Orefici Melodic Studies

Orefici's Melodic Study #6. Discussion of the hidden melody in this study and the need to play both the melody and accompaniment. It contains a demonstration of how to play Study #6 in an ugly fashion. Performance of the 6th study by Terry B. Ewell. BDP #331. www.2reed.net.

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

Well, Study number 6 by Orefici is perhaps the most the most perplexing study in the group of twenty. And you can see that Orefici himself struggles with this particular study. The breath marks here are not for breaths. Leonard Sharrow rightly points out that you should breath after the eighth notes not after the sixteenths. The breath marks here rather are indications of four bar phrases.

Now, I have heard this study played in ways that are truly ugly. For instance, take this reading of the study.

[music: opening of Study #6]

Well, there is very little to commend itself with this type of playing, other than perhaps you get all of the notes. But it is truly ugly.

We are seeking something beautiful. God makes everything beautiful in His time, and I think that Orefici makes something very beautiful out of this. Let’s just take the first note of each measure and let’s consider that to be a melody.


Now, in that performance I moved some notes around in octaves. But you get the sense that indeed there is a melody shape here; there is a melodic line. Hidden in this study is that melody.

So, this is the challenge for you as a performer: Be both the soloist, bringing out the melodic line and the accompanist. Those sixteenth notes should be florid and accompanying this beautiful melody. This is truly and interesting challenge. This is part of the genius of Orefici in this series of studies. This is a melody so different. This is a melodic challenge so different from all of the rest. As a performer you really have to think about it and you really have to master how you will present that melodic line. 

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