Philharmonia Self-Assessment 11/11/16

For this assignment you will listen to the attached audio file then write a MINIMUM of three sentences to self-assess the orchestra’s performance.  Please consider the playing of correct notes/rests, tone,

intonation, beat, rhythms, articulation, phrasing, dynamics, and more. When you listen, have your music out and take some notes.

  1. Please be specific.  (A comment such as “We were good” is not specific and will not count.)
  2. Include specific measure numbers when referencing sections of the music. If you have suggestions that might help the orchestra improve, please also include those.
  3. Please comment using your first name and last initial.  (Do not include your full last name!) Your comments will be moderated, so Dr. Laux will have to approve them before they will go live on the website.

This assignment will be counted as a homework grade. See below and type in where it says “Leave a Reply.”

Here is the audio:


21 thoughts on “Philharmonia Self-Assessment 11/11/16”

  1. Whole orchestra- We played the melody really well, since all the sections have it memorized. I think we all stayed in tune and played that part very well. We started at different times but we managed to stay together till the end but we did get off track by holding notes too long in the middle of the piece. We also need to work on breathing before starting the piece so we all start together and strong. Also while playing, listening to other sections can help us stay together and strong. We are still a little nervous to play maybe because we still have place we need to work on. I feel like we are all focused on ourselves and our section but not others, which is hurting us as a group because we sound we are playing our own thing. Counting is the biggest issue. We are all in tune but as we played there were a lot of adjustments made.

    Violas- There are only 4 violas but they also need to be heard. I recommend that all violas play louder and use more bow. Work on playing together because you guys were at different places in some parts but managed to play together later in the piece.

    1st violins- measures 59 to the end, we need to work on the shifting to third position, i feel like not everyone is confident with those notes. We also kept the melody together after measure 19. The shift from melody to angle voices needs some work cause i felt like we were rushing there.

    2nd violins- i feel like you guys were the loudest of all the sections since there were absentees in 1st we couldn’t outplay you guys, which is good thing because other sections should learn to play just as loud. I feel like there were some playing in tune issues since you guys focused on using a lot of bow and playing together that you guys played quite a few notes out of tune.

    Cellos- you guys were great. loved listening to your melody, i guess you guys were the best at keeping it together without playing out of tune. You guys played strong and outplayed all the sections when you guys the melody. Although you guys can still work on the other parts because you guys hesitated to play the rest of the piece and staying together.

    Bass- You guys rocked the melody part as well. Stayed together but the rest i couldn’t hear you guys that well since you guys were in the back which means you guys should’ve used more bow.

  2. We should work on intonation in the first few measures. Also, everyone does not end together at measure 18. Lastly, we should work on tone at measures 43-51.

  3. I think we could work on bowing and making sure that our up bows and down bows are even. I also think we should work on bringing out the melodie more and the sections who aren’t playing the melodie should bring their volume down more. We should also work on listening, and intonation of the first two measure and the last two measures.

  4. In Amazing Grace, we need to work on out high notes (measures 5-10 and 51-60). Another important issue is that fact that we aren’t together, people NEED TO COUNT throughout the entire piece. People should not vibrato if they don’t know how (throughout the entire piece).

  5. Our togetherness was good. But we still need work. Low 2’s and high 2’s. Playing things in tune. The first violins need to play louder when it is there time to shine with their melody. The second violins were great when backing down a little to let the 1st violins melody really come through. The cellos and violas melody was beautiful. And one more thing, in the last measures, we need to end and start the notes together in tune. But overall it was and will be great piece for the concert and later on in life.

  6. We played together which sounded really good especially since we have the melody memorized! One thing we can improve on is playing the correct type of notes. If a note needs to be flat we need to play flat, if the note needs to be sharp we need to play sharp. And for first violins we need to play louder because we are the “Cream” in the Oreo! In spite of all that, i think we made a lot of improvement since the beginning of the school year. This song is really coming along and it’s going to sound great for the concert!

  7. From my point of view as a whole orchestra we sounded alright, but there are some things we need to work on. I will only speak on behalf of the 2nd violins simply because that is my section. For instance from measures 35-43 as a section we are not counting together therefore most of us are at different points in the music. Along with not being together the intonation as a whole group(all of the orchestra) was off and the different notes clashed together instead of flowing. In the begining measures from 3-19 we sounded out of tune but we all were together as a whole. I think the main things we need to work on is knowing what the notes sound like instead of just guessing. Most of the notes we miss are just off by a small bit but if we practice on that more I think we can sound much more in tune. One last thing I would like to mention is for the Cellos to be more confident when playing and play a little bit louder to increase their sound to balance with the whole orchestra. This is just a few things I think as a whole orchestra we can work on to become but better sounding.

  8. i think we were not together. from major # 43- #67 we were not together but before it we played it really well. a lot of people were out of tune. overall we played it really well. 2nd violins were a little bit loud.

