I am trying to learn this piece by Ludovico Einaudi but as I am a beginner on the piano the "count" is coming up all wrong.

Can someone with a little more understanding of music please write the count for the below two graphics so I can try to sound like the actual piece?

Ludovico Einaudi


enter image description here

The name of the piece is Passaggio (it's on YouTube if you want to hear the tune) .

  • 1
    Are neither "1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &" or "1 e & uh 2 e & uh 3 e & uh 4 e & uh" working for you? You can always mix them up for specific measures like, "1 & 2 e & uh 3 & uh 4 & uh" for the first measure. Normally counting is determined by time signature and smallest note value, not by the piece as a whole. – Todd Wilcox Apr 13 '16 at 12:51
  • I tried learning it by ear, I'm just not familiar with counting :( so I thought I would learn counting with this as I am kinda close (but irritatingly far!) when I play it by ear... – Ryan Apr 13 '16 at 12:54
  • Maybe your real question is to ask how to count 4/4 time? If you are just getting started with counting while playing, I think you should edit your question to make that clear. Again, normally the way one counts is not very specific to a particular piece. – Todd Wilcox Apr 13 '16 at 12:58
  • @ToddWilcox, thanks, I've made the edit as you suggested. – Ryan Apr 13 '16 at 13:02
  • Keep in mind that the quarter rest under the whole note applies to the subsequent half and quarter notes pointing down. This means hold the whole note, while playing the other notes in time. It's written that way to let you know that there are two "voices" going on simultaneously in the treble clef, as well as the single "voice" in the bass clef. – BobRodes Apr 13 '16 at 20:00

The most important when counting is to get the basic beat right. In 4/4 like you havehere, you normally count the quarters:


When you have a punctuated quarter, the next beat comes before it is finished. See the first measure here:

enter image description here

Note that you have a small eigth note (the first G♯ in the last measure) that is put in between the other notes. It is called an acciaccatura. This is just an additional note that you just throw in there. The important here is that the regular notes follow the right time beat. Before you have control on the regular rythm's, I advice you to just skip this note. When you can play this music with little effort, it is quite easy to just throw it in there.


The treble clef for the first 2 bars can be counted like

1   e   &   a   2   e   &   a   3   e   &   a   4   e  &   a
b                   d   f#  b   a           a   g#         g#

1   e   &   a   2   e   &   a   3   e   &   a   4   e  &   a
f#              d                               d
(hold note) 

I'll leave the rest for you (or someone else) to work out. I would definitely recommend using a metronome or drum machine. If you've never counted rhythm before, just practice counting along out loud with the metronome/drum machine without playing. It's common to feel an urge to push or pull against the beat. This adds feel to a performance, but when you are first getting it under your fingers it's better to be strict with timing.


If it helps, keep in mind that in music typography helps a lot with counting too. If the music is reasonably well set, notes in the two clefs that sound together are vertically aligned. For example, in the first bar of the second passage, you can see that the first of the two semiquavers in the treble clef aligns with the fourth quaver in the bass clef so they both start at the same time and the two semi quavers together last as long as the quaver.

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