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Books devoted to one piece #2830802
03/24/19 12:06 PM
03/24/19 12:06 PM
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Animisha Offline OP
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Yesterday a good friend of mine told me that there is a book with specific exercises for Für Elise. Does any of you know of other books like that - that is, books with specific exercises for a specific piece?


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830807
03/24/19 12:22 PM
03/24/19 12:22 PM
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Alfred Cortot composed studies for Chopin Études Op. 10 and for Op. 25. He possibly composed other studies too. There are also more contemporary studies on specific pieces such as these two studies for learning Chopin Étude Op. 10 No. 2.

Since études are studies, I guess these are studies for studies. I find this notion amusing and wonder if there are studies for studies for studies? Maybe someone should create studies for these studies (above) laugh


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830833
03/24/19 01:11 PM
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It's amazing the ingenuity of humans to make money from writing books that teach you how to read another book.

And I thought "Piano for Dummies" was a silly title.......


"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."
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: bennevis] #2830838
03/24/19 01:18 PM
03/24/19 01:18 PM
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Animisha Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bennevis
writing books that teach you how to read another book

No, I think you misunderstood bennevis. I don't mean a book teaching me how to read another book - I mean books very specifically dedicated to teach me how to play a certain piece!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830854
03/24/19 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by bennevis
writing books that teach you how to read another book

I don't mean a book teaching me how to read another book - I mean books very specifically dedicated to teach me how to play a certain piece!

That's exactly the analogy I was making.

To enable one to read a book, one learns the language and vocabulary in as much complexity as the book uses, and then (perhaps with the help of a dictionary) read that book - as slowly as necessary to digest the words properly.

To play Für Elise, one learns the language (musical notation) and the skills required to tackle it. Just like vocabulary: finger control for simple arpeggios and scales and chords and repeated notes, pedaling skills for straightforward legato pedaling etc.

Doing 'specific exercises' for each of those separately out of another book? An easy money spinner by the author, hoping to entice those with inadequate skills to tackle the piece into believing that those 'exercises' will be a quick fix.......(- any pianist with decent skills will be able to conceive of such 'exercises').


"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."
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830855
03/24/19 01:52 PM
03/24/19 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by bennevis
writing books that teach you how to read another book

No, I think you misunderstood bennevis. I don't mean a book teaching me how to read another book - I mean books very specifically dedicated to teach me how to play a certain piece!

One and the same.

It would be nice to have specific didactic books on pieces, and that’s why we do the study groups here. There is one for the Tchaikovsky Seasons (October), one for the Chopin Nocturne in C#min, one for the Clements Sonatina, one for Autumn leaves and others.

Feel free to start one - is there a specific piece you’d like to learn?


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"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830863
03/24/19 02:05 PM
03/24/19 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Yesterday a good friend of mine told me that there is a book with specific exercises for Für Elise. Does any of you know of other books like that - that is, books with specific exercises for a specific piece?


While it's not a book for a specific piece, the next best thing - or even better, perhaps - is Eleanor Bailie's The Pianist's Repertoire, Chopin: A Graded Practical Guide. London, Kahn & Averill, 1998. (with reprints in 2000 and 2005).

Almost the entirety of Chopin's oeuvre is discussed in this book, piece by piece, from the standpoint of technical challenges, possible solutions to master some of those challenges and interpretive suggestions. Many discussions are accompanied by examples from the score. For many of the more complex pieces, Bailie devotes three, four, five pages of detailed analysis and technical suggestions. Even the afore-mentioned C-sharp minor posthumous Nocturne gets a full four pages for example. While not everyone will agree with everything that Bailie writes, this book, in my opinion, is well worth continued study and on-going reference.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: cmb13] #2830865
03/24/19 02:08 PM
03/24/19 02:08 PM
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Animisha Offline OP
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Originally Posted by cmb13
It would be nice to have specific didactic books on pieces, and that’s why we do the study groups here.
Feel free to start one - is there a specific piece you’d like to learn?

A study group is really good (and so are video tutorials) but the Für Elise book has 25 exercises to give the student both theoretical and technical skills, in order to be able to perform this piece, and that appeals to me very much. And it is something a study group cannot really give.
No, there is not a specific piece I had in mind. I just don't feel like playing Für Elise, but I thought if there are more of these kinds of books, I might chose a piece and practise it in this way - a piece that without such exercises would be too difficult for me. It would be a really nice to work like this, just for a change.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830867
03/24/19 02:15 PM
03/24/19 02:15 PM
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If I wrote down what my teacher tells me when I am working on a piece, I would have such a book for every piece I study.


Learner
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: bennevis] #2830873
03/24/19 02:28 PM
03/24/19 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
It's amazing the ingenuity of humans to make money from writing books that teach you how to read another book.


Slightly and briefly OT: Has anyone else read, and loved, How To Read a Book by Adler and van Doren?


"When life gives you a lemonwood Gaveau [piano], make a place for it (or, what is the same thing, find a wealthy foreign collector/enthusiast to sell it to)." --adapted from and inspired by _The Piano Shop on the Left Bank_ by Thad Carhart
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830874
03/24/19 02:37 PM
03/24/19 02:37 PM
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James Rhodes wrote on how to play Bach prelude in C From WTC.

https://crosseyedpianist.com/2016/09/29/how-to-play-the-piano-by-james-rhodes/


Yamaha N2
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Beethoven op 49 1 Andante
Skryabin op11 prelude in E n 9
Mike Cormick: Modulations (blue piano)
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Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: agraffe] #2830884
03/24/19 03:21 PM
03/24/19 03:21 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by agraffe
Originally Posted by bennevis
It's amazing the ingenuity of humans to make money from writing books that teach you how to read another book.


Slightly and briefly OT: Has anyone else read, and loved, How To Read a Book by Adler and van Doren?

Yes! 3hearts

What a wonderful book! After I read this book, I read all of À la recherche du temps perdu - all 3000 pages. Adler's was an amazing book. I wish they had made us read this book before our mandatory freshman expository writing class in college. I might have saved 100+ hours on my essays just by using his structured-interpretive-critical method on our assigned books!

So far, I've read about 30 of the books on his reading list, but only about 15 of those were after I read Adler's book, include Proust.

If you want to discuss agraffe, send me a PM! smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: bennevis] #2830886
03/24/19 03:25 PM
03/24/19 03:25 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by bennevis
It's amazing the ingenuity of humans to make money from writing books that teach you how to read another book.

And I thought "Piano for Dummies" was a silly title.......

So you think Alfred Cortot was silly in creating studies for Chopin's "studies?" Or perhaps the word is "ingenious?" wink


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830891
03/24/19 03:32 PM
03/24/19 03:32 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by Animisha
No, there is not a specific piece I had in mind. I just don't feel like playing Für Elise, but I thought if there are more of these kinds of books, I might chose a piece and practise it in this way - a piece that without such exercises would be too difficult for me. It would be a really nice to work like this, just for a change.

There are a number of other such books. Besides ones mentioned BruceD, appassionata, and I, above, there is this book, also with 25 studies on:



across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2830893
03/24/19 03:38 PM
03/24/19 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

So you think Alfred Cortot was silly in creating studies for Chopin's "studies?" Or perhaps the word is "ingenious?" wink

Yes - in fact, some of his studies to prepare one for Chopin's studies are harder than the studies his studies are meant to prepare you for.

If you get my drift smirk .

Hmmm, that gives me an idea - how about I write a book on 50 studies to prepare the student to play Für Elise and Rondo alla turca (two pieces for the price of one - a bargain whistle), which are harder than those pieces.

Then I can sit back and rake in the royalties and stop working, so that I can write more studies to prepare the student to play Clair de lune, Minuet in G (by any composer - how's that for value?), The Entertainer, Maple Leaf etc, etc, etc. Should be enough royalties to keep me fed for a lifetime......... grin


"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."
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830927
03/24/19 05:39 PM
03/24/19 05:39 PM
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So far , I thought Für Elise was itself a preparation piece that was intermediary for more complex ones... I just wonder what sort of exercices are in this book as to me the piece is essentially based on arpeggios, some chords, a chromatic scale and that's about it; all fairly standard components, so what would be so specific that it would need a dedicated practice book ?

Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Sidokar] #2830930
03/24/19 05:55 PM
03/24/19 05:55 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
So far , I thought Für Elise was itself a preparation piece that was intermediary for more complex ones... I just wonder what sort of exercices are in this book as to me the piece is essentially based on arpeggios, some chords, a chromatic scale and that's about it; all fairly standard components, so what would be so specific that it would need a dedicated practice book ?

