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
67 members (Alto, 80k, ambrozy, AndreaH, BillS728, anotherscott, AaronSF, 3B43, 17 invisible), 3,570 guests, and 303 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 69
J
joe3701 Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
J
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 69
I've come across a few people in my life who could sight read Debussy & Rachmaninoff preludes as well as other seemingly difficult pieces. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but it was extremely impressive. What is the best way to improve sight reading? Does a tool like Sight Reading Factory help? Any other apps, programs, services, or techniques that you think helps? What do you suggest? Any tricks to becoming the best sight reader out there? Any and all advice is appreciated. Thank you.

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,592
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,592
You obviously haven't read many, if any, of the many threads on this subject (mostly in ABF) whistle.

To summarize the oft-quoted advice of all good sight-readers (including yours truly): sight-read music of all sorts for pleasure. The more varied your sight-reading (everything from Baroque to Contemporary, even pop and jazz arrangements if that's your poison) the better. Familiarity breeds......not contempt, but mastery. Familiarity with all the different musical patterns that composers use - from two-part Inventions by you-know-who to thick constantly-moving chords by someone-you-know, and arpeggiated accompaniments (LH -> RH) and passagework (RH -> LH) by everyone-you-know.

Good sight-readers don't laboriously decipher single notes: they take in whole groups of notes at a glance. They can do that because they are familiar with so many patterns - because they have encountered them is so many other pieces they've read through before.

And no - they NEVER use electronic stuff, apps or computer-generated rubbish for "sight-reading practice". They just sight-read real music. And real music from most great composers is free on IMSLP. Amazing, isn't it? wink


"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."
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 32,670
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 32,670
Your goal should be becoming a good amateur sight reader. The goal mentioned in your title is not appropriate for almost all amateur pianists. Sight reading Rachmaninov or Debussy Preludes, at least the harder ones, requires an extremely advanced level of technical skill.

It can be easy to read the notes but difficult to play them. For example, the notes in Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy are fairly easy to read but sight reading it even at a reduced speed would not be realistic for most amateurs because of the piece's technical demands.

Am I correct in assuming that most of the Rach and Debussy Preludes are beyond the level of pieces you would be studying at this time? If yes, than you should not be concerned about how you can reach the point of successfully sight reading them.

Finally, do what bennevis said.

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,053
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,053
I would also like to hear other people's answers on this question, especially if you're accomplished at sight reading yourself.

Originally Posted by bennevis
You obviously haven't read many, if any, of the many threads on this subject (mostly in ABF) whistle.
There have been many threads on the subject, but most advice seems to repeat. I would be very interested in hearing if anyone has some different opinions. There's usually going to be that one person who breezed through while doing something unconventional, or teacher who teaches differently. I'd love to hear their viewpoints.

I think we can agree that it's important to read a lot. But what about more advanced tips?

- Can you go on for several hours a day, or is it a waste of time? If so, what's the limit and how do you tell? Maybe it's until you have concentration remaining?
- Would it be useful to write music in a certain idiom (like Mozart)?
- What difficulty of material should be your primary focus? How should you push yourself, and in what way? Reading something harder, faster, etc.
- Are there ancillary exercises which help sight reading? How about explicitly trying to drill common patterns into memory directly: would it be useful?
- Many of the teachers I've talked to don't simply ask you to read a lot of material -- they ask you to analyze what went wrong while playing and fix mistakes, and anticipate new positions. Any thoughts along these lines?

I'm sure everyone here has their own answers for these questions. I actually haven't seen discussion of this kind, for the most part, on several threads I have come across. It would be amazing if you could share what your experience has been.

Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 69
J
joe3701 Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
J
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 69
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Am I correct in assuming that most of the Rach and Debussy Preludes are beyond the level of pieces you would be studying at this time? If yes, than you should not be concerned about how you can reach the point of successfully sight reading them.

That’s why it’s not good to assume. You would be incorrect as I’ve played several of them for performances and recitals. But I didn’t sight read them. It took time. One of my previous instructors could practically sight read any one of them (or equivalent difficult piece) on the spot.

