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Music is a form of human expression that inescapably reflects the characteristics of our society in many ways. The hierarchy that has structured society since the existence of the human being as a species has dominated our world and ended up being installed in all areas. In music, there are both major and minor elements, such as melody and harmony. Knowing how to identify the level of relevance of musical elements is essential to achieve a clear and fluid communication that can reach the audience in a transparent way. In this session we work with the roles of dominance in the saxophone quartet with the aim of maximising our ability and speed of change between the different levels of the range of importance.

On this occasion we used for the activity one of the first works written for our ensemble, the Premier Quatour Op. 53 by Jean Baptiste Singelée. The first exercise that Carles proposed consisted of establishing a role of absolute dominance of one of the members of the group over the others, isolating him from his usual position and placing him in a central and visible area, as if he were a conductor. With this exercise, we learnt that the permanence of dominance in a single component generates lack of communication among the rest of the group, as a result of the overattention paid to the dominant one.

Next, Carles wanted to prove that unity is strength: the three dominated components had to "rebel" against the dominant and make their own musical decisions. This exercise proved that a united group intention is stronger than a dominant individual.

The communication of the ensemble and the interchange of the different roles are fundamental to engage the audience and communicate an idea pronounced in the same way by all four. However, we sometimes seem to forget that just a few metres away there is an attentive and expectant audience. Why not dedicate certain musical moments to speaking directly to this audience, through a gesture, a look, an intention? Carles invited us to take advantage of those moments of protagonism that each of us possesses at some point to try out this idea of direct communication with the audience.

After all, the exchange of roles and the ability to listen and react to what your colleagues are doing are the key to absorbing all the musical ideas that are born in the group and also to show them to the audience in the clearest possible way.


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