This YouTube video is the second in my ‘…in bits…’ series, a collection of tutorials where I follow the completed piece with hands separate videos, voice separate, slow, with and without ornamentation, whatever I think could prove useful.
With pieces such as the Krebs, it is invaluable to not just go straight in with the ornaments, but to learn the music without any decoration as if that version were a piece in its own right; i.e., the musical equivalent of being able to see the woods despite the trees. I don’t teach this technique because ornaments are scary (they’re not), or because they are difficult (again, they’re really not!), but because they are only ornamentation, and unless a musician can understand the main body of the music in its plainest form, they have no chance of understanding it with added fiddly bits.
What I missed on this collection, and I regret not adding in, was an even more stripped back version which my students have been learning. The Krebs, indeed all music, can be stripped back to basic harmony or simple melodic lines, and it is incredibly useful to learn this unornamented version, rather than just obvious one we read on the page. I might add this in later; it’s certainly been fascinating for me to see how my students have been stripping this piece back in different ways to me and to each other.