That's an anti-étude view of learning piano which is that pieces of real music prepare you for progressively more difficult pieces of real music. But there is also a pro-étude point of view of learning piano that says there is some use that can be made of exercises and studies, whether these are Czerny, Bergmueller, Edna Mae Burnam, Chopin or Liszt études. In the latter view, many beginners method books like mine, have a separate section in every unit for little studies that help with the learning of repertoire in that unit. Whether it is practicing fingers 4 & 5, practicing playing thirds smoothly, or something else.

A book of studies for Für Elise is no different. Obviously those in the bennevis and Sidokar camp (not picking on you two - you represent what I think is a completely legitimate point of view on "studies") would say these are useless, just play real music to prepare for more real music, but there can be different pedagogical points of view on this. The bottom line is many pianists and teachers both play and teach études. I don't think it is something to minimize if a piano student thinks they need some additional help or a teacher thinks some étude could be useful in underscoring some technique.

For example, there is an étude which stresses downbeats and rhythm in 3/8 time. Whether such an étude is useful at all will depend on the individual. I'm sure there are people who are naturally rhythmical who won't need anything of the kind.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830935
03/24/19 06:15 PM
03/24/19 06:15 PM
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I have to admit to being torn between thinking 'what a nice, helpful idea' writing a book on how to play Für Elise and thinking of it as cynical opportunism because so many beginners want to play it. Tricky. When I 'taught myself' painting I found that there was an immense amount of 'how to paint' material on sale - learners are notorious in that field for seeking the 'magic formula' that will transform them into 'artists' and unsurprisingly there are plenty of folk around willing and eager to relieve them of their money - rather like those sellers of patent medicines that cropped up in old western films. Some of the material is good, some - well, you can imagine.
I did once 'help' an adult new to the piano to learn to play Für Elise, much against my will (I'm not qualified to do anything of the kind) but I weakened in the end and they made a good job of it. I think that was more due to the person's innate intelligence and feeling for music than my prompting. Didn't really do any exercises, though, that I can remember (it was a long time ago, feels like another existence now) - it seems like quite a nice exercise in itself.


regards
Pete
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2830938
03/24/19 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

That's an anti-étude view of learning piano which is that pieces of real music prepare you for progressively more difficult pieces of real music. But there is also a pro-étude point of view of learning piano that says there is some use that can be made of exercises and studies, whether these are Czerny, Bergmueller, Edna Mae Burnam, Chopin or Liszt études. In the latter view, many beginners method books like mine, have a separate section in every unit for little studies that help with the learning of repertoire in that unit.

Actually, I think you misunderstand me, and probably Sidokar too.

I believe etudes have a place - after all, I play Chopin and Liszt etudes (which are of course much more than mere studies to develop technique). What I object to is so-called studies to 'prepare' the student for something like Für Elise, which has no unusual corners to negotiate, and is one of the many examples of intermediate pieces which anyone who has acquired the right skill set for that level, and learnt (classical) piano properly should have no difficulty in learning it, without having to learn something off-the-wall or technical which he hasn't tackled before in his previous learning.

What do I mean by that? Something like Rondo alla turca, which has broken octaves as well as octaves which many students learning it will not have encountered before, and may well need to learn - and practice - a new technique to play it. Or Scarlatti's Kk141, which is fairly easy if it wasn't for its repeated notes - again, a student may need studies to develop that specific technique.

Anyone writing a book of studies to prepare a student to play a piece like Für Elise is basically out to make money - as I said earlier, any halfway decent pianist (not necessarily a teacher) can invent convincing "exercises" for it.

Quote
A book of studies for Für Elise is no different.


"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."
Re: Books devoted to one piece [Re: Animisha] #2830951
03/24/19 06:51 PM
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Some - and I emphasize "some" - of the Cortot preliminary exercises for the eventual playing of the Chopin Etudes are over-the-top, over-kill and technically more demanding than the Etudes for which these exercises claim to prepare the pianist. I suppose one could say that if you can master Cortot's exercises, then Chopin's Etudes are a piece of cake, every one of them. Some of the Cortot exercises may be useful. It's up to the pianist to choose which of them might be so. Has anyone ever calculated how much time and effort would go into preparing every one of the Cortot exercises, some of which, although brief, are to be played "in every key."

I agree with bennevis that a book of exercises to prepare the student pianist to play "Für Elise" is superfluous in the extreme. The student who is at a level where s/he is "ready" to play "Für Elise" is already able to play broken chords, Alberti bass and arpeggios without having to spend money on a publication that purports to teach what should already be known.

A cash-grab aimed at the gullible, I guess.

Regards,


BruceD
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