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Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910516
11/10/19 05:51 PM
11/10/19 05:51 PM
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Which two?


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Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910563
11/10/19 07:58 PM
11/10/19 07:58 PM
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Schubert Waltz in B minor and Satie Gnossienne #4. ❤️


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Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910590
11/10/19 09:00 PM
11/10/19 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Just wanted to mention Charles Cooke had presented a method for keeping 3 hours of repertoire fresh (about 25 pieces), if there is any interest. His book is available on Kindle.

None of this is relevant for me. I look forward to having a first piece I'd like to keep as repertoire. 😂 Maybe by the time I get to RCM Level 7, I'll find something... or maybe not.

Cliff's Notes, please? I'm still working on War and Peace!

To be honest, I rarely read what people write about memorization since most of it doesn't seem to be applicable to me. But let me take a look and see if I can do a Kindle loan of this book to you so you can read that chapter. I believe th "How to memorize 3 hrs of repertoire" bit is a single chapter.


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Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910757
11/11/19 11:32 AM
11/11/19 11:32 AM
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I'm not doing "current repertoire". Takes too much time to maintain repertoire properly , maybe some pro's need to do that.

Past repertoire, check the existing repertoire vault


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Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910778
11/11/19 12:23 PM
11/11/19 12:23 PM
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Cliff Notes on Charles Cooke's "Retention" chapter.

To retain pieces you have memorised, simply play them over once or twice during your practise period.

Play slowly at least once for every time you play it up to tempo.

Keep the score within easy reach.

Don't do retention work on consecutive days. Do it on alternate days or twice a week, or once a week.
_______________________

His chapter on memorising, which begins with a piece where all the technical issues have been resolved, is old school. We now know that memorisation is faster and longer lasting when it begins at the outset of learning a piece.

Further, keeping the score within easy reach is good but he says that leaning on the score is like leaning against a solid wall and that leaning on your memory often leads to a sense of panic and may lead to another lapse at the same place next time you play the piece.

Again, we now know that struggling to recall, without referring back to the score, grows more pathways to the memory and strengthens the ability to recall.
_______________________

Regarding the Kat Bowman video, the reason not repeat more than three times helps building the memory because it relies more on consciously using the memory but more than three repeats just builds muscle memory and encourages playing without sufficient attention.

So, when memorising - e.g. learning by repetition, not necessarily learning to play without the score, minimise the use of the score to increase the use of short term memory, keep the fragment short enough that it fits in short term memory otherwise, as Kat Bowman notes, if you play from start to finish every time you'll never remember what you've done and also if you can't keep it in short term memory you're missing something in terms of understanding the music or of acquiring the technique.

We use repetition to learn - that is, to memorise - that's the point. Whether we choose to learn the whole piece without the score (conscious and deliberate recall) or continue to use the score as an aide-memoire is a completely different decision and a largely different process.
_______________________

I start each calendar year going through my repertoire in groups of three to five pieces a day over the weekends. Any that don't pass muster at the first pass take a second pass at the end of the list. Any that fail the second pass get one week each, slow reading and playing, section by section on weekdays. That usually does it and I don't play most of the pieces again until next January though I do keep a select group of around twenty pieces that I keep in the fingertips all the time and they change slowly, year on year, as I learn new pieces that better reflect my playing.

By March I'm cycling through the last twelve or so pieces that I've learnt without being able to play from memory. I can usually play phrases or sections from memory but not always the whole piece in one go. That's the point of the cycle and the pieces slowly filter into the repertoire list getting replaced by newly learnt pieces as the year progresses.

Retention work isn't time consuming for me. The hard work has already been done and it's always on pieces that I like to play. I don't retain pieces I've grown stale on but I frequently relearn pieces I'd dropped years ago and go back to them with a fresh ear.


Richard
Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910791
11/11/19 01:08 PM
11/11/19 01:08 PM
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Thanks, Richard, for the synopsis. It certainly takes a deliberate effort to keep the pieces in memory. I had about 5-6 of them memorized for a while, but let them slip. I just relearned the Liszt, Consolation, and I'm turning now to back to October.

The Chopin Nocturne, I think I'll try to memorize it now. I've finished learning it, so no better time then the present.

One thing I have to do is stop spreading myself too thin. From here forward, I think I'll work on 2 pieces at any time. One will be a Bach (inventions at present), and one a piece from probably the Romantic era. The Bach pieces are not keepers; I like them, but I'm really using them for the skills they bring.


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Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: zrtf90] #2910793
11/11/19 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Cliff Notes on Charles Cooke's "Retention" chapter.

To retain pieces you have memorised, simply play them over once or twice during your practise period.

Play slowly at least once for every time you play it up to tempo.

Keep the score within easy reach.

Don't do retention work on consecutive days. Do it on alternate days or twice a week, or once a week.

Thank you for the summary but this makes me want to actually read the chapter since certainly it is impossible to play 3 hours of pleces once or twice during the practice period unless you practiced for 4.5 hours a day. LOL. I think this summary needs to be tweaked smile


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: zrtf90] #2910802
11/11/19 01:30 PM
11/11/19 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
His chapter on memorising, which begins with a piece where all the technical issues have been resolved, is old school. We now know that memorisation is faster and longer lasting when it begins at the outset of learning a piece...

Again, we now know that struggling to recall, without referring back to the score, grows more pathways to the memory and strengthens the ability to recall...
What are your statements based on? Are you saying it's better to begin memorization from the first time one plays a piece? I don't even see how that could be done except for the automatic part where every time one plays a piece or passage it becomes more familiar. I think it's important to use the score for quite a while. Otherwise, one risks the possibility of ignoring all the markings in the score that are in addition to the notes.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/11/19 01:39 PM.
Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910827
11/11/19 03:06 PM
11/11/19 03:06 PM
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If you're spending too much time on retaining pieces, Craig, it may be because your pieces are more in muscle memory. If they're in your head you need only spend two to five minutes over each phrase, phrase pair or section one or twice a week. If you need to spend more time than that then shorten the amount you do each day. If it's in explicit memory it'll go a good two or three months without practise.

The Consolation, October and the Nocturne can each be divided into four to six sections, that's twelve to eighteen days for the three pieces, easily spread over three weeks without repeating a section and no more than five minutes a day. Not exactly time consuming. You can play a thirty second phrase carefully from the score, once without the score and once closer to but not up to tempo then once more slowly and deliberately all within two minutes. That's all you need to retain it. Repeat that every two or three months and see how you get on.
____________________

Two pieces at a time isn't much - have you looked at the Josh Wright/Morodiene idea of giving each of three or four pieces a day off every three or four days? That way, at two pieces a day you can work on three concurrent pieces.

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
...it is impossible to play 3 hours of pleces once or twice during the practice period unless you practiced for 4.5 hours a day...
He never mentions three hours' worth of material, Tyrone, he makes mention of twenty-five pieces in a group and taking only one a day every twenty-five days or (or longer) or a group of fifty over fifty days (or longer). That's what I do - I read and started Cooke's book in the late seventies but have over one hundred pieces that I cycle once a year or so.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What are your statements based on? Are you saying it's better to begin memorization from the first time one plays a piece? I don't even see how that could be done except for the automatic part where every time one plays a piece or passage it becomes more familiar. I think it's important to use the score for quite a while. Otherwise, one risks the possibility of ignoring all the markings in the score that are in addition to the notes.
My statements are based on psychological research on learning published over the last decades. Have a look at Graham Fitch's blog regarding learning new pieces. There's a six part series concerning study, analysis and audiation or listening before beginning, score preparation, planning and organising, his three S's (Slow, Separate, Sections), the feedback loop, and so on.

Most good pedagogues that I know of recommend memorisation from very early on the process. Before even starting the piece at the instrument. Aural memory precedes muscle memory.

It's important to use the score every day for audiation of the whole piece, the section you're about to start on and in between every repetition of the phrase/fragment. This should continue every day until you don't need to do it every day. After a while, not usually very long, you should know the phrase from memory from having practised it at the piano with the score, away from the piano with the score, at the piano without the score and away from the piano without the score on an almost daily basis.

It's recommended that the whole text be examined, yes, not just the notes and repeatedly. Regularly go through the text counting the number of dynamic markings, for example, checking to see if you always apply them, all the phrase markings, following all the finger numberings, etc. If you don't double check fingerings it can really throw you when you come back to a piece after a long absence.

Again, do not confuse memorising in phrases with preparing to perform without the score. That's a different procedure of which the short term memorising of phrases is but the beginning.


Richard
Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910834
11/11/19 03:19 PM
11/11/19 03:19 PM
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These days, I only 'properly' learn pieces that I'm planning to keep and perform, which means that I try to memorize them from the outset. (I also play a lot of other stuff, but never really practice them, relying mostly on reading skills; and everything else is just sight-reading or improvising).

I've yet to work out a perfect formula for memorizing new pieces, partly because they're all so different. (If I embarked on a Mozart sonatas or early Beethoven sonatas memorizing spree, I'm sure things would be much simpler wink ). But one thing is for sure - learning a new piece to perform from memory is quite different to learning it to play from the score. Music that jumps from one key to another, hardly settling on any one, is really, really tricky to memorize. Mostly it's muscle memory that carries me, unless there are repetitive patterns that I can 'feel' or see. Some Bach also falls into this category, not because of the lack of tonal centre, but because of the intricate counterpoint and the requirement for precise fingering at all times. "Running out of fingers" because of the placement of a wrong finger in a rapid Bach piece can derail everything suddenly.

Pieces with no clear patterns (harmonically, melodically or 'visually') are the next most difficult - to retain as well as to memorize in the first place.

As for atonal music with no hint of a key, I don't even bother; and anyway, I haven't (yet) encountered any that I like enough to want to perform, which is just as well....... whistle

But probably the bulk of the pieces I choose to memorize have some kind of harmonic structure that I can latch on to, obvious 'take-off' points that I can use if memory fails me in the middle of performance, and at least a few repetitive patterns that help me to remember what comes next.

I thought I'd make a count of the number of pieces I have in my memory at this precise moment in time grin.....forty-two. (A few of them are very short). And it does work out to be around three hours of music in total. OK, not all of them are performance-ready right now - for about ten of them, I'd need to practice them a few times to get them back up to performance standard, but I still wouldn't need the score to play them even so.


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Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: zrtf90] #2910840
11/11/19 03:28 PM
11/11/19 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
...it is impossible to play 3 hours of pleces once or twice during the practice period unless you practiced for 4.5 hours a day...
He never mentions three hours' worth of material, Tyrone,

You're right. I don't know where I got 3 hours. I just now added up the time for the 25 pieces in his own Suggested Repertoire List, and got 74 mins or 1.25 hours, not 3 hours. Sorry.

Also, in that earlier section, he said:
Quote
I'm sure it will interest those of you who have read thus far to hear that by practicing according to the methods out-lined in this book--by practicing what I preach, in other words--I can "bring back" any one of the above compositions (the 25 he suggested amounting to 74 mins of music) to my finger tips in six repetitions. And I can review the entire group of twenty-five in this way in eight days, giving it three thorough overhaulings in twenty-four days, or considerably less than a month. This is done by--but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm not sure though that I see these numbers reflected in the procedure in the Retention chapter which you just summarized. I don't see where 3 thorough 'overhaulings' in 24 days, which is one ever 8 days. I don't see the number 8 reflected anywhere in the Retention chapter.


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"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: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910867
11/11/19 04:57 PM
11/11/19 04:57 PM
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I don't think Cooke was an arithmetician, Tyrone smile

I'm sure he can run the pieces three times thoroughly in less than a month. I can do it over a few weekends with well over twenty-five but that's not part of the regular practise session and I'm guessing that's what he meant.

Going through one piece twice a week, three pieces in a week, should cover twenty-five pieces in just over eight weeks. Given that amount of reviewing I suggest that he could play the entire group over one weekend and overhaul them all in eight days, contiguous or otherwise - all on top of his regular hour. I seem to recall he also kept a second group of twenty-five that he could swap with every six months.

I play a good few of my pieces once or twice a year, over a few days, and leave them another year without forgetting any of them. A lot of them are quite small and easy to remember for sure. But I had fifteen years away from the piano (as a conscientious father) and recovered many of the pieces in just a few weeks without resorting to a score - I was a dreadful reader back then, though, so the scores wouldn't have helped me as much as now.


Richard
Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: zrtf90] #2910895
11/11/19 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What are your statements based on? Are you saying it's better to begin memorization from the first time one plays a piece? I don't even see how that could be done except for the automatic part where every time one plays a piece or passage it becomes more familiar. I think it's important to use the score for quite a while. Otherwise, one risks the possibility of ignoring all the markings in the score that are in addition to the notes.
Most good pedagogues that I know of recommend memorisation from very early on the process. Before even starting the piece at the instrument. Aural memory precedes muscle memory.
That makes little sense to me but, more importantly, I don't think it's even a possibility for almost all pianists. In a Frederic Chiu video, he asks a group of highly accomplished young pianists(most already with significant careers) who are studying with him to memorize the first half of a Scarlatti Sonata just from the score. Despite their incredible skill none could do it and almost all failed miserably. The huge majority of pianists cannot even hear the music in their head without playing it(which I guess those pianists could), so memorizing it before playing is just not reasonable.

Originally Posted by zrtf90
It's important to use the score every day for audiation of the whole piece, the section you're about to start on and in between every repetition of the phrase/fragment. This should continue every day until you don't need to do it every day. After a while, not usually very long, you should know the phrase from memory from having practised it at the piano with the score, away from the piano with the score, at the piano without the score and away from the piano without the score on an almost daily basis.
This sounds like you are not recommending immediate memorization as you first said and instead are talking about what most pianists do, i.e., gradually memorize a piece as a result of playing it many times.

Re: The Repertoire Vault [Re: cmb13] #2910918
11/11/19 06:55 PM
11/11/19 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
That makes little sense to me but, more importantly, I don't think it's even a possibility for almost all pianists.
No, you seem to have misunderstood it. Did you read the Fitch articles?

We are not talking here about playing from memory at the outset. When I was nine years old I was singing Beatles songs on the school bus with others. We didn't have copies of the sheets nor the lyrics. We were singing from aural memory. This is the first way to memorise a new piece. If you need to listen to a performance first, then fine. But it's better to audiate, at least once one knows how the blessed piece goes.

Pianists who cannot hear a piece in their heads without playing it are not readers. One of the first lessons in learning elementary school recorder is to hear the music in the head from the music, the rhythm first and then at least a good approximation of the tune. It's an important skill for good sight-reading.

Once it's in aural memory you still play the first phrase from the score, maybe one or two times, then try to play it from memory. If you haven't memorised it then you haven't grasped the music well enough, made sense of the harmonies and sequences, or perhaps you've attempted more than your current ability to absorb and need to reduce the size of the fragment.

Next, audiate the phrase again from the score, comparing and contrasting your playing attempts. When you're ready play again, perhaps once more from the score, then again from memory. Then go through the feedback loop again. Once more, as Kat Bowman said, stop at three repetitions. We don't want the music getting into muscle memory before it's been established in explicit memory; that way is slow, inefficient and leads to disaster in performance, recitals or exams.

Repeat this on a daily basis until you don't need to repeat it on a daily basis.

Again, we are not trying to play without the score. We want to glance at the score and play that bit from memory, then glance at the next bit, etc, etc. What we don't want to do is repeat it so many times from the score that it gets into finger memory without being properly grasped, learnt and understood, musically, and then forgotten again as soon as we stop practising it.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This sounds like you are not recommending immediate memorization as you first said and instead are talking about what most pianists do, i.e., gradually memorize a piece as a result of playing it many times.
Then you've misunderstood it. Most pianists play from the score, and only from the score, without the immediate intent and the deliberate attempt to play it from memory but going on to more repetitions from the score, with the music comfortably ensconced in their working memory, where it can be played, from the score, for many repetitions without much mental involvement. And they wonder why, after they stop practising it, they start to forget it! Lots of repetitions means muscle memory. Which is not learning the music.

Is it making sense yet? I'm happy to clarify further if anyone's not getting this. But maybe not tonight - it's time for me to climb the little wooden hill...


Richard
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