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Delusions of memory

Posted By: Nahum

Delusions of memory - 07/28/19 07:48 PM

I'm currently working on a solo fragment from arrangement , 11 bars long. Since I am its author, I have no problem understanding what is happening there and what is the musical logic. However, I have a problem with the eighth bar. I.e. I can play it in tempo (74 MM) separately many times without problems; I can play in a tempo all the other bars, too, without any problems. However, when I try to tie everything together, also in tempo , I inevitably stop in front of the indicated piece; neither the hands nor the head remember what follows next. Imagine that the day before yesterday and yesterday I worked on it for 3 hours, today it is 5 hours, but there is no improvement. It is interesting that only exactly in this place!


[Linked Image]

I would say this: music in previous measures pushes the ending out from auditory and tactile memory; and at the same time between all the other bars this does not happen.

Maybe someone will have an idea how to approach this (playing at a slow pace is already a completed stage).
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/28/19 08:06 PM

Hi Nahum - despite all the memorisation videos and tips, everyone is unique in the way they memorise. For some the aural part comes first, for others the visual, or the analytical and the motor elements. And we all different in how good we are at each part so our reliance on each varies. Even with the motor elements this can be different for both hands - my right hand automatically memorises almost everything but the left hand is a complete numpty. I can only play a piece from memory if I memorise the left hand!

Does this help you? Probably not, but I can only suggest that you look at each element that you use to memorise and see if in some way you can alter that. And I really don't think that it in any way helps to spend hours on one section. I use 'short' intense sessions, usually around 20 mins then have a break and when I do the next session it may be on something completely different. The other thing is to make sure you get a good nights sleep. It is amazing how much you learn during the night.
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/29/19 06:14 AM

Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Hi Nahum - despite all the memorisation videos and tips, everyone is unique in the way they memorise. .
Of course, Colin Miles; and everyone should know the features of their own memory. I am talking about something specific: pushing out the memory about next fragment by execution of previous . My visual memory is very weak, and the note text practically does not hold at all. The memory of a subsequent music is in the hands and in the internal ear; real sounds and playing movements sometimes block mental path to the next; and very stubbornly - as in this unusual case.
BTW, for those who do not know this: exactly this phenomenon is the main obstacle to rhythmic   sight-reading.
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/29/19 06:44 AM

Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Hi Nahum - despite all the memorisation videos and tips, everyone is unique in the way they memorise. .
Of course, Colin Miles; and everyone should know the features of their own memory. I am talking about something specific: pushing out the memory about next fragment by execution of previous . My visual memory is very weak, and the note text practically does not hold at all. The memory of a subsequent music is in the hands and in the internal ear; real sounds and playing movements sometimes block mental path to the next; and very stubbornly - as in this unusual case.
BTW, for those who do not know this: exactly this phenomenon is the main obstacle to rhythmic   sight-reading.

Hi Nahum - I have recently read a book, 'Why we sleep' by Matthew Walker. I would highly recommend it to everyone. For pianists who need to memorise it describes how sleep is so important to learning. If we don't sleep properly then our ability to consolidate what we have been learning during the day is 'damaged'. I certainly don't think that spending hours trying to learn one particular section is going to acheive anything. If it is possible I suggest leaving it alone for a few days and come back to it afresh.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/29/19 11:54 AM

Originally Posted by Nahum

BTW, for those who do not know this: exactly this phenomenon is the main obstacle to rhythmic   sight-reading.


That's interesting. Could you explain that a little bit more? I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/29/19 12:00 PM

Originally Posted by Nahum
I'm currently working on a solo fragment from arrangement , 11 bars long. Since I am its author, I have no problem understanding what is happening there and what is the musical logic. However, I have a problem with the eighth bar. I.e. I can play it in tempo (74 MM) separately many times without problems; I can play in a tempo all the other bars, too, without any problems. However, when I try to tie everything together, also in tempo , I inevitably stop in front of the indicated piece; neither the hands nor the head remember what follows next. Imagine that the day before yesterday and yesterday I worked on it for 3 hours, today it is 5 hours, but there is no improvement. It is interesting that only exactly in this place!


[Linked Image]

I would say this: music in previous measures pushes the ending out from auditory and tactile memory; and at the same time between all the other bars this does not happen.

