33

I endorse Aaron's and Richard's answers, regarding what staccato means conceptually. This answer is mostly to provide some examples and details as to how staccato will typically come out in the case of a string quartet (or, strings in general). As I already commented, I strongly disagree with the people saying a staccato note should “in theory” be the same ...


28

You could remain directly facing the audience, with the smile gradually dripping from your face to be replaced by something between boredom & abject terror... ...or you may find it a lot easier to just quarter-turn & watch the conductor. You're still up there, looking professional, paying attention, but aren't being subjected to the actinic glare ...


28

Aha, I've found the answer: Asynchrony! Asynchrony is a general term which is used to describe playing notes in a separated or not-quite-together fashion where they are written as if they should normally be played at the same time in the score, for example a chord to which an arpeggiation is applied, or a left-hand bass note and right-hand melody note ...


23

A form of rubato. More specifically 'playing behind the beat'. Jazz pianist Errol Gardner did something rather similar when he '...developed a signature style that involved his right hand playing behind the beat while his left strummed a steady rhythm and punctuation'. Though in the Chopin there's flexibility of rhythms in both hands, the LH 'beat-...


21

These types of recordings are usually called or "play-alongs" or "play-a-longs." A company called Music Minus One has been making classical music play-alongs since the 1950s. The company is now owned by Hal Leonard. They produce accompaniments for some of the most famous concertos for all instruments, including Saint-Saen's 2nd Piano Concerto. For the play-...


20

I got 2 weeks to learn 7 finger-burning songs on bass. Any ideas on what should my strategy be? Tough challenge based on how you're framing it up: Their songs are way more complex than pretty much everything I've played before.. I got 2 weeks to learn 7 finger-burning songs on bass. First thing to do, if you are comfortable doing so, is to talk to your ...


19

Some performers prefer the "look busy" approach. I once attended an oboe concerto performance in which the oboist swabbed out his instrument every time he had more than 4 measures' rest. I suppose a violinist could rub down excess rosin, pretend to tweak the bow tension, re-set the comfy rag under the shoulder rest, etc. In any case, looking attentive, and ...


19

The core difference is that eighth notes/rests and quarter notes/rests (etc.) are durations; whereas, staccato marks are articulations. While it's true that staccato affects the duration of the note, there is an important interpretive meaning either way. The version including notes and rests is giving a precise indication of how long each note and rest ...


17

How often do you practice in front of others? You could try asking people to join you while you practice, or find a public piano and jump on to practice. The idea is to have more experience playing in front of people than just at the recital or test. The more familiar you are with a given situation, the more comfortable/less anxious you're capable of ...


17

I'm going to assume the usual way I get given new material to learn, as I don't read... so I get some recordings & have to figure it out from that. Edit This method is definitely intended to leave you a lot of mental space, never get bogged down in a difficult bit, move on to something else & come back later if you struggle. At any point in the ...


16

My go-to approach for this is just to let your eyes guide the audience to where you believe their attention should be. If you look at the orchestra after you have been the center of attention for a bit, they'll do the same thing. Lead the audience to where you want them to be...both with your music, and with your body (and eye!) language. Edit: Once it's ...


14

This is English Fingering. Seldom used now, you find it in older editions of piano music. The thumb is indicated by either a plus sign (+) or a cross (x) then the other fingers are numbered 1 (index finger) to 4 (pinky).


14

What I used to do before giving a lecture to a large crowd was the following ritual. (I never had time to do this in a music context.) First, hit the restroom; next, eat one small slice of cantaloupe. The purpose being not to worry about discomfort during the talk (or performance); second to get a small amount of water and sugar into the body so that one ...


12

Leaving out notes is rare; usually you would arpeggiate. In fact, when this piece was written, it was common to arpeggiate smaller chords, too. In the below video, you can hear Scriabin himself play Op.11 No.13. He arpeggiates the big chords and some of the others. None of them are notated as such in the score.


10

I have a few suggestions. Drop it and play something else. Some_Guy's advice of playing something else is really sound. However, the worst thing about doing this is feeling like a quitter or that you've found a mountain you're not capable of climbing. My thinking here is that there are some pieces -- or even composers! -- that are just not compatible ...


10

Being nervous beforehand is part of performing. Back when I was practicing law and arguing cases before the Maine State Supreme Court, I noticed that when I wasn't nervous beforehand my argument would be labored and flat. The key is to use that nervousness. In my case I thought through the various lines that the argument could take and how I could respond; ...


9

More performances. Lots more performances. If it's enough to make you nervous, that's a performance. Does just pressing record make you nervous? That counts. Get a friend to randomly come in the room. Stuff like that.


9

I agree with Laurence "rubato" but I would even go further and say "arpeggio rubato". One typical feature of preludes is - if not a toccato style - the arpeggio triads. We know the piano reduction of Bachs preludes notated in block chords. So I could imagine that these performers are applying to the block chords of eighth notes a certain ...


9

In many genres of music, it is common to have a soloist perform rhythms rather loosely while the backing musicians follow the noted rhythms rather closely. Because the piano is a polyphonic instrument, it is common for one performer to combine the roles of both a soloist and a backing musician, and thus play some notes with freer rhythms than others. An ...


9

A combination of people. First, unless you're playing from a facsimile of a period edition of the music, the person who prepared the modern edition of the music will have made some decisions in their translation of the notation to modern conventions, maybe filling in some missing information not customarily included at the time but helpful to modern ...


8

As discussed on many other posts here, you don't need any theory in order to be able to play well, however it will really help you in a number of ways: playing from a score is straightforward enough when you have learned your instrument well, and learned how to sight read, but understanding why the notes were chosen, and the progress of themes and melody, ...


8

There was a study done where it was attempted to reframe pre-performance anxiety as excitement. The idea was that you could choose to interpret your physical reaction (fast heartbeat, etc.) as fear or excitement -- that the body behaves similar in both circumstances. The paper is available online, but The Atlantic also covered it. Here is the abstract (...


8

That's not really specific to German: single-voiced vocals are typically "unisex", meaning that they are intended to be sung either by males (one octave lower than the treble clef they are written in) or females (at written pitch). Unless their range is comparatively constrained and thus universal (like typical for congregation singing), they tend ...


8

There are often various scores for a piece that conductors can choose from: a full score with a system for each instrument, even it they are not playing. Generally several similar instruments (e.g two flutes) will be combined on one system. Normally transposing instruments are transposed in the score, but sometimes they are in concert pitch in the score (...


7

Apart from the obvious practice for and by yourself; get out and play with as many different musos as possible - different instruments, different genres, different styles, different experiences (beginners to seasoned players), different venues (from small cosy clubs to arenas- if you make the chance). You maybe only play one or two styles, so doing these ...


7

There are some exercises you can try. I'll share a few that work for me and I'm sure others will add (or even subtract). First of all, it is natural for people to speed up and slow down during a performance. This a natural part of the dynamics of music and we are not robots. That being said we should be able to keep a steady beat, especially if we are ...


7

Some compositions, at least, were gender-specific. Abstract: My research identifies German Lieder composed specifically for female singers. Female-specific songs were determined through textual analysis of the solo works from four influential composers of this era, Franz Schubert (1786–1828), Robert Schumann (1810–1856), Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), and ...


7

I'll chime in as a violinist. Keep in mind that notation is partly about psychologically manipulating the musicians to produce the effect that you have in mind. The first example would be appropriate if you really, really wanted silence between the notes. As a musician I'd pick up on this desire and probably wind up interpretively shortening the eighth ...


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