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#2088760 - 05/25/13 06:49 PM Choosing next songs to play
Shadows Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 17
Hey all

1) So how do you guys usually choose your next songs?

I usually use youtube to find some nice classical songs. I love classical music (unlike most people my age).

2) How do you know if a song is within your level or just possible?
I never thought I would be able to play some songs I've played perfectly. Sometimes it's hard to see if a song looks difficult or is difficult!

My latest songs are: Rachmaninoff op 3 no 2 (prelude) & Schubert impromptu op 90 no 1. Do you think this song would be possible? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgcOhcEDBBo

3) Any recommendations? I haven't found a song I really realy want to play (too hard or too easy or not nice..). The more I like the song, the nicer I'm able to play it.

Thanks!

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#2088767 - 05/25/13 07:12 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
I think the Brahms Rhapsody is doable based on the other pieces you listed.

As far as other suggestions, if you can give us an idea of what you like(composers or musical periods)this would help narrow down the field. At almost every level there are thousands of possible choices. Your point about liking a song contributing to learning it well is very important, so take your time finding one you really love.


Edited by pianoloverus (05/25/13 07:21 PM)

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#2088786 - 05/25/13 07:39 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18137
Loc: Victoria, BC
I am not so sure that the Rhapsody in question is a piece that you might successfully attempt at the moment. You don't say how long it took you to learn the Rachmaninoff or the Schubert, nor how well you are able to play them. What criteria do you use to judge how well you can play these pieces?

If you think that you might like the works of Brahms, there are other, shorter works that you might think of looking at first. A couple of pieces from the Opp 117, 118 and 119 might be to your liking. The other Rhapsody from Op 79, the second one in G minor is perhaps more approachable for you than the B minor you referred to.

Other than that, without knowing your taste, your skills and your "learning curve" when approaching a new work, it's hard to choose among the hundreds - if not thousands - of possibilities. You may just have to sit down with YouTube and start going through piano selections from Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, etc., etc; the list is endless. There are a number of publications of piano music that include selections by various composers from different eras; they might be a source of inspiration for you if you can get access to them.

One friendly word of caution: Some people on this forum do get worked up when they hear/read all classical repertoire refer to as "songs." In classical music, one does not refer to works as "songs" unless they actually have been written to be sung. So many composers of what we call "classical" music composed in many genres including writing songs, so talking about "songs" of a given composer can lead to confusion. Unless there is a specific title of a work that you refer to, instrumental pieces (pieces that are not sung) are most commonly referred to as "compositions," or "pieces" or even "works."

Regards,
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#2088802 - 05/25/13 08:07 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: Shadows


3) Any recommendations? I haven't found a song I really realy want to play (too hard or too easy or not nice..). The more I like the song, the nicer I'm able to play it.

Thanks!


Here are a couple of songs wink that you might like:

http://youtu.be/jZ2SDH13fd8

http://youtu.be/6tkqdOB5bEw
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2088805 - 05/25/13 08:09 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Shadows
Hey all

So how do you guys usually choose your next songs?

I'm not sure why you're asking this question on a piano forum. Why not find a site devoted to singing and ask them? wink
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Polyphonist

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#2088808 - 05/25/13 08:17 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Pick a couple selections from Schumann's "Myrthen." wink

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#2088822 - 05/25/13 08:39 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4831
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Shadows
Hey all

So how do you guys usually choose your next songs?

I'm not sure why you're asking this question on a piano forum. Why not find a site devoted to singing and ask them? wink


Nothing against you Poly, but I hate when people get nit-picky about this. My friends and I jokingly call pieces "tracks" sometimes. I don't think it really matters if someone calls pieces "songs" because one could technically argue that you are 'singing' with the piano. smile

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#2088929 - 05/25/13 11:24 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: JoelW]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18137
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[...] but I hate when people get nit-picky about this. My friends and I jokingly call pieces "tracks" sometimes. I don't think it really matters if someone calls pieces "songs" [...]


Eventually, it does matter. What do you say to the person who asks if you can recommend a song by Schubert?
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#2088937 - 05/25/13 11:31 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: BruceD]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4831
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[...] but I hate when people get nit-picky about this. My friends and I jokingly call pieces "tracks" sometimes. I don't think it really matters if someone calls pieces "songs" [...]


Eventually, it does matter. What do you say to the person who asks if you can recommend a song by Schubert?


Isn't that a little like coming to PW and asking for a "piece" by Mozart? What, a violin piece? A flute piece? An opera?

I think it's pretty safe to assume that when someone comes to PIANO world and asks for a "song", they mean a "piano piece" unless they specificity otherwise. Wouldn't you agree?

And even then, that has nothing to do with someone going to a piano video on YouTube and commenting "I love this song" only to have 30 people correct them for using the wrong term.

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#2088953 - 05/25/13 11:58 PM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6374
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Shadows -

I recommend that you steer clear of the Opus 79 No. 1 for the time being. It is MUCH more difficult than the Rachmaninoff and Schubert pieces you already play. The Opus 79 No. 2 would be less of a stretch for you - but I'd advise against tackling that one now as well.

Here are some pieces that might work.

Grieg - Wedding Day at Troldhaugen
http://youtu.be/MicFum-kWnU

Schumann - Whims
http://youtu.be/62f7s0PCHI8

Chopin - Prelude #22 Opus 28
http://youtu.be/I0b22pp_kno

Chopin - Prelude #15 Opus 28 (Raindrop)
http://youtu.be/6OFHXmiZP38
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#2089042 - 05/26/13 07:13 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: JoelW]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5946
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I think it's pretty safe to assume that when someone comes to PIANO world and asks for a "song", they mean a "piano piece" unless they specificity otherwise. Wouldn't you agree?
Yes, usually we can guess what a poster means. But as a collaborative pianist I spend such a great deal of my time playing Schubert songs, for example, (they do have piano parts, you know!) that it certainly can be confusing. And it's a bit tiresome having to say "a song by Schubert, that is, a vocal work" every time ...

I do agree however, that corrections should be made gracefully, as Bruce's was, and not in a belittling way.
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#2089050 - 05/26/13 07:37 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: currawong]
Goomer Piles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/13
Posts: 140
Originally Posted By: currawong
I do agree however, that corrections should be made gracefully, as Bruce's was, and not in a belittling way.

And no doubt the correction should be made. It's absurd when someone with nearly 20k posts here chooses instead to perpetuate incorrect usage.

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#2089057 - 05/26/13 08:06 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
As has been mentioned at PW countless times in the past, usage determines meaning. At this point, I'd expect that the definition of "song" in some dictionaries already includes nonvocal music. Like it or not, that trend will only continue, and eventually I think every dictionary will include that definition of "song". Anyone who has worked with teenagers or 20 year olds knows this is standard usage for almost all of them.

Why some feel such a strong need to "correct" people about this I don't understand. Even done gently I think it's unnecessary. Done any other way it is just rude and arrogant and risks turning them off to classical music. If one is interested in trying to bring someone into the world of classical music, why not meet them half way?

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#2089061 - 05/26/13 08:12 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: BruceD]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[...] but I hate when people get nit-picky about this. My friends and I jokingly call pieces "tracks" sometimes. I don't think it really matters if someone calls pieces "songs" [...]


Eventually, it does matter. What do you say to the person who asks if you can recommend a song by Schubert?
Often one can be sure of the question's intention if one knows the person asking it or the context of the question. That's one reason why correcting those asking this question on a piano forum isn't, I think, really necessary. If one isn't sure of the meaning of the question, one can always ask.

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#2089066 - 05/26/13 08:32 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
From Wikipedia:

"A song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.

But as a concession to the younger (note: I didn't say ignorant wink ) generation, I vote that in future, we refer to vocal songs as "vocal songs". grin

For vocal songs in languages other than English, we can obviously use the terms in the appropriate languages - Schubert and Wolf wrote Lieder (never mind the art-(vocal) song connotation), Fauré and Duparc wrote mélodies or chansons, Bellini wrote canzoni (or arias if orchestral accompaniment), Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky wrote romancy, Stenhammer wrote sånger, Falla and Rodrigo wrote canciones. And so on.

NB. In other languages, there is no need to append a qualifying 'vocal' to those terms.

OK, now back to the discussion on (non-vocal) songs for the piano.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2089074 - 05/26/13 08:56 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: currawong]
Schubertslieder Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 373
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: currawong
.. "a song by Schubert" ...

Hello, it is Schubertslieder, wink.

I saw my display name being mentioned so I thought I drop by and say hello, smile
Lieder is just plural of lied.

Best
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Debussy--various pieces
Grieg--various pieces

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#2089079 - 05/26/13 09:04 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Schubertslieder]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: Schubertslieder

Lieder is just plural of lied.

Best


But is "Schuberts" the plural of Schubert? wink
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2089083 - 05/26/13 09:13 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Schubertslieder]
Schubertslieder Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 373
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Schubertslieder
Originally Posted By: currawong
.. "a song by Schubert" ...

Hello, it is Schubertslieder, wink.

I saw my display name being mentioned so I thought I drop by and say hello, smile
Lieder is just plural of lied.

Best

Songs of Schubert, wink


Edited by Schubertslieder (05/26/13 09:36 AM)
_________________________
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Debussy--various pieces
Grieg--various pieces

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#2089093 - 05/26/13 09:55 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1974
Loc: South Jersey
I thought Bruce's response was spot on. I hate to see language degrade. Specific words have specific meanings.What is wrong with trying to inform someone about the use of the words "song" and "piece"?
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#2089094 - 05/26/13 09:57 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
JoelW, it is a trivial matter in the end, but I do like to have a little harmless fun behind the screen sometimes smile Sorry if it ever seems like I take it too far.

