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Originally Posted by jazzwee
As someone who devotes practically his entire time on making improvised music, I just want to say it is hard work and is based on a lot of fundamentals, which I practice daily. And I have a lot further to go.

I've done the "free way", for decades (with guitar). And the honest truth is that the lack of fundamentals and hard work LIMITED MY CREATIVE EXPRESSION.

The best improvisers out there know that you have to be informed by what came before you. I spend so much time studying masters in genre but I certainly do not sound like them.

Creativity in music is not limited to simple notes. It could be complex both in musical content and rhythm. It is not something one absorbs without exposure. The OP does a disservice by suggesting that "simplicity" allows for satisfactory creative expression. Some things need preparation.

Making improvised music is easy, not hard. Technique can be learned by most anyone. Trusting intuition - now there's something to get. Once you can do that, technique evolves by itself. And can even be invented. Imagine that. No hundreds of scales to learn. No time spent practicing scales either. No need to.

Each person finds the particular limits that will set their playing free. For beginning adults new to improvisation, the black keys work just fine. An entirely new and different experience for them as they explore creating directly, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

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No matter what motivated the beginning of this thread, it's been a worthwhile one.

I just don't understand why "being a skilled performer" and "enjoying the time one spends at the piano" are supposed by some to be mutually exclusive. Or why improvising and playing jazz are considered by some not to require time, study, and preparation. Or why playing classical music is thought by some not to involve any creativity.

I'd like to see as much creativity as possible, and as much thinking for oneself as possible, in all phases of piano study. By thinking for oneself, I don't mean throwing out everything that has gone before, but rather, understanding all that as much as possible and making one's own informed and considered musical decisions.

I'm weak at improvising on instruments, though I can improvise vocally without any trouble. I never was much good at teaching it, either, but I did try. I found that most of my students were very uncomfortable with even the simplest forms of improvisation I could find for them. Only a few showed any interest in trying to create sounds themselves. It surprised me.

Not precisely the same subject, but I'm remembering the near-horror my husband, a woodwind player, once showed at the thought of improvising a new cadenza for a concerto. He thought the standard ones were supposed to be played, period. And though he has a music degree and was trained as a classical clarinetist, he's almost exclusively a jazz player, so it's not like he doesn't improvise! When those concerti were written, obviously the cadenzas were meant as opportunities for the player to get creative and show off his or her abilities. Somehow we lost that concept along the way, but classical music seems to be regaining it these days, and not a moment too soon.

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Originally Posted by eweiss
Making improvised music is easy, not hard.


Copying chords from videos is very easy, I agree. Though creative improvisation, like anything that is satisfying in the long-run, requires some more investment into actually understanding what you're doing.

Quote
No time spent practicing scales either. No need to.


Unless one wants to accomplish something greater than slowly stringing together seventh arpeggios for the rest of their lives.

Last edited by Theowne; 02/14/10 03:51 PM.

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Originally Posted by Theowne


Quote
No time spent practicing scales either. No need to.


Unless one wants to accomplish something greater than slowly stringing together seventh arpeggios for the rest of their lives.


I agree.

If one vouches for creativity, then ought one not to vouch for tools that allow that creativity rather than to dismiss them as unnecessary? True, you don't necessarily need to know all the words in the English language to write beautiful poetry, but the more weapon in the armoury the more potential you have of creating magic.

If I were a piano composition teacher I would never ever tell students to dismiss mastering basic techniques.

Last edited by Tar; 02/14/10 04:01 PM.

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http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1147903/Searchpage/1/Main/82793/

hmmmm... a double membership. Not sure if this is allowed in PW, but it's not my job to judge. Still I did remember your 'lesson' back then, eweiss.

I have to say that what you seem to be 'selling' (not in monetary terms, but just what you are pushing), is creativity based on ignorance. This itself is completely ignorant I'm afraid and I'm sorry that your initial post had some interesting issues inside, and was stemmed so awfully with your own contributions! frown

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you could BUY an ad rather than having 2 accounts to 'share'


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Nikolas, you have unmasked him!

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The quiescen log in is not in the user list any more. I don't know how long it's been gone, but ed hasn't used it in quite awhile. His ad is the ad for new age piano music on the PW home page.

I still don't agree with his observation that all classical music teachers don't teach improv, but just wanted to at least keep the facts straight.

If anyone would like links to the threads in which Ragtime Clown was "unmasked", to use his phrase, or shown to have 9 or more ids in plain words, I'll be happy to oblige.

Cathy


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I'm not a mod here to have many problems with a double account.

Bakc when Ed posted his lesson in composers forum, I had problems with the lesson itself, the ideas and virtually everything. I had no idea we would "meet up" a few years later or so!

I wanted to listen to eweiss music, thus I recalled the lesson and thought of paying a visit. But the video now is private, as is everything else in youtube, so I was unable.

