About Life in Flow:Flow in Life

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Kopprasch Forever

Kopprasch is an ever popular topic among horn players. I particularly enjoyed Mr. Kopprasch, Most Revered, Respected and Holy  on Horn Matters and Hooked on Hornonics, in which the answer to all problems is Kopprasch #1.

For some reason I never did much Kopprasch as a young student. My teachers assigned me to learn maybe five of the etudes in Book 1. Milan Yancich, who I studied with in college, was very keen on Preparatory Melodies. I was quite taken aback when I came to him as a freshman and found out I would be working on these "simple" little melodies. Of course, I soon found out that working on Preparatory Melodies with Yancich was not easy or simplistic. I also worked on solos and excerpts with him. When I went on to study with Dale Clevenger, most of my time with him was spent working on orchestral music and solos.Over the years I kept playing the few etudes I had studied.

So about a year ago I decided to begin working on Kopprasch and work my way through both books. I'm now in Book 2, Nos. 41 and 42. I had feared I would be stuck on No. 39 forever, but I felt ready to move on a few days ago.

Why Kopprasch? Technique is not my strongest point and working on these etudes has improved my overall technique. In an earlier post I wrote about the Bach Partita, which is a very technical piece with lots of the big jumps typical of Bach. I found I was able to navigate those leaps with more ease than before. It's also a feeling of accomplishment to work on each etude until I feel like it's good enough to move on. I know I can always come back and work on any of them more. And, I feel that Kopprasch, along with Maxime-Alphonse and Gallay, are the backbone of the horn etudes, and I would be missing an important experience by not learning these classics.

Horn players seem to have strong feelings about Kopprasch. I found a "no Kopprasch" tee shirt, courtesy of newhornist.com as well as an "I [heart]  Kopprasch" button and this bumper sticker:
(Bumper sticker by MissMussel at zazzle.com)

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