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#2108659 - 06/26/13 07:43 PM Moonlight Sonata question
JillyJiggs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/13
Posts: 4
Just started piano again yesterday after a looong break. It's killing me to see how much I've lost, but my new teacher has placed me back at the good ole' Moonlight Sonata (and we're not talking about the third movement wink )

I'm already a little concerned about the piece, or rather, the version he wants me to play. I've sight read through this for years, but while we were working through it, he pointed out some down-stems that I had never noticed. As I look through versions online, I've only come across one copy with the same down-stems, seen here: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/39870821/Moonlight-Sonata

Starting in the third measure, you'll see down-stems among the triplets. Being a purist, I feel uncomfortable learning a piece that isn't the original. Has anyone seen a version of this song like this before/ know why there's a difference? Really, it won't change anything except it just doesn't sit right!

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#2108685 - 06/26/13 08:14 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
Whizbang Offline
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Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 822
Hm. Weird. That looks like the version that I learned from, though mine was in a big classical compendium.
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#2108740 - 06/26/13 09:29 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1268
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: JillyJIggs

Being a purist, I feel uncomfortable learning a piece that isn't the original.


I reckon that most sheet music you will find of this work is a reproduction of the original at best. I understand that the photocopy equipment back in Ludwig's days wasn't the greatest.

Op 27 No 2 "Moonlight Sonata"

The above link is the version we worked from in the Sonata Analysis thread when we covered this work. Do a search for "Moonlight Sonata Analysis Study Thread" if interested in what was covered.

I think the up or down stems is just a matter of preference in notation for the publisher. So long as the notes are the same you should be safe.
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#2108743 - 06/26/13 09:35 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2424
Loc: Virginia, USA
I wouldn't worry about it. You can find other versions on IMSLP like the one Greener pointed too that might be clearer.

But c'mon, not the third movement?! wink
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  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#2108745 - 06/26/13 09:36 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: Greener]
JillyJiggs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/13
Posts: 4
The version that you posted is more like the version I'm familiar with. I guess my problem with all the down-stems is that they imply holding the notes over other notes, while most versions of the work indicate that each note is released right away.

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#2108760 - 06/26/13 10:10 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1268
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: JillyJIggs
I guess my problem with all the down-stems is that they imply holding the notes over other notes, while most versions of the work indicate that each note is released right away.


I'm no expert in notation, but this would be news to me. You might want to ask your teach about that.

Dampers raised, but notes released (based on time value) is how I would treat it.
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#2108775 - 06/26/13 10:48 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
Greener, hey! How are you?

JillyJIggs is actually correct in principle, but my browser just ate my whole post explaining why, and the nuances around this. So I'm going to wait until I get home and can check some other editions of this before reconstructing my post.
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#2108787 - 06/26/13 11:13 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
packa Offline
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Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1399
Loc: Dallas, TX
The suggestion of another voice as indicated by the added down stems does not seem to appear in the manuscript, the first edition, or the version in the old B&H complete works edition (all available for inspection on IMSLP). It also does not appear in the modern Alfred student edition, but I'll have to wait to go to the library to check other recent critical editions. The copyright on the posted page says "1933" but I can't see any other indication of who edited this version or whether it was a republication of another older edition.

Of course, the implied voice could only be heard if you tried to adjust dynamics among the other arpeggiated notes to bring it out (the use of the damper pedal makes the note durations irrelevant). But I'm not sure there is any basis for this. Most people view the arpeggiated chords as a single middle voice. Could you scan the title page of this edition or give some other indication of the provenance of the score?
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#2108795 - 06/26/13 11:33 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Welcome back to the bench.

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#2108860 - 06/27/13 02:57 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
raikkU Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 73
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#2108889 - 06/27/13 05:31 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
I think beethoven i dicated without dampers... ie sustain pedal pressed all the way through. This may not sound particularly good though dependant on whatever piano is played... so interpretation is needed.
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#2108898 - 06/27/13 05:55 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
mpmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 101
Loc: Portugal
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#2108934 - 06/27/13 07:45 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: UK Paul UK]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2424
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: UK Paul UK
I think beethoven i dicated without dampers... ie sustain pedal pressed all the way through. This may not sound particularly good though dependant on whatever piano is played... so interpretation is needed.


Ah, yes.

Originally Posted By: Ludwig Van Beethoven
Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo delicatissimamente e senza sordino


The whole piece with the utmost delicacy and without dampers.


I'm reliably told that he wrote, at the top of the third movement, "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate", but was urged to remove that by his publisher. ha
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  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#2109261 - 06/27/13 07:45 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1268
Loc: Toronto
I seem to recall we discussed this dampers issue early on in the study thread. Ah yes here it is ...