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 10,906
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 10,906
I will second Bennevis’ suggestion. When I started lessons as a child, no one uttered the words ‘sight-reading’. I just wanted to play as much music I could find to see if I liked it. It was not an exercise nor an assignment—- it was just fun

I would recommend the same thing to anyone else: if you encounter new music you haven’t heard/played, DoN’T GO LISTEN TO IT—-GO PLAY It. Will some exercise work? I doubt it, because it doesn’t give you the variety or the volume. And it sounds like work. How long per day did I do this? No idea. On weekends, I know I would walk by the piano and just decide I wanted some fun playing new music. So I did.

Last edited by dogperson; 05/22/22 09:36 PM.

"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
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,053
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,053
Originally Posted by joe3701
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Am I correct in assuming that most of the Rach and Debussy Preludes are beyond the level of pieces you would be studying at this time? If yes, than you should not be concerned about how you can reach the point of successfully sight reading them.

That’s why it’s not good to assume. You would be incorrect as I’ve played several of them for performances and recitals. But I didn’t sight read them. It took time. One of my previous instructors could practically sight read any one of them (or equivalent difficult piece) on the spot.
I am also very curious what can be used to train this level of sight reading. For the most part, I can technically play many pieces immediately as well, just assume the technical demands aren't too difficult and the problem is just speed of information processing. What would be a good way to progress?

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 32,670
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 32,670
Originally Posted by joe3701
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Am I correct in assuming that most of the Rach and Debussy Preludes are beyond the level of pieces you would be studying at this time? If yes, than you should not be concerned about how you can reach the point of successfully sight reading them.

That’s why it’s not good to assume. You would be incorrect as I’ve played several of them for performances and recitals. But I didn’t sight read them. It took time. One of my previous instructors could practically sight read any one of them (or equivalent difficult piece) on the spot.
Most pianists cannot sight read (at a high level) pieces at the same level as the ones they are studying.

From your questions you appeared to me to not be an advanced pianist but notice I said "Am I correct ...? I did not say you are clearly not at the level to study the preludes you mentioned. You also didn't say which Preludes you've studied and for both the Rach and Debussy the difficulty level varies greatly. If, for example, you studied a piece like Debussy's Fireworks I would be surprised if you could not sight read The Girl With The Flaxen Hair at a pretty high level.

The teachers you mentioned who can sight read the difficult preludes are far more advanced and experienced than you in every area of piano playing. Sight reading ability is generally related to overall pianistic ability although sometimes very good pianists are not great sight readers(when compared to other very good pianists).

The reason you keep on seeing the advice bennevis gave which is the same as what I have given on other threads is because it's the correct advice.

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,592
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,592
Originally Posted by ranjit
I think we can agree that it's important to read a lot. But what about more advanced tips?

- Can you go on for several hours a day, or is it a waste of time? If so, what's the limit and how do you tell? Maybe it's until you have concentration remaining?
- Would it be useful to write music in a certain idiom (like Mozart)?
- What difficulty of material should be your primary focus? How should you push yourself, and in what way? Reading something harder, faster, etc.
- Are there ancillary exercises which help sight reading? How about explicitly trying to drill common patterns into memory directly: would it be useful?
- Many of the teachers I've talked to don't simply ask you to read a lot of material -- they ask you to analyze what went wrong while playing and fix mistakes, and anticipate new positions. Any thoughts along these lines?

It would be amazing if you could share what your experience has been.
You know, I really have no magic bullet on acquiring sight-reading skills.

