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#3081737 02/12/21 04:48 PM
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hi, anyone is using Gieseking's method?
I am trying this method to learn Ginastera, Danzas argentinas Op.2 - 2. Danza de la moza donosa
So far in two days for a total of around 3 hours, I just finished the first page...
Anyone can tell me how fast are you progressing with this method?


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Why not explain what his method is?

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I would be quite interested in this, but could you explain what you mean by his method? Gieseking and Liemer have an entire book with ideas and philosophy on technique. What exactly is it that you're trying to apply?

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If you are referring to his visualization method, it is nothing more than slicing the piece into patterns, chords and other elements. I dont know how you memorize your pieces, there are different possibilities. The Gieseking one is a combination of visual/analytical. People have different types of memory, so what may work for one person is not necessarily the best for another. So you have to try out by yourself and see if that works for you.

Associating visuals with things to remember is a very common technique. You can use for example to remember a complex suite of numbers. Music is already visual in nature, so it makes it easier to remember patterns. If you associate that also with an analytical rationale (harmonic development, rethoric, structural skeleton, ....) it provides a good structure to memorize the piece.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Why not explain what his method is?

It is sometimes better to read the original, see pp 9-12.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Why not explain what his method is?

It is sometimes better to read the original, see pp 9-12.
Thank you Withindale for the documentation, I am sure this one explains much better.

Originally Posted by Sidokar
If you are referring to his visualization method, it is nothing more than slicing the piece into patterns, chords and other elements. I dont know how you memorize your pieces, there are different possibilities. The Gieseking one is a combination of visual/analytical. People have different types of memory, so what may work for one person is not necessarily the best for another. So you have to try out by yourself and see if that works for you.

Associating visuals with things to remember is a very common technique. You can use for example to remember a complex suite of numbers. Music is already visual in nature, so it makes it easier to remember patterns. If you associate that also with an analytical rationale (harmonic development, rethoric, structural skeleton, ....) it provides a good structure to memorize the piece.

Thank you Sidokar for a so detail explanation.
-------------------------------------------------------------


This is the third day (a weekend day) and something concerning is appearing. My brain is always repeating this music, it is hard to tell how long I am practicing including "brain practice" now.
it is difficult to tell whether it is good or bad.


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There is nothing harmful about continually ‘hearing’ music in your brain; it can happen with music you are practicing or even a pop song you hear in the radio. The slang term is ‘ear worm’


"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

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Zonzi
There is nothing harmful about continually ‘hearing’ music in your brain; it can happen with music you are practicing or even a pop song you hear in the radio. The slang term is ‘ear worm’
Thank you, it's really the first time I hear ‘ear worm’, my piano teachers never told me that.....


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I have had a short go at this method in the original language German. The gist of it is that you first memorize all the notes of a piece before playing it (!). So you read the notes, analize them as much as you need to be able memorize them. And then you play from memory.
In the first exercises the movement for pressing the keys must come only from the shoulder; the elbow, the wrist and the fingers should remain motionless (without being tensed).
I didn't go beyond the first few exercises, so I don't know if this shoulder movement thing is a general rule or if it just applies to parallel movement of intervals / chords.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
I would be quite interested in this, but could you explain what you mean by his method? Gieseking and Liemer have an entire book with ideas and philosophy on technique.

My notes on the introduction, please refer to Gieseking and Liemerl for details:

The instructions are only for concert pianists and music teachers, or serious-working dilettantes.

The training of the ear to notice the exact tone quality, tone duration and tone strength.Through minute observation of these tonal qualities, the whole performance an entirely different clearness and more definite character, a sphere of subtle expression without overly strong dynamic or rhythmical changes.

Listening with a critical ear to one's playing and keeping one's touch under continual control with utmost concentration are prerequisites of rapid progress.

By "polishing up" small parts of a composition a surprising perfection can be attained, as well as discovering possibilities for improvement.

An indispensable necessity when training the ear, is an accurate knowledge of the piece. It is essential to visualise the piece and, if done thoroughly, one will be able to play it from memory. The memory must be specially trained to do this quickly not by playing but by visualisation by silent reading.

A further development is acquire the ability to prepare the technical execution through silent reading, so that the piece can be performed in a short time.

It is only necessary to memorise pieces to be performed in public, Bach compositions and specially instructive exercises, not every piece played.

Teachers should not advise always playing from memory, but the brain should be trained to memorise short phrases.

Teachers should insist upon beginners playing one or two short measures from memory in every lesson.

To attain a natural manner of playing, with the least possible exertion, it is of the utmost importance to exert the muscles consciously, and of still greater importance, to relax them consciously.

The aim is to raise a feeling of relaxation from within, with the aid of visible movements.

All superfluous movements are injurious. Playing the piano should put the least possible strain on the muscles.


