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Friday, March 27, 2009


As musicians, we wonder if our major instrument is really the instrument meant for us individually. It's very hard to tell, but I have come to my own conclusion of my major instrument.

The viola is the tenor-alto instrument. Since it is known as the 'middle voice' of the string section, I came to realise that it is after all the instrument which "fits me like a glove" (quote Kevin Field).

Since I was young, whenever I listened to songs, whatever genre they may be, I've always sung along with a song, mostly harmonising with the main melody line. During the time with my band, I used to be the one doing harmonising vocals. I could always improvise with harmonic lines to fit in with a song. That, I suppose, transcends to me playing of the viola.

My teacher told me once, which goes something along the lines of: "in an orchestra, the string parts for the viola may not be as interesting or melodic, since the first violins usually get the best bits. The idea is to enjoy the sound that you make when you play the viola while the other sections have the nicer parts."

I've learnt to accept the importance of the viola, and learned to feel the empowering harmony that the instrument brings to an ensemble. Such an experience it has been so far.

Two schools down. Six to go.

I was meant to do this.

Remember to turn off your lights, kids.

1 comment:

Jacky said...

Jebat,you play the viola very well. You have a nice tone,I think. Hehe. I have found out too, that I'm starting to love playing the viola although it does not get those challenging and interesting parts in an orchestral piece. Somehow it allows me to play my part to help create the harmony of a music piece and at the same time,enjoy the melodies and parts which are interwoven when everyone plays as a whole. I enjoyed the camp very very much and it's great to follow your lead from the back desks. This is Jacky,your fellow MPYO violist. =)