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

The direction "Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo delicatissimamente e senza sordini" means we're at PP throughout not starting PP in relation to the rest and we have "sempre PP e senza sordini". Always pianissimo and with dampers raised. We can also bear in mind that todays instruments have greater sustain than Beethoven's but lesser digitals can follow to the letter.
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#2109457 - 06/28/13 04:01 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: packa]
wouter79 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3639
Originally Posted By: packa
The suggestion of another voice as indicated by the added down stems does not seem to appear in the manuscript, the first edition, or the version in the old B&H complete works edition (all available for inspection on IMSLP). It also does not appear in the modern Alfred student edition, but I'll have to wait to go to the library to check other recent critical editions. The copyright on the posted page says "1933" but I can't see any other indication of who edited this version or whether it was a republication of another older edition.


+1, I also have my doubts about your score.
* the notes with the down stems do not add up properly
* "una corda"? I have never seen this and I think it's not appropriate for the piece either.
* Pedal markings are not conform Beethoven's own indication to play it ENTIRELY with pedal down (without dampers).
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#2109513 - 06/28/13 08:31 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
wouter79, can you give an example of the notes with the down stems not adding up properly? They seem ok to me. True, they don't appear everywhere, so they don't give a continuous voice, but I don't think they have to.
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#2109566 - 06/28/13 10:03 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: PianoStudent88]
wouter79 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3639
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
wouter79, can you give an example of the notes with the down stems not adding up properly? They seem ok to me. True, they don't appear everywhere, so they don't give a continuous voice, but I don't think they have to.


ok here are two examples just from the first page

m2. One note with down stem, accounting for only 1 beat of 4 in this measure. Where are the rests (I assume that's the intention)

m3. beat 2 and 3 have only a note with downstem halfway, but nothing on the first note of that beat. beat 4 has a quarter note on first note and a eight note right after that.
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#2109585 - 06/28/13 10:48 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
OK, I see. I don't see the need to be formally complete about writing out every voice in full, so it doesn't bother me that the rests aren't there. For me, it's enough to show on particular notes when there's something extra going on, without having to show rests to show the absence of something special on other beats.

It's like if you have chords and some chords are two note chords and some chords are three notes and some chords are four notes, you might not write out rests to fill every beat up to show four notes-or-rests.
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#2109605 - 06/28/13 11:24 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: PianoStudent88]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1399
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
... there's something extra going on ...

The primary question to me is not whether the downstems account for every beat in another voice. It's certainly true that shortcuts are often taken in this regard. But I really question the notion that there is "something extra" to be notated here. These extra downstems do not seem to have originated with Beethoven. Where did they come from? And what could they possibly mean as far as realizing the arpeggiated middle voice?
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Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#2109628 - 06/28/13 12:06 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
I agree with you about questioning whether there should be something extra notated. (In fact it was because of your earlier post that I didn't come back with the more detailed post that I had promised after my browser ate my previous post, because you said pretty much what I would have said.)

My comment about "something extra" was just meant to be addressing the rests question as a general notation issue: if you take this score at face value (without trying to decide if it's correct for the Moonlight Sonata or not), it makes sense to interpret the notes that have the down stems and think about what interpretation might be being asked for (if any!), and not be fussed about the fact that that voice isn't fully notated with rests to fill up the measures. This is in opposition to wouter79's complaint that the voice was incomplete; I'm not bothered by it being incomplete.

Of course I am bothered by whether or not it is accurate.
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#2109636 - 06/28/13 12:14 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: PianoStudent88]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1399
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
I agree with you about questioning whether there should be something extra notated. (In fact it was because of your earlier post that I didn't come back with the more detailed post that I had promised after my browser ate my previous post, because you said pretty much what I would have said.)

My comment about "something extra" was just meant to be addressing the rests question as a general notation issue: if you take this score at face value (without trying to decide if it's correct for the Moonlight Sonata or not), it makes sense to interpret the notes that have the down stems and think about what interpretation might be being asked for (if any!), and not be fussed about the fact that that voice isn't fully notated with rests to fill up the measures. This is in opposition to wouter79's complaint that the voice was incomplete; I'm not bothered by it being incomplete.

Of course I am bothered by whether or not it is accurate.

Yes, I think we agree on the nature of the questions that need to be asked.
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Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#2109648 - 06/28/13 12:33 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2424
Loc: Virginia, USA
I'm going to vote that the OP asks their teacher why they should use this version instead of another 10 versions that are more accurate! Pick another one from IMSLP or buy a reputable edition (I'm starting to get the Alfred editions) and move on ...
_________________________
  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#2115278 - 07/09/13 06:17 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
JillyJiggs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/13
Posts: 4
As an update, teacher insisted on using this version, which has made me decide to move on to another teacher once this piece is done. Starting to get bad feels about his expertise. Goes to show you that Juilliard training doesn't always translate into teaching abilities.

Thanks for all the help!

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#2115281 - 07/09/13 06:25 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata question [Re: JillyJiggs]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
Did the teacher explain *why* to use this version?
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