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Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969415 03/06/08 12:33 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by gmm1:
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Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
[b] To play dumbed-down arrangements of great works before you are ready for the real thing is showing disrespect to these composers. They worked hard to fill the world with beautiful music. So should you.
Wow, that's rough. I usually respect your posts, Mr_Kitty, not that I always understand them.

This is out of line. You have been playing for 14 years. Good for you. Someday, maybe I can approach your level, but at 60 with 2 years in, I doubt it. So, is the music I love beyond me forever? I think not. So, for now, I will pick the pieces I wish to play without disrespecting anyone. I love Bach and Chopin and I show that love by playing the versions I can reach today. As far as I know, Chopin did not publish versions of the Raindrop for beginners, so I will use what I can reach today, and maybe someday reach the original. I fail to see that as disrespect in any manner.

We disagree, sir. [/b]
EXACTLY. laugh

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Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969416 03/06/08 12:45 PM
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Eighty8 asks:

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Hisalone, what version of the Cannon in D are you on now? I have outgrown a couple of easier versions and would like to continue working on a new version.
Thanks.
Denes Agay's solo piano transcription. Perhaps not the most complex version ever, but beautiful nonetheless and within my level to learn. That can be found here.

http://www.presser.com/marketing/spotlite/pachelbel/pachelbel.htm

If you want to see how it looks let me know.

Thanks for asking.

Hisalone


Psa 33:1-3 ¶ Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

Ya think God would permit 88 strings?

Hisalone
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969417 03/06/08 12:48 PM
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I actually prefer some of the easier arrangements of the classical pieces anyway, sometimes they even sound better. I can still remember a Bach Aria that I played out of the Michael Aaron Book 3. Even though it was a simplified version of an Aria by Bach, it was BEAUTUFUL! wink

I say play which ever arrangement makes you feel good. After all most of us are playing for our own enjoyment anyway.

Remember sometimes the more simple things in life are more beautiful................... smile

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969418 03/06/08 12:50 PM
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It's perfectly fine to disagree.

I would like to reiterate that I was 2 years in once as well.
I wanted to play all sorts of things I wasn't ready for.
Instead I played original works that were well within my grasp.
I am not being snobbish or arrogant.
There is plenty of beautiful music available to the pianist at all levels of difficulty.
I see no reason to play simplified arrangements.
In my opinion, these arrangements are disrespectful to the composer.

I respect the opinion that these arrangements are "previews" of bigger things to come and that they give joy to people who are unable to play the originals.

My opinion happens to be very different.

If playing some crappy arrangement of the RachPag 18th variation makes you happy than by all means, go ahead and play it.

I see no need to play arrangements as there are so many beautiful pieces that you could play instead.

If they give you joy, then I am truly happy for you.

Although I enjoy nothing more than playing the piano, I play for very different reasons than my own enjoyment. I play to enrich the lives of others.
Serious audiences that pay money to hear pianists are not interested in arranged versions for beginners. You must understand that this is where I'm coming from.

I realize that adult beginners are playing largely for their own enjoyment and are not trying to become concert pianists.
As I have said several time-if it makes you happy, then by all means go right ahead and do it.

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969419 03/06/08 01:08 PM
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I was distraught when the first of these kinds of works came my way. There were recognizeable melodies, but they seemed "empty". I did not understand why I was given such music to play. Now I understand that it was to make me happy as an adult student. It seems that there are two distinct mindsets, and teachers must have a dickens of a time figuring out whom they are teaching to which purpose. I am in my 50's so I also don't have all the time in the world. Now I can understand the enjoyment in either view, but they are two different ways of enjoying (I think).

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969420 03/06/08 02:15 PM
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Well, I am very surprised at the amount of response to my simple post. I thank you all and I want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed them all.

My first watered-down Chopin piece was from a set of home study lessons. It was only 16 measures called "Valse in A Minor" and it represented the beginning theme of what I know from listening to Chopin's works as "Waltz in A Minor Opus 34, No.2".

