Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
920bpm

Flute/oboe High Register Dynamics Question

Recommended Posts

I'm writing a wind quartet piece at the moment with this (attached) passage in it. What I'm going for is the bassoon playing the bass note and the clarinet playing the melody in the 3rd stave as the prominent voices in the texture, but with the two upper lines playing as softly as possible, almost as if they're faint upper harmonics of the clarinet line or something.

 

So what I'm wondering is: would it work having the flute playing the most high line (and oboe playing the second highest line) or would the flute be too loud in that register? Would it be better the other way (oboe playing the highest line, flute underneath)? What about flute playing the highest line as whistle tones?

post-2024-0-27253800-1367550659_thumb.pn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely it's easier for oboe to play pianissimo in high range (not above high e though) but don't you think it's a bit useless to use five piano letters? Aren't two or max. three enough?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pianississimo is literally as quiet as possible. If you want to stress it being any quieter than that indicate it as a performance direction, adding more p's will not have any effect on performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, yes the ppppp's are a bit extreme. Maybe it would be ok to write ppp and then say something like "(as softly as possible)".

 

So oboe would be softer in the high register, but not on the F note? What a dilemma...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just checked and Ligeti goes up to pppppppp and ffffffff in his piano etudes, so ppppp is really not so radical you guys hohoho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just checked and Ligeti goes up to pppppppp and ffffffff in his piano etudes, so ppppp is really not so radical you guys hohoho

 

Lordy, I'm not even sure how I would play anything beyond fff or ppp (and I play brass which tend to have the reputation of being able to play a blastissimo!).  As a general rule I do not use anything beyond fortissimo (ff) and pianissimo (pp)--I just don't think anything beyond those two markings is really feasible...but that's just me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think using any number of P's or F's if fine; technically, you're not really saying to get any quieter than PP, you're just either allowing much more precise directional control or you're absolutely forcing your performers not to ignore the marking. On the actual subject though, the flute's top register is very difficult to play very quietly, though a professional could do a decent job of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just checked and Ligeti goes up to pppppppp and ffffffff in his piano etudes, so ppppp is really not so radical you guys hohoho

 

You're not Ligeti, nor will you ever be anything even close.

 

 

Favorite Composers:Igor S., Olivier M., Gyorgy L., Ennio M., Toru, Morton, Bela etc...

Just write the names out, you hipster turd. What, you're personal friends with morton feldman and bela bartok? Do you have tea parties with their corpses? Get over yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Stockhausen wrote a string quartet to be played from helicopters, you wanna do that too? How about writing a new 4:33? Does the fact that other people have done ridiculous or extreme things really justify you being asinine and insulting the intelligence of your performers?

 

Ligeti was an asshole, and a pompous prick who happened to be really good at what he did. He also led an incredibly different life than you.

 

Flutes are hard to play loud at the bottom, and hard to play soft at the top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL, lighten up you two. I already said the ppppp in the example was a bit extreme. It is a hastily whipped up draft after all. And the post about Ligeti was clearly not serious, but maybe you have trouble comprehending stuff like that? Or getting to the ends of sentences...

 

Surely it's easier for oboe to play pianissimo in high range (not above high e though)

 

Flutes are hard to play loud at the bottom, and hard to play soft at the top.

 

On the actual subject though, the flute's top register is very difficult to play very quietly, though a professional could do a decent job of it.

Thank you for actually answering my question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kibbletime

you hipster turd.

people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say turn it up to 11.   :D

 

The point about marking it obnoxiously to be sure that the performers know you really mean it is a legit point, but I agree, a written out direction might be a classier way of achieving the same end.  pppppppp...  is funny if someone knows you personally, but otherwise your wind players are likely to just look at it and go...  uhhhh...  okay there, weirdo, I get it.  There's nothing wrong with writing exactly what you said you were looking to achieve:  "barely audible, as if an overtone of the oboe."  Or something like that.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kibbletime

or stay true to your vision and overcome the physical limitations with extended/prepared techniques. like stick a mute in them move them offstage and digitalise everything and put an expander on it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...