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meghdad Offline OP
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Hello

I need to make sure if I am playing this subtle trill(?) correctly. I'd appreciate some feedback:
Menuet

The trill is in the third bar repeated in the first and second line:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/i3FJYUFmhzYfT5yG8

Edit- By "correctly", I mean the timing and rhythm because it's 16th note.

Last edited by meghdad; 02/23/21 01:03 PM.
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To my ear, the first two sound fine. I think you have it correctly.

In the 5th measures of both lines, it seems like you have rushed, somewhat, into the eighth note immediately after the two sixteenth notes, such that you then leave too much time between that initial eighth note and the next one that begins the descent. To me, the eighth note forming the end of the "trill" is being played almost like a dotted eighth note. The space between it and the next eighth note is longer than the spaces between all the following eighth notes.

Perhaps you are experiencing tension as you come into the last trill, The approach to it differs from the approach to the first two trills in that the you come to the first two already rolling your hand into them without any direction change, and with your hand already in motion. Coming down from E to C and continuing downward to B means your hand is already moving in the direction the trill requires.

By contrast, that third trill requires you to change direction and immediately trill, coming up from G to C and immediately turning down to B, and also starting the trill on the C where you are simultaneously turning. The turn deprives you of the momentum your hand had for the first two trills. You are essentially trilling from a dead start on the third. So, it is more difficult.

Last edited by Ralphiano; 02/23/21 02:11 PM.

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The first mordent is too fast. Here is a recording that plays all the ornaments well.


In this recording the pianist doesn't play the ornaments until he repeats the phrase. Are you using 3-2-1 fingering on the C-B-C mordent?

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Originally Posted by meghdad
Hello

I need to make sure if I am playing this subtle trill(?) correctly. I'd appreciate some feedback:
Menuet

The trill is in the third bar repeated in the first and second line:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/i3FJYUFmhzYfT5yG8

Edit- By "correctly", I mean the timing and rhythm because it's 16th note.


Hi the first 4 are not trills but mordents. You play them in a too compressed manner. One need to hear clearly the back and forth and the rest on the main note. Your tempo is rather slow, so the mordent must be moderate also.

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I had a teacher that said ornaments are 100% optional and if you choose to play ornaments it was highly suggested that they are not played until you have the piece polished or nearly polished. Not saying you're not there with it but just some thought. I'm no expert this is just something I was told with this piece.

Piano TV has a great video on this that could be helpful.

It's sounded good, looking forward to hearing full version! This piece is much harder than it looks on paper. It took me so long to learn and I never did any ornaments.

Last edited by Sebs; 02/23/21 04:39 PM.
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I agree with you regarding the ornaments being like icing.... leave them off until the cake is baked. Reminds me of an instruction frequently given by my high school orchestra teacher: if in doubt, leave it out 🙀


"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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I don't like how this is marked on your sheet music. They are putting the notes there, not the ornament markings. This makes is looks as you HAVE to play those notes, witch is not true. I would suggest you get an urtext version like Henle or Wiener that has the original markings and explanations how they are played. Then learn the basics of the Menuet and add the ornaments later on.

I'm also not a big fan of the dynamic markings there. "Dolce" implies sweet, but this is originally composed of two pieces BMV anh. 114 & 115. 115 is the slow, more melancholic part in a G minor while this is the lively part in G major.

My teacher tought me to play this more bouncy and lively and a little faster to then slow down for a more romantic, melancholic interpretation for the second part. Consider people dancing to your playing, because this is what is was meant for originally.

Baroque pieces usually have little markings of telling you how you have to interpret the music. That was intentional, the idea was that you interpret them yourself. I found trying to get something of myself into an easy piece very helpful for my playing.

Sidenote: This piece is not by Bach, it's credited to Christian Petzold but is published in the "Notenbuch for Anna Magdalena Bach"

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Thanks for your inputs. smile

@FloRi89
Please note that my question here is strictly about the "mordents" and not the nuances like the crescendo. It's for another topic, however I appreciate your feedback and have read it.
Also thanks for the note about the correct composer and the "minor" part of the piece. I've actually texted my teacher about that, awaiting his response. And I agree that this piece should sound bouncy and joyful by nature.


