The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Hot answers tagged

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 ...


39

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 ...


38

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

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?


28

A lot of instruments from the analog era were supposed to sound like other "real" instruments, and were as good as technology allowed then, which is not very. But over time, some have become popular in their own right. Electric pianos were indeed supposed to sound like acoustic pianos (although some manufacturers saw the potential of adding features like ...


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 ...


26

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

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. ...


22

Without. Point blank. Lights look fun to start with, but a beginner will end up watching them rather than learning to read. Note, you can usually switch them off, so you don't have to choose a keyboard that doesn't have them. I have no recommendations on mobile teaching apps, I've never used them.


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 ...


21

It's not an A♯, it's a B♭. The key signature tells you that all B's you come across are flat hence this B is flat unless otherwise stated. See the related question: Is a high A in the key of D flat still flat?


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. (...


18

Certainly not the first. The second is unobjectionable. But why not the third? It's the standard notation, and is just fine.


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 ...


17

The note in the music is a B note.Of some sort, not an A of any sort! Count up, and that line will be a B. As Dom says, because of the key signature of one flat, which happens to be the note B, then that note is played as B♭. Whilst A♯ and B♭ are the same black key on the piano, they're not always the same note on other instruments - but ...


16

I have taken a few works from Czerny, slowed them down and played them as prelude pieces in church. One day a woman commented how gorgeous a piece was that I played and I told her it was by Czerny. She immediately called a meeting of the liturgy committee and had a bylaw drawn up stating that the organist shall NOT PLAY FINGER EXERCISES for worship and ...


16

A good practice exercise I've found to help with this is to play along to a metronome and not play every other bar. For example, play bar 1, then sit in silence for bar 2 whilst imagining the sound in your head, then play bar 3, silence bar 4, play bar 5, etc. Once you have done this a few times the next exercise would be to silence bar 1, play bar 2, ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible