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#1884840 - 04/23/12 08:03 AM Repeat or not repeat
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 792
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Some of the experts advise to honor the composer's repeat sign. My teacher likes to omit the repeat unless it varies from first playing. I'm working on the Chopin Polonaise in G minor and love each section of this piece. How would you add interest to each section with a repeat? I think I just want more playing time with it...what have you done with repeats in other pieces?
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#1884871 - 04/23/12 09:01 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
It depends on the situation and ,particularly, how long the piece is.
For example, when I play Beethoven's Minuet in G and I am alone, I will play it in it's entirety, with all repeats intact.
I would do the same, playing for my teacher or anyone else that I think would enjoy it.

However, for my family & friends (who generally do not like classical music, poor deprived souls) I shorten it a bit. After the trio, the allegretto should be repeated, but I don't repeat, I play through one last time. I'd prefer not to hear snoring, if at all possible...
smile
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#1885064 - 04/23/12 02:26 PM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
Brian Lucas Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 946
Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
My teacher likes to omit the repeat unless it varies from first playing.

Your teacher might be doing this just in the interest of saving lesson time. I'll often skip a repeat if the student seems to get the section. If they struggle through it, I use the repeat as an excuse to make them go through it again. smile
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#1885099 - 04/23/12 03:35 PM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3147
Loc: Maine
Some thoughts: vary the dynamics subtly, the amount or location of rubato, the way one phrase leads into the next, add ornaments (perhaps only applicable in Baroque style), perhaps vary the articulation or touch.
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#1885259 - 04/23/12 07:46 PM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
Stubbie Offline
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Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 371
Loc: Midwest USA
Wisebluff, if your teacher uses this piece for many or all of his or her students, maybe he/she is just tired of it.

I would think one would generally want to do the repeats. The composer probably didn't put them in just for filler. Er, right?
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#1885295 - 04/23/12 08:46 PM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: Stubbie]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2374
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Stubbie
I would think one would generally want to do the repeats. The composer probably didn't put them in just for filler. Er, right?
Well sometimes wink

I was thinking about this. There are a number of reasons for repeats. Sometimes for style (in certain genres), sometimes because the composer genuinely does want different repetitions (but why not mark them differently if so), sometimes to pad it out perhaps. And if they've written a sparkling tune, they might want the audience carrying it home with them so they need to drill it in.

With Fur Elise I ended up putting almost every repeat in even though it has a lot of repetition anyway. But for a Mozart Sonata I did (K545) I put in hardly any - it was long enough as it was wink
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#1885307 - 04/23/12 09:13 PM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
My teacher used to tell me to never repeat anything the same way twice, even if there are no indications on what to do on the repeat. You can vary dynamics and rubato, and those things alone can make a huge difference and repeats well worth it. It's especially fund when you don't really know which one you're going to do until you're in it and thinking spontaneously.

As for lessons, I usually don't have the time in lessons to hear repeats, but I tell students to in fact play them when they are practicing. If I have time, I will listen to them (or if I'm helping them come up with ideas on what to do with them of course).
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#1885409 - 04/24/12 02:08 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
wouter79 Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3434
You should also realize that most listeners probably never heard your piece and are not too well into classical music, so even if you play it the same the 2nd time (which is impossible anyway) they probably will like it and only vaguely recognise it :-D
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#1885465 - 04/24/12 05:29 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2309
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
The repeats are required for structural balance. Not including a repeat is like putting a bridge passage after the first verse of a song instead of the second. It just feels premature.

In Binary form where there is a longer musical rhyme (balanced binary) it helps the audience to become more familiar with the music so that they can recognise it when they hear it again. As an example, Bach's Prelude in D, No. 4 of Six Little Preludes, BWV 936. The last eight bars of each half rhyme. In the first half they're played in the dominant, A, and in the second half in the tonic, D.

By the time the form had developed into the sonata principle there was less need to repeat the second half but it was more important still to repeat the exposition because of the longer time between the dominant and tonic rhymes.

Today the exposition of major sonatas is often not repeated simply because the audience knows the music much better anyway and few people want to hear the performers meddling with Beethoven's 32.

