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Opposites

Just as Mediocrity helps to balance out and enhance Excellence (see In Praise of Mediocrity) , musical works and musical performance are enriched by the workings of pairs of opposites.

Here are some interesting pairs. See how you can use them as you develop musical understanding and as you apply them to create great renditions of musical works.

Formal- rhapsodic

Rhythmic- free

Intellectual- artistic, expressive

Rigid-free

Harmony-counterpoint

Vertical-horizontal

Dissonance-consonance

Tension-release

Details-general

parts-whole

Apollonian-orgiastic, Dionysian

Classical-romantic

Slow-fast

Stable-unstable

Excitement-repose

Crescendo-diminuendo

Ascending-descending

Long-short

Heavy-light

Downward, upward

beginning-end

Antecedent-consequent

Important-unimportant

Ripieno-solo, concertante

Form-content

Loud-soft

Piano-forte

Downbeat-upbeat

Shadow-light

Away from the key-towards the key

Think of other pairs of opposites and how they can be present in your music making. They will help make your performances varied and interesting.

© 2014 Daniel Daroca/The Opera Atelier


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