Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
76 registered (Albunea, AndrewJCW, ando, 17 invisible), 967 Guests and 13 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Topic Options
#2135080 - 08/18/13 10:36 PM Moonlight sonata question
Pierre-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Montreal
I have been learning the famous moonlight sonata from Beethoven and have been struggling with this passage (as shown in the picture below).

Should I be playing the G at the bottom of the bass clef as a G# or a normal G?

The key signature is made of C#, D#, F# and G#.

It sounds quite awful when I play a G# there but I have really been wondering since there are no accidental on that note and there is on the two top G.

Thanks!


_________________________
Yamaha YDP-181
Alfred's All-in-One Level 2

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2135092 - 08/18/13 10:55 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3413
Loc: Maine
The note your red arrow points to, 1 ledger line below the bass clef, is E, not G (nor G#).
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2135100 - 08/18/13 11:06 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Pierre-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Montreal
Thank you PianoStuden88

I'm a bit ashamed of not seeing that before.. I've been so used to seeing the two bottom notes of that piece being octaves.


Edited by Pierre-Luc (08/18/13 11:08 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha YDP-181
Alfred's All-in-One Level 2

Top
#2136220 - 08/20/13 07:26 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Bamburg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/13
Posts: 88
Just out of curiosity, since E and G are so far apart would it be acceptable while playing this to play a G octave with your right hand and just let the left take care of that lone E even though the bottom G is written in the bass clef? The reason I ask is because That interval is barely out of my reach (I can press the keys but the ones beside move a bit.) also as a related question, is it likely that my hands will stretch out any as I play more, even though I'm 26 already?

Top
#2136222 - 08/20/13 07:33 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3413
Loc: Maine
Yes, it's fine to redistribute the notes to whichever hand(s) makes sense. I think I normally play all (or almost all) of the triplets with my right hand, throughout this piece.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2136605 - 08/21/13 12:44 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: PianoStudent88]
cmb13 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 15
Really? Then how to you hit the higher G? Finger 1 on lower G, 5 on higher? I haven't tried this piece yet, but am finishing Alfred Book 1 soon and wanted to consider this. I know I'm not quite ready but just wondering.

Top
#2136619 - 08/21/13 01:26 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 737
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
In the version of the score that I have (Wiener Urtext Edition), nearly all of the triplets are in the upper staff, and those that aren't mostly have their stems pointing upwards, which I've always been told means they should usually be played by the right hand. Have a look at the specific measure you were talking about:



In this specific measure, my right hand plays F#(octave)-B-D, and then again F#-B-D while holding the upper F#. Then G(octave)-B-C and E(octave)-B-C.

Left hand plays B(octave) for two beats, and then just the two lower quarter notes: E and G.

Hope that helps!
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Top
#2136637 - 08/21/13 02:15 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: cmb13]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3413
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: cmb13
Really? Then how to you hit the higher G? Finger 1 on lower G, 5 on higher?

Yes.

Originally Posted By: Saranoya
In the version of the score that I have (Wiener Urtext Edition), nearly all of the triplets are in the upper staff, and those that aren't mostly have their stems pointing upwards, which I've always been told means they should usually be played by the right hand.

Sometimes it suggests that the notes be played by the right hand. Sometimes it's simply a way of distinguishing voices in the left hand. I think it takes time, experience, and judgment to decide which is which.

Notice for example that in the measure's third beat just visible to the left of your image, the triplets in the treble clef have their stems down. But you interpret this as being played by the right hand, and in this case do not interpret the stems down to mean you should play these notes with the left hand.

Stem direction sometimes -- but not always -- suggests which hand to use. I think more often it indicates separate voices, rather than which hand, but sometimes it's very clearly used to indicate which hand -- but even then, you can still choose to distribute the notes differently, if a different way lies better under your hand.

Staff (upper vs. lower) sometimes -- but not always -- suggests which hand to use. Very often it's upper=right, lower=left, but this is by no means universal. Again, you can choose to distribute the notes differently, if a different way lies better under your hand.

It's not always easy to tell. An example of this is a Grieg piece I'm playing where there were some notes above the treble clef with stems down. I interpreted this to mean that it was indicating a second voice that should be emphasized in some ways. It took posters here to point out to me the other clues that suggested that the stems down were suggesting that the notes be taken with the left hand.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2136644 - 08/21/13 02:30 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: PianoStudent88]
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 737
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

Sometimes [stem direction] suggests that the notes be played by the right hand. Sometimes it's simply a way of distinguishing voices in the left hand. I think it takes time, experience, and judgment to decide which is which.

Notice for example that in the measure's third beat just visible to the left of your image, the triplets in the treble clef have their stems down. But you interpret this as being played by the right hand, and in this case do not interpret the stems down to mean you should play these notes with the left hand.


