Category Archives: Conducting AdMaestro

Schumann Piano Quintet in Es Op.44

Schumann Piano Quintet in E flat major Op.44

Before Schumann wrote this piano quintet, Schubert and Hummel composed piano quintets for Violin, Viola, Cello, Contrabass and Piano. Those quintets would be written for salon music. After Schumann’s success on this new Piano Quintet by string quartet + piano, many composers found the high potential of this new style. Major works by this style were written by Brahms, Dvorak, Franck, and Faure.



When Robert and Clara Schumann visited Bremen and Ortenburg in February, 1842 for their concert tour. Throughout the tour it was not unbearable for Robert that Clara was always highly applauded but he was not so much. He was uncomfortable with the situation and decided to part with Clara and returned Leipzig alone on March 12. Then he had fallen into a deep depression until Clara came back on April 24. Also there was a rumor that Wiek Schumann, Clara’s father had been trying to separate them.During this time he had drowned in beer and champagne, but he also studied ardently counterpoints and string quartets of the classic era.

When Clara came back home, Robert became very happy and he started the year of chamber music. He composed 3 string quartets, Piano Quintet Op.44, and Piano Quartet in 1942. Piano Quintet Op.44 was worked from September 23, 1842 and completed on October 12.


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Score Reading I

This is an article for Admaestro users and general users who want to learn music a little more serious.
To study and interpret music , it is essential to read scores because they are only tangible materials that  composers can express their music.
Please get a miniature score of Eine kleinenacht Musik by Mozart. You can get one from your music dealers or you can down load it from IMSLP site on lime. When you use the digital score, print out a hard copy otherwise you would not be in time for turning pages.

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Do you know where you are while playing?

Have you ever thought about “where am I?  What am I doing?” while you are playing music?

When your conductor starts the music, don’t you think “if music comes to the end, it is over.”
If the music is short enough, your memory tells you that next page has the ending. But if the music is very long, don’t you say in mind, “how many more pages shall I turn?”

It is always important to know where you are and what you are doing even in the music world. I would like to explain the importance by an example of sonata style.

Classical standard sonatas comprise Exposition, Development, Recapture and Coda.
You can easily find the end of Exposition because it has a repeat mark at its end. So, Development starts after the repeat mark. You can find the beginning of Recapture since the Recapture is exactly same as Exposition. And the end of recapture is almost the same as Exposition. Therefore, it is not difficult to know where you are in the music structure.

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How to use scores (1)

This article is written for beginners who want to learn more on music.

First thing to do is to get a score of Mozart’s Serenade in G major K.525 “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”. You can get it from sheet music dealers, but it is easy to go to IMSLP site and search for “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” and download a score. When you use the score, I recommend printing out the score because turning pages is much faster than you think.


All score are written based on 5 string parts. When other instruments like winds are added, they are written above the section of string parts. Here, cellos and contrabass use same music, so 5 string parts are written in 4 parts

From the top, First Violin, Second Violin, Viola, Cello&Base are set. In Mozart time or classic era, more than 80 percent of melodies are played by the first violin.  Therefore, look at the first violin part only while you listen to the music. It is important technique not to get lost.

As you understand, you should read the next page or next stave when the first violin plays only 4 measures. Therefore, you will be busy turning your pages when music starts. If you do not get lost to the end of the first movement in any case, Congratulations!

It is not required to read each note exactly. If you can follow the music somehow, it is good enough. Repeat this lesson until you get confidence following the first violin. Then you will find yourself having time to read other parts.

When you repeat to listen to music while reading the score, you will become to be able to read the music.
Best training method to obtain this skill would be; Listening to the music with score first, and then read the score without listening to the music. Don’t hurry, but try this method.

First Stage Performance by AdMestro

After our periodical Concert in the last October, we were inquired for the performance at a concert for children in March 1. It is a graduation memory concert of the elementary school.
A mother told us that program would be La Follia by Corelli, Siciliano and Rigodon by Kreisler, Sonata in G minor by Eccles and 2nd and 3rd movements of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and she did not want a piano accompaniment and want a string orchestra to accompany.

We  arranged Corelli, Kreisler and Eccles for Baroque Ensemble style with strings and cembalo and decided to use AdMaestro at stage for the first time.

We had the concert at Warabi City culture hall yesterday.
For Mendelssohn, we used CD by MMO as source music, AdMaestro with Kinect, and one each pult of Vn1,Vn2,Va,Vc,Cb as a string orchestra. Speakers were hanging type and located at the top of the stage.

Some audience said “It was so natural, I wondered where the winds were located” String players who had no time to practice said “It was so easy as we are supported. Problem was when I played off key, my sound did not harmonize and that tone went directly to the audience like I was a soloist.”

For me, as a conductor, it was a bit strange as the music of winds went through over my head since speakers were fixed at the ceiling. Speakers should be located behind the string orchestra.
AdMaestro had no problem at all. I set Kinect at the left front side of me and it did not pick up noises as lighting of audience was off.

I was quite sutisfied with this  concert.



Play Along CD and AdMaestro, the best combination.

I had played with Play- Along CD sometime and I had even sold CDs of Minus One Company in my sheet music shop before I started to develop AdMaeestro. Generally speaking, the satisfaction from Play Along CDs is much less than that of Karaoke. I think the reason is simple that the performance of classical music is based on a long tradition and soloists are not get used to follow orchestra. On the contrary, Karaoke is a new field of music and its preposition is to make singers follow CDs.  

The best way to use Play-Along CDs is to use them as a source of AdMaetro’s conducting data. As AdMaestro can change the tempo of CDs freely, so the essential problem of soloists disappears. I have already rehearsed piano concerts of Mozart, Chopin and Schumann. But it was not easy to satisfy pianists for various reasons. First, we needed good speakers with 50-100W output to balance out the volume of pianists. It is because they tend to play louder when they play concerts.

Next problem was the pianissimo of orchestra, its volume came down so low and pianists could not hear well. So, I put a set of monitor speaker besides the pianist. There were more problems.

By the sound of speakers, we can acknowledge the first violins on the left and cellos on the right, but cannot tell exactly where they are. As we experience daily, we can distinguish the voice of a certain person much better if we know where he is. The same happens during the ensemble, It is a great help for the soloist to know exactly where other players are located. I put small string orchestra, one pult each, in front of speakers. Things are greatly improved.

I am going to join a concert of elementary school girls on this March 3. One of them will play   3rd movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin concerto with a small string orchestra and AdMaestro accompanied. She is not specially trained to become a professional violinist, so her tempo is slow and volume is small. This will be the first stage experience for AdMaestro. Will keep you informed.