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#2215229 - 01/15/14 02:00 PM Masterwork Classics, Level 3
scorpio Offline
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Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 551
Loc: Connecticut, USA
This thread is for those working through Alfred Masterwork Classics Level 3.



Everyone is welcome to participate. My hope is that this will be a place for the beginner to share their trials and experiences, as well as recordings, while working through the material. This should be a place of support, motivation and a source of inspiration.

The Masterwork Classics series is an excellent supplement to any method series that a beginner might use.


Edited by scorpio (01/15/14 02:06 PM)
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#2215248 - 01/15/14 02:43 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
mom3gram Offline
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Posts: 1133
Loc: New Jersey
I'm still working through Level 1-2, but I plan to follow this thread anyway. I like the series and plan to continue with them. Hopefully there will be enough people to make it an active thread.
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#2215533 - 01/16/14 03:12 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
sydnal Offline
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Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 126
Interesting thread, I will be following it and I hope it turns out successful. However I fear there may be too few people to keep the thread alive, so imho Scorpio maybe you should turn it into a general Masterwork Classics Thread rather than Level 3. In fact I also have another suggestion.

Lately I have been thinking of supplementing Alfred's Basic Adult Course with some classical material, what I do now is that I picked some easy pieces from Anna Magdalena notebook but I believe a gradual method book would be better than picking out random pieces. SO I have been reading some old After Alfred's/Supplementing Alfred's threads and generally the following books turn up in those. I have also included what little info I could gather about them:

- Alfred Masterwork Classics: Gradual repertoire, has audio cd to listen to. No study guides/lessons. (Not sure about this)
- Celebration Series Perspectives (ABRSM ??): Gradual repertoire, has audio cds but these are extra and you have to buy them. Does not have lessons/guides.
- Essential Piano Repertoire (Keith Snell): Gradual repertoire, has audio cds. No lessons/study guides.
- Succeeding with the Masters/Festival Collection: Don't have much data on this, I think it may have discontinued and replaced by Celebration Series Perspectives.
- First Impressions Series. (Mlou Dietzer): Gradual repertoire book, also has some etudes and study guides. I have actually bought the first volume in the series since it has study guides that could help me as a self learner but I realized that it does not have audio cd and I was not able to find an extra audio cd that could be purchased. So this kinda turned me off as my reading is still not adequate and I often need to hear the piece to get a feel for it.

So I am still trying to decide what classical repertoire book I should get, among the ones listed above I think the best pieces are in Essential Piano Repertoire, but that's my personal opinion. I would appreciate it if anybody has more info on these and could share it.

My suggestion: Maybe we could have a big Beginner's Classical Repertoire thread, where people could share their experiences and recordings from all the books mentioned above, by estimated difficulty/grade/level. As most of the pieces in those books have freely available sheet music, people could mix & match pieces they like along the way. What I realized is that it's harder to explore easy/beginner pieces repertoire since it's mostly heavy hitters that we see/hear on youtube etc. This could help us explore some good beginner repertoire.
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#2215579 - 01/16/14 06:25 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: sydnal]
Moonraker Offline
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Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 43
Loc: Wales, UK
I started Masterworks Classics 4 recently after working through the earlier volumes &, before that, the Alfred series. I particularly like the cds with the MC series. I aspire to the lady's pianistic skills but do not even come close, unfortunately! I always play through a piece before listening to the CD & the correct version can sound surprisingly different to mine, even when my notes are correct. Is it just because I'm playing slowly or is there some way I can improve my "sight-reading" of rhythm? After two & a half years of practice I'd say I'm quite good at reading notes but slow at grasping the rhythm of more complex pieces.

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#2215612 - 01/16/14 08:34 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
scorpio Offline
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Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 551
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I want to encourage more discussion of beginner to intermediate supplemental repertoire. There are many avenues to choose. It makes no difference how we set it up; I want something that fosters participation. We can change this thread or create new ones. The reason I started this was due to a desire from some in several threads I have read over the past few months.

I choose to be book specific to keep on topic. There are eleven books to the Masterwork Classics series. I feared a varied repertoire would lead to a disjointed thread. Again, I am not saying this is the best route, but it is a start. Maybe we setup threads (1) Prep-Level 4, (2) Level 5-Level 7, and (3) Level 8-Level 10; something like that. It really makes no difference to me. I would like to see participation.