Maybe someone will have an idea how to approach this (playing at a slow pace is already a completed stage).



Interesting problem.
If it is always the same problem in the same place, rather than "trying to tie everything together" I'd try practicing 2 notes, the one before forgetting and the first forgotten one and STOP. The way you have marked the score it looks like this is beat 3 of the second to last measure. Do this 5 times in a row smoothly. Then leave the keyboard and get a drink of water or check the mail or something.

For me, working on the same problem for 3 hours would be a huge mistake.
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/29/19 03:31 PM

Originally Posted by TimR


That's interesting. Could you explain that a little bit more? I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.

Take a look at the answer to your post-

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2873669/re-sight-reading-basics.html#Post2873669


Originally Posted by malkin


Interesting problem.
If it is always the same problem in the same place, rather than "trying to tie everything together" I'd try practicing 2 notes, the one before forgetting and the first forgotten one and STOP. The way you have marked the score it looks like this is beat 3 of the second to last measure. Do this 5 times in a row smoothly. Then leave the keyboard and get a drink of water or check the mail or something.

For me, working on the same problem for 3 hours would be a huge mistake.
I did just that, only more than 5 times. And I also took breaks - once every 40 minutes; This is an exact dose of effort in working with the student in class. 3 hours of work is the time allotted in this session to achieve the goal, not for continuous play.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/29/19 06:36 PM

I'm a pretty slow learner. It sometimes takes me several days or weeks to work out a particularly difficult problem.

The way I see it, I can keep trying or I can give up. If I keep trying, it is possible that I might get it eventually. If I give up it is certain that I will never get it.
Posted By: MichaelJK

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/29/19 06:47 PM

Let me try to offer some ideas you might not have considered. Sometimes, unconventional thinking is required, especially when you've spent a lot of time banging your head against a wall. I can tell that you've tried many different things to get this to work, and still you're frustrated.

Originally Posted by Nahum

However, when I try to tie everything together, also in tempo , I inevitably stop in front of the indicated piece; neither the hands nor the head remember what follows next.


When I read this, what jumps out at me is that there are at least two separate problems here (actually, there may be more, but let's focus on two):

1. You inevitably stop at a certain spot
2. You don't remember what follows next

My suggestion is to try looking at these as two separate problems for the moment.

One of these is easier to solve than the other is. So, can you solve the first problem? That is, can you get it so that you never stop at this particular spot (even if you play it completely wrong)? It may not solve everything, but it will take you a step closer, since you won't have to deal with the first problem anymore. Once that's done, we can break down the second problem into smaller problems, and solve those one at a time.

How does this sound to you?
Posted By: malkin

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/29/19 10:26 PM

Originally Posted by MichaelJK


When I read this, what jumps out at me is that there are at least two separate problems here (actually, there may be more, but let's focus on two):

1. You inevitably stop at a certain spot
2. You don't remember what follows next

My suggestion is to try looking at these as two separate problems for the moment.




I like this.
Thank you!
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/30/19 12:00 AM

Originally Posted by Nahum
I'm currently working on a solo fragment from arrangement , 11 bars long. Since I am its author, I have no problem understanding what is happening there and what is the musical logic. However, I have a problem with the eighth bar. I.e. I can play it in tempo (74 MM) separately many times without problems; I can play in a tempo all the other bars, too, without any problems. However, when I try to tie everything together, also in tempo , I inevitably stop in front of the indicated piece; neither the hands nor the head remember what follows next. Imagine that the day before yesterday and yesterday I worked on it for 3 hours, today it is 5 hours, but there is no improvement. It is interesting that only exactly in this place!


[Linked Image]

I would say this: music in previous measures pushes the ending out from auditory and tactile memory; and at the same time between all the other bars this does not happen.

Maybe someone will have an idea how to approach this (playing at a slow pace is already a completed stage).


Hi Nahum,

Interestingly, it appears that your problem spot is right at the transition of 3-note RH chords to 2-note RH intervals (octaves).

How about try this:

Play measures 7-9 hands together, but play the RH part as only octaves in these measures. (In other words, leave out the middle note of the chords when you get to them.) That way, your RH will be doing the same interval all the way through, and there will be no transition from chords to octaves midstream. Then try adding back in the inner chord tones when you can play everything evenly as RH octaves and LH single notes.

