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#2052698 - 03/22/13 08:01 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: sinophilia]
Stubbie Offline
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Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 371
Loc: Midwest USA
Yeah, I agree, Classy Rag is tough to get sounding good. It needs a certain amount of speed, a bucket of confidence, and the bouncy spirit/syncopation of ragtime.

I don't have any of those with that piece, so I always stank at it. eek
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#2066969 - 04/19/13 08:24 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
sinophilia Offline

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Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 943
Loc: Italy
I'll try to resurrect this thread with a lament.

I did Swan Lake - the pedal is tricky, it doesn't sound amazing but it's there, and I like it. Then I moved on to Scheherazade and the theme from Schubert's Unfinished Melody and well... I am in a rut! It's happened to me before, but not this bad. I try to apply all the good practicing methods but my progress with these pieces is terrible and I would do anything else instead! Maybe I'm hitting a wall because I went too fast with the first two books... or maybe I'm just not used to working so hard. Any thoughts?
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Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2066994 - 04/19/13 09:27 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
malkin Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2415
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I'm pretty sure the rut is because you are all alone on this thread!
Hang in there--gahdzilla and I are both slaughtering Danny Boy, so it won't be long until you have some company up here in Book 3.

Seriously, you're probably doing fine; up and down is the normal course of things. You know it is; you told me yourself! Play something fun or work out something new and easy. Or load up an online Wish list of sheet music.
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#2067034 - 04/19/13 10:20 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
sinophilia Offline

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Posts: 943
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Thank you malkin, I'm feeling stuck right now, and I guess listening to Martha Argerich all the time isn't helping! laugh
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Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2067194 - 04/19/13 03:44 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: sinophilia]
Stubbie Offline
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Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 371
Loc: Midwest USA
Sinophilia, glad you resurrected the Book 3 thread, even with a lament!

I agree--Scheherazade and Unfinished... are tricky. Scheherazade never clicked with me and Unfinished's dotted eighth-sixteenth note combos in the left hand were (and are) difficult for me. The next piece, Spooky Story, I played through once and that was it.

But the pieces that follow clicked with me: Steal Away (easy, but very peaceful), Come Back to Sorrento (peppy; a lot of fun), Magic Carpet Ride (eh; once through and that was it), In the Hall of the Mountain King (kind of fun and such a familiar tune), An American Hymn (again, peaceful and not too hard but ultimately kind of boring in the left hand), Adagio in A Major (went from here to Chopin's Prelude in A Major in the back of the book) and so on.

All of this is the long way around to saying that, in my opinion, Book 3 is far less linearly graded in difficulty from front to back than Books 1 and 2--i.e., earlier pieces in Book 3 are not necessarily easier than later pieces (many pieces introduce new keys). I think moving around in the book is reasonable and sometimes just a little more time and experience playing other pieces helps with the harder ones. So--give yourself permission to try some of the pieces that follow and see if they click with you!
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#2067229 - 04/19/13 04:49 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
earlofmar Online   content
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Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
I can only share your feeling of being in a rut. I don't think book 2 is particularly linear and since I ordered book 3 at the same time I alternate between them. I can tell that even if I mastered book 2 I would still have got stuck in book 3. Both books have some easy songs and then some doozies. But I believe each of the hard songs has something specific to teach me, that will be required later on as well.

My solution to the problem is to incorporate small sections of the songs (the tricky bits) into my regular practice. So I might only practice a difficult chord shape or progression. I find this helpful but because improvements only happen at a snails pace I just have to wait until ability catches up with enthusiasm.
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#2067301 - 04/19/13 06:44 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: earlofmar]
tlh1 Offline
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Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Florida
I've just noticed that it's been over a year since I've started with Alfred's #3. I really haven't made much progress in the book. 'Fandango' was fun and not too difficult, 'Modern Sounds' a bit boring, and now I play other things again. I also upgraded to an acoustic piano (a used Yamaha C3) in November, which required some adjustments smile I'm still planing/hoping to finish Alfred #3, so I will definitely continue to check this thread.

Since it might be somewhat helpful to others, I add a few words about my experience with some non-Alfred-AllInOne pieces.

For instance, I've learned two minuets from Anna Magdalena's Notebook (BWV Anh. 114 and 115), which were pretty difficult for me. Especially the left hand (and left-right hand coordination) felt very different from the typical Alfred pieces. Anyway, I believe these minuets really helped me advance (at my very modest pace).