You're right, of course. In this context, I play the triplets in that measure in my right hand even though they have their stems down, just because it would be impractical to switch to playing the triplets in the left hand there.

It took me a while to figure this out (mostly because when I first started playing the piece, I had no score to go by and no teacher to give me hints about hand position), but when you play most of the triplets with your right hand (all of them, in fact, except for a couple of measures at the very end), then there's actually only one spot in the entire piece where you have to stretch wider than an octave.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Top
#2136653 - 08/21/13 02:59 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3413
Loc: Maine
I don't think in your Moonlight Sonata that the stems are indicating hand. I think they're indicating voice. They vary between down and up depending on which staff they're on, but regardless of staff they're indicating "middle voice."

Other considerations, apart from the stems, are used to determine which hand to use. In the Moonlight Sonata, playing the triplets almost always with the right hand gives a reasonable reach; playing them with the left hand gives an insane reach. Ergo, right hand. If there's a place where right hand triplets would give an insane reach (I haven't checked the score) then switch to left hand triplets if that has a more reasonable reach.

This is not always the same in every piece: Sometimes stems give a clue to hand, sometimes they don't. Sometimes staff gives a clue to hand, sometimes it doesn't.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2136842 - 08/21/13 10:24 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8399
Loc: New York City
As long as you differentiate the voices clearly and maintain the texture of the middle voice while switching hands, it doesn't matter which hand you are using at any given time.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2181641 - 11/13/13 02:11 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Pierre-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Montreal
Does anyone know what means the small "x" in the last notes of the bass clef in the first measure of page 3 ?

http://www.all-about-beethoven.com/pdf/beethoven/moonlightsonata_I.pdf

Thanks in advance!
_________________________
Yamaha YDP-181
Alfred's All-in-One Level 2

Top
#2181646 - 11/13/13 02:19 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 467
Loc: Bristol, UK
^Double sharps

Top
#2181662 - 11/13/13 02:44 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Pierre-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Montreal
so in that case, the notes actually played would be G# ?

The notes on the sheet is F double sharp and the key signature includes F#. F# + 2x # = G# ?

Does this logic makes any sense?
_________________________
Yamaha YDP-181
Alfred's All-in-One Level 2

Top
#2181669 - 11/13/13 02:54 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 467
Loc: Bristol, UK
No, play G natural.

Top
#2181672 - 11/13/13 02:58 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Pierre-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Montreal
Thank you timmyab. I will try to find some reading material on that subject as it is still a bit confusing to me smile
_________________________
Yamaha YDP-181
Alfred's All-in-One Level 2

Top
#2181701 - 11/13/13 03:35 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8399
Loc: New York City
A sharp means the note is raised a half step.

A double sharp means the note is raised two half steps, or a whole step.

What's confusing about it? smile
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2181715 - 11/13/13 03:49 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Pierre-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Montreal
The only thing that confuses me is that in the example, the F is already sharped because of the key signature.

F# + double sharp equals G# to me smile

I'm guessing double sharps needs to be played while ignoring the key signature?
_________________________
Yamaha YDP-181
Alfred's All-in-One Level 2

Top
#2181721 - 11/13/13 03:54 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8399
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Pierre-Luc
The only thing that confuses me is that in the example, the F is already sharped because of the key signature.

F# + double sharp equals G# to me smile

I'm guessing double sharps needs to be played while ignoring the key signature?

Yes; it has nothing to do with the key signature, it will always be (the enharmonic equivalent of) G. If we did it your way, then an F double sharp would be F# in Cb major, G in C major, and G# in C# major. Too confusing. grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2181729 - 11/13/13 04:00 PM Re: Moonlight sonata question [Re: Pierre-Luc]
Pierre-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Montreal
Ahh, that makes sense. Thanks a lot smile
_________________________
Yamaha YDP-181
Alfred's All-in-One Level 2

Top

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
(ad) Teaching Music To Children
Teaching Music to Children
(ad) Yamaha Stage Pianos
Yamaha CP4 & CP40 Stage Pianos
(ads) PD - WNG - MH
Mason & Hamlin Piano Factory Tours
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
PianoSupplies.com is Piano World's Online Store
Please visit our store today.
Composer Statuettes
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Beat rate generator and the PTG tuning exam
by rysowers
07/02/15 01:31 AM
Petrof Upright
by tanjalou
07/02/15 01:12 AM
Do you use a lot of slash chords?
by DeadPoets
07/01/15 10:39 PM
New Tuner, Old Pianos.
by Hemloch
07/01/15 09:57 PM
piano tech life before cell phones
by rtheaux
07/01/15 09:40 PM
What's Hot!!
New Forum for Selling Your Products or Services
--------------------
Historic Piano Documents
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Forum Stats
79,852 Registered Members
44 Forums
165,230 Topics
2,423,137 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission