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Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
SamXu #1895519 05/11/12 09:36 PM
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happy birthday lostaccato!


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
apple* #1895560 05/12/12 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by apple*
happy birthday lostaccato!


Thanks! smile

Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
Krummholz #1895638 05/12/12 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Krummholz
True memorization is being able "auralize" (the sonic equivalent of visualize) the sound of a piece in your mind in all of its nuance and detail including the melody and harmony, and the rhythm, dynamics, and phrasing.



For me, the only way to do that is by being able to visualize the notation.

Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
wr #1895645 05/12/12 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Krummholz
True memorization is being able "auralize" (the sonic equivalent of visualize) the sound of a piece in your mind in all of its nuance and detail including the melody and harmony, and the rhythm, dynamics, and phrasing.



For me, the only way to do that is by being able to visualize the notation.


OH WOW. O.O so you basically have whole volumes of bach, beethoven, chopin and brahms, etc. in your head!? my mind implodees at the thought of that possibility. I can never achieve that...


HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin Op10 No1
Debussy Broulliards Preludes Bk1
Kats-Chernin Russian Rag
Messiaen Regard d'letoile
Mozart Sonata for 2 pianos D major
Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
SamXu #1895646 05/12/12 06:54 AM
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It makes me a little bit crazy when I hear an emphasis on analysis, while I am working on several things that I can't analyze even in rudimentary form. There is some organizational stuff going on in the music, and I can hear it, but I have no idea of how to describe it in technical terms.

In other words, how do you memorize stuff if you don't know how to analyze it? I don't know that the composers themselves could even analyze it. I remember one composer talking about how he might invent a technique while composing, and then forget it. If a person figures it out later, he said it was likely he wouldn't even recognize it as something he'd done. So, if the composer doesn't know how to analyze his own music or recognize his own processes, why would a performer be expected to?




Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
SamXu #1895683 05/12/12 09:42 AM
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I hadn't had much great advice for memorizing so i learned my own way of doing it i guess. Sometimes i for fun, i actually don't like memorizing pieces completely 100% because i feel like i get into the music more by being guided into the dynamics or rhythm of the sheets which helps me play accurately. (I have a good eagle eye for sheet music).

I think it depends how you learn the piece to begin with, you have a challenging piece that you might try to master or figure out for a few days you might develop muscle memory by accident.

When i really really want to memorize something, i would just isolate the whole piece and look at the dynamics and note values, i try to play every segment of the sheets as accurately as possible. The more you practice the segments and fingering, the more it will come together. If your playing a easy or soft piece, don't be afraid to take sheet music because it can guide you and since you memorized it you can still look at your hands for certain parts that are harder to sight read.

For memorizing to preform without anything is pretty much like i said earlier. Just make sure you practice every bar as accurately as possible and play it. You will develop muscle memory and if you pay close attention you will get memory to what notes are being hit and how they are being hit on the top of your head.

I think everybody memorizes in there own way but some people don't know how if they never been brought up that way as a pianist.

Last edited by DanTheMan14; 05/12/12 09:44 AM.
Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
wr #1895754 05/12/12 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wr
It makes me a little bit crazy when I hear an emphasis on analysis, while I am working on several things that I can't analyze even in rudimentary form. There is some organizational stuff going on in the music, and I can hear it, but I have no idea of how to describe it in technical terms.

In other words, how do you memorize stuff if you don't know how to analyze it? I don't know that the composers themselves could even analyze it. I remember one composer talking about how he might invent a technique while composing, and then forget it. If a person figures it out later, he said it was likely he wouldn't even recognize it as something he'd done. So, if the composer doesn't know how to analyze his own music or recognize his own processes, why would a performer be expected to?





Good point.

Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
wr #1895842 05/12/12 04:53 PM
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In other words, how do you memorize stuff if you don't know how to analyze it?

What kind of stuff?


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Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
wr #1895843 05/12/12 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wr
It makes me a little bit crazy when I hear an emphasis on analysis, while I am working on several things that I can't analyze even in rudimentary form. There is some organizational stuff going on in the music, and I can hear it, but I have no idea of how to describe it in technical terms.