It really is as straightforward as 'read through everything you can get your hands on, and be totally indiscriminate'. That really was what I did when I was a student: borrowing volumes of music scores from the school music library - everything from Bach and Handel suites to Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven sonatas and variations etc, Chopin waltzes, polonaises, impromptus and mazurkas, Mendelssohn Lieder ohne Worte, Brahms's late piano pieces etc to piano reductions of orchestral and vocal scores. Many of them were beyond my technical standard at the time, but I didn't care - I just loved to 'find things out' for myself, even if I had trouble playing them. I well remember discovering several juicy Schubert tunes in his sonatas, impromptus and the Drei Klavierstücke (D946), for example, and repeatedly played through the ones I liked, eventually learning them for myself. Remember, there was no internet in those days, but my sight-reading 'method' hasn't changed even today - I never look up YT videos of whatever music score I wanted to try out (for sight-reading or to learn). I never regarded my sight-reading as part of my 'practice time'; it was my 'having fun' time, so I had no idea how much time I spent on it. For instance, if I'd borrowed a volume of the complete Schubert sonatas at 4pm (after school finished), I might keep on sight-reading it till tea time (at my boarding school, 6 pm).

I did, and still do compose - deliberately in many different styles, just for fun (nobody sees my compositions, certainly not my music teacher when I was a student) - but I can't say it helps my sight-reading in the least.

No, I never did any drills or specific reading exercises of any sort. All my four teachers ever did was to test me with samples of graded ABRSM sight-reading material few weeks before each exam to ensure my sight-reading was up to scratch, and I don't recall any of them ever giving me specific advice on improvement. (Though of course, my first teacher had already taught me to go through all the steps - look at the key & time signatures, check the music for accidentals etc - before starting.)

As for analyzing and fixing mistakes - that applies to learning new pieces, not sight-reading, where you plough on regardless, keeping in time no matter what happens to the notes. When learning new pieces, my mindset is different: I'd stop and start as often as I needed to, or wanted to, and didn't necessarily play in strict time - in fact, I'd often skip the easy bits that I didn't need to practice, because I knew I could sight-read them.


"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."
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,053
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,053
Originally Posted by dogperson
I would recommend the same thing to anyone else: if you encounter new music you haven’t heard/played, DoN’T GO LISTEN TO IT—-GO PLAY It. Will some exercise work? I doubt it, because it doesn’t give you the variety or the volume. And it sounds like work.
I would assume that we already do this, for the most part. Unfortunately, I don't think that simply playing pieces you like will eventually develop your sight reading optimally, unless the pieces themselves are very simple. An advanced player is likely to read through something like Debussy's La Mer which they find interesting, but in doing so may shortchange their sight-reading development.

It looks like the OP may already be at conservatory, so please keep that in mind.

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,053
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,053
Originally Posted by bennevis
As for analyzing and fixing mistakes - that applies to learning new pieces, not sight-reading, where you plough on regardless, keeping in time no matter what happens to the notes.
One thing my teacher told me, and which I have since internalized, is that when you're unable to sight read something, it's often a hidden technical issue or something similar, and you need to diagnose that. For example, getting to a new position at the last moment (while not looking) can cause you to stumble while reading. That's what I meant.

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 10,906
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 10,906
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by dogperson
I would recommend the same thing to anyone else: if you encounter new music you haven’t heard/played, DoN’T GO LISTEN TO IT—-GO PLAY It. Will some exercise work? I doubt it, because it doesn’t give you the variety or the volume. And it sounds like work.
I would assume that we already do this, for the most part. Unfortunately, I don't think that simply playing pieces you like will eventually develop your sight reading optimally, unless the pieces themselves are very simple. An advanced player is likely to read through something like Debussy's La Mer which they find interesting, but in doing so may shortchange their sight-reading development.

It looks like the OP may already be at conservatory, so please keep that in mind.

Then it looks like I can’t offer any advice that will be helpful. I can only tell you what worked for me.


"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
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,592
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,592
Originally Posted by ranjit
One thing my teacher told me, and which I have since internalized, is that when you're unable to sight read something, it's often a hidden technical issue or something similar, and you need to diagnose that. For example, getting to a new position at the last moment (while not looking) can cause you to stumble while reading. That's what I meant.
When sight-reading, you're not always using the optimum fingering. Things may be more 'jumpy' and there may be more hand movements than strictly necessary. You use whatever fingers you have free at the time to play what's on the score, but that's where having familiarity with lots of patterns make all the difference. For instance, you see an ascending LH arpeggio comprising A flat, E flat, A flat', C coming up, and you instinctively use 5-3-2-1 with wrist rotation, because that pattern - with its fingering - is so familiar.


