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#1926612 - 07/14/12 09:19 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Hakki]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
1) I wasn't off topic.

2) You can agree with whoever you want, that doesn't bother me. And But the fact remains - music is subjective. Stores is right to a degree. No one should need to rely on a recording to understand a piece, but there is still nothing wrong with listening before learning. Anyone who says otherwise is full of their own ideals. Also, to say that listening before learning somehow stops creativity or makes your mediocre is absurd.

3) Stores' "posting style" is more than blunt - it's rude, disrespectful and disgusting, and I have every right to say so. Never did I tell stores to stop posting, I'm just speaking my mind - something people should do more often, and I'm glad you're doing it too. (even though you're trying to victimize me)

I'm stepping away from this thread now.

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#1926618 - 07/14/12 09:40 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: JoelW]
Franz Beebert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 360
I am with you on this one Scherzojoe. Actually I don't see how anyone can't be. Sure, if stores doesn't think that one way is not the right way to do things on, then so be it, FOR HIM.. In other words, he doesn't have to agree. BUT, literally trying to master and being rude to a person who thinks in another way than he does, is not okay, and this is not the first time I see stores do this.

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#1926663 - 07/14/12 11:03 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: stores]
wower Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 244
Loc: Calgary
Originally Posted By: stores
To rely on a recording to decide so much for you is to say that you're lazy. You need a crutch to lean on. Educate yourself and do some homework. Spend less time listening to Joe Blow's recording and posting replies on PW and practise, practise, practise. You didn't begin playing with the grand aim of achieving that "sub amateur level" did you (if so, then all I can say is "Wow")? Get yourself a good teacher and get busy.


Well said.
_________________________
Bad spellers of the world untie!

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#1926689 - 07/14/12 12:40 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2151
Loc: Canada
The funny thing is, if you take what stores posts, and then read it aloud as if it's spoken, then it sounds pretty normal like a teacher that pushes his/her students to excel. I guess it's hard to translate that to text though.

And it is pretty true that the existence of recordings tends to sway how we play certain pieces - think of the skewing of rhythm in the Heroic Polonaise that everybody plays (shortening of the dotted rhythm), the rhythmic distortion of the theme in Liszt's Sonetto 104, the textual alterations of Scriabin's op.8 no.12 etude, or how some amateurs try to sound like Gould, and you'll realize that too many people have been learning by ear, and not from the text.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#1926710 - 07/14/12 01:10 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Kuanpiano]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
....think of the skewing of rhythm in the Heroic Polonaise that everybody plays (shortening of the dotted rhythm)....

That's not "skewing" (if we're talking about the same thing), it's what a polonaise is! That's the polonaise rhythm.
And in my experience "everybody" doesn't play it; not enough people play it!

And in Chopin's other polonaises, it seems hardly anybody does it at all.

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#1926735 - 07/14/12 02:45 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: stores]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: stores

Really? You do realise that the phonograph hasn't always been with us (not to mention electricity), yes?

Yes. But electricity and a phonograph are not requirements for listening to other pianists. Chopin and Liszt, Horowitz and Rachmaninoff managed to listen to each other's playing. I don't recall Scherzojoe limiting "listening" to recordings only.

Originally Posted By: Old Man

Perhaps Stores is such an accomplished pianist that he is able to simply sight-read anything placed in front of him.

Originally Posted By: stores

I am, yes, and so are many others here. It is not rocket science... it's simply learning to read a score and developing your technique sufficiently enough to work your way through anything.

Ah, now we've got to the crux of the matter. Because for those of us less gifted than you, it is indeed rocket science. And no amount of technique development will make it less so. What you and many others on this forum have is a gift so precious, that you barely take notice of it. You may believe your ability is due to your countless hours of practice, but it is not. You have a native talent for which you should thank any god that you may believe in, every day of your life. Practicing only burnishes what already exists. I agree that practice may improve my playing in very small increments, but practice will never make perfect if the basic talent is not there.

