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#2625246 - 03/19/17 07:57 PM Your top 3 favourite books?  
Joined: Jan 2017
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Scottswald Offline
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Scottswald  Offline
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Northumberland, United kingdom
What 3 books have you used the most/found the most helpful during your time playing piano?

It could be a method book, scales/arpeggios book, excercise book, sight reading, motivational, theory etc

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#2625266 - 03/19/17 09:33 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
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Richrf Offline
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As a beginner I am focusing on Nikoleav's Russian School of Piano Playing and using Bastien's series as a supplement. I started off with Alfred's but found it "immobilizing", thus not to my taste.

But the books themselves are not the key. The key is the visual instruction I am getting from the online course I am taking and other Youtube channels. One picture with music is worth a thousand words. 😃

#2625270 - 03/19/17 09:48 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
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sara elizabeth Offline
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sara elizabeth  Offline
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I am really liking the Alfred's Greatist Hits book and Alfred's all time favourites. The FunTime series by Faner is also very good but the books are smaller with fewer pieces. They are separated into music genre, so there's a cassical book, a popular book etc.

#2625314 - 03/20/17 04:45 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
Joined: Nov 2010
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ThaiBlue Offline
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Thailand
I love the Burgmuller, Czerny and Hannon compilation of piano etudes and exercises for technique and musicality put together by Ingrid Jacobson Clarfield. There are 3 books in the series.

Then for perhaps more interesting pieces (though I really enjoy the Burgmuller's anyway) I am very impressed with Classics for the Developing Pianist. There are 5 books in that series.

I think together they should cover my needs for the next few years at least.

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#2625438 - 03/20/17 03:19 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
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dogperson Offline
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Florida
My favorite books change frequently--- I am an unabashed collector/reader of piano books, and I have no problem buying cheap used (sometimes not in great shape)

Right now
Harvard dictionary of music (very expensive new, cheap as new)
The Art of Piano Fingering- Rami Bar Niv (expensive either way but comprehensive)
and for inspiration
'Play it Again' - Alan Rusbridger

#2625461 - 03/20/17 04:33 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
Joined: Feb 2012
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zrtf90 Offline
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zrtf90  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
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Ireland (ex England)
I'm having difficulty keeping to three but:

Source material:
Scarlatti: Sixty Sonatas, specifically the Preface by Ralp Kirkpatrick.
Bach: The Well Tempered Clavier, with the commentary by Donald Tovey.
Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas, again with the commentary by Tovey.
Chopin: The Preludes, just the content.

About playing or practice:
Kendall Taylor: Principles of Piano Technique and Interpretation
Heinrich Neuhaus: The Art of Piano Playing
Neil Stannard: Piano Technique Demystified



Richard
#2625600 - 03/21/17 07:29 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
Joined: Aug 2012
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Wuffski Offline
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Wuffski  Offline
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Europe (Northern Spain)
I have been very intensively for months searching for melodious pieces in order to build up my very personal collection of urtext-alike (not arranged) early intermediate to intermediate pieces (levels 3 to 6 out of a 0 to 10 range, focus on 4 to 5). Borrowing at least a dozen of original piano music books of that level from the library of the local public music school and listening to the related recordings which I found on the Internet (mainly Youtube), I then have been of course to IMSLP.org, but also took the chance when traveling abroad to visit some big sheet music stores for selectively gathering my sheets.

If you want to avoid this kind of search through all the boring finger exercises called pieces at that level, and save some 3 month of quite time consuming work, although missing some hardly known gems and of course missing your study on the variety of created piano music, then I highly recommend the books of this series, containing big part of what I found my way:

"Melodious Masterpieces" by Jane Magrath (published by Alfred Music).

- very useful comments on each piece at the beginning of the book
- sufficient and cautious marking of fingering and dynamics
- thoughtful page turns, superb printing quality
- fine CD recording, also enjoyable independent from piano practicing
Sounds like a commercial ad? Well, it is simply the best piano sheet book I know of, and there is almost nothing to complain about it. The only complain is actually this one:
- besides the table of contents listing the pieces by composer and pieces alphabetically within a composer section, there is urgently missing another table of contents listing the pieces simply in the order of appearance in the book, which by the way is the same order as appearing on CD.

#2625706 - 03/21/17 02:43 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,137
Monica K. Offline

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Monica K.  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,137
Lexington, Kentucky
No surprises here... My top 3 are:

1. Einaudi, Best of, sheet music collection
2. Einaudi, Una Mattina sheet music collection
3. [tie] Einaudi, Divenire sheet music collection and In a Time Lapse sheet music collection. smile


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#2625728 - 03/21/17 04:02 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Wuffski]  
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,135
johan d Offline
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johan d  Offline
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Belgium
Originally Posted by Wuffski
"Melodious Masterpieces" by Jane Magrath (published by Alfred Music).

Your post was so convincing to me, I ordered the 1st book+cd and another one - Masterpieces with Flair 1. AND THESE WILL BE MY LAST FOR A LONG TIME, UNTIL I LEANERD A GREAT PART OF THEM! :-)


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#2625736 - 03/21/17 04:32 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Wuffski]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9,236
bennevis Online content
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Originally Posted by Wuffski
I have been very intensively for months searching for melodious pieces in order to build up my very personal collection of urtext-alike (not arranged) early intermediate to intermediate pieces (levels 3 to 6 out of a 0 to 10 range, focus on 4 to 5).
..........I highly recommend the books of this series, containing big part of what I found my way:

"Melodious Masterpieces" by Jane Magrath (published by Alfred Music).

