This work is collaboration with Zbyněk Prokop, Irena Lányiová and Martin Derner.
The Botanical Garden collection contains musical games and compositions that I have created for my students. It is intended for curious teachers and students who like to try and search. The material is diverse, suitable for different levels of (not only) piano playing. The botanical garden is freely available in the form of a pdf file. The two songs also include recordings, which you can find in the form of mp3 files here (Bachesova) and here (Choral).
The ink illustrations were created by Zbyněk Prokop and the creation of the collection was supported by the ISCM Slovak Section.
There is a multimedia version of Botanical garden book with name Pianora on iTunes
Music has several ways to write. One of them, a very interesting and imaginative way, are graphic scores. Graphic notation began to develop from the middle of the last century by authors such as John Cage, Morton Fedman, or Cornelius Cardew. Among the Slovak authors, it is worth mentioning especially Milan Adamčiak and his rich work in this area.
The graphic notation method is very suitable for students who do not know or are not yet able to work with another type of music notation. Therefore, the first part of the Botanical Garden consists of graphic scores. Graphic music has great potential in developing children’s musical and sound imagination. When children do not know the notes, they are very happy to come up with their own tags that are easy to remember and use. In addition to the joy of finding sounds, it teaches them to listen and notice the quality of the resulting sound. The aim of this section is for students to be able to create their own compositions and write them down graphically.
GAMES WITH SONGS
Use of frequently used material, children’s songs - “standards”, for a new musical experience. Games guide the child to create their own musical form. By creating and using their own graphic marks for individual “voices”, the child becomes a constructor of form and real score, and in addition he plays his song, many times!
Sitting in front of an instrument is sometimes difficult, especially if we have some better fun. Ideally, we will combine these activities and play with our favorite toy, or paint pictures. Two songs from the Botanical Garden use toys - a small metal toy car “matchbox” and a retractable bird. But feel free to come up with your own combinations
Do you know it? I found the only composition for children where the piano would be prepared in the collection of Iľja Hurník Z voršilské uličky, so I added three more. Properly preparing a piano is not just that easy. In order not to harm an instrument in the Botanical Garden you will also find a detailed guide inspired by Richard Bunger’s book The Well Prepared Piano.
This is the song Bicycle. Aleško Junek plays the prepared piano.
MUSIC WITH TAPE
It’s quite great to open a window in the spring and play with the birds. Sounds are around us all day and we, as future musicians working with the medium of sound, should know and be able to actively perceive everything we can hear. We may want to work with it someday. Not only the sounds that were given the flashy name “musical” (tones), but we also have an infinitely large world of other sounds, such as “non-musical” (noises). Yes, birdsong is also in the noise category. Isn’t that weird? There are two songs in the collection that are played along with the recording. Audio files can be easily downloaded here (Bachesova) and here (Choral).