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Transposing? #2885448 08/31/19 09:18 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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Do classical pianist ever practice transposing things on the piano?
If so what kind of exercises are used?
Do classical pianist ever transpose simple pieces as an exercice?
I myself often transpose simple stuff in order to learn how the music are built up, singing it in different keys (if it has a singable melody), getting a feel for different keys.

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Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885456 08/31/19 09:24 AM
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I can’t answer for anyone else, but when I played the piano or organ for church, I often transposed hymns so they would be in an easier range to sing. I did not write out the transposition

Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885457 08/31/19 09:27 AM
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I have practiced transposing quite a bit, but it takes time to get good at it! It seems the best way is to practice reading all 7 seven clefs. Once you're good at that, you need to practice transposing the accidentals. It's worth keeping in mind that each transposition is a totally different way of reading music. Practice them one at a time. It's not an all-or-nothing skill.

Here is a good book (but it's in French): https://www.amazon.com/Manuel-pratique-pour-letude-cles/dp/B001BR3S78

Also, this one: https://www.amazon.com/Preparatory-Exercises-Reading-Vorbereitende-Partiturlesen/dp/019321475X

It's definitely worth learning to do this. I wish I were better at it!

Re: Transposing? [Re: MichaelJK] #2885520 08/31/19 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJK
[...] It seems the best way is to practice reading all 7 seven clefs.[...]


Seven clefs?


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Re: Transposing? [Re: BruceD] #2885524 08/31/19 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
[...] It seems the best way is to practice reading all 7 seven clefs.[...]


Seven clefs?


Specifically, the two clefs that pianists are already familiar with (treble and bass), plus the C clef on each line (soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone). Once you do this, you will be able to reinterpret any line or space as any other line or space.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clef

Last edited by MichaelJK; 08/31/19 12:47 PM.
Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885583 08/31/19 02:55 PM
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The key to fast transposition is reading music by intervals rather then by individual notes. I think it was discussed here on the forums before.

Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885742 09/01/19 04:56 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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Is doing special transposing exercices good or can ine simply just take easy stuff and transpose it?
I find that transposing simple minuets is really good.
Why special exercices for transposing?
All I need is analysing the music and how the different keys feel like.

Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885745 09/01/19 05:20 AM
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My teacher used to play some of his classical pieces in different keys. I have found doing it with shorter ideas, figures and motifs more useful in improvisation than precise transposition of pieces and long sections, but I am not a classical pianist and I do not find precise transposition very exciting musically.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Transposing? [Re: Ted] #2885804 09/01/19 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
I have found doing it with shorter ideas, figures and motifs more useful in improvisation than precise transposition of pieces and long sections ... I am not a classical pianist ...

Same here (though I do play a lot of classical)

I started by practicing chords and inversions round the circle and that eventually became short snippets of music round the circle. It’s a great way to “think and play” in different keys, because it forces you to really work with the intervals in each key and pay attention to how they are musically related.

Oddly enough, traditional scales were not so useful for this. Probably because scales are more about the whole block pattern as opposed to the individual tones/intervals. What’s interesting is that doing the whole “round the circle” changed how I view scales; instead of a whole block pattern, I now see scales as a set of tones/intervals with relationships to each other (kinda hard to explain that actually, but mainly I don’t see a scale anymore as the block pattern practiced in traditional scales).


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Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885867 09/01/19 12:58 PM
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I just remembered a book that I haven't looked at in ages: "Keyboard Proficiency" by Louise Guhl. She is/was a professor who among other things taught piano skills to music majors who played other instruments. Her system was so effective that she was asked to write a book, and that's the book I have. One of the elements in her book involve transposition. A lot of the exercises start, "Transpose in all keys". It worked for me back when I was doing the book. It's a paradigm shift.

As I recall, she sets music out in pentachords - the intervals of 5 notes is limited to only a few patterns, and she then gives exercises in "modal pentaochords", which one then plays in different keys (a different starting note). This ends up being intervalic. She expands from there, "Find the tonic pentachord" and transpose to ...." It would be something to work through, using the book. There's more to it than I just outlined.

Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885889 09/01/19 02:13 PM
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I can’t remember exactly how I began transposing as a kid but I know it was from curiosity and exploration . . Not from a lesson or a book. It would be something like this (and Im making this up)

Play Happy Birthday or something similar in an easy/simple version
Move what you play down or up: one whole step or one half step. Pay attention to what you do.
If you know keys: what key key did you start in? What key are you playing now?
Try starting on different notes and ask yourself what you are doing and did. How did it change the highest and lowest note in the piece?

Just try experimenting at the piano and see what you can learn from what you do, and how it compares from the original
Then do this with a different piece. Manne, since I think you are playing hymns, try hymns.

The idea of turning this into an exercise to follow out of a book or video may work for others. If so, great..., but the very thought of it gives me a headache. I did this for fun and it was fun to do. No stress, no fuss. Just play around.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885900 09/01/19 02:56 PM
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Transposing by thinking of moving everything up or down by some number of half/whole steps will work but it can be awkward to think of as you are doing it.

What I believe is a preferred method is to wait until you are more aware of how music works and in particular how key centers come into the picture.

Then, you can play Happy Birthday in the key (Key Center) of C by just knowing the tones (scale) and chords that are used in that key and listening to your playing.

To move to another key …. you just do the same thing … only in a different key (Key center) . There is no need to think about how many steps you have moved from one to the other. It is just a matter of thinking in the new key.

Of course, you need to know the various key centers (scales, chords) in order to make this "easy" …. but that would be my recommendation for transposing.


Don

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Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2885970 09/01/19 05:54 PM
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I recently dedicated some time to playing all 12 scales and all 12 I-IV-I-V7-I cadences in all inversions in major and minor and while I haven't worked on transposition specifically I have noticed that I am now very independent between what is on the page and what my hands are doing - I am reading by scale degree and function, and I can do what I want with that in terms of what keys I actually press.


Ask me about bagpipes.
Re: Transposing? [Re: u38cg] #2885997 09/01/19 07:13 PM
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@u38cg bagpipes?


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Re: Transposing? [Re: Manne janne] #2886035 09/01/19 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
Is doing special transposing exercices good or can ine simply just take easy stuff and transpose it?
I find that transposing simple minuets is really good.
Why special exercices for transposing?
All I need is analysing the music and how the different keys feel like.

True, if your goal is not the transposition itself but the ability to better analyze music and get more familiar with keys' 'topography' then on-the-fly mental transposition (without score) is a wonderful thing to do. Very exhaustive although.


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