Similar can be done for Snell's Essential Piano Repertoire series. I, too, like this series; in fact, this is the series I started while working in Alfred's Book One. I have played out of both series. Where I think the Masterwork Classics has an edge is that it includes pieces that span a much larger time period (Baroque-Classic-Romantic-Contemporary), while Essential Piano Repertoire includes pieces from the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries (nothing contemporary).

There might be a different way of doing it; a thread titled, Supplemental Repertoire for the Beginner. And that would be a thread where players would share their experiences out of different books and potentially different levels. Maybe this provides a larger umbrella for more members to participate. Now that I think about it, this might be the best idea.

So I would like to hear your input. Let's decide quickly; I'd rather be playing than talking about it.

For me, full disclosure, I am working out of many books. I am not tied to anything. These books, mentioned above, are secondary and tertiary material to the study I am doing with a teacher.
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#2215627 - 01/16/14 09:46 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
mom3gram Offline
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Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1133
Loc: New Jersey
I like the idea of it being "book specific". Even if it is not as active as you would like, it can be found in a search and added to as people discover the series. If you make it a general beginner level classics thread, it may end up being too general end up with too wide a range of books/levels. But.......perhaps you can make a "Beginner Level Classics" thread and in it include the link to your specific "Masterworks Classics" level thread/threads. If this makes any sense.

I actually haven't worked in my level 1-2 book since late summer, and don't have any way to record at the moment, but i would definitely read and comment on a level 3 thread.

By the way, syndal, there are study guides to go along with the Masterworks Classics. I found it quite helpful.
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#2215637 - 01/16/14 10:26 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
sinophilia Offline

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Registered: 06/26/12
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Loc: Italy
I may have worked or have been working on pieces included in this collection without knowing it... A book series like this is appealing because it's progressive, but recently I've just picked my classical pieces from IMSLP or Pianist magazine.
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#2215678 - 01/16/14 11:41 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: sydnal]
Stubbie Offline
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Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 473
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: sydnal
Interesting thread, I will be following it and I hope it turns out successful. However I fear there may be too few people to keep the thread alive, so imho Scorpio maybe you should turn it into a general Masterwork Classics Thread rather than Level 3. In fact I also have another suggestion.

Lately I have been thinking of supplementing Alfred's Basic Adult Course with some classical material, what I do now is that I picked some easy pieces from Anna Magdalena notebook but I believe a gradual method book would be better than picking out random pieces. SO I have been reading some old After Alfred's/Supplementing Alfred's threads and generally the following books turn up in those. I have also included what little info I could gather about them:

- Alfred Masterwork Classics: Gradual repertoire, has audio cd to listen to. No study guides/lessons. (Not sure about this)
- Celebration Series Perspectives (ABRSM ??): Gradual repertoire, has audio cds but these are extra and you have to buy them. Does not have lessons/guides.
- Essential Piano Repertoire (Keith Snell): Gradual repertoire, has audio cds. No lessons/study guides.
- Succeeding with the Masters/Festival Collection: Don't have much data on this, I think it may have discontinued and replaced by Celebration Series Perspectives.
- First Impressions Series. (Mlou Dietzer): Gradual repertoire book, also has some etudes and study guides. I have actually bought the first volume in the series since it has study guides that could help me as a self learner but I realized that it does not have audio cd and I was not able to find an extra audio cd that could be purchased. So this kinda turned me off as my reading is still not adequate and I often need to hear the piece to get a feel for it.

So I am still trying to decide what classical repertoire book I should get, among the ones listed above I think the best pieces are in Essential Piano Repertoire, but that's my personal opinion. I would appreciate it if anybody has more info on these and could share it.

My suggestion: Maybe we could have a big Beginner's Classical Repertoire thread, where people could share their experiences and recordings from all the books mentioned above, by estimated difficulty/grade/level. As most of the pieces in those books have freely available sheet music, people could mix & match pieces they like along the way. What I realized is that it's harder to explore easy/beginner pieces repertoire since it's mostly heavy hitters that we see/hear on youtube etc. This could help us explore some good beginner repertoire.


There is also Essential Keyboard Repertoire (Alfred), Levels 1-6. Level 1 is about at the same level as Masterworks Classics Level 3-4.

The Masterworks Classic series does have a teacher/players guide available through level 5. I got mine for levels 4 and 5 through Amazon (third party).

