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Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356018
03/02/03 09:28 PM
03/02/03 09:28 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,336
TX
valarking Offline
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valarking  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,336
TX
Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Quote
Originally posted by valarking:
[b]It can't be that hard if I'm learning it one year into lessons.
Are you learning the original or a simplified version? It would be almost unheard of to be able to play this piece in the original version after only one year of lessons. In fact, I would say that more than 90% of people who play piano will never have the chops to play the Maple Leaf in tempo.

And I agree with the poster who said that assigning pieces a numerical ranking on a 1-10 scale is silly. It makes more sense to use words like Beginner. Intermediate etc. although these are also somewhat vague. It makes even more sense to rate the difficulty level of a piece by comparing it to a well known works (this is the method used in Clavier Magazine).[/b]
Original Version, no arrangements for me.
I can play it anywhere from 80 bpm to 130 bpm, but I play it at 88 bpm most of the time. I'm half way through right now and going at a steady pace.
The Pathetique Sonata 1st Movement is taking a loooong time on the other hand.

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Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356019
03/02/03 09:57 PM
03/02/03 09:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 46
United States
C
ClassicalPianoLisztner Offline
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ClassicalPianoLisztner  Offline
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C

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 46
United States
My Spanish teacher said he could play it in 7th grade. Would that be considered good or not? BTW, what is an approximate grade level for this piece?


Who Says Classical is Dead?
----------------------------------
Friend: What's your favorite song?
ME: Hungarian Rhapsody #2.
Friend: That stupid Queen song?!?
ME: Ugh!
Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356020
03/02/03 10:21 PM
03/02/03 10:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 643
Durham, North Carolina
ChemicalGrl Offline
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ChemicalGrl  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 643
Durham, North Carolina
I played this piece when I was in the 6th grade in its original version, and even performed it in public a couple of times. I remember it being very fun to play, but was quite taxing on the forearms. My friends used to call me Popeye because of the effect it had on my forearms.

Haven't played it in years. Makes me want to find it and dust it off ...


Regards,
Lyn F.
Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356021
03/03/03 03:37 PM
03/03/03 03:37 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,380
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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Quote
Originally posted by valarking:
. I'm half way through right now and going at a steady pace.
The Pathetique Sonata 1st Movement is taking a loooong time on the other hand.[/QB]
You haven't gotten to the hardest part yet !

Also, playing the Pathetique well after one year is possible only if you are some kind if pianistic genius (the type who could easily become a performing professional)

Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356022
03/03/03 04:26 PM
03/03/03 04:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,336
TX
valarking Offline
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valarking  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,336
TX
[quote]Originally posted by pianoloverus:
[b]
Code
2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1
   4, 5, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5
But I'm considering:

Code
2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1
   4, 5, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5
It's pretty fun to work with and I'm progressing slowly, so as not to rush it and ruining fingering and technique.

Right now I'm finished with Turkish March and I will audition for piano class at my new high school with it. I hope I do well.

Now I'm getting off topic though.

I think Maple Leaf Rag is one of Joplin's easier rags.

Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356023
03/03/03 04:44 PM
03/03/03 04:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 54
California
B
bond Offline OP
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B

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 54
California
valarking sounds like a customer of mine - when we are HALFWAY through, he starts commenting on how easy the ENTIRE project was....... :rolleyes:

Advises that "Maple Leaf Rag is one of Joplin's easier rags" yet he has not finished it!


[Linked Image]
Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356024
03/03/03 04:47 PM
03/03/03 04:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 171
New York
B
Bill G. Offline
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Bill G.  Offline
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B

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 171
New York
Quote
Some of Rifkin's playing of Joplin is too slow for me but at least his effect is always musical.
Ted

Great post! I agree that it usually sounds if people are trying to beat the clock when they play Joplin, but I kinda liked Rifkins playing. It seems more elegant at the slower tempo. What's the standard 90bpm?

Bill

Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356025
03/03/03 05:15 PM
03/03/03 05:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,777
Auckland, New Zealand
T
Ted Offline
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Ted  Offline
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T

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,777
Auckland, New Zealand
Bill:

That's the right word - "elegant". Rifkin is always that. I think he is superb in the slower, noble or melancholy rags, Fig Leaf, Magnetic and the like. In the more joyous pieces (e.g. Searchlight, Pineapple) I'm very impressed with the playing of Scott Kirby.


"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
Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356026
03/04/03 08:59 AM
03/04/03 08:59 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,380
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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Quote
Originally posted by Ted:
Bill:

That's the right word - "elegant". Rifkin is always that. I think he is superb in the slower, noble or melancholy rags, Fig Leaf, Magnetic and the like. In the more joyous pieces (e.g. Searchlight, Pineapple) I'm very impressed with the playing of Scott Kirby.
Do you think the more joyous rags (I would put the Mapole Leaf in that category) should in general be played somewhat faster than the other rags?

Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356027
03/04/03 09:08 AM
03/04/03 09:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 9,798
Oklahoma City
JBryan Offline
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Oklahoma City
I play the Maple Leaf at a fairly lively tempo but I prefer to play the Pineapple a bit slower. The Magnetic I play maybe somewhere in between. Scott Joplin's New Rag is another fairly lively piece that I play about the same tempo as the Maple Leaf. None of them should be played too fast and that is the tendency as has been stated. However, most recordings I hear seem to miss the point and sound more like they belong as background to a silent film than, really, genuinely soulful music with definite African roots. There is just an elusive quality rhythmically that cannot be captured by musical notation and must be discovered by playing it. Just my .02. Keep the change. laugh


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
Re: Difficulty of Maple Leaf Rag? (original version) #356028
03/04/03 02:46 PM
03/04/03 02:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,777
Auckland, New Zealand
T
Ted Offline
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Ted  Offline
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T

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,777
Auckland, New Zealand
Pianoloverus:

Yes, I think so. On occasions I even vary the speed for different strains. A case in point is "Pineapple". The third strain has always seemed to me to have a plaintive, lullaby quality, unique in Joplin's rags, which has never sounded right to me played at the speed of the other three strains. Therefore I've always played it more slowly; this also makes a more effective contrast with the triumphant final strain. I'm also sometimes a bit naughty in the third strain and "bend" the rhythm of the three note motif - partly, but not completely - toward a triplet.

Another thing I always try to avoid is a perfect copy when a strain is repeated, perhaps not to the extent of adding notes as Kirby does (although the way he does it is very accomplished). What I do sometimes is use a different physical technique the second time through.

Jim:

No, I don't much like that "silent film" interpretation of ragtime either. It's the sort of effect you get when you key a rag into a music programme on a computer. But hey, lots of people enjoy it I suppose.

You're right about this "elusive quality". Most serious players of ragtime agree that this is so, and that sometimes they "get it" and sometimes not. The good ones just achieve it more often. I've been playing all these things by Joplin and Scott for about thirty years now and I still surprise myself every so often and think, "Why the heck haven't I felt that before ?"


"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
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