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Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2277373
05/17/14 08:15 AM
05/17/14 08:15 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,651
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Originally Posted by Diane...
All of you teachers are changing this up on me. I understand the divide and conquer thing. Breaking the piece into SECTIONS, and working on each set.

But I'm not taking about dividing the piece up into sections and working thru sections at a time. Usually starting at the last section of the piece.

I am specifically talking about playing a piece "backward' with the music in front of you! Start at the very last note and playing note for note ..."backwards"!

Try playing a piece backwards. It just feels awkward.

Anyways, I am trying hard to remember what she may have said about why, but I can't remember WHY.

She wasn't a quack teacher, so I'm sure she had a purpose in asking me to play pieces "backward"!

And again, it's note for note, backwards. I'm not talking about playing "section"! I'm talking specifically about "backwards"!



I was understanding you correctly, Diane. I think the same reason for this applies to any of the other practice techniques we use: playing blocked chords, playing staccato instead of legato (or vice versa), adding accents on different beat subdivisions, etc.

When you play backwards, the intervals remain the same between the notes, but you are approaching it from another direction, obviously, so perhaps it helps you to anticipate the next note when playing forwards. That's my guess. All I know is that changing the way you play things and looking at it from all different angles is helpful.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2277391
05/17/14 09:33 AM
05/17/14 09:33 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,071
Conway, AR USA
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,071
Conway, AR USA
My piano teacher would play (or ask me to play) a portion of a piece backwards to demonstrate how composers developed variations for other works.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Morodiene] #2277428
05/17/14 11:36 AM
05/17/14 11:36 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,462
Western Canada
Diane... Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
Diane...  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,462
Western Canada
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Diane...
All of you teachers are changing this up on me. I understand the divide and conquer thing. Breaking the piece into SECTIONS, and working on each set.

But I'm not taking about dividing the piece up into sections and working thru sections at a time. Usually starting at the last section of the piece.

I am specifically talking about playing a piece "backward' with the music in front of you! Start at the very last note and playing note for note ..."backwards"!

Try playing a piece backwards. It just feels awkward.

Anyways, I am trying hard to remember what she may have said about why, but I can't remember WHY.

She wasn't a quack teacher, so I'm sure she had a purpose in asking me to play pieces "backward"!

And again, it's note for note, backwards. I'm not talking about playing "section"! I'm talking specifically about "backwards"!



I was understanding you correctly, Diane. I think the same reason for this applies to any of the other practice techniques we use: playing blocked chords, playing staccato instead of legato (or vice versa), adding accents on different beat subdivisions, etc.

When you play backwards, the intervals remain the same between the notes, but you are approaching it from another direction, obviously, so perhaps it helps you to anticipate the next note when playing forwards. That's my guess. All I know is that changing the way you play things and looking at it from all different angles is helpful.


Yes, Thank You Morodiene! I apologize! You did get the question right.

So I think this poster should actually read,

"If You Can Play This "Backwards" Thank a Music Teacher !!! grin
This one is actually easy enough to play backwards. Just wear ear plugs when you do! hahahaha

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Diane...; 05/17/14 12:34 PM.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher
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Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: bkw58] #2277429
05/17/14 11:38 AM
05/17/14 11:38 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,462
Western Canada
Diane... Offline OP
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Diane...  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
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Western Canada
Originally Posted by bkw58
My piano teacher would play (or ask me to play) a portion of a piece backwards to demonstrate how composers developed variations for other works.


I don't quite understand what you mean here. Could you expand further?


http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher
[Linked Image]
Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2277461
05/17/14 12:50 PM
05/17/14 12:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,071
Conway, AR USA
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,071
Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted by Diane...
Originally Posted by bkw58
My piano teacher would play (or ask me to play) a portion of a piece backwards to demonstrate how composers developed variations for other works.


I don't quite understand what you mean here. Could you expand further?


Hi Diane. It's been almost 50 years. The only example that I remember was playing the last few measures of Prelude in C-sharp minor (Rachmaninoff) "backwards" and you get the opening measures to his C-minor piano concerto. I don't know if this is the same "backwards" of which you speak, but your post caught my eye. Many things I have forgotten, but for some reason this one stuck. Any thoughts? Have a great day. smile


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2277658
05/17/14 10:28 PM
05/17/14 10:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
H
hreichgott Offline
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H

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
Originally Posted by Diane...
Originally Posted by bkw58
My piano teacher would play (or ask me to play) a portion of a piece backwards to demonstrate how composers developed variations for other works.


I don't quite understand what you mean here. Could you expand further?

I think bkw58 means using a theme in retrograde.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
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12+ variations from classical ballets
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Copland: Appalachian Spring
Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2278896
05/20/14 03:47 PM
05/20/14 03:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,078
W
wouter79 Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,078
about a year ago I played a few measures of a diabelli piece really backwards

here it is

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/normalandrev.mp3

It starts with the backwards-played piece played backwards on my audio system, so that you can hear if I really play it correctly backwards. Then after that you hear what I actually played.

It was very difficult to get this all down. You need to start all the notes where they normally END, and this is quite hard to see in a normal score. I had to reverse it on paper first. Then all crescendos revert, the chord progressions are totally screwed up so your intuition does not work at all. All figures go on the wrong sides.

Apart from some fun, I don't think this is actually useful for anything

Regarding backwards learning, yes learning the last measures first has some benefits. I usually start with the HARDEST measures, not necessarily the last.


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Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: TimR] #2278900
05/20/14 03:57 PM
05/20/14 03:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,078
W
wouter79 Offline
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Originally Posted by TimR
Suppose there were 10 notes in a phrase.

