My English Journals

Pressure seems to have gone






Mon. 11st Mar., 1991. 20℃. Sunny.

It has been a difficult day for me.

Two mid-term examinations worried me today. Modern Chinese Literature came first in the morning and Music History followed in the afternoon.

I started preparing for them nearly two weeks ago. For Literature, there were two long fictions and several short articles to be studied. I have read them all on trains and buses.

For Music History of the Renaissance (文藝復興), I read it at home because from time to time I had to refer to scores (樂譜) and listen to tapes.

I am really happy to finish these two examinations satisfactorily.

The pressure seems to have gone, but my Music History assignment must be handed in within two days.

It is hard to compare three things

Tues. 12nd Mar., 1991. 19. Cloudy.

I have been sitting here, the University Library, for a long time trying to write an essay on the comparison of secular songs of Josquin, a master of the Renaissance.

This is a difficult task indeed. Two hours have gone, but I can't write down anything except the title of the essay!

To compare two thing is not hard. You can say this one has these characters and that one has those; but to compare three things is not that easy.

I think it is better to fix one song as the centre of comparison among the three, and then subject the other two to the centre one. Otherwise I will not get any result even if I spend another two hours on the topic.

It is time for Mrs Bond's lesson now. I am going to wind up this journal and then rush to the video room for Mrs Bond's class because she doesn't like to see anyone late for her lessons.


What a great relieve it is

Wed. 13rd Feb., 1991. 18. Fine.

I have just finished painstakingly (痛苦地) the draft of my music history assignment (功課).

What a great relieve (解除了壓力) it is!

After the mid-term examinations (段考), my brain has become very blunt (鈍的). Sometimes I even forget the spelling of some simple words.

I really ought to have some leisure time to reflresh myself; but tomorrow will be the deadline of my music history assignment. It is a postponed (延期的) deadline already, so I can't let it delayed (延期) any more.

I shall go to the cinema and window-shopping after finishing my work tomorrow.

Now, I had better start typing my music history assignment.


I badly need some recreations to make myself fresh

Thurs. 14th Mar., 1991. 18. Cloudy.

I feel so relax that its almost like having a term-break.

I have been studying very hard for the mid-term examinations in the past two weeks. And immediately after that, I have only two days to finish my music history assignment.

Not until having handed in the assignment this afternoon, I can't feel easy.

My brain is extremely tired now because it has been active memorizing a lot of things for examinations and working on a difficult assignment.

Mrs Bond may find that this journal is like a primary student's composition (小學生的作文) in which no clear stream of thoughts (思路) can be sought (找到).

I badly need some recreations to make myself fresh.


I shall sing two Italian songs in front of the Jury of the Music Department

Fri. 15th Mar., 1991. 16. Cloudy .

Next Thursday, I shall sing two Italian songs in front of the Board (委員會) of the Music Department.

I am quite nervous about that because I have taken vocal (聲樂) lessons for only half a year.

Fortunately, I like singing Solfegee. I have gone through all three of the Danhauser Solfegee books in Hong Kong Music Institute. I will sing those lovely melodies when I feel bored. It is a good way to cheer myself up and can also improve my mental hearing.

That's why my vocal teacher was quite surprised when hearing me sing the first song. In order to be more confident, I have borrowed from my friend a CD of the whorl's three top tenors (男高音) and listen to them quite often.

I hope I will be able to perform well enough to satisfy the board.

I think the Chinese Government is over-worried

Sat. 16th Mar., 1991. 18. Fine.

The new airport in Chat Lat Kok, so-called rose garden, has been a controversial (備受爭議的) subject between the Chinese Government and the British side.

What they argue for is money. The Chinese Government is afraid that too much money will be spent on the project, leaving Hong Kong a poor city when it is returned to China in 1997.

Although the budget spent on this project is very great, but it will come back soon. Just imagine how much money will the new airport get in one day. Besides, Kaitak airport will be abandoned after the new one is built and gets into operation. That means we shall have more free land to use from the old Kaitak airport.

This is a sure-gain project and it is good to Hong Kong's economy as well as its international image.

I think the Chinese Government is over-worried (過分憂慮).

Listening to baritone is more comfortable than listening to tenors

Sun. 17th Mar., 1991. 17. CLoudy .

I am suddenly aware that human voice is a very expressive (表達力強的) instrument.

In order to have a good performance to pass the board of the Music Department,- I listen to several top singers in the world. They are all tenors (男高音), including Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavorotti, and also the baritone (男中音) Dietrich Fischer Dieskau.

The voices of the three tenors are really powerful. One can't, however, imagine their voices to be so touching unless he listens to their singings. They are all operatic (歌劇的) stars. It is difficult to tell who is the best.

Dietrich Fischer Dieskau is a German baritone with a thick voice (厚的). He is accompanied (伴奏) by Gerald Moore at the piano in a CD of Hugo Wolf's lieder (歌曲) collection.

Although Dietrich sings quietly, his singing is extremely touching. I like him more than the three tenors for it is less exciting listening to him than to tenors and I am a baritone too.


We are not good and experienced enough to perform yet

Mon. 18th Mar., 1991. 15. Cloudy.

"Music history lesson becomes less and less popular." My lecturer Dr Olsen said today when she came into the classroom and saw that many students were absent.

The reason, I think, is that the performance in front of the Board of the Music Department is coming on Thursday and they are probably practicing their instruments (樂器) at home.

It is a great pressure for the first year students to perform in front of the Board because most of us are not good and experienced enough yet.

I practiced singing for two hours this morning. My singing has been improved quite a lot after two day's exercises in dynamic control (大細聲的控制) and expressions (表情).


It is unwise to spend too much time on sports

Tues. 19th Mar., 1991. 18. Cloudy.

I have started keeping journals since 1st October, last year, but I haven't talk about "sports". Today I am going to write about this topic.

I don't like sports because I know little about them, except swimming and basketball. The other reason is that sports are totally opposite to what I study.

I think it's not worthwhile or even unwise to spend too much time on sports., unless those who are really have potential (潛能) in this field. People who spend most of their time on sports are usually quite dry. They badly need some music or poetry () to nourish (滋潤) their minds.

It is good to have sports as a kind of recreation to balance our work or study. I play basketball or go to swim to ease myself very often.

See how nice is the scene when President Bush (布殊總統) and Tolstoy (托爾斯泰) are playing tennis or jogging (慢步跑) in the countryside.

Tthat shows perfect balance of mental work (腦部工作) and physical exercise.

The Art of Singing

Wed. 20th Mar., 1991. 19. Cloudy.

I have been drilling (鑽研) the art of singing these days. To understand the vocal organ is my first objective (目的). I go through anatomy (解剖) books in order to get a full picture of the larynx (喉頭).

With the help of the book Singing: The Physical Nature of the Vocal Organ. by Husler and Rodd-Marling, I basically know the techniques and how to admire (欣賞) "Bel Canto", which means "beautiful singing". and in which falsetto (假音) plays an extremely important role.

My vocal teacher Mr Jimmy Chan has said that the most beautiful voice is the one combining falsetto with chest sound (假音與胸音結合).

I have just listened to the famous baritone (男中音) Dietrich Fischer-Diskau, who can really produce "bel canto", a sweet and delightful tone.

In the past few months, I didn't have much interest in vocal (聲樂) lesson, but today I enjoyed it very much.

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