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Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Damon #1482666 07/27/10 05:49 PM
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Also, if you are learning a piano concerto, you SHOULD listen to recordings to hear the orchestra, especially how they interact with the piano, and how the piano plays some of the orchestra's themes and vice versa (WHILE studying score to SEE how it plays out, too).

When learning a piano transcription, I think it's necessary to listen to the original, also.

Maybe in chamber music too? Similar principles as with concerti.

What are your thoughts on this?

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
David T #1482670 07/27/10 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by David T

I don't see how you can play anyone's interpretation but your own.


Have you ever seen an impressionist do an impression of some famous person? Or somebody do their impression of a regional dialect? I think copying someone's performance is somewhat comparable to those kinds of mimicry, where the player has deliberately assumed the "voice" of one or a number of other players, rather than using their own.

I think there may be a bit of a paradox involved too, because part of how you get a voice of your own comes in part from listening to others, initially, but it isn't really deliberate imitation.

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482682 07/27/10 06:33 PM
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For as much as I love recordings (I have a TON of them) sometimes I loathe them, because they've become such a crutch for so many. I really don't understand pianists who say "I only listen to see how the piece goes." Huh? You play the piano don't you? Well then, YOU should be able to determine how the piece goes. If you can't figure it out for yourself then I'd suggest getting together with your teacher and have them help re-ground you in the basics.

When we base everything on another person's ideas we're not learning anything, nor are we even sure why we're doing many of the things we're doing, because someone else predetermined everything we are doing and for their own reasons. As a result we are only playing the notes, because interpretation flew out the window once we decided that Joe Blow's ideas were those we were going to plagiarize. Now I can already hear many yapping that "it's not plagiarism", but really, it is. It's not YOUR idea is it? You heard Joe's articulation and Joe's delicious rubato and made them your "own", however, they're not your own. Hence, I sentence you to a week's practise of nothing but scales and arpeggios (hands separate of course) for not engaging the incredible brain God gave you in order to arrive at your own conclusions (and, of course, for your theft).



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482686 07/27/10 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Also, if you are learning a piano concerto, you SHOULD listen to recordings to hear the orchestra, especially how they interact with the piano, and how the piano plays some of the orchestra's themes and vice versa (WHILE studying score to SEE how it plays out, too).

When learning a piano transcription, I think it's necessary to listen to the original, also.

Maybe in chamber music too? Similar principles as with concerti.

What are your thoughts on this?


I don't think it's necessary to listen to recordings, but I don't think it hurts. I spent much of my youth playing Mozart and Beethoven I never heard before.

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482699 07/27/10 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Also, if you are learning a piano concerto, you SHOULD listen to recordings to hear the orchestra, especially how they interact with the piano, and how the piano plays some of the orchestra's themes and vice versa (WHILE studying score to SEE how it plays out, too).



I don't agree that you SHOULD listen to recordings when playing a concerto. Isn't the score guide enough? Why do we need to rely on a recording for any of these things? I'm not saying recordings are a bad thing (I love them), but reliance on your knowledge and musicianship, technique, etc., is a much better source than any recording.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
stores #1482705 07/27/10 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by stores
For as much as I love recordings (I have a TON of them) sometimes I loathe them, because they've become such a crutch for so many. I really don't understand pianists who say "I only listen to see how the piece goes." Huh? You play the piano don't you? Well then, YOU should be able to determine how the piece goes. If you can't figure it out for yourself then I'd suggest getting together with your teacher and have them help re-ground you in the basics.

When we base everything on another person's ideas we're not learning anything, nor are we even sure why we're doing many of the things we're doing, because someone else predetermined everything we are doing and for their own reasons. As a result we are only playing the notes, because interpretation flew out the window once we decided that Joe Blow's ideas were those we were going to plagiarize. Now I can already hear many yapping that "it's not plagiarism", but really, it is. It's not YOUR idea is it? You heard Joe's articulation and Joe's delicious rubato and made them your "own", however, they're not your own. Hence, I sentence you to a week's practise of nothing but scales and arpeggios (hands separate of course) for not engaging the incredible brain God gave you in order to arrive at your own conclusions (and, of course, for your theft).