Originally Posted By: stores

No one needs to listen to someone else play a work to decide if it's within their capabilities. If they do, then they should go to their teacher(s) and ask for every penny back,

I agree, and did not mean to say otherwise. I would absolutely need to look at a score before deciding if it was within my capability. And I've never had a teacher, except for a few months in my teens, so there are no refunds to be harvested. grin

Originally Posted By: stores

I've never understood this thinking that says "do I like a piece well enough to invest my time in it." What? There is not a piece of great music which ISN'T worthwhile enough for one to "invest his time" in, if, as OldMan here states, one is still grounding himself in the early stages of learning (which, of course, we all are doing really).

So, you're saying that you like every piece of music written by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, etc., and you would be willing to invest any amount of time to perfect them? Since they're all great, you would simply begin with Opus 1, and move forward sequentially? Or are you saying that those of us in the "early stages of learning" should content ourselves with any crumbs that happen to fall our way? Sorry, I still have preferences, even among the great composers.

Originally Posted By: stores
I just can't wrap my head around someone saying they don't like a work, if they can't play the damned thing.

Who said that? In fact the opposite is true: most of the works I truly love (e.g. Chopin ballades) are the very pieces I cannot play, and never will. And while I know I should appreciate those few pieces that I can play, it is very limiting.

Originally Posted By: stores

To rely on a recording to decide so much for you is to say that you're lazy. You need a crutch to lean on. Educate yourself and do some homework. Spend less time listening to Joe Blow's recording and posting replies on PW and practise, practise, practise.

I have a day job (IT), which requires 24x7 on-call status, so "practise, practise, practise" is not an option for me. But I may take your advice about posting on Pianist Corner. I am out of my league (pianistically speaking), and do not wish to throw this or any other thread off course.

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#1926768 - 07/14/12 04:59 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Franz Beebert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 360
I am starting not to like this thread, it's starting to change subject.. So here you go jorley:

Start with the Op 48 No 1, it's the shortest one and probably the easiest, it's also one of his better pieces IMO. Though I have to warn you, The Doppio Movimento is VERY hard, and you will have to work hard on it. It only lasts for about two pages which is good, because I can tell you this: The Doppio Movimento section is probably at LEAST as hard as everything in the 2nd and 3rd Scherzo for example. Therefore, this piece is a good piece to start with before the major works for the following reasons:

1. It's shorter than the major works.
2. If you can handle the last to pages, you should be able to handle the first three Scherzos.
3. It's an absolute masterpiece.

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#1926770 - 07/14/12 05:07 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21922
Loc: Oakland
Or start with the Tarentella. Perhaps not too major, but not too difficult, either, and a lot of fun.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1926772 - 07/14/12 05:22 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Old Man]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: stores

Really? You do realise that the phonograph hasn't always been with us (not to mention electricity), yes?

Yes. But electricity and a phonograph are not requirements for listening to other pianists. Chopin and Liszt, Horowitz and Rachmaninoff managed to listen to each other's playing. I don't recall Scherzojoe limiting "listening" to recordings only.


But we're talking about RECORDINGS. Hello.



Originally Posted By: Old Man

Ah, now we've got to the crux of the matter. Because for those of us less gifted than you, it is indeed rocket science. And no amount of technique development will make it less so. What you and many others on this forum have is a gift so precious, that you barely take notice of it. You may believe your ability is due to your countless hours of practice, but it is not. You have a native talent for which you should thank any god that you may believe in, every day of your life. Practicing only burnishes what already exists. I agree that practice may improve my playing in very small increments, but practice will never make perfect if the basic talent is not there.


I'm sorry, but you're wrong. No amount of talent will suffice without those countless hours of practice. People seem to have this idea that accomplished musicians just sit down and "VOILA"... out comes this heaven-sent sound. What they don't realise is that a person works his a$$ off to become that accomplished player. Practising is not simply a burnishing, but think what you like.

Originally Posted By: stores

No one needs to listen to someone else play a work to decide if it's within their capabilities. If they do, then they should go to their teacher(s) and ask for every penny back,

Originally Posted By: Old Man

I agree, and did not mean to say otherwise. I would absolutely need to look at a score before deciding if it was within my capability. And I've never had a teacher, except for a few months in my teens, so there are no refunds to be harvested. grin


I'm glad you agree with the first part here. Maybe, however, you might want to invest in a good teacher. Working with someone can make a world of difference.

