2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
76 members (AndreaH, anotherscott, Andrew E., astrotoy, 36251, beeboss, 16 invisible), 579 guests, and 348 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
J
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
This morning I found an interesting Youtube video about the viewpoint that those of us who compose at the piano are inferior composers:



I'm wondering how many of us who frequent here compose while at the piano and how many while away. ???

Melodies have come to me away from the piano, but only a handful of times over the many years I've been composing. I compose at my piano, piano solos, no accompaniments nor orchestration of any kind.

Somewhat in a similar vein is the viewpoint that...

...Music that is accessible to the masses is proof of mediocrity, and...

...Music that is derivative is not of value and looked down upon. (Does that mean all innovation for innovation sake is good?)

Hmmmmm…

Hoping for comments; respectful discussion.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 222
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 222
Bah! Humbug!


Free online Music Theory Tools made by me.
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,777
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,777
I found the article he refers to. Here it is in full: https://www.holdekunst.com/blog/smetana-and-deafness.html

The composer/author writes that he himself has recourse to the piano when he composes. The stress is probably on the "farting around" rather than the "piano" part. You know, folks who doodle around, this sounds pretty, ooh, I've composed something.

It's probably too late in life for me to get far in composing anything - there isn't time left to learn it all. But I picture that you will want to have recourse to various tools and knowledge base. The piano might be one of them.

If composing instrumental music, I'd hope to also have an understanding of the instruments, their character, what can be brought out, and more. Maybe it would be good to be able play a string instrument, a wind instrument, as well as just the piano.

The title itself feels a bit like clickbait. You "should" .... as opposed to you "can" and it's ok.

I've actually followed a few of the little videos of Universalis - there are quick summaries of musical form and such, which don't replace proper study, but give a pretty decent overview, and go a bit further than what we get in textbooks and such.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,324
T
Ted Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,324
Prior to improvisation becoming my principal medium I created a large number of written piano pieces but I never sat at the instrument with a pencil. Neither did I start at the beginning and finish at the end. Rather, pieces crystallised in bits here and there over time through repeated improvisation until they reached a stable state in my mind. Then the writing out took place anywhere and at any time, a purely mechanical exercise from memory; a task which I hated and which made me grumpy but that need not concern the present question. I have tried writing piano music from scratch away from the instrument but the trouble is that I have what might be called a poor haptic imagination, the ability to know without trying what is physically feasible. Piano music for me cannot be separated from its physical component and I don't always know with certainty what I can play and what I cannot. Of course this issue does not exist when improvising.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
J
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
Rory, keystring and Ted: I'd like to respond to your comments (and to Charles XX, too, if you're still out there)


Rory:

I've been at a loss as to how to respond to your comment.

I wish I had the ability to say as much in as few words. I truly mean this. In an effort to prevent possible misunderstanding, I often find I am incapable of whittling down what I'm trying to say to a modicum of words.

I believe your "Bah! Humbug!" refers to the viewpoints about whether composers are "inferior" or their music "mediocre" or of "no value "; as opposed to being directed at me for having posted on PW hoping for discussion of this topic. But I'm not entirely sure I'm right about that. ?


keystring:

You make the important point of having an "understanding the instruments, their character, what can be brought out, and more" when composing multi-instrumental arrangements. Yes, it seems a monumental undertaking to gain the amount of knowledge necessary to accomplish this in an intelligent manner. It requires at a minimum that the composer knows enough about the performers instruments to ensure they are capable of playing the particular notes or passages indicated in the composition.

You mention it is late in life for you to get far in composing. I always feel a little sad when I hear someone who it seems may have/had the ambition to compose music but for one reason or another decides not to.


Charles XX, if you happen upon this post, this is how I felt when you said something in one of your posts about why you stopped composing. I wanted to respond to what you had said, but at the time, I couldn't figure out how to express what I was thinking.


I do realize reasons beyond one's control can absolutely prevent one from having the opportunity to compose music, but when it comes to stopping out of the belief of not being "good enough" or "knowledgeable enough", or creations not being "perfect", I offer the following thoughts:

“Beauty and ingenuity beat perfection hands down, every time.” - ― Nalo Hopkinson, Sister Mine

“If people reach perfection they vanish, you know.” - T.H. White, The Once and Future King

“Perfection is impossible; just strive to do your best.” – Angela Watson

“Perfection itself is imperfection.” – Vladimir Horowitz

If an idea strikes me as beautiful and satisfactory to the ear and heart, I would far rather overlook a grammatical error than sacrifice what is beautiful to mere pedantic trifling. - -Joseph Haydn, quoted in Nohl, Life of Haydn (1883)



Ted:

It's good to hear from you!

