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18

Questions like this cause endless debate among scholars. The basic fact is that sheet music from the Baroque era tends to have a great deal less detail and specificity about interpretive matters than sheet music written in later eras. Bowing directions for strings are never given; the only dynamic markings used are often just "p" and "f", and there are no ...


11

I'm not entirely certain of whether this is providing information that the OP doesn't already have. Apologies if this is a repeat of known knowledge. In the early evolution of the horn as an orchestral instrument, it had no keys, so the player could only play notes in the harmonic series of the instruments, plus-or-minus hand-stopping (which changes the ...


11

Baroque music was all about expressiveness, and the rhythm was not necessarily meant to be held as strictly as the Renaissance tactus. Wheat Williams has mentioned historically informed performance, and as he says, these things are debated academically. But there is some good indication that Baroque composers did think of slowing down at the end of pieces. ...


10

Since you don't mention any specific pieces, this may not be relevant to you, but it does apply in many situations. If you want to progress from studies like Czerny and Hanon, which are mostly about finger-technique, to things like the Chopin or Debussy Etudes (and most of the 19th-21st century piano repertoire), you have to leave behind the mindset that ...


9

I actually studied music composition and computer science myself. Great combo! It sounds like what you are really looking for is a formal music composition program, so, first of all, I would say that if this is something that really interests you, and you have the time and the means, you should look into trying to study music through your school, either by ...


9

The top of an acoustic guitar (steel-string or classical) is also referred to as the table. This is the flat piece of wood making up the front of the guitar's body when in playing position (which is a bit confusing!) It is the flat piece of wood which has the sound-hole in it, and which has the bridge stuck to it. This part of the guitar is also called the ...


9

Wheat Williams covered the basics of historically-informed-performance quite well. I want to add that unmeasured preludes (not uncommon in Baroque music) indicate that Baroque composers did have a concept of give-and-take in regards to tempo. (You can look at examples of preludes here or here to see what the music looked like.) So, while the purists may ...


8

It isn't entirely clear from your question whether you're fluent in reading Western music notation and if you're conversant in the (relatively) standardized vocabulary for Western harmony and melody. If not, a first place to begin investigation might be Joseph Straus's Elements of Music. It begins with how to read notes, then moves on to keys, scales, meter, ...


8

the numbers are indeed fingerings. The circle indicates that the hand position is changing. The long curved lines are not sostenuto pedal markings, they're "legato" markings. Legato means that you play the marked phrase smoothly note into note, without spaces or rests between the notes. You're correct that the numbered measures near the repeat sign are ...


6

Can't think why some numbers are in circles - they refer to fingerings - 1= thumb, r.h. in the treble clef. Yes, it's a phrase rather than a slur, so no pedal as the harmony changes. It is a repeat sign. Play the first part again, and second time around, don't play 'bar 1'. Poco moto is a way to say push it along a bit, rather than just keep a tempo going. ...


5

It sounds like you are starting to study harmony and music theory, though. As you progress, things will start to make more sense to you. What makes Shostakovich select such dissonant notes freely? One way of looking at this: composers in a certain period or style eventually start to chafe with the rules of their period, and start to push the envelope. ...


5

Yes they are both triplets. If they were not eigth note triplets, the measure would not add up to 4 quarter notes, but instead 5 quarter notes. Another thing to note is notice how the notes are beamed to make 4 groups. This is to clearly show each beat i.e. each quarter note. As you can see, those notes form one group together equaling 1 quarter note so ...


5

Fermatas do not have a specific length. You would just hold the note longer than the value for effect typically at the discretion of the performer or conductor based on what kind of effect you want. For this specific piece, the tempo is pretty fast so any piano should be able to sustain it easily and the piece is well known enough that you can listen to ...


5

To answer the parts of your question specific to the piano, it's entirely acceptable to allow the sound to die away. Silence is a part of music too, or we wouldn't have rests. One way to get more sustain, though, is to use a concert grand piano. (I'm being a bit facetious, of course--I don't have $50,000+ kicking around and you probably don't either--but ...


5

One possible explanation I finally found comes and cited from https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Horn_in_F/Notation: "In classical symphonic music, a pair of horns was generally used for pieces in a major key, whereas two pairs were used for pieces in a minor key. This was done for harmonic reasons, since it was the only way to produce the second subject in the ...


5

"Historically informed" practitioners will tell you all kinds of stuff overgeneralized from a narrow modern point of view. For example, that dynamics in keyboards are a modern invention. Clavichords were perfectly capable of nuanced dynamic play, and larger instruments like harpsichords had several manuals and registration possibilities in order to allow ...


4

I don't know if you mean Alfred's piano books, but those are the ones that I use with my students. If you're not using Alfred's you might have a look. There are some sample PDF pages. Mikrokosmos is a great series, if you like Bartok. Getting students to play the pieces if they don't like Bartok is more trouble than it's worth. Fingering is a flexible ...


4

I'm a classical improviser and teacher thereof. I think of improvising as a classical musician as musical conversation (assuming I am playing with someone else or with several people): I talk about something I are familiar with in a comfortable way (I don't try to talk too fast or use words I don't know). The other person listens to what I have said and ...


4

It would be easy enough to concoct a test that showed the difference between 64 and 128-note polyphony. Maybe harder to tell in practical use. I'd opine that anything over 128 is a gimmick. But be sure you're absolutely clear what the manufacturer (or his advertising copywriter) meams by a "voice". Will hitting a key ever use more than one of them?


4

You hold a fermata until it stops crying. Or rather, until you have the attention of the audience and before you lose it again. In a room with reverbation, you stop until the onset of a p will overcome the remaining reverb of an ff. There is a fresh start after a fermata, and you should make it appear like that. With a sustaining instrument like an ...


4

First answer - don't know till the title is known. Second - not necessarily, as speed is only one factor. Feeling/technique are often more important. Third - use a metronome, so there is an absolute to work with. Fourth - sometimes. Scale/arpeggio exercises help, as well as any others that give more fluidity to hands and fingers. Fifth - certainly. If ...


4

It will have the notes of let's say a b minor chord and the position will be indicated with Roman Numerals. You would see a whole slew of notes that fit the B minor chord and you would see an indication of position seven and know it is the minor barre on fret seven.


4

As I understand it, these pieces were composed by Brahms after being inspired by some Hungarian folk tunes and dance tunes. I think it is unlikely that he ever seriously considered whether anyone could actually dance with these pieces as accompaniment, and really that is not important. You might also like to look at a lot of other classical pieces which ...


4

There are several things that come to mind here. Disclamatory Edit: As pointed out by Todd Wilcox, I should specify that my answer is rather narrow in some ways. My answer is based on "traditional" Jazz and does not include much of the more modern Classical. There have been many innovations in both genres that have led to music that does not meet my ...


3

Probably 95% of students who take lessons don't end up performing professionally. Music will be something they do for themselves and their friends, and good accompanists are rare in many areas. If she wants to be able to sing with an accompanist with any frequency, her options are to marry one (my wife's choice) or be able to accompany herself. Of course ...


3

The conductor's job is to analyze the piece and figure out, to a very minute detail, how it should be played. He then has to communicate that in rehearsal through words and physicality (conducting patterns and gestures). The difficulty is in coming up with a good analysis, having a sharp ear to hear what the ensemble is doing, and being able to communicate ...


3

There are some tricks to polyphony - the same number on 2 different synthesizers/digital pianos might be different 1) a stereo note sometimes requires 2 voices 2) your favorite sound may be "layered" (more than one sound played at the same time). So that piano plus strings sound could eat 2 or more voices 3) there may be background tracks like drums, ...


3

Vivaldi's Four Seasons is one of the best and earliest examples in music history of what is called programmatic music or tone poems. The instrumental music was written by Vivaldi to tell a specific story which has accompanying words that are written down, not sung. Vivaldi chose the titles for each movement. Vivaldi wrote four poems, one for each movement, ...


3

Note, that before Beethoven (or more exactly Johann Maelzel, inventor of the metronome, ca. 1816) there was no exact speed indication at all. While a term like presto surely means fast, it is not clear how fast. In earlier music named after dances that dance name often gives a rough indication. Even if a metronome setting is given, there is a good chance, ...


3

In the score you referenced, the first and last movements are in G minor. Since the valveless horns of the classical period only played the notes of the natural harmonic series, a horn in G could only play B natural, not B flat. It was common to use another pair of horns in B flat to provide that important note in the minor scale, and they could also play ...



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