Originally Posted By: stores

To rely on a recording to decide so much for you is to say that you're lazy. You need a crutch to lean on. Educate yourself and do some homework. Spend less time listening to Joe Blow's recording and posting replies on PW and practise, practise, practise.

Originally Posted By: Old Man

I have a day job (IT), which requires 24x7 on-call status, so "practise, practise, practise" is not an option for me. But I may take your advice about posting on Pianist Corner. I am out of my league (pianistically speaking), and do not wish to throw this or any other thread off course.


I'm sure your job must be an important one to beckon you 24/7 and I'm well aware that many students work full time jobs. I have no problem with that whatsoever. All I am saying is that most of us don't do enough homework, or don't WANT to do the homework and so take whatever shortcut there is, which, in this case is the recording. I can't tell you how many times I've heard students (not my own mind you... they know better) say, "I wasn't sure how to play these ornaments, so I went on Youtube and listened to Glenn Gould" (example). Why?????? Because the student hasn't been educated well enough, or more often than not (and more than most are going to be willing to swallow) are too lazy to educate themselves when there is a TON of information available regarding just such a thing (the trill example).
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1926802 - 07/14/12 07:02 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: stores]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: stores

But we're talking about RECORDINGS. Hello.

Ha, ha. Well I guess I didn't notice that part. But I do think it's a distinction without a difference. Whether you listen to a recording or a live performance, you may be influenced (or in your view, "tainted") by the interpretation.

Originally Posted By: stores

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. No amount of talent will suffice without those countless hours of practice. People seem to have this idea that accomplished musicians just sit down and "VOILA"... out comes this heaven-sent sound. What they don't realise is that a person works his a$$ off to become that accomplished player. Practising is not simply a burnishing, but think what you like.

You're wrong about what I said. I agree that every accomplished musician has indeed worked his or her a$$ off, and I would never devalue such dedication and commitment to music. And yes, practicing is absolutely indispensable to any performing artist. What I was trying to say is that without an innate musical ability, one could dedicate every waking moment to practicing, and it would come to naught. Possibly some improvement at the margins, but nothing that would prepare one for a performing career.

Originally Posted By: stores
I'm sure your job must be an important one to beckon you 24/7 and I'm well aware that many students work full time jobs.

Should have specified that I work in "healthcare IT". Hence, the need for an "always up" system.

But I think we are irritating some of our fellow posters, so maybe we should agree to disagree on a few things and let it go. The OP is looking for advice. I've enjoyed our conversation, and I enjoy your posts in general. You may not deliver your messages with a pretty bow on top, but they're usually refreshingly free of ambiguity. smile

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#1926807 - 07/14/12 07:17 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Old Man]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Old Man
You may not deliver your messages with a pretty bow on top, but they're usually refreshingly free of ambiguity.
There's miles of room between delivering messages with a pretty bow on top and delivering them in an arrogant/nasty fashion. It doesn't have to be a choice of one or the other.

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#1926831 - 07/14/12 09:26 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: pianoloverus]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Old Man
You may not deliver your messages with a pretty bow on top, but they're usually refreshingly free of ambiguity.
There's miles of room between delivering messages with a pretty bow on top and delivering them in an arrogant/nasty fashion. It doesn't have to be a choice of one or the other.


You, without a doubt, are one of THE rudest posters at times and as a result I always find it sort of comical when you "tut-tut" someone.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1926918 - 07/15/12 01:41 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: BDB]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: BDB
Or start with the Tarentella. Perhaps not too major, but not too difficult, either, and a lot of fun.

It's VERY hard.

Unless, as was said in some other posts, we're talking about not playing it half well. Then it's pretty easy. ha

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#1926932 - 07/15/12 01:58 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Mark_C]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8935
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: BDB
Or start with the Tarentella. Perhaps not too major, but not too difficult, either, and a lot of fun.

It's VERY hard.

I've always rather enjoyed it, even if it's not exactly on the top of the pile. wink

I'll always remember a party wherein a friend of mine (never at a loss for an outspoken opinion) blurted out 'that's the one piece Chopin BOMBED OUT on!'
_________________________
Jason

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#1926975 - 07/15/12 06:01 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
allegro_concerto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/08
Posts: 181
Its funny how the original question always turned into something else...

But anyway, I actually played Nocturne Op 48 no. 1 first out of the list.