I read somewhere that some pianists rely more on sight reading while others on memory.

If I'm understanding correctly, you most enjoy improvisation and have the ability to memorize what you wish to improvise around which frees you from the restraints of having to play slavishly from written notation and of the drudgery of having to notate your music. You are using your talents to create somewhat ephemeral musical experiences. 😊

"Improvisation is not the expression of accident but rather of the accumulated yearnings, dreams and wisdom of our very soul." - Yehudi Menuhin, Theme and Variations (1972)

Jeanne W

Last edited by Jeanne W; 01/19/22 12:11 PM.

Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,324
T
Ted Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,324
Originally Posted by Jeanne W
Ted:

It's good to hear from you!
Reciprocated.

Originally Posted by Jeanne W
I read somewhere that some pianists rely more on sight reading while others on memory.

If I'm understanding correctly, you most enjoy improvisation and have the ability to memorize what you wish to improvise around which frees you from the restraints of having to play slavishly from written notation and of the drudgery of having to notate your music. You are using your talents to create somewhat ephemeral musical experiences. 😊

"Improvisation is not the expression of accident but rather of the accumulated yearnings, dreams and wisdom of our very soul." - Yehudi Menuhin, Theme and Variations (1972)

Jeanne W

Nice quote, I didn’t know he improvised.

I agree the actual experience of improvisation is ephemeral but thanks to modern recording technology its end product can be a lasting work of art. I don’t think anybody could seriously assert, for instance, that Jarrett’s solo concerts lack artistic permanence because they have no concomitant written approximation.

Anyway, that is taking the discussion beyond your original question. My teacher maintained he could imagine and write his music away from the instrument. But then, years later I found one of his best piano solos was formed through the often despised process of “noodling”, to use the less vulgar term, and written out afterwards. So there is the added issue of people, particularly well known ones, saying they create in ways which sound impressive but are a long way from what actually happens.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 228
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 228
In art (any of the arts) how you create your work doesn’t matter. What matters is the finished work and its quality.
That said I can imagine that if you are able to write your music just sitting on your desk with pen and paper, you are a better musician than if you need a piano. You’d be better at “musicianship” in the same way a person running 100 m in 8 seconds is better at athletics than another doing it in 9. You’d have better ear, or aptitudes, or whatever you may call it.


P-515
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 264
C
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 264
Jeanne, how kind of you to remember me!

I have been following your post, and have been giving it some thought and looking with interest at the responses.

My initial thought was simply that composers each have their own way of working. At one extreme, Stravinsky sprang to mind, and then I saw the video! There has been much written regarding his attachment and love for the piano and that he composed at the piano. It certainly didn't hold him back.

However, by relying on the piano a composer can run the risk of creating music which is 'pianistic'. I can't think of a better word. Piano music has a characteristic feel, style sound etc. And your compositional mind is being blinkered, filtered by thinking in terms of the keyboard, the piano. It can be difficult to break away from that mind set.

Of course, every instrument has it's own characterictics, or idiosyncrasies. So I would suggest that a guitarist/violinist/trumpeter may approach composition differently. From their point of view, as it were.

Nevertheless, the piano is the most satisfying instrument for a composer to work on, given it's range and the ability to play harmonies. And if the aim is to compose music for the piano, there is no problem. How else would you work?

However, what if the aim is a string quartet, or a work for full orchestra? I would suggest that thinking in pianistic terms, working from the piano will just produce an unsatisfactory result. A piano piece transcribed for string quartet is the danger, rather than a work which explores the musical capabilities if the string family. The challenge for a composer is to think in terms of a violin or flute or trumpet etc. without filtering ideas through the piano.

When I was a student of composition, for my post grad thesis I just had to write a big orchestral piece, didn't I? (Young and foolish I was. Now just foolish, Elizabeth tells me.) The full thing, plus percussion, piano etc. Lots of staves, a big piece of manuscript was required. Sitting at the piano was a waste of time. I just had to think in terms of the orchestra and the colors it offered. Of course, I would gravitate to the piano to check a harmony or two, or a particular bit of melody, but that's all. The same applies to smaller, less ambitious instrumental groups as well.

