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Thread: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Jim Garber, I would love to make it to a mandolin orchestra, that is on my "bucket list," when I retire. The closest one to me is in Pittsburgh, a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive. But I will get there some day!

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    Registered User Cochiti Don's Avatar
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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    One suggestion I would make for those who can read standard notation and live near a group like this is to join a mandolin orchestra. I played for a number of years with the New York Mandolin Orchestra and really honed my playing and reading. Barring finding an orchestra see if you can gather a few like minded folks and get together to read/rehearse, whatever you want to call it. Pick a few pieces and work on them.

    It is difficult to get into any music playing alone. It will also be a lot more fun.



    We used to play that piece in the NYMO. We also played Samuel Barber's Adagio and Gluck's Dance of the Blessed Spirits which are similar in feel, slow and beautiful. Also, the Bach piece known popularly as Air on a G String is in that realm too. The Gluck is especially sweet melody.

    It is an orchestral piece with solo flute but here is Segovia on guitar.



    And here is our own Martin Jonas playing it on mandolins:

    Oh man.............. I played classical guitar for a few years. I had forgotten that only Segovia can produce such sweet sounds
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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Bailey View Post
    A few years back I had this kind of thought, and began learning a piece. In the end it did so little for my heart that I returned to fiddle tunes. Even Thile playing Bach is of limited interest to me, I'm afraid it doesn't move me enough to demand the time. I used to wonder if this was some deficiency in my musical taste, but have since accepted that, like Shakespeare, it's just not for me (and I have taught many of his plays in school).
    As I move through my sixth decade I am content to accept that what is termed "classical" is, to my ears, little more than mathematics in musical notation and doesn't speak to me.
    I like this. Life is too short and precious to spend your time on things you think you should like, rather than what you do like.
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  4. #29

    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    As a relative beginner, some pieces I'd like to add are:

    J.S. Bach - Minuet in G, Bourree in E Minor, and March in D Major

    Handel - Bourree and Hornpipe from the Water Music Suite

    All of these should be within the abilities of most mandolinists.
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  5. #30

    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    In 2011 I was recruited to play the mandolin accompaniment to the well-known aria in Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. We did two performances at a local university. It was quite a challenge, especially as I had to memorize the part and play it on stage (as a street musician whom Don Giovanni hires to help him woo the woman he's singing to). The mandolin part is meant to be heard with the vocal, but it sounds very nice on its own. There is a very creative climb up the circle of fifths, which just goes to show that Mozart and dixieland aren't as far apart as one might think. The music is available in several classical mandolin anthologies. It helped me to hear it played well--there are several versions on line.

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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    The horizontal lines represent the strings the bottom line being your G string (mandolin) and top line being your E (again mandolin) the numbers represent the fret. If you have 4 string lines and there is a number 5 on the bottom line you fret your G string at the 3rd fret. The timing is the same as in regular music notation. Hope this helps. BanjoBen's lessons are a good place to start.

    Lisa

  7. #32

    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Quote Originally Posted by Grannycrowe View Post
    The horizontal lines represent the strings the bottom line being your G string (mandolin) and top line being your E (again mandolin) the numbers represent the fret. If you have 4 string lines and there is a number 5 on the bottom line you fret your G string at the 3rd fret. The timing is the same as in regular music notation. Hope this helps. BanjoBen's lessons are a good place to start.

    Lisa
    If there is a number 5 on the bottom line, you fret your G string at the 5th fret, not the 3rd.