With Scherzos, I did learn Scherzo no. 2 first, then no. 3. I am currently tossing between learning no. 1 or no. 4, but I do like no. 4 better.

I think a good way is to decide is just to sight read the music listed and see how you go. The other day I was trying to play andante spianato and grande polonaise brillante op. 22, while the andante spianato is doable, I had a heck out of a time with the grand polonaise, sounds more like grand noise the way I played it. So I shelved it for now to come back later. I sometimes adopt a strategy to play just a part of a difficult music one day at a time and then piece them altogether later down the track.

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#1926995 - 07/15/12 07:15 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: stores]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Old Man
You may not deliver your messages with a pretty bow on top, but they're usually refreshingly free of ambiguity.
There's miles of room between delivering messages with a pretty bow on top and delivering them in an arrogant/nasty fashion. It doesn't have to be a choice of one or the other.


You, without a doubt, are one of THE rudest posters at times and as a result I always find it sort of comical when you "tut-tut" someone.
Glad you find it comical because I'll probably continue to criticize the nature of your posts if they remain the same. You criticize and talk down to most everyone. I criticize a handful of posters occasionally and you'll remain one of them as long as you deserve the criticism.

Knowledge is not an excuse nastiness or arrogance.


Edited by pianoloverus (07/15/12 07:29 AM)

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#1927109 - 07/15/12 01:51 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: stores]
wower Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 244
Loc: Calgary
Originally Posted By: stores
Working with someone can make a world of difference.


Absolutely. Now if only a certain someone worked by webcam and was taking students. grin I've been following this thread in ernest and thought it only fair to elaborate my opinion for the record. (Just a heads up, some are on ignore so replies might not make much sense). It shouldn't come as a surprise I align to stores' philosophy of no short cuts but will express shock so many are in disagreement. Specific to listening to recordings in preparation for a piece only a question comes to mind. If stores could clarify his position slightly: I'm sure you're not suggesting previous accidental exposure to the piece in routine listening is damaging? I'm also curious as to what you think about situations where hearing a piece somewhere ignites interest to learn the piece later. Much obliged.


Edited by wower (07/15/12 01:56 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling!
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Bad spellers of the world untie!

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#1927166 - 07/15/12 04:43 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: wower]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
wower, great post! You've clarified the debate much better than anyone so far.

You used the phrase "in preparation for a piece", which is key to this discussion. I think stores and scherzojoe are far apart on this one, and frankly, I tend to agree with Joe: Listen if you want, or don't listen. But I can certainly see both sides, and stores' position at least makes sense in this context.

But I think that is entirely different than the casual exposure that most of us have experienced over decades. We are, after all, lovers of music. So how could we possibly know which pieces we may want to tackle some day, and thus avoid? That is how I was viewing this discussion, and that's why stores' position seemed, at first blush, patently ridiculous.

I've been listening to Chopin's Ballade No. 1 for close to 50 years, and mostly by Horowitz. I also have a version by Perahia. As much as I respect Perahia as a pianist, VL's is far superior. Now, if I've been listening to Horowitz play this piece for 5 decades, and know it inside and out, how could I possibly remove this memory from my brain, short of a lobotomy. Assuming I had the technical equipment to pursue it (which I don't), must I scratch it from my aspirational repertoire, simply because it could never be truly "my own"? I think not.

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#1927431 - 07/16/12 09:32 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 783
Loc: Dorset, UK
Adding to wower and Old Man, there is surely a difference between a) listening to works for pleasure, b)listening to works with the intention of understanding how different pianists interpret them, whether or not those works are being studied and c)listening to works with the specific intention of trying to learn how to perform them, in other words copying.

For me only c) is illegitimate. Neither a) nor b) deny the development of one's own interpretation, although they may make you be more rigorous in discerning your individual style. Eschewing a), b) and c) and relying only on written sources might produce in a musical genius a new and convincing approach to, say, Beethoven, but I would guess for most of us it would not. And do not teachers push you off the piano stool and demonstrate how a particular passage might be played? Mine did, literally. (A wise teacher of course would not insist on a replication of his/her interpretation, as indeed mine did not)

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#1927452 - 07/16/12 10:29 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: sandalholme]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6470
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: sandalholme
Adding to wower and Old Man, there is surely a difference between a) listening to works for pleasure, b)listening to works with the intention of understanding how different pianists interpret them, whether or not those works are being studied and c)listening to works with the specific intention of trying to learn how to perform them, in other words copying.

