Borgdoni Poll

How and what to teach and learn.
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Borgdoni Poll

Post by SteelDeRosa » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:17 pm

In your best estimation, which Borgdoni etude (book 1) is the most objectively difficult and why?
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Re: Borgdoni Poll

Post by hyperbolica » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:17 am

Ok, I'll bite.

I have the Melodious Etudes for Trombone transcribed and progressively arranged by Johannes Rochut. The "progressively arranged" part says that the hardest ones are in the back. I personally think the middle ones are toughest.

I think it really depends on what kinds of things you find difficult, and what level you're talking about. Rochut is so melodic and scalar (or chordal/arpeggiated), it just rolls off the slide. Especially if you have taken the time to do harmonic progression and phrase analysis before learning the notes.

Getting the ornamentation in 20 to sound fluid can be tricky. 27 has a lot of accidentals and maybe the ornamentation might trip you up. And then 39 and 40 omit a lot of down beats so if you're rhythmically challenged, those might make you lose the pulse.

Some like 9 have big melodic intervals, and those can be hard to execute convincingly for beginners.

57 will cause you to question if it's a 2 or 3 pulse, and also some people get tripped up in reading the eighth note as the beat.

There are plenty of sharp keys that the 5 sharps shouldn't really be a cause for angst, although 6 sharps in the 2nd half of 41 might cause some cursing.

The sections with rallentando or a piacere will force you to develop breath control and phrasing. 17 will do this.

And then of course there are varying levels of playing Rochut. If you really pay attention to the slurs and phrase marks, the whole book becomes infinitely more difficult, and an exercise in alternate positions and natural slurs. That can cause you to question how you play trombone altogether.

People also tend to forget the volume markings.

I've heard people play these in strict time, which I think makes it sound less musical and makes it much more difficult. Think singing. Singers wouldn't follow strict time with these vocalises why should we? It's one of those things. You should be able to play it in strict time, but have the good taste not to.

I also think you have to pair Rochut with something more rhythmic like Arbans, LaFosse or Bitsch just to make sure that you don't get into the bad habit of playing everything rubato. That's the real challenge with Rochut - play expressively, but still be able to maintain time.
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Re: Borgdoni Poll

Post by ArbanRubank » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:40 am

All of the above for me and...

I find it difficult to play along with the mp3 accompaniments available. As stated above, I probably wouldn't want to do it in strict time in a performance anyway, so it should be up to the accompanist to go along with me. But unfortunately, I have to go along with the accompanist in the mp3s. That said, I prefer to play them a cappella. I have always thought that a great goal is to sound like a million bucks a cappella. Then, with the right fluid accompanist, I ought to sound like two million bucks. Ought to.

Another degree of difficulty for me is to play everything in multiple tonguing. There are at least several different ways to try it. The way I like best (hate least) is to let the music dictate, instead of strict alternating. IOW's, if notes in the music are in pairs, then double-tongue and if they are in trips, then triple-tongue. Otherwise, single-tongue.

With multiple-tonguing in mind, I find it useful to try to play at tempo, or slowly, or as quickly as possible. It's all good.
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Re: Borgdoni Poll

Post by Johnstad » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:32 am

Anyone use the Mulcahy version?
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Re: Borgdoni Poll

Post by aasavickas » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:33 am

I think the second book is the most difficult and fun to play. They all have some good things to work on.

I tend to play them transposed. Tenor, up an octave, down one octave, down two, Tenor down or up, etc. It is a good way to work on extreme ranges for the simpler tunes you know which allows for work on tuning and phrasing in extreme ranges.

Agree that they should be played in a singing style with reasonable push and pull of the tempo like a good singer would do. Kind of the way Frank Sinatra would sing a ballad with some push and pull within a phrase but the accompaniment keeps the groove and you kind of make up for spent time to arrive back with the pulse.

The biggest problem is how slowly, inarticulately, and boring people play them. I am planning on putting up some youtube videos of them as a teaching aid to show how musically and beautifully they can be played. Unfortunately, because people start playing them when they are younger, I think they think they should be slow and soupy and boring which is a shame.
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