stores, I would 100% agree, but in my case, when I love someone's interpretation and learn that piece of music, it doesn't influence my interpretation (maybe my love of the piece and the want to bring out the same emotion and feeling the performer gave me, but not how I shape my phrases, specific dynamic levels in specific spots, use of rubato, etc. I refer to the score or my piano teacher for guidance in that). When I learned Chopin Ballade 2, I was in love with Zimerman's recording! But I don't interpret it like he does. I sat at the piano (or away from the piano) with my score figuring out how I wanted to (or how I should shape the phrases, what the score is telling me to do, etc. Same with Le Tombeau de Couperin, Schumann Concerto 1st movement, and any other piece I knew of very well before learning them.

However, how often to people plagiarize/attempt to plagiarize interpretations?[b][/b]

Last edited by Orange Soda King; 07/27/10 06:52 PM.
Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
stores #1482716 07/27/10 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Also, if you are learning a piano concerto, you SHOULD listen to recordings to hear the orchestra, especially how they interact with the piano, and how the piano plays some of the orchestra's themes and vice versa (WHILE studying score to SEE how it plays out, too).



I don't agree that you SHOULD listen to recordings when playing a concerto. Isn't the score guide enough? Why do we need to rely on a recording for any of these things? I'm not saying recordings are a bad thing (I love them), but reliance on your knowledge and musicianship, technique, etc., is a much better source than any recording.


Well, in the cases I gave, I meant to hear the ORCHESTRA part and to hear the orchestra's interplay with the piano. Does that make a difference or not?

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482737 07/27/10 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Also, if you are learning a piano concerto, you SHOULD listen to recordings to hear the orchestra, especially how they interact with the piano, and how the piano plays some of the orchestra's themes and vice versa (WHILE studying score to SEE how it plays out, too).



I don't agree that you SHOULD listen to recordings when playing a concerto. Isn't the score guide enough? Why do we need to rely on a recording for any of these things? I'm not saying recordings are a bad thing (I love them), but reliance on your knowledge and musicianship, technique, etc., is a much better source than any recording.


Well, in the cases I gave, I meant to hear the ORCHESTRA part and to hear the orchestra's interplay with the piano. Does that make a difference or not?

It makes a difference only in that it is more difficult, but you can study everything you need to using the full score, audiation, and playing lines and chords as you need to keep your audiation on track. After enough study the orchestral parts are in your head and you can use your innner orchestra while practising (in the same way as if you had used recordings).

While this is by no means easy! and you have to have some experience with orchestral scores and be familiar with alto clef for viola and other technical issues, it's a wonderful exercise for developing your musicianship.

If you were not familiar with orchestral scores I'd recommend beginning with something like a Mozart concerto.

OSKing - I bet you would be capable of this. Do you think you could if there was a movement of a Mozart concerto that you weren't familiar with? Or would you find it too time consuming to bother?

Last edited by Canonie; 07/27/10 07:38 PM. Reason: last paragraph

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Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Canonie #1482741 07/27/10 07:46 PM
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The times I've played concertos I've always played through the accompaniment and then studied the full score. Doesn't hurt and you learn more. It also takes more time, which is why I can see people running to recordings. I think in general people underestimate themselves. I am sure you're all capable of doing more than you say.

Damon I'm sorry for that ridiculous comment. I wish I didn't have to be responsible for the garbage that comes out of my mouth sometimes.. laugh



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Pogorelich. #1482744 07/27/10 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
The times I've played concertos I've always played through the accompaniment and then studied the full score. Doesn't hurt and you learn more. It also takes more time, which is why I can see people running to recordings. I think in general people underestimate themselves. I am sure you're all capable of doing more than you say.

Do you think it adds a lot more work/time if you the piece is completely unfamiliar? I guess I'm asking if you've ever had the experience of studying this way with a piece you've never heard, and with no listening to get the process started.


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Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Canonie #1482747 07/27/10 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Canonie

OSKing - I bet you would be capable of this. Do you think you could if there was a movement of a Mozart concerto that you weren't familiar with? Or would you find it too time consuming to bother?


I have a book of Mozart concerti on me right now. I'll pick a random one and look at it (slow movement to start off with) and see what I can make of it.