I've also worked on Erik Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1 for several weeks. At first I was really excited about my progress but never finished the piece because I still don't have enough control to pull off the right sound in a reproducible fashion.

A good choice (in my opinion) is Beethoven's Sonatina in G Major. It's in Alfred's Sonatina Album and I hope to play more of those. I also bought Schumann's Album for the Young but haven't tried any of those pieces yet.

I also noticed that I've increased my "storage capacity". At the end of Alfred #2, I could usually memorize 1-2 pieces at a time. Whenever I've learned a new one, an old song dropped out. This has gone up to 4-5 or so.

What's the next Alfred highlight? The Haydn Serenade? I still feel bad about not sticking closer to our dear friend Alfred ...

EDIT: I've just checked my old post. I reached #3 in August--thank God (and registered in February 2012). That makes me feel a bit better ...


Edited by tlh1 (04/19/13 06:54 PM)
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#2067374 - 04/19/13 10:53 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
earlofmar Online   content
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Registered: 03/21/13
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Loc: Australia
Thanks for that tlh1, I was looking for something classical away from the Alfred books that didn't look too advanced so I just downloaded the music for the two minuets from imsip.org. Will get stuck in.
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#2067451 - 04/20/13 04:33 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 943
Loc: Italy
Thank you Stubbie, I guess I'm too focused on the progressiveness and don't allow myself to wander about much.

On one hand I feel like I should be better now, after over 1 year, than I actually am; on the other hand I can see that I have gained some general skills - specifically I can read much better and my fingers usually know where the right keys are. I find myself looking around more, downloading scores and trying out things that are not in the Alfred's book. I did this with the song I'm supposed to record for the ABF recital. Plus I'm doing quite a lot of sight-reading. Still, the more I go on, the more I realize how terribly complex this is. I once thought the piano was a somewhat easy instrument, because you don't need to struggle just to hold the thing or produce a sound like with a violin or woodwind. But with most instruments you only produce a single note at any given time! Sometimes I'm a bit overwhelmed.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2067483 - 04/20/13 07:07 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: sinophilia]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: sinophilia

On one hand I feel like I should be better now, after over 1 year, than I actually am; on the other hand I can see that I have gained some general skills - specifically I can read much better and my fingers usually know where the right keys are. I once thought the piano was a somewhat easy instrument, because you don't need to struggle just to hold the thing or produce a sound like with a violin or woodwind. But with most instruments you only produce a single note at any given time! Sometimes I'm a bit overwhelmed.


I think you are being a bit hard on yourself sinophilia, obviously if you are on Alfred Book 3 after only a year you are way ahead of most. You like many others here have also decided to give it your all - anyone can play piano in a pop style and sound pretty good with only a scattering of knowledge and a book of chords. To take the life long learning path is not the easiest but the most satisfying.
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#2067551 - 04/20/13 10:06 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: earlofmar]
tlh1 Offline
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Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Florida
Hi sino, sometimes it's better not to overthink the process (i.e. the opposite of what we are doing in this forum). I believe we all go through tougher phases when we just practice and don't see much progress. And anyway, you have been super fast.

I do understand your earlier statement about listening to Martha Argerich. On the weekend I sometimes practice, then (just by chance) listen to a Gould CD or some semi-pros on youtube etc., return to my piano and am deeply surprised how "different" it sounds. I guess that's subconscious wishful-thinking ...

Hi earl, please ask me if you need fingering tips for the minuets. They are beautiful pieces.
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#2067561 - 04/20/13 10:50 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 943
Loc: Italy
Yeah well, unfortunately I'm a very impatient person, it's a miracle that I got this far wink

Talking about extra stuff, I had tackled Bach a few months ago but couldn't learn anything properly for the life of me. I think I'll try again this summer (I have the First Lessons in Bach book).
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Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2067577 - 04/20/13 11:24 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: sinophilia]
tlh1 Offline
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Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Florida
I bought the same book. My impatience shows in the number of sheet music books/albums that I've bought already during my short (and sluggish) piano career. Buying them is so much easier then playing just the first few measures ... Thank God, they are rather inexpensive smile
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#2067677 - 04/20/13 04:02 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: tlh1]
earlofmar Online   content
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Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: tlh1

Hi earl, please ask me if you need fingering tips for the minuets. They are beautiful pieces.


