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#2159567 - 09/29/13 10:05 AM Moonlight Sonata - pedaling
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1183
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Hi there fellow ABFers. I'm working on the famous 1st movement of Beethoven´s Moonlight Sonata. On the sheet music it says con ped. which means with pedal.

But I'm not sure if I'm supposed to hold the pedal down through all the piece or at the beginning of each new chord, and then of course lift it between chords.

Which is it, anyone who's tried the 1st movement (must be?) I'm working from Gilbert de Benedetti´s arrangement, this one here:

http://gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/Level4/4Moonlig.pdf

As MIDI:

http://gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/Level4/4Moonlig.mid
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#2159571 - 09/29/13 10:19 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Just do it based on how it sounds on your piano. The pedals of Beethoven's time were much less resonant/lasting.
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#2159582 - 09/29/13 10:52 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
PhilzPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/09
Posts: 113
Loc: UK
I'm not a teacher but I have learned this piece to the best of my current ability! My advice would be to take the plunge and learn the proper piece rather than an arrangement, as it's not as hard as you might think. As far as the pedal goes, I would quickly lift and re-apply it as you lift your left hand off the keyboard, so that the previous bass notes are cleared and the pedal is down again just before you play the next bass notes. Typically this means at the transition from one bar to the next, or in the case of your arranged piece, once every two bars. Use this as a starting point and then modify your pedalling to suit your piano.

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#2159592 - 09/29/13 11:09 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
Michael Sayers Offline
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Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 871
Loc: Stockholms ln, Sverige
"Con Ped." just means to use the pedal. How it used is up the the performer (as Morodiene indicated).

What concerns me about this edition is the r.h. fingering, or at least that a more open fingering isn't written in as an alternative to the closed fingering (e.g., bar one 1 2 4 1 2 4, bar five 1 2 4 1 2 3, bar six 1 2 4 1 2 5, bar seven 1 2 5 . . . et c.).


M.

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#2159620 - 09/29/13 12:10 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: Michael Sayers]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11421
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
"Con Ped." just means to use the pedal. How it used is up the the performer (as Morodiene indicated).

What concerns me about this edition is the r.h. fingering, or at least that a more open fingering isn't written in as an alternative to the closed fingering (e.g., bar one 1 2 4 1 2 4, bar five 1 2 4 1 2 3, bar six 1 2 4 1 2 5, bar seven 1 2 5 . . . et c.).


M.
I think the fingering suggestions are fine and typical. Of course, all fingering is up to the pianist to discover what is most efficient and helpful for them, but the ones offered in here are standard, whereas yours are more personalized.
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#2159634 - 09/29/13 12:39 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1183
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Thank you for your answers. PhilzPiano, the original is in C# minor and looks a little intimidating. shocked This version is in A minor, which means there aren't supposed to be any black notes. However it does contain accidentals, especially the middle part.


Edited by TheodorN (09/29/13 12:40 PM)
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#2159640 - 09/29/13 12:52 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
Michael Sayers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 871
Loc: Stockholms ln, Sverige
You can hack away at the original a little at a time. It may be intimidating but if you do it you will be glad about it afterwards smile


M.

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#2159785 - 09/29/13 07:03 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Listen to this lecture:
http://download.guardian.co.uk/sys-audio/Arts/Culture/2006/11/22/03_14CSharpMin.mp3

This should be a compulsory lecture for anyone before learning this sonata.
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#2159793 - 09/29/13 07:24 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
4evrBeginR Offline
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Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: TheodorN
This version is in A minor, which means there aren't supposed to be any black notes. However it does contain accidentals, especially the middle part.


The sound of C# minor and A minor is so different that it discounts the piece significantly if done in A minor. A minor is not so happy not so sad, but C# minor is sad and a sadness with longing and questioning. It is sad since E-major is not as sunny as C major.

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#2159831 - 09/29/13 08:58 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11421
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted By: TheodorN
This version is in A minor, which means there aren't supposed to be any black notes. However it does contain accidentals, especially the middle part.