For me only c) is illegitimate. Neither a) nor b) deny the development of one's own interpretation, although they may make you be more rigorous in discerning your individual style. Eschewing a), b) and c) and relying only on written sources might produce in a musical genius a new and convincing approach to, say, Beethoven, but I would guess for most of us it would not. And do not teachers push you off the piano stool and demonstrate how a particular passage might be played? Mine did, literally. (A wise teacher of course would not insist on a replication of his/her interpretation, as indeed mine did not)


Another great post !!!!!! thumb
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1927548 - 07/16/12 01:31 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: sandalholme]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: sandalholme
c)listening to works with the specific intention of trying to learn how to perform them, in other words copying...For me only c) is illegitimate.
But "learning how to perform them" is not the same as copying. Of course, it's possible that someone might listen to a performance with the idea of trying to copy it, but this certainly does not have to be the case.

When studying with a teacher, most of lesson is spent "learning how to perform" a piece. Listening to performances can help one learn how to perform a piece the same way a lesson can.

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#1927598 - 07/16/12 03:46 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18292
Loc: Victoria, BC
It's all a question of degree, isn't it?

Some hear a recording/performance of a piece and decide to work on it on the basis of that hearing.

Some hear a piece, work on it, then listen to recordings to get ideas of how others may play it and how those ideas may inform their own.

Others, perhaps more inherently lazy than anything else, say that they simply have to listen to a piece to "hear how it goes." They can't figure out "how it goes" - or don't want to - by working from the score.

It's these last individuals that I have a serious issue with.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1927613 - 07/16/12 04:28 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: BruceD]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: BruceD
It's all a question of degree, isn't it?

Some hear a recording/performance of a piece and decide to work on it on the basis of that hearing.

Some hear a piece, work on it, then listen to recordings to get ideas of how others may play it and how those ideas may inform their own.

Others, perhaps more inherently lazy than anything else, say that they simply have to listen to a piece to "hear how it goes." They can't figure out "how it goes" - or don't want to - by working from the score.

It's these last individuals that I have a serious issue with.

Regards,
I certainly agree it's a question of degree but the only thing I have an issue with would be those that listen to a score with the intention of copying much of what's in it and perhaps not even thinking about why they like something another pianist does.

I think it helps to have an idea "how it goes" and this can significantly increase the speed one can learn a piece. I think of listening to see how it goes is similar to using an edited score to help with fingering. I might be able to figure out the best fingering for me with lots of time but using fingered editions to get suggestions usually greatly decreases the time I spend on this aspect of learning a piece.

And I often think, despite my long experience, that I would never have come up with some ingenious fingering some editor suggests. If I didn't sometimes use fingered editions I would never have the opportunity to learn something about fingering that I might find useful in another piece. It's kind of like trying to learn calculus without a textbook.

Sometimes the pieces I learn do not come in any fingered edition, and it can take a long time for me to decide on and find a fingering that seems to be best. I think any speed in finding my own fingerings I might gain by always trying to find fingerings totally independently(actually hard to do since most editions have some fingerings) would be counterbalanced by never experiencing editor's excellent fingering to learn from.

Although I think knowing how it goes is helpful, I usually decide to learn piece because I've already heard it and liked it. So in this sense knowing how it goes is usually a given for me. But for those who are assigned pieces, I think listening to see how it goes is not so bad. In fact, there is a big Youtube project, the University of Iowa Piano Pedagogy Project, that posts video by piano professors of typical student pieces.
http://www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed



Edited by pianoloverus (07/16/12 04:50 PM)

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#1927648 - 07/16/12 05:19 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Old Man]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Originally Posted By: Old Man

Perhaps Stores is such an accomplished pianist that he is able to simply sight-read anything placed in front of him.

Originally Posted By: stores

I am, yes, and so are many others here. It is not rocket science... it's simply learning to read a score and developing your technique sufficiently enough to work your way through anything.

