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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640112 05/05/17 05:22 AM
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Thanks for the Sonata tip! I would never have figured that out... wink

Concerning the fingering: I fully understand what you mean. But your example is exactly what I found odd in some occasions: for instance Carefree stroll's bar 2 up to 6 can be played with the right hand in one position but FK let's you move the hand two keys up in bar 5 for no reason at all. And back again to the previous position in the middle of bar 6. There is no stretch needed or anything so I prefer to keep my hand where it is. But well, maybe she is trying to teach you moving your hands up and down, although that is tought enough already in other pieces.

I do understand that some things have been altered for teaching purposes but as soon as I like a piece and want to keep playing it in the future I prefer the original version. wink

Last edited by J van E; 05/05/17 05:22 AM.
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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640114 05/05/17 05:27 AM
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I suspect Carefree Stroll is not the original title and since I don't have FK I've no idea what you're referring to. If you can reference the original piece I may be able to help otherwise I'll leave it to FK graduates.



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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640163 05/05/17 07:32 AM
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Because our fingers are different strengths, playing a figure with one set of fingers may sound different than playing it with another set of fingers. A lot of what we do in piano is work so that we even out the effects so that playing with different fingers sounds more the same. But sometimes the wiser choice is to move the hand so the same fingers can play repeated figures. For example, RH A-B slur (with fingers 2-3) followed by C-D slur. On the one hand you can play C-D with fingers 4-5. In the other hand it might be easier to control the sound with fingers 2-3, so you move your hand.

Another reasons for moving the hand in order to use the same fingers, even if not strictly necessary, is the principle that for more complicated figures that repeat at different pitches, it's often a useful strategy to play them all with the same fingering. This can make it easier to learn and play them all correctly.

The fingering in FK might also simply be there in order to teach you how to move your hand.


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
PianoStudent88 #2640168 05/05/17 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Because our fingers are different strengths, playing a figure with one set of fingers may sound different than playing it with another set of fingers.

I never thought of it this way. Interesting concept, although it makes me more confused now on my own input. LOL
One more reason to keep playing the way Rachel devised it...


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640173 05/05/17 07:45 AM
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Thanks for that interesting additional information, PianoStudent88! It all makes sense. Maybe I should indeed stick with the suggested fingering when it comes to FK. wink

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640174 05/05/17 07:47 AM
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wouldloveto, your input looks fine!

I think the "develop all fingers to be equal" goal is a really important one, and "take advantage of natural differences in strength between fingers" may be a more advanced idea that takes experience to know when it's an appropriate path and not simply a cop out on "I haven't learned yet to make my fingers more equal."

For example I have a piece right now with an accented note where my teacher advised changing the fingering from the obvious 5 to the less obvious 4 (required a hand move) in order to get more power. But there are other passages where that workaround isn't practical so I have to actually work on the skill of making a powerful accent with 5.


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640202 05/05/17 08:54 AM
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Thanks PS88.

Hey J van E, the idea to awake the original FK thread seems like it's paying off, eh? Look at the pearls of wisdom we've got just in a couple of days! wink


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
wouldloveto #2640213 05/05/17 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by wouldloveto
Hey J van E, the idea to awake the original FK thread seems like it's paying off, eh? Look at the pearls of wisdom we've got just in a couple of days! wink


Haha, yes indeed! thumb

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640330 05/05/17 12:59 PM
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I received the book yesterday (first edition) and find it interesting. I've done several of these pieces and the articulation as written is different than how I learned.

p120 - Sonatina in C. I learned this from the RCM syllabus. My teacher would have stopped me at bar 1 smile The RCM sheet shows the last note as detached, and not as part of the slur. Many more examples I can find here.

p127 - Arabesque. Again, I learned this in the RCM 3 syllabus. The left hand part with the 16th notes. FK shows it as mp, RCM has it has mf, with crescendo up, then down, up then down, up then down. It's just mp throughout in FK. My teacher was very particularly about this part, kept saying... I'd don't hear anything getting louder ... I don't hear it getting softer ... I'm like, F.... It's also not leggato in the right hand through that part. It needs to be detached between C and A. But that's how it is written in RCM.

Is one more correct than the other, I don't know. I still probably don't play it right. I suppose you should play it the way the piece you have is written. But really in the end, you should just play it how you like. If somebody disagrees then you can tell them to play it how they like smile

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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
zrtf90 #2640426 05/05/17 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
The slurs in FK may or may not be Rachel's but as you're a beginner they are likely there to guide you to the style of the piece. They would be slurs that a player of the day would apply naturally.

There is a similar thing going on with fingering. The fingering in FK may not be ideal for your hand but it's likely to lead to a more natural development. What may at first feel uncomfortable or unnatural may be that way because you haven't developed a natural affinity with the keyboard yet or full finger independence.


Yes, this is exactly the case. All articulation marks are by the author/publisher. I have some of the same music in RCM repertoire books, and in the RCM books, there are far fewer markings, slurs, staccatos. RCM tries to be closer to the original, but expects you have a teacher, and your teacher will mark up your music for you. In FK, it's already been marked up for you ahead of time.

