<Music from Vivaldi's bassoon concerto "La Notte">

So this last video will give you a chance to practice ornamentation and to compare it to 
ornamentation that of some of my students and I have done in the past. What I 
suggest you do is start the tape [video], when I tell you to stop the tape [video] (and 
look at some of the examples there) you should stop it and do some work. Then return 
to the tape [video] after you've done the work. You will learn the most by practicing 
this yourself.

You can find all these examples on www.2reed.net. I am showing you the link in this video later.

I hope you enjoy it, bye.

Well it is now time to test your knowledge, to see if what you've learned in the prior four videos 
on ornamentation will put you in good stead for this example.

I have a few suggestions here for you, so let's begin. Be sure that you consider the harmony.

In the example I give here, the practice example, you have the harmony I am giving to you 
(so you will understand that). But in the future when you ornament Baroque music you will 
need to look at the figure bass or if you have a realization look at what the editor has provided 
for you as the other notes.

Now be sure you think as a composer. Make the ornamentation interesting. It should be a 
beautiful melody. Create a melody that logically leads from the beginning to the end of 
the segment.

Make sure it's interesting above all, and captivates your listener.

Try out your melody by playing it. It should fit well on your instrument. You should be 
comfortable with it, after all it is your melody. Test it out with a keyboard instrument also 
to make sure that the harmonies work.

Now here's the practice example I have made available for you. You can get that practice example 
by going to www.2reed.net/bdp--that's BDP for bassoon digital professor--and you can see here 
that we got "#ornamentation."  So it will be on the page, there will be videos there, but [most importantly there will be materials that you can download that accompany these videos.

What you find here in the picture below is your assignment. Notice the rectangle with a red 
border around it, that's your assignment. If you look at the notes here it really isn't very interesting. 
In fact this is sort of a skeleton of a melody, the bones, if you will.  Now you need add flesh 
and sinew to this making it a beautiful lyrical line.

So you'll be working on this assignment. You start the beginning go to the end and will even 
finish on that note [Bb3] there. 

OK let's look at the harmony. Now if you're not familiar with figure base you wouldn't be able 
to read this assignment here very well. We have a G and the bass and there is no number given with it, no figures. That means it's in root position. So a chord in root position built on that G is a G major triad. You have a G-B-D as part of that triad.

The next chord we find--this is in a measure 14--is a D in the bass and that chord also is without a figure. Therefore it is in root position, a D major chord.

All right it is now time to get to work. Be sure you play your example before you start this video 

Well, how did you do? I hope that was interesting for you and you had very many creative 
ideas working through this problem here, this little melody.

Now what I want to do is download the responses from www.2reed.net and take a look at those 
on your instrument or piano. Compare them to what you wrote. What is it you like about what 
you wrote? What is it you like about the responses? What problems do you see in what you 
wrote and in the responses?

In a moment I will be commenting on each response, giving you the ideas that I have found;
but I want to know to study them before you hear my responses so that you're learning from these.

Well this is the first response and frankly it's the most disappointing of the bunch. Its boring. 
There wasn't a lot of originality that when in to it. In this case we just added a quarter note in 
each measure to the notes that were given. It's] very dull, it is not very inspiring and as such it 
should be rejected and something better should be done.

Now let's move onto the next response.

Well, response number two is a significant improvement over response number one. The author 
of this one has left the first measure pretty much alone--not a bad idea--and then created 
some ornamentation here that really flows in nicely as a line with one problem, however.

We have a G major harmony in the first measure and probably that harmony continues to the 
second measure. If not then you need to consider a chord that meets the D major harmony in 
this measure better. The E natural, the leap to the E natural, however,  does not sound like it 
fits with the harmony. It really does create a problem in this measure so it needs to be revised.

We move to D major here. This measure works quite nicely.

But again we have a harmonic problem in this measure going down the E doesn't seem to 
match a D major harmony or does it quite match a harmony that seems to lead well to the 
next measure. So that would need to be revised as well. But there are a nice ideas here: 
The melody flows. There's a mix of steps and skips that look quite appealing.