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#2089105 - 05/26/13 10:21 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
From Wikipedia:
"A song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.
So? This does not mean there are no dictionaries that have a broader definition of "song". And more surely on the way.

I'd guess the reality right now is that more people on the planet use "song' to mean any piece of music than use it exclusively for vocal music. The Juilliard trained music teacher at the school I taught at regularly used "song" for any piece of music.


Edited by pianoloverus (05/26/13 10:38 AM)

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#2089106 - 05/26/13 10:23 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: DameMyra]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
I thought Bruce's response was spot on. I hate to see language degrade. Specific words have specific meanings.What is wrong with trying to inform someone about the use of the words "song" and "piece"?
But one could replace "degrade" by "evolve" and it would sound fine. I'm sure you don't think all words have retained their original meanings.

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#2089110 - 05/26/13 10:30 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: DameMyra]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
What is wrong with trying to inform someone about the use of the words "song" and "piece"?
There is a huge difference between informing someone in an appropriate way and the way it is so often done at PW. There were at least two arrogant and sarcastic examples of the wrong way on this thread alone...hence Bruce's warning.

There is also, I think, a big difference between informing someone you know personally or a teacher informing a student vs. informing an anonymous internet poster.


Edited by pianoloverus (05/26/13 10:31 AM)

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#2089112 - 05/26/13 10:37 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Methinks (= I think) it's time we went back to the OP's question, rather than discuss the evolution (= desecration grin) of the English language as she is spoke.

I'm off to practise (= practice) my favourite (= favorite) Schubert song (Ger. = lied) on the piano. As a concession to all the fuddy-daddies (= long in the tooth) people here, including myself, I'm going to sing An die Musik D547, in my own piano transcription.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2089114 - 05/26/13 10:40 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: pianoloverus]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1974
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
I thought Bruce's response was spot on. I hate to see language degrade. Specific words have specific meanings.What is wrong with trying to inform someone about the use of the words "song" and "piece"?
But one could replace "degrade" by "evolve" and it would sound fine. I'm sure you don't think all words have retained their original meanings.

How can you replace "degrade" with "evolve"? They have completely different meanings. You have just proven my point.
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#2089117 - 05/26/13 10:44 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Shadows]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1974
Loc: South Jersey
Why is it wrong to "inform" an anonymous internet poster? Aren't we also giving him suggestions for pieces to learn? If we are truly being helpful, I see nothing wrong or didactic in telling him that, at least in certain circles, there is a difference between a "song" and a "piece."
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#2089122 - 05/26/13 10:53 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: DameMyra]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
I thought Bruce's response was spot on. I hate to see language degrade. Specific words have specific meanings.What is wrong with trying to inform someone about the use of the words "song" and "piece"?
But one could replace "degrade" by "evolve" and it would sound fine. I'm sure you don't think all words have retained their original meanings.

How can you replace "degrade" with "evolve"? They have completely different meanings. You have just proven my point.
I meant that some would just consider the change in usage to be an evolution and not a degrading. By choosing the word degrade you automatically imposed a negative spin on the topic.

If one said "I hate to see language evolve", I think most would disagree.

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#2089123 - 05/26/13 10:55 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: DameMyra]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
Why is it wrong to "inform" an anonymous internet poster? Aren't we also giving him suggestions for pieces to learn? If we are truly being helpful, I see nothing wrong or didactic in telling him that, at least in certain circles, there is a difference between a "song" and a "piece."
I think there is a difference between giving an anonymous internet poster asked for suggestions for a piece and "correcting" him, especially in the way some posters did on this thread. If one really feels one must inform them then do it in a PM.

The same type of correcting occurred in a different thread about the Bach Toccata and Fugue. The poster asked a simple question but several posters belittled him for misspelling Toccata or for not giving the key for the piece.



Edited by pianoloverus (05/26/13 11:04 AM)

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#2089126 - 05/26/13 10:59 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: pianoloverus]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6168
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
I thought Bruce's response was spot on. I hate to see language degrade. Specific words have specific meanings.What is wrong with trying to inform someone about the use of the words "song" and "piece"?
But one could replace "degrade" by "evolve" and it would sound fine. I'm sure you don't think all words have retained their original meanings.


Then we need extra words to describe song, since song no longer means vocal. Why let the perversion continue? It only causes confusion. The point of having a specific meaning is the ability to use one word to describe it.
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#2089149 - 05/26/13 11:49 AM Re: Choosing next songs to play [Re: Damon]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Language evolves. smile

I have a bit of the same gut reaction as most of you when someone says "songs" for piano pieces, but you're almost certainly fighting a losing battle.

Let me ask you this: Are you also bothered when you hear "shipping" for delivery, whether or not it involves a boat? ha

In fact, I'll take it further -- admit it: Don't y'all (if you want to talk about extra words that we need, how about a clearer word than "you" when we mean plural?) .....don't y'all say shipping for delivery, whether or not it involves a boat? And doesn't it not bother you a whit?

(BTW it bothers me.) grin

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