A Masterclass with Philip Farkas on Musicianship


This summer I am presenting three sessions at the IHS symposium in Memphis, and this week the major project was organizing my materials for my Thursday session, “A 1989 Masterclass with Philip Farkas (1914-1992) on Musicianship.”

Several years ago I posted briefly about the original session on which this is based. In brief, in the ASU horn studio archive are a group of VHS tapes of sessions at the 1989 Southwest Regional Horn Workshop, held on the campus of Arizona State University. The first session of the workshop was by Philip Farkas; for an overview of the full session please see my earlier article.

Farkas-89-SWRHWNote that from the title of the session you can see it really is two sessions given back to back. For the IHS symposium presentation I will combine seven video clips of the second half of the session, on musicianship, with quotes from The Art of Musicianship to set the context. Over the course of the session you will hear not only suggestions relating to musicianship but also great, practical advice from Farkas on several standard excerpts.

As I noted in my original article on this video several years ago, I won’t be posting any of this to YouTube or releasing it in any manner commercial or otherwise. The only way to see this material, presented by Farkas in his own words, is to see it in an educational/academic setting such as this session, scheduled at 10:00 AM on the Thursday of the Memphis symposium.

To close I would offer this quote from The Art of Musicianship which sets the tone for the content you will see thoughtfully presented if you attend. I hope to see many of you there!

Can musicianship be improved or developed through study? The answer must be, “yes”! The musicianship which is inborn in all of us is but a seed which must be nurtured in many ways in order to flower. Arranging your own musical environment, as just suggested, is an important aspect in this development. And of course study with an excellent teacher is an absolute necessity. I believe that the good teacher divides the lesson into two parts: 1.) the consideration of the mechanical and physical requirements in playing and instrument or singing, 2.) the musical aspects of the lesson—phrasing, tone, expressive dynamics, tempo, etc. Gaining control of the mechanical aspects of playing enables the performer to express the music in any way desired. The consideration of musical qualities is to assure beautiful desires.

University of Horn Matters