The sound of C# minor and A minor is so different that it discounts the piece significantly if done in A minor. A minor is not so happy not so sad, but C# minor is sad and a sadness with longing and questioning. It is sad since E-major is not as sunny as C major.

I'm sure if he were able to play in C# minor, he would. I don't begrudge anyone who wishes to play the A section of Fur Elise, Canon in D (which is not originally written for piano), or any other simplifications/transcriptions.

And heck, if he's playing on a digital he could use the transpose function to raise it up 4 half steps. wink
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#2159835 - 09/29/13 09:10 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: Morodiene]
4evrBeginR Offline
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Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Well, yeah, you know, between you and me, while nobody else is listening, I'm kind of against the idea that anyone with less than many years at the piano even attempt this sonata especially the first two movements. Ironically, I think the 3rd movement is harder to ruin. I of course hold the minority view as demonstrated by YouTube.

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
And heck, if he's playing on a digital he could use the transpose function to raise it up 4 half steps. wink


Wow, don't even let my teacher hear that kind of talk. Transposing by pushing buttons. What is this world coming to! Hehe.
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#2159844 - 09/29/13 09:22 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11421
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
IMO, it's all about enjoyment. Even if the OP were my student and he wanted to become a professional pianist and really really wanted to play the Moonlight, but he was just a beginner and many years from being able to do it justice, I'd still give him a simplification. Enjoyment is so important to the process of learning.
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#2159857 - 09/29/13 09:55 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: Morodiene]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I agree; it's much easier to learn something we like.
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#2160006 - 09/30/13 09:47 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1183
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Thank you for good inputs. I've often given it a thought if one should even practise simplified versions and actually started a thread about that subject a few years (wow!) back. It seems a bit like a double effort to learn the simplified version and then the original.

Still, if we take this Moonlight Sonata in A minor, what I see in it, is that it seems a good practice in arpeggios of a few sorts, minor, major, sevenths, even some dim and sus chords. Would be an interesting task to identify all the chords. cool

Might even ditch the piece for the time being. What I most want to learn is to play contemporary music, pop/rock/blues, even jazz and country. I like some classical music, at least the popular ones in addition to MS, Blue Danube, Beethoven's, Fur Elise, Mozart's Turkish March and Pachebel's Canon to name a few. Thought that is rather a way to reach the other goal (being able to play the rock hits.)
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#2166818 - 10/15/13 07:34 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Originally Posted By: TheodorN
Hi there fellow ABFers. I'm working on the famous 1st movement of Beethoven´s Moonlight Sonata. On the sheet music it says con ped. which means with pedal.

But I'm not sure if I'm supposed to hold the pedal down through all the piece or at the beginning of each new chord, and then of course lift it between chords.

Which is it, anyone who's tried the 1st movement (must be?) I'm working from Gilbert de Benedetti´s arrangement, this one here:

http://gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/Level4/4Moonlig.pdf

As MIDI:

http://gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/Level4/4Moonlig.mid


I have just finished the Coursera Beethoven piano sonatas course with Jonathan Biss. He talked about this in the video lecture. Beethoven did indeed mean for the pedal to be held down throughout the movement. However, he wrote and played this on a fortepiano which creates a different effect than the modern piano- it was meant to have a hazy, almost mysterious sound but it can become fuzzy on a modern piano.
If you want to hear the difference on a fortepiano here it is:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tattSl7O-s4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUDUmWaus3Q

I personally think this sounds so much better than on a modern piano- wait til you hear the third movement! The enotional effect on this piano is almost devastating-I almost wept on first listen! Every note leaps out and grasps your heart!!

If you are interested I have a transcript of the lecture on this sonata and how Beethoven intended it to sound.I can put it on my Box and link it, or you can PM me and I could email it you.


