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Background info on the Stamp CD accompaniments

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:31 am    Post subject: Background info on the Stamp CD accompaniments Reply with quote

In response to the assertion that the Stamp accompaniment CD is the "opposite" of what Stamp intended, I submit for your consideration the following essay about the Stamp book and CD by Thomas Stevens, quoted in its entirety from the Editions BIM/Brass Bulletin website:

James Stamp: The Original Warm-Ups & Studies
written by Thomas Stevens
James Stamp and I were faculty members at the annual Moudon Special Courses for Brass Players, which took place in Switzerland from 1976 through 1979, and in Bulle in 1980, and which attracted many of the best European professional brass players and students.

From the summer of 1977, Jean-Pierre Mathez and I spent many days working with our dear friend and colleague, "Jimmy" Stamp, on the initial publication of the James Stamp "Warm-Ups and Studies" for Editions Bim, which occurred one year later, in 1978.

During those production meetings, Jimmy's wishes and instructions were followed implicitly, beginning with his insistence that the publication would only include those basic musical and technical materials and concepts he used with virtually all of his students, whether in individual lessons or master-classes. This requirement was of special interest to Stamp because in his teaching he frequently would modify his exercises to meet the needs of individual students, and he was concerned that, just as decades earlier in the case of one of his own teachers, the legendary Max Schlossberg, such individual students would mistakenly interpret those adaptations as representing substantive conceptual changes and would disseminate them as such to their own students rather than accepting them as being nothing more than simple adjustments intended for them as individuals. Jimmy Stamp did not wish to repeat the Schlossberg experience, which resulted in much confusion about the latter's teaching concepts that exists to this day.

Therefore, he requested, and Editions Bim agreed, that all of his instructions for the publication be followed to the letter. The final result of this collaborative effort was that literally everything in the Editions Bim publication was personally supervised and approved in writing by James Stamp, and this represented the only time he was ever directly and personally involved in the publication of any of his teaching materials.

As a consequence, the published Editions Bim version of the Stamp "Warm-Ups and Studies" (under world copyright since 1978; including the revised/corrected Bim editions) exists as the only authentic publication of James Stamp's work.

The CD Accompaniments: Basic Concepts

Most students of James Stamp have always believed the Stamp Warm-Ups were more effective when played in his presence and under his tutelage than when played in private practice sessions.

The Stamp exercises, perhaps more than other brass methods, emphasize musical principles as much as physical concepts to accomplish the desired technical results. Perhaps the most famous Stamp aphorism was that if it sounded correct (i.e., "in-tune"), then one was doing it correctly.

Or, conversely, if one did not play correctly it would not sound correct. Indeed, everything that has been said or written about Mr. Stamp and his teaching/playing concepts reinforces this basic idea.

To implement his concepts, James Stamp would play the Warm-Ups/ Exercises on the piano keyboard while the students would simultaneously play them on the mouthpiece or the instrument. This method imposed a certain discipline and minimized the need for an inordinate amount of verbal instructions and analyses since any problems would become known almost immediately and consequently could be addressed early in the training process.

These accompaniments have been written in accordance with Mr. Stamp's specific tempo markings as dictated by the master to this writer in 1981. This is important to mention because many students have stated that when playing the Warm-Ups with Mr. Stamp they often-times experienced the feeling he was pushing them to keep moving along at a faster rate than they felt comfortable, both in terms of tempo and the sequences. This was intentional on the part of Mr. Stamp, for myriad pedagogical reasons which should be discussed in a more appropriate forum; however, suffice it to say, the accompaniments were designed to simulate an important Stamp concept: Keep Moving!

Every Stamp student has played each and every exercise on either the mouthpiece or the instrument: therefore, for this CD, a generic sound for the Stamp lines in the accompaniment was developed to accommodate both mediums.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So.....not to change the subject on you Tom, but regarding the idea of "Keep Moving", Stevens say that there are "myriad pedagogical reasons which should be discussed in a more appropriate forum." Well.....what are they?

Also, I've always thought it'd be interesting to see a collection of Stamps "modified" exercises. There are some modifications that my teacher got from stamp that he uses and showed to me. I find it very helpful to do certain exercises they way that he showed me....as opposed to the way it's printed in the book. I'd love to see how Stamp modified things for specific issues. Were there certain mods he'd do for high range problems? How about articulation? Quick breath? These are only examples, but it gets at the heart of his teaching.


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