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Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: dogperson] #2946989 02/14/20 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Handal’s ‘Surprise Symphony’ easy piano for me!
I remember being so delighted with the ‘surprise’


The composer's name should be Haydn as in Franz-Joseph Haydn. I remembered my first encounter with the Surprise Symphony piece at my cousin's place at age 11. She showed it to me in a beginner's book. I wasn't ready for piano until 2 decades later.

The piece came from the Adagio (2nd movement) from Symphony #94. And the Surprise? Anybody who heard the Adagio before would know the very condensed version in the beginner's book has the theme but not the surprise. The piece is an orchestral piece with a piano part which Haydn performed himself in London during the premier. It is a variation that starts off with the theme played in various ways in C major and then C minor. After that you hear a series of fast notes out of nowhere. The middle section is where the "surprise" comes in. The beginner's version hasn't gone far enough to include the fast notes which was intended to be the surprise for the audience. The original is over 4m long. The piece in the beginner's book is just 5% of the full version.

In my younger days my knowledge of music was so limited that I didn't really have a favorite. The only piece I could play was "Twinkle". Even that was a challenge.

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Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2947017 02/15/20 01:31 AM
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Excuse me for the typo—- but yes, the easy piano transcription I played contained the ‘surprise’. But that was long before Alfreds existed. I do not know what I’d in the current beginner’s book, so sorry I mentioned it.

It was just something I played early and found delightful


"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: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2947050 02/15/20 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416

The piece came from the Adagio (2nd movement) from Symphony #94. And the Surprise? Anybody who heard the Adagio before would know the very condensed version in the beginner's book has the theme but not the surprise. The piece is an orchestral piece with a piano part which Haydn performed himself in London during the premier. It is a variation that starts off with the theme played in various ways in C major and then C minor. After that you hear a series of fast notes out of nowhere. The middle section is where the "surprise" comes in. .

??

The surprise is right at the beginning, after the main tune - here at 0:34 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLjwkamp3lI

Haydn noticed that his audiences were prone to nodding off in slow movements (nothing much has changed since whistle), so he wanted to wake them up with a sudden and unexpected ff chord, and keep them on their toes for the rest of the movement, so to speak......

See the tune here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._94_(Haydn)

Surely that ff would be in any beginner's book of easy arrangements, even if it's not the full chord.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: MichaelJK] #2947170 02/15/20 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Originally Posted by treefrog
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
When I was a beginner, I was honestly a big fan of the music in John Thompson Book 1. Especially "Little Spring Song".


I’ve got that book. I’ll look that one up tomorrow.


Oh, and "Swans on the Lake" too! I remember thinking that they sounded like real music at the time, not like beginner pieces. Let me know what you think.


I had a little practice of both of your recommendations and both rang a bell.

I always find it amazing all the stuff that’s stored in my brain because with both pieces, once I’d played them a couple of times, my fingers said "I remember this. I'll take over from here" smile

I like them both so I’ll allow my brain to rewire itself and hopefully I should be able to play them properly in my next practice.

I may revisit the entire book at some point as I have a feeling that I rushed it the first time round.

Unfortunately, it’s so old, it’s falling apart smile

Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: treefrog] #2947248 02/15/20 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by treefrog
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
Originally Posted by treefrog
Originally Posted by MichaelJK
When I was a beginner, I was honestly a big fan of the music in John Thompson Book 1. Especially "Little Spring Song".


I’ve got that book. I’ll look that one up tomorrow.


Oh, and "Swans on the Lake" too! I remember thinking that they sounded like real music at the time, not like beginner pieces. Let me know what you think.


I had a little practice of both of your recommendations and both rang a bell.

I always find it amazing all the stuff that’s stored in my brain because with both pieces, once I’d played them a couple of times, my fingers said "I remember this. I'll take over from here" smile

I like them both so I’ll allow my brain to rewire itself and hopefully I should be able to play them properly in my next practice.

I may revisit the entire book at some point as I have a feeling that I rushed it the first time round.

Unfortunately, it’s so old, it’s falling apart smile


I'm glad you like them!

For some reason, piano teachers hate this series. That's a shame, because it's one of the few method books that does actually prepare you to play real piano music. The music in most method books is written in a style that is quite different from real classical music, and many students are never able to transition out of that.

The cynic in me would say that other method books give the teacher a sense of accomplishment in their own teaching abilities, at the expense of the student's development...

Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: MichaelJK] #2947256 02/15/20 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJK

I'm glad you like them!

For some reason, piano teachers hate this series. That's a shame, because it's one of the few method books that does actually prepare you to play real piano music. The music in most method books is written in a style that is quite different from real classical music, and many students are never able to transition out of that.

The cynic in me would say that other method books give the teacher a sense of accomplishment in their own teaching abilities, at the expense of the student's development...



It wasn’t until I dug out book one that I realised that I have books 1-3.

I did struggle a bit with book 2. It progressed quite rapidly. I got as far as 'Starlight Waltz' and liked that piece so much I was determined to perfect it. Soon after, I stopped playing for about 10 years.

I started again about 4 months ago and this was the first piece that I searched for. I still haven’t perfected it and I now think that I may need to progress through that book and play harder pieces in order to make it seem simpler.

They are good books and there are some lovely pieces in them.

Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: Animisha] #2947261 02/15/20 02:01 PM
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The John Thompson books are out of favor because of the reliance of Middle C position in Book 1, through comments made by teachers on these forums. There may be other reasons that I don’t recall.

(And yes, my teacher taught with John Thompson and Michael Aaron when I was a kid)


"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: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: Animisha] #2947326 02/15/20 04:30 PM
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I also started with John Thompson, the “Teaching Little Fingers to Play” book. And then moved on to the graded books.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: Animisha] #2947350 02/15/20 05:44 PM
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John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course (not to be confused with his other courses, certainly not the 'adult' one, which is bad) is by far the best beginner piano course in English, past, present or future - for child or adult - because it explains everything very clearly step by step, with plenty of revision along the way, and assumes no prior knowledge and skips nothing. And it emphasises the important stuff: counting beats (keeping time) as well as understanding the grand staff and music notation.

Needless to say, I - and all my fellow students when I was a kid - learnt on it. whistle


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: Animisha] #2947401 02/15/20 08:48 PM
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I find Burgmuller has several easy and intermediate pieces which are all quite interesting and joyful to play.

Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: Animisha] #2947642 02/16/20 01:03 PM
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Some time ago Moo has posted a video of 'Passacaglia' by Handel Halvorsen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDmw65QvlQQ
It's very easy and I think it's beautiful. I admit I sometimes play it myself now, too.
It's also easy to memorize, because it's extremely schematic.

'Angelfish' mentioned by Animisha is imo very nice, too.

When I was a boy I was fond of easy pieces and etudes by composer Alexander Gedicke.
https://imslp.org/wiki/Special:ImagefromIndex/529849/ehzbj
https://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Gedike,_Aleksandr
If I had to choose the best composer for beginners I would choose him.

Re: Your favourite beginners' pieces [Re: Animisha] #2947711 02/16/20 04:42 PM
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I’ve just started learning a new piece from the Schaum Red Book called 'The Pet Shop'.

It’s adapted from a Schubert piece (Sadly, I don’t know which one) and I’m really enjoying playing it.

That isn’t me in the video, by the way smile

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