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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2848765
05/16/19 11:35 AM
05/16/19 11:35 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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I think the issue is with not learning the art of transposing.
Today I had an organ lesson in which my teacher helped understand how to transpose a hymn into another key. For this we analysed the music and did a roman number analysis.
I dont recall ever being taught how to trandpose or play cadences in different keys before.
Many people are satisfied with just repeating what is written in the score.
Other people, including me have a more creative side. I am like a child learning a language.
Do you ever get to transpose a piece at a piano lesson?
Do people really just want to play from a written score?
I just dont see why the creative side is not a focus on at a piano lesson.
If I wanted to read a poem in a certain language I would not just focus on the pronounciation and how to peform it. I would even learn the language.

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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2848774
05/16/19 11:52 AM
05/16/19 11:52 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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Actually, there seem two ways people.memorize:
Seeing the patterns or using a musical understanding.
My brain only memorize stuff if there is a deeper musical understanding.
I guess most people dont need much of an understanding when memerozing.
People just see patterns and memorize but I dont unless I have an understanding of how the patterns work.
Am I weird?

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2848775
05/16/19 11:53 AM
05/16/19 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne

Do you ever get to transpose a piece at a piano lesson?
Do people really just want to play from a written score?
I just dont see why the creative side is not a focus on at a piano lesson.



I have seen my piano teacher transposing on the fly. So she can and I am sure she would help me learn the skill if I wanted. But no, I do indeed just want to play from written scores at the moment. I want to get to now the piano music I so much like. If I want to just be creatice in the sense you talk about I will use my voice. But learning the pieces is itself creative, at least for someone with small hands and limited abilities wink

I only transpose when I have to, so only when I need to sing something and it's too high or low. That is however not the point of my piano study.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2848788
05/16/19 12:17 PM
05/16/19 12:17 PM
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Learning to transpose can be an academic and musical exercise, but its purpose is somewhat limited to vocal accompanying and playing in a key that suits the voice of the singer. Transposing a piano piece has little purpose beyond the exercise since, in most instances, the composer has chosen the key of a piece for a reason, and transposing it can not only change the character of the piece but might involve complex fingering challenges that are not involved in the original.

One classic example of transposing was one of the early editions of Schubert's Impromptu in G-flat, Op. 90, No. 3. One publisher, Carl Haslinger, (Vienna, 1857) published the piece in G major, fearing that the key of G-flat major would frighten and deter potential buyers of the work. There have been discussions about how the character and feel of the piece in G major are totally different from what Schubert wrote.

I think spending a lot of time learning to transpose quickly and accurately would be time spent only by those who would really use that skill.

Regards,


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2848803
05/16/19 12:38 PM
05/16/19 12:38 PM
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One thing I have noticed in my journey with the piano.

Many if not most concepts (transposing for example) are fairly simple to "know" but can be very difficult to do.

One can know a lot but not be able to play anything.

"Learning" about concepts can be a substitution for learning to do something.

Periodically, you may wish to challenge yourself to be able to do something instead of just know something.

Once in a while shed the protective shield of …."I could play this piece if I wanted to" and challenge yourself with "Can you play it or not ?"

Take a piece of music that you find difficult and learn to play it …. no excuses …. just do it.

And … if you can't ….. admit it and throw away the "I could if I wanted to".

And …. if you can …. you are on your way to being able to play things instead of just knowing about things.


Don

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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2848831
05/16/19 01:32 PM
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Am I wasting my time trying to understand the music instead of just playing.
Am I trying to be that kid who arent satisfied with just repeating phrases but just focuses in actually understanding the language?
Seriously, learning the piano is often not a way to understand music.
What I dont understand is how people can learn a Bach piece without understanding it.
I mean, they just repeat the patterns. It doesnt work for me. I need a deeper understanding. If I transpose I often get that understanding.
How can you learn a Bach partita with just looking at the patterns?
How do you memorize it?
If the patterns dont make sense to me it is difficult to remember the piece.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: dmd] #2848833
05/16/19 01:33 PM
05/16/19 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
One thing I have noticed in my journey with the piano.

Many if not most concepts (transposing for example) are fairly simple to "know" but can be very difficult to do.

One can know a lot but not be able to play anything.

"Learning" about concepts can be a substitution for learning to do something.