So whether you include repeats or not is largely subjective. In time contraints or in a lesson there is no need for a repeat but for a recital it provides better balance. How much you alter the material doesn't really matter. In Bach's day it was expected that the performer would vary the material, Chopin wrote out the repeats in his Nocturnes (ternary form not binary) with greater fioritura.

Often it may be enough to get the notes right the second time. smile
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#1885505 - 04/24/12 07:08 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 792
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Good ideas...I especially enjoy the discussion of WHY there are repeats. Structural balance and relationship between parts. It's probably also true that my teacher gets tired of pieces after hearing them for years and years. I'll work on it with repeats and see how it sounds.
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#1886158 - 04/25/12 08:13 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3548
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
I've found that one of the most interesting and effective ways to execute a repeat with variation is simply to play it up an octave (8va) or down an octave (8vb) - this not only gives a now familiar passage a "different sound" (thus creating player/listener interest) but also gives the player the chance to experience playing in a different range on the keyboard - in Classical pieces do this even if the composer has not called for it - in Pop pieces this is particularly effective when you go back to repeat from the start of the bridge or chorus - in this regard it is often only necessary or desirable sometimes to repeat maybe half way (or even less) thru the section 8va or 8vb, returning then to the standard notated location (loco) - or in the case of a Pop piece "go loco"when you come out of the bridge and start playing the final verse. Use your best judgement.

Trap
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Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

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#1886162 - 04/25/12 08:20 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: TrapperJohn]
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
in the case of a Pop piece "go loco"when ----
LOL sometimes I go loco.

Just joking Trap. Good ideas.
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#1886215 - 04/25/12 10:04 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 792
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Trapper
I'm trying out your ideas on a piece I'm working on...several variations. It's fun too to try it all over the keyboard.
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#1886221 - 04/25/12 10:11 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2374
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
Trapper
I'm trying out your ideas on a piece I'm working on...several variations. It's fun too to try it all over the keyboard.


Probably a good idea for memorization too. In Debussy's Arabesque #1, there are some descending "waterfall" arpeggios; the penultimate one is an octave up compared to all the others. Tripped me up no end on from memory even though it was exactly the same notes.
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  • Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
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#1886564 - 04/25/12 08:12 PM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1174
Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
Some of the experts advise to honor the composer's repeat sign. My teacher likes to omit the repeat unless it varies from first playing. I'm working on the Chopin Polonaise in G minor and love each section of this piece. How would you add interest to each section with a repeat? I think I just want more playing time with it...what have you done with repeats in other pieces?


Hi WiseBuff,

As a player of Ragtime, where the structure is usually AABBACCDD, I must say, I vigorously honor the repeats, since it is what composer says to do. To not do the repeat would be to dis-honor the composer, IMO, and I also consider it cheating. Many ragtimers on YouTube avoid the repeats to minimize mistakes, which again, I consider cheating. To make the repeat more interesting, many performers (of ragtime) play an octave higher, mix the octaves up a bit, or more skilled players add their own embellishments. I'm not sure if any of this is "legal" for other genres, though. In fact, some of Chopin would sound downright silly if played on a high octave..lol..

Bottom line: perform the repeats!

PS- Admittedly, I did "cheat" in one of my performances. The last section of said performance had fast, 16th note octaves which I always flubbed, so for the sake of a recital entry, I omitted the repeat of the D-section. If you guys want to know which one, check out my YouTube channel. smile (hahaha, shameless plug).
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#1886580 - 04/25/12 08:40 PM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17733
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
In general I honor all repeats. There is one exception, though (and coincidentally enough, it involves my piece for the upcoming recital): Sometimes the sheet music is a solo piano transcription of a piece that contains other instruments in the original recording. The sheet music transcribes the piano part faithfully, but because the solo version lacks the addition of, say, strings the second time through a certain section, it comes across as unnecessarily redundant and the effect falls flat. So I just skip the repeat in that case.

p.s. And I don't consider it a blasphemy in that case, either, because the solo piano version is already adapted from the "pure" original.





