A simple blog about things which an aspiring musician or music enthusiast might find interesting. New segments out on nonspecific dates. Author is available for answering questions and accepting comments. (More content available on web version)
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Friday, September 7, 2012
All of My Favorite Things
Three of the Best
Today I'm simply writing about three of my particularly favorite instruments, just 'cause. There is some insight in what follows, of course, but that's for you to take from it. People who don't play an instrument have a favorite instrument, even if they don't really think about it, but people who play an instrument also have a favorite- which may not be just the one that they play. I am no exception to this. In my case, I have three favorite instruments. I'll go into a little about what each one is and why they are my favorite (not in any order).
Firstly to mention, there is one instrument that, hands down, is one of my favorite instruments. I feel that any person must appreciate the simplicity and genesis of the string instruments. They are what the master classic arrangements are comprised of, and have been instrumental in musical development going back hundreds of years. They have constructed what it is to have music- what music is. However, to choose one of all the strings, well that isn't as hard for me as you might think. The first instrument I want to bring up is the cello. While I do have a love affair with the violin, the cello hits me deep. Probably the first time a cello really 'spoke' to me was when I heard some old Gothic arrangements where the instrument is truly master. I don't even remember what pieces they were that I heard, but the deep timbre of the cello stuck with me. The instrument is beautiful, and those who play it to potential are also beautiful. It defines what it means to posses musicianship. The way it speaks, to the way the vibrato sings, the cello is and always will be one of my favorite musical instruments, even if I was never really good at playing it.
Strings are classically beautiful instruments, but the next instrument is another kind of classic and is probably not surprising to anybody. The saxophone is just as much one of my favorite instruments as the cello. The king of jazz, the saxophone has been used by some of the most giant individuals, in terms of raw talent, to construct pure masterpieces in the world of jazz. Even today, we have new and aspiring pros who rise up to produce great jazz for everybody's listening pleasure. I myself play jazz, mostly focusing on bluesy smooth jazz and a lot of improvisation. Anybody who plays saxophone passionately has to at least try some type of jazz, as it's in the nature of the instrument. That said, there is another function of the saxophone that makes it my favorite instrument. The saxophone's ability to play in concert- to produce a classical sound -this makes it a truly wonderful instrument. With just the right control, the right horn, and a masterful sense of pitch, the saxophone may be transformed into a gentle wind, able to produce seductive solos, mimicking the ever classic oboe. The versatility of the saxophone, in all of its forms, makes it, in my opinion, one of the greatest instruments ever devised.
And yet another wind that deserves to be called the greatest is the before mentioned oboe. I have actually played the oboe, admittedly not too well or for too long, but it was an extremely enjoyable double reeded woodwind to learn (as I hope to continue in the future). The oboe is like a mix between the cello and the saxophone, a string and a wind, in that it has the flawless classicallity (a new word of mine) of the cello and the diversity and almost personality of the saxophone. As a great many sax solos in concert band are transposed from the oboe solo part (when there isn't an oboist), you can imagine just how incredible the parts sound when played by a competent oboist. It is used in concert, in symphony, in movie and show scores, and is in huge demand, as many are needed, but few play. Anyone who does play, well, I love them. Automatically, I love them. They do something which I find simply wholesome. Oh, and the snake charmer's song sounds cool on the oboe.
While those are my top three favorite instruments, I'll be honest: I love all instruments, as they all enable us to produce music- which is a pretty wonderful thing, right? And yes, that includes the human voice, all except mine, of course.