Thursday, November 09, 2006

A "Killer App" for Aspiring Orchestral Players

In the software world, there is the term, "killer app." A killer app is that piece of software that blows away everything else.

Like lots of teachers, I've talked about the importance of studying excerpts in their context. How many trombonists have labored away on those notes without any idea of how the excerpt sounds in context?

Better yet, trombonists should be able to hear different renditions of the same selection.
Before, this meant repeated trips to the music library (assuming of course they had more than one or two recordings) or spending a small fortune in CD's.

I've even heard of one trombonist who joined one of those record clubs (and had his friends and family join as well) so he could get multiple recordings. I know of another who worked in a music library and quietly borrowed and burned hundreds of recordings to expand his library.

But for most of us this is all a logistical and financial nightmare.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone out there could compile a bunch of recordings of the excerpted passages and place them side by side along with the printed music.

Well someone *has* done it!

I don't who Seth T. Vatt is but I'm here to declare this website as possibly the best resource I have ever seen (at least if you are in the business of seriously studying orchestral excerpts).

Seth's website is such a jaw-dropping stroke of genius that I think somebody should give him an award! I imagine a time not too long from now when a young, serious student will come here to study already having carefully listened to multiple recordings of all the major excerpts. It will never occur to them how difficult this used to be!

It's almost too easy.

Some purists may object, saying that record companies and orchestras are being cheated out of rightful profits. Well, last time I checked, most young trombone hopefuls aren't brimming over with extra cash to spend on recordings!

And frankly, this is such an obvious idea that I say shame on the recording industry for not producing excerpt compilation CD's for all the major instruments (if not for the profit, then as a public service to future musicians....or is everything driven by the accountants these days)

Hooray for Seth Vatt.

(I just hope nobody forces down this wonderful website.
Hmm. maybe I should quickly snag these sound files before everything vanishes)