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Analyzing your pieces before playing
#2600463 01/02/17 11:05 PM
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I was a music major for 1 year in undergrad before I dropped it. I was pretty immature and part of me wishes I'd taken it more seriously. Before that, my pre-college teacher taught me a bit about the exposition, development, and recapitulation in sonatas. I could always at least identify them as I'm playing.

Before I started the Chopin Waltz Op 70 No.1 in G-flat major, I did a teeny analysis before starting. I wanted to know what parts were repeated and repeated exactly, etc. It broke down the waltz into really only a few pieces to learn. It reminded me of the Schubert Impromptu #2, all the pieces fitting together. I really love romantic music for that modular format.

I was googling today and came across an article on Fitch's website that gave an account of a guy who spends almost 3 weeks analyzing his pieces before even touching the keyboard. I felt it gave me free reign to analyze as much as I want.

So right now I've got the Haydn HOB44 in G minor printed out from imslp and all marked up. I'm having some problems with the theme measures (they're breaking down into like 10s? no idea) but I'm really reaching for 20+ years of theory. I'm giving myself a break for not doing it perfectly the first time.

So! Do you analyze your pieces? I'm having a blast doing it, actually. It's giving me the opportunity to do be all data-like.

Last edited by metaresolve; 01/02/17 11:30 PM.

meta
~~~
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-930
~~~
Currently working on:
- J.S. Bach: Invention #8 in F major
- Chopin: Waltz, Op 70 No 1 in G-flat major
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
metaresolve #2600468 01/02/17 11:33 PM
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My teachers give me a take-home piece every week to analyze (usually above my pay grade).

It's really good practice for reading music. Over time, I've learned to immediately recognize many things when scanning the music and that has also helped improved my sight-reading.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
Groove On #2600470 01/02/17 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Groove On
My teachers give me a weekly take-home piece to analyze

Oohh, my teachers never did that. I just kind of figured out what was coming on my own. How long have you been playing?


meta
~~~
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-930
~~~
Currently working on:
- J.S. Bach: Invention #8 in F major
- Chopin: Waltz, Op 70 No 1 in G-flat major
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
metaresolve #2600471 01/02/17 11:43 PM
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6 years as a teenager, and then I returned 20+ years later. Around 2.5 years since I re-started ...


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
metaresolve #2600473 01/02/17 11:45 PM
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It would be interesting to see the different things people do when they "analyze" a piece. The term - analyze is broad enough that it could mean many things.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
Groove On #2600474 01/02/17 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Groove On
6 years as a teenager, and then I returned 20+ years later. Around 2.5 years since I re-started ...


I've only been playing since thanksgiving. I hope I keep going for 2 and a half years!


meta
~~~
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-930
~~~
Currently working on:
- J.S. Bach: Invention #8 in F major
- Chopin: Waltz, Op 70 No 1 in G-flat major
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
Groove On #2600475 01/02/17 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Groove On
It would be interesting to see the different things people do when they "analyze" a piece. The term - analyze is broad enough to that it could mean many things.


I was hoping one of the pros would chime in about repositories of different types of analysis. It is midnight on a Monday, I should be patient wink


meta
~~~
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-930
~~~
Currently working on:
- J.S. Bach: Invention #8 in F major
- Chopin: Waltz, Op 70 No 1 in G-flat major
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
metaresolve #2600496 01/03/17 03:07 AM
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Hello Meta,
I analyze. I suppose I do it while learning the piece, because harmony and structure are a physical phenomenon as well as academic. Physical, in the sense of architecture. For a very subtle example, playing a line without ornamentation is a kind of analysis. By doing so, you experience the skeleton. Then that begs the question, What's ornamentation (and what's not)? Then, you to see - and most importantly, hear - that many fundamental elements are ornamental, even rhythm.

Play a melody, take out the rhythm; as if it were a chorale tune; you will learn to hear the natural shape harmonically. That shape is guided entirely by dissonance.
That is analysis.


Michael

"Genius is nothing more than an extraordinary capacity for patience."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
metaresolve #2600541 01/03/17 08:22 AM
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Ok, if it's a Haydn sonata, and the first movement is in sonata-allegro form, it will probably have an A theme in G minor, a B theme in B flat major, and a closing idea in B flat major.
Then there will be a development, using all three ideas in various combinations and keys.
Then a recapitulation of all three ideas, probably in order, and all in G minor. There will probably be some additional creative elements in the recapitulation.

That's one of the two main things you need to know -- the basic "map" of the piece.

The other thing you need to know is the phrase structure. In Haydn and in other classical-period composers you can expect to find phrases of 4-8 measures or so (10 probably isn't wrong). Sometimes they are vocal-type phrases with an obvious singable melody, a cadence at the end, and a place to breathe after the phrase is over. Sometimes they are more chordal or rhythmic ideas, but you can still find groupings of 4-8 measures or so that end either with cadences or with transitions into the next grouping.
Identifying the phrases is the first step to creating an interpretation that doesn't just sound like one note after another.



Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Analyzing your pieces before playing
metaresolve #2600621 01/03/17 11:59 AM
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(Big guru) Wallace Berry's analysis books make me feel stupid, for some reason. 😀
But, the general concepts of analysis are very useful, applied to one's actual pieces.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Berry

https://www.amazon.com/Form-Music-2nd-Wallace-Berry/dp/0133292851


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"

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