adding harmony

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Rudy Mueller
Posts: 475
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

adding harmony

Post by Rudy Mueller » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:56 pm

I am a lazy zither player, preferring to keep the ring finger of the left hand on or near the second fret, and moving the left hand and its fingers as little as possible. Being an old Schuhplattler, I also have a soft spot for Ländlers, and especially the trio/waltz part of the Plattler.

In many arrangements of this type of music (ex Tölzer Kirta Tanz, Im Heimgarten v 2, sections 2 and 3 of the score) , one frequently encounters a high "G" on the "a" string (single or as a bunch of eighth notes), all by itself (or by themselves) with no harmony, usually followed by an e and or e/c combination on the "a"string, and etc.

I have found it much easier to play the high "g" with harmony, ex a "c" on the "a" string along with a "g" or "e" on the "d" string,

or, a "b" on the "a" string and an "f" on the "d string.

These are not in the master's arrangement, but not only sound more pleasant, are, more importantly (for a lazy player like me), leaving the fingers of the left hand in position and "rarin' to go" to play the next group of quarter/eighth notes.

So, my question is, is it valid to add harmonics to a CLASSIC arrangement, if adding them makes the piece not only much easier to play...but also sound more pleasant?

This was really underscored today when trying to teach the trio section of the Z 2 part of "Frohe Herzen", (Dondl, Münchner Spielabende). Adding an "f" dotted half note on the "d" string in measure 9 of the trio, a quarter note "a" to the 10th measure, allows the entire sequence of 4 measures be played with ONLY the index finger of the left finger...wandering up and down between the a, d, and g strings, and the harmony is pleasant.

When you teach, you learn twice.

Rudi, da Oida

Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: adding harmony

Post by kenbloom » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:30 am

Hi Rudi,
I guess my approach may be somewhat different from others with different backgrounds but I see nothing wrong with what you describe. I often tell my students "it's written on paper, not carved in stone". I think it's better to be able to play the piece and make it your own. In the Baroque approach to music it was assumed that the performer would improvise quite a bit. Some freedom with the music is a major part of tradtional music all over the world. Playing with heart, to me, is much more important than slavish dedication to what is on a score. Just my 2p.
Ken Bloom

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