Tag Archives: Books about Music

Rejoice. There’s a disconnect.

Thought I had my summer reading material planned. A couple of books by Harold Schonberg have been started but not finished – The Great Pianists and Lives of the Great Composers. I love his writing. He brings to life the … Continue reading

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A passport to anarchy

Carl Czerny – composer of that myriad of musically boring etudes – was a big fan of the ritardando. In his Klavierschule, he allows it everywhere: when the main theme returns when a phrase is to be separated from the … Continue reading

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Strike the head with a hammer.

I tell my students to make up a story for the pieces they play. There’s no right.  There’s no wrong. They might need a prompt. Engage the imagination and let them fly with it. No story any student comes up … Continue reading

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The Aquarium

It’s Performance Class week. It’s almost too easy for me by now – I almost feel guilty for how little I’m actually working this week. But these classes are so valuable. Last night one class was with the 9- and … Continue reading

Posted in Music History, Piano pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The real thing

Certain things are perfect the way they are. The sky, the Pacific Ocean, procreation and the Goldberg Variations all fit this bill, and so do books (~Joe Queenan).  My own serendipitous find was in a used bookstore about 20 years … Continue reading

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An Equal Music

Every rehearsal of the Maggiore (String) Quartet begins with a very plain, very slow three-octave scale on all four instruments in unison: sometimes major, as in our name, sometimes minor, depending on the key of the first piece we are … Continue reading

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How to Ace a History Exam

Here’s where I hold my nose and go against all my principles of educating. The topic of the music history exams was being discussed on a forum recently (Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada; The Achievement Program in the US). The syllabus … Continue reading

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This is my brain on a book about my brain

Last week I had a mild panic attack about spending too much time online. For a few days I was having a hard time concentrating on a real book – and I looked for the LIKE button when I was … Continue reading

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It means “Use the Pedal”

Some of the common terms indicating the use of the right pedal: English: damper pedal, loud pedal, open pedal, sustaining pedal, amplifying pedal French: pédale grande, gardez la pédaleavec pédale, la pédale forte,

Posted in Piano pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A whole new meaning of “Recital”

Mozart, at the age of 14, was on a grand concertizing tour in Italy. One of the events was fairly packed, and probably made for a rather long evening: 1. One of his symphonies was played by professional musicians. 2. … Continue reading

Posted in Mozart, Music History, Pianos, Sight Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New on my Bookshelf

Last week I aquired a few more books to add to my collection of Books-Waiting-to-be-Read. I loved The Virtuosi by Harold Schonberg and ordered his The Lives of the Great Composers, and The Great Pianists. He brings history and peope to … Continue reading

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Wantin Somethin So Bad

Half-Blood Blues is a current best-selling novel by Esi Edugyan, a Canadian, as it happens. The story is about a few jazz musicians of various nationality and race caught in Berlin and Paris at the beginning of World War II. … Continue reading

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