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Who Needs Expertise?

  • Saul
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski

    I have learned so many valuable lessons from my peers and younger colleagues. I learned such important things as:

    You should only spend/need two weeks to prepare an orchestra audition.

    You can audition for any orchestra you want to.

    You can get any job you want to.

    A bachelor's degree in music is enough training for the rest of your life.

    You don't need to know things like the names of all the Puccini operas.

    You don't really have to prepare much for lessons.

    You don't have to study anything about music except what you are required to do.

    You can get the answer to anything from Wikipedia.

    You can invent your own personal harp technique and be the best.

    Rhythm doesn't really matter as long as you can play fast.

    As long as you have your music memorized, it doesn't matter if you have some of it wrong.

    Conductors don't matter, just ignore them.

    If your strings aren't old, you don't have to bother bringing replacements.

    Playing outside is cool and fun. What could go wrong?

    You can wear whatever to rehearsals.

    You can play in any kind of footwear or none, as long as you can play.

    Your clothes and appearance don't distract the audience from the music.

    Talking to the audience makes them more interested in you and in the music.

    You don't need a degree in music to be a professional musician.

    The more notes there are on a page of music, the better it is.

    The fewer notes there are on a page of music, the better it is.

    You can play any piece you want, anywhere, anytime, any way you want to.

    You don't have to tune the strings you aren't going to play.

    False strings are okay as long as they haven't broken.

    If you want to, you can just tune your whole harp down a step to make it easier to play.

    If you rock your head and the harp while playing, you will be playing with expression.

    Playing with self-expression means you are an artist.

    And most importantly, you can just fake it.

    What valuable tips have you learned?

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    replies to "Who Needs Expertise?"
    • Kay
      Kay Lister

      Saul - I've learned that you are always good for a laugh!  I'm sure others will add to your list.

      Kay ;-)


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    • Saul
      Saul Davis Zlatkovski

      It's really cool to chat during rehearsals, everyone does it.

      When you are on a gig you don't have to have your music in order on your stand.

      Teachers make up half the stuff they tell you, if not all.

      (insert name here) was a phony.

      (insert name here) can't play their way out of a paper bag.

      The audition was fixed.

      All auditions are fixed.

      All auditions are blind.

      All auditions are fair.

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    • Maria
      Maria Myers

      Still loving your sense of humor after all these years!


      (although, I suspect that all of this is not tongue in cheek!)

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    • Tacye
      Tacye Phillipson

      Thank you Saul, I have just discovered (from Wikipedia of course) four Puccini operas I could not have named.

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    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth Volpé Bligh

      Here are some more:
      All teachers are the same, so just go to the nearest one.
      Experience doesn't count for anything. What could someone know after 30 years of teaching that they didn't know when they graduated from university?
      No need to pester the oboist by asking which A the orchestra tunes to. You'll be drowned out by the horns anyway.
      It's only necessary to know your own part. Knowing the rest of the score will only confuse you.
      The conductor will always cue you, so you don't need to count.
      Play all the notes no matter how ridiculous the part..the orchestra will wait for you.

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    • Saul
      Saul Davis Zlatkovski

      I love the last three in particular. You should definitely play all orchestral parts exactly as written.

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    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth Volpé Bligh

      Saul, I have seen so many orchestra parts that are completely unplayable as written, and I don't mean difficult, I mean impossible. Being an orchestra harpist requires highly honed editing skills. Bea Rose's book The Harp in the Orchestra has a number of examples of editing to make the part work. This week alone, I have got parts in which you are supposed to change the pedals on the two lowest strings which do not have discs on them; notes that do not exist at all on the instrument, segments which require three feet to accomplish all the accidentals, impossible reaches, and I could go on. 

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    • Saul
      Saul Davis Zlatkovski

      Oh, come on, you're just being lazy! You can change at least 12 pedals per beat, and use your pinkies to play that pesky fifth note in the chord. Or just fake it.....

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