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45

First off, for any melody that stays within a key, you have about a 1/7 chance of any random note you guess being the next note. Second, there are popular melody patterns and techniques, and sometimes the chords being played will suggest likely places for the melody to go. Depending on the chords and the harmony, you may be instinctively understanding that ...


38

For some reason, practice isn't always enough for prepare us for a performance. That's not unusual. Some things that have helped me and others I've talked to include: "Practice" performing in situations that are less high pressure. Singing karaoke at a small bar or taking an improv class are examples. Meditation and/or visualization on a regular basis can ...


37

replete's answer is correct that the original reason was to have a bigger range, as needed for some organ music. However, I don't think that's the reason those Imperial models are so sought-for over all these years – actually playing the lowest notest is scarcely musically useful. The reason why people want Bösendorfer Imperial is that they sound awesome, ...


33

In the vast majority of classical music, the player is tasked with playing exactly the notes that the composer wrote. It's not very important for the player to understand the theory behind the piece, and a great number of classical players know little to no theory (at least until they reach conservatory, if they go that route) and don't suffer for it. Let's ...


33

There are a few reasons that I found these technical drills helpful as a piano player: They help practice playing the hands together clearly and cleanly. Young piano players often play both hands "together," but the articulations between the hands are not actually in sync. As such, the result is one of constant flam and grace-note relationships between the ...


33

Well pretty much anything can be played as a performance piece but many of them would be very dull to listen to. Personally I find Hanon extremely boring and I believe many other people do too. Czerny less so but still there is not enough in most of them to make then sufficiently interesting for the listener in a concert setting. Having said that there is ...


32

Traditional tonal music plays with expectations. Music can do many surprising and unexpected things, but very often music will do what is "expected" meaning that it follows certain conventions. Let's switch to a language metaphor just for a moment. If I say "hello, what is your... ", what word do you expect might be next? Do you think "name?" Certainly ...


29

On just about every piano, studio (upright) or grand, the right hand pedal (?!) moves the felt dampers away from all the strings. This allows all strings to vibrate in sympathy when a note relating to them is played. Press pedal, play G - other G strings will also sound, giving a richer sound, which will sustain longer. Hence sustain or damper pedal. The ...


28

With all due respect, you are doing your students a grave disservice by not having them read sheet music from the start. Yes, chords and finger patterns are very important, but nobody can become a skilled pianist without being able to read the charts. Not all music is simple folk tunes! Beyond just learning to read notes and chord groups, there's rhythm, ...


28

Playing a chord lifts the dampers from just the strings of the notes played. Depressing the pedal lifts the dampers from ALL the strings. A lot more resonance. I'm amazed that you can't hear the difference! Maybe you aren't playing a real piano, but a basic-grade electronic imitation that doesn't model this important part of the piano sound?


26

This is actually two individual pitches. The bottom pitch, as you've correctly said, is middle C. The upper pitch is on the next ledger line up, meaning it's a third above C, and actually an E. (If it were a D, there would be no second ledger line necessary, since D is just one space above that middle C.) So in order to play this beat, you need to play ...


25

This small pitch just means that it's an optional pitch to play. You definitely have to play the D, but you could also play D and F. (But you'll never play only F.) You can play this pitch with either the left or right hand. The musical term is ossia, which is Italian for "alternatively." Oftentimes ossia parts are written on a different staff: But in your ...


25

I believe the square notes (usually called diamonds) indicate keys that are silently depressed and held down. This technique allows those notes to ring sympathetically when the right hand notes are played. This specific piece is mentioned in this Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_extended_technique The relevant passage: Composers such ...


24

This is a very common problem for anyone learning a second instrument after achieving a high level of proficiency at their first. It's humbling to have to go back to basics, and the music you have to play can be boring. People self-teaching a second instrument often have unrealistic expectations of their progress and get frustrated, so they try to jump ahead ...


24

The symbol indicates the chord should be played as a descending arpeggio. Standard convention is to go from low to high, so when the composer wants to go the opposite way, it needs to be clarified.


24

This does not seem to be a typo, as evidenced by a clear D♭ in the bass on page 14 of the autograph manuscript: On page 14 of Kullak's "instructive edition" found here, the editor suggests fingering the chord 5–3–1 and rolling the chord to get all three pitches:


23

It's an alternate way to notate an arpeggio. arpège (Fr.), arpeggio (It.), arpeggi (It. plural): (Italian, meaning 'in the manner of a harp') a spread chord played from the top down or from the bottom up indicated by a vertical wavy line, a vertical square bracket or a curved bracket (the latter two signs are now uncommon). (Direct quote from Dolmetsch. ...


21

From a pedagogical standpoint, consider all of the things an "absolute beginner" would have to learn in order to perform this piece: Note names in treble clef Note names in bass clas Note values of whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth Dotted note values Rest values of eighth and sixteenth (and result syncopation) Ties Accidentals Fermata Notation ...


20

Disclaimer: I omit a bunch of hedging about what I'm referring to when I say "classical music" below; think Bach or Brahms It sounds like you might be coming from a pop/rock background and are familiar with, say, guitar tabs as a way of notating the structure of a song. Other answers have pointed out that: in classical music, notation is almost always (...


20

I think you were too harsh. Improvisation is itself a useful skill, especially so if your friend has an interest in jazz. Trying new things can also help with composition - I'd imagine most music doesn't spring from the composer's head fully formed. You may find an interesting melody or rhythm when just noodling around that you want to keep for later. And ...


20

Dealing with pressure Get a sound recorder or use your phone and record your performances. The extra pressure of recording yourself will cause similar pressure to an actual performance. Also practise occasionally with a metronome - once again, the pressure of having to keep a strict tempo will distract you. You may be surprised that your tempo is off, ...


20

This is a technique common in jazz, blues, and pop styles. It is essentially mimicking the way vocal, string, and wind players scoop or slide into a note. Since a true portamento is not possible on piano, it is simulated by quickly hitting a note above or below the target note slightly before the target note. Though today it is more common popular music, it ...


19

I do perhaps see where you are coming from - 7 hours a day certainly is a big investment, and there can be a risk in doodling (and, for that matter, noodling) in that your fingers follow the same patterns again and again, simply reinforcing those same patterns - which might make you better able to follow those patterns, but little else. On the other hand, ...


18

It's an approach note from below, and if it's a half-step below, it's a chromatic approach note. Why it sounds good: (1) It makes the melody more varied and interesting, if not all notes start exactly the same. In your ear the short approach note and the target note after it blend together, so it can be seen as a different attack, different articulation. (...


17

I understand that anxiety can cause a kid to freak out a little and start "flopping" the fingers, but I won't allow it to continue. I stop them and maybe do one measure at a time, or even one note to the next note. I will ask them again to tell me the note names and the fingering if applicable, and have them play one note at a time. If they had been ...


16

My opinion (and I'm not sure you will get a result based on a more sound basis): I fail to see, how this can be applied to any non-trivial piano piece due to the width required. Turning pages seems also a non-trivial problem besides the pure convention. Standard notation packs an astonishing amount of information on a page and the addition of accents, ...


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