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Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch #2729120
04/15/18 08:09 AM
04/15/18 08:09 AM
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SuzyUpright Offline OP
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Hi smile
I've been sweating my way through this invention for over a month just to learn the notes. At my lesson the other day I was asked to practice it with a more non-legato touch ( and also to just concentrate to the first 12 measures ).
I'm having a hard time getting it right...when I try to break free of the legato it seems like I'm jumping over that sweet spot and it's too close to staccato!
It seems to improve when I speed up the tempo, although then I fumble notes, so I'd prefer to be able to practice the non-legato at a slow tempo for now.
Any tips for getting this right? Exercises? It's 11 days until my next lesson and I'd love to get a jump on it..

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729132
04/15/18 10:19 AM
04/15/18 10:19 AM
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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Hi, SuzyUpright! I think your teacher is correct in his/her directive -- you should be able to play Bach without pedal and develop enough strength and suppleness in the fingers to project a clean non-legato sound. I would stick to the slower tempo, though, while trying to achieve that "semi-staccato" sound -- right now it sounds like your body hasn't caught up with your mind, so to speak. Bach needs to be "overlearned" to some degree, so that you can do most physical things without thinking about them.

Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729152
04/15/18 11:52 AM
04/15/18 11:52 AM
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pianopi Offline

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Take a day to get just one measure correct, and keep playing it until you automatically play it as you would like to hear it. Start slowly - really slowly - and make sure your mind is always focused on getting the non-legato touch (plus all the other articulations). Don't allow yourself to slip back into the legato playing. Once you're feeling you've mastered that measure, add another note or two and master those notes in addition to first bit. Keep on this way, until you find your habits and muscle memory have adjusted to the non-legato playing.

Be patient, though! It feels like it is a really slow method with no results at first and then suddenly it all starts to work and you get through the piece in no time.

Last edited by pianopi; 04/15/18 11:53 AM.
Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: pianopi] #2729157
04/15/18 12:34 PM
04/15/18 12:34 PM
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Sol Finker Offline
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I don't understand - and that is not surprising since I am a beginner.
You are talking about non legato playing and we have both legato - one hand - and staccato - the other hand.
1st measure: stacatto
2nd measure: RH legato LH staccato
3rd measure: RH staccato LH legato
4th measure: RH non legato here? LH staccato
I think the difficulty stands on the differences between both hands.
Originally Posted by pianopi
Take a day to get just one measure correct, and keep playing it until you automatically play it as you would like to hear it. Start slowly - really slowly - and make sure your mind is always focused on getting the non-legato touch (plus all the other articulations). Don't allow yourself to slip back into the legato playing. Once you're feeling you've mastered that measure, add another note or two and master those notes in addition to first bit. Keep on this way, until you find your habits and muscle memory have adjusted to the non-legato playing.

Great piece of advice! But very difficult for us beginners to follow though.


Yamaha Arius YDP 162 - Enjoying Bach Inventions #1 #8 #13
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Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729160
04/15/18 01:07 PM
04/15/18 01:07 PM
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SuzyUpright Offline OP
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Thanks for the responses folks!

@Tim Adrianson: Yes that makes sense to me Tim...going back to just the first 12 measures ( the ones I've practised the longest time ) has helped make me feel more comfortable for sure. Unfortunately I'm all too familiar with the problem of intellectual understanding not transferring to the ol' motor skills!

@pianopi: I will try that! I regret not doing it from the start, but maybe that's just one of the lessons I'll learn from this piece smile

@Sol Finker: There are no staccato markings on my copy (urtext). I was under the impression that while some of the 8th note measures might be more staccato-like ( such as in measures 18-20 ), generally it's closer to non-legato throughout...but I'm a beginner too so you could be right!

Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729164
04/15/18 01:30 PM
04/15/18 01:30 PM
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zrtf90 Offline
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Originally Posted by SuzyUpright
Any tips for getting this right?
Play the opening figure as legato as possible but with only one finger, either index or middle, and use that arm motion when you return to your usual fingering and aim for the same sound. You can do the same thing with your scales and five finger exercises, if you do them.


Richard
Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729170
04/15/18 01:49 PM
04/15/18 01:49 PM
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Piano teachers working with beginners (esp. with children) generally explain that there are two touches - legato and staccato - and they are polar opposites. Piano students are told we need to have both at our command, and that what makes the piano difficult is playing one of these touches in one hand at the same time as the other hand deploys the other touch. It's probably ok advice for a kid in his or her first year.

But it sets up a regrettable limitation to more mature playing, as Suzy is discovering. The non-legato "mid-range" of touches is pretty easy to acquire, if you just throw out the black/white contrast. Try instead to play "bad legato," if you will - a bit choppy sounding. Or conversely (and likely easier), try to play "wet staccato" or "flaccid, wimpy staccato." You'll get it, and develop your own feel for it.

My guess is that this will come pretty quickly once you grasp that it is a worthy, musical way of playing various passages or pieces. It will be of great use in all playing, but particularly in 18th Century music like Bach.

Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: zrtf90] #2729189
04/15/18 03:04 PM
04/15/18 03:04 PM
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Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by SuzyUpright
Any tips for getting this right?
Play the opening figure as legato as possible but with only one finger, either index or middle, and use that arm motion when you return to your usual fingering and aim for the same sound. You can do the same thing with your scales and five finger exercises, if you do them.

I find this to be the best advice. My teacher often suggested using one finger of one hand to "show" the other hand how to play. The other hand imitates not just the physical movement but also the sound. Using just one finger gives more control.


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Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729196
04/15/18 03:16 PM
04/15/18 03:16 PM
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Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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Originally Posted by SuzyUpright

@Sol Finker: There are no staccato markings on my copy (urtext). I was under the impression that while some of the 8th note measures might be more staccato-like ( such as in measures 18-20 ), generally it's closer to non-legato throughout...but I'm a beginner too so you could be right!

There are no articulation marks in the urtext. But in general "staccato" in Baroque music isn't really staccato but more non-legato. Have you heared a violinist or cellist playing detached notes with the bow? The notes are short but sound like full notes and are never percussive like a bell. That's how Baroque staccato should sound.


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Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729208
04/15/18 03:55 PM
04/15/18 03:55 PM
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SuzyUpright Offline OP
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I will try all these suggestions over the coming week, much appreciated...
It's always a great shot of motivation hearing from the forum community smile
I hope eventually I can give back, but at this stage I'm all questions and no answers!

Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729294
04/16/18 03:10 AM
04/16/18 03:10 AM
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Osho Offline
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Interestingly, I am working on the exact same invention right now. One suggestion that I received from a teacher which helped me was to think of the quarter notes as "sixteenth note and sixteenth rest". The piece has mostly eighth or sixteenth notes - and has one of them in one hand and the other in the other hand. So, if you treat the eighth note as "sixteenth note and sixteenth rest", while playing the sixteenth notes legato with the other hand - you can get the eighth note to sound detached without staccato. Now this is not quite right as sixteenth rest is a little too much of rest. So, once you can do it - try to decrease the rest period, leading to well-defined detached eighth notes.

Osho


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Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729297
04/16/18 03:46 AM
04/16/18 03:46 AM
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Spain
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Sol Finker Offline
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So this is not urtext, I presume
https://www.dropbox.com/s/po284h9i7tejf3s/staccato_legato.JPG?dl=0

And what about this video?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhfg-M9FyT0

Thank you for your good advice.


Yamaha Arius YDP 162 - Enjoying Bach Inventions #1 #8 #13
Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729299
04/16/18 04:02 AM
04/16/18 04:02 AM
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SuzyUpright Offline OP
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Another great suggestion thanks Osho! I really like that idea, and if it wasn't 5:00am here in my part of Canada I'd try it right now...
Looking forward to practice later armed with a course of action. Last night I used zrtf90's one finger method and also just tried to achieve that sound in a five finger position, definately time well-spent. Today I'll start slowly with the score, a bit at a time.
Wishing you a lot of enjoyment from this invention Osho!

@Sol Finker: I'm not sure, I'm guessing some interpretations will play those eighth notes staccato and some scores may show them as such. My teacher has instructed me to play them non-legato, and she's the Boss! smile

Last edited by SuzyUpright; 04/16/18 04:11 AM.
Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: SuzyUpright] #2729303
04/16/18 05:30 AM
04/16/18 05:30 AM
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dogperson Offline
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Hi Sol
The notes are marked stacatto, but in Baroque music it is more aptly considered as non-legato... In other words, not quite as short as a true staccato. Most here would recommend that you not use BachScholar as a reference. You can do a search on this forum if you want to see previous discussions


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Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: Sol Finker] #2729309
04/16/18 06:20 AM
04/16/18 06:20 AM
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zrtf90 Offline
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Originally Posted by Sol Finker
So this is not urtext, I presume
https://www.dropbox.com/s/po284h9i7tejf3s/staccato_legato.JPG?dl=0

And what about this video?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhfg-M9FyT0

Thank you for your good advice.

The score you posted is Czerny. Bach gave no indications of articulation, phrasing or dynamics.

The video is of Cory Hall. The more you listen to concert pianists the less you'll appreciate the clunkiness and insensitivty of Hall.


Richard
Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: dogperson] #2729349
04/16/18 10:20 AM
04/16/18 10:20 AM
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Sol Finker Offline
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
The video is of Cory Hall. The more you listen to concert pianists the less you'll appreciate the clunkiness and insensitivty of Hall.


Well, I think he has a PhD in Bach, hasn't he?
I am a beginner and almost everything here goes straight over my head.
Originally Posted by dogperson
Most here would recommend that you not use BachScholar as a reference.

I could have posted my own video playing Invention #8, but I think it wouldn't have added an inch of wisdom to the debate.

I really enjoy and appreciate your inputs. They show you care about us, adult beginners.

Thank you all.

Last edited by Sol Finker; 04/16/18 10:31 AM. Reason: poor grammar

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Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: Sol Finker] #2729367
04/16/18 11:26 AM
04/16/18 11:26 AM
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PianogrlNW Offline
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Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by zrtf90
The video is of Cory Hall. The more you listen to concert pianists the less you'll appreciate the clunkiness and insensitivty of Hall.


Well, I think he has a PhD in Bach, hasn't he?
I am a beginner and almost everything here goes straight over my head.
Originally Posted by dogperson
Most here would recommend that you not use BachScholar as a reference.

I could have posted my own video playing Invention #8, but I think it wouldn't have added an inch of wisdom to the debate.

I really enjoy and appreciate your inputs. They show you care about us, adult beginners.

Thank you all.

Here is Paul Barton playing #8. BachScholar’s playing is as dry and uninspiring as cardboard.




Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: PianogrlNW] #2729374
04/16/18 12:06 PM
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Sol Finker Offline
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Great performance!
Thank God I haven't posted my video laugh


Yamaha Arius YDP 162 - Enjoying Bach Inventions #1 #8 #13
Re: Bach Invention 8 Non-Legato touch [Re: dogperson] #2729435
04/16/18 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Most here would recommend that you not use BachScholar as a reference.

(Emphasis mine because I almost missed that and thought you were recommending BachScholar wink ).

Indeed. Actually, I would recommend not touching any of the "BachScholar" videos with a 10-foot pole. He plays like a robot, only slightly better than a MIDI recording, but thinks he's so great.


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