Questions about the music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music during a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times.

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5
votes
2answers
296 views

Placement of F# on Alto Clef

For the past four or so years now, I have been playing the Viola. Y'all know what that means: Alto clef. Up until just a few weeks ago, I have always seen an F# displayed in a key signature like this: ...
8
votes
1answer
160 views

How to determine the pitch of the auxiliary note in an ornament

I thought that the auxiliary note of a lower mordent (or other ornaments) was simply the note before in the scale unless the mordent had an accidental on top of it. However, I ran into this ...
2
votes
1answer
755 views

Piano--Sight Read vs Memorising

Any correlations and meanings here? I find that people who are good at sight reading are bad at memorising, and people who are bad at sight reading are good at memorising. I also find that some ...
2
votes
1answer
624 views

Rapid chromatic scales

What is a good fingering to use to be able to play through chromatic scales of a run-like-nature on the piano? For instance, I find that using the usual 1-2-3-1-3-1-3 fingering (assuming I'm using my ...
2
votes
1answer
297 views

What is the difference between dolce and cantabile techniques on the piano?

I find it difficult to make dolce (sweetly) and cantabile (singing/songlike) sound different when I'm playing the piano. How should my technique differ from one to the other?
12
votes
1answer
210 views

E flat or E natural in score of Beethoven String Quartet Op 131?

I have heard recordings of Beethoven's C sharp minor string quartet Op. 131 where, in bar 53 the third crotchet of the first violin part is played as E flat, and at least one recording where it is ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Classical examples of a 'fifth voice' or 'ghost soprano'

There is an interesting phenomenon in choral (and perhaps also instrumental?) singing in which typically four voices are arranges in such a way that a 'fifth voice' or 'ghost voice' can be heard. It ...
7
votes
3answers
571 views

Difference between variation and development

The question concerns western classical music. I have tried reading about and understanding the difference between variations and development, and what I understand is that development is more ...
4
votes
3answers
409 views

How to compose a simple “introduction” to a short musical piece?

I would like to add some music to a video clip I made (it lasts about 2 minutes). The video is basically some panoramic view of nature sights, nothing fancy. I am going to play a simple Sor's etude in ...
6
votes
2answers
895 views

Cello: Is it possible to play a double stop of a major 9th on the I and II strings?

The cello is using scordatura, the tuning is Cb Ab Eb Ab (from the fourth to the first string). I want to know if the following passage is possible, tempo is around 220~240 quarter notes per minute: ...
18
votes
10answers
2k views

Where do musicians draw their melodies from?

It has been in my head for so long. I am a visual artist, animator, I do motion graphics, 3D artwork and most of my work is done visually. I am puzzled by this question. Visual artists, they draw ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

Are repeated octaves permissable in a fourt part SATB?

I am writing a four part SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and wanted to know if repeated (that is, successive) octaves are permissible? I know that parallel fifths/octaves are not allowed, but what ...
2
votes
3answers
399 views

Looking for advice on my self-taught music education

Until a year ago, I had absolutely no music education, and I decided to change that around this period, well more exactly I picked up on (acoustic) guitar as a hobby and from there gained interest in ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Why do string players tend to breathe heavily in performance?

Recently, I've started to develop an interest in classical music, specifically chamber music and, more specifically, piano trios. Having listened to a few performances now, I can't help but notice ...
7
votes
1answer
400 views

What is the process by which singers identify their voice type/fach?

I am trying to gain insight about the process by which vocalists identify their voice type or fach. I am not looking for any discussion about the basic distinctions between, say, soprano and alto. ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Can someone explain the rhythm of a Mazurka?

While perusing some Chopin and Liszt sheets, I tried to play a Mazurka or two. But, I simply don't understand how the rhythm works. It feels awkward and unbalanced when I try and I just don't get it, ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What is “Sonata-Allegro form” and what other similar forms should I be aware of?

There are lots of classical pieces called "Sonata", and they usually have 3 movements. But there are guitar Sonatas by Paganini that only have 2 movements! And I heard there's a crazy Tchaikovsky -- ...
1
vote
3answers
657 views

Piano Concerto Evolution

So I'm currently studying piano concerti, and I'm kind of stuck on a certain aspect of it. How has the piano CONCERTO evolved from the classical period to the romantic period? I always find ...
2
votes
2answers
830 views

Interpreting ornamentation in Haydn Piano Sonata in G Major Hob. XVI: 8

This is the first movement of sonata in G Major Hob. XVI: 8 by Haydn: In bars 6, 8 and 12 there are trills (presumably in 8), but each one is represented a little bit differently. In bar 6 there ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I play these broken chords on a piano?

I have attached the starting of a waltz (A Flat Major Op. 39 No. 15) by Brahms. As you can see, the left hand plays broken chords while the right hand plays the chords normally. There are two ...
7
votes
2answers
281 views

Physiological basis for note durations?

For some reason (probably read something like this a long time ago), I have it in my head that there was some sort of physiological basis for some note durations. This may have been something like, a ...
8
votes
1answer
197 views

Did Rostropovich ever play his Humoresque himself?

"Humoresque" op.5 for cello and piano is the only piece composed by Mstislav Rostropovich himself. Did he ever play Humoresque himself? From some sources I know that he didn't, whereas other sources ...
4
votes
1answer
574 views

Is there such a thing as “pop music theory”?

There is large body of work describing the theory of Western classical music; I'm unaware of the state of analysis of popular music forms. Are the differences between, say post-50's American ...
20
votes
7answers
4k views

Why is the key included in classical music titles?

I was always curious why classical composers use names like this Étude in E-flat minor (Frédéric_Chopin) or Missa in G major (Johann Sebastian Bach). Is this from scales of this songs? Weren't they ...
26
votes
12answers
1k views

Appreciating the music of J. S. Bach

I have been learning piano for many years and am able to really enjoy the music of Beethoven and Chopin. However, when it comes to Bach, I must shamefully admit, I can't see why he is held in such ...
2
votes
2answers
454 views

Hannon or Czerny

What are the best exercises for someone who had played the piano for 3 years but has had a 4 year break and wants to get back into playing, Hannon or Czerny?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Can you help me expand this trill in Mozart's Sonata 16 (k545)?

I wonder if I am reading it wrong, or if i need much more practice on this segment. It simply doesn't sound right when I play it. Can you help me expand this trill into actual notes on the sheet ...
5
votes
8answers
12k views

Digital Pianos vs Old Upright Pianos for classical music

What should I take in consideration to make my final decision on selecting a $500-600 price range digital piano or old upright piano for classical music (practicing at home). Some part of me tells me ...
24
votes
4answers
8k views

How do classical composers write music?

I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How difficult is it to play Beethoven's (Emperor) Piano Concerto No. 5?

At what ABRSM grade would it be sensible to attempt the piano component of this sublime piece of music?
4
votes
3answers
771 views

What are some examples influences from external cultures on the development of Western classical music?

So, I think it's largely safe to presume that the core of Western musical theory developed almost entirely within Europe -- Greece in its very early history, mainly Italy and also the Franco-Flemish ...