Monthly Archives: December 2011

Musings about Chopin – Etudes Opus 10

I kind of know the first 3 lines of all of Chopin’s Etudes, opus 10, but that’s all I know of most of them. I’ve never learned any up to performance standard. I once heard a pianist say that if you … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas – from Chopin

Haydn gave the Minuet and Trio its place in the multi-movement instrumental forms of the Classical period. Beethoven, always innovative, replaced the elegant Minuet with a more playful, humorous, sometimes darker, scherzo. In Chopin’s hands, the Scherzo retained the form … Continue reading

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Contrapuntal Music for Young Students

I’ve been reading Joan Last’s The Young Pianist (first published 1954, Oxford) – not from beginning to end, but in bits and pieces. The chapter on interpretation offers many very good, helpful points about music in general, playing the piano … Continue reading

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Tasty Fix to 3/4 Time

Erica Ann Sipes at Beyond the Notes recently wrote a witty, almost poignant apology to 3/4 time. It is massacred so often. Students invariably add a fourth beat, completely unaware of what they’re doing. There is nothing stable, nothing to ground … Continue reading

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Performance Classes

We’re in the midst of Performance Classes this week. I’m having my Christmas Piano Parties over the next 2 weekends, so the primary focus of the classes is to prepare for the recitals. A few students missed last weeks’ lessons, … Continue reading

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Think twice about Clementi

I’m sure we’ve all taught and heard more Clementi Sonatinas than we care to think about. We know exactly where the problem spots are – we know every student is going to come back with the wrong rhythm in THAT … Continue reading

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Mozart C Major as you’ve never seen it before

This is the familiar Mozart C Major sonata K. 545 with a wonderfully descriptive harmonic analysis – and don’t let those words frighten you! (and don’t let the French title scare you, either). It shows just how big an emotional … Continue reading

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Sight-reading Chopin

My next sight-reading project is to play through Chopin’s music – chronologically, not by genre, mostly to break up what at this point I perceive to be a monotony in the Mazurkas. I’m willing to be proved wrong. I found … Continue reading

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Reading Books; Reading Music

Aretha van Herk is a published author and English Professor at the University of Calgary. She reads a book every day. She is often asked whether she has taken a speed-reading course, a question that makes her smile because “it … Continue reading

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Helpful Hints

Published in 1949, nothing has changed.

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