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miércoles, 17 de agosto de 2016

Ludlow summer school: message to my course colleagues

Hello, participants of this wonderful summer music course in Ludlow!

II am adressing to you these lines with the unique purpose to thank you all for your help and disponibility and to clear -I know that lots of you are very curious about it- how I can read music. But first of all... Monteverdi miro, quia mirabilia musicales fecit! :-) Of course I knew the Vespers, but I didn't ever have the opportunity to sing them. You do not know a work until you are not in it, if I can express myself in that way. You only reach that comprehension by joining a ggroup, like we know, and rehearsaling, and singing, and following the indications of a good conductor, and... Yes, what we are doing in those days!
It is really important to understand which words you are singing, because Monteverdi gave to the text an extraordinary importance, like verbi gratia in "Laetatus sum": Domo domini ibimus! Id est: "Let's go to the house of the Lord!". And the continuo seems to be effectively walking. Bach used this stylistic resource in many cantatas, cfr. BWV 21 "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis".

The scores for blind people have no five lines. We repressent the high of sounds with signs referring to high of tunes at the piano, like for example C 3, F 4, etc. The individual sounds are written with lettters, but Do is not C; it is D. Why? A French boy, Louis Braille, invented the whole system when he was twelve years old. I suppose that he didn't know the names in English or German.
Our alphabett is based of combinations of six points, distributed two colomns. For further information about how blind people learn, cfr. My letter to Stephen Hawking under

To indicate the duration of sounds, we add points at the under row of the Braille sign. For example, if C half note, by us called "corchea", is rappresented with the points 1, 4 and 5, if we want a whole note (redonda) we add the two points under, 3 and 6; for "blanca" we add point 3, for "semicorchea" it is like whole note. Sorry! Redonda = one note in a bar of 4/4; blanca= 2 in the bar; negra = 4, corchea = 8 and semicorchea = 16. I do not know the names in English.

There are signs to indicate sharp, flat, etc. But with the finger we can only read a sign at the same time. I am good reading "a prima vista", howeer... What happens when there are notes and text? Very simple: I must read either the music or the text by heart and read the rest. What am I doing here? Reading the text, no scores! I have asked in many libraries for blinds all over the world and they do not have the Vespers. Richard has provided me the text, and I am reading the parts I have not leart. For the music, I have the luck to trust my music intuition, very good indeed because I am listening to music since I was a very little girl. The Vespers are complicated, but it is helpful to have other choristers singing my same part by my side and understand the logic of the work and music motives.

If you want to understand how my Braille line works, please cfr. Under:


I had a Braille organizer -note taker-, but unfortunately it has been stolen to me by some barbars few days ago.
That made me cry deeply: It deals of a very expensive device, and nobody needs it! It is the second organizer I lose for the same reason, and both have landed in rubbish! However I have lost a part of mine! Why are we so, why, why...?

All those inconviniences makes me not to give up. My friend and colleague Stephen Hawking has tought it to me, and with him I have known a very important word: Boundariless! That's the reason why I am here!!!

The last ghing I must do now is etake the opportunity to express my thanks to you all for your help, patience, kindness and all good things that you are proiding to me.

I wish that you are enjoying the performances so much as me, and I hope that we enjoy the concert on Friday and that we will meet each others in further occasions. Please keep me informed!

Yours and with best regards,


2 comentarios:

  1. Te recuerdo
    termino español, británico, EEUU
    Redonda; semi-breve; whole note
    Blanca; minim; half note
    Negra; crotchet; quarter note
    Corchea; quaver; eighth note
    Semi-corchea; semi-quaver; sixteenth note

  2. Oh thanks a lot, my dearest! You always so attentive and didactic, my good teacher! You never get angry with that silly student!
    The general performance has been a magic and moving experience!