Periodically, you may wish to challenge yourself to be able to do something instead of just know something.

Once in a while shed the protective shield of …."I could play this piece if I wanted to" and challenge yourself with "Can you play it or not ?"

Take a piece of music that you find difficult and learn to play it …. no excuses …. just do it.

And … if you can't ….. admit it and throw away the "I could if I wanted to".

And …. if you can …. you are on your way to being able to play things instead of just knowing about things.



I understand this very much. Thanks to the internet, I know a lot, probably more than I should, but when it comes down to actually doing it, I struggle. With piano, I think I want to just play. I'll want to learn basic music theory, but I don't want to overdo it like I do with most other endeavours.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2848849
05/16/19 02:16 PM
05/16/19 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
Am I wasting my time trying to understand the music instead of just playing


You need to do both.

I can tell you this ….

You will never learn to play by reading things or talking about things.

In order to play you have to practice playing …. plain and simple.

You can spend years learning about music but until you spend considerable time at the piano practicing …. you will never learn to play.


Don

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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2848887
05/16/19 03:29 PM
05/16/19 03:29 PM
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To add to what dmd has posted, a lot of understanding of music - and what do you really mean by "understanding"? - derives from doing. The more you play the more you begin to understand what a composer was getting at, what s/he was doing and why it was being done. One can dwell too much on the academic aspect of "learning," but to a large degree "learning" comes from "doing" and thinking about doing while you are doing it.

Mindlessly just "repeating phrases" isn't going to teach much except perhaps finger or muscle memory (which is helpful), but thinking about the possible reasons for what occurs in the music can eventually lead to your own understanding of it, and not to what someone else tells you to understand.

Don't forget, too, that a piece of music may have different meanings to different performers; one man's sad is another man's peaceful reflection. That's why it is better to learn and understand music (apart from structure) from one's own perspective, not from that of others.

Regards,


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2849095
05/17/19 03:34 AM
05/17/19 03:34 AM
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So my approach is different because I want to accompany singer?
There are some of you who said that you actually use sime kind of understanding when learning a piece. Can you please give me an example of how you use it?

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2849102
05/17/19 04:23 AM
05/17/19 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne

There are some of you who said that you actually use sime kind of understanding when learning a piece. Can you please give me an example of how you use it?

I do very basic analysis, which matches my very basic understanding of theory at the moment. I check the chord progressions. If I’m familiar with the key signature, I think in roman numerals. Else I map the chords to roman numerals. Gives me some theory practice. However, not all chord progressions make sense to me, even when mapped to roman numerals. So I notice these and move on. Sometimes I notice that the key is changing in between. When this happens, I can do nothing other than be slightly amused, and check what all is happening around it. If the musical style is new to me (which happens quite a lot), I check for articles or videos to understand the form. Doesn't help much with my playing, but it's entertaining.

When the left hand is playing single notes and the structure is not apparent to me in a short time, I don’t do much other than just notice how the LH notes are compatible with the RH. This helps me in practicing without the score when I get lazy and the piece is not solid yet, but not with much else. However, I’ve been trying lately not to practice a lot without the score, as my reading is not very good. I’m reading this thread with interest, to get some ideas about how to improve the analysis. Especially in classical music, as my lessons are not very classical oriented.

Then I think of the repeats, and the phrases which keep popping up in between. If I’m actively memorising, I also look at the intervals in the right hand in similar phrases with minor variations. I can’t say how or why, but this helps me quickly memorise the differences. I’m not sure if this part comes under “analysis”, but I do it anyways. And when I do this, I can also go through the music in my mind away from the piano. Well, this is mostly what I do as of now. The rest is either fingering related, or what the score already speaks about through various indications.


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2849110
05/17/19 05:53 AM
05/17/19 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
There are some of you who said that you actually use sime kind of understanding when learning a piece. Can you please give me an example of how you use it?

An example is when my teacher talks about melody and accompaniment. Many pieces are structured with the right hand for the melody, and the left hand for the accompaniment, and then the accompaniment is commonly played softer than the melody.. However, in some pieces both the left hand and the right hand play a melody. Both voices are important, but that doesn't mean that both are played with the same emphasis. My teacher points out, for instance "here the right hand plays the theme, so you have to emphasize the right hand, and here the left hand plays the theme, and now you have to emphasize the left hand."


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2849130
05/17/19 07:09 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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I actually use chord analysis and roman numeral analysis and analysis of how intervals move.
Do you tend to use it as well? Is this something that has been important or unimportant to you?
I guess this is what I mean by understanding.
I also tend to loook at how the notes of the melody move eg in C major F moves to E in many cases. A melody that ends on D if we are in C major could very well start on G in the next phrase
This is what mean by understanding.
Anything you also use?
And thus learning harmony and learning piano go hand in hand. Rather than seperate them like we often do nowadays I put them together.

Last edited by Manne janne; 05/17/19 07:11 AM.
Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2849132
05/17/19 07:14 AM
05/17/19 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
What do you think about this?

This is problem is I hate not understanding the music I am playing. I am now learning Abide with me and I can honestly say that I cannot play it without understanding it.


Originally Posted by Manne janne

Even the bwv anh 114 must be understood. If I dont know how the voice leading or chords works I just wont learn it. I am not a jukebox.
What do you think?


What do I think.....I think your bringing a lot of negativity that might derail your piano ambitions if left unchecked.


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2849173
05/17/19 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
So my approach is different because I want to accompany singer?
There are some of you who said that you actually use sime kind of understanding when learning a piece. Can you please give me an example of how you use it?


I do understand music, but sometimes it's more intuitive than theoretical. This means that I know what fits and how things tend to progress, but don't necessarily name it. I have also studied theory, but so far I have not found it helps me to memorize, because memorizing thinhs like chord progressions with names is especially difficult for me. I can analyze music, but have trouble memorizing formulas and codes, so prefer to just memorize how to play something (physically) and trust my aural memory for remembering how the music evolves.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2849188
05/17/19 10:20 AM
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To "understand" music, it also helps to know something about the composer and the style and period in which he or she composed. Mozart, as a composer in the classical period, used fairly standard chords and his pieces can be analyzed using Roman numeral designations. Debussy, who wrote in Impressionist style (and largely invented it), wrote, for some examples) in 11th, 13th chords, chords with no tonal "home", whole tone scales, pentatonic scales, and on and on. Very difficult (and often fruitless) to analyze in detail using Roman numeral designations (but on a more macro scale some analysis can be helpful).

I do some Roman numeral analysis on my pieces. I don't find it useful for memorization (I don't try to memorize but it does eventually happen) but instead I think it helps me enjoy and appreciate a piece on a more intellectual level. It does help to go fairly deep into music theory--to know about the different periods and styles and forms and to get into chord analyses that includes things like secondary dominants, other types of 7th chords, and chords larger than 7ths, key changes--otherwise you'll sooner or later get stuck.

So--none of this "understanding" is required for learning and enjoying a piece. But it does add a lot to one's appreciation of the music and the composer.


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2849256
05/17/19 12:40 PM
05/17/19 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
I actually use chord analysis and roman numeral analysis and analysis of how intervals move.
Do you tend to use it as well? Is this something that has been important or unimportant to you?
I guess this is what I mean by understanding.
I also tend to loook at how the notes of the melody move eg in C major F moves to E in many cases.
This is what mean by understanding.
Anything you also use?
And thus learning harmony and learning piano go hand in hand. Rather than seperate them like we often do nowadays I put them together.


I typically look at a piece under the angle of melodic, harmonic and form/structure. In complex compositions like large scale sonatas movements, these elements are interelated. The roman numerals, ie the fundamental form of the chords is more or less usefull depending on the period of the piece. In early baroque or pre-baroque, it is more important to look at the voice leading, the modal structure and intervalic/chordal sequence rather than the harmonic one. Even as late as Bach and early Mozart, the main principles underlying the music are based on thoroughbass and typical bass/uppervoice patterns. The style of the piece is important too, typically the structure of melodic elements and the phrase rythm and articulation. The roman numerals and only usefull to the extent you also understand how the harmonic building blocks are beind used, for example the role of the subdominant is different in late baroque, classic and romantic compositions. When I play, at any point in the piece I typically know where I am in the structure, what is the harmony or melodic components I am playing and what is the future sequence of modulations to come. It also helps me to better remember what I have to play as I do not only rely on fingering.

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