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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
As for time signatures, the notes and the bars are all I need to know, but not really consciously if you see what I mean.
So how do you know that it has to be felt in a duple or triple meter? 6/8 and 3/4 are very different even though they might have the exact same note values in a bar.
Not a problem. To me it is part of the music and I don't have to think about it. Yet another instance of how we all differ - and have to find our own ways of dealing with it all.
But if I do have to think about it, it's the way the notes are grouped.


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Originally Posted by marklings
I am playing this very very simple passage. F-G-A-F-Eb. As it happens you fall on the first F with finger 2. But since eventually you have to reach Eb your fingering goes 2-3-4-1-2. In other words you have to remember not doing 2 on the second F as it would be natural but 1 since then you want to reach Eb. How is photo memory helping you here ? Not at all ! You have to remember the fingering.
If you have some experience, this kind of thing comes intuitively. You don't need to remember the fingering. All you think is that you don't want the thumb on a black key, so obviously you need to switch before you hit that Eb. And you will see the notes as a group, and notice the highest and lowest notes, so it is all solved in a split second without any real need for memorization. That said, muscle memory is still extremely important for actual performance.

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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
As for time signatures, the notes and the bars are all I need to know, but not really consciously if you see what I mean.
So how do you know that it has to be felt in a duple or triple meter? 6/8 and 3/4 are very different even though they might have the exact same note values in a bar.
Not a problem. To me it is part of the music and I don't have to think about it. Yet another instance of how we all differ - and have to find our own ways of dealing with it all.
But if I do have to think about it, it's the way the notes are grouped.
It's usually kind of obvious. 6/8 has a 3+3 feel, and 3/4 is like a 1+1+1. Just the arrangement of notes usually gives it away. There are stylistic conventions most scores seem to adhere to which make this apparent. For example, as soon as you see 3 quavers grouped together, you know it is in 6/8.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
So how do you know that it has to be felt in a duple or triple meter? 6/8 and 3/4 are very different even though they might have the exact same note values in a bar.
Not a problem. To me it is part of the music and I don't have to think about it. Yet another instance of how we all differ - and have to find our own ways of dealing with it all.
But if I do have to think about it, it's the way the notes are grouped.
It's usually kind of obvious. 6/8 has a 3+3 feel, and 3/4 is like a 1+1+1. Just the arrangement of notes usually gives it away. There are stylistic conventions most scores seem to adhere to which make this apparent. For example, as soon as you see 3 quavers grouped together, you know it is in 6/8.

Right... and then you try to play this:
[Linked Image]
and if you're not counting beats it becomes a total mess.

Yes, I agree that we can have different ways of learning pieces but the meter is a fundamental part of the music. Not being aware of it is just plain wrong.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Right... and then you try to play this:
[Linked Image]
and if you're not counting beats it becomes a total mess.

Yes, I agree that we can have different ways of learning pieces but the meter is a fundamental part of the music. Not being aware of it is just plain wrong.
Again it is obvious from the groupings - but if you need to count, then that is what works for you. Speaking personally I am perfectly aware of it and have never found any need to count, indeed I would find it rather offputting and difficult to do.

And as a comment on this thread I think it is actually very useful in making people think about how they memorise, etc., and aware of how other people do it, even if they disagree or think things can't be done in certain ways.


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@Colin Miles, before it slips impossibly away, I wanted to thank you for posting the Yuga Wang interview above. Oh my gosh, I loved it so much!

Everything she played was wonderful, of course, and the interview was great (and funny!) but I especially enjoyed her rendition of the Art Tatum arrangement of “Tea for Two” (1933). I thought it was so special, not only capturing the song but enhancing it in every way.

And hearing THAT little arrangement took me, for the first time, into the incredible world and skill of Art Tatum. I’d heard the name but never really had a fix on him as a musician. What an amazing and gifted person! I lost nearly an hour listening to his music, viewing old clips, and reading stories. Anyway, I know it’s easy to get caught up chasing links online, and usually don’t usually enjoy that— but this was a particularly delightful way to pass an hour.

