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The Golandsky Institute Discovery Series: the Art of Rhythmic Expression (3-Part DVD).

The Golandsky Institute Discovery Series: The Art of Rhythmic Expression (3-Part DVD), The Golandsky Institute (Park West Finance Station, P.O. Box 20726, New York, NY 10025).

"At the beginning, there was rhythm"--Edna Golandsky

This set of three DVDs takes a serious look at rhythm and pulse as the underpinning for musical expression.

The Golandsky Institute was formed in 2003. In 2004, the Institute held its first Summer Symposium at Princeton University. These DVDs were recorded during the symposium before a live audience.

The first DVD starts with a lecture about rhythm and pulse. Although this part is somewhat interesting, the fun really begins with the careful and painstaking dissection of selected works, with explanations on the use of pulse and rhythm to enhance performance and better comprehend selected repertoire.

Edna Golandsky stays true to her mission throughout the series, carefully teaching the rhythmic underpinnings of Chopin's Mazurka, Op. 17, No. 4; Schubert's Impromptu in A-flat, Op. 90, No. 4; Schubert's Impromptu in E-flat, Op. 90, No. 2; and Chopin's Ballade, Op. 23.

Golandsky also stays faithful when discussing rhythm throughout the DVD series. Peripherally, she says music is about motion (rhythm), and to control motion you need to control the sound. She mentions other tapes that focus on technique and musicality.

The pieces presented came alive to me in a whole new way through Golandsky's explanations. The concepts presented can easily be transferred to other music. Most importantly, Golandsky based her ideas on the music, not on the "this is the way I do it, you should do it the same way" approach.

These DVDs are meant for the knowledgeable, mature piano student or teacher. Since these DVDs are the product of a live "performance," there are obvious flaws in production. Sometimes it is difficult to hear what Golandsky is saying and there is an occasional background buzz in the recording. Closed captioning would have helped, so one could pay more attention to the music and less time on figuring out what is being said. I would also have preferred a more complete accompanying booklet. Not only were there misspellings, but I had to go online to find out if there were more series besides the "Discovery Series." The DVDs are not indexed, which makes finding specific sections difficult and on the third DVD, I had trouble getting the first of the two volumes to play.

This said, these DVDs will become standard viewing for my graduate piano pedagogy classes, which will appreciate tangible ways for making a performance sound, as Golandsky puts it, "talented." Reviewed by Michelle Conda, NCTM, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Author:Conda, Michelle
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Video recording review
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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