There's another transition in your problem area, and that is rhythmically. You've got a 3-against-2 pattern in ms. 6, and the LH triplets continue in ms. 7. Then you resume the 3-against-2 in ms. 8, but suddenly have to do all triplets on beat 4 of that measure. Might your hesitation in the marked spot be because your RH changes to triplets for just that one beat and nowhere else? Are you hesitating before striking the B naturals in the middle of beat 4? The F down to B jump at the beginning of that beat is the widest interval in the problem section, and also is complicated by the fact one must get to it quicker because it's within a triplet rather than a duplet.

I think it would be easier to keep the 3-against-2 rhythm all the way through the measure, if possible. I don't know which note of the RH triplet on beat 4 you'd want to take out, though, to turn the beat into a duplet.

If you keep the RH triplet on beat 4 of ms. 8, I strongly recommend listening closely to the LH triplets in ms. 5-8, to help guide you rhythmically when the RH joins the LH in triplets.

Just a curiosity: Why do you have G natural marked multiple times in RH ms. 8? I understand the first one is there as a reminder that the Gb of the previous measure is no longer in effect, but I don't think you need G natural marked three additional times. It clutters up the score more, which might also be a complicating factor in reading the score with enough fluency to be able to play without hesitations in that measure.

Just a few thoughts.

Edited to add: Have you tried tapping the rhythms on the closed piano lid? Is any hesitation present doing that? If that works, try adding in notes singly to play in rhythm, hands together, then gradually build up to all the notes.


Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/30/19 06:49 AM

Originally Posted by MichaelJK

That is, can you get it so that you never stop at this particular spot (even if you play it completely wrong)? It may not solve everything, but it will take you a step closer, since you won't have to deal with the first problem anymore. Once that's done, we can break down the second problem into smaller problems, and solve those one at a time.
How does this sound to you?
Yes, I tried this method too, but I have a big problem with it: at the present age, the lion's part of working on keyboard is aimed at an accurate and clean hit on the correct keys; and here improvement occurs after hours of uninterrupted work, as opposed to learning by heart, requiring frequent interruptions. In addition to this, experience shows that after a week’s breaks a dirty playing returns; and generally playing the piano turned into a lottery : will I get it or not? Therefore, in deliberate misses on the keys in this particular case, I do not see much sense.


Andamento, thank you, I liked your idea of ​​playing with octaves!
Quote
Just a curiosity: Why do you have G natural marked multiple times in RH ms. 8?
For resonance with the left hand, including the gradations of right pedal. Analyzing the difficulties of transition, my impression is that there is a certain problem of hands and fingers coordination : first, leaps in opposite directions to the same interval, but landing on different fingers; then parallel movement in jumps, but at different intervals. In addition, need to find the exact geometry of the movements in the right hand; in the left hand is easier.
Be that as it may, this transition refuses to go into the category of automated movements, unlike all the rest.
Posted By: MichaelJK

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/30/19 05:54 PM

Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by MichaelJK

That is, can you get it so that you never stop at this particular spot (even if you play it completely wrong)? It may not solve everything, but it will take you a step closer, since you won't have to deal with the first problem anymore. Once that's done, we can break down the second problem into smaller problems, and solve those one at a time.
How does this sound to you?
Yes, I tried this method too, but I have a big problem with it: at the present age, the lion's part of working on keyboard is aimed at an accurate and clean hit on the correct keys; and here improvement occurs after hours of uninterrupted work, as opposed to learning by heart, requiring frequent interruptions. In addition to this, experience shows that after a week’s breaks a dirty playing returns; and generally playing the piano turned into a lottery : will I get it or not? Therefore, in deliberate misses on the keys in this particular case, I do not see much sense.


It sounds like you are concerned that your age is making it more difficult for you to accomplish this task. I can imagine that it must be frustrating to lose abilities you once took for granted.

Maybe this would have been easier for you 20 years ago. However, let's focus on the present, because that's all we have to work with. You can only do the best you can do, and the same was true 20 years ago, and the same will be true in another 20 years.

In the present, something is interfering with your playing, and you don't know what it is. You've tried playing slowly and carefully, you've tried playing without caring about accuracy, and none of that has worked. You even wrote the piece, so you understand the logic behind it. Yet, that too doesn't help you.

