Magic of music
It was an enlightening session when Christopher Wiltshire, senior examiner at the Trinity College of Music,London, explained the nuances of Western classical music. A report.
CHRISTOPHER WILTSHIRE'S zest and sense of humour were almost contagious. The ease with which he spoke, even as his fingers deftly danced on the keys of the piano, was fascinating. And during the entire session, the musician, trained at the Royal Academy of Music, had the discerning audience at the British Council that morning, entirely spellbound.
As part of its 125th anniversary, the Trinity College of Music, in London, is organising Music Roadshows, as they call it, in all the major cities of our country. The Chennai sessions, which were held at the British Council for the most part, for four days, comprised workshops that included active interactive meetings on music.
Christopher Wiltshire, a senior examiner at the Trinity College, gave tips to teachers of music on the methodology to be adopted and the standard expected by the examiners in London.
Mr.Das and his Musee Musical (No.73, Anna Salai. Ph: 8522780; 8516474), the local representative of Trinity College, are bound to be familiar names to the musically inclined. And for those with a yen for music, they are coming out with more interesting packages. That the music school at Musee Musical which trains students for all the grades of western music, has the assessment done by the Trinity College, London, is a fact known to many.
But the latest here is that the Trinity Board will soon offer exams in Indian music too. The certificates awarded will again be internationally recognised a definite shot in the arm and a matter of pride for our very own Classical Music. Examinations in rock and pop are also on the cards. "We are working out the modalities and the launch will be in the near future," says an enthusiastic Mr. Das.
Kishore, also an integral part of Musee Musical, adds, "Not many seem to be aware of the fact that these qualifying exams are recognised in 80 countries around the world." It is indeed a matter of honour for Musee Musical that many of the great names in music today, including A. R. Rahman and Ilaiyaraja have passed through its portals as students of Trinity. So naturally Trinity's workshops in Chennai recently had eager participants even from places like Tirunelveli and Yercaud.
Christopher's simple approach to the dynamics of music would have made even a layman comprehend the points made. Be it the introduction to the new 2003 piano repertoire, or the plain history of music or the simple reference to Mozart's piano, which had a wooden frame instead of a metal one, all facts came with the touch of light heartedness and wit. Knowledge of major and minor details about music, betters musicality and performance, he felt.
From the Baroque to the classical, from the romantic to the chromatic and to the jazz of the 1920s which expanded, became "complicated" and paved way to the blues, rock `n' roll and pop, Christopher gave the gathering lucid glimpses in a succinct and telling manner. And as the demonstrations on the piano went on simultaneously, they became lively, enjoyable and rewarding for the listener and the presenter.
The rapid presto, the smooth legato, the short staccato, the grand largo and the quick and lively vivace, were played as he explained why they had to be done in a particular manner. He also showed how certain pieces lent themselves to different speeds, other than the one mentioned by the editor of a composition.
So when he took up Jean-Philippe Rameau's "La Joyeuse", marked Allegro, suggesting the musician begins loudly, you could understand what Christopher meant when he said too much of speed, if adopted here could make it "frenetic cartoon music".
Though Christopher Wiltshire touched upon the musical greats, Handel, Haydn, Schumann, Schubert and Beethoven, you could see his face light up every time he mentioned Johann Sebastian Bach. "The beautiful music" of Bach could be played in so many different ways, he said.
It lends itself to any mood and could be sad, pensive, joyous, soft and romantic. And whether it is the Organ or the harpsichord, Bach would always work, he went on.
When with a smile Kishore told you that the informative and interesting workshop would go on for another extra day, it was hardly a surprise.
Send this article to Friends by