I could play 10, 10, 10, 10-9-10, 10-9-8-9-10, 10-9-8-7-8-9-10, etc.

It would take some mental concentration.

It's not completely free of the problem that a note approached from one direction might need a totally different fingering or motion mechanics than if approached from some other direction.

The purpose of doing a small amount of it might just be to break the flow to solidify learning.


You think too simple of this. 10 may be an 16th note, and there may be an querter note at 7 (in another voice). Then you need to play that quarter note also already at 10. If you would play that quarter note slightly shorter (this is correct in baroque pieces), in the reverse you would have to start playing the note still in at 10 but a bit late.
Fingering should be fine though, but yes backward gestures are really awkward. The LAST note of each group now needs to be loudest instead of first. so you gradually need to get into the keys and then suddenly get out of it when you reached the start of the group and jump to the end of the previous group if you're still following :-p


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: wouter79] #2278906
05/20/14 04:10 PM
05/20/14 04:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
T
TimR Offline
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TimR  Offline
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T

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by wouter79
Originally Posted by TimR
Suppose there were 10 notes in a phrase.

I could play 10, 10, 10, 10-9-10, 10-9-8-9-10, 10-9-8-7-8-9-10, etc.

It would take some mental concentration.

It's not completely free of the problem that a note approached from one direction might need a totally different fingering or motion mechanics than if approached from some other direction.

The purpose of doing a small amount of it might just be to break the flow to solidify learning.


You think too simple of this. 10 may be an 16th note, and there may be an querter note at 7 (in another voice). Then you need to play that quarter note also already at 10. If you would play that quarter note slightly shorter (this is correct in baroque pieces), in the reverse you would have to start playing the note still in at 10 but a bit late.


I hadn't thought of that, but you're right. Good catch, and it does get complicated.


gotta go practice
Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2281490
05/26/14 10:16 PM
05/26/14 10:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
missbelle Offline
Full Member
missbelle  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
http://www.snopes.com/college/exam/music.asp

student turns in backwards music, with embarrassing results!


Learning as I teach.
Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2281492
05/26/14 10:32 PM
05/26/14 10:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,328
New York City
P
Polyphonist Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Polyphonist  Offline
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P

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,328
New York City
That's a good one. laugh


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2281601
05/27/14 02:39 AM
05/27/14 02:39 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,146
J
JoelW Online content
6000 Post Club Member
JoelW  Online Content
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J

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,146
I would have said "I'll play it backwards if you ask me backwards."

Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2772271
10/14/18 12:28 AM
10/14/18 12:28 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 1
K
K. Davis Offline
Junior Member
K. Davis  Offline
Junior Member
K

Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 1
If I may bring back this dead discussion just to add my two cents for anyone else that searches this question in the future:

I do not see the value in playing an entire piece backwards, and the previous suggestion of playing a Bach fugue or invention with the hands totally inverted is even more ludicrous. I would only ever ask a student to do that if I was preparing them for a comedy skit.

To turn what I just said on its head, however, I will admit that I find practicing certain passages in reverse very useful when dealing with wide, rapid leaps or with figures that feel extremely meticulous in the hand.
For example, the recurring B section of Gottschalk's "The Banjo," op. 15. When played at tempo, the leaps in both hands are so wide and rapid that you cannot possibly keep track of where your hands are landing (unless you have a gecko in your family tree). I find it very beneficial, then, to train my muscle memory to break the passage down into small chunks and practice them in forward and reverse. When playing regularly, I find that the action of leaping to a distant note/chord is naturally emphasized and committed to muscle memory more securely than when the hand is returning/retracting back. When practicing these leaps in reverse, I focus on emphasizing the retracting leap to solidify the feel of it. By doing so, I will feel more confident and accurate while bouncing back and forth, which additionally helps me relax more when performing. Other examples where this has helped me with wide, rapid leaps is in Liszt's Totentanz Concerto and Paganini Etude. This approach has also helped me significantly with some rather hairy, hard-to-memorize figures in Prokofiev's Toccata, op. 11.

Just thought I would offer my experience and some down-to-earth feedback on the matter!

Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2772552
10/15/18 12:05 AM
10/15/18 12:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 531
Toronto, Canada
T
thepianoplayer416 Offline
500 Post Club Member
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Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 531
Toronto, Canada
Not sure if it has to do with sight-reading the same notes of a piece you already mastered? You've more or less memorized the melody of a piece and the finger sequence is more or less set in your muscle memory. Kind of force you to play the same notes in other ways like it is a new piece. You can't rely on your brain or muscle memory to reproduce the notes.

The 1 set of variations that comes to mind was Bach's Musical Offering (to the Emperor of Prussia Fred the Great). The pieces can be played forward, backward & even with the page turned upside down.

Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2773746
10/18/18 08:26 PM
10/18/18 08:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,192
Dublin
J
johnstaf Offline
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Posts: 1,192
Dublin
It reminds me of my counterpoint lecturer who once played The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba backwards. He called it The Departure of the Queen of Sheba.

Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2776033
10/28/18 05:48 AM
10/28/18 05:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,116
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Online content
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Joined: Aug 2018
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North Vancouver
Learning the notes of a piece backwards
well that's a MENTAL approach.

This teaches the basic material of a piece .
Why not try this with a 12 tone Schoenberg piece
Make the 12 tone series retrograde throughout the whole
piece .Do this and it will not be just the teacher who
ends up MENTAL .

Re: Play the piece backwards? [Re: Diane...] #2777791
11/03/18 12:32 PM
11/03/18 12:32 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,772
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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I think it's total nonsense. Also, nonsense about memorizing sections starting with the last one so that the ending is well memorized. That argument overlooks the obvious fact that the beginning is less well memorized as a result.

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