I don't know what would help, exactly. Let me repeat my observation that I made previously. It seems like you are finding it difficult to play without interruption. Is this true? If so, I would be very happy to see you develop more skill in that area. It is low-hanging fruit, and it would give you more power.
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/31/19 11:22 AM

I will try to look at the problem in a slightly different direction. During performance, two processes take place: the physical and mental, which are starting to coordinate from the very first moment. At first, coordination with each note is created, and the general tempo of thinking in relation to the piece is super slow.
Gradually, from individual notes, thinking creates a sequence of patterns, first small ones - motives, then more and more large ones - phrases, sentences, periods. The tempo of notes is accelerated several times, but the thinking remains in the same mode of calm. It is clear that each pattern receives an initiating hook, then an arrow aimed by thinking flies through the air, falling into next hook. From hook to hook, from hook to hook. With the automation of performance, arrow flight distances increase many times. The normal situation is that the hooks points become stable, although an arrow sometimes changes direction a little while flying - because of the wind emotions . In my case, the stability of the hook point suddenly ceases, for no apparent reason; and only in this particular place.
Perhaps it is somehow connected: I sat down for the first time at the computer at 62, and for a long time I spat blood, until started typing in some way fluid, albeit slowly. However, periodically (every 15-20 minutes) the following occurs: I completely lose the sense of keyboard panorama , as if seeing it for the first time , and in these 11 years, nothing has changed. What a happiness that this isn't happening on the piano keyboard.
Not yet ...
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/31/19 04:34 PM

So far the only solution to the problem that really works is the rhythmic mental pronunciation of the names of notes of both hands. If I play a fragment separately (from the third quarter), practically it is not necessary.
Posted By: MichaelJK

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/31/19 04:41 PM

Originally Posted by Nahum
I will try to look at the problem in a slightly different direction. During performance, two processes take place: the physical and mental, which are starting to coordinate from the very first moment. At first, coordination with each note is created, and the general tempo of thinking in relation to the piece is super slow.
Gradually, from individual notes, thinking creates a sequence of patterns, first small ones - motives, then more and more large ones - phrases, sentences, periods. The tempo of notes is accelerated several times, but the thinking remains in the same mode of calm. It is clear that each pattern receives an initiating hook, then an arrow aimed by thinking flies through the air, falling into next hook. From hook to hook, from hook to hook. With the automation of performance, arrow flight distances increase many times. The normal situation is that the hooks points become stable, although an arrow sometimes changes direction a little while flying - because of the wind emotions . In my case, the stability of the hook point suddenly ceases, for no apparent reason; and only in this particular place.
Perhaps it is somehow connected: I sat down for the first time at the computer at 62, and for a long time I spat blood, until started typing in some way fluid, albeit slowly. However, periodically (every 15-20 minutes) the following occurs: I completely lose the sense of keyboard panorama , as if seeing it for the first time , and in these 11 years, nothing has changed. What a happiness that this isn't happening on the piano keyboard.
Not yet ...




I think I understand what you are describing. By "hook", are you referring to a moment where you are consciously aware of what's happening?

It's normal to expect these hooks to remain stable. This is how we make sense of the world. If we didn't expect stability, we would be forced to make conscious decisions every moment of every day.

The problem is that they will not remain stable. Yes, age can change them. Many other things can change them, as well. For example, stress, tiredness, anxiety. Also, any kind of learning. Increased awareness of the mind and body can produce insight that destabilizes the sense of security that we come to depend upon. Intermediate meditators often get very discouraged when they notice that the mind is far more chaotic than they thought it was. It feels like a regress, but it's actually progress. I have no idea what exactly is causing it for you, but it's important to keep in mind that these things DO change.

In my opinion, piano practice should take this into account. The brain will create hooks when it notices something it can really grab onto. And, those hooks will vanish for no apparent reason. The question is: what are you going to do about it? You don't know why the hook disappeared (and you probably don't really know why it was created in the first place, even if it feels like you do). What often happens is that when a hook disappears, we panic, and in the process we stop paying attention to what's happening right in front of us. The irony is that this makes it impossible for us to notice what caused the issue in the first place.