In other words, how do you memorize stuff if you don't know how to analyze it? I don't know that the composers themselves could even analyze it. I remember one composer talking about how he might invent a technique while composing, and then forget it. If a person figures it out later, he said it was likely he wouldn't even recognize it as something he'd done. So, if the composer doesn't know how to analyze his own music or recognize his own processes, why would a performer be expected to?
But you don't have to analyse it in the way that the composer wrote it, or intended it or any like that. You can analyse it any way you want, as long as it works in your brain.

I mean disregard any classical harmony, and any forms you know... If you want to remember chords, go ahead. I did that with Prokofiev a lot, although it didn't always fit the academic part of me. I just felt that some chords were there and I would just remember C then F# then...

Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
Dave Horne #1895853 05/12/12 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
In other words, how do you memorize stuff if you don't know how to analyze it?

What kind of stuff?


Music kind of stuff, that doesn't follow common practice harmony.

There are some etudes by Tagliapietra, Toch, Friedman, and Persichetti I have been working on that use compositional techniques that I don't know how to figure out in the abstract, although though they make musical sense to my ear. The Friedman is the closest to being decipherable, although it's so chromatic it's hard to figure out. It does end with a cadence I can recognize, anyway. It is his op. 63, no. 15, which is on page 68 of this IMSLP file -

http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/1/1f/IMSLP04013-Friedman_etudes_op63.pdf

By the way, if anyone has any good ideas for how to finger the RH ascending passage in measures 10-11, I'd love to hear them. It's a beast.


Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
wr #1895867 05/12/12 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wr

By the way, if anyone has any good ideas for how to finger the RH ascending passage in measures 10-11, I'd love to hear them. It's a beast.


I'll understand if you consider this not good.

[Linked Image]

Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
wr #1895868 05/12/12 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wr
It makes me a little bit crazy when I hear an emphasis on analysis, while I am working on several things that I can't analyze even in rudimentary form. There is some organizational stuff going on in the music, and I can hear it, but I have no idea of how to describe it in technical terms.

In other words, how do you memorize stuff if you don't know how to analyze it? I don't know that the composers themselves could even analyze it. I remember one composer talking about how he might invent a technique while composing, and then forget it. If a person figures it out later, he said it was likely he wouldn't even recognize it as something he'd done. So, if the composer doesn't know how to analyze his own music or recognize his own processes, why would a performer be expected to?
My knowledge of theory was practically non-existent just 2 years ago. I could read anything written for the piano but that's about it. I heard that knowing theory would make learning faster and memorizing easier so I bought several of those theory books they give kids who are first learning the piano. I stared at grade 1 and worked my way through grade 8. I learned how to read a key signature, (yeah, I know that's pretty simple but I didn't know how), and I learned the major and minor scales and major, minor, augmented, etc. chords and inversions and I learned intervals. It took just a few months. I still don't know harmony or much else but I find I am now able to identify scales, chords and interval patterns in pieces and yes, learning and memorizing are indeed easier.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
SamXu #1895931 05/12/12 09:17 PM
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Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
Damon #1895972 05/12/12 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by wr

By the way, if anyone has any good ideas for how to finger the RH ascending passage in measures 10-11, I'd love to hear them. It's a beast.


I'll understand if you consider this not good.

[Linked Image]


Thanks, especially for putting it into graphic form. That's the fingering I used at first, but it seemed too awkward. The fingering I have recently been using is only different in the D-Bb and E-C thirds, for which I've been using 2-1 instead of 3-1. But it isn't much of an improvement.


Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
wr #1895974 05/12/12 11:45 PM
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I ran through it a few times. It doesn't have to be completely legato according to the marking at the top but it is hard to play evenly regardless. I didn't work it out to see, but have you considered grabbing every other note with the left hand? That might give you more flexibility.

Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
Damon #1896003 05/13/12 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Damon
I didn't work it out to see, but have you considered grabbing every other note with the left hand? That might give you more flexibility.


