Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Publicity shots

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 July 2017 under Concerts, Musings  •  3 Comments

The Edinburgh Festival and ‘Fringe’ begin this week and the city is plastered with publicity posters. The trend towards anti-glamour continues. Even if a performer wants to look glamorous, they are portrayed in a jarring context. Someone in a beautiful suit lounges in the doorway of a graffiti-covered industrial warehouse. Actors look away from the […]

The €23 violin

Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 July 2017 under Concerts, Musings  •  6 Comments

A friend told me a tale of a violinist friend of his who came across a mass-produced violin for sale on eBay for €23. It was even cheaper than it sounds because the price included the violin, a bow, and a case. He bought the violin, which arrived with a set of terrible strings, so […]

‘Animato’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 30 June 2017 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

For various reasons I’ve been to quite a few amateur performances recently. All were enjoyable, but I noticed something that was common to them all. It puzzled me, but I am not sure if I have simply forgotten what it is like to be a beginner or a non-professional. What struck me was that as […]

Adjusting the piano stool for a concert

Posted by Susan Tomes on 19 June 2017 under Concerts, Musings  •  1 Comment

Adjusting the piano stool to the right height for a concert may seem the simplest thing. When I finish rehearsing in a concert hall, I always leave the piano stool adjusted to the right height. The more old-fashioned piano stools have wooden handles that are quite hard work to turn, and I don’t want to […]

Major-key music for sad lyrics

Posted by Susan Tomes on 22 May 2017 under Daily Life, Musings  •  15 Comments

Last night I watched a very interesting episode of a BBC Arena series about ‘American Epic’ music, beginning with music from the Appalachian region, featuring the Carter Family from West Virginia who in the late 1920s brought the folk music of the remote hills to the nation’s attention. The words of the songs were often […]