Saturday, February 22, 2014

Arts and crafts

I've been picking away at the Bach cello suite in E flat (No. 4). I learned and performed it years ago, though not very well, and I never was able to memorize it. The Prelude, in particular, is daunting, both because of the key and because so many of the phrases begin with the same arrangement of notes. 

As I was trying to figure out how to mark the music to help my memory, I came up with the idea of copying it and cutting up the score so each phrase is on a separate line. After a half hour with scissors and tape, this is how it looked:

My crummy cell phone pictures may not show that I also numbered the phrases (there are 19 -- purely based on my instinct rather than any deep analysis). I found it interesting that the number of measures in each phrase varies from eight to two. Though of course they vary in length; otherwise, the piece would be pretty boring, right?

This does make it seem more manageable, so we shall see! I can already play each phrase from memory; now the task is being able to string them together.