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34 votes
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Why do many acoustic pianos have a wooden block to the left of the keys?

As @BobBroadley says, the Key Block holds the keyboard in place. However, why is the key block needed in the first place? Presumably the left side of the case could do the same job. The first key ...
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18 votes

Why do many acoustic pianos have a wooden block to the left of the keys?

In addition to holding the keyboard in place, and allowing for diagonal stringing... these provide room for playing un-inhibitedly (when appropriate) at the outer ends of the keyboard, without running ...
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11 votes

Why do many acoustic pianos have a wooden block to the left of the keys?

I'm a professional piano tuner, and can confirm that this block is provided by the manufacturer primarily for your drink and cigarettes. The overstringing bit was an afterthought, they wondered what ...
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7 votes
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Why doesn't a piano have dampers in the upper register?

I think the idea is that the high notes don't sustain enough to need damping for clarity of playing. And their constant availability for sympathetic resonance brightens the sound of the whole ...
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7 votes
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How can I avoid a C Ionian theme when I am playing in Aeolian?

There are two principle idea you need to learn about. The tonic as the center of tonality in music. The difference between keys in the major/minor system, key signatures, and modes. The tonic is ...
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7 votes
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Do all voices deserve rests, or can I tactically omit rests?

Elaine Gould, in her standard reference to music notation, Behind Bars, indicates that "Parts on one stave share a rest where possible" (p. 312) Thus, the initial half rest should be shared ...
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6 votes

Why do many acoustic pianos have a wooden block to the left of the keys?

They are called key blocks. They hold the piano keyboard in place.
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6 votes

How can I avoid a C Ionian theme when I am playing in Aeolian?

There are in fact many pieces which move in and out of C Ionian and A Aeolian. It's the way music sometimes works. And one of the reasons the key signatures are the same. We tend to define the key of ...
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5 votes

Am I right in playing this notes?

Yes. The E is displaced in the music so it can be seen clearly, but all four notes are played at the same time, and your fingering is a practical way of doing it. I'd probably use the sustain pedal in ...
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5 votes

Techniques for improving how I learn a piece

There are two important techniques when practicing and learning a new piece which should help you. Start slowly and only increase speed very gradually. If you play the piece very, very slowly then ...
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4 votes
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Duration of articulations (e.g. staccato, tenuto) for piano

TL;DR In order to have unique durations for each articulation, use a formula along the lines of PerformedDuration = NotatedDuration * ListOrderOfArticulation / NumberOfDistinctArticulations (See ...
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4 votes

How do I notate for the sostenuto pedal?

The symbol for the sostenuto pedal is "Sost. Ped.". The "S" should be aligned directly below the first moment that it is applied (usually just after the note it is acting on is ...
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4 votes

Am I right in playing this notes?

Since the key signature is 2#, F♯ and C♯, all notes played will be white keys - except the accidental G♯. So, you're playing B, D, E, G♯. All correct. The fingering is as good as any, and if you've ...
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4 votes

How can I avoid a C Ionian theme when I am playing in Aeolian?

Yes, the 2 modes contain the same tones. But the structure of the melodies in C compared with Am and the functions of the homechord are quite different. Like Tim says it seems you ask how to ...
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4 votes

How can I avoid a C Ionian theme when I am playing in Aeolian?

All the other answers give excellent information on solidifying the Aeolian mode, but there is one thing they don't mention. Your biggest challenge will be to avoid accidentally slipping into C Ionian....
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3 votes

How can I avoid a C Ionian theme when I am playing in Aeolian?

We already have good answers, and an accepted one, but it's a good question that's asked often in different ways, so I'll add one more perspective. Many modes like C Ionian, A Aeolian, and D Dorian ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Keyboard fingering: jumps vs spread fingers

Unfortunately, there is no general rule for fingering. It's entirely dependent on the musical context and one's hand size/shape. The only general advice is that it's best to stay as relaxed as ...
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2 votes

Techniques for improving how I learn a piece

There's a myriad of different ideas for learning! My first is to become so good at sight-reading that you don't need to learn a piece ever again. That may sound trite, but I play with those sorts (I ...
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2 votes

Piano Sheet Music Symbols of Long Diagonal Lines

As others have supposed, there is no formal name for these lines. In Elaine Gould's Behind Bars, which is the standard reference for music notation, she just refers to them as "diagonal lines&...
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2 votes

Meaning of left parenthesis notation on chords

TL;DR The vertical slurs and wavy arpeggio markings both indicate arpeggios. Summary It seems that Chopin's arpeggio notation evolved over time. In the autograph of his Prelude in A minor, the final ...
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2 votes
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Should the blue marked right hand note played after, before, or simultaneously to the left hand blue marked note?

By splitting that particular beat into its component parts, it makes more sense. Take the treble notes - split them into 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, and the B♮ falls on 4. Take the tuplet of 6 in the bass clef, ...
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2 votes

Godowski's touch

Ok I found something – The technique is called "weight release". Here's want I found: Puzzled with why he plays well after 12 to 14 hours of practicing and 2 hour rest. He realized he let ...
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  • 440
2 votes

Techniques for improving how I learn a piece

Sounds familiar. I'm in my mid 50s, played piano a couple of years in my teens, left music for decades, and picked it up again a couple of years ago. After a few months I learned Gnossienne 1 (Erik ...
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2 votes

Why doesn't a piano have dampers in the upper register?

There's already enough parts on the piano! Dampers are there to stop strings vibrating. Especially when we don't want them to. Which is why there's the sustain and sometimes sostenuto pedals to ...
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2 votes

How can I avoid a C Ionian theme when I am playing in Aeolian?

I'm not sure about modern modal uses but the problem of having a minor key composition drift into the relative major has been known for some time (maybe 500 years or so). There are some techniques for ...
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  • 23k
2 votes

Is there any book that summarize the chords progression and how it make you feel?

There's no one book, especially no handy table that's like "This chord, plus that one, equals happy. This one equals sad." But there is basically the entire discipline of music theory, and ...
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1 vote

How can I avoid a C Ionian theme when I am playing in Aeolian?

If you're composing or improvising music in A minor, one way to break the relationship to the relative major is to slip out of that natural minor mode into the melodic and harmonic minor. Consider ...
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  • 3,548
1 vote

Techniques for improving how I learn a piece

Good answers from others. Based on your description, I'm thinking it would make sense for you to take a few days to finish memorizing your chunk of the piece, and then the various things you're doing ...
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1 vote

Godowski's touch

Several of the late romantic pianists were also very well known for writing books about how to play piano, or for being teachers. Godowski is a very likely possibility. And if not that then another ...
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