It sounds like you want the hooks to be created in a predictable order. You want to start with the tiny details, and then work up to the larger patterns, step by step, in a smooth progression. That's great. But, have you tried the other direction as well? That is, starting from the big picture, then working down to the smaller details? You've tried a slow tempo, but have you tried a fast tempo? You've tried slow, calm thinking, but have you tried frantic thinking? I'm not saying any one of these is better than the other. But, each will give you a different perspective, and giver you brain more and more opportunities to make whatever hooks it can. You want to build redundancy into the system.
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/31/19 05:11 PM

For me, “hook” is a pre-established conscious point in the musical texture, which is both the target of the previous movement and the trigger of the next one. The hooks do not always coincide with the structure of the melody; this is reminiscent somewhat F. Busoni’s “technical phrasing”. I attacked the problem in many ways: slowly, sooo slowly, quickly, furioso, by reverse.
Posted By: MichaelJK

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/31/19 05:30 PM

Originally Posted by Nahum
For me, “hook” is a pre-established conscious point in the musical texture, which is both the target of the previous movement and the trigger of the next one. The hooks do not always coincide with the structure of the melody; this is reminiscent somewhat F. Busoni’s “technical phrasing”. I attacked the problem in many ways: slowly, sooo slowly, quickly, furioso, by reverse.


OK, everything I said still applies. Let me add a little bit, though:

Be aware that just because you consciously pre-established a hook in the music, this does not mean that your brain is OK with it. The body/mind connection is not intellectual. You can use your intellect to develop a training program for yourself, but the learning itself must be done on the brain's own schedule, not yours. And once the learning is there, you need to trust it. If you are constantly checking to make sure it's working, this can really interfere with playing.

I'm not sure what you mean by "by reverse". Do you mean playing the notes backwards? If so, I don't see the usefulness of this. You want to attack the problem in ways that are variations of how you would actually play, and nobody plays the notes backwards. I'm commenting on this point because it makes me wonder if you are assuming that because you intellectually understand the music, this should count for something when it comes to playing it. But, it doesn't. The playing part of your brain is just a little child who doesn't understand music theory. It's just reacting in the moment, to very physical and emotional things.

So, you want to look at variations such as:

- Faster
- Slower
- Smaller sections
- Larger sections
- Various emotional states, tiredness levels, etc.

I think of this as "zooming in/zooming out".

If you are persistent in really exploring this thoroughly, there are very few technical or memory problems that will escape your attention.
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 07/31/19 09:49 PM

Originally Posted by MichaelJK
[

I'm not sure what you mean by "by reverse". Do you mean playing the notes backwards? If so, I don't see the usefulness of this. You want to attack the problem in ways that are variations of how you would actually play, and nobody plays the notes backwards.n.
I have been practicing this for many years, and I think that training on movements in both directions has a positive effect on the control of movements in the right direction and improves their smoothness. .
Posted By: TimR

Re: Delusions of memory - 08/01/19 11:24 AM

Originally Posted by Nahum
However, periodically (every 15-20 minutes) the following occurs: I completely lose the sense of keyboard panorama , as if seeing it for the first time , and in these 11 years, nothing has changed. What a happiness that this isn't happening on the piano keyboard.
Not yet ...




That sounds like a classic activation of the DMN, the Default Mode Network.

Here's an article talking about DMN and aging:
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2019/7067592/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171023182609.htm

and here's an article that suggests memory training has an effect:
https://www.alzforum.org/news/resea...uperior-memory-transforms-brain-networks
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 08/01/19 12:27 PM

TimR , thanks for the links! The future is in meditation!
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 08/04/19 03:14 PM

OK, I found : to play the designated fragment on the inhalation of air; on the exhale, noticeable physical resistance is felt.
Posted By: MichaelJK

Re: Delusions of memory - 08/05/19 07:44 PM

Originally Posted by Nahum
OK, I found : to play the designated fragment on the inhalation of air; on the exhale, noticeable physical resistance is felt.


Does that resolve the issue for you?
Posted By: Nahum

Re: Delusions of memory - 08/06/19 09:47 AM

Originally Posted by MichaelJK
]

Does that resolve the issue for you?

Yes ; I tried to play the fragment in 3 versions: on one exhale, on one inhale and stopped breathing. With one inhale it began to go out most smoothly and cleanly.
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