What if I recorded myself playing 2nd piano part, and then played the solo part to to it? Is that any different? Since it is my own "interpretation." Sort of like this guy.

Last edited by Orange Soda King; 07/27/10 07:57 PM.
Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Pogorelich. #1482749 07/27/10 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.

Damon I'm sorry for that ridiculous comment. I wish I didn't have to be responsible for the garbage that comes out of my mouth sometimes.. laugh


Piano means never having to say you're sorry. smile

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Damon #1482751 07/27/10 08:02 PM
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But what about piano transcriptions of an orchestral piece? Shouldn't one know of the orchestral version? That makes a little more sense to me...

Last edited by Orange Soda King; 07/27/10 08:02 PM.
Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482762 07/27/10 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by Canonie

OSKing - I bet you would be capable of this. Do you think you could if there was a movement of a Mozart concerto that you weren't familiar with? Or would you find it too time consuming to bother?


I have a book of Mozart concerti on me right now. I'll pick a random one and look at it (slow movement to start off with) and see what I can make of it.

What if I recorded myself playing 2nd piano part, and then played the solo part to to it? Is that any different? Since it is my own "interpretation." Sort of like this guy.


Soda, you don't need to listen to any recordings. The times I've heard you you've played quite well and I think you're fully capable of forming your own determinations about things. Try it and I'm betting you'll surprise yourself.
Which concerto did you pick?
...by the way...a book of Mozart concerti?



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482766 07/27/10 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by Canonie

OSKing - I bet you would be capable of this. Do you think you could if there was a movement of a Mozart concerto that you weren't familiar with? Or would you find it too time consuming to bother?


I have a book of Mozart concerti on me right now. I'll pick a random one and look at it (slow movement to start off with) and see what I can make of it.

What if I recorded myself playing 2nd piano part, and then played the solo part to to it? Is that any different? Since it is my own "interpretation." Sort of like this guy.

Yes do it! and report back.

Playing the piano reduction and recording it does not develop the reading and audiation of orchestral scores. You would become very familiar with the notes of the score which would of course be useful. You could do this after trying to "hear" the score.

What I'd be interested in is if you can play from the score and then re-imagine it as strings, woodwind or tutti well enough, even if you can't get ALL the detail. A much simpler example of this skill is when you learn a collaborative piano part and "hear" the other instrument part in your head while practising. I assume you would have done this at some point.

Good luck smile


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Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
stores #1482767 07/27/10 08:13 PM
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Haha, sorry... 20, 21, and 22. So not a WHOLE LOT of concerti, but still plural. I'm familiar with 20 and obviously 21, but not so much 22... Maybe I heard it a while back, but it'll be fresh enough to work with. So, 22 it is. laugh

Or if you want to go by K. numbers, K. 482.

I'm also going to learn the second piano part with the Ravel Concerto, because I'm actually learning it.

I also find it funny that you shorten my name to "Soda" instead of "Orange"... you're the only person to do that, hehe. Not that it matters.

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482770 07/27/10 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
But what about piano transcriptions of an orchestral piece? Shouldn't one know of the orchestral version? That makes a little more sense to me...

Yes that makes sense - it's where the composer/arranger started from after all. But of couse it could be done from the score rather than recordings. Probably you want to make a judgement of when it is most useful to work directly from the score (time available, what you can learn from the exercise, how much you value the composition and orchestration).


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Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482778 07/27/10 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King


I also find it funny that you shorten my name to "Soda" instead of "Orange"... you're the only person to do that, hehe. Not that it matters.


Yeah, I'm different like that =p



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Orange Soda King #1482780 07/27/10 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
But what about piano transcriptions of an orchestral piece? Shouldn't one know of the orchestral version? That makes a little more sense to me...


Personally, I don't think it could hurt. I still don't think it's necessary. For my own part, I would never be able to learn operatic transcriptions if I had to listen to the original opera. laugh

Seriously though, why would you think a transcription should be treated differently, unless you wanted the option of disagreeing with the transcriber?

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Damon #1482844 07/27/10 10:05 PM
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I listened to the entire Tristan and Isolde when I played liebestod. But that was after I learned it..



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
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