Synopses & Reviews
To be a musician is to "speak music." When you have something to say and you know how to say it, your gestures and sounds become both expressive and free. Offering an innovative, comprehensive approach to musicians' health and wellbeing, INTEGRATED PRACTICE gives you the tools to combine total-body awareness with a deep and practical understanding of the rhythmic structure of the musical language, so that you can "speak music" fluently, healthfully, and effectively.
The key to mastering the language of music is rhythm. INTEGRATED PRACTICE contains an in-depth study of rhythm in music and in coordination, with dozens of exercises to help you infuse your gestures and musical phrases with rhythmic energy. The balance between structure and inventiveness is also essential to your wellbeing. Music is based on predictable grids of chords, scales, and time signatures, and yet your music-making ought to be unpredictable and fluid. INTEGRATED PRACTICE shows you how to establish an imaginative dialogue between the relatively inflexible structure of music and your own individual style as a singer, instrumentalist, or conductor.
INTEGRATED PRACTICE covers the harmonic series in detail and includes novel approaches to improvisation, with exercises that you can apply to daily practice, rehearsing, and performing across the entire repertory. The book is accompanied by a dedicated website with dozens of video and audio clips that demonstrate the book's exercises.
"Integrated Practice is a remarkable tool for the aspiring musician on the road to understanding artistry." --Mimi Zweig, Professor, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University
"Integrated Practice appeals to professional musicians and music lovers alike! This is a welcome guide through the vast field of practice routines. De Alcantara has a unique ability to bring this subject matter to life with convincing analogies and musical examples. Here, components such as rhythm, grid, sound, and coordination fit like mosaic stones into the larger picture of better and more efficient practice." --Babette Hierholzer, pianist
"Whatever your stage or role in musical life, Pedro de Alcantara will guide you in his masterly way: leaping, lunging, singing, howling, and improvising toward musical enlightenment." --Wendy Williams, flutist, Minnesota Orchestra
To be a musician is to "speak music." When you have something to say and the means to say it, your gestures and sounds become both meaningful and free. Offering an innovative, comprehensive approach to musicians' health and wellbeing, Integrated Practice gives you the tools to combine total-body awareness with a deep and practical understanding of the rhythmic structure of the musical language, so that you can use the musical text itself as your guide toward psychophysical and creative freedom. The book shows you how to establish an imaginative dialogue between the relatively inflexible structure of music and your individual personality as a singer, instrumentalist, or conductor, and it explains how you can use the acoustic phenomenon of the harmonic series to make big, beautiful sounds with little muscular effort. Integrated Practice comes with more than a hundred and fifty exercises demonstrated by video and audio clips on an extensive companion website that will inform your daily practice, improvising, rehearsing, and performing. With this array of resources for every learning style, Integrated Practice is the essential handbook to personal achievement in successful, expressive musical performance.
About the Author
Pedro de Alcantara
is a musician, writer, and teacher. His books include Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique
, The Alexander Technique: A Skill for Life
, and the children's novels Befiddled
. He lives in Paris and New York, and he travels the world giving seminars and master classes.
Table of Contents
Part I: Rhythm
1. Words, Sounds, Gestures
2. Prosody, or the Secrets of Rhythm
3. The Grid: A Life Principle
4. The Metric Grid
5. Coincidence: Intention and Gesture
6. Rhythmic Solfège
7. The Metronome and the Rubato
8. Superbar Structures
9. Opposing The Grid
10. Patterning and Sequencing
Part II: Coordination
11. Connection and Flow: First Principles
12. The Juggler: A Cello Lesson
13. Object Wisdom: An Oboe Lesson
14. Body, Breath, Vibration, Text: A Voice Lesson
15. The Quadrupedal Prosodist: A Piano Lesson
Part III: Sound
16. The Harmonic Series
17. The Harmonic Series and the Voice
18. The Messa di Voce: Virtuosity of Contact
19. Practicing The Messa di Voce
20. Improvisation: A Lifestyle
Appendix: "The Exercises: An Overview"