishedAt this point I have become too overheated to continue Clearly as the economist pointed out if any of this were credible someone would already have picked up the ten pound note off this particular musical floor The human imagination is indeed a strange critter Someone stop me

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Lar belief Beethoven was not deaf when he wrote the Fifth He traces the Fifth’s influence in China Russia and the United States Emerson and Thoreau were passionate fans and shows how the masterpiece was used by both the Allies and the Nazis in World War II Altogether a fascinating piece of musical detective work a treat for music lovers of every stripe. A book about about the intellectual reaction to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony than the music itself Shows how different intellectual traditions used Beethoven's work to forward and reinforce their own agendasAs such an interesting sampling of intellectual traditions although the discussion of Hegelianism is the most uninteresting and opaue but not surprisingly since Hegel is always boring and opaueIt is interesting how the uncreative ie the critic turned beethoven's creative work into their own career opportunities

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The First Four NotesEpubmight have influenced him in writing his Fifth Symphony and forward into our own time to describe the ways in which the Fifth has in turn asserted its influence He uncovers possible sources for the famous opening notes in the rhythms of ancient Greek poetry and certain French Revolutionary songs and symphonies Guerrieri confirms that contrary to popu. Once in conversation with Antal Dorati then conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC he told me “You must remember that every time you perform the Beethoven Fifth Symphony in concert half the audience will never have heard it all the way through another third of that has never heard it performed at all and the final third has never heard it played by a professional orchestra So to almost all of your audience even the Beethoven Fifth will be a new experience” Hard as that is to believe it is probably true Yet everyone has heard the opening three Gs and an E flat in some form during their lifetimes The first four notes have represented Fate Death God and victory plus who knows how many other things but to this author they represent much than mere symbols; he traces those four notes through the rest of music history philosophy politics and mythology in a dense but rewarding study of a signal work in the artistic history of the West He goes into the myths surrounding the work—no Beethoven was not deaf when he wrote it for example and with infinite patience traces its transmogrification into pianists’ repertoires as well as rock studios I must admit that the most thrilling part of the C minor for me is the transition from the third movement scherzo into the glorious finale and the first appearance of the trombones in full voice It almost always depending on the performance lifts me partially out of my seat and makes me want to stand and shout But those first four notesPart of the discussion is about how the Germans struggled to maintain intellectual possession of the work Various French and English philosophers and aestheticians tried to kidnap the intellectual and cultural roots of the work but never succeeded Perhaps that explains in part why the Allies could use the Fifth as a symbol of winning the war—in Morse Code the three shorts and a long of the opening measures represents the letter “V” and yet the Germans kept playing the symphony as often as possible as well The Fifth soon became an international citizen usable by anybody who needed a psychological lift It will help you understand the book better if you have some musical education but it is not vital Philosophy might be help as background because it is the philosophical arguments that collide around the work that make it such a significant piece of art throughout the over 200 years since it was written Guerrieri touches on some of the technical problems of those opening notes As a conducting student in grad school I recall a very funny yet touching class in which one of the brightest of the students a pianist got “stuck” at the top of his downbeat unable to proceed until he lowered his arms shook out the tension and tried again to proceed to the downbeat The reason he froze was that the downbeat to the Fifth leads to silence—the piece starts with an eighth rest—and must convey not only the exact place for the downbeat and the resulting silence but the tempo at which the 3 eighth notes that follow must be played Then the conductor and the orchestra are confronted by a relatively short fermata or hold the cut off of which is the downbeat to the next measure which also ends in silence with three eighth notes followed by a longer hold Take my word for it if you have never tried to do it it is one of the sweatiest moments in any young conductor’s life to negotiate those few measures Then there are tempo problems throughout the symphony’s four movements The author spends considerable time discussing differences between conductors and Beethoven who had the opportunity to use a metronome and mark the tempi he wanted Most critics and musicians are in agreement that most of his markings are inappropriate for the music itself and the arguments go on This book is not light summer reading but it may lead to some pretty impressive summer listening and certainly a greater understanding of one of the most iconic single pieces of music in all of the history of the art Stick with it and realize how fascinating four notes—the first four notes—of a piece of music can be