Balance & Blend

Had a talk with a fellow band leader and I stressed the importance of balance and blend. When you see forte on the music, it doesn't mean play loud or as loud as you can. It means play loudly as a section. How do you do this? By following the dynamic set by the lead or principle player of the section. Not only are you listening to this person but you are constantly listening across the section to blend your individual sound into the collective product. If you are interpreting what is on the page correctly and believe that everyone else is not paying attention to articulations and dynamics, think again. As part of the ensemble, you are the one that is not listening and that will stick out. If you want to address details in an arrangement, do so in the practice and come to an agreement, but once the baton drops, play as a section. Ensemble playing must be a collaborative endeavour, with listening being paramount.

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