- very useful comments on each piece at the beginning of the book
- sufficient and cautious marking of fingering and dynamics
- thoughtful page turns, superb printing quality
- fine CD recording, also enjoyable independent from piano practicing
Sounds like a commercial ad? Well, it is simply the best piano sheet book I know of, and there is almost nothing to complain about it.

I've not heard of that series before, and from what I can see of it on Amazon.com, it looks really good.

I've always believed that if you're going to play classical piano/keyboard pieces, you should always play them as they were originally composed, not simplified or abridged or deranged (sic wink ) in any way. After all, there are zillions of great original piano/keyboard music of all levels of difficulty (from the past four centuries or so) out there: go to any classical piano recital by any great virtuoso, and you're likely to hear at least one piece (or movement) that you can play, if you're above beginner standard.

Listen to what this well-known pianist played as his encore:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08jfgh8

- yes, the slow movement of K545 thumb

I've discovered lots of easy attractive pieces that I'd never heard before (often from composers I never knew existed shocked ) from the pull-out scores in Pianist magazine over the years. If ever I was mad enough to start teaching piano, I'd have almost unlimited number of piano pieces from beginner standard onwards for my students, just from those pull-out scores alone. And with 'Melodious Masterpieces' you have lovely music in a convenient format to learn from.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2625854 - 03/22/17 05:05 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,080
earlofmar Offline
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earlofmar  Offline
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Australia
Alfred Complete Book of Scales Arpeggios and Cadences - the single book I thought I could do without, but the one I use so much it would be hard to progress without it.

Essential Piano Repertoire of the 18th 19th & 20th Centuries - my first real books after I dumped Alfred's. So glad I found this series as it is full of gems, and was my staple go to book(s) for several years.

The Pianist's Problems by William Newman - Maybe the last technical book I will ever need. It has been a while since I read it but my main takeaway was to stop looking for miracles and just practice purposefully. Warning to those easily offended, he says Hanon is useless.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2625861 - 03/22/17 07:22 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 269
gingko2 Offline
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gingko2  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 269
MA, USA
Jane Magrath's The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature is a 500 page guide to beginning to early intermediate ("levels 1-10") piano music.

When I realized there was so much great and accessible music out there and a guide to find it I got the inspiration to restart. I read it with morning coffee sometimes!


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#2625892 - 03/22/17 10:18 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: earlofmar]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,473
Stubbie Offline
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Stubbie  Offline
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Posts: 1,473
Midwest USA
Originally Posted by earlofmar
Alfred Complete Book of Scales Arpeggios and Cadences - the single book I thought I could do without, but the one I use so much it would be hard to progress without it.

Essential Piano Repertoire of the 18th 19th & 20th Centuries - my first real books after I dumped Alfred's. So glad I found this series as it is full of gems, and was my staple go to book(s) for several years.

The Pianist's Problems by William Newman - Maybe the last technical book I will ever need. It has been a while since I read it but my main takeaway was to stop looking for miracles and just practice purposefully. Warning to those easily offended, he says Hanon is useless.
Ditto.

I happen to have a hardcover copy of the The Pianist's Problems sitting beside my chair, waiting for a second read after my first reading several years ago. I think it will "speak" to me considerably more this time around. I picked up my copy in a second-hand bookstore. It is signed by the author. It reads, "Warm regards to an esteemed colleague in the piano world, Tommy Brockman!" and is signed "Wm S. Newman, 13 Nov 74".

The Wiki for Newman includes this:
Quote
His intense interests extended from pugilism (specifically, boxing), to hands-on involvement with sports cars, and, of course, the Chopin Études and the Beethoven Sonatas. Pianists should read his The Pianist's Problems.
I love it--boxing and Chopin Etudes. Not your usual combination.


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#2625924 - 03/22/17 11:55 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
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David Farley Offline
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David Farley  Offline
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Chicago, Illinois
+1 for The Pianists Problems. It's written as advice for young aspiring professionals, but the advice is so straight-forward and practical that it's a good read for anybody who wants to learn piano. It basically outlines a plan that takes you out of the trees of the beginner method books and shows you the entire forest. I still play Hanon sometimes.


#2626333 - 03/23/17 06:44 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
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PianoStartsAt33 Online content
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Shame on me, but for more than a year a read only one book - "The Art of Piano Playing" by Heinrich Neuhaus. May be, it's just because there are so much videos and tutorials etc. on youtube now, with many things explained pretty well, that you just don't feel need to read anything. But I might be wrong.

#2630657 - 04/06/17 11:17 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Wuffski]  
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Charleyanne Offline
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Charleyanne  Offline
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Posts: 10
wuffski,
I took your particular suggestion at heart and purchased this series you recommended.
You were right! It is a wonderful contemplation of work, and by far the best I have experienced. Thank you for your insight and time you took on Jane Magrath.

#2630686 - 04/06/17 12:33 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]  
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bSharp(C)yclist Online content
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bSharp(C)yclist  Online Content
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Orange County, California
The Melodious Masterpieces looks good. I might have to check them out, but I feel I have too many books. I have the Masterwork Classics series edited by Jane Magrath up through Level 6. I think that can keep me busy for many years.


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