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“What is the pick up in music?” at the lesson of Dancla Air Varie for violin and piano op.89 no.6

“Today, we’ll look at this music for the first time. It is a great opportunity for you to try sight-reading as well, so don’t be afraid and just try playing it. It is Dancla Air Varie no.6.”

dancla air varie op.89 no.6 theme

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

“OK, sorry to stop you, but do you play the very first note, which is A, with down bow or an up bow?”

“I started with a down bow.”

“Yes, so you did, but usually this note is played with an up bow. Do you know why?”

“?????”

“In this case, the very first note, A, is a pick up. Have you heard the term? “

“I’m not sure…”

The pick up is a part of phrase which can be a note or sequence of notes, or even motif, which leads into the next measure (down beat). Due to its function, it is usually played with an up bow, because we’d like to play the important beat (down beat or strong beat) with down bow. That way, we can get help of gravity.

Now, can you find any other pick ups in the Theme? The notes which leads into the next down beat? I can tell you there are four more besides the very first A. Maybe you can even write the down bow signs.”

“Yes, I find them !!!”

“Very good !” 😀

dancla air varie op.89 no.6 theme pick ups

“Now, let’s try another exercise to find pick ups. Find them and indicate the bowings in the music below, which is Dancla Air Varie op.89 no.5 theme.”

dancla air varie op.89 no.5 theme

The answer is:

dancla air varie op.89 no.5 theme pick ups

Another example of pick up as a sequence of notes is:

dancla air varie op.89 no.2 variation II

This is a part of variation II of Dancla Air Varie no.2. There you can see the pick of of sequence of 6 notes.

Now, you are more familiar with pick ups ! I’m sure you will see pick ups very often in music. You can pay attention and find them ! 🙂

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