Originally Posted By: Old Man

Ah, now we've got to the crux of the matter. Because for those of us less gifted than you, it is indeed rocket science. And no amount of technique development will make it less so. What you and many others on this forum have is a gift so precious, that you barely take notice of it. You may believe your ability is due to your countless hours of practice, but it is not. You have a native talent for which you should thank any god that you may believe in, every day of your life. Practicing only burnishes what already exists. I agree that practice may improve my playing in very small increments, but practice will never make perfect if the basic talent is not there.


I completely understand why you would feel this way, but I would like to say (in the nicest possible terms) that I'm very sure you're wrong smile

Since you've only had a teacher for a few months of your life, you naturally would not understand that a good (or even basically competent) teacher makes the difference between blindly and randomly hacking around in the endless dense thicket of musical skill improvement for only the smallest advances, and a relatively easy and well-marked super highway of advancement.

I know this, because even though I did start out (and stayed with) piano lessons from a teacher as a kid, my first two teachers weren't very good. I didn't even understand that there was a thing called 'technique' which was the *way* to do things on piano (like play fast passages, play evenly, play very softly) and that it could be taught! Prior to this blinding revelation (which happened in *college*, mind you), I thought that either you could do these things or you couldn't. And that was that.

Nope. These things can and should be taught. In fact, they are taught as a matter of course every single day to thousands of piano students who are fortunate to have competent or better teachers. In fact I know understand that what took me 6 years of less-than-competent teachers (and still I had massive gaps) is covered by a good teacher to that level in at most a couple of years.

In my lifetime I've had probably 20 years of piano lessons, on and off, and I'm still amazed at how quickly my teacher (I'm now studying with someone who has an MA in piano pedagogy and DMA in performance) can help me to improve.

Get yourself a good teacher. It will amaze you.


Edited by ProdigalPianist (07/16/12 05:20 PM)
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1927684 - 07/16/12 06:33 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: ProdigalPianist

I completely understand why you would feel this way, but I would like to say (in the nicest possible terms) that I'm very sure you're wrong smile

No need for "nicest possible terms". If Stores can't offend me, no one can! grin

But seriously, I would love to believe that I am wrong. But at my age (62), one learns to pick and choose those activities most likely to bear fruit, and taking piano lessons never seemed to fall in the "fruitful" category.

But ironically, my next door neighbor, who is an experienced piano teacher, recently offered to work with me. She has studied with a well-known pianist here in Michigan for many years, and seems very accomplished, so I assume she is competent. She said she would like someone to listen to pieces she is working on (test marketing?), and, in exchange offered me free lessons. Of course, I nixed the "free" part, but I did leave the door open to her generous offer. (And it would be nice to play one of her large grands instead of my Roland, for a change.) But I also want to be sure I'm not wasting her time.

So, thank you, PP, (and Stores), for your advice about getting a teacher. Who knows, I may just surprise myself and do it.

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#1927878 - 07/17/12 04:40 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Old Man]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Old Man
...a well-known pianist here in Michigan...
So, thank you, PP, (and Stores), for your advice about getting a teacher. Who knows, I may just surprise myself and do it.


I think you might want to send me a message, Old Man.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1928237 - 07/17/12 07:08 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
asthecrowflies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 122
Loc: London, Cambridge, San Francis...
Another work that doesn't get mentioned in your list but perhaps you might want to look into is the berceuse in D flat. It's beautiful, challenging, but shorter than the rest of the list.
_________________________
Currently working on: Bach Partita 4, English Suite 2, Toccata d-minor, Chopin-op 10/1, Schubert Impromptus

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#1929070 - 07/19/12 01:20 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Jorleyy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/12
Posts: 107
Yes the Berceuse is lovely, but more of a piece to do on the side of one of the pieces I listed.. I have decided to start with either Fantasie Op 49 or Barcarolle Op 60... Which of these to pieces do you think would be the best one to start with, and why?

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#1929264 - 07/19/12 07:43 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
If you don't know after all we've said, I don't think we can tell you any better. grin


The answer is either the Barcarolle or neither. smile

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#1929389 - 07/20/12 02:42 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Franz Beebert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 360
I suggest you start with the Fantasie Op 49 then. It's easier than the ballades(except perhaps the third) and if you think you can manage a major work by Chopin, this one is an okay one to start with.

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