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Topic Options
#2625246 - 03/19/17 07:57 PM Your top 3 favourite books?
Scottswald Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/17
Posts: 81
Loc: 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]
Richrf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/01/16
Posts: 152
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. 😃

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#2625270 - 03/19/17 09:48 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]
sara elizabeth Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/16
Posts: 164
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.

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#2625314 - 03/20/17 04:45 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]
ThaiBlue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 31
Loc: 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]
dogperson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/15
Posts: 1802
Loc: 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

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#2625461 - 03/20/17 04:33 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]
zrtf90 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 3333
Loc: 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

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#2625600 - 03/21/17 07:29 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]
Wuffski Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 534
Loc: 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.
_________________________

Sell me an upright piano!
I am searching for a Sauter, or alike in quality and tonal dynamics.
Would need to be a very(!) good offer for a new one,
or more realistic the offer of an used one.

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#2625706 - 03/21/17 02:43 PM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 18120
Loc: 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]
johan d Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/14
Posts: 1101
Loc: 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]
bennevis Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 8809
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."

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#2625854 - Yesterday at 05:05 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]
earlofmar Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 2988
Loc: 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.

13x

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#2625861 - Yesterday at 07:22 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]
gingko2 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 226
Loc: 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!
_________________________

CW 1500, Kawai CA63

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#2625892 - Yesterday at 10:18 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: earlofmar]
Stubbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 1366
Loc: 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.
_________________________
Sometimes as adults we forget to let the joy in. --blackjack1777
Yamaha C3X

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#2625924 - Yesterday at 11:55 AM Re: Your top 3 favourite books? [Re: Scottswald]
David Farley Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/13
Posts: 1294
Loc: 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.

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