Orefici Melodic Studies

Orefici's Melodic Study #4. Discussion of endurance and strategies for playing longer phrases. Performance of the 4th study by Terry B. Ewell. BDP #328. www.2reed.net.

[Music: Orefici’s Melodic Study #5, performed by Terry B. Ewell]

Hello, I am Terry Ewell. Welcome to this video on practicing Orefici’s Melodic Study number 4.

This study reminds me of the verse in Hebrews 12:1 where it says “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

This study features two parts that are in the same tempo. The A section features moderately fast finger work, which has some technical difficulties. This section also contains a repeat, which challenges the player to fight through oxygen deprivation while seeking accuracy. But the worse part is yet to come! The middle B section features very long phrases with only a few places to breathe. This also is repeated, which further stresses the stamina of the performer. Then the Da Capo repeats the whole A section.

This study is particularly challenging for women, who in general have two thirds of the vital lung capacity of men of similar age.[1] It is also a challenge for older adults. The average male at age 60 has 15% less available lung capacity than the average male at age 20.[2] I have worked diligently all my life to keep my large lung capacity, but when I perform this now at age 61, I do struggle much more than when I was in my 20s.

What can you do to increase your endurance? There are several things that will encourage lung flexibility and aerobic fitness.

·       Aerobic activities such as running, swimming, fast walking, etc. will help performers.

·       There is some evidence that lung capacity can be expanded by use of the Incentive Spirometer. This is a device that measure inhalation, helping the person to expand their lungs as much as possible.

·       Practicing long phrases and long tones will also help.

There is more information and suggested exercises available in my publication Wind Performer’s Guide to Increasing Endurance. This is published on Lulu.[3]

Of course, there are many places in the Orefici Study #4 where one could use circular breathing. If you are interested in learning this technique you can view some of my videos. However, in this study the purpose is to breathe only where indicated or there are rests. For this reason, I do not circular breathe in my performance of the study.

Last of all, choose a reed that takes less air to play. A reed with a more closed aperture and a thinner tip will help.

This study is one of the gems in the collections. I hope that you are able to master it!

[1] Charles Herbert Best. Best & Taylor’s Physiological Basis of Medical Practice, 10th edition

(Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co, 1979), p. 481.

[2] http://www.ageworks.com/information_on_aging/changeswithaging/resp.shtml (accessed 04 March 2013)

[3] http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-b-ewell/wind-performers-guide-to-increasing-endurance/ebook/product-20941958.html


[Performance of Orefici’s Melodic Study #5]

[Music: Orefici’s Melodic Study #5 performed by Terry B. Ewell]
Copyright © 2021 by Terry B. Ewell. All rights reserved.