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#3069771 01/16/21 10:40 AM
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"Hey man. It took me 2 years to write this piece. Can you play it for me? Composition Concert is in 1 week! Thanks a bunch man!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYMXbM0RCeU

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Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
"Hey man. It took me 2 years to write this piece. Can you play it for me? Composition Concert is in 1 week! Thanks a bunch man!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYMXbM0RCeU
The link keeps going to a very complex atonal piece by Brian Ferneyhough. Are you Brian? This was published by Peters so Ferneyhough is no slouch. He should have plenty of pianists willing to play his music, monstrously complex as it is. I think if my piano teacher handed this to me and told me to learn it in a week I'd have a heart attack.


Townley: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor Op 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK1WR7oPY44
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Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
"Hey man. It took me 2 years to write this piece. Can you play it for me? Composition Concert is in 1 week! Thanks a bunch man!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYMXbM0RCeU
The link keeps going to a very complex atonal piece by Brian Ferneyhough. Are you Brian? This was published by Peters so Ferneyhough is no slouch. He should have plenty of pianists willing to play his music, monstrously complex as it is. I think if my piano teacher handed this to me and told me to learn it in a week I'd have a heart attack.


It was sort of a joke, but exactly what one experiences (at least from my own experience) in the university or conservatory. I was given a piece by Anthony Farris, with a week deadline, and this music was equally complex... although it was only 4 pages.

No Im not Brian laugh laugh laugh. But I admire him, hes post-Boulez

Last edited by MinscAndBoo; 01/16/21 04:07 PM.
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Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
"Hey man. It took me 2 years to write this piece. Can you play it for me? Composition Concert is in 1 week! Thanks a bunch man!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYMXbM0RCeU
The link keeps going to a very complex atonal piece by Brian Ferneyhough. Are you Brian? This was published by Peters so Ferneyhough is no slouch. He should have plenty of pianists willing to play his music, monstrously complex as it is. I think if my piano teacher handed this to me and told me to learn it in a week I'd have a heart attack.


It was sort of a joke, but exactly what one experiences (at least from my own experience) in the university or conservatory. I was given a piece by Anthony Farris, with a week deadline, and this music was equally complex... although it was only 4 pages.

No Im not Brian laugh laugh laugh. But I admire him, hes post-Boulez

You know, after I posted I thought about it and then realized your intent..like you get to college, everybody finds out you're a good pianist and suddenly they're all hitting you up to learn music for them. Happened to me all the time at LACC way back when. One guy handed me a badly written piano score and asked, "Would it be too much to ask you to learn this for the music competition? Thanks." Boing! Very irritating!

Incidentally, I wrote a piano concerto and I've been looking for a pianist to play it. Would it be too much to ask....." whistle

Last edited by J Joe Townley; 01/16/21 05:36 PM.

Townley: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor Op 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK1WR7oPY44
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Oh, man, can I relate. And it brings back scary memories for college over 20 years ago.

For me, it was a point of contention with the flute studio. I was the only one who could play the piano parts for the typical very French, very modern, very difficult flute pieces. Those teachers hated me because I would literally get pulled into a flute lesson while walking down the hallway and be asked to quick sight-read something because the flautist was struggling with a passage. Of course I couldn't sight-read it. Geez! Even when I played for their juries I had to tone down the piano parts because I had recitals to prepare for, my own solo lit, harpsichord accomps for the chamber groups, and so on. But they thought the only thing I did was accompany the flute students or something.

The best part was just before a concert, someone stopped me and said, "Help! I need you to tune the harpsichord." Umm, WHAT? But I did it. Then I actually learned how, it became a regular thing, and it was awesome.


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Well, nobody plays "New Complexity" scores accurately anyway - you just fake it through approximation. Or so I've heard....

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Now that's art.

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Originally Posted by wr
Well, nobody plays "New Complexity" scores accurately anyway - you just fake it through approximation. Or so I've heard....
I think any competent pianist who knows music notation really well could write something like this, couldn't they? I mean you don't really even have to play it to hear how it sounds, just throw notes onto a manuscript, something like abstract painters do when they tie different color paints in balloons, string them over a canvas and shoot them with a tommy-gun.


Townley: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor Op 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK1WR7oPY44
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Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Originally Posted by wr
Well, nobody plays "New Complexity" scores accurately anyway - you just fake it through approximation. Or so I've heard....
I think any competent pianist who knows music notation really well could write something like this, couldn't they? I mean you don't really even have to play it to hear how it sounds, just throw notes onto a manuscript, something like abstract painters do when they tie different color paints in balloons, string them over a canvas and shoot them with a tommy-gun.
A certain pianist who specializes in the most knotty of contemporary scores once related how he didn't have enough time to learn (let alone make sense of) a particularly dense and unpianistic/unplayable new score for its premiere in a contemporary music concert (attended by the usual tiny die-hard audience who believes that anything resembling a tune wasn't worth listening to), and decided he was just going to improvise huge swaths of the stuff in performance.

He estimated that at least 50% was purely his own invention/improvisations (though he made a point of playing from the score and turned the pages himself), and he left out chunks of it when 'inspiration' left him and he couldn't keep track of which bar he was meant to be on, meaning that the piece was also somewhat shorter in length than what was on the pages.

Afterwards, the composer congratulated him on his wonderful performance, in particular on his astonishingly accurate performance of such a complex work...........


"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."
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Originally Posted by wr
Well, nobody plays "New Complexity" scores accurately anyway - you just fake it through approximation. Or so I've heard....
Yes! I had to join a piano quintet in college last minute with some woodwinds. I faked an entire sonata. Very modern. Atonal.

There was no way I could play that thing. I just made sure to get all the rhythms correct and the direction of notes. The rest fell into place however it wanted. It was very convincing, apparently. It was completely atonal, so no one would have known. Probably not even the composer at that point!


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I always enjoyed playing pieces that my peers wrote during my university days. Thankfully, their professors taught them to find performers well in advance. And there were times I had to turn down performances due to difficulty or time constraints, but that usually wasn’t a big deal.

Some composers even asked me for feedback on piano parts while their works were still in progress, which was a lot of fun!

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Originally Posted by wr
Well, nobody plays "New Complexity" scores accurately anyway - you just fake it through approximation. Or so I've heard....
I think any competent pianist who knows music notation really well could write something like this, couldn't they? I mean you don't really even have to play it to hear how it sounds, just throw notes onto a manuscript, something like abstract painters do when they tie different color paints in balloons, string them over a canvas and shoot them with a tommy-gun.
A certain pianist who specializes in the most knotty of contemporary scores once related how he didn't have enough time to learn (let alone make sense of) a particularly dense and unpianistic/unplayable new score for its premiere in a contemporary music concert (attended by the usual tiny die-hard audience who believes that anything resembling a tune wasn't worth listening to), and decided he was just going to improvise huge swaths of the stuff in performance.

He estimated that at least 50% was purely his own invention/improvisations (though he made a point of playing from the score and turned the pages himself), and he left out chunks of it when 'inspiration' left him and he couldn't keep track of which bar he was meant to be on, meaning that the piece was also somewhat shorter in length than what was on the pages.

Afterwards, the composer congratulated him on his wonderful performance, in particular on his astonishingly accurate performance of such a complex work...........

It doesn't surprise me in the least. If they can teach monkeys how to paint, I think they can teach lay people how to compose.


Townley: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor Op 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK1WR7oPY44

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