Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Primary orchestra - help!

What Britten never mentioned in the "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" is that frankly it's a miracle that the orchestra was ever invented, as the instruments are fundamentally incompatible. With string instruments whose natural key is something around D or A major (2-3 sharps), and wind instruments transposing in B flat and F (clarinet, French horn) and C (oboe, flute), it's almost inevitable that some part of the orchestra will be playing with a scarily large number of fingers not where they are most comfortable. Perhaps string teachers should go against the habits of centuries and teach players first finger back to start with ....

We're trying to start a mini-orchestra in a primary school, and there is not much music available for a mixed group of instruments where the players are generally pre-grade 1. If anybody knows of any, then please post a comment!