That's a good suggestion. I think, though, that I am going to try to keep the double-notes as double-notes, for etude-y reasons.

Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
Nikolas #1896009 05/13/12 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by wr
It makes me a little bit crazy when I hear an emphasis on analysis, while I am working on several things that I can't analyze even in rudimentary form. There is some organizational stuff going on in the music, and I can hear it, but I have no idea of how to describe it in technical terms.

In other words, how do you memorize stuff if you don't know how to analyze it? I don't know that the composers themselves could even analyze it. I remember one composer talking about how he might invent a technique while composing, and then forget it. If a person figures it out later, he said it was likely he wouldn't even recognize it as something he'd done. So, if the composer doesn't know how to analyze his own music or recognize his own processes, why would a performer be expected to?
But you don't have to analyse it in the way that the composer wrote it, or intended it or any like that. You can analyse it any way you want, as long as it works in your brain.

I mean disregard any classical harmony, and any forms you know... If you want to remember chords, go ahead. I did that with Prokofiev a lot, although it didn't always fit the academic part of me. I just felt that some chords were there and I would just remember C then F# then...


That's interesting. I always thought (I don't know why) that the reason that analyzing helped memorization was because it put the piece into a music theory context that you understood. But you're saying that is not really what it is about? Or at least not completely?



Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
SamXu #1896073 05/13/12 08:23 AM
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I've seen documentaries where people were forced to memorize positions of pieces on a chess board or a sequence of numbers.

If the pieces on the chess board were placed randomly, in a way where they would not have been played, it was difficult for chess players to place them back since the players could not clump the positions together in a way that made sense.

Theory (of anything) helps us to clump information together and it's that clumping that helps us to reduce the amount of information we are forced to memorize.

Since I'm a jazz player (with classical training) I'm always analyzing what I'm playing (and hearing), it's second nature. If you were to stop me anytime while I'm playing, I could explain exactly what it is I am playing. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I've also seen in other people that the lack of analysis will sometimes give the music more of a magical quality. It can still be magical for me though I still like to be able to explain exactly what is going on.



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Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
SamXu #1896157 05/13/12 12:28 PM
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I get the score, or better, make a photocopy of it, and start marking things. With a highligher of with a color marker. Several color markers.
What do I mark? anything. Structure of the piece, sonata form, rondo, codas, introducion, theme A, theme B, etc. I also wite all the chords on the top of the staff.
Then I try to mark notes, chords or melodic prhases that are repeted. If a certain melody is repeated in the same key, in another octave or in the other hand.
I look for things like cadences, chromatisms, measures that repeat chords, or measure that start with the same note, anything that stands out. Accidentals, weird fingerings.
At the end, the score is a mess, I can't read or play from it, but I only use it to notice things, to look for things and to mark things.
I also try: playing only the melody, only the melody with the chords, playing only the melody with the tonic of each chord in the bass octave, playing the melody and singing it, etc

Re: How on earth do people memorise pieces?
wr #1896227 05/13/12 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wr
That's interesting. I always thought (I don't know why) that the reason that analyzing helped memorization was because it put the piece into a music theory context that you understood. But you're saying that is not really what it is about? Or at least not completely?
Admittedly, I'm a theory naif, but I use what I have recently learned to remember the music in chunks. For example, in the Waldstein I remember the chord sequence: "A flat major, followed by F major followed by D flat major." I'm not remembering every note, my muscle memory does that, but knowing the chord sequence tells me where to go next. I also will take the time to figure out what key an arpeggio or scale is in. This makes learning it and remembering it much easier. Now that I finally know how to figure out what key something is in, (blushing), I can use that to help me through a memory slip or even, (blushing more deeply) what the first note is. What I do is pretty elementary but it helps.

(To put this in context, two years ago I couldn't read a key signature. I would just say to myself - Ah, 4 sharps, F,C,G,D, and away I'd go. If you asked me what the first note was, I'd have no idea.)


Best regards,

Deborah
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