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#2045299 - 03/08/13 10:45 PM Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908)
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
For ye of quick judgement and little brain, Joplin's rags are classical, and he would've wanted it listed as classical.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnH_3DhHIEA

How'd I do?

Note: Don't ride me for omitting the repeats, I just think they get boring after a while. Last time I posted something here, some dude with perfect pitch derided me for improper harmonies and blue notes on a jazz piece. Music shouldn't ever be too repetitive, regardless of whether it's Weber or Will.i.am :P


Edited by SBP (03/08/13 10:48 PM)
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2012 Kawai K3

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#2045318 - 03/09/13 12:32 AM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3847
Loc: Rockford, IL
Liked the tempo a lot. I also enjoyed your sopra page turning technique in the intro.

Gladiolus explained by Wikipedia experts

Gladiolus explained by "Teleflora"

The last section of this rag is a true gem.

The repeats are supposed to give you a chance to play wit it, like the repeats in Baroque music. You're supposed to embellish at the repeat--give it a little extreee.

Fun stuff.
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I may not be fast,
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#2045571 - 03/09/13 04:43 PM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: Cinnamonbear]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Ooooooohhhhhhh so that's what a gladiolus is. I always thought they were called irises or orchids. However, I'm not a flower expert :P

I agree that the last half is really quite something. The 3rd part with the rapid fire octaves up and down is tricky to get right, but the 4th part fits really nicely under the hands.

The 4th part tells the player to "sostenuto sempre". I take it this means to hold one note down during a phrase (ie: in m1, the Db is held down and then released with the chord), or to sustain the Db with the sostenuto pedal, which I couldn't since my piano has a muting pedal instead of a sostenuto pedal (are there any uprights that do have a sostenuto pedal?). If it is an indication for the sostenuto pedal, I'd be surprised. Is there any real marking for the sost. pedal, or is it merely implied like the half-blow/una corda pedal?



Edited by SBP (03/09/13 04:45 PM)
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#2045688 - 03/09/13 09:02 PM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
FranKiisko Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/11
Posts: 193
Loc: Spain, Europe
I played a four hands version of this version and I think you played it quite fun and well played! smile

Congratulations, now I'll try to make some more accents in the music and I'll also try to play it a little faster. It's very funny listening to a fast rag (and it's funny to play, too)

So, congratulations for your work!! smile

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#2045737 - 03/10/13 12:32 AM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Joplin's rags are best played between 72 and 100, I'd say. Some of them (Swipesy, Maple Leaf, Scott Joplin's New Rag, etc.) require a fast tempo to keep the song together, and others (Fig Leaf, Wall Street, Solace, etc.) need a slow tempo to really shine (or to be playable). This one and others can swing both ways, but I like the tempo I picked. It's sorta my equilibrium tempo: too slow, it sounds jerky or draggy, and too fast, I make too many mistakes. Given the complexity, and Joplin's intentions, I'd say it's close to what he would have intended.

Plus, Joplin actually wrote songs like this to change the image of ragtime away from whorehouse music. He wanted it to be respected by the high-brow music critics of the day (who derided Rachmaninov as a pounder and Brahms as parlor music). He wrote 2 operas using ragtime/black folk music (A Guest of Honor-possibly about Booker T. Washington visiting the President in 1903, and Treemonisha-about an adopted black orphan who attempts to lead blacks away from superstition and prejudice by education), one of which (Treemonisha) still survives and is still performed on occasion. Of course, since he was black he was pretty much ignored, and his rags were considered musical gag-gifts for classical music lovers of the day.

Ragtime is incredibly fun to play though. Once you learn a couple, it's easy to pick up new ones.
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2012 Kawai K3

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#2047945 - 03/13/13 11:38 PM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Does anyone else have any tips for miking an upright piano? I used two mics (two Technics ATR1300s) on each side of the piano, but the sound is still kinda...bleh. What it lacks in direction and focus it does make up for in depth and reverb, though.

On a similar note, the hammers are really stiff. If I were to take some out and chuck them at someone, they'd at the least lose an eye. You'd probably need a jackhammer to voice this thing. And yet Kawai's are supposed to be much softer than Yamaha's. It's soft...compared to a nuclear explosion. I can't even practice without my dad screaming at me to shut up (it doesn't help that he demands the house be as quiet as possible at all times), and I only have a half-hour where I have the house to myself. The mute pedal does cut the sound, but it makes the keys super stiff, makes the squeaks in the trapwork and action extremely apparent, and forget about the sustain pedal (none of these are pluses for the Romantic-period music that I like playing). I've tried putting a comforter behind the piano, and nada.
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#2047980 - 03/14/13 12:53 AM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3847
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: SBP
Does anyone else have any tips for miking an upright piano? I used two mics (two Technics ATR1300s) on each side of the piano, but the sound is still kinda...bleh. What it lacks in direction and focus it does make up for in depth and reverb, though.


