Back Again

It’s been too long… but here’s an update on what’s happening.

School: we are in our last year of being in temporary digs, although truth to tell, our temporary quarters in the downtown mall in I.C. have been much nicer than the old music building. This fall we move into a brand new state-of-the-art building. Where the old music building was a great architectural example of of early Medieval Dungeon (but with less charm), the new one exudes joy and light. The former was all dark spaces and ugly, depressing concrete (redundant?); our new one is all glass and open spaces. I am already gone from the temporary quarters – because this semester I am on….

Sabbatical: the one, the only, the brilliant James Naigus has taken over for me this semester leading the UI Horn Studio. While I am off doing some completely different things than usual. My study topic for the semester is…. rhythm! It occurred to me some time ago that all my (and everyone else’s) training is about pitch – get the note, don’t miss the note! Rhythm we pick up mostly haphazardly as we go, although in, say, an audition, a sterling sense of rhythm and pulse is more important that getting all the notes. You can nick a note, but you are out instantly if you can’t count. Although we can read pretty well, in general we classical musicians have a very weak sense of pulse and rhythm. Natch: we were all raised on a diet of very vanilla rhythms – most everything is in duple meter, with a bit of triple thrown in. Odd and mixed meters give us fits, as do ties and syncopation.

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Starboard for 12 horns by James Naigus

UI Horn Studio Web Site – New Address!

cropped-cropped-handhorn-21.jpgThe University of Iowa Horn Studio web site has been moved to a new venue and new URL. You will be forwarded for a short time from the old address, but please make note of this new URL of the UI Horn Studio Web site:

It looks a bit different; I will be going over it bit by bit over time to check and see that the old parts still work as before, but it is a vast site and this will take time. I am appreciative of any information on dead links or other parts that need updating or tweaking.

In any case, welcome to the new UI Horn Studio Web Site!



No tags :(

clockI’ve gotten very behind on my blog posts. Several reasons for this, I think:

•I am working away on my horn technique book. Most of my thoughts and energies as far as writing goes, go there.

•Some other writing energy goes into articles for The Horn Call

•Day to day is pretty busy at school: teaching, playing, planning, meetings, rehearsals, recitals, brass juries, comps, and so on. End of semesters are particularly busy.

•Other upcoming projects are in various planning stages and are not ready to write about yet.

•Ditto upcoming events. I’ll be teaching two weeks at Kendall Betts Horn Camp in New Hampshire in June once again. I like to try to bring something new every year; I don’t usually write about that ahead of time. I will also be teaching at Acadia University in Nova Scotia for two weeks in July. I have to spend time working on the details of lesson plans for both of them.

•The end of spring semester is also the time when I have to do most of the planning for next year: concerts, recitals, seminars, courses (besides horn, and horn ped/lit, I also teach a couple labor of love courses: Improvisation for Classical Musicians, Weird Music (freshman seminar), and Creativity in Music. CiM is always a little different every year, so I will as usual be revising or replacing some old lectures. Every lecture takes a lot of time, usually reading and taking notes on a number of books once I decide on the topic.

•I was asked to give a lecture to some of the faculty at the UI School of Nursing on creativity, plus a follow-up discussion several weeks later. That was fun and different, but took some time to put together as all new lectures do. There may be more of these next year.

•A couple things that I’ve started doing that (I hope) don’t make up an excuse not to blog are playing some guitar again and some percussion. I played guitar for years – from 9th grade on – along with horn, sometimes more, sometimes less over the years: folk, classical bluegrass, jazz. Then got tendinitis and stopped for years. So I am leaving my Gibson 347 (like a 335, semi hollow body sunburst) out in the living room, and am starting to pick a little while morning tea is steeping, and maybe a little bit after that. I’m very rusty, but it’s fun to pick up the old ax again and pick a little. I also have started doing a little sticking – basic drum stick practice. I do most if no one but me is home and I try paradiddles on this cheap electric practice drum set during TV commercials. I want to work the djembe into the action soon. But what I really want to get going on is conga. Except that I don’t have one. Maybe this fall. It’s fun being a beginner…