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Appreciating William Bolcom #2862091
06/23/19 06:41 PM
06/23/19 06:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
Qwerty53 Offline OP
Full Member
Qwerty53  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
Many people know Bolcom for his "Graceful Ghost Rag," which I hope to tackle someday. I feel an affinity for William Bolcom because we share a city of birth (Seattle) and a birthday (recently), although he had a head start! He is 81 and, AFAIK, still composing and performing. Looking for lesser-known but accessible repertoire, I came across the "Seven Easy Pieces for Piano" that he wrote for his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, when she began to learn piano.

Can anyone suggest similar repertoire, by Bolcom or others, that would be engaging but not formidably challenging for someone in their first few years of learning piano?

Thanks!


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.
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Re: Appreciating William Bolcom [Re: Qwerty53] #2862118
06/23/19 08:21 PM
06/23/19 08:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,118
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline

3000 Post Club Member
Sam S  Offline

3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,118
Georgia, USA
First I have heard that he wrote anything easy. The rags are difficult, and the etudes are difficult to play and difficult to understand. I hope someday to attempt the "Serpent's Kiss".

Sam

Re: Appreciating William Bolcom [Re: Qwerty53] #2862122
06/23/19 08:55 PM
06/23/19 08:55 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 979
Pacific Northwest
P
PianogrlNW Online content
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PianogrlNW  Online Content
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P

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 979
Pacific Northwest
If you like more contemporary pieces, you might be interested in Brubeck’s Nocturnes. They have a lot of accidentals so I would put them at an early to mid- intermediate level. All of the pieces are short.

I recently performed GGR at piano camp last month. I had started learning it about 4 years ago, got stuck, and then came back to it about 8 months ago. RCM grades it a 10. Like you said, it’s a piece you have to work your way up to. You need to be able to confidently play many many early advanced level pieces representing different styles before you can play GGR.



Re: Appreciating William Bolcom [Re: Sam S] #2862143
06/23/19 09:53 PM
06/23/19 09:53 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
Qwerty53 Offline OP
Full Member
Qwerty53  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
The 7 Easy Piano Pieces "for Joan" start quite simple but ramp up; I'm preparing the first four for a performance class (a.k.a. piano party) in a few weeks. Well, maybe 3 of them. Well, maybe two. Well, maybe just no. 3 "Little Song"! It has been fun: my teacher and I are both finding them quite interesting. Even the simple ones have very clever and unexpected rhythms and harmonies. But I know it is a LOOOONG way from there to Graceful Ghost Rag! May I live long enough....

I'm also trying to track down sheet music for "Sleeping Cat" by Alan Hovhaness (another composer with a Seattle connection). It has apparently been in ABSRM grade 1 books at some time in the past. Anybody got a hint for where I could find it?


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.
Re: Appreciating William Bolcom [Re: PianogrlNW] #2862147
06/23/19 09:59 PM
06/23/19 09:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
Qwerty53 Offline OP
Full Member
Qwerty53  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
PianoGrlNW thank you for suggesting the Brubeck Nocturnes! I have listened to a few and they are right up my alley.
There is so much great music out there to hear and to learn … anybody have more suggestions?


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.
Re: Appreciating William Bolcom [Re: Qwerty53] #2862262
06/24/19 08:58 AM
06/24/19 08:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,083
B
barbaram Offline

1000 Post Club Member
barbaram  Offline

1000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,083
The University of Iowa Piano Pedagogy channel on Youtube is a fantastic resource. One of the key people behind that project is our very own Kreisler, and he explains the categorisation in his post that I've linked to below

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsSOLdpj2noIe2ckspOg50g
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2261025/Searching_U_Iowa_Piano_Pedagog.html

You can search within the channel for music at a level that suits you (insert usual caveats about levels here) and also by style, eg C3 would be intermediate level in a contemporary style.

Last edited by barbaram; 06/24/19 09:00 AM.
Re: Appreciating William Bolcom [Re: Qwerty53] #2862268
06/24/19 09:24 AM
06/24/19 09:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 285
Texas
Dr. Rogers Offline
Full Member
Dr. Rogers  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 285
Texas
Nice to see some love for Bolcom! He's one of my favourite modern composers.

Last edited by Dr. Rogers; 06/24/19 09:26 AM.

Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Appreciating William Bolcom [Re: barbaram] #2862322
06/24/19 12:14 PM
06/24/19 12:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
Qwerty53 Offline OP
Full Member
Qwerty53  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
Originally Posted by barbaram
The University of Iowa Piano Pedagogy channel on Youtube is a fantastic resource.

Barbaram, thanks for these links! I was aware of the channel but not how to search effectively within it. Very helpful!


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.
Re: Appreciating William Bolcom [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2862323
06/24/19 12:15 PM
06/24/19 12:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
Qwerty53 Offline OP
Full Member
Qwerty53  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 279
Salish Sea
Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Nice to see some love for Bolcom! He's one of my favourite modern composers.

thumb


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.

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