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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    There are no classical pieces I should learn. I enjoy listening to classical, and had plenty of classical playing time (trombone) in bands, brass choirs, vocal choirs, and orchestras. I took a classical class with Caterina at a camp. To do it properly requires a very specialized technique. Having picked up mandolin later in life, I choose to invest no time in the pursuit of classical. Maybe if there was a local Mando orchestra Id change my mind. The folks with whom I jam are not in it for classical.
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  9. #34
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Quote Originally Posted by A-board View Post
    There are no classical pieces I should learn. I enjoy listening to classical, and had plenty of classical playing time (trombone) in bands, brass choirs, vocal choirs, and orchestras. I took a classical class with Caterina at a camp. To do it properly requires a very specialized technique. Having picked up mandolin later in life, I choose to invest no time in the pursuit of classical. Maybe if there was a local Mando orchestra I’d change my mind. The folks with whom I jam are not in it for classical.
    To each his or her own. I don't blame you at all. Maybe we should retitle this thread, "Top classical pieces every mandolin player might want know, assuming he or she were interested in playing classical but no pressure.... no, really."
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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    Jim Garber, I would love to make it to a mandolin orchestra, that is on my "bucket list," when I retire. The closest one to me is in Pittsburgh, a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive. But I will get there some day!
    I live three hours from the home of the Munier Mandolin Orchestra in Philadelphia. I made an arrangement with them that I would learn and practice the music on my own, make it to a few rehearsals when I could, and then be able to play play final rehearsal and concert. I find this works pretty well. I have a mandolin coach I work with on Skype to help me the the technicalities of playing classical music, and all I need the rehearsals for is to get the ensemble playing practice and the particulars the conductor wants.

    The whole thing works. I get to be part of Munier, work out the music and perform in the orchestra, without having to drive the three hours down and three hours back more than two or three times a year. For me it would not be possible without the coach.

    Just a thought.
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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Manjoman, if you are wanting to play classical or even other music you are much better off learning standard notation. There is a whole world of sheet music out there plus you are not limited to mandolin tab only. You can play music for other instruments in mandolin range.
    THIS!

    One will never get past the superficial in classical music without knowing how to read standard notation. It is the key to the repertoire.

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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    THIS!

    One will never get past the superficial in classical music without knowing how to read standard notation. It is the key to the repertoire.
    Coming to this thread rather late in the day - very interesting reading!
    I spent 40+ years as a professional cellist and only read standard notation. I also played guitar - both accoustic and classical, again from standard notation.
    In the last 25 years I have developed a violin workshop which has morphed in the last 7 years into a mandolin workshop thanks to a Canadian lutherie friend who intruduced me to Celtic music and the Mandolin.
    I have therefore developed a broad musical taste over the years. I now find that I am going back to my classical roots with so much wonderful music that can easily(?) be transcribed for the mandolin. Being trained in standard notation I can easily sight-read normal manuscript and my fingers will automatically go to the right notes.
    Tablature, on the other hand, I find extremely difficult to read and therefore cannot sight-read from it. It takes me so long to translate into notes on the fretboard that I end up writing it out in normal notation. By the time I've done all that I have learned what the music should sound like and have memorised the piece - and then I don't need the manuscript anyway! Such is life.......

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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Anything by R.Calace...

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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Although there are some classical pieces I enjoy listening to, I was not brought up or trained in it. It never appealed to me while playing keyboard or guitar. Even when this thread first came out, I was interested in reading everyone's comments but not in playing. Now that I'm almost 4 years in to mandolin - exploring more and more - and riding through my 6th decade, I find it alluring. My attempts at playing the pieces I know by ear fall short of what they should sound like in my mind. Finding scores in standard notation is the next step. We'll see where this path leads.
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    Default Re: Top classical pieces every mandolin player should know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    One suggestion I would make for those who can read standard notation and live near a group like this is to join a mandolin orchestra. I played for a number of years with the New York Mandolin Orchestra and really honed my playing and reading. Barring finding an orchestra see if you can gather a few like minded folks and get together to read/rehearse, whatever you want to call it. Pick a few pieces and work on them.

    It is difficult to get into any music playing alone. It will also be a lot more fun.



    We used to play that piece in the NYMO. We also played Samuel Barber's Adagio and Gluck's Dance of the Blessed Spirits which are similar in feel, slow and beautiful. Also, the Bach piece known popularly as Air on a G String is in that realm too. The Gluck is especially sweet melody.

    It is an orchestral piece with solo flute but here is Segovia on guitar.



    And here is our own Martin Jonas playing it on mandolins:

    Jim, thank you for posting that. Beautiful song.
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

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