I would vote for the Masterwork Classics series for discussion, with separate threads for Levels 3 and 4 to start with. These books offer a graded progression through the books, which I like. The practice guides offer some useful tips on how to analyze a piece for its parts and phrasing and how to play certain things (slurs, for example).

Levels 1 and 2 might be candidates for discussion, but my impression would be that most people who had played through most or all of Alfred' All-in-One Book 2 would want to start with Masterworks Classics Level 3 (or Level 4).
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#2215679 - 01/16/14 11:45 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
Emissary52 Offline
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Loc: Monroe, NC USA
scorpio - I think you're on to something with your excellent suggestion! More than a few people have mentioned this series. I picked up the whole set when I started to become disenchanted with the music selections in Alfred's Adult 2. I got through the Level 1-2 book and worked on quite a few pieces in Level 3. I started on the Level 4 book but got a bit bogged down with my "dubious technic" when I finally got a teacher. We've done some pieces in Alfred's Adult 2 and 3 and a few middle-intermediate pop songs, but I wouldn't mind going back to Level 3 to finish it up. I'm sure my teacher wouldn't mind either as I'm sure she believes I exceed my grasp a bit, with my current musical choices.

Here's an example of the song I'm working on using his exact arrangement

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4c54PAzXrM

I think there is a great need for an early-intermediate classical repertoire thread and Masterworks Classics series books are a great choice! Having that cd to compare yourself to, makes learning the selections a lot easier. The nice thing about the cd is that it's just the piano and not the cacophony of sounds that the Alfred Adult Books have ...that drown out the piano part that you're trying to hear! Count me in!
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#2215723 - 01/16/14 01:32 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
Ohio_Mark Offline
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Registered: 07/08/13
Posts: 48
I am considering looking into purchasing this. I'm on the fence right now. I probably don't "need" another music book. I am nearing the end of Alfred AIO book 2 also working through book 2 of the Jazz, Rags and Blues series - not much in the way of more classical arrangements.
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#2215744 - 01/16/14 02:23 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: Ohio_Mark]
Emissary52 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/09
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Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Ohio_Mark - Funny that you mention the Jazz, Rags and Blues books. I bought Vols. 1-3 and Martha Mier has come up with some really nice pieces. My favorite in Book 1 is "Seventh Street Blues". It's easy to play and sounds so good. But I'm sure you'd enjoy the Masterwork Classics series. Playing a piece like Attwood's "Sonatina in G" from MC Vol. 3 followed by a selection from J,R & Blues covers a span of 200 years and makes you sound like a better player than you think you are!
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#2215788 - 01/16/14 04:13 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
A few comments on these graded repertoire series (I love these, and collect them).

As far as I can see, Helen Marlais' Festival Collection and Succeeding with the Masters are still going strong. The Festival Collection is my favorite one of these series, because I find its selections more quirky and memorable.

And Neil Kjos/Keith Snell actually have TWO Piano Repertoire series. One, the "Essential Piano Repertoire" series, is a single volume + CD set which omits modern music. But there is another (just plain old) "Piano Repertoire" series, each level of which has 3 books and one CD per level (all sold separately), which include a Baroque/Classical book, a Romantic/20th century book, and a book of etudes.

And then there is the Masterwork Classics series edited for Alfred by Jane Magrath, who also wrote the Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature. My sad confession is that I find the music in this one the least interesting of the bunch


Anyway...

I would love to have a thread just dedicated to this kind of classical teaching repertoire, where it wouldn't matter so much which series one worked from (or just downloaded such "standard teaching literatue" from IMSLP or PianoStreet or whatever. Even The Fundamental Keys method utilizes this material.

So I favor the "big tent" approach, which I think would make the thread more robust and likely to stay on the front page of the forum.


Edited by tangleweeds (01/16/14 04:14 PM)
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#2216040 - 01/17/14 05:05 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
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Registered: 02/15/12
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My daughter is using the snell series, the one with the breakout into baroque/classical/romantic.

They are her primary books, along with a scales series, as per her teacher.
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#2216212 - 01/17/14 12:34 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: Emissary52]
Ohio_Mark Offline
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Registered: 07/08/13
Posts: 48
Originally Posted By: Emissary52
Ohio_Mark - Funny that you mention the Jazz, Rags and Blues books. I bought Vols. 1-3 and Martha Mier has come up with some really nice pieces. My favorite in Book 1 is "Seventh Street Blues". It's easy to play and sounds so good. But I'm sure you'd enjoy the Masterwork Classics series. Playing a piece like Attwood's "Sonatina in G" from MC Vol. 3 followed by a selection from J,R & Blues covers a span of 200 years and makes you sound like a better player than you think you are!