So much good stuff in every thread here! thanks, Colin!


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Excerpt from Chaffin’s book— concert pianist practice sessions

https://musiclab.uconn.edu/wp-conte...0/Practicing-Perfection-Chaffin-2002.pdf

Wow, this article is so interesting! thanks for posting


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Originally Posted by mtb
Originally Posted by dogperson
Excerpt from Chaffin’s book— concert pianist practice sessions

https://musiclab.uconn.edu/wp-conte...0/Practicing-Perfection-Chaffin-2002.pdf

Wow, this article is so interesting! thanks for posting


They provided the concert pianist a microphone and had her speak all of what would normally be internal dialogue. I highly recommend this book.


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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Right... and then you try to play this:
[Linked Image]
and if you're not counting beats it becomes a total mess.

Yes, I agree that we can have different ways of learning pieces but the meter is a fundamental part of the music. Not being aware of it is just plain wrong.
Again it is obvious from the groupings - but if you need to count, then that is what works for you. Speaking personally I am perfectly aware of it and have never found any need to count, indeed I would find it rather offputting and difficult to do.

And as a comment on this thread I think it is actually very useful in making people think about how they memorise, etc., and aware of how other people do it, even if they disagree or think things can't be done in certain ways.

I say do whatever works for you. I think most of us hear the rhythm in our head and know when the note is supposed to be played, but that approach can sometimes be off at least me.

Counting certainly helped me though ... I need to revisit this piece.

1 2 3 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 & 9 &

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This thread got so long that by the time I got to this point I forgot what the OP's question was.
Age 68


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OP here.

I was worried about my weakening of short term memory and how that would affect my musical potential.

I wanted to get a feeling of how my peers dealt with that.

Bottom line: it’s a hot topic, there are several individual different strategies to deal with that.

In the process I learned quite a lot! that’s the whole point of being a part of this forum, isn’t it?

Last edited by marklings; 01/27/22 03:21 AM.
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Originally Posted by marklings
OP here.

I was worried about my weakening of short term memory

I am afraid it is not only short term memory. When you get older, it also gets more difficult to store new information into long term memory.

But, more difficult doesn't mean that it is impossible. cool


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Originally Posted by mtb
@Colin Miles, before it slips impossibly away, I wanted to thank you for posting the Yuga Wang interview above. Oh my gosh, I loved it so much!

Everything she played was wonderful, of course, and the interview was great (and funny!) but I especially enjoyed her rendition of the Art Tatum arrangement of “Tea for Two” (1933). I thought it was so special, not only capturing the song but enhancing it in every way.

And hearing THAT little arrangement took me, for the first time, into the incredible world and skill of Art Tatum. I’d heard the name but never really had a fix on him as a musician. What an amazing and gifted person! I lost nearly an hour listening to his music, viewing old clips, and reading stories. Anyway, I know it’s easy to get caught up chasing links online, and usually don’t usually enjoy that— but this was a particularly delightful way to pass an hour.

So much good stuff in every thread here! thanks, Colin!
Glad to be of help. I have a bookmark folder, Yuga Wang, with links to 'Tea for Two', Toccata, Turkish March, Tritsch Tratsch Polka amongst others and when, at the end of the day when my fingers are tired I sometimes listen to her fingers, particularly those four - very inspiring. I also have a Tiffany Poon folder with lots of links. Another superb pianist whose Blogs are always interesting - even when young she struck me as an 'old soul'.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
I am afraid it is not only short term memory. When you get older, it also gets more difficult to store new information into long term memory.
There are several other problems, for example, a reduction in the amount of material digested per unit of time; but the main thing: delays in retrieving what has been learned from memory, and even its failures. In the end, such a pianist with a gigantic memory as Svyatoslav Richter was forced to switch to playing from notes at concerts.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
In the end, such a pianist with a gigantic memory as Svyatoslav Richter was forced to switch to playing from notes at concerts.