Still to what I recall the lesson was far from what one would expect as one...

I'm not too sure what to post without entering the flame war or insulting field really. I'm rather annoyed with his approach to everything in this thread, his music, his teachings and his website. The best description I could come up for all of this, I'm sorry to say is "snake oil".

Creativity is largely based on two things:
the skill of combining different elements (or similar, or something)
and
the skill to make the 'right' choice.

Everything has been done in the past. While we can always assume we're creating something new, most chances are that we are just copying someone else, that we've heard of. A unique voice is extremely hard to find, if at all! In all of this, there comes experience and knowlegde. Take these away and you are stuck with a child who never learned how to read, write and talk.

____________________________

To keep everything straight and on the initial post of this thread: I do find that a lot of classical music(ians) is/are too focused on the score. There is the old joke that the classical performer will improvise when by accident the scores/parts fall of the desk. But I largely dissagree with the creativity part. Performing (ergo creating sounds, creating audible music) is also creative!

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eweiss Offline OP
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Originally Posted by apple*

you could BUY an ad rather than having 2 accounts to 'share'


I have only one account. I have purchased an ad and have given PW over $1500.00 in advertising revenue.

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Originally Posted by Nikolas
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1147903/Searchpage/1/Main/82793/

hmmmm... a double membership. Not sure if this is allowed in PW, but it's not my job to judge. Still I did remember your 'lesson' back then, eweiss.

I have to say that what you seem to be 'selling' (not in monetary terms, but just what you are pushing), is creativity based on ignorance. This itself is completely ignorant I'm afraid and I'm sorry that your initial post had some interesting issues inside, and was stemmed so awfully with your own contributions! frown

What ignorance do you speak of?

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ok.. i was concerned. i'm always sticking my nose into things..

my apologies for my assumptions.

Last edited by apple*; 02/14/10 05:40 PM.

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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Creativity is largely based on two things:
the skill of combining different elements (or similar, or something)
and
the skill to make the 'right' choice.

Everything has been done in the past. While we can always assume we're creating something new, most chances are that we are just copying someone else, that we've heard of. A unique voice is extremely hard to find, if at all! In all of this, there comes experience and knowlegde. Take these away and you are stuck with a child who never learned how to read, write and talk.

Nikolas, what is the 'right' choice? You certainly don't need a lot of 'skill' to make it. As far as experience and knowledge go, I have nothing against it. Why would I? As I wrote in an earlier post on this thread, it's fascinating seeing the responses here, most of which have little to do with what I think about the creative process or piano playing.

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eweiss Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tar
Originally Posted by Theowne


Quote
No time spent practicing scales either. No need to.


Unless one wants to accomplish something greater than slowly stringing together seventh arpeggios for the rest of their lives.


I agree.

If one vouches for creativity, then ought one not to vouch for tools that allow that creativity rather than to dismiss them as unnecessary? True, you don't necessarily need to know all the words in the English language to write beautiful poetry, but the more weapon in the armoury the more potential you have of creating magic.

If I were a piano composition teacher I would never ever tell students to dismiss mastering basic techniques.

Having a full tool chest is great. But most never use them. Much better to give students a few chords they can learn easily and then have them dive into creative expression rather than have them use a textbook approach. I've read many, many books on composition and know much about the art. But I have no need or desire to create a sonata in the syle of Beethoven or Mozart.

Besides, what I teach is New Age piano music. It is, for the most part, simple. And that my friends is a good thing in my book.

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Originally Posted by jotur


If anyone would like links to the threads in which Ragtime Clown was "unmasked", to use his phrase, or shown to have 9 or more ids in plain words, I'll be happy to oblige.

Cathy


Cathy,

The issue of my multiple accounts was dealth with sometime ago. Now, if you want to spend some time setting up links to those posts fine. It is obvious that you have a personal problem with EVERY single post I make on these forums.

It appears that you spend so much of your time on the internet and very little actually playing the piano.

Deleted by moderator.



Last edited by BB Player; 02/14/10 07:07 PM. Reason: Personal attack and profanity deleted.
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Originally Posted by eweiss
Besides, what I teach is New Age piano music. It is, for the most part, simple. And that my friends is a good thing in my book.
Ed, I don't think all the people who've responded in this thread would have such a problem with your method and approach if you hadn't used the either/or, better/worse line, and implied that what we love and spend our lives doing is worthless. Maybe you don't mean that - but it's how it comes across, and that's what is antagonising people. You may believe it's worthless to "play the music of dead composers" (I notice you didn't respond to Elissa's query about live ones!) but you don't need to say it to sell your product, do you? Couldn't you just describe what you're offering without the criticism of other approaches? I think you'd get a friendlier response.


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eweiss Offline OP
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Hi Currawong. You're right of course. It's just that this forum is titled Piano World - not Classical Piano World. In order to be heard, I tend to be a little provocative.

