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#3145868 08/13/21 11:10 AM
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What does a tempo marking "Andante Cantabile" mean. From a quick search I learned "Andante" is walking tempo (73-77) but I don't see any details on andante cantabile tempo but I found there is a piece called andante cantabile played at 84. Does that mean if another piece has that as tempo marking then the suggested speed is 84?

The piece is Sheperd's Flute from Journey Through The Classics book.

And does the line in the bass at very last 3 bars mean pedal?

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Sebs #3145874 08/13/21 11:21 AM
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Cantabile isn't tempo .
Cantabile or cantando -in a singing style. In instrumental music, a style of playing that imitates the way the human voice might express the music, with a measured tempo and flexible legato. It requires the ability to hear each note separately from the attack to the very end (like in belcanto), and in accordance with this the ability to connect adjacent notes to create a vocal effect. The hardest thing on the piano!

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Cantabile isn't tempo .
Cantabile or cantando -in a singing style. In instrumental music, a style of playing that imitates the way the human voice might express the music, with a measured tempo and flexible legato. It requires the ability to hear each note separately from the attack to the very end (like in belcanto), and in accordance with this the ability to connect adjacent notes to create a vocal effect. The hardest thing on the piano!

I was reading your post and before I even got to where you said "hardest thing on piano" I was already thinking wth that sounds really challenging. Then does this mean speed should be Andante (about 77) with a singing style? What should someone who is not advance focus on to try and have some cantabile sound?

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Yes, the line under the last three measures means use the sustain pedal.


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Sebs #3145888 08/13/21 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
I was reading your post and before I even got to where you said "hardest thing on piano" I was already thinking wth that sounds really challenging. Then does this mean speed should be Andante (about 77) with a singing style? What should someone who is not advance focus on to try and have some cantabile sound?


Arie does not specifically explain why the ending of the previous sound should be superimposed on the beginning of the next one: continuing the sound of the previous string softens the percussiveness of the beginning of the sound of the next one. Quite doubtful in relation to digital instruments.

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It is interesting that the melody in the sheet music is surprisingly reminiscent of Scarborough Fair, although the composer is Russian.

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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Yes, the line under the last three measures means use the sustain pedal.
Thank you.

Thanks @Nahum I will watch the video today.

Sebs #3145926 08/13/21 01:25 PM
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@Sebs, the directions at the beginning of a piece often contain some instructions about other things than the tempo. For example, Mozart sonata K. 331 starts with "Andante grazioso" or "gracious walking". What does that mean? Well, you have to use your imagination! That is what music and art in general is about. It's not about following some strict recipe but about having an image in your mind and projecting that, and listening very carefully whether what you hear from your piano matches what you hear in your head. So if a composer says you should play in a signing style, or joyfully, or lamenting, etc. you should try to imagine what that would sound like and experiment to figure out how to get that sound. If you can't get the sound you imagine then ask your teacher for help.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
@Sebs, the directions at the beginning of a piece often contain some instructions about other things than the tempo. For example, Mozart sonata K. 331 starts with "Andante grazioso" or "gracious walking". What does that mean? Well, you have to use your imagination! That is what music and art in general is about. It's not about following some strict recipe but about having an image in your mind and projecting that, and listening very carefully whether what you hear from your piano matches what you hear in your head. So if a composer says you should play in a signing style, or joyfully, or lamenting, etc. you should try to imagine what that would sound like and experiment to figure out how to get that sound. If you can't get the sound you imagine then ask your teacher for help.

There are no directions about anything else it simply says “Andante cantabile” and it’s hard to use imagination when I have no idea what that means. That’s why I’m asking here. I know it’s not exact strict recipe but I want to try to be close and know what it means as whole point the marking is to be somewhat close to suggestion. I know I can ask a teacher but I’m working this now by myself and that’s why I asked here. This is what this forum is great for. I don’t see what the purpose of saying ask a teacher is and saying there are instructions in the piece. IMO that comment comes off a bit condescending.

Last edited by Sebs; 08/13/21 04:29 PM.
Sebs #3146000 08/13/21 04:55 PM
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In a singing style (cantabile) is easiest understood by actually singing the melody yourself. You will notice that the melody stands out above the accompaniment (which you'd expect in any song being sung), it has phrasing, it ebbs and flows, varying in dynamics even, all the while the accompaniment stays at the same subdued level.

A well-known piano piece that has 'cantabile' in its marking is this:

.....which actually has also been turned into a pop song (which you can find and listen to, if you really must....)

Hear how the pianist "sings" the melody above the accompaniment.

In your piece, imagine yourself playing the RH melody on the flute like a singer singing it, following the phrasing indicated (i.e. each phrase in one unbroken 'breath'), while the LH is like a subdued drone accompaniment throughout. (Perfect 5ths low down always sound like bagpipes drone to me......)



"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by bennevis
In a singing style (cantabile) is easiest understood by actually singing the melody yourself. You will notice that the melody stands out above the accompaniment (which you'd expect in any song being sung), it has phrasing, it ebbs and flows, varying in dynamics even, all the while the accompaniment stays at the same subdued level.

