Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
I'm just curious. For those who have to sight-read things as a part of your profession (stuff like music for auditions or musical theatre rep), do you usually deliberately leave out notes?
How do people sight-read pieces at a fast tempo? Or is it about faking? How do you fake it?
Sorry, I know there are already abunch of sightreading threads going around, but I feel that you can't have enough said about sight-reading =]
Leaving out notes: often. Of course it depends on the repertoire. If it's something that's actually composed for the piano then I try to play as many of the notes as possible, and I can get 100% for things that aren't too difficult. If it's an orchestral reduction or a figured bass realisation then I'll scan the harmonies, follow the melody carefully and improvise as needed (this is something you don't learn overnight, it takes a lot of practice). For a lot of orchestral reductions, it's silly to even try to play all the notes.
Fast tempos: if the piece follows standard patterns (scales, arpeggios, broken chords) and if you've been doing your technical work then it shouldn't be a problem. If either of those things isn't true then you do need to leave stuff out. As an accompanist, first and foremost you need to give the right harmony at the right time, and make sure you are always listening.
To put it bluntly: the first requirement is to make a noise on the first beat of every bar! ("bar" == "measure" for our American readers)
For professional level sight reading, knowing what to leave out is an absolutely fundamental skill. Noone will praise you if you play lots of notes but either drown out a singer or fail to stay in time with them. Simpler is better.
It's a good test of your theoretical knowledge. Do you know how/why the harmonies work, which notes are essential and which can be safely omitted?