Now, no one could accuse Stravinsky's music of being blinkered by his reliance on the piano, and much has been written about Stravinsky's use of the piano in his orchestral and other instrumental works, For example, Stravinsky saw the piano as a percussion instrument and moved away from the 'singing tone' ideas favored by the romantics.

Crickey, I've gone on a bit. Hope it makes sense. I'll give your other question a bit more thought.

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
J
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
mydp, CharlesXX: Thank you for joining in the discussion. I read your responses and have been mulling them over.

mydp: I agree it is the finished work and its quality that matters. I have some follow-up questions about a different part of what you said.

CharlesXX: Thank you for the detailed and most excellent explanation. What you wrote makes everything clear.

This discussion has had me thinking over the past several days about how exactly composers work "away from the piano" which has left me with some additional questions.

I'll post back in a few days with the questions.

Thanks, again, everyone for your help so far. 😊

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 264
C
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 264
“ I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.” — Sergei Rachmaninov

Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 41
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 41
Stravinsky advocated composing at the piano! That should be convincing enough!☺️


Seen on a PTG business card:

“A piano in tune is a joy to all”
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,636
S
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,636
Hi All,

I don't come by this forum very often anymore, but finding this thread was a pleasant surprise. I'm well aware that Stravinsky and Beethoven and many other composed at the piano (or keyboard of some kind). I'm of two minds on the question. Then I read this from Charles.
Originally Posted by CharlesXX
However, by relying on the piano a composer can run the risk of creating music which is 'pianistic'. I can't think of a better word. Piano music has a characteristic feel, style sound etc. And your compositional mind is being blinkered, filtered by thinking in terms of the keyboard, the piano. It can be difficult to break away from that mind set.
I have run into exactly this. It takes effort to use your mind's ear to imagine a choir or orchestra. Actually, I have all those and more available on my computer and yet I don't usually use the computer for such compositions. I often sit at the piano and try out harmonies, but I'm working in my mind much of the time.

My issue with composing at the piano, even piano music, is that we tend to write what we already know. Our minds default to harmonies that come easily to our fingers. The idea of diddling around until you find something interesting and writing it down, yeah I've done that, but I find I do better work if I take those ideas and rework them within my mind (but I may be sitting at the piano while I do it).

My thoughts writing away from the piano are that it takes a better ear than I've got (and I think I have a pretty good one). I can do melodies and simple counterpoint and basic harmonization away from an instrument, but it's not my most creative work. I can push my own boundaries more confidently if I can refer to a piano. But the result has to support the concept for the music (which aspect is by far the hardest part about composing). I need a strong reason to start putting notes on paper because for me composing is hard work.

When I studied music serial composition was the rule of the day. Because your harmonies and melodies were determined by the twelve tone row writing at the piano would only inhibit your work because you'd hear how ugly it was. I seriously wonder what the likes of Milton Babbitt and others were thinking when they're pieces were performed. I'm so glad that such silliness doesn't rule today, but apparently the notion of composing away from an instrument still does. The good news is nobody has to know unlike writing serial music which is so easily identifiable by its unrelenting ugliness (and yes I've heard music where the composer tried to play down the effect of the tone row, but it's very hard to make such music sound consistently pleasant).


Steve Chandler
composer/amateur pianist

stevechandler-music.com
http://www.soundcloud.com/pantonality
http://www.youtube.com/pantonality
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
J
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
Hello, Again.

Thanks, to everyone who's joined the conversation. I've been giving what we've been discussing here a lot of thought over the past days.

CharlesXX:

I understand and agree with your concerns about "creating music that is pianistic" when writing scores and that the "challenge for a composer is to think in terms of a violin or flute or trumpet etc. without filtering ideas through the piano." I've been concerned for a number of years that so much of today's music is not only being composed on digital keyboards, but the sounds of so many different musical instruments are performed using them.

There are many different methods of composing. I suspect each of them - including composing by 'imagining" the sounds in one's head - presents its own unique set of benefits, limitations and challenges. Best of all would be a composer who picks up a violin and plays it to compose the part for a violinist to perform and continues on to do the same for every different musical instrument in the score they are creating. But how often might this ever happen?

MH91777:

You note that Stravinsky composed at the piano. Your comment adds "food for thought"!

Steve:

Hi, there! I haven't noticed you around here much of late. I read your comments with interest. You say your issue with composing at the piano, even piano music, is "we tend to write what we already know. Our minds default to harmonies that come easily to our fingers…." and you find you do better work if you take those ideas and rework them within your mind; yet you also add you may be sitting at the piano while you do that.

Yesterday, thinking about this, I came to the realization about how I compose at the piano.

To create a piano solo composition, I compose at the piano:

- First, I improvise.

- Once I hear something interesting, I build on that; progress measure by measure, creating melody, harmony and style of accompaniment simultaneously. During this part of the process one of two of things occurs.

Most often my fingers take on a kind of life of their own, know where to go next seemingly without any conscious premeditated thought involved. Other times I imagine/"hear" where I want the music to go next (this may include complex harmonies); then, if my hands do not instinctively land on the correct corresponding piano keys, I must seek them out.

- At each step along the way, phrase by phrase, I am notating what I am creating with ink pen on composition paper.

- Lastly comes the difficult and laborious part, reviewing, analyzing, revising the work for development, form, and so much more.

The initial starting point (improvising until hearing something I like and want to work on) seems more or less a search/experimentation; however, throughout the next stage of the process (development of the initial idea) it often seems as though something is guiding me and is happening without my making a conscious effort of any kind.

The more I think about this, the more convinced I'm becoming that when I compose at the piano it involves more than just seeking out what I already know or what comes easily to my fingers.

The part of the process when fingers take on a life of their own seems NOT to be happening in a random or haphazard manner; is instead being directed by some intelligent creative effort. At least it seems that way to me. Perhaps some creative action is happening at some lower level of consciousness that is not able to make its workings known to the waking self?

Thoughts, anyone?

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Joined: Feb 2021
Posts: 70
O
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
O
Joined: Feb 2021
Posts: 70
Hi Jeanne,

I agree entirely.

Occasionally melodies have come to me away from an instrument but rarely so and they are normally just a starting point.

For me where I compose away from the keyboard is when I am thinking about things that need improving, embellishment, honing, something to hold the attention etc. Then, in some ways, it's easier to think about it in the mind only...you know the basic structure and phrasing but you can scroll through in your mind in seconds many, many possibilities.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,324
T
Ted Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,324
Originally Posted by Jeanne W
....- At each step along the way, phrase by phrase, I am notating what I am creating with ink pen on composition paper....
Jeanne W

That is the part I have never been able to do, Jeanne, it just ruins my idea flow. Sometimes I used to record the odd idea though if I thought there was a chance I would forget it, but a very rough recording would suffice for that purpose. I never put pen to paper until the whole piece had reached a stable state in my mind, which process took a variable amount of time, anything from a couple of hours to months. I have my own personal conjectures about how my ideas form but it would take us too far from your topic.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
J
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
Owen:

I find the different ways in which we create music interesting and am enjoying this discussion. Thanks for talking a bit about how you go about it and your comments in general.

Ted:

Stopping intermittently in between phrases to notate doesn't hinder me, but that's just me; I certainly understand how it can "stop the flow of music" and creativity. There surely are many different ways to go about composing. It's good to know what works best and is most satisfying and going with it.

Your method of freely improvising straight through reminded of a story that's stuck in the back of my mind.

I read somewhere how Chopin would improvise lengthy compositions in one fell swoop - then had to recall the entirety of what he had played in order to notate it which, if I recall correctly, was a struggle and apt to cause him quite a bit of grief.

I wonder what approach he would have taken, how he might have changed his method of composing, if he had been able to record and play back his improvisations with the kind of technology that is available today.

I'm further reminded of an occurrence of many years ago. I dreamt overnight an entire complete piece of instrumental music, from beginning to end. Many instruments were playing, including strings and more. I particularly remember horns. I was enthralled by what I was hearing; the melody and arrangement, all of it.

When I woke up, I remembered what it sounded like and was marveling at the experience. I was certain I had dreamt an original piece of music that was my own; created entirely during my dream; however, as is often the case with dreams, the memory of it soon faded and I was not able to retrieve it. This was just as well, as I lacked the technical knowledge necessary to notate what I had heard.

Ted, you say you have your "own personal conjectures" about how your ideas form but it would take us too far from my topic." If you have the inclination and the time to start a new post to discuss this, that'd be great.

Getting back to what mydp said earlier:

A quote from mydp:

Quote
"In art (any of the arts) how you create your work doesn’t matter. What matters is the finished work and its quality.
That said I can imagine that if you are able to write your music just sitting on your desk with pen and paper, you are a better musician than if you need a piano. You’d be better at “musicianship” in the same way a person running 100 m in 8 seconds is better at athletics than another doing it in 9. You’d have better ear, or aptitudes, or whatever you may call it."

mydp:

I think we may share the same views, but I've been reading and rereading what you wrote and I can read into it two opposing viewpoints so I'm not sure which "side of the fence" you're on.

The way I look at it… I believe those who have the ability to "compose away from the piano" means only that - those individuals have an additional particular talent, aptitude, that enables them to work that way. That's a wonderful thing. But I do not believe it guarantees their finished work will be of better quality than those who lack that ability and/or choose not to work that way.

With regards to musical talent, I'm rereading "The Psychology of Music" by Carl E. Seashore, a book I first read long ago. It's been sitting on my bookshelf for years. Mr. Seashore's ideas and observations about how to assess individual musical talent is interesting reading. He talks about four main musician types: tonal, dynamic, temporal, and qualitative; each involve distinctly different abilities, aptitudes, talents. Chapters include "Imagining in Music", "Thinking in Music", "Measures of Musical Talent" and a variety of other topics. It was written back in 1938.

I still have a question about "composing away from the piano". I'll post back again later to follow up.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 228
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 228
Originally Posted by Jeanne W
The way I look at it… I believe those who have the ability to "compose away from the piano" means only that - those individuals have an additional particular talent, aptitude, that enables them to work that way. That's a wonderful thing. But I do not believe it guarantees their finished work will be of better quality than those who lack that ability and/or choose not to work that way.

Agreed


P-515
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
J
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
mydp:

Good to know.

Thanks for responding.


Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
J
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,504
Hi, Again.

I had mentioned several times I have another question about "composing away from the piano." Here it is...

Does "composing away from the piano" mean you are expected to imagine music in your head with your "mind's ear" and also in addition to notate your work with no outside aid of any kind to assist you in identifying the notes?

If so, is it assumed this method of composing music is limited to those of us who have the ability to imagine in our mind's ear not only the notes of a melody, but in addition, the harmonies?

Do some who "compose away from the piano" not really know how their work is going to sound until it is performed? They work more or less "in the dark"; instead rely on mathematics or other aids such as modeling their scores after those of other composers to guide their work? The results of their efforts are ultimately a surprise?

Is there a specific definition of what is/is not acceptable practice when it comes to "composing away from the piano" that has been adopted by authorities in music world? Does it mean a very specific thing or involve "variations on a theme"? Ooh, bad pun.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,324
T
Ted Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,324
Originally Posted by Jeanne W
...Does "composing away from the piano" mean you are expected to imagine music in your head with your "mind's ear" and also in addition to notate your work with no outside aid of any kind to assist you in identifying the notes?...

There is also the tricky question of what is really meant by imagining music and the "mind's ear". From here I can actually see the neighbour's house through the window. If I turn away I can certainly "visualise" it and in considerable detail, but I cannot actually see it as a hallucination or eidetic fact. Apparently there are some people who can, just as some people, usually a bit potty but that is beside the point, hear voices. Of course in dreams this distinction is suspended and we perceive the mind's creations as if they were external realities. But is this what some composers experience through effort of will in a waking state ? If so it must be frightfully confusing not to mention dangerous.

Which is another way of saying that I haven't a clue I suppose, although I look forward to honest feedback from members who know more about it. My teacher was a highly regarded professional pianist and composer but, as I remarked before, he described his processes in a false and exaggerated way for effect, which habit did nothing except give me an inferiority complex for years.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai GS 50 vs 60, and CA 60
by NoteByNote - 05/17/22 06:56 PM
Mildly Contemporary
by Brus - 05/17/22 06:32 PM
Kawai KG-2A vs. RX-2
by mivaldes - 05/17/22 06:18 PM
Key Noise from Yamaha Baby Grand
by Sheng123 - 05/17/22 05:13 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics213,119
Posts3,192,348
Members105,299
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5