A well-known piano piece that has 'cantabile' in its marking is this:

.....which actually has also been turned into a pop song (which you can find and listen to, if you really must....)

Hear how the pianist "sings" the melody above the accompaniment.

In your piece, imagine yourself playing the RH melody on the flute like a singer singing it, following the phrasing indicated (i.e. each phrase in one unbroken 'breath'), while the LH is like a subdued drone accompaniment throughout. (Perfect 5ths low down always sound like bagpipes drone to me......)
It sounds like kind of what I try to when playing a pop cover where as RH I try to make it sound like vocals and keep LH light. I know I don't do it that well yet but I try to. Also I enjoyed the Beethoven video. For some reason I really loved the sound at 3:08-3:15 in the 10 bars that are showing on the screen at that time which of those is that part? Thanks for the tip and videos.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
I really loved the sound at 3:08-3:15 in the 10 bars that are showing on the screen at that time which of those is that part?
That is the reprise of the main melody with a more elaborate accompaniment in triplets (which are also played with RH).

In the video (score), if you look at the top (RH) notes that have upward-pointing stems, those are the melodic notes identical to that on the first page except the last bit, and which Ashkenazy brings to the fore. Therefore the tune restarts on the second line (i.e. fourth bar from the top). All the other RH notes (with downward-pointing stems) make up the rocking accompaniment. The LH merely plays the bass.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Sebs #3146022 08/13/21 06:34 PM
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I think most of the posts above about the tempo marking are making things too complex for the person asking the question. An answer should be based on the student's current level.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think most of the posts above about the tempo marking are making things too complex for the person asking the question. An answer should be based on the student's current level.

What is the point of your comment?

I disagree. An answer should be based on what it is being asked. Beginner or advanced anyone can understand the concepts and learn what they mean. You don’t change an answer based on someone’s level, that doesn’t make any sense. I liked the answers and it was pretty straight forward to me. Also saying they’re making things to complex for me is a ridiculous assumption. I often wonder why some members almost seem talk down on others and I’ve seen it in other threads.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think most of the posts above about the tempo marking are making things too complex for the person asking the question. An answer should be based on the student's current level.

What is the point of your comment?

I disagree. An answer should be based on what it is being asked. Beginner or advanced anyone can understand the concepts and learn what they mean. You don’t change an answer based on someone’s level, that doesn’t make any sense. I liked the answers and it was pretty straight forward to me. Also saying they’re making things to complex for me is a ridiculous assumption. I often wonder why some members almost seem talk down on others and I’ve seen it in other threads.
Absolutely agree! An beginner pianist may be a child, but may also be an adult; and the pedagogical approach to them should be very different. The child feels, the adult understands. It has never happened that even the most novice students did not understand and did not hear the legato and nonlegato phenomena; and when it comes time to get the right pedal, I immediately explain the parallels between the foot and hand's finger , and between the pedal and the piano key.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
@Sebs, the directions at the beginning of a piece often contain some instructions about other things than the tempo. For example, Mozart sonata K. 331 starts with "Andante grazioso" or "gracious walking". What does that mean? Well, you have to use your imagination! That is what music and art in general is about. It's not about following some strict recipe but about having an image in your mind and projecting that, and listening very carefully whether what you hear from your piano matches what you hear in your head. So if a composer says you should play in a signing style, or joyfully, or lamenting, etc. you should try to imagine what that would sound like and experiment to figure out how to get that sound. If you can't get the sound you imagine then ask your teacher for help.

There are no directions about anything else it simply says “Andante cantabile” and it’s hard to use imagination when I have no idea what that means. That’s why I’m asking here. I know it’s not exact strict recipe but I want to try to be close and know what it means as whole point the marking is to be somewhat close to suggestion. I know I can ask a teacher but I’m working this now by myself and that’s why I asked here. This is what this forum is great for. I don’t see what the purpose of saying ask a teacher is and saying there are instructions in the piece. IMO that comment comes off a bit condescending.
I was trying to be helpful and you already had an answer about what it means so I was expanding on that. If you re-read my post notice that I first suggested experimenting and then asking your teacher for technique help if you're unable to do it. I was talking about the practical technical application not the theoretical knowledge.

I'm sorry you feel talked down and that wasn't my intention but IMO your comments also come out as a bit arrogant. People here are honestly trying to help. Being ungrateful will only drive them away in the end.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think most of the posts above about the tempo marking are making things too complex for the person asking the question. An answer should be based on the student's current level.

What is the point of your comment?

I disagree. An answer should be based on what it is being asked. Beginner or advanced anyone can understand the concepts and learn what they mean. You don’t change an answer based on someone’s level, that doesn’t make any sense.

I think that you do. That is the essence of communication to adjust what you say, in style and content (and wording), to the person in front of you. In this case the question is simple enough and has a fairly straightforward answer, but other cases may require an adjustment.

