Uploaded :-)

Waiting for it to go live! Next up are my own piano compositions, then after I accumulate a few more of them, the harp arrangements.

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Happy!

Not only am I happy because of the Grenser, but I’m also happy because I’ve just discovered that my two favorite fonts are on the copy of Adobe Illustrator to which I have access, and thus I think I can edit my copy of my Rodelinda Variations without screwing up the fonts.

I have access to Book Antiqua, Bookman Old Style, and Goudy Old Style, all of which I love and one of which I used in that collection, although I can’t recall which it was.

So I’m going to put the whole thing — all of the old AI files and the images I used to make them — on a USB and begin making the fine adjustments I’d wanted to make previously, and end up with a complete collection. Then, I can put it up here:

https://smppress.sheetmusicplus.com/

It appears they even have a contest, although I’ve missed the cut-off date for that this year. (Maybe not! The classical music cut-off date is July 2019!)

I could put the other original piano collection I have up there as well, but the arrangements will come first because they’re so damned much fun. This would be a nice way to put my music out there without having to make eye contact or come into proximity with anyone. And maybe I can put my harp stuff up there as well, once I have enough of it.

I’ve been pushing composing aside for a while, and maybe I’ll manage to keep up the motivation long enough to get something done. I should do it in Lilypond since it looks so nice, but I think MuseScore will be fine for my purposes.

If I enjoy it, it could be motivation for me to create my old planned collection of piano rags that I’d wanted to call “Rägtime: Piano works based on the operas of G. F. Händel.” I probably won’t have the time to really do it, but it’s a nice thought.

For now, what needs doing is to clean up the Rodelinda variations, assemble them into a PDF, and put them up on SMP Press. Ten bucks?

Gosh, this is a bit like being able to sell your fanfiction. 🙂

Yay!

I’ve gotten used to the Baroque 440 well enough that I can finally play that 10-tuple in the Vivaldi 443 second movement that I love so much!!!!

I even like the low D — it comes out beefy and dark every single time. I really do like this thing an awful lot. Plus I just found out that the meditation from Thaïs is in D Major, so it should be manageable on these flutes, as long as the range isn’t too insane. I know there are spots where it hops up pretty far, but that isn’t for a while. In the meantime, there’s plenty of Baroque stuff to play with.

Yeah, that Grenser is my BFF

I even put my Copley in its case and stowed it. The Aulos 440 Grenser repro is the only one out now. I’ve been playing it so much that even my intonation coping mechanisms are slowly assimilating to that one, which I really do love. I like the sound of it, I like the mechanical elegance of it, I like the ease of maintenance since it’s resin, I like everything about it. I’m even learning how to get a good G# out of it, or at least one that makes me happy.

There are some struggles — it’s hard to get the high notes out reliably, and the 1st harmonic G# is a toughie to get low enough, but I just really like this thing. Anything more than one key is too much. I miss the loudness and peppery quality of the Copley, but I do not miss the key-related struggles. Not having to struggle with the keys at all — and especially that blasted G# — is like getting out of pinchy shoes after a long day, plus the C# isn’t as flat. And with long tone practice, I’m evening out the cross fingered notes as well. (I can even play a few short phrases in flat keys without it sounding crappy.)

Oh, I do love the thing. This I think is my life’s flute. Complexity where I can navigate it, simplicity where I prefer it. And a small, convenient carry case as well. Now that I’m beginning to feel comfy on it, I can finally let myself admit to how very much I hate keys on a flute. Oh, maybe I need a diagonal G#. Maybe I need a bottom hand Bb.

Or how about I can just not have keys. (Well, one.)

And since it’s resin, I have no concerns about leaving it assembled and propped up next to my couch. Wood? It’s pretty, but you can keep it, thanks. I’m not fussing with oiling it, worrying about cracking, swabbing it out all the time, playing it in … nope. I like my 18th century flute, but in 21st century materials.