I can't tell you how profoundly that simple beginner rendition of a truly great piece affected me. And you should see the sheet music. You'd laugh. I mean it is completely watered down. The usual long trill is completely gone. You'll know the one I mean if you listen to it. It's right at the beginning. But the music still lashed out and grabbed my soul. And here is the important part. It was music that was being played by my own fingers. I was startled. I still find it hard to believe that so few simple notes could have such an affect. That's the true genius of Chopin. And even more importantly, it inspired me. It inspired me because I was actually playing a rendition of a truly great piece, a piece that I had heard many times in recordings and on the radio, a piece that I was proud I could recreate even if I did so only partially. Indeed, the experience gave me enthusiasm to practice and learn more.

Hisalone was very correct in pointing out that people like me really play for themselves. But, and now I really risk making a fool of myself, I do occasionally harbor thoughts of original composers looking down at me from behind a cloud in the sky as I play. I have statue/busts on my piano of Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin and I imagine them looking at me and passing judgment on my playing. And although I admit that Mr-Kitty may be correct in saying that I butcher their works, I prefer to think that they would still approve of my efforts. I know I approve, and so does my wife. Does anyone else really matter?

I can appreciate that for someone like Mr_Kitty, an accomplished pianist of 14 years experience, playing piano is so highly competitive that they must define for themselves very high standards. But I also wonder if it is prudent for pianists of 14 years experience to cast such harsh judgment on a beginner's efforts, especially, as gmm1 points out, I do not have enough years left on this earth to ever catch up to you. Indeed, from what I can guess about you, I could never catch up in a dozen lifetimes. I simply do not have your talent. Perhaps that is why I tend to romanticize my meager efforts. To some it may seem like a lot of silliness, but at the same time people like me often view the intense attitude of many accomplished pianists as even sillier. But I did enjoy your response. It certainly has taught me that there are many ways to look at piano playing. I only hope that I do not have nightmares tonight dreaming of Chopin looking down at me from behind dark storm clouds, showing the devil's horns, brandishing wolf's teeth, and firing lightning bolts at me for butchering his precious creations.


Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969421 03/06/08 02:21 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
It's perfectly fine to disagree.

I am not being snobbish or arrogant.

There is plenty of beautiful music available to the pianist at all levels of difficulty.

I see no reason to play simplified arrangements.

In my opinion, these arrangements are disrespectful to the composer.

I respect the opinion that these arrangements are "previews" of bigger things to come and that they give joy to people who are unable to play the originals.

If playing some crappy arrangement of the RachPag 18th variation makes you happy than by all means, go ahead and play it.

If they give you joy, then I am truly happy for you.

Serious audiences that pay money to hear pianists are not interested in arranged versions for beginners.

I realize that adult beginners are playing largely for their own enjoyment and are not trying to become concert pianists.
it.
Thanks for permission to disagree.

It's obvious to even the most casual observer that there's a strong tendency in your posts here to exhibit a small degree of arrogance & snobbishness. Otherwise, why refer to simplified classical pieces as "dumbed-down" or "crappy"?

Why, yes there is plenty of music available to pianists of all levels of difficulty - INCLUDING simplified versions of more demanding & extended classical works.

The reasons you were seeking that these simplified versions should be played are: (1) they are there; (2) we like them and (3) because we want to.

How can one disrespect a composer by playing his works - even simplified versions? If you really wanted to look at this in the extreme, then if you don't play a certain piece exactly the same way as and just as good as the composer does (did) you too are disrespecting him! How demandingly goofy or extreme do you want to get about this immaterial point?

If you admit that playing these simplified pieces gives people enjoyment (as you do) then why aren't your encouraging them to do so instead of discouraging them from doing so?

Good gravy! You're actually right about one thing - audiences not paying to hear these simplified versions - but why is that something to be discussed here at all? Nobody ever said they would! This is totally irrelevant.

Why do I have this vague impression that you're "putting us on" (or at least hoping you are?

JF


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969422 03/06/08 02:22 PM
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Heres where I stand.. take it or leave it.

I am of the opinion that if you are playing easy pieces ,and you know there are easy pieces, and you are learning from the playing of those pieces.. you are not doing any disservice to yourself or the original composer. NONE.