Sebs #3146176 08/14/21 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
@Sebs, the directions at the beginning of a piece often contain some instructions about other things than the tempo. For example, Mozart sonata K. 331 starts with "Andante grazioso" or "gracious walking". What does that mean? Well, you have to use your imagination! That is what music and art in general is about. It's not about following some strict recipe but about having an image in your mind and projecting that, and listening very carefully whether what you hear from your piano matches what you hear in your head. So if a composer says you should play in a signing style, or joyfully, or lamenting, etc. you should try to imagine what that would sound like and experiment to figure out how to get that sound. If you can't get the sound you imagine then ask your teacher for help.

There are no directions about anything else it simply says “Andante cantabile” and it’s hard to use imagination when I have no idea what that means. That’s why I’m asking here. I know it’s not exact strict recipe but I want to try to be close and know what it means as whole point the marking is to be somewhat close to suggestion. I know I can ask a teacher but I’m working this now by myself and that’s why I asked here. This is what this forum is great for. I don’t see what the purpose of saying ask a teacher is and saying there are instructions in the piece. IMO that comment comes off a bit condescending.
I was trying to be helpful and you already had an answer about what it means so I was expanding on that. If you re-read my post notice that I first suggested experimenting and then asking your teacher for technique help if you're unable to do it. I was talking about the practical technical application not the theoretical knowledge.

I'm sorry you feel talked down and that wasn't my intention but IMO your comments also come out as a bit arrogant. People here are honestly trying to help. Being ungrateful will only drive them away in the end.

That’s the hard thing about reading comments. I could hear wrong tone in my head. I think sometimes I feel like the more seasoned pianist think the beginners are not as bright or it seems that way. Sorry if I took it wrong. Funny you say I can sound arrogant I would never think or intend that tone. So I think it’s easy for anyone one or misinterpret ones intention here.

Also not sure how else I can express gratitude. In almost everything I post I nearly reply to everyone and always say thanks. Don’t know what else to do. Maybe I’ll just try to be as sensitive and if I think a comment is silly or talking down like the other one above I’ll just assume it’s not.

Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think most of the posts above about the tempo marking are making things too complex for the person asking the question. An answer should be based on the student's current level.

What is the point of your comment?

I disagree. An answer should be based on what it is being asked. Beginner or advanced anyone can understand the concepts and learn what they mean. You don’t change an answer based on someone’s level, that doesn’t make any sense. I liked the answers and it was pretty straight forward to me. Also saying they’re making things to complex for me is a ridiculous assumption. I often wonder why some members almost seem talk down on others and I’ve seen it in other threads.

This one too. I took it as @pianoloverus basically saying this beginner is too slow to understand the comments let’s dumb it down. However, that was probably not their intention. I’ll try to not take comments that way moving forward. Sorry for any confusion or if sounded annoyed.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think most of the posts above about the tempo marking are making things too complex for the person asking the question. An answer should be based on the student's current level.

What is the point of your comment?

I disagree. An answer should be based on what it is being asked. Beginner or advanced anyone can understand the concepts and learn what they mean. You don’t change an answer based on someone’s level, that doesn’t make any sense. I liked the answers and it was pretty straight forward to me. Also saying they’re making things to complex for me is a ridiculous assumption. I often wonder why some members almost seem talk down on others and I’ve seen it in other threads.
I think any pedagogy book on any subject would disagree with your statement that an answer shouldn't be based on the level of the person asking the question. I taught grades 7-12 math for almost 40 years and have been tutoring since retirement so I have over 50 years teaching experience. "Changing an answer"(not the way I expressed things) doesn't have to mean not telling the truth which is the only way I think someone could argue against changing the answer. One should express the answer in terms most likely understandable by the person asking the question.

I remember reading something a long time ago that said something like this: A poor teacher gives the incorrect answer, an inexperienced teacher says everything he knows about the question, a good teacher answers at a level appropriate for the student asking the question.

For the OP I think saying "cantabile" means singing and "andante" means a walking speed or is one of the faster levels of a "slow" tempo is sufficient. One could also included that when a piece is marked andante this doesn't mean it has to be played at 84.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think most of the posts above about the tempo marking are making things too complex for the person asking the question. An answer should be based on the student's current level.

What is the point of your comment?

I disagree. An answer should be based on what it is being asked. Beginner or advanced anyone can understand the concepts and learn what they mean. You don’t change an answer based on someone’s level, that doesn’t make any sense. I liked the answers and it was pretty straight forward to me. Also saying they’re making things to complex for me is a ridiculous assumption. I often wonder why some members almost seem talk down on others and I’ve seen it in other threads.
Absolutely agree! An beginner pianist may be a child, but may also be an adult; and the pedagogical approach to them should be very different. The child feels, the adult understands. It has never happened that even the most novice students did not understand and did not hear the legato and nonlegato phenomena; and when it comes time to get the right pedal, I immediately explain the parallels between the foot and hand's finger , and between the pedal and the piano key.
You would explain things to an adult beginner and an adult advanced player the same way?

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