Thursday, March 21, 2013

Music Minus One - A Musical Tool...

In realization that a group out of New York state has passed  its first half century of existence, I though that I should mention its name  to you, especially those of you who may not know of this interesting endeavor in the world of music:
I believe the town in New York is Elmsford, and it is the home of Music Minus One, and still run by its founder. What this organization does is produce recordings of music in two forms, generally.The first form is the music as heard in normalcy; the second form, however, omits the instrument of primary interest. For instance, in the piano concertos they have recorded, one will first hear the concerto in its original form. What follows is the orchestral part of the concerto WITHOUT the piano, allowing the pianist first to learn the piano part and then learn to play it with the orchestra whenever he or she decides to do just that. For the price of the Music Minus One(they are called MMO)recording and score, one will always have a complete orchestra ready and waiting to do the bidding of the pianist; a much less expensive way of playing a piano concerto, it seems to me, rather than hiring or organizing  said orchestra.
In the classical aspect MMO has violin concertos, let alone concertos for other instruments. Chamber music without certain members heard can also be obtained. Why not look for a list, which is now huge, of what is available?
MMO also does popular music in this format, for those of you interested in that particular pursuance.
During my years at the Longy School, I was the only teacher of piano utilizing MMO, which gave students the  opportunity to play a piano concerto before an audience without having to hire or organize an orchestra for such an occasion. From my view, by way of MMO,  my students were able to procure a more intelligent view of performance by being forced to LISTEN to the elements outside of his instrument that made up the whole, the result being that they became more intelligent about listening to their own playing in solo incarnations. The concertos I used mostly were the Schumann concerto, the Mozart  concerto K 488,
the Bach in "D,"  the Bach for two pianos and orchestra, and one or two of the Haydn.
The students absolutely loved the experience - all that was needed in performance besides the piano was an audio system of good quality, which, luckily, the school had available.
I would invite those of you who play well and have never tried MMO at home -well, I cannot tell you how many compositions I learned with full orchestra right in my own living room. It is a very entertaining(and edifying!)way of dealing with music that normally requires many people; both performers and technicians to put together, and before MMO came into existence, available only to the few.
Look up MMO, and see(and hear) for yourself!

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