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Originally Posted by ErfurtBob
I have had a short go at this method in the original language German. The gist of it is that you first memorize all the notes of a piece before playing it (!). So you read the notes, analize them as much as you need to be able memorize them. And then you play from memory.
This may have worked for. a genius like Gieseking but l don't think it will work for most, even most professionals. How do I know this? There was a YT video of a special week long class taught by Frederic Chiu and held for a small group of young and very talented professional pianists most of whom already had serious careers by that point. He asked them to memorize the first half of a Scarlatti Sonata without playing it. If I remember correctly none of them succeeded in doing it. These pianists were not just ordinary conservatory grads; they were far better.

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According to Giesking and Liemerl the method will only work for concert pianists who have learnt how to analyse the piece in a systematic way. Memorisation is the result of that.


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Is the OP a concert pianist?

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Originally Posted by Withindale
According to Giesking and Liemerl the method will only work for concert pianists who have learnt how to analyse the piece in a systematic way. Memorisation is the result of that.
I didn’t see this part, I thought it is a very popular method...
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Is the OP a concert pianist?
No, I return play piano 1/2 year ago. I am just reading this music sheet from Ipad, and it is very uncomfortable. It seems a short piece so I thought this method, and it seems very great. The only back draw is something similar to the ‘ear worm’, in effect the brain cannot make a rest....


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Originally Posted by ErfurtBob
I have had a short go at this method in the original language German. The gist of it is that you first memorize all the notes of a piece before playing it (!). So you read the notes, analize them as much as you need to be able memorize them. And then you play from memory.
In the first exercises the movement for pressing the keys must come only from the shoulder; the elbow, the wrist and the fingers should remain motionless (without being tensed).
I didn't go beyond the first few exercises, so I don't know if this shoulder movement thing is a general rule or if it just applies to parallel movement of intervals / chords.
Thank you for your experience, I think the key part of this method is really memorising first, brain play before touch the keys.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Is the OP a concert pianist?
Correction, G&L say the instructions are for concert pianists and music teachers. That does not preclude others from following their lead. They say teachers should insist on beginners playing one or two short measures from memory.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ErfurtBob
I have had a short go at this method in the original language German. The gist of it is that you first memorize all the notes of a piece before playing it (!). So you read the notes, analize them as much as you need to be able memorize them. And then you play from memory.
This may have worked for. a genius like Gieseking but l don't think it will work for most, even most professionals. How do I know this? There was a YT video of a special week long class taught by Frederic Chiu and held for a small group of young and very talented professional pianists most of whom already had serious careers by that point. He asked them to memorize the first half of a Scarlatti Sonata without playing it. If I remember correctly none of them succeeded in doing it. These pianists were not just ordinary conservatory grads; they were far better.

This is a skill that needs to be trained. I use this method, but not exclusively. Even the most highly-trained pianists probably have trouble with any skill that is new to them.

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Memorization a piece without playing it (assuming of course, that you don't have a photographic memory) is not too difficult if the piece is short, simple, very logical in its harmony & melody, and you can already 'hear' it in your head (and 'imagine' yourself playing it) just by looking through the score.

But I challenge Mr Chiu to memorize the first movement of Boulez's Piano Sonata No.2 this way. I'll be very generous and give him 24 hours smirk . (Of course, if he has photographic memory, all bets are off.)

I never cease to wonder at the kind of stuff that some teachers (and some performers) dream up for others (and which are pointless), as if piano playing itself isn't hard enough. Surely they, of all people, should be especially aware that there are some things that they might find easy (whether it's because they have certain 'gifts' like perfect pitch or photographic memory or fingers that can sublux or span 14ths), but which are very hard, if not impossible, for others?


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Originally Posted by bennevis
Memorization a piece without playing it (assuming of course, that you don't have a photographic memory) is not too difficult if the piece is short, simple, very logical in its harmony & melody, and you can already 'hear' it in your head (and 'imagine' yourself playing it) just by looking through the score.
Then why did the around five pianists in Chiu's class, who I think probably can hear the music in their head, have such difficulty with the Scarlatti Sonata? These were not just random conservatory students, although even that group would be far better than most pianists. They were top notch and already famous. My strong suspicion is that very few even great pianists use Gieseking's approach for learning a piece before playing it. And I think almost none use the other part of his approach mentioned in this thread, i.e. starting by first playing the piece only with the shoulders, etc.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Memorization a piece without playing it (assuming of course, that you don't have a photographic memory) is not too difficult if the piece is short, simple, very logical in its harmony & melody, and you can already 'hear' it in your head (and 'imagine' yourself playing it) just by looking through the score.
Then why did the around five pianists in Chiu's class, who I think probably can hear the music in their head, have such difficulty with the Scarlatti Sonata? These were not just random conservatory students, although even that group would be far better than most pianists. They were top notch and already famous.

My strong suspicion is that very few even great pianists use Gieseking's approach for learning a piece before playing it on the piano. Why would they when it seems clear that it is far more difficult? What is the supposed advantage of doing things that way? Studying the score to help memorize a piece after one has physically played it seems far more reasonable.


And I think almost none use the other part of his approach mentioned in this thread, i.e. starting by first playing the piece only with the shoulders, etc.

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