Thanks again tlhl, I started the first minuet yesterday and actually had a lot of fun trying to work out the fingering. First time I have ever had to do that as most of my pieces are with my teacher or from Alfred's
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#2083942 - 05/17/13 02:00 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3156
Loc: Maine
I have finished Alfred #3.
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#2083950 - 05/17/13 02:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: PianoStudent88]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 943
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
I have finished Alfred #3.


Congrats! thumb

I am drifting away from it right now but I want to get there too sooner or later!
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Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2084036 - 05/17/13 07:40 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: sinophilia]
malkin Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2415
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It is nice to hear of someone finishing Book 3, especially as I am just starting it.
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#2084450 - 05/17/13 09:36 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: PianoStudent88]
Stubbie Offline
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Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 371
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
I have finished Alfred #3.




Most excellent!
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#2084718 - 05/18/13 12:00 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: PianoStudent88]
Lyn in AZ Offline
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Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 47
Loc: Arizona USA
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
I have finished Alfred #3.
wow
Congrats!!
That's quite an accomplishment.

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#2085518 - 05/20/13 01:27 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
Is there life after book 3?
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I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
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#2085648 - 05/20/13 09:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
malkin Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/09
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Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
After book 3 is the beginning, not the end!
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#2085981 - 05/20/13 08:36 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: malkin]
findingnemo2010 Offline
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Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: malkin
After book 3 is the beginning, not the end!

Seems to be smirk
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#2096632 - 06/05/13 11:47 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
monads Offline
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Registered: 02/23/12
Posts: 161
Loc: CA
Bump for book 3. I'm on "The Unfinished Symphony" currently. But I don't really care much for this song.
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#2096650 - 06/06/13 12:14 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
sounds interesting on my cd, and a little difficult
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I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
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#2096837 - 06/06/13 09:18 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
malkin Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/09
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I went looking for this thread the other day and got distracted.

I am working on Alberti bass this week.
Seeing it in print like that makes me want to visit the fishmonger for some bass and make up a new dish!
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#2100277 - 06/10/13 12:04 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: malkin]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 943
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: malkin
I am working on Alberti bass this week.
Seeing it in print like that makes me want to visit the fishmonger for some bass and make up a new dish!


I always end up thinking of the fish too when I see "bass", because I have to figure out the right pronunciation every time! I keep mixing them up.

I'm currently trying to polish Jazz Ostinato in C# minor (skipped quite a few songs, but will go back to them later). Actually I've been working on this one for over a month now, and new mistakes keep creeping in when I try to speed it up as I'd like to. If I look at my right hand at the wrong time, I keep missing the black keys with my left pinky. Frustrating. Don't know if I'll ever be able to record this.
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Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2100569 - 06/10/13 07:23 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
malkin Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2415
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
With Grand Piano Band, I have to work pretty hard to make it sound pretty bad. I apologized to my husband for this and he said it sounded like a fun song. I'm hoping it will be more fun when I can play it a little more competently. I'm still not wild about the pieces in Alfie, but I'm still working on Martha Mier and now also on the Stravinsky "Cinq Doits" which look easy, but I still have to work at them.
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#2100635 - 06/10/13 09:23 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: malkin]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1392
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: malkin
I'm still not wild about the pieces in Alfie, but I'm still working on Martha Mier and now also on the Stravinsky "Cinq Doits" which look easy, but I still have to work at them.


I can't say I am wild about the Alfred pieces either. A few on initial listen sound good to me and I don't have a problem trying to learn them. With other pieces though it may be a more concentrated listen that inspires me or someone else playing it that gets me motivated.
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I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIV-5-XXX

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#2100764 - 06/11/13 03:01 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 943
Loc: Italy
I'm probably musically naive, but I actually like the fact that most pieces in the Alfred's books are popular, memorable tunes. If I know how it sounds I will probably me more willing to give it a try. Although at this point I'm more attracted by the real thing and some arrangements definitely start to sound annoying. Must be the reason why I'm finally moving to other things. after 2.5 books, just when the end of this c(o)urse was at hand.
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Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2100817 - 06/11/13 07:15 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3 [Re: Mark...]
malkin Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2415
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Oops, I meant 'Cinq Doigts.'

Psychologically, sticking with Alfred will work for me. I'm not doing anything else 'in order' so it will seem like progress to keep moving through the pages.
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