I'm working on Red Rose Rendezvous in book2. Hoping to have an acceptable recording for the quarter recital. I can play the notes but I am not happy with the rhythm or the dynamics in the first attempted recordings.
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#2216356 - 01/17/14 06:46 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
Johnny D Offline
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Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 189
Loc: Brazil
I think at a minimum, a Masterwork Classics thread should be combined for Levels 1-3 if not for the whole series in one thread.

Maybe there could be two threads: one for Levels 1-4, and one for Levels 5-10


Edited by Johnny D (01/17/14 08:21 PM)
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#2217085 - 01/19/14 11:49 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
Johnny D Offline
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Registered: 08/10/11
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Loc: Brazil
I've been working on Meneut in G Major and the 8th measure has me wondering about that musical notation where you have a tiny eighth note tied to a different dotted half note.




So it says in the diagram above that for our purposes it can be played as a quarter note followed by a half note.

Is that how it is normally played or are they just making it easier for us by having us play it that way (quarter and a half note)?


Edited by Johnny D (01/19/14 12:08 PM)
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#2217088 - 01/19/14 12:01 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: Johnny D]
scorpio Offline
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Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 551
Loc: Connecticut, USA
The little note is called a grace note.

I have played it as an eighth note, and it is suppose to start with the quarter note in the bass clef. I do believe the diagram is showing a more simple version.
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#2217091 - 01/19/14 12:07 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
scorpio Offline
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Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 551
Loc: Connecticut, USA
After all the input - and not that there was a ton - I think I am going to start a single thread for beginner repertoire. And we can discuss a variety of pieces in the new thread while continuing the current book (Level 3) discussion here. If in the new thread we determine that we need to branch our discussions into a more focused place we can open book specific threads at that time.
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#2217099 - 01/19/14 12:19 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
Johnny D Offline
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Registered: 08/10/11
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Originally Posted By: scorpio
The little note is called a grace note.

I have played it as an eighth note, and it is suppose to start with the quarter note in the bass clef. I do believe the diagram is showing a more simple version.


Thanks for the help. I think I naturally wanted to play it faster than a quarter note because I know the melody, but then it messes up my timing with the left hand.

It does make it easier playing it the way they show, but I figured there must be more to it than just that or they wouldn't use the notation in the first place - they would just use a quarter and half note. I do suppose the grace note could be played considerably softer than the dominating note which follows.

If anyone plays guitar, this kind of makes me think of a hammer-on or slide note.
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#2217121 - 01/19/14 12:58 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
KurtZ Offline
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Grace notes on guitar are usually played "acciliattura" or crushed. They are marked with a slash through the grace note. You play them ahead of the beat ever so slightly and they don't change the rhythm of the piece like the way baroque ornamentation does. A hammer-on or pulloff is rhythm independent and for guitar, are a form of slur and are played in accurate rhythm. My only problem, if such a slight difference with nomenclature could ever be called a problem, is that a hammered-on note is gentler than the preceding picked note which is the opposite of the intention on both appogiatura (pictured above) and acceliatura. When I see crushed grace note in guitar, I usually think of a technique that uses a quick bend up to the note or one that uses two strings played *almost* together with or without a bend.

I once asked my former 'cello teacher, "Am I doing this right?" She responded, "Are you getting the sound you want? If so, you're doing it right." I only intend here to separate a useful (guitar) technique from understanding the intent of two different types of grace notes.

One other thing, well two. One, ornamentation is optional. Leave it in or omit it as you see fit. I think the common practice is to learn the piece without ornamentation and then add them in. Two, ornamentation was improvised by individual musicians according to certain accepted practices of the day that were hold overs from celestes and harpsichords and wind instruments of the renaissance and early baroque. They're used to add interest and color to simpler melodies on instruments that play (more or less) without dynamics. This leads us right back to number one. Add or leave out ornamentation as you see fit. It takes a little study to learn how to apply them but it is meant to be improvised. CPE Bach wrote a book on keyboard ornamentation and of course there are plenty of sites on the 'net that attempt to explain it with varying levels of depth and accuracy. In regards to the menuet above, we, in this modern day have the advantage of listening to many versions for free right from you tube or vimeo et. al. Choose the one you like the sound of and imitate that as a starting point.

Kurt
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#2221334 - 01/27/14 09:07 AM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: Johnny D]
4evrBeginR Offline
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Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Johnny D





So it says in the diagram above that for our purposes it can be played as a quarter note followed by a half note.

Is that how it is normally played or are they just making it easier for us by having us play it that way (quarter and a half note)?


There are basically two ways to play the grace note. One is to press both the A and B down at the same time and immediately lifting the B. Another is to play the A as quickly as possible after the B. You could try both ways and see which is best for you or come to some intermediate compromise. The important thing to remember is to play the grace note (B) at the same time as the D on the left hand for Bach. This is probably why the alternate of making the B a quarter note is there, but it's not preferred.
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#2221435 - 01/27/14 12:32 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: Johnny D]
Stubbie Offline
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Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 473
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: Johnny D
I've been working on Meneut in G Major and the 8th measure has me wondering about that musical notation where you have a tiny eighth note tied to a different dotted half note.




So it says in the diagram above that for our purposes it can be played as a quarter note followed by a half note.

Is that how it is normally played or are they just making it easier for us by having us play it that way (quarter and a half note)?


This is probably waaay more information [img:left][/img] than you were after, but here goes:

A grace notes is formally called an appoggiatura. There are two kinds of appoggiaturas, short and long. The short one is, strictly speaking, an acciaccatura (confusing, for sure). The acciaccatura is a small note with a slash through the stem and is connected to the main note with a slur. It's played very quickly, just before the beat.

The long appoggiatura is written as a small note (no slash) connected by a slur to the main note. It is played on the beat of the main note it is connected to and borrows its time from that note.

Sub-rules.
If the main note is a whole, half, or quarter note, the small note gets half the value of the main note.

If the main note is a dotted note (as in the posted example), it's a little more variable, it seems. The book I have says the grace note gets two-thirds of the value of the main note, so it would be played as a B (half note) followed by A (quarter note), with the B played on the beat. In practice, I think it's not cut and dried.

Source: Alfred's AIO Book 3, p. 116.

There's also a Wiki entry: appoggiatura
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#2221444 - 01/27/14 12:46 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
scorpio Offline
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Registered: 11/30/12
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Loc: Connecticut, USA
All good information. Thank you!
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#2221476 - 01/27/14 01:59 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
wouter79 Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3605
Nah, a grace note is a type of ornament. One of the ornaments is an appoggiatura.

The standard notation for appoggiatura is a small QUARTER note. For an acciaccatura it's a EIGHT note WITH a STROKE through the stem. in your score we seem to have something inbetween.

So IMHO you do not need to play this grade note as an appoggiatura. You can also interpret it as acciaccatura.

Also note that that there are multiple ways to play an appoggiatura and acciacatura. The normal one, as an unaccented appoggiatura, which is with the grace on, or before the beat. Playing the two notes together and then releasing the short one is less common I think
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#2221497 - 01/27/14 02:40 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: scorpio]
scorpio Offline
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Posts: 551
Loc: Connecticut, USA
appoggiatura(It.) A "leaning" note appears as a small note slurred to the main note. In music of the Baroque and Classical periods it is played as an accented dissonance on the beat.

Source: Hinson, M. (2004) The Pianist's Dictionary. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
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#2221628 - 01/27/14 07:07 PM Re: Masterwork Classics, Level 3 [Re: wouter79]
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 473
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Nah, a grace note is a type of ornament. One of the ornaments is an appoggiatura.

The standard notation for appoggiatura is a small QUARTER note. For an acciaccatura it's a EIGHT note WITH a STROKE through the stem. in your score we seem to have something inbetween.

So IMHO you do not need to play this grade note as an appoggiatura. You can also interpret it as acciaccatura.

Also note that that there are multiple ways to play an appoggiatura and acciacatura. The normal one, as an unaccented appoggiatura, which is with the grace on, or before the beat. Playing the two notes together and then releasing the short one is less common I think


Underlining mine. All the sources I've seen do not use a quarter note. They use an eighth note for the long appoggiatura. See Dometsch Online or the Alfed book.


Seems like it would be easier to just write out the long appogiatura, but I assume the appoggiatura is used because some freedom in note placement/duration is allowed on the part of the person playing the piece. From the Dolmetsch site "...the appoggiatura often formalises the practice of 'freely filling-in thirds' in melodic lines."
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