  9. The whole orchestra sounded good but in some sections we did not play together in some sections. The tune sounded a bit off during the beginning but we started to sound a bit more in tune as we progressed during the piece. I think overall we sounded good but we can sound better with some more practice.

  10. I believe that this is pretty good. That being said, I do believe that we sound a little wonky at times. For instance, at the beginning we didn’t really sound together, it was like there were recordings of each section playing the same somgs but at different times. We weren’t in tune for a good amount of the song. In some areas of the music you could barely hear certain sections because others were louder. On a positive note, the last measure sounded really well!

  11. 1.We did not start together causing the piece to sound all over tbe place.
    2. Our finger patterns are off causing our notes to be out of tune.
    3.Each instrument was loud and you could hear each part.

  12. many notes in the first few measures seemed to be out of tune, but it seems to have mostly fixed itself until about 1 minute into the piece, this is where each group seems to be struggling especially in the cello and bass section. after that hicccup it fixes itself again and everyone is in tune until about the 2 minute mark, however as the later we get into the piece the mistakes seem to be corrected by themselves faster with each mistake that is made. Overall the sound is not bad but there can be much work done on the overall intonation of the piece. Despite the mistakes the basics are there and with a few tweaks it can be almost perfect

  13. First off, I feel like it was a good idea to give us this recording and assignment because I have a better understand of how we truly sound as opposed to when I’m sitting amongst the group playing.
    I think both violins sound good but I found it hard to hear them over the other strings. I think the melody and the second violins should be the loudest. I shouldn’t have to tune in hard to hear the melody it should come naturally.
    From an unbais point of view I think some of the lower strings were a little off.
    The violins could work on a few of the high notes but I feel like they are the most stable, clear, and confident. I feel like the other instruments that don’t have the melody need to be a bit quiter and but also more confident in the notes. But I think the violins need to be louder too and even more confidence. All these suggestions and comments apply to every single measure (But the first note especially after the tuning note needs to be more together)

  14. Overall I think we have improved so much! The tone quality of the first seven measures could by playing a little quieter so violins could accentuate their notes. Then on measures 37-46 I think the violins could play a little softer in order allow violas and cello/bass to accentuate their parts. We are pretty together, but we mainly need to focus on tone and dynamics:):)

  15. Whole Orchestra: We stayed together pretty well and when we didin’t, we adjusted ourselves quickly. We need to work on starting sections together.
    Violas and cello: When we start to play the measures following measure 35, we should a little bit weird. I can’t really explain it, but I think that we could work on those measures.

  16. We where not in tune or together in the first mesure.
    We ajusted quickly after the first mesure.
    Our sound qualty was farely well

  17. I think that we have improved since the first concert, probably since we are getting used to playing together as a group. However, there are a lot more things that we need to work on, such as counting. While we are playing the right notes, we are not playing them for the right length of time. Another thing that I think we need to improve on making sure all the sections are being heard when they have the melody and try to play the note correctly the first time instead of adjusting. One thing that we did good on was playing the melody, I think this is because everyone practiced their part and knows it memorized. This has led us to be confident while playing the melody, and I think we need to work towards making sure the rest of the piece sounds good too.

  18. Overall the intonation isn’t has good has it could be. We need to work on the high notes and adjusting. We need to listen to the other sections parts so we can all play together. At the Beginning of the piece the first notes could be better in tune. Their are some parts where I can’t really tell who has the melody and who has the harmony. The Cellos played really good when it was their part. I couldn’t really hear the violas so I think the other sections need to play a little bit softer and the violas louder. The bass players played good but I think like the violas they need to play louder. The violins did really good but we still have trouble with some high notes when moving to 3rd position and back to first. Their has been a big improvement but we can still do better.

  19. The orchestra starts by playing the beginning very well. As the song goes on, the sections start to loose each other. It started to sound like we were not together because people weren’t counting the notes long enough, or were playing the notes too short. I also think that when there is a smaller section, then they don’t play as confidently. The song overall sounds very good with a lot of improvement. Memorizing the beginning of the piece really helped us improve in playing. We can improve more by practicing the shifting parts of the songs. It would help to get a better intonation when we play since we are more used to the feeling of where the note should be and what it sounds like, making us more confident when we play.

  20. Overall, I think we played pretty well. I think that as a whole, we need to focus on tone and sound quality. For 2nd violins I believe that we need to work on our togetherness as a section and bowing. For measures 35-43 as a section we are not counting together. In the begining of the piece from meaures 3-15 we sounded out of tune but we all were together as a whole orchestra. I think we have already improved so much since the beginning of the year and that if our orchestra continues to improve and play together with good intonation/tune we will become even better!

  21. The piece sound alright throughout, but at certain parts some sections could’ve played with more power to add more layers to the music so I wont sound monotonous. Also, there were some parts where intonation was off. Despite that we’ve made a lot of progress with the piece which is something to be proud of.

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