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#2162005 - 10/05/13 06:34 AM Left Hand Piano Music - Melody versus "foundation"
enigma2024 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 37
Loc: Johannesburg
Hi all,

I have recently taken an interest in Left Hand piano music and find it quite remarkable as well as good exercise for the somewhat neglected left hand. I have been going through a couple of pieces and not really sure how one would approach this so maybe someone out there could advise.

Lets take, for example, the Paul Wittgenstein Bach-Gounod Meditation or as some people call it Ave Maria. My question: which takes preference, the melody line or the foundation notes? There are places where you will have to break in order to stretch to reach certain notes so my question is:

do you sound the bass [foundation] notes first, stretch up to the melody, and stretch back to the bass to continue playing

---- or ----

do you play the melody first and then precede a quick stretch downwards to the continuing bass notes.

Hope this makes sense...

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#2162027 - 10/05/13 08:00 AM Re: Left Hand Piano Music - Melody versus "foundation" [Re: enigma2024]
PianistOne111 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Utah
Probably the former most of the time. I have done the latter. I forgot why.

BTW, no stretch. If you can reach it then you can reach it. If you can't then you don't stretch to reach it. Just move.

Edit: I remember. It was because the melody, on top, just ended a phrase as the bass below began one. And it was on violin. Bach.

Edited by PianistOne111 (10/05/13 08:07 AM)

#2162056 - 10/05/13 09:44 AM Re: Left Hand Piano Music - Melody versus "foundation" [Re: enigma2024]
enigma2024 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 37
Loc: Johannesburg
correction: "stretch" ---> more correctly "move" thanks. Couldn't think of the correct term at time of typing

#2162134 - 10/05/13 01:20 PM Re: Left Hand Piano Music - Melody versus "foundation" [Re: enigma2024]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19061
Loc: Victoria, BC
In the majority of cases that I have encountered, one plays the bass note first. If one plays the melody note first, then the bass, then one has to move back to the melody note, thus risking a break in the melodic line. Moreover, more often than not, the bass (left hand) is the hand that guides the tempo, another reason, I would think, not to delay it until after the melody note.

In most cases, the time between sounding the bass note and the melody note is almost inconsequential so, unless there is a specific reason not to, sound the bass note first.

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