I find that as a beginner, if I try to learn a piece using RCM repertoire and didn't have a teacher, I would not know how to interpret new music completely. This is one of the benefit of FK. It takes the guess work out of interpretation of any given piece. If you prefer a different interpretation, then like Barenboim said, you should have a pretty good reason to stand on other than because I like it that way.

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
J van E #2640434 05/05/17 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by J van E
for instance Carefree stroll's bar 2 up to 6 can be played with the right hand in one position but FK let's you move the hand two keys up in bar 5 for no reason at all.


There is a very good reason. If you don't move your hand, you would otherwise be playing the C staccato using finger 4, four times. This is not a good choice of fingering. You may choose to play using fingering 1-2-3-1 instead of 2-2-2-2, but not moving your hand at all, playing 4-4-4-4, bad idea. Finger 4 is your weakest finger.

Another thing to realize. The piano is not like a typewriter keyboard. On a typewriter, the faster typists in the world will always strike each letter key with the same finger. The 'A' is always struck with the LH 5. Not so on the piano. You are always moving your hand around and you have to start learning to keep track of where your hand is in relation to the keys. If you start out on middle C with your thumb, you don't just press down with your thumb again if you see the middle C again because your hand might have moved two spaces over, and now you have to use finger 3, for instance. Eventually, you have to be able to do this at a fairly fast tempo almost instinctively without thinking. So moving your hand around early is another one of those lessons.

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
zrtf90 #2640435 05/05/17 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
I suspect Carefree Stroll is not the original title and since I don't have FK I've no idea what you're referring to. If you can reference the original piece I may be able to help otherwise I'll leave it to FK graduates.


Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHM4UkuIGAo

Carefree Stroll by Louis Kohler

Note: in the YT video, it played AABB, but in FK, it's just AB.

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
bSharp(C)yclist #2640442 05/05/17 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Is one more correct than the other, I don't know. I still probably don't play it right. I suppose you should play it the way the piece you have is written. But really in the end, you should just play it how you like. If somebody disagrees then you can tell them to play it how they like smile


In short, they are all correct. If you play the notes as written, then perhaps it is not so correct ( crazy ). What I learned over the years is that the written music is the bare minimum of what composers believed will do, the cultural style of performing the music is implied and obvious, common cultural knowledge, so they don't put it down. You should not be surprised that mf or mp in some of these student pieces were all put there by the publisher of the music and not the composer. Often times, the composer wrote no dynamics at all.

Also, "don't make an elephant out of a little bird..." laugh

Quote
p127 - Arabesque. Again, I learned this in the RCM 3 syllabus. The left hand part with the 16th notes. FK shows it as mp, RCM has it has mf, with crescendo up, then down, up then down, up then down. It's just mp throughout in FK. My teacher was very particularly about this part, kept saying... I'd don't hear anything getting louder ... I don't hear it getting softer ... I'm like, F.... It's also not leggato in the right hand through that part. It needs to be detached between C and A. But that's how it is written in RCM.


This is how I was taught to play that as well. This is perhaps the few times FK is less explicit than RCM book. Same expected result though. Just because it's not written in doesn't mean shaping is not needed. It just means you have to do with it without the music hitting you over the head with it. Since cresc and dim is following natural rise and fall of the music, those marks are optional and implicit. In fact, whenever something with rising notes marked mf, you definitely want to start mp or even p or else you'll run out of room to shape the phrase by the time you get up to top notes end up playing too loud there. Remember that mf and mp are not absolute values with some international committee on dB level of what mf or mp should be. It just depends on what comes before and where you go after and what your piano could handle and the size of the room.

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640535 05/06/17 02:47 AM
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Adding and editing articulations, fingering, etc. is fine but changing notes is a step too far IMHO. I can understand Rachel did this to help the beginning piano player but it just doesn't feel right to me. So from now on I always check the original score if possible before I start learning a piece.

Last edited by J van E; 05/06/17 03:01 AM.
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640567 05/06/17 07:01 AM
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Interesting discussions about articulations and “how a piece should be played.”

I personally think that a student should try a great variety of articulations, not just the ones given by the composer or editor, and not just the ones provided by his piano teacher. If a passage is marked staccato, try it legato. If the tempo is fast, try it slow. Etc, etc.

Furthermore, I think it is useful to REWRITE PORTIONS OF A PIECE! :—) If you are at all interested in composition, this is a great exercise, and will give you a increased understanding of why the composer did it the way he did.

The idea here is that good piano playing is a “re-creation”, not just passively copying what is on a piece of sheet music. I’m a visual artist and will offer an analogy:

Everyone is familiar with the idea of tracing an existing image. You place a thin, translucent piece of paper on top of an image and carefully copy the lines beneath. The tracing will be more or less “correct”, but it will be utterly lifeless. Similarly, if you just passively copy what is on a piece of sheet music, you performance will probably also be lifeless.

So, by modifying a composition in the blatantly irreverent manner I have suggested, you are basically developing an attitude and an approach. You may well eventually play the piece exactly as it is written, but your change in attitude and approach will make a difference.


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640594 05/06/17 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
This is how I was taught to play that as well. This is perhaps the few times FK is less explicit than RCM book. Same expected result though. Just because it's not written in doesn't mean shaping is not needed. It just means you have to do with it without the music hitting you over the head with it. Since cresc and dim is following natural rise and fall of the music, those marks are optional and implicit. In fact, whenever something with rising notes marked mf, you definitely want to start mp or even p or else you'll run out of room to shape the phrase by the time you get up to top notes end up playing too loud there. Remember that mf and mp are not absolute values with some international committee on dB level of what mf or mp should be. It just depends on what comes before and where you go after and what your piano could handle and the size of the room.


Sorry, wasn't trying to blow things out of proportion. No disagreement there, but a beginner student probably isn't going to know to that, unless Rachel mentions this in one of her videos? The detached C and A isn't as clear though. I was playing it legato, and then the teacher pulls out her pencil, writes a check mark and says Lift! Is this book intended for a student to go through on their own, or does Rachel expect you to be working with a teacher?

Dawgbone, I agree with you on your statement. Try different articulations, phrasings, etc. I don't think there is always one right way to play a piece, but for some I'm sure there is. I'm learning a piece now that can be found in RCM3 and Alfred's Masterwork Classics (Polonaise in G Minor). Both books come with a CD and the piece is played differently in both books, but each piece adheres to how it is written in the respective book, e.g., staccato vs legato in the left hand. My teacher will tell me though to play it as written in RCM 3.

Another exercise for fun is to then transpose on the fly smile


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2640643 05/06/17 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Originally Posted by zrtf90
I suspect Carefree Stroll is not the original title and since I don't have FK I've no idea what you're referring to. If you can reference the original piece I may be able to help otherwise I'll leave it to FK graduates.


Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHM4UkuIGAo

Carefree Stroll by Louis Kohler
Ah, OK. I'm not familiar with Kohler. It sounded like someone had a given a name to a work in the way that the old Schaum books did - like calling Liszt's Consolation in Db 'Purple Sunset'.

Still, I see the answer's been given. Thanks.



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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
J van E #2640653 05/06/17 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by J van E
Adding and editing articulations, fingering, etc. is fine but changing notes is a step too far IMHO. I can understand Rachel did this to help the beginning piano player but it just doesn't feel right to me. So from now on I always check the original score if possible before I start learning a piece.


Which note(s) got changed? I agree notes should not be changed. Perhaps one of the two music you are comparing contains a misprint, either FK or RCM.

RCM is generally quite good. From RCM 1-7, I've ran into very few misprints over the years. Ditto FK. As careful as editors are, mistakes can happen. Actually for one piece, I compared FK, RCM, and Bastien, and all three were slightly different! I don't remember off hand which piece it was....

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
bSharp(C)yclist #2640658 05/06/17 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Sorry, wasn't trying to blow things out of proportion.


Actually, your discussion simply reminded how similar I was to you when I was learning RCM 3. Sounds like you have a good teacher, and will in coming years, like me, have to throw out all assumptions we have going into piano. smile


Re: Fundamental Keys Group
8 Octaves #2640689 05/06/17 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90


Still, I see the answer's been given. Thanks.


Wel, I still don't know where this piece comes from and where to look for an original score...

Originally Posted by 8 Octaves


Which note(s) got changed? I agree notes should not be changed. Perhaps one of the two music you are comparing contains a misprint, either FK or RCM.

Well, for instance in First loss, in the second part where the lower staf changes to the G cleff again there is a C (played together with the Fis) and two bars further an A (also played together with a Fis) and in FK both these notes are 1/8, attached to the beam, while the C should be a half note, so held for the entire bar, and the A should be a half note and is even tied to the first 1/8 of the next bar. Specially in this part playing those notes as 1/8 gives a totally different sound and feel to the piece. This might be done to make things easier but I think this is a pity. Learning how to hold a note while other fingers are playing on is quite important.
Another example is the added C for the left hand in bar 5 from Mozart's Minuet in C.

But maybe my problem with this has to do with my goal and where I am coming from: for teaching purposes this may all be fine but I am already looking at pieces I like to keep on playing in the future and in that case I simply like to play the piece as intended (as far as possible).

First loss is a great piece btw... That is the kind of music I like to play! Yeah, I skipped a few pages LOL but I will check all pieces in FK out in the future anyway. Quite a few pieces after page 81 didn't appeal to me: I skipped them as soon as I knew I could play them properly if I put the time in it but I just didn't feel like doing that. Yeah, I'm bad. wink After two or three sessions I can play First loss without mistakes already BUT with a few deliberate hesitations/slow parts because I do not want to hit wrong keys just to keep the pace. In slow motion I can play it well, I've got the fingering worked out an all, so all I need to do is to get a few parts up speed. Great piece. Love it.

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