Edited by EdwardianPiano (10/15/13 07:38 PM)
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#2167226 - 10/16/13 02:08 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1183
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Thank you for the links, EdwardianPiano. Those versions were both good, don't know if I've misunderstood something but weren't they both played on a fortepiano? It's obvious for the latter link, you can see the lighter color keys on top of darker ones, as the fortepianos were, the reverse of today's pianos, which have black keys on top of white ones.

I can note the difference of how a fortepiano sounds when compared to a modern piano. Not sure though if the sound is reproduced in a good way in my earbuds from a lousy MP3-player. I'd appreciate the transcript of this lecture, will PM you my email address in a few moments.
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#2167375 - 10/16/13 07:07 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Yes they were both fortepiano- so you could get to see what they sound like. Wasn't the 3rd movement played by the woman electrifying?
They sound magnificent played on my laptop on Linux audacious (downloaded them)with enhanced stereo! When I go at the middle fo the stairs( my stairs are at the end of my lounge) sounds like a real fortepiano is being played in my lounge! Try them on big speakers...


Edited by EdwardianPiano (10/16/13 07:10 PM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


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#2167748 - 10/17/13 03:21 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
IreneAdler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 120
Loc: Washington
I completely understand you love for this piece, I am still head over heels in love with this piece; but why don't you work from a urtext version of the orginal piece even if it is a little daunting. I certainly was more than a bit intimidated when I begged my teacher to let me learn the 1st movement last summer. It was and still is a challenge to play correctly but therein lies the fun, playing the notes that Beethoven wrote and trying to be able to play them as well. In my opinion why put all the time and effort into learning a piece that has been transposed into a completely different key. Part of the beauty of the piece is the key, that he chose for the piece.

As far as pedaling, my teacher said that the pedal, the sustain pedal that is, should come down on the "And of 1" since you are counting in 2/2; so that the first notes are clearly heard and then sustained. If there is change in the bass notes then the pedal comes up to allow those notes to sound and then the pedal comes down again to sustain those notes.

Whatever you decide to learn, bon voyage as I always find a new piece to be akin to a journey.

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#2167771 - 10/17/13 04:13 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Irene, I have just been playing my beginner's one paged version- I'm getting better at it. I have found another one paged version that has more notes on the left hand so I am going to write them on my sheet and go on with that. I like the idea of building it up.
I was listening to this sonata last night by candle light with heavy rain and thunder outside- very atmospheric! Way better than watching iplayer!
Are you going to try the second movement?

There is also a version in the classical ebook of pianoforall that I bought this morning! In fact there is quite a few of Beethoven's in there- and Chopin's too!!!
Be awhile before I get to those though- it's chords first! I shall start the first book tomorrow.


Edited by EdwardianPiano (10/17/13 04:17 PM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#2167778 - 10/17/13 04:43 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: TheodorN]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Here is a link to free Beethoven sheet music:

http://www.all-about-beethoven.com/beethovenmusicsheet.html
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#2167862 - 10/17/13 08:24 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata - pedaling [Re: EdwardianPiano]
IreneAdler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 120
Loc: Washington
I agree with you Edwardian, buliding up to piece is a interesting idea. I have tried it yet with any of my "dream pieces". I suppose I would prefer to wait than play an edited version, because of one experience I had when I was starting back to playing almost two years ago in my method book that my previous teacher was using had adaption of Chopin's "Tristesse" and I was so overjoyed to learn it; I thought in my ignorence that was the actual piece that I loved so, and when I next listened to "Tristesse" I realized my error and felt so decieved that I haven't played an edited version again. Perhaps, I am being quite silly, but there it is.

I would like to learn both the 2nd and the 3rd movements to Beethoven's Moonlight, but my teacher has been assigning another pieces, I assume he has a good reason for not mentioning the later movements. I felt lucky enough that we were able to work on the 1st movement it was such a treat, I know I wasn't really quite ready for it when we started it. I can not say I much I love playing the middle part of the first movement is sounds like cascade of water, ohh Beethoven... if a gentleman dedicated a piece of music like that sonata to me I would find it very difficult not to elope with him, who cares if society approves, Giulietta Guicciardi you missed the boat there darling.

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