"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."
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,891
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,891
Originally Posted by joe3701
[...] Rach and Debussy Preludes [...]One of my previous instructors could practically sight read any one of them (or equivalent difficult piece) on the spot.

It's very possible that an instructor - depending upon his/her past training, learning, and experience, has at one time played many of the Debussy and Rachmaninov Preludes. Even if that instructor has not played these works in some time, it may be a question of revisiting rather than prima vista sight-reading, don't you think?

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 250
T
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 250
Originally Posted by joe3701
I've come across a few people in my life who could sight read Debussy & Rachmaninoff preludes as well as other seemingly difficult pieces. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but it was extremely impressive. What is the best way to improve sight reading? Does a tool like Sight Reading Factory help? Any other apps, programs, services, or techniques that you think helps? What do you suggest? Any tricks to becoming the best sight reader out there? Any and all advice is appreciated. Thank you.

Echoing some of what has already been said, and what every great piano teacher says to us, to our dismay: “Practice, practice, practice. Practice makes perfect.” And although none of us are in a hurry to wait, in this case, it’s true.

The brain processes music notation in much the same way it processes any other written language: understanding the basic lexicon, the rules of the lexicon, & memorizing it all. Then, the more you interpret something built with that lexicon, the more you establish those neural pathways, and the more the brain easily accesses the lexicon & the rules of it. Over time, the brain begins to recognize patterns & memorize them, and using those patterns & memorization of things built with the lexicon, is able to interpret entire swaths of the language at a time and with ease. This only comes with immersion and practice.

Personal story: I used to HATE sight reading! HATE! H-A-T-E! Have I made that clear? I feel I should say it once more for emphasis! And I invite you to join me. All together now, with gusto: HATE! grin I hated sight-reading. And, based on your testimony, we were very similar. I could *PLAY* extremely advanced works once I learned them, but *sight-reading* was my weakest skill, and so, despite having the finger technique to play them, learning the pieces took a longer time simply because I had to pore over each measure. In the past few years, though, as I’ve been focused more on building a larger repertoire, I’ve been sight reading more and more pieces. And I’ve seen the skill develop remarkably. I’ve been able to sight-read through entire pieces in a way that I would never have been able to do before.

Now does that mean I’ve gotten as good as Franz Liszt, able to sight-read entire symphonies & complex virtuoso sonatas at will, no. I’d consider myself above average, at best. And, of course there are pauses, restarts, repeats of the beginning notes of a measure over & over sometimes, and it’s not always up to tempo or without mistakes. But sight-reading through entire pieces of complex technical difficulty, was not something I would’ve been able to do 15 years ago. The improvement has been noticeable.


That said, I didn’t use any magic tricks or any “follow these steps and you’ll sight read the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto in one sitting!” systems that promise absurd results. I just practiced.

I’d say do the same. Practice, practice, practice. Notation is a language. Like any language, you have to use it, engage it, read it, over and over, and that’s how the brain masters it.

Originally Posted by ranjit
There have been many threads on the subject, but most advice seems to repeat. I would be very interested in hearing if anyone has some different opinions. There's usually going to be that one person who breezed through while doing something unconventional, or teacher who teaches differently. I'd love to hear their viewpoints.

I think we can agree that it's important to read a lot. But what about more advanced tips?

- Can you go on for several hours a day, or is it a waste of time? If so, what's the limit and how do you tell? Maybe it's until you have concentration remaining?
- Would it be useful to write music in a certain idiom (like Mozart)?
- What difficulty of material should be your primary focus? How should you push yourself, and in what way? Reading something harder, faster, etc.
- Are there ancillary exercises which help sight reading? How about explicitly trying to drill common patterns into memory directly: would it be useful?
- Many of the teachers I've talked to don't simply ask you to read a lot of material -- they ask you to analyze what went wrong while playing and fix mistakes, and anticipate new positions. Any thoughts along these lines?

I'm sure everyone here has their own answers for these questions. I actually haven't seen discussion of this kind, for the most part, on several threads I have come across. It would be amazing if you could share what your experience has been.