Edited by Monica K. (04/25/12 08:44 PM)
Edit Reason: added p.s. to explain why I don't feel guilty about not doing repeats sometimes.
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#1886699 - 04/26/12 12:27 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
Some of the experts advise to honor the composer's repeat sign. My teacher likes to omit the repeat unless it varies from first playing. I'm working on the Chopin Polonaise in G minor and love each section of this piece. How would you add interest to each section with a repeat? I think I just want more playing time with it...what have you done with repeats in other pieces?


It's probably for time's sake (and interest's sake).

Adding interest depends on the situation; the repeat might be more firm and assured, or it might be softer to lead on the next section, etc.

If you post a section of the music that you would like input on, I'll be able to help you a little more.

Good luck!

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#1886701 - 04/26/12 12:38 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
I'll play a repeat if it makes sense, but in general, I personally think the repeats are just a means to extend the music out since, at the time, it was for listening pleasure or dancing.

I mean, back then, these guys weren't competing with iTunes, Netflix, or Angry Birds for attention.

Do what you want, but don't bore (or short-change, in the case of some useful repeats) your audience.
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#1886792 - 04/26/12 07:19 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 452
Loc: Bristol, UK
Yes I tend to go with the "don't bore the audience" principal.They're probably bored enough already, I don't want to push my luck.

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#1886803 - 04/26/12 08:05 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 792
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Audiences today are easily bored...it's not our fault (necessarily). Hard to compete with digital entertainment. I'll just be selective in who gets to listen. :-)


Edited by WiseBuff (04/26/12 08:07 AM)
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#1886807 - 04/26/12 08:24 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1174
Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
Audiences today are easily bored...it's not our fault (necessarily). Hard to compete with digital entertainment. I'll just be selective in who gets to listen. :-)


You guys make a good point. YouTube has this silly stats module where you can check "audience retention". The numbers go down exponentially after 30 seconds on all of my videos. It's pretty sad in today's digital age which makes peoples' (and childrens') attention spans even worse. BenPiano is correct, that in 1902, most folks had plenty of time on their hands...and yes, they actually "two-stepped" to Joplin's tunes back then...lol


For the record, I listen to all of your performances from beginning to end. smile
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Music washes away from the soul
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#1886813 - 04/26/12 08:36 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: CebuKid]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3548
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: CebuKid

Hi WiseBuff,

As a player of Ragtime, where the structure is usually AABBACCDD, I must say, I vigorously honor the repeats, since it is what composer says to do. To not do the repeat would be to dis-honor the composer, IMO, and I also consider it cheating.


But what if the composer him/her self didn't "honor the repeats" during any given performance(s) - this has been common practice for centuries starting even before the Classical period - not only didn't they honor the repeats they hardly honored the overall composition in it's entirety in their attempts to constantly outdo themselves (and other virtuosi) with endless improvised variations that left them creatively depleted and their audience highly impressed and exhausted and the piece itself far beyond it's original conception - and far beyond recognition. Ragtime composers did this too. Were they dishonoring and/or cheating themselves?

Trap
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Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1886843 - 04/26/12 09:50 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: WiseBuff]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 792
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Cubukid and all
I tested myself on a youtube video of a Chopin piece that I just love and at about 30 seconds I started to feel antsy...like "can't we move on". I mentally checked myself into relax mode and enjoyed the rest of it. But it is an issue for me when I play as well. After four pages I'm psychologically done with focus. The idea of the repeats came to me working on a Chopin piece and I thought maybe doing the repeats would build my focus stamina and help me find the nuances in performing it by making each repeat relevant and interesting. But it's different when I'm practicing because I can play a phrase over and over working to get it right and not get bored.

BTW I listen all the way through on the recital too..but I am committed to doing so


Edited by WiseBuff (04/26/12 09:51 AM)
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#1886883 - 04/26/12 11:16 AM Re: Repeat or not repeat [Re: CebuKid]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17733
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: CebuKid
YouTube has this silly stats module where you can check "audience retention".


I had no idea! That's a cool feature. thumb

[...scampers off to go check the audience retention stats on her own channel.]
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