Archive for the ‘Tempo Markings’ Category

Step # 8 Tempo Markings for the Intermediate Oboist

# 1

In addition to tempo markings or beats per minute there are tempo markings that gradually change the tempo.  Rallantando or Ritardando (rall. or rit.) indicate that the music is going to gradually slow down.  In large ensembles your conductor will conduct everyone in the group so that all musicians are slowing down together.  However, in chamber music with just a few players one person in the group has to be the leader and conduct the small group with their instrument as the group performs.  Your music director will help you with this technique.

# 2

At times the music becomes more exciting with a gradually faster tempo.  The marking is indicated in your music to gradually play at a faster tempo is accelerando (accel).  The music gradually moves more quickly, and again, this change of tempo must be conducted to keep all the musicians together in a large ensemble and the chosen leader of a small ensemble.

# 3

In a single piece of music there can be a major tempo change or changes throughout the music.  These can be suddenly and immediately change the style or mood of the music.  When playing a medley of different tunes for a musical, there often are many changes of tempo requiring the oboist to be prepared to make these adjustments of tempo or beat.

# 4

When playing oboe in a large ensemble, watching the conductor at all times is necessary.  It is important to be able to see the conductor’s beat while reading your music.  When there are major changes of tempo it is important for the oboist to memorize these moments in the music and look directly at the conductor.  This is especially true with the downbeat of the first note of any piece of music and the last cutoff of the last note of any piece of music.

# 5

It is important for the oboist to know how to conduct with their instrument.  To start a duet, trio, quartet, or quintet you want to first have the attention of others.  To start the first note on the downbeat you want to give your colleagues a preparation beat with your oboe.  You make one gesture upward and then when you come downward you and your fellow musicians will start together.  You will need to practice this repeatedly with your school director so all in your small ensemble are comfortable with your preparation beat and downbeat.

# 6

At the end of a piece of chamber music or at the end of a section of music where the sound stops, the oboist needs to cutoff the players in a chamber ensemble setting.  Again, there is a preparation beat and then the cutoff gesture which can be a downbeat.  Be sure there is point (ictus)  to your beat so your colleagues know the speed of the beat when you are starting and when you are stopping.  Again, this requires practice so that everyone is comfortable and playing together without difficulty.

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