Step # 9 Tempo Markings for the Advanced Oboist

# 1

With more sophisticated solo oboe literature there are a number of oboe solos with a cadenza.  At the moment  of a cadenza the accompaniment stops and just the oboists plays alone.  This is a very dramatic moment in the music.  The cadenza sounds like the oboe is talking to the audience.  Throughout the cadenza the tempo is gradually changing from slower to faster and faster to slower.  The cadenza sounds like a ballet dance looks-graceful.

# 2

Advanced oboists need to be taking a 30-60 minute private oboe lesson per week to successfully perform the concerto or sonata oboe literature.  In starting to  learn the cadenza  play it at one tempo from the beginning to  end.  Be sure you have the correct fingerings, rhythms, and correct notes.  Gradually change the tempo of each section of the cadenza and think of the gracefulness of a ballet dancer as you perform the cadenza.  Your visual picture of a graceful ballet dance is like the sound you want in your cadenza performance.

# 3

Much of the oboe literature was written during the Baroque period (1685-1750).  The tempo markings during this period of time tended to be slower than the tempo markings in later centuries (19th, 20th, and 21st).  Thus, allegro might be printed as  M.M. = 96 rather than 120-132.

# 4

There are many oboe pieces as well as chamber music, band music, and orchestral music written for dancing.  It is important to know the correct tempo of each dance style.  The dances can be in 2, 3, 4, or 6 beats per measure.  However, what is the speed of the beat or the note rhythm that receives one beat?  The dances were either solo dances, partner dances, line dances, or circle dances.  Some dances were very formal, others were in a folk style, and others were solo dances which could be very dramatic and very fast.  To best understand the various dances from various countries at various times in music history, oboists should actually take some dance lessons in each of the dance styles to better feel the music and picture the dancers and their moves. This gives advanced oboists the picture of style and tempo of each dance.

# 5

There are a number of choral pieces that feature solo oboe performances in the form of an obbligato or solo part sound above the choral melodies and harmonies.  For this style of music it is important for the solo oboist to pay close attention to the beat of the choral conductor and listen to the style of the choir so that the tempo between the conductor, choir, and oboe soloists are in sync throughout the composition.

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