I saw a recent Ravel performance by Ivo Pogorelich, where he did the same thing (and he is not even that old).


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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Originally Posted by Nahum
In the end, such a pianist with a gigantic memory as Svyatoslav Richter was forced to switch to playing from notes at concerts.

I saw a recent Ravel performance by Ivo Pogorelich, where he did the same thing (and he is not even that old).


A few years ago, Yundi Li, as a relatively young man, had a massive memory failure during a concert, snd reverted to playing with the score.


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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Animisha
I am afraid it is not only short term memory. When you get older, it also gets more difficult to store new information into long term memory.
There are several other problems, for example, a reduction in the amount of material digested per unit of time; but the main thing: delays in retrieving what has been learned from memory, and even its failures. In the end, such a pianist with a gigantic memory as Svyatoslav Richter was forced to switch to playing from notes at concerts.
In the case of Richter it was a different sort of memory problem which has been referred to before on this site, namely the change in perfect pitch - I suffer from the same effect and it was a matter of 'retraining' the brain. But that is another issue which I don't want to get into!


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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Animisha
I am afraid it is not only short term memory. When you get older, it also gets more difficult to store new information into long term memory.
There are several other problems, for example, a reduction in the amount of material digested per unit of time; but the main thing: delays in retrieving what has been learned from memory, and even its failures. In the end, such a pianist with a gigantic memory as Svyatoslav Richter was forced to switch to playing from notes at concerts.
In the case of Richter it was a different sort of memory problem which has been referred to before on this site, namely the change in perfect pitch - I suffer from the same effect and it was a matter of 'retraining' the brain. But that is another issue which I don't want to get into!
Never heard of it!

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1994-07-17-1994198196-story.html

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Originally Posted by keystring
... Music is sound. I've always related to the piano as sound and touch. Why now am I going visual with it?" And with that switch, there was a jump.

Yes, but when we see something, we don't stop listening or feeling. It is more of an automatic inclusion than a switch from one sense to another sense.

Someone said this and now I can't find it, I'm thinking maybe ranjit ... we need all the cues we can get. Visual alone will fail. So will the feel or motor memory alone. Or just memorizing the sound of it alone. But knowing how it feels (not exact fingering, just what exact fingering would feel like,) what it should look like when played properly (the visual) and a real familiarity with what it should sound like (ear), with all of these together it is unlikely to fail as readily. One of them will come through and gives us 3 chances before a memory lapse instead of 1.

Like Valentina and Rubenstein, if you can visualize a score like photographic memory, all the power to you. I can't and I think would be a stretch for most people. If you can though, that would probably be the ultimate. The next best visible cue would be what it physically looks like on the keyboard as we play it. But we still need all the cues. At least I do.

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A very interesting thread. Thank you, mtb, for the book summary.

I'm not a good score visualizer either, but I'd like to share a piece of advice, which I haven't put to test yet, but which was given to me by a person who visualize scores well.

The advice is not to try.to remember the staves imagined schematically but to try to remember a page as a physical object. So firstly view a page at different angles, at normal and very close distances, touch it, pay attention to paper texture and color and then try to remember notes and marks also as the physical objects, paying attention to all the little print defects and paper defects and other possible visual cues. Then try to recall the page. Imagine it also at different angles, at close and normal distances, imagine touching it, try to recall all the smallest physical details.

The fingering may be written in before memorizing and memorized as well as the other things. Generally the more remarks you write on the page the better it is for memorization, it gives more cues. Some small objects may be put (or imagined) on a score and serve as cues as well.

The idea behind it, if I understand it correctly, is that our memory works much better with remembering physical objects and scenes than remembering abstract things, so we need to associate abstract things with physical objects. Many memorization techniques work like that.

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