Interestingly, I think the reason most advice seems to repeat, is because, for most, the skill & the development of that skill is extremely similar. Of course, there’s “that one person who breezed through while doing something unconventional”, but they usually have a unique talent that everyone else doesn’t have, and their method doesn’t always translate, like Horowitz’s straight fingers & curled up pinky or Argerich’s determination that any kind of technical exercise, whether Hanon or scales, was a detriment to her. For everyone else, generally, the conventional way, or new ways that work for a majority & become conventional over time, may be the best bet above all.

My opinion on some of your questions:

- If you can read a book for several hours a day, you can sight read for several hours a day. The brain processes sight reading the same way it processes reading, for the most part. And just as the more you read, the better you get at reading, and the more you practice a language, the better you get it, the more you sight read, the better you get. And if that means doing it for several hours a day, and if you’re able to, I don’t see why not. Do it for as long as you able to effectively do it and aren’t forcing your way through.

- I think composing music of any style & writing it will help you with sight reading. As with writing out or speaking a language, your ability to then read that language is also benefitted. I also don’t think it has to be of any particular era of Classical, as long as it makes use of all the elements of notion. That said, I don’t think it’s necessary, and if you’re not a composer, and have no desire for it, then I don’t think it’s advisable.

- I think you should play music of the difficulty you’re good at, then move on to the next level. If you’re able to read Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor, you’re probably ready for Traumerei. If you’re able to read Traumerei, you’re ready for Fur Elise. If you’re can read Fur Elise, you’re probably ready for Claire De Lune. If you can read Claire De Lune, you’re ready for Chopin’s Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor. If you can play that, you’re ready for Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-Sharp Minor. If you can play that, you’re ready for the Brahms Intermezzo in A Major. If you can play that, you’re probably ready for the Moonlight Sonata. And so on. I think that pushing yourself is good, but pushing yourself too far above your level can be laborious, and can lead to burnout & cause you to lose motivation. The progress should be organic and built upon skills you already possess.

- There are some sight-reading books which have ancillary exercises. Such as memorizing how chords look at various inversions and positions on the scale or practicing how to read fast passage work to easily recognize notes. However, I think the best way, after you reach a certain level, is to practice with sight-reading music. Just as with language, after a certain level, you no longer use flash cards and sight words; you actually read to develop the skill.

- I’d disagree with those teachers who ask their students not to read new material for practice. “Analyzing what went wrong while playing, fixing mistakes, and anticipating new positions” are different skills. Analyzing what went wrong while playing and fixing mistakes is about memory & performance; specifically your ability to memorize retain what you’ve *already read*. That comes after reading. Anticipating new positions is about technique & muscle memory. Sight-reading is it’s own skill, specifically around interpreting musical language, and it only develops through practice.

Just my thoughts of some of your questions. smile

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 84
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 84
For those of you that consume random pieces for sight reading on a daily basis, where do you get the music from? Is it mostly from books you've collected over time, are you viewing it on a tablet etc?

I would love to do this but I only have a small selection of physical scores currently, and they are mostly at my level or above. Trying to sight read Scriabin sonatas - at my level anyway - is not particularly fun! laugh

I am considering just getting myself some cheap black ink, a comb binding machine and printing out perhaps £100 worth of sheet music from IMSLP etc. Perhaps then I'd have hundreds if not thousands of pages of music to cycle through for sight reading - presumably more than I'd get from buying physical scores for £10 - £20 each.

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 610
MRC Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 610
Excellent advice from Taushi above. I would add this: look for opportunities to play with other musicians. If you know anybody else who plays the piano, see if they would like to read through some piano duets. Singers are always looking for pianists to accompany them. When you're playing music together, you're obliged to concentrate on the essentials: keep the pulse going, try to get the harmonies and the melody right and get used to faking it!


Steinway A grand (1919), Richard Lipp grand (1913), Yamaha P2 upright (1983), Kawai ES-100 (2019)
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,592
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,592
Originally Posted by alexii
For those of you that consume random pieces for sight reading on a daily basis, where do you get the music from? Is it mostly from books you've collected over time, are you viewing it on a tablet etc?