It sounds to me like you got your L and R channels mixed up. In a recording like yours, where the stereo is spread pretty widely from ear to ear, I would expect the piano's bass to appear predominantly in the L channel, and the treble in the R, so that it sounds like it does when you are sitting at the piano. When I took my headphones, and reversed them, the sound of your recording made a lot more sense. So, that would be the first thing to keep track of.

I noticed you had the piano lid open. Where is each mic located in relation to the piano? Pointed straight ahead, at? Pointed at an angle down in? Here are some thoughts to consider: I record with two mics on top of a small vertical piano, and keep the lid closed. I use kleenex boxes as my mic stands, and put the mics as far apart on the piano as I can get them, pointed toward each other, but angled up and away from the piano slightly. It gives a really nice stereo sound. But guess what? One of the times that I recorded, I payed scrupulous attention to the way I situated the mics, so that they were mirror images of each other, and the horizontal and vertical axis were plummed at 90 degrees, and I moved them a hair farther away from each other than usual, and I was astounded by the increased quality of the sound. My mics are uni-directional (so are your Technics), meaning they must be pointed at the sound we want to capture. All that to say, SBP, that you need to mess around a bit to find the sweet spot. It's there somewhere.

Also, sometimes, I use the same mic set-up with the piano lid closed, but take the knee board off the piano. That gives a sound almost like having the lid open on a grand. Try it sometime. Your dad will love it! wink grin Also, when I have recorded my big upright piano, I had good results by placing the mics just off the floor (kleenex box height), separated L and R by the width of the piano, and about 7 ft behind the bench, with the kneeboard off. Just sayin'.

Here are a few links to get you thinking:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/articles/pianorecording_0108.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

Also, something to consider is post-recording processing. You might clean up some of the sound by judicious EQ editing.

Originally Posted By: SBP
On a similar note, the hammers are really stiff. If I were to take some out and chuck them at someone, they'd at the least lose an eye. You'd probably need a jackhammer to voice this thing. And yet Kawai's are supposed to be much softer than Yamaha's. It's soft...compared to a nuclear explosion. I can't even practice without my dad screaming at me to shut up (it doesn't help that he demands the house be as quiet as possible at all times), and I only have a half-hour where I have the house to myself. The mute pedal does cut the sound, but it makes the keys super stiff, makes the squeaks in the trapwork and action extremely apparent, and forget about the sustain pedal (none of these are pluses for the Romantic-period music that I like playing). I've tried putting a comforter behind the piano, and nada.


How deep are the grooves in your hammers?
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2047983 - 03/14/13 01:00 AM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3847
Loc: Rockford, IL
BTW, I, too, grew up in a house in which the king of the castle (my step-dad) demanded quiet. I was expected to practice after school when I had the house to myself (a latch-key kid), and I had to ask permission to practice on the weekends.

Everything turned out o.k., though. My step-dad actually likes listening to me play piano, now! grin
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2047989 - 03/14/13 01:10 AM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 738
Very nice!

Gladiolus Rag is my teacher's absolute favorite rag. I'm terrified to even attempt it.
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amateur ragtime pianist

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#2048731 - 03/15/13 02:44 PM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: Cinnamonbear]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Mics were on both sides, kimda hung over the extremely low and high hammers. I don't have any mic stands, so I did the best I could. A friend of mine who sings and plays piano does something similar, but uses a desk mic stand instead of a tissue box.

As for grooves the hammers, they're rather deep for a 3 month old piano, but I do play it quite a bit.
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2012 Kawai K3

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#2048963 - 03/16/13 01:49 AM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17837
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: SBP
For ye of quick judgement and little brain,[...]


You have a computer and a video cam, but you don't have Internet access (or an old-fashioned dictionary) to look up to see what a gladiolus is?
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#2049202 - 03/16/13 03:59 PM Re: Gladiolus Rag (Joplin, 1908) [Re: SBP]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Well of course I have internet access and a dictionary. I really just never bothered to look it up, that's all.
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