OK, let's go on now to response number three. 

Here we have response number three with many admirable ideas, but there are few corrections 
we need to make in this to bring it more into practice with the Baroque period. Leaving the first measure alone is just fine. Again you are changing the other measures, showing variation after the 
first measure, that's fine. The leap of the tritone is a little bit awkward. You do occasionally see 
these leaps in Baroque music, but for the most part you want avoid those. Leaps that are difficult 
to sing may be ones that you need to avoid using in your composition. So that's a little bit of 
awkward and it should probably be revised here. This articulation, slur two tongue two, is almost 
never used in the Baroque period. [Notice repeated twice.] I had trouble thinking of where I had 
seen that articulation [repeated]. It would make much more sense to slur these  three adjacent notes 
and then tongue the third. That is a very common Baroque articulation and brings out the fact that 
you have three notes that are step wise, one with a skip. Slurring steps together and tonguing skips would be a very good idea there.

Now this last measure I flagged not because it's necessarily wrong or bad or anything like that, 
but actually I find it really quite interesting and it does work quite well. Now we have a D major 
chord starting in this measure here and presumably continuing on into this fourth measure here in 
this example. But there's no reason why you can't vary that a little bit. The author here has a D 
major implied chord on the downbeat or perhaps the A [chord] goes there. But then has this 
arpeggio then leading back to D. Actually this works nicely. In this context the A chord leads back to the D, this being a D7 chord which then resolves back to the G major chord, the "I" [chord] . So 
this is a nice idea of some merit here. I wanted to point that out for you. OK, now on to response number four.

Well here we have one of the most innovative of the responses, certainly an adventuresome 
response to this a compositional problem here. This composer took the first measure and did 
some variation on it with the lower D here. We move to the second measure which moves nicely
 with steps, trills. Notice with it being approach from above you don't need to have the appogiatura 
on this trill so leaving that off is really a good idea.

This is quite unusual to go to the upper A (A4). If there is any weaknesses [in this ornamentation] 
it is the fact that I usually reserve the higher register for later in the composition rather than 
introducing early on as a way to show more of a climax later. But this is really quite expressive.

Then we end of this last measure with a nice articulation here, nice slurring. There's one weakness 
I found here. You have a lot of eighth notes, you have a lot a motion going forward and then all o
f a sudden we stop on this one beat. It's better to have longer value notes in the beginning and as 
you come to the and of your segment, or the end of phrases, or the end of the piece to make the 
motion move forward. It seems to be a bit of an abrupt halt here, which I think with either
eighth notes are maybe two quarter notes could be very, very easily fixed. This is a very nice response and really has a lot of merit. OK, let's go one to response number five.

Here we have response number five. This does a good job of varying with ornamentation the 
given line. We've got some changes to the first measure. We then have a repetition of the 
first measure with further development. See how these two [measures} naturally lead 
[one from another]. The third measure here seems to harken back to our first measure. We then 
have some variation and then the fourth measure has the most complication of all. You can see 
how these eighth notes move through to the last trill here. So this is a very strong response. If 
there's any weakness to this response it is the fact that all of the ornamentation is done through arpeggios or arpeggiation. This is fine for these four measures, but if all the ornamentation 
in this movement is just arpeggiation than that will be a very, very boring. So you do need
some stepwise motion mixed in at times. But this is a very strong of response that does 
show creativity to it and would work really quite well.

Well, I hope that this been helpful. That you can see different ways in which you can ornament.

Understand [that there] is not necessarily right or wrong ornamentation, but there are better and 
there are worse solutions.

You want to find solutions that are historically viable, are expressive, and bring forth just the 
very best of your playing in your personality.

I hope you have enjoyed this. God bless you, bye.

<Music: “Il Sonno” from Vivaldi's bassoon concerto "La Notte">