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#1298971 - 11/03/09 02:59 PM Question about a note
Gisele Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Schenectady, Saratoga Counties...
I want to assign a Purcell composition to one of my students tonight. The piece has several notes with stems pointing up and down. They are odd notes too, a low A in the bass clef, a high A in the bass clef and the line F in the bass clef. Why are there 2 stems?

At first I thought it was for the right hand to also play, but that would mean that a student's hand would be extending 14 notes, which is impossible!

Please advise because I am sure he will ask why and I have no idea. Thanks!

Gisele Sum, gsum82-piano@hotmail.com
Piano and Theory Teacher
Principal Church Organist and/or Choir Accompaniment

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#1298972 - 11/03/09 03:01 PM Re: Question about a note [Re: Gisele]
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6069
Loc: Orange County, CA
In a polyphonic composition, sometimes the same note will belong to two different voices (tenor and bass, for example). Thus you'd see two stems on these shared notes.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#1299008 - 11/03/09 04:12 PM Re: Question about a note [Re: AZNpiano]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I was ready to reply, too, but AZN beat me to it.

I concur with AZN

How is it that a "theory teacher" does not know this? That is very puzzling to me.

I don't think any of us have a stretch of 14 notes in one hand? Maybe between the ears in a straight line. Forgive me my brashness, it's been a very brash 2 days in my life and my tolerance level is getting lower than normal.

We should not be teaching that which we do not completely understand.

#1299028 - 11/03/09 04:53 PM Re: Question about a note [Re: Betty Patnude]
Gisele Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Schenectady, Saratoga Counties...
Thanks for the answer! I guess I did know it, but I did not expect there to be different voices in beginner level music.
Gisele Sum, gsum82-piano@hotmail.com
Piano and Theory Teacher
Principal Church Organist and/or Choir Accompaniment

#1299143 - 11/03/09 08:43 PM Re: Question about a note [Re: Gisele]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13119
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
A good exercise for your student to do woudl be to try and follow one voice at a time throughout the whole piece. Soprano and Bass are the easiest to pick out, and tenor and alto are harder, so maybe do these last. It would demonstrate for him the need for the double-stems.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#1299466 - 11/04/09 01:57 PM Re: Question about a note [Re: Morodiene]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
This is an excellent opportunity to connect the vocal or choral end with the different voices to the fact that the piano has them all and the fact that you emphasize the melody more than the harmony (obviously on a simple level if he is a begginner). Good Luck


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