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Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
huaidongxi #2728739 04/13/18 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
disagree about going measure by measure because phrase by phrase or harmonic group by group is more musical.

Normally I would agree but polyphonic music is different. The phrases begin and end at different points for each voice and, except for the simplest minuets, there is rarely a natural synchronization point for all voices. So, yes, when you practice hands separately you can go for a full phrase but when you put hands together the music keeps going all the time either in one voice or the other and you have to decide to stop somewhere. My teacher recommended working on Bach in one measure units and I find that it really works.

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Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
ebonykawai #2728750 04/13/18 09:33 AM
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Playing separate hands for voices works well when you have a 2-part piece (L plays 1 note at a time, R plays 1 note at a time). For more advanced pieces I'd normally play the R part first to hear what the melody sounds like and fill in the L part a few bars at a time. If I get stuck putting the L together somewhere I'll work on the L separately and then put the L in slowly.

A typical 2-part piece that comes to mind is the Fr. Suite #3 (BWV814) Minuet & Trio. The Minuet has 2 parts with the L playing 1 note and the R playing 1 note. When you comes to the Trio you find that it has 3. The voice in the middle is usually the problem. You have to try to see if you can play the middle part with either the L or the R for the whole piece. Some notes in the middle part may be too high or too low for 1 hand you need to use the other hand.

You also find pieces with short notes over a long note with the same hand. In some case you'd need to change finger for the long note to keep it pressed down while you add the short notes.

Many of the pieces from the Bach notebook for Anna M is easy to sight-read. Originally Bach gave his wife a notebook with just 4 pieces in it. The rest were pieces copied into the notebook by hand. The ones without a BWV # were written by another unnamed composer. There are pieces you find the R playing the same notes as the L an octave higher. I'd read 1 part and play the other hand by ear.

Last edited by thepianoplayer416; 04/13/18 09:46 AM.
Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
Keselo #2728761 04/13/18 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Keselo
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
.........Anyone else suffering?
Oh, all the time. But right now I'm finding Bach a walk in the park compared to the Bartok Mikrokosmos pieces I'm working on. cry

Which pieces are you learning? I love Mikrokosmos! I've started working on the third book two months ago myself.
I'm working out of Volume 4. For whatever reason, that was the first volume I purchased and my teacher started me on it. The pieces were written for teaching purposes and become progressively harder as you move through the volumes. A quick glance at a piece and it looks simple, until you notice (for example, in #105) the bass and treble clefs are in different keys and your hands are playing on top of each other. Not a lot of discernible melody to help you along. But each one has something to teach that we as students need to learn. Bottom line: I'm not loving them but I am learning from them.


Bach has helped me immensely. I like the French Suites more the Inventions. The inventions are polyphonic in nature and as Qazsedcft mentions above, they rarely come together in a natural synchronization point. The French Suites are a mix of polyphony and homophony and I'm enjoying them, especially when I get to the point of being able to play them with even a smidgen of tempo. It can take quite some time to get to that point!


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Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
Qazsedcft #2728764 04/13/18 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by huaidongxi
disagree about going measure by measure because phrase by phrase or harmonic group by group is more musical.

Normally I would agree but polyphonic music is different. The phrases begin and end at different points for each voice and, except for the simplest minuets, there is rarely a natural synchronization point for all voices. So, yes, when you practice hands separately you can go for a full phrase but when you put hands together the music keeps going all the time either in one voice or the other and you have to decide to stop somewhere. My teacher recommended working on Bach in one measure units and I find that it really works.
This is a very good point. Knowing the basic concepts of monophony, polyphony, and homophony can be very helpful in organizing the music in your head and in your practice.

Monophony, polyphony, and homophony

Last edited by Stubbie; 04/13/18 01:08 PM.

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Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
JoBert #2728773 04/13/18 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by pianopi
You're probably going through too much at once. Do one to two measures a week or a fortnight or however quick or long it takes you to get those couple of measures under control. Cover up everything else with paper, sticky-notes etc. until you get those measures working. Then reward yourself with 1 to 2 more notes. And so on.

I accept that some people are fine with such an approach or maybe even enjoy it. Personally, I’d rather have a dentist appointment than learn piano in that fashion (if applied to a whole piece, as described here, and not just to a trouble spot - for the latter I too see the merit in this approach). I’d sell my piano and take up something more enjoyable and exciting (idk - maybe working as a tax consultant?) if that were the only way to learn piano. wink


Bach is full of gems. If you go at it like a steroidal mechanical shovel at an archeological dig, you're going to find you've missed or destroyed the delicately brilliant bits. And you want to hold on to those little things for a little time so as to appreciate the beauty and be able to communicate that to others.

It does take some maturing to approach music this way.


"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

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Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
SwissMS #2728774 04/13/18 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
... I have a 3 voiced fugue Gigue that I have been working on for eight months, and I am only now getting the voices expressed the way that I want! That's Bach! However, I think it does wonders for your articulation and control.


I absolutely adore the Gigue you're working on! I am just starting it myself, and am really looking forward to hearing your results when (if?) you record and post them. You must be having a heavenly time!


"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

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Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
Qazsedcft #2728775 04/13/18 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
disagree about going measure by measure because phrase by phrase or harmonic group by group is more musical.

Yes. All in good time, though. You can't get a good sense of the shape if you miss half the articulation of the first few notes.


"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTc4esj9xQG6NjLIr9an29Q
Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
ebonykawai #2728797 04/13/18 12:48 PM
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ebonykawai, may I ask, which Bach pieces are you working on? Whatever they are, keep at them. I think they're worth it, and so many composers and musicians (much greater than I) over the years have thought so as well.

I hated Bach as a youngster, but after not touching his music with a ten foot pole for 20 years or so, I found that I love it.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Cedar Park, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko"
Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
ebonykawai #2728804 04/13/18 01:15 PM
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[quote=ebonykawai]So Bach is driving me crazy and I have to say, it takes an awful lot of fortitude to stick with that torture long enough for my fingers and brain to kick in.

Great way to put it.


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Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
ebonykawai #2728845 04/13/18 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
...my inspiration is Marie Curie, how long she distilled and extracted raw ore, tonnes of it for years, before refining enough pure radium (a matter of milligrams) to demonstrate it was a distinct and unique element.


Don't forget that it killed her in the end....

Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
huaidongxi #2728871 04/13/18 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
my inspiration is Marie Curie, how long she distilled and extracted raw ore, tonnes of it for years, before refining enough pure radium (a matter of milligrams) to demonstrate it was a distinct and unique element


She was really one of the most radiant thinkers of her generation. One of the great luminaries.


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Re: Playing piano is not for the faint hearted
ebonykawai #2728882 04/13/18 08:36 PM
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She really was. She actually inspired me to get my chemistry degree many, many years ago. Her biography is wonderful. ❤️


Lisa

Playing RCM 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
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