How (and when) to realise the split or stressed attack?



Ennio Nicotra  28/09/2016

In the technique of the orchestra conducting there are dozens of basic gestures which can be applied in corresponding contexts.The codification of these gestures by Ilya Musin is of great help to resolve certain moments. Solutions that aren’t banalities or arid technicalities , but always stand out for being able to combine in a single gesture expressiveness, clarity, musicality, simplicity, technique.

With time and practice obviously the student learns to recognize casuistry and gesture to apply.

I always remember that when I began to study at the St. Petersburg Conservatory the choice of the gesture to use in particular passages complicated my life, one day a columbian student told me:

“Don’t worry, you’ll see that in a short time your hand will go by itself…”

and actually I must say that after a few months, with my amazement, this happened on time. And this also happens to my students…

The brain automatically recognizes the casuistry and applies the corresponding gesture.

Clearly it takes a lot of study and practice to make this process automatic.

I want thereby to introduce one of these basic gestures whose application often solves you many problems, of your coordination and help for the musicians: the split or stressed attack, a basic gesture of great use in filling the time or space where there are internal subdivisions.

It can make more effectives the subdivisions that stand out particulary from the melodic and rhythmic texture, and therefore  it can be applied in the repertoire of all genres.


 Let’s see it in practice:

A very interesting case is this from  Tragic overture of Brahms:

And finally, a notorious passage from the third of Brahms…

Next Workshop in  Palermo (Sicily) 17-21 July 2017!  Intensive week with piano duo  in Villa del Pigno – Istituto dei ciechi Florio e Salamone.

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