Musical Map

Does your teacher tell you to be more ‘musical’, more ‘expressive’ or play with more ‘feeling’?

I bet you’re left wondering how to do that. By using the Musical Map method you can give your piece more direction and make it sound more musical and expressive.

The Musical Map method requires that you mark every single note on your piece of music. These markings will show the direction of the music, the high points of phrases and guide the ebb and flow of the music.

You should realise that every note in a piece is either going towards the top of a phrase or coming away from a high point.

You can choose your own markings to create your map. I prefer to use arrows above the music to show the direction that the notes are going:
In the example above the arrows either point towards or away from the high point of the phrase. The high points are marked with a circle so you can see them easily. Start and end points are marked with a square.

Having your music marked in this way will make it immediately obvious where you are going in each phrase. You’ll also without knowing it start to shape your phrases more musically.

Have a go at creating your own musical maps. Use your own symbols, lines and dots to create a map.

Remember, there is no one correct way to do this. Musicians phrase in different ways and your way is just as valid as any other.

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