Nadia Boulanger

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Nadia Boulanger

Post by tea for two »

"Your music can never be more, or less, than you are as a human being."
"When you are writing music of your own, never strain to avoid the obvious."
"It's always necessary to be yourself – that is a mark of genius in itself."
Nadia Boulanger.

Nadia taught Marion Eugénie Bauer, Aaron Copland, John Eliot Gardiner, Phillip Glass, Burt Bacharach, Daniel Barenboim, Quincy Jones, Astor Piazzolla, Elliot Carter to name a few.
Nadia guided them to find their own distinct voice.
We only need listen to their careers to realise Nadia recognised in them their diverse voice, thereafter nurtured this in them.
Even though they were terrified of this little grey haired Lady.

Through these famous students, especially Quicy, Nadia's influence upon some areas of 20th Century Western music is vast.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V2GX69XxxyE
Documentary on Nadia.
7min22 Leonard Bernstein then 58 talks about how he felt like a kid when he just visited Nadia, and played for Nadia his latest song, whereupon Nadia immediately commented that a particular note would sound better altered.

Nadia was the first woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, BBC Symphony, Hallé Orchestra.
Nadia taught at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, the Yehudi Menuhin School, Julliard.

Nadia composed Orchestral, Organ, Piano, Vocal.

Nadia's sister Lili was also a composer. Lili then 19 was the first woman to win the coveted Prix de Rome award for composition in 1913.
After Lili passed away at 24, Nadia stopped composing, henceforth championed Lili's compositions.

(from : wiki, youtube, beeb).

:::::::

I would loved to have met Nadia.
I would have given to Nadia my simplest key peace. It has a French title.
tea for two
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Re: Nadia Boulanger

Post by Martin Walker »

Thanks again for all your fascinating info teafortwo.

I'll add Nadia Boulanger to my list of interesting people to follow up.

Martin
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Re: Nadia Boulanger

Post by Exalted Wombat »

An inspiring teacher. But her own compositions are hard to consider as more than pleasant trifles.

Reminds us that the greatest performer MAY be the best teacher, but not necessarily.

There's a playlist in this article:

https://musicalgeography.org/2017/06/15 ... c-teacher/
Exalted Wombat
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont bore us with beefing about it. Go fishing instead.

Re: Nadia Boulanger

Post by tea for two »

Quincy mentioned Nadia,
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RXqugFpJUKo
only then did I look online as I had never heard of her.

One of those hidden figures that had a profound influence upon specific aspects of 20th Century music through those famous persons she taught and nurtured.

From Nadia
"Music was not invented by the composer, but found."
"To create music we must break the rules."
"Do nothing for effect do it for Truth." (our personal Truth).
"If you feel you have to write music, then you must."

Nadia's words are just what the doctor ordered whenever we feel self doubt in our music or if ever we are knocked down for our music.

Nadia adored Melody.
Nadia was opposed to 12Tone, Serialism, Atonal.

If ever anyone says to any composer musician to us, arrrgghh you are making tweee melodies or your music is really basic not intellectual not complicated at all,
we can immediately tell them Nadia Boulanger her famous students.

::::

So broadminded, whilst possesing a gift for helping others to fruition.
Nadia would take onboard students from wherever and tailor her self to her students. That's how Nadia was able to nurture the distinct voice in her students, including famous ones.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Krn4tx6in0c
"When I have a new pupil I say who are you as a man."
"Not to become a good musician, but to become a man."
As a teacher "this discovery of the personality is an expression of respect of love of understanding."

If any of us are parents, guardians wishing to find a music tutor for the Child, we can search for these attributes in the music tutor,
should we wish the Child to be nurtured into a fine person then fine musician.

Should any of us wish to become music tutors, are music tutors, do we have these attributes?
If so to what extent?
Can we improve ourself to have these attributes in greater depth?
Can we train ourself to have them if we are lacking?
If the answer is yes then we can continue teaching.
If no then we must desist immediately else we shall cause damage to young learners.