I know many don't believe this, but I really do love classical music. Mozart is my favorite classical music composer. I love his flute concertos.

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Deleted.

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'right', not right. This is why it comes with "! There is no right or wrong, but depending on circumstances one must make a choice.

A lot of your posts deal with freedom, etc. I tried to keep the context intact and in most cases I copied your whole posts. Like for example (all from this thread):

Quote
You're right. It's much, much easier to teach people a few seventh chords and allow them to experience music first hand. Thankfully.
"a few seventh chords". Allow me to tell you that one could also learn 9th chords, chords in fourths, clusters or what else and experience music in a 'better' way (again there's no 'better' thus the "). Not to mention that it's not the seventh chords that count but the connection between them!

Quote
You can do it that way. Or you can just go to your piano, sit down and play what you feel. I once had a student ask me to show her how to play something 'happy.' I told her that if she were feeling happy, then the music would be informed with that emotion.
How are they going to play what they feel if they don't know enough? How one will write what they feel, if they don't have the vocabulary? You are basically saying that a happy 4-5 year old will automatically play happy music.

Quote
Aim low? As opposed to aiming high by recreating a dead composers work? If that's what you consider a challenge, I'll stick with my simple seventh chords.
So playing any composer but our own self is... not a challenge? Okie...

Quote
The less you know, the more you can stay in touch with what you're feeling. Work easy!
Exactly how does that work? How can you articulate, how can you outpour what you feel if you don't know how to do it? How to write it? How to spell it? how to communicate it?

Quote
I don't want people to become skilled performers. I want them to enjoy the time they spend at the piano. I want them to experience music first hand and to feel the joy that comes from that.
"music". As in their own music. What if, in the times we're living, one decides that they desperately want to play Chopin? There is a humongous thread about this "dead composer" after all, so he must've done something right, right? You are offering a very limited one side story of what the joy of music is. You refer to creativity, but actually limit everyone, with your lack of offerings as far as knowlegde is concerned!

Quote
Inlanding, all I mean is that you don't have to spend years learning theory to dive in to playing the piano or to create your own unique music.

Some spend years studying and never really experience music in a direct simple way. For someone who has never improvised before, it's important to keep things very simple in the beginning.

You can get as 'sophisticated' as you want. Nothing wrong with that. But what many want is the experience itself without having to spend years before they can actually 'be' at the piano.
Again you speak of simple. But you also offer the "playing like a pro" in your website (not 100% here, so correct me if I'm wrong. But certainly this is the feeling I got from your website).

Also the "unique music" is quite delluding as far as I'm concerned. So much clichéd chord progression, and chord formation, and melodic movement can hardly be classified as unique. I mean, even if you put it down to math you can take into account all possible connections betwen minor/major/7th chords and see that they are limited. Not to mention the more limitations that one puts by sticking into a single (or two) tonalities. In tonal music you won't run accross that easily a C maj chord into an F# piece (silly example, don't mind it too much).

But you are again selling 'unique music', very easily, very fast, very friendly.

Quote
Making improvised music is easy, not hard. Technique can be learned by most anyone. Trusting intuition - now there's something to get. Once you can do that, technique evolves by itself. And can even be invented. Imagine that. No hundreds of scales to learn. No time spent practicing scales either. No need to.

Each person finds the particular limits that will set their playing free. For beginning adults new to improvisation, the black keys work just fine. An entirely new and different experience for them as they explore creating directly, perhaps for the first time in their lives.
Can you give me an example of a scale that YOU invented? I'd be honestly interested to know. Or maybe a chord?

Yes, trusting intuition is brilliant, but how to acquire that? How to work on that and invent stuff if you have no idea what is out there? It seems like reinventing the wheel to me.

This is what I'm getting from your posts and the whys. Feel free to reply and correct my misunderstandings! smile

________________

You'll be surprised to know that I actually find myself 49% in agreement with you (and no, I didn't count myself to see how much % I agree with you).

I treat my each student differently and don't stub them with tons of theory, etc. But I'm open to everyone and open to every suggestion they have. If someone just wants to dive and learn to play 'a little piano', I'm probably not the guy to go to, but regardless they can and yes it should be made easy!

But between that and blaming education, acquiring knowledge for not being able to play what you feel and proclaiming that 'a little piano' will make one a pianist, who they will create unique music, in a few lessons, there is a HUGE gap.

Finally

Quote
As I wrote in an earlier post on this thread, it's fascinating seeing the responses here, most of which have little to do with what I think about the creative process or piano playing.
Maybe then you should consider a few things like:
Is your thoughts on creative process or piano playing coming accross as you wish them?
Have you developed, in a sense, a name which follows your posts, rather than the other way around?
Could it also be that this thread has little to do with what you think about creative process or piano playing, because of the lack of your participation in this (first 5 pages only have 1-2 of your posts, and apart from the first post, the rest are almost single sentences).

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