Now, if those pieces are a crutch to your progression.. or if you get to the point where you can play a simplified piece in your sleep and aren't moving forward.. that's the point where you do yourself and the original composer the disservice.

There is nothing wrong with finding music at or a little above your level and using it to pull your skill up. Nothing. The flaw, in my book, comes with the stopping.

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969423 03/06/08 02:37 PM
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Thanks for being sarcastic, John Frank.
I'm actually right about one thing?
I've been training to become a concert pianist for 3/4 of my life, John. I know a thing or two.

I'm not putting you or anyone else on.
I merely stated an opinion. I'm sorry you took offense.
I don't think playing arrangements is the best way to learn. In fact, I find it's actually disrespectful to the original composer.
That said, however, the original composer has been dead for a long time.
If it makes you happy to play some lowly arrangement of a great work that does not do piece justice whatsoever, go ahead. It's in your home, for your enjoyment. Go nuts.
As an amateur, you have the luxury of playing simply for your own enjoyment.

As a professional, I am in a different position.
Being in this position changes one's opinion.
If you were me you would feel the same way.
If I were you I would agree with you entirely.
There's no need for anyone to take offense.

There is also no need for sarcasm.

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969424 03/06/08 02:45 PM
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i hate when i see in a book a simplified version of a tune. I want to learn the peices as they were intended to be heard. sure that might prevent me from playing some peices right now, but that's alright...it'll just be that much more rewarding when i get there wink

I hope some of the peices I've already started to learn are not dumbed down at all because I would be mad about that hehe :p

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969425 03/06/08 03:04 PM
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Duplicate post - sorry.


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969426 03/06/08 03:15 PM
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For the amateur, there's no right or wrong here. It's a matter of preference. Isn't the bottom line that amateurs should play the music that they enjoy playing? Or that their audience (presumably friends and family) want to hear?

If that's a simplified version of a difficult piece, there's nothing wrong with that. It's simply a choice that the pianist has made. IMO, it's better to play an easier piece well, than to stumble all over a harder piece.

But it's also perfectly reasonable for an amateur to not play the simplified versions, because they want to experience the original when they have sufficient skill. Much like not reading the abridged versions of novels. There's plenty of easier original pieces available in the literature.


Mary


Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969427 03/06/08 03:39 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
Thanks for being sarcastic, John Frank.
I'm actually right about one thing?

I'm sorry you took offense.

In fact, I find it's actually disrespectful to the original composer.

If it makes you happy to play some lowly arrangement of a great work that does not do piece justice whatsoever, go ahead.

As an amateur, you have the luxury of playing simply for your own enjoyment.As a professional, I am in a different position.

Being in this position changes one's opinion.
If you were me you would feel the same way.
I'm sorry you misconstrued my meaning & intention Mr-Kitty - I wasn't offended at all & I wasn't trying to be sarcastic - when I said you were right about one thing it was merely a factual statement - it didn't see any others in your post.

As far as being disrespectful to the composer, you keep saying that but you do not explain how or why - some details on your thoughts please. And you didn't respond to my extreme example to you about this.

Yes, it makes me happy to play some lowly (as you say) arrangement of a great work - yet another derisive adjective to go along with your dumbed-down and crappy - thank you.

You understand my position on this matter as an amateur, and I understand your position as a professional. What I don't understand - or more precisely what I can't accept - is your position as a professional TOWARDS us amateurs and the music we play (including lowly, dumbed-down, crappy versions of classical masterpieces). The term condescension keeps popping into my mind for some strange reason.

And finally, it simply boggles my mind how you know what I would think or feel about this if I were you. Long distance mind reading among your talents, sir?

JF


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969428 03/06/08 04:02 PM
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Mr_Kitty
I'm a little confused about why you, an accomplished professional, choose to negatively criticize amateur beginners for playing simplified versions of the music that you, as an advanced pianist, are able to play. Of course it is not surprising that you yourself aspire to a high standard. But to criticize beginners for not having the same standard, beginners who probably have no hope of ever reaching your level? To accuse them of being disrespectful to original composers? That's cruel.

You say you're a professional pianist. Let me remind you that a large percentage of your audience consists of amateurs like Kawai, HI, JohnFrank, and OREZ_ENO. These are people who are interested in playing piano themselves. These are people who might admire a person such as yourself who plays professionally. These are people who love the music that you are able to play. And these are people who can be easily hurt by the kind of accusations that you have rendered against them. What exactly are you trying to accomplish by personally insulting their efforts in music? It seems to me that after being subjected to your pompous, bigoted, and condescending attitude these people might be a lot less likely to pay good money to see you play, no matter how good you are. These are your customers. Why don't you respect them? Indeed, the next time I am in Toronto I will certainly be apprehensive about going to any recital out of fear that the pianist may be you.

Learn to get along with people, or you'll soon find yourself playing to an empty audience.

Oh, one last message to OREZ_ENO. I have visited heaven often during my many near death experiences and I have spoken to Frederic Chopin himself. He wants you to know that he approves very much of your rendition of Valse in A Minor. But he asks that you try to play it just a little faster.


When a door is partially open, it is ajar. So, when a jar is partially open why isn't it adoor?
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969429 03/06/08 04:48 PM
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I am wondering quietly to myself which is an insult, and which a compliment in opening the door a crack. However, I cannot find the words to express it more clearly. The perceptions are too disparate.

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969430 03/06/08 05:26 PM
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Iuapparc - MR_Kitty's main maladjustment could very well be his relative youth - not quite 21 apparently from his profile - and the attendant immaturity that often resides in one at that age - not that this is an acceptable excuse but it could go a long way in terms of explaining his need for an attitudinal adjustment concerning amateur pianists and the music he feels they should/should not play - there is an old Pennsylvania Dutch expression which covers this situation which goes something like:

"We grow to soon old and too late wise". (something like that anyway).

I get the distinct impression he's over here in the Adult Beginner Forum "slumming" and could be (and should be) spending his time much more productively in one of the Forums for advanced players, which he clearly is (and if you don't believe it just ask him!).

Anyway, enough about this. Somebody should slap me silly for attempting to reason with such unreasonable gentlemen. It's a fruitless and thankless task.

JF


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969431 03/06/08 05:44 PM
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I am more interested in what a person has to know and can offer of that knowledge, than that person's age, which is immaterial.

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969432 03/06/08 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by Matt H:
faucon,
Was that simplified Musette in the Schaum blue book? I played that one and then the real version and had the same experience as you describe. Though when I started the easier version I didn't know it was a simplification. I remember thinking, I can't believe Bach wrote something this easy! I must be awesome!
Hi, Matt H, I know what you mean! smile Actually it was an arrangement by Clifford Evans, a concert pianist--arranged more I believe to teach legato/staccato playing than to substitute for the original. Then I tried playing a slightly easier-than-original transposition in G, but had a little trouble and dropped it for a while. After learning a little more technique through other pieces, when I returned to the original 'Musette' it didn't seem so hard any more! I still think the abridged version helped me to get a feeling for staccato & legato playing. It didn't substitute for the original--more like a stepping stone.

Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969433 03/06/08 06:48 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
It's perfectly fine to disagree.
Serious audiences that pay money to hear pianists are not interested in arranged versions for beginners.
A valid point. I will never give a concert, so it is not a consideration. Although, I do attend concerts, and attendees tend to be a little more lenient than you suggest.

For your kind consideration:

Liberace
Igudesman & Joo
Victor Borge
Katzenjammer
Wayland Pickard
Chico Marx
Morecambe and Wise
Les Dawson

And many many more. Absolute perfection reproducing the original score does not always seem to be required.


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
Re: "Real" v.s. Easy Pieces?
#969434 03/06/08 06:55 PM
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Not everyone of us who decide to learn piano want to become concert pianist, though I respect their skill, talent and dedication. I personally at 55 just want to play songs I like to listen to so they are enjoyable for anyone within ear shot of me.
I ride bikes and race but never aspired to be in the Tour de France. Learned to fly without needing to fly jets.
I think most in this forum are close to the same.
This isn't " The Adult Beginner Concert Pianist"
Forum after all. wink

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