Now,regarding the ornaments. I have tried numerous times since the first post to "fix" the mordents and yet, I can't quite seem to "feel" the incorrect timing regardless of how "good or bad" it might sound. I mean, I can play slower according to your guidance however when I count those 64th notes in the third measure it sounds rhythmically correct to me. There must be something I am missing because all of you have the same opinion as my teacher. I wonder if that's based on comparison to other recordings of the piece (like the YT video above) rather than being strictly notation correct. As the poster above said, the ornaments here are not really ornaments and are in fact notes with duration. So with this in mind, I have tried to make the "ornaments" a bit more clear in this new recording:New recording


(Please disregard the lack of "correct" crescendo and dynamics as I am yet to have good dynamics control and and I've mostly left it out in this recording so it sounds sort of "harsh")
P.S I use my 3-2-4 fingers to play that mordent because it's easier and natural to me and admittedly it does contribute to the "fast" pace, but I should be able to control them with more practice.

Last edited by meghdad; 02/25/21 01:49 PM. Reason: Added new link
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Don't think of the C-B-C mordent as 64th notes. Don't assume what was notated in the score you have is correct. It's closer to 16the notes. In your recording, the first time it was much too fast. The second time it was better but still somewhat fast. Listen to the recording I posted earlier from the University of Iowa Pedagogy Project. What fingering are you using on the mordent? There are several reasonable ones. The C-B-C is definitely an ornament(a mordent) but you are making things much too difficult by trying to play it too fast.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/25/21 04:47 PM.
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I agree with Pianoloverus. The mordent is an ornament and the score you have just literally expanded into full notes but that is not how it is originally notated.

I also think it is still too fast, in particular given the moderate pace you are using which is slower than the video example. The effect must be proportional to the tempo.

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I actually quite like the second one now, but I would agree with Sidokar that this sounds like the "full speed" version to me. So I get the feeling that you are playing the rest of the piece moderate and pronounced, and then is speeds up when you do the ornament. I'm absolutely no pro in piano teaching though, I'm a beginner myself, so this is just my opinion and not "professional feedback".

The things I wrote above also were in regards to the score, not your playing, just to be totally clear on that. The way they set the dynamics are of course a valid interpretation but in the specific case of the Menuet I found it extremely helpful that my teacher worked those out with me together from a "blank canvas". It gave me a deeper understanding of how dynamics work and how they can be used to make the piece sound more interesting.

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@pianoloverus 3-2-4 fingering.

See, now I'm not even debating if it's fast or slow. What are the "boundaries" in those definitions? Now I have this semantic question. If they are merely ornaments, then I've been thought that the emphasis must be on the "fall" note, here the C note. If they are not ornaments -as notated in the score- then Am I not playing them rhythmically correct?

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Originally Posted by meghdad
@pianoloverus 3-2-4 fingering.

See, now I'm not even debating if it's fast or slow. What are the "boundaries" in those definitions? Now I have this semantic question. If they are merely ornaments, then I've been thought that the emphasis must be on the "fall" note, here the C note. If they are not ornaments -as notated in the score- then Am I not playing them rhythmically correct?

They are indeed ornaments. The purpose of the ornament is to highlight the main note. The accent is on the beat and the second C is softer than the first. The fact that it is written in full or not does not change the fact that it is an ornament. Many notes in a score are meant to ornate a melodic basic line. The speed at which you are playing must be pleasing and consistent with the tempo. It is not a theoretical question but a matter of musicality.

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Originally Posted by meghdad
@pianoloverus 3-2-4 fingering.
Maybe try a different fingering since that one seems awkward to me and may be contributing to your problems. I think the best would be 3-2-1 and others possibilities are 1-2-1 or 2-1-2. But the main thing is to play it slower. You are making something quite simple both technically and musically into something difficult by playing it too fast. It's just three notes.

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by meghdad
@pianoloverus 3-2-4 fingering.

See, now I'm not even debating if it's fast or slow. What are the "boundaries" in those definitions? Now I have this semantic question. If they are merely ornaments, then I've been thought that the emphasis must be on the "fall" note, here the C note. If they are not ornaments -as notated in the score- then Am I not playing them rhythmically correct?

They are indeed ornaments. The purpose of the ornament is to highlight the main note. The accent is on the beat and the second C is softer than the first. The fact that it is written in full or not does not change the fact that it is an ornament.
Ok, so it's a different kind of ornament than the one that accents succeeding note, like in the last measure of the first line.

So I'm trying to play it more slower at 100bpm, let's see how it goes. Thanks everyone . :-)

Oh and one last question: Does Dolce here mean that the entire piece must be played like so?

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OK, got my answer from my teacher... smile


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