I’m going to try to unload the 415 Stanesby and the Viento on eBay at some point. Or maybe I can consign them through the Flute Pro Shop. The Copleys (the 6-key and the keyless F) will be mine forevermore, but the other two I can lose without looking back — and probably the keyless Cronolly as well. And the Tipple, why not? Why keep stuff I don’t want and never use?

I think I may have a new BFF.

Best Flute Friend, I mean.

At least for the moment, I seem to have decamped to the 1-key Baroque. Entirely. I do still like the more raucous sound of the Copley, but … I don’t know. I just like the 1-key. I like everything about it at this point. I like the feel, I like the sound, I like how it plays, I like everything about it. I have only it out next to my couch, and I’m happy with it.

And I mean my 440 Grenser repro from Aulos. I still need to get rid of the 415 Stanesby Aulos on eBay.

It is a truly beautiful thing to not care about my top pinky.

Long tones

I’ve known for some time that they’re good to do, and I just took it for granted that they were good for finding notes and getting better breath control, but wow howdy they really are sine qua non for the Baroque flute. I know that they helped me get my feet under me on my Copley, but I don’t think a Baroque is even playable without long tones to help one iron out the wrinkles on the cross-fingered notes. And given that the liphole is larger than on the Stanesby, it’s just easier to blow as well.

I’m really enjoying it, though. Another thing I really like about it is how I can focus on keeping my hands almost entirely relaxed. When you don’t have to negotiate keys, you really can focus on the idea of keeping your fingers as supple as possible and holding the flute as if you’re holding a butterfly. It takes time, and I have to just do maybe one measure at a time with a great deal of focus to ensure that my hands don’t get tense, but it makes a big difference. I also think that skill will translate well to the Copley. I’ve never been one to use my hands efficiently even on the piano (or harp), so having an instrument like this where I will have to be supple and relaxed will teach me a needed skill that I never managed to learn. It’s about time. I’ve always lived on the principal of my hands and not the interest at the piano, and I’m positive it’s held me back and may be part of why I haven’t sat at it for a while. It’s disheartening to sit at the thing, play a bit, then have my hands exhausted. I don’t know if it’s because there’s something wrong with hands or because there’s something wrong with my playing, and I think I’m trying not to make eye contact with that question, which of course is how every pressing problem is solved most efficiently, right? *sigh*

I remember reading an interview with a rock guitarist (can’t recall which one) who told a masterclass of kids that they would learn more about how to play an electric guitar well from playing an acoustic than they would ever learn from just an electric on its own. I have a feeling that playing the Grenser will have a similar effect on how I play my Copley as well.

Oh, it’s fun.

I only know the very beginning of the Bach because once I realized how rough it was on my hands to play the 415 Stanesby (and how poorly it sat on my Copley), I just stopped working on it. But it’s so much easier on the 440 Grenser.

I’m also learning the benefits of doing long tones on the cross-fingerings. I think I’ll have a much better G# on this one, as well as a decent Fnat/F#.

It’s here!!!

And I’m at work! This is pain!

🙂

I really look forward to getting used to this, and not having it negatively impact playing my Copley. The G# is much better on this than on the Stanesby as well, which is a nice surprise.

Going to get to work on that blasted Bach partita when I get home tonight.

Definitely more comfy, and a nice G#.

Giving it the finger

One of the more irritating things about the flute (which was not irritating about the piano at all and was almost a total game-stopper on the harp) is that my hands are very long but that all of the length is in my index and middle fingers. My ring fingers barely come up to the nail beds on my middle fingers. 😦

And I’ve just decided that I’m going to try not to always use my middle fingertip on my top hand anymore to cover the hole. I’m always so prim about that but it means that I have a hard time getting my ring finger where it needs to be since it’s so much shorter than my middle one. So top hand position will be gauged by whether the ring finger feels comfortable, and everything else will just have to fall into place based on that.

It’s another instrument where relative finger lengths matter more than just overall hand size, as on the piano. On the piano, my hands are pretty much ideal if not exactly Rachmaninoff-sized. If your ring fingers are slightly shorter relative to other fingers on that one, who cares? It’s length and stretch that count.