Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
65 registered members (AZ_Astro, ARpiano, alphonsus, Anita Potter, BachToTheFuture, AndyP, 17 invisible), 1,230 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1013856 - 11/18/08 06:13 PM 'Binding musical phrases'  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 43
Patrick Toomey Offline
Full Member
Patrick Toomey  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 43
Charlottesville, Virginia
Howdy all,
Do any of you have any musical tips as to how to better bind the notes of a musical phrase so as to make it sound more legato? My teacher is harping on it and it is getting somewhat better but gosh it is tough. Today's lesson tip was when playing phrase containing more than one note, bind the top note since it is usually the melody and do not worry so much abut the bottom note. Any ohter helpful tips?

Patrick
Charlottesville, Virginia


Patrick Toomey
Charlottesville, Virginia USA
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1013857 - 11/19/08 02:04 PM Re: 'Binding musical phrases'  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Gyro  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
Your post sets off alarm bells in my mind
because of the use of the word "legato."
This thing about legato has become like
an obsession in the piano community today, and
people can dwell on it almost to the exclusion
of everything else. But anything that
is not staccato is essentially legato,
and so you're playing legato all of the
time; and so there's nothing extraordinary
about it. One forum member was given
special "legato exercises" for years by his
teacher to develop "the smooth legato touch."
There is no such thing as a special legato
exercise. All exercises: scales, arpeggios,
Hanon, Czerny, etc., are played legato.
Some sections in certain pieces are
traditionally played "more legato."
These are typically marked: legato, molto
legato, sempre legato, legatissimo, etc.
But this is all well within the range of
ordinary technique and is nothing to
become obsessed about.

If there's anything to become obsessed
about in playing, it is hitting all the
right notes in the right time at speed,
because if you can't do that, then you
can't even play whatever it is you're trying
to play. As for "legato," your playing
will become "more legato" as you gain
strength and experience, but to become
obsessed with it on a daily basis is
completely invalid, in my view.

#1013858 - 11/19/08 06:01 PM Re: 'Binding musical phrases'  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,049
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member
ProdigalPianist  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,049
Phoenix Metro, AZ
By "phrase containing more than one note" are you talking about phrases with chords in them? Because as far as I know, any phrase will be more than a single note wink

If I understood you correctly, you are supposed to bring out the melody line in a phrase that has a melody and chords? Are you talking about the melody note and the other notes in the same hand? or melody in one hand and chords in the other?


Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.
#1013859 - 11/19/08 06:04 PM Re: 'Binding musical phrases'  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member
sotto voce  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Patrick, are you conflating the terms phrase and slur? The latter implies legato; the former does not.

Steven

(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#1013860 - 11/19/08 10:38 PM Re: 'Binding musical phrases'  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Quote
Originally posted by Patrick Toomey:
Howdy all,
Do any of you have any musical tips as to how to better bind the notes of a musical phrase so as to make it sound more legato? My teacher is harping on it and it is getting somewhat better but gosh it is tough. Today's lesson tip was when playing phrase containing more than one note, bind the top note since it is usually the melody and do not worry so much abut the bottom note. Any ohter helpful tips?

Patrick
Charlottesville, Virginia
Unfortunately, I do not understand exactly what you are saying. Are you talking about phrases like in Schumann's Traumerei that contain thirds, fourths, etc.? I'll guess this is what you mean.

I personally use this method of voicing chords described in this very old (1928) magazine article by the young Vladimir Horowitz.

http://web.telia.com/~u85420275/Articles/1928.htm

The method works extremely well once you get the hang of it, and has become mostly second nature now that I've practiced it a lot.

As far as achieving a "legato" touch, remember not to try to hold down preceding notes as you play. It's just not necessary, if that is where your problem lies.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1013861 - 11/20/08 10:56 AM Re: 'Binding musical phrases'  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,022
Schubertian Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Schubertian  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,022
Dallas, TX, US
I am also not quite clear on the question so I will break it down into three related questions: legato, phrasing, and voicing.

I agree with Gyro that you do not need to feel obsessive about these things - if you understand what you must do and why then it is just a matter of training and concentration and time and you will master them. I absolutely do not agree that a clear, smooth, singing legato is not important - it is the most important and basic skill you must acquire before you work on anything else - in my humble opinion.

The piano is limited by the immediate decay of sound - we cannot sustain or build a tone once it is produced the say a singer can. To overcome this limitation we have to learn how to create a smooth legato. This is as much a matter of training the ear as training the hand.

I have been working on my legato with my teacher recently using scales. Here are some points:

- keep the fingers on the keys as much as possible, direct your attention to the finger tips and try to be aware of each key depression as it happens

- play 'into the keys', feel the hand reach the keybed, learn to feel the weight of the arm transfer from key to key

- learn to bind two notes together by paying attention to when the first key is released and when the second key is sounded - one type of legato results if you do not let up the first key until after the second key sounds contra Horowitzian up there

- learn to HEAR what you are producing - I thought I WAS playing legato last week when my teacher pointer out that there were all sorts of discontinuities in my runs of a Mozart piece I am working on - I never noticed them. He had me play each run hands separate, slowly and quietly and train myself to listen for discontinuities - this is the hardest part of the whole process - learning to HEAR. I noticed that I frequently lift my thumb too early simply because I am not used to paying attention to what it is doing to the same degree as my other fingers. 1-4 and 4-1 switches seem to be always problematic if you dont work on them

For shaping a phrase listen to a good singer - notice how typically the phrase starts quietly, builds as the singer lets out more volume, and then tapers off at the end. You must learn to imitate these dynamic changes in order to make the piano sound like it is singing. Our brains are wired to respond to the human voice - the more the piano imitate the voice the more expressive it sounds.

Practice this hands separate and slowly.

Voicing means bringing out a hierarchy of voices: a principle voice (usually the soprano), a harmonic fundamental (usually the bass) and then the accompaniment which adds to the harmonic fullness and rhythmic pulse. You have to learn out to play these three at different dynamic levels. That is just a matter of slow practice and training yourself to listen. Surprisingly it is easier than it sounds.

Mozart is the best composer to study and master all these things with. Mozart's intentions are almost always clear in the music, and there is always a great variety of basic technical demands in every piece. Mozart is Piano Technique 101.


"There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action." -- Goethe
#1013862 - 11/20/08 07:56 PM Re: 'Binding musical phrases'  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
He he, Schubertian, I meant to say to avoid keybedding in the OP's quest for better legato.
Sorry! shocked

Obviously, you have to connect the notes in the manner you state.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

Moderated by  BB Player, casinitaly 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Petrof IV - before and after tuning
by BobTB. 12/12/17 06:22 AM
Velocity Sample Switching
by memtrix. 12/12/17 05:29 AM
Samick 121 Action issue
by vibavi attigala. 12/12/17 03:45 AM
The "HUM" of my piano
by Weiyan. 12/12/17 02:37 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics183,235
Posts2,678,580
Members89,264
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0