In an ideal world, the instruments would play the same notes on every note in the scale. But due to how the human hands work, we always have to make compromises that limit what we can do with a particular instrument.
If I play the piano on the right hand, and play a high note on your viola on the left, you’re not likely to be happy with that. That’s a compromise I don’t make. If you want to change notes or add notes on instruments, just try a different instrument. For instance, on a piano, you can play a single note, then play another note on the same instrument on the left, and repeat on the right.
But then, that’s a pretty long way from playing a whole note on the instrument, so you have to adjust the playing in other places. The same with violin, which is a different instrument than the piano, so you really have to adjust in a lot of places.
Wouldn’t this allow players to take breaks?
That’s a good question. Yes and no. Let’s talk first about the piano. If you’re playing the violin, it’s like playing a symphony, so the longer you play it, the better it is.
So for instance, if you’re playing the first four octaves and keep the notes together on the left, you might keep it the same. After you get to the fifth octave you might play something else. It’s not a long term process, it’s quite short. But if you’re playing a symphony for 20 hours a day, that’s pretty much what you’re doing.
It’s the same with the violin. And with the piano, you are trying to be flexible for each instrument. You want as little compromise as possible.
So there’s no need to play a whole note on one instrument on the left, or on the other for each other, in order to play it?
Yes, but it is more than that, because it’s a very specific thing. For instance, on a piano, if I start playing a high note, the note stops. I don’t want to be playing a note that is just as long as the other note is. So I have to go and add another note on the same part of the instrument. So that’s an easy compromise you make and can be done with pretty much any instrument, because each player works with their own playing style.
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