::::

Nadia was Formidable. Whenever a student composed something, Nadia would say this sounds as this and that already existing Classical work, can't you come up with something a bit more fresh, more personal.

This is the essence of Nadia : for us to discover reach into our Personal to make our music as Personal as we can. This is our Truth.
tea for two
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Re: Nadia Boulanger

Post by Mattsong »

Thanks for sharing this information about Nadia who has contributed so much to music education. There is much to learn from this incredible woman.
I was fortunate enough to study with one her students, Bob Meyers, and by a degree of separation, he was able to pass on some of the lessons he learned from Nadia. Bob is an incredible musician and educator in his own right and went on to be a V.P. at Berklee.
Playing your composition for her was a nerve racking experience. As Bob said, she had the best ears of anyone he had ever met. Should could hear the nuance of every note, it’s relationship to the notes that had been played and the ones to come. So, in playing one of his compositions, she stopped him half way through. “That is not a melody, you are just playing finger patterns.” So she went and got a sheet and placed it over his hands and the piano so he couldn’t see what he was doing and just focus on the sound of the notes.
On another piece, he made it through to the end but lifted the sustain pedal too soon. “You gave up on the note. The note was not finished”. So Bob passed this on to me in the study of the Marimaba. As a percussionist we just hit things and usually have little if any control of the sustain. I would have to hit a note and hold on to it with my mind, until it was done. Very much a zen approach and effective. Then we would do the same with a triangle, it is amazing how long a note actually lasts.
The exploration of music is such a mystical journey and we are so lucky to have wonderful guides like Nadia Boulanger to highlight the points of interest along the way.
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Re: Nadia Boulanger

Post by Martin Walker »

Hi Mattsong, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

What a fascinating insight into Nadia's methods and compositional feedback!

Martin
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Re: Nadia Boulanger

Post by tea for two »

Mattsong wrote: Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:01 pm The exploration of music is such a mystical journey and we are so lucky to have wonderful guides like Nadia Boulanger to highlight the points of interest along the way.

Matt that really was such a lovely, inspirational post about Nadia.

Mattsong wrote: Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:01 pm
I was fortunate enough to study with one her students, Bob Meyers, and by a degree of separation, he was able to pass on some of the lessons he learned from Nadia.
Bob is an incredible musician and educator in his own right and went on to be a V.P. at Berklee.

Playing your composition for her was a nerve racking experience. As Bob said, she had the best ears of anyone he had ever met. She could hear the nuance of every note, it’s relationship to the notes that had been played and the ones to come.

On another piece, he made it through to the end but lifted the sustain pedal too soon. “You gave up on the note. The note was not finished”.

This makes me wish even more I had visited Nadia (if I had a time travel machine).

I have two simple key peaces I keep to myself.
I have only played them once. I can't bring myself to play them again. I haven't yet met anyone that would understand them.
Reading this about Nadia, I know she would have understood. I would have given these two simple key peaces to Nadia.
tea for two
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Re: Nadia Boulanger

Post by CLUBTURBO »

Nadia Boulanger.
Master Teacher.

Its Funny, she never wrote
text style for teaching.

She Used Music As Her
Teaching Format.

She Didn't Like Teaching
Using Text Book Style
With Tests And All That.

She Made You Write Music.

My Teacher.
Dr. Richard Allen Fiske
Sat With Her At Fontainebleau School.

We Got In This Big Argument About
Where I Wanted To Go To School,
I Wanted to Go To Berklee College of Music,
He Wanted Me To Go To Julliard In New York.

He Managed To Make It Clear That Most
Schools, If Not All Of them Didn't Want
His Students Because They Knew to Much.

My Teacher Was Also A Master Teacher.
Huge Huge List Of Music Books By Her
Students In The First Half 1900's.

All Of These People And Their Books
Make Truly Masterfully Gifted Players
And Writers, So Far The Very Best in The World.
CLUBTURBO
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