I would love to do this but I only have a small selection of physical scores currently, and they are mostly at my level or above. Trying to sight read Scriabin sonatas - at my level anyway - is not particularly fun! laugh

I am considering just getting myself some cheap black ink, a comb binding machine and printing out perhaps £100 worth of sheet music from IMSLP etc. Perhaps then I'd have hundreds if not thousands of pages of music to cycle through for sight reading - presumably more than I'd get from buying physical scores for £10 - £20 each.
I don't know how much of the standard 'classical rep' you've read through so far, and how many volumes of music scores you have of it. I'd have thought that at your level, you'd have in your collection a lot of Bach (WTC, French & English Suites, Goldberg), Scarlatti sonatas, the complete Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert piano sonatas (maybe also variations, Bagatelles etc too), a lot of Chopin and Schumann, some Mendelssohn, Liszt, Fauré, Grieg, Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, Bartók, and a lot of Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

To that 'standard rep', I'd add Albéniz and Granados.

If you have big chunks missing from the above list (especially if you've never played any of their music), I'd think it would be worth your ££ to buy some cheap volumes of it for your collection, initially to sight-read of course, but maybe to pick out some pieces to add to your rep. You might not think you're interested in learning their music now, but you might in the future. To my mind, music scores never go to waste, even if you only learn one short piece from a whole volume of say, 100 Scarlatti sonatas. Over the years, I've amassed lots of volumes of scores (I normally just go for the cheap editions that are clear and readable - I'm not a music scholar and have zero interest in pursuing the latest Urtext gimmicks), and though they're no longer sight-reading fodder (because I've sight-read through all of them), I still periodically dig out, say, Wagner/Liszt or Smetana (polkas) or Albéniz or Copland or Martinů (polkas & etudes) or Sibelius or even Joplin, and just play through them - quite roughly, not worrying about wrong/missed notes - for fun.

Hopefully, I've given you some idea of what to download from IMSLP, if you don't want to buy the scores. For sight-reading, the well-known composers we don't associate with piano (though some were excellent pianists themselves) like Dvořák, Smetana, Rossini and Sibelius wrote lots of piano music that are eminently sight-readable and - even more importantly, IMO - fun to play, with juicy tunes and harmonies just waiting to be discovered. And Albéniz's and Granados's Suite española and Danzas españolas respectively are much less intricate than their Iberia and Goyescas, and perfect for sight-reading enjoyment - and evocatively tuneful (making one long to be in Andalucía now, despite the current heat wave whistle). Don't forget Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte and Grieg's Lyric Pieces too, if you haven't played much of either.

Here are samples of what you could be sight-reading:



"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."
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 10,906
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 10,906
I started playing long before the internet and imslp. I would look at other music I would find fun to play such as ‘best of the Beatles —120 pieces for $9, used; some Broadway musicals, anthologies of rags, book of Christmas favorites, Piazzolla , Gershwin, jazz, plus classical—- you can get used volumes, cheap, of anything you would find fun to play.

In addition to imslp, I would look at music stores or bookstore bins, online for used music. .


"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
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 32,670
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 32,670
Originally Posted by ranjit
One thing my teacher told me, and which I have since internalized, is that when you're unable to sight read something, it's often a hidden technical issue or something similar, and you need to diagnose that. For example, getting to a new position at the last moment (while not looking) can cause you to stumble while reading. That's what I meant.
That's why it's important to learn to be able to look at one's hands when necessary while using the score whether one is sight reading or not.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

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
Reshaping hammers by gang filing
by electone2007 - 07/01/22 07:13 PM
Regarding hammer swing test
by electone2007 - 07/01/22 06:59 PM
Kawai NV5 sustain pedal problem
by John Dean - 07/01/22 05:41 PM
Grand piano cover
by Belger1900 - 07/01/22 05:14 PM
Piano books by Debbie Hess
by song of the bride - 07/01/22 05:08 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics213,764
Posts3,204,732
Members105,689
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