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14 votes

Chopin's Etude op. 10 No.1 - why the D sharp in bar 8?

That note is leading to the E in the next measure, so D# creates greater tension — greater pull toward the E — than would D natural.
  • 62.3k
12 votes
Accepted

Does the key a piece is written in affect playability for piano?

Certainly! Fingering is one of the most important factors involved in playing piano, so where the black/white keys get pressed is paramount. Particularly in the faster passages. One might assume that ...
  • 177k
10 votes

Chopin's Etude op. 10 No.1 - why the D sharp in bar 8?

Intensifying the G7 dominant with a ♯5 is a legitimate artistic decision. It resolves melodically to the E on the second beat of the following bar. Chopin uses the same device several more times in ...
  • 81.2k
9 votes
Accepted

What does this natural cancel?

It's a courtesy accidental to make extra clear that the double-sharp doesn't apply. There is sometimes confusion, especially with beginners, about whether an accidental in one octave applies to other ...
  • 62.3k
9 votes

Does the key a piece is written in affect playability for piano?

There are no hard keys - or at least there aren't once you're past the elementary stage of playing. But there are certainly phrases that 'fall under the fingers' more easily in one key than another, ...
  • 81.2k
8 votes

In Chopin Marche funèbre, measure 19, on right hand, is the A flat played once or three times?

Three times. Ties connect just two notes. Ties could be notated like A below. Or, more likely, B - which might have been confusing. But it wasn't written that way. The A♭ is played three times. Not ...
  • 81.2k
7 votes
Accepted

In Chopin Marche funèbre, measure 19, on right hand, is the A flat played once or three times?

The Ab is played three times, as it is notated. The C is played twice (also as it is notated). Are you perhaps confusing the Slur with a Tie?
  • 5,991
6 votes
Accepted

when you only sing in F#

The joke is that he sings in F#, even though it sounds bad, just because he prefers singing in F#. He does not sing the whole song in F# while playing in F*. That would be very difficult to do, but ...
  • 5,029
6 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to notate/convey this ornament?

The ornament you're looking for is called a nachschlag. (See, for example, Trills in Clementi Op. 36 No. 1 2nd movement.) Presuming treble clef, the notation you want will look like an eighth-note B, ...
  • 62.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Solo piano: Why not compose everything in or including the keys C major and A minor?

C and Am are NOT always the easiest keys - and I'm considering piano here. Just because they both (presumably) use the 'white keys' doesn't make the pieces easier to play. There are many, many pieces ...
  • 177k
5 votes
Accepted

Does practicing set pieces on the piano lead to the ability to improvise or play accompaniment?

Funnily enough, "Now, will that give him, through an unconscious process, the ability e.g. to accompany the church choir on the piano on a random hymn (that is, without score for the ...
  • 12k
5 votes

Does practicing set pieces on the piano lead to the ability to improvise or play accompaniment?

Music theory and practice has neglected the way of Partimento and teaching improvisation for almost 200 years. Now it has been recovered and since about more than 10 years there's a great ...
5 votes

when you only sing in F#

Ironically, he's not singing in F initially, nor F♯ when he sings that he is. The song's far more in Dm, and the F♯ note he sings is actually the major 3rd of D - yes, it's an F♯,, but he's certainly ...
  • 177k
5 votes

Does the key a piece is written in affect playability for piano?

Example: Chopin Scherzo #2, in B-flat minor. On the 11th page (sorry I don't have measure numbers - this is the 3rd page of the E major section), in the 7th and 8th measure of the running 8th notes ...
4 votes

Melodic Fragments and Idioms

In this pedagogical approach, these harmonic idioms are taught as common building blocks that will aid both a) your aural comprehension of common-practice music, as well as b) your ability to ...
  • 80.2k
4 votes

Does practicing set pieces on the piano lead to the ability to improvise or play accompaniment?

A pretty emphatic no! Out of all the players I've had the pleasure of playing with, the vast majority fall into one category or the other. There's only been literally a handful who were good at ...
  • 177k
4 votes

Solo piano: Why not compose everything in or including the keys C major and A minor?

There are many reasons why composers would prefer to write for piano on keys other than C or a. For instance: Absolute pitch of notes and phrases. The same theme played in C major and in G major ...
  • 6,963
4 votes

Does the key a piece is written in affect playability for piano?

Key can affect playability, but it's not the case that any one key is globally more difficult than another. Key distances: Thinking in terms of the left hand, the major tenth from Bb to D, for ...
  • 62.3k
4 votes

Is there a reason why Clementi didn't suggest a change of finger for repeating notes? (Sonatina Op. 36 No. 2)

In every case where Clementi specifies no finger change, it is a weak beat (i.e., a half-beat) following be a strong beat. The one time he's explicit about changing fingers, it's on a strong beat ...
  • 62.3k
3 votes

Fingering first measure Funeral March

There's rarely any 'correct' fingering! There's suggested fingering (bit like guitar tab!) but it's been done usually by someone who it works for. And if that's not you, you don't have to use it! It ...
  • 177k
3 votes

Is Moonlight (first movement) suitable for grade 7?

TL;DR The first movement of the Moonlight sonata has not been (publicly) graded by ABRSM, but the consensus puts it around grade 6, with grade 7 as a "maybe". I would err on the side of ...
  • 62.3k
3 votes

Chopin's Etude op. 10 No.1 - why the D sharp in bar 8?

It's basically a G dominant seventh bar. That's going to lead, usually, to a C bar, which it does. The B and F forming a tritone during the bar which gives a certain amount of dissonance, that gets ...
  • 177k
3 votes

Does the key a piece is written in affect playability for piano?

A thing that no-one has yet commented on is slide notes in jazz and blues. It is common to want to slide from b3 to 3 or from b5 to 5, and other slides are possible. This is done with one finger ...
2 votes

Moonlight Sonata vs K.331 Andante Grazioso

There are different kinds of difficulty. The Moonlight sonata first movement is technically quite easy to play. But to play it well, with the touch absolutely calibrated right for every note, is ...
2 votes

What does this natural cancel?

As Aaron states, it's a courtesy accidental. Completely unnecessary in theory, but put there to remind the reader that although the upper, earlier C is a double sharp, that one is not. However, since ...
  • 177k
2 votes

Chopin's Etude op. 10 No.1 - why the D sharp in bar 8?

I was looking for a concise explanation of this on Wikipedia, but did not find one, since augmented triads have quite a lot of uses -- as with the diminished seventh chord, its symmetry makes it very ...
  • 15.1k
2 votes

Fingering first measure Funeral March

The 5-5 is a viable option, particularly since the pedal is there to help cover the gap. My preferred fingering would be 5-2-1, because the 5-2 is fairly comfortable, and I have a wide span between 2 ...
  • 62.3k
2 votes

Is there a reason why Clementi didn't suggest a change of finger for repeating notes? (Sonatina Op. 36 No. 2)

My understanding is that generally changing finger on a repeated (or held) note is for two reasons: to shift the hand position in preparation for what comes next to play repeated notes rapidly My ...

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