# Question one of many more to come

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cassanova, Jan 6, 2002.

1. ### cassanova

Sep 4, 2000
Florida
Ok, Im trying to better my site reading skills by using the Bach Cello suites, theres a bit i dont quite understand.

What am i supposed to do when i see the birds eye symbol above a note?

2. ### BoplicitySupporting Member

Where I learned to read music which wasn't in the U.S., that was a symbol often placed over the last note of the peice which meant to hold the note as long as the conductor signaled you to hold it. It was at his discretion, as opposed to notes or rests that are held for the length clearly indicated by the notation.

3. ### BoplicitySupporting Member

Fermata! That's it. I could only think of the Spanish name for the symbol. We called it a calderon. It means pause or hold. I thought it meant hold at the conductor's discretion, but I guess it could also mean hold at your own discretion (if you are playing a solo peice.)

4. ### cassanova

Sep 4, 2000
Florida
the birds eye that im seeing is above one note tied to the begining of the 3rd series of notes, (ex it goes, 2 and ah, then ties the ah to begining of 3 and ah) that make sense?

thanks to you both for your help.

5. ### jazzbo

Aug 25, 2000
San Francisco, CA
I can't tell if you're talking about a fermata or a tie, or something else entirely.

Look at the attachment I've downloaded, it's the first two bars of Suite I, Prelude. Now, I added some dynamic markings to try and see if we could figure out which one you're talking about.

First bar. 2nd note. D. It has a "0" above it. Sometimes classical books for stringed instruments may have numbers above or below notes. This will usually suggests fingerings. In this case, the zero, ("0") is an open string. You may see "1" or "2" or "3" or "4", all suggesting which finger to use for the note.

The first bar has the letter "p" under it. That stands for "piano", which means to play softly.

Some notes, like in bar 1, on the "and" of the second beat, the note, "B" has a curved line connecting it to the "D". This is a "tie." A tie will have you play the notes smoothly into one another, legato. The notes receive their full value, but connect smoothly and flow. Think of this as quite the opposite of staccato.

I added "cresc." below the "and" of the 1st beat of the second bar. This means "crescendo", or to gradually play louder.

The last note of the second bar, "E" has a fermata above it. This has been defined previously.

Are any of these what you're looking at? Or am I sounding patronizing?, as I don't intend to.

6. ### John DavisGuest

Mar 27, 2001
Houston, Texas
Isn't that bird-eye a coda?

7. ### jazzbo

Aug 25, 2000
San Francisco, CA
Good call John. The "bird's eye" may be a coda. I would think of that more as a "bull's eye" myself. Also, I don't know that any of the suites have codas.

If you're referring to the dynamic marking on my attachment, that's definitely a fermata.

8. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
The fermata you're refering to is tied to the next string of notes because, when you're done with the hold, you don't release the notes to go on. That make sense? Hold, go out of time, but don't release the notes to continue on.

Also, there are some horizontal lines over certain notes throughout the piece. Those are notes that recieve a little more 'weight' (also slightly out of time).

9. ### cassanova

Sep 4, 2000
Florida

I was wondering what those little black lines above the notes meant.

This stupid piece that you guys recomended to me is kicking my ass!! I totally feel like Johnny dufus when I attempt it.

Been meaning to ask you this for a short while now, just kept forgetting to ask.

10. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
Well, if you really want to get a better understanding, I recommend seeing if you can get ahold of a recording of the piece. There are many good ones out there, including one of Yo Yo Ma (I think he was on fire when he performed it, and on by Patitucci.

How long do you go out of time? How much extra weight do you give certain notes? That, my friend, is up to you. Interpretation is the performer's call. Listen to some recordings, see what you like and don't like and go from there.

It's a very hard piece of music, and I only recommended it because its a good way to get your reading in shape and it will help you develop a solid fingering system. The artistic part of it is even harder to get to....I did that piece for my Air Force audition, and it about kicked my ass, too. So don't feel bad. Just keep working on reading.

11. ### cassanova

Sep 4, 2000
Florida
thats whats really holding me back, is getting all the little nuances worked out, the P's the cresh, etc. I wont go to the next piece untill I can get thru the 1st without a single solitary mistake. Just working on this piece has definatly improved my fingering quite a bit. I feel more confident when I fret now, if that makes sense. And I will keep at it, because the benefits in the long run are well worth the agrivation now.