New technology is changing classical music performance   1 comment

“It sometimes seems as though the world of classical music doesn’t change. Most of the music is from a canon that may be hundreds of years old; most of the time the musicians are still formally clad, the men in the evening dress of a century ago.

In one important area, however, new ways of doing things are starting to appear. Technology is changing the ways in which musicians rehearse and perform.

Pianist Kirill Gerstein sparked intermission discussions late last year when he performed Thomas Adès concerto “Seven Days” with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra using an iPad with a wireless foot pedal in lieu of a conventional score.

In an interview, Gerstein said he’s been using his iPad for 2½ years, the first, he thinks, among classical pianists. He uses it with contemporary music, where memorization is not expected, and in chamber music.

The tablet has practical advantages: It is lit, making reading it easier and eliminating concerns about lighting. It also eliminates the need for page turners. “They may turn the page too soon or too late, or make noise,” Gerstein said. “In cases like this, it is helpful to play with the iPad. I know exactly when I want to turn, and I turn it for myself.” His system has never crashed.

To do the turning, Gerstein uses a Bluetooth-enabled foot pedal called an AirTurn. He gets new scores from their publishers, or makes PDFs of older music by scanning scores from his own library.

In the case of out-of-copyright works, he recommends IMSLP.org. The International Music Score Library Project is community-sourced, like Wikipedia, and Gerstein calls it “an amazing resource.”

The site is copyright compliant, so there’s nothing from after 1923, and it’s free. “There are the most imaginable and unimaginable things,” Gerstein said. “Maybe you won’t find the edition of the Franck sonata from 1980, but you will find the original (edition) and four others. Things that used to be difficult to find are up there.”

Otherwise, Gerstein works from paper versions. “I do think it’s very important to keep buying paper versions of sheet music. We do want publishers of accurate versions around.”

With the iPad, he can tweak his scores by combining the piano part and a full orchestra score to give himself important cues. Sometimes he plays from the full score. By eliminating the white space of the margins, the notes become almost as large as in the printed score.

“Then, of course, there is the fact that I can carry a music library,” added Gerstein. “I can look at (scores) while traveling. It’s not possible with paper, just from the luggage side. Today, I decided to read the Franck sonata; it took a minute to download the score, and then I was happily playing it.”

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra section cello Bjorn Ranheim admires Gerstein’s score-on-tablet setup and wishes the SLSO could have the same.

via New technology is changing classical music performance : Entertainment.

http://goo.gl/GXVvd

AN : classical music meets new classic technology…and is all the better for it. Nice examples of how that works in the lives of several musicians and groups.

Advertisements

Posted February 10, 2013 by arnoneumann in music, Technology

Tagged with , ,

One response to “New technology is changing classical music performance

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Reblogged this on mkalimobileblog and commented:
    So the big question for me is how far is technology going to influence the things around us. It is clear that every time we look around most things are powered by the latest technology. Some businesses say they will do fine without but I have this question. What will you do 5 years from now when the rest of the world has gone to an extent of their dealings with you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: