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I can't hear the music.... #2913861 11/19/19 02:51 PM
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Jytte Offline OP
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I'm really not sure how to explain this problem, but here it goes...
I am working my way back to playing again after a 3 year break. Both pieces I'm working on are not so much HT as they are 'alternating hands' (Bach's Prelude in C & Burgmueller's Harmony of angels), if you know what I mean. So it being a very long time since I played anything 'truly independent hands' and are in need of some simple 'finger exercise' (no, not scales), I thought I'd pick up a few simple pieces that fit the bill, and work on those simultaneously.

So I looked through the bottom of the grade pile, and listened to a few of them on YouTube. Listened to Clementi's Arietta (op 42, 5), thought that sounded nice and looked very simple, printed the sheet... (music with sheet)

When I listened to it at first, I thought it sounded 'musically' enough. But it really doesn't have a 'melody', if that makes sense to anybody. And therein lies the problem, apparently.
It is simple enough that I can sight read through it (at a very old snail's pace). I thought I'd learn it, as in memorize it, and get some HT practice that way. That shouldn't take long, right? Wrong! For 3 days I've been working on the first 4 bars, and the last 4 bars. But they leave no impression whatsoever. I sit down, look at the sheet, and have no idea what it sounds like. Play the notes off the sheet (4 bars) and go 'oh, yes, that's it'. Turn away for a minute. And blank again. I can of course hear the bars I'm playing while I'm playing them, but soon as I turn away from it, it's gone. If I can't hear the music (in my head), I can't play it or remember it.

Every piece of music I've learned and played had a 'melody', except for Bach's prelude, but that is just a progression of chords so not a problem. From day one of learning them I'd know what they sounded like, could sing them in my head, could practice off the piano by that sound. This one I can't hear a few seconds after I've just listened to it.

I didn't just loose my ear or my mind (always an option) the last few days. Over that same period of time I've been scoring a piece of music I wanted, which involves hearing a phrase of music, holding that part in my head, going to the piano and try to decide if I want it this way or that (by ear). So my mind and ear works much like they always have.

I could have course just toss this one in the bin, and I probably will, but I'm puzzled over this. Am I just really weird? Why can't I hear/recall these few bars of music? Why can't I learn any of it?


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
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Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913880 11/19/19 03:39 PM
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I think it was just played badly on the youtube video. Or it was a computer playing? If a teacher on this forum records it with nice phrasing, I bet you'd hear the melody. Btw what's HT?

Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913885 11/19/19 03:51 PM
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Jytte Offline OP
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HT is hands together.
I think this particular video is some scoring software playing. But I doubt it would many any difference who played it.

As a contrast, I picked up Burgmueller's La Candeur and printed the sheet, after I wrote this first post. I have never played that before. A little time on the piano, and the first 8 bars are in my hands no problem (it's equally simple). It's been around 10 minutes since I played it, and it's happily humming away in my head. That's how it's supposed to be, that's how I learn.
So what's up with the Arietta (or with me)??

Last edited by Jytte; 11/19/19 03:52 PM.

[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913890 11/19/19 04:14 PM
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dogperson Offline
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Have you tried playing the RH alone? As you do, sing it either outloud or in your head and see if you hear a melody.


"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

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913892 11/19/19 04:16 PM
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Perhaps it's just a sort of melody you haven't encountered much of. Maybe spend more time hands separately so you can really hear each part distinctly. I think it's a worthwhile challenge to figure it out, as you'll probably encounter something similar in the future.

I also recommend counting out loud while you do this to ensure you're getting the proper emphasis on the downbeat of each measure, which helps to organize the sound in our minds as well.


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Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913893 11/19/19 04:16 PM
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I don’t think there’s anything particular about your Arietta. It has an obvious melody/theme that is repeated over. If it didn’t catch your ears or interest that’s ok. I’m sure you could remember it and hum it if you really wanted to. I have similar problem with most classical music, and a lot of jazz as well. It just doesn’t grab me. The more you listen to a style and composer though and build the context it’s easier to find interest in something. Whether that’s worth doing is up to you I guess.

Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Morodiene] #2913904 11/19/19 04:40 PM
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Jytte Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Have you tried playing the RH alone? As you do, sing it either outloud or in your head and see if you hear a melody.

That is not a bad idea. Just playing RH over and over and see if it sticks, yea, maybe that would work.

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Perhaps it's just a sort of melody you haven't encountered much of. Maybe spend more time hands separately so you can really hear each part distinctly. I think it's a worthwhile challenge to figure it out, as you'll probably encounter something similar in the future.

I also recommend counting out loud while you do this to ensure you're getting the proper emphasis on the downbeat of each measure, which helps to organize the sound in our minds as well.

Oh, I was afraid someone was gonna say that LOL I was actually going to toss it, but I do see your point. That could come back and bite me later. And it's not like I don't like what I hear when I hear it, so it's not a 'hardship' to work on it. I will see it as a challenge, and go back to work.

Thank you all for the pep talk and advice smile


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913933 11/19/19 05:24 PM
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I think this piece lends itself very well to Morodiene's summary of expression ideas.

The thing with these pieces is that they are used as "student pieces" with an expectation of very literal, controlled, dry playing. It is also why Clementi gets a bad wrap and teachers often say they hate it. It takes an excellent musician to turn simple pieces into music, while a middling pianist or student can wow lay people with giant chords or fast arpeggios. If you try to make it musical by delaying this note strategically, building the volume of those notes - as a beginner (if this is beginner music) do you know which note to delay and how not to lose your underlying pulse by doing so? Do you have any kind of control over volume to work that finely. Many teachers want the basics to be solid first, and would want a mechanical strict (and boring playing). Others may want to get expression started as soon as possible. But often these pieces are used as "work horses" - as throw-away necessary "exercises" to get to know the notes and keyboard.

Are you able to analyze this piece to find phrases that talk to each other in various ways? And then maybe play with what you might do with them? Look for where a thing may swell, and in the next iteration swells more. There may be things that you imagine now, and will be able to execute physically later - or you can do them now.

MORODIENE - a thought - What do you think of using this piece as a tutorial for your expression ideas - analyzing and exploring it various ways? Atm I excited about the idea, but it would be work for you, so I shouldn't get excited about it. wink

Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913934 11/19/19 05:27 PM
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Earlier I googled to see what's out there. I found 3 pages of people playing it and only one that sounded remotely musical. Listen without looking, so you don't get fooled by "this person must be expressive because look how graceful his hands are" wink If there is expression, can you hear what he is doing to make it so?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnQboAMp554

Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913950 11/19/19 06:13 PM
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Really maybe a ridiculous idea .....
Try adding lyrics


for example
[Linked Image]

But then you have to remember the lyrics.....no easy workarounds....


Cheers!!!

Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913952 11/19/19 06:15 PM
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Lol that's beautiful primo. Can we get a recording?

Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913971 11/19/19 07:09 PM
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Another vote from me that Morodiene plays it for us :-)

Jytte, I wasn't saying you can't learn a melody on your own. This particular one escaped you. It's weird. And my guess is that listenng to the computer generated version messed with your head.

Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2913981 11/19/19 07:31 PM
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perhaps think of the melody as subject (bars 1-4), reply (bars 5 - 8), variation (bars 9 - 20).


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Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2914104 11/20/19 06:35 AM
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Jytte Offline OP
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Piano_primo, you are a poet! smile Thank you for your effort, but I don't think it helps, though the text would be easier to remember than the music.

Yesterday after posting, I worked on it again (now the 4th day), RH only, played it through multiple times with and partially without sheet. It is so easy. One of those things never moving away from a 5-finger position (which I don't like). I even managed to 'keep it in my head' while I grabbed something to eat. Watched a bit of mind-numbing TV. Went to Bed.
Got out of bed today. Grabbed a cup of tea. Tried to recall what I had been playing. Nothing. Went and looked at the sheet on the piano. Nothing. Not even a hint of notes sounding. Nothing. (A cursory glance at La Candeur had that singing in my head immediately after only ever playing it a bit yesterday) Put my hands on the piano, played the first bar, and then it comes back, partially anyway.

I'll be able to learn to play this with my nose in the sheet I'm sure, but I don't think I'll ever be able memorize it. 20 bars of very simple, nice enough notes. That's nuts.


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: keystring] #2914107 11/20/19 06:51 AM
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Jytte Offline OP
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Originally Posted by keystring
Earlier I googled to see what's out there. I found 3 pages of people playing it and only one that sounded remotely musical. Listen without looking, so you don't get fooled by "this person must be expressive because look how graceful his hands are" wink If there is expression, can you hear what he is doing to make it so?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnQboAMp554

Keystring
, I did exactly that. Very nicely played. It sounds like it could be a part of a menuet, like the ones I've played before. Like before, I think it's nice. Just not memorable I guess.

Originally Posted by keystring

But often these pieces are used as "work horses" - as throw-away necessary "exercises" to get to know the notes and keyboard.

That's exactly how I think about it. I just wanted to memorize it to get some HT practice for my out-of-shape fingers.

I keep playing above video in the background. And actually, wszxbcl (could you have chosen a handle that was more difficult to remember??) has a point. Played this way, I can picture some baroque dancers moving to it. I'll try using that to create a mental picture of it as a dance, this might help.


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2914116 11/20/19 07:34 AM
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Jytte
I’m not understanding why you need to memorize to work on HT. Can’t you just work on HT while reading the score? That is a good skill to develop 😊


"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

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2914135 11/20/19 08:18 AM
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dogperson, yes it is. Especially since I'm pretty poor at playing from the score, as in very slow. But having the music itself in my head is my guide, to right notes, pace, rhythm etc.
Plus, I don't understand why this thing is so hard to remember.


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2914145 11/20/19 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Jytte
dogperson, yes it is. Especially since I'm pretty poor at playing from the score, as in very slow. But having the music itself in my head is my guide, to right notes, pace, rhythm etc.
Plus, I don't understand why this thing is so hard to remember.
.

Life is a mystery but take the time to work on music where the music is not already in your head so you are relying on just your reading skills


"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

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: dogperson] #2914158 11/20/19 09:06 AM
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Jytte Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Jytte
dogperson, yes it is. Especially since I'm pretty poor at playing from the score, as in very slow. But having the music itself in my head is my guide, to right notes, pace, rhythm etc.
Plus, I don't understand why this thing is so hard to remember.
.

Life is a mystery but take the time to work on music where the music is not already in your head so you are relying on just your reading skills

Yes. I have some exercises for that printed out, they just haven't gotten much attention blush


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: I can't hear the music.... [Re: Jytte] #2914169 11/20/19 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Jytte
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Jytte
dogperson, yes it is. Especially since I'm pretty poor at playing from the score, as in very slow. But having the music itself in my head is my guide, to right notes, pace, rhythm etc.
Plus, I don't understand why this thing is so hard to remember.
.

Life is a mystery but take the time to work on music where the music is not already in your head so you are relying on just your reading skills

Yes. I have some exercises for that printed out, they just haven't gotten much attention blush


Since you are taking lessons, does your teacher know you are relying on an auditory memory to play rather than reading?
If not, I would suggest you guys discuss this.


"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

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
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