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#2259966 - 04/10/14 08:33 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4892
Loc: USA
Dang. If only we had some way to solve all these problems.

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#2259996 - 04/10/14 09:58 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: JoelW]
phantomFive Offline
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Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1648
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Dang. If only we had some way to solve all these problems.

Handbells.
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Poetry is rhythm.

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#2260022 - 04/10/14 10:50 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Do they make handbells pitched at contrabass C?
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Polyphonist

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#2260031 - 04/10/14 11:13 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 493
Not yet.

Tonight I attended great lecture and live performance of the Hammerklavier by an acclaimed pianist, and he told us that he thinks the Hammerklavier is the hardest piece ever written. (To be fair, he was just talking about how difficult it is to do justice to all the emotion in it, rather than complaining about technical difficulties.)

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#2260032 - 04/10/14 11:15 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
One could definitely make that argument. Who was the pianist giving the lecture?
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#2260038 - 04/10/14 11:27 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: Polyphonist]
phantomFive Offline
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Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1648
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Do they make handbells pitched at contrabass C?

Apparently not many of them
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2260039 - 04/10/14 11:31 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
That's just a measly C1. We're talking about the real bass notes here; the Imperial C. grin
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Polyphonist

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#2260048 - 04/11/14 12:25 AM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 493
@Polyphonist: the pianist's name is Kevin Sharpe.

EDIT: I should have been clearer; the lecture was given by Dr. Silvio dos Santos, a musicologist. The pianist made some remarks at the end and . . . well, played the Hammerklavier smile.


Edited by Dwscamel (04/11/14 12:27 AM)

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#2260057 - 04/11/14 01:23 AM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: Polyphonist]
caters Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
That's just a measly C1. We're talking about the real bass notes here; the Imperial C. grin


Contra is C1

Subcontra is C0

sub-subcontra is C-1


What I am talking about as far as contra octave in contrabass is subcontra octave on the piano. C4 is middle C not C3. I know that for a fact because I have looked in several music books and on several music websites and they all say "Middle C is C4 and sub-contra is C0 and the rest of the octaves go linearly up or down as far as the number of the octave."

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#2260064 - 04/11/14 02:03 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: caters]
Piano Doug Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 183
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: caters
Extended pianos and quarter tone pianos thankfully do exist and so it is actually possible to make symphony no. 40 sound exactly like the original but all on the piano. I could even do this with the equivalent of 7 piano duets on musescore(thats because unlike true pianists musescore does not mind overlap).


Why do you need a quarter tone piano to play a transcription of Mozart's 40th Symphony? Can you give us the measure numbers in which quarter tones appear? Did Mozart write other pieces with quarter tones?

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#2260066 - 04/11/14 02:19 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
caters Offline
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Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
Well none of mozart's pieces have quarter tones but I was just bringing it up because I thought it might be good to bring it up along with the extended pianos that go down to C in the sub-contra otherwise known as C0.

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#2260072 - 04/11/14 02:33 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
caters Offline
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Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdNNudSfpgM is a piano solo version of Symphony no. 40. It has all 4 movements
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS05QSfeT6g is a Piano duet of the same symphony. It is however only the first movement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8nuy1t329g I think is a piano quartet(2 pianos 8 hands) of the same symphony. This is the first movement as well but the other 3 are in the same playlist as that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72eEBz2rGWU is the first movement of the original symphony.

As you can see if you watch each of these as you go from piano solo to original it sounds more like the original symphony for each player that you increase it by and so the minimum number of players to have no uncomfortable overlap would sound the most like the original symphony.

Now the reason why is because the more players the less notes missing.



Edited by caters (04/11/14 02:34 AM)

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#2260228 - 04/11/14 12:52 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: caters]
mrenaud Offline
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Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 1315
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: caters
Well none of mozart's pieces have quarter tones but I was just bringing it up because I thought it might be good to bring it up along with the extended pianos that go down to C in the sub-contra otherwise known as C0.


None of Mozart's pieces would require an extended-range piano either. Double basses don't go that low (except with some very epic scordatura, but this is the classical era we're talking about). Please read up on the range of the double bass and then redo your math.

That said, no piano ensemble, no matter how large, will ever be able to replicate the timbral palette of an orchestra, therefore the question whether or not every note in the score is accounted for becomes rather moot IMO.

But please, do carry on.


Edited by mrenaud (04/11/14 12:53 PM)
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#2260236 - 04/11/14 01:10 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
caters Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
The contrabass goes from A in the subcontra to G in the 2nd written. As far as the sound 1st octave sounds normal but bass clef sounds an octave lower and 2nd octave sounds an octave higher. Thus if we were to play a contrabass part on the piano we would play 2nd octave in 3rd, small octave in great, great octave in contra, contra octave in sub-contra. This is why we would need the extended pianos for the contrabass is if we had written something in the contra and great octave that does not start and end on A in the contra we would have to have the subcontra octave extended to C0 + the fact that the bass clef sounds an octave lower in the contrabass than it is written or in other words for the contrabass the composers put a subscript 8vb right next to the bass clef.

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#2260269 - 04/11/14 02:14 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: caters]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1811
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: caters
The contrabass goes from A in the subcontra to G in the 2nd written....


Maybe in a specific piece that's the range played by the basses, but the instrument's range is wider than that.

A conventional contrabass goes down to a low E (the lowest string played as an open string).

In theory there is no limit to how high one can play, using harmonics and other gimmicks. That said, though, most orchestral literature does not require going up into the "thumb position" on the high (G) string, and doesn't go higher than the A that is two and a half octaves above the low E I mentioned. (This is the A that sounds just below middle C, for those of you following at home on your pianos -- though double bass sheet music conventionally is notated an octave higher than it sounds, to minimize low ledger lines.)

A few composers call for the basses to go to the C below the aforementioned low E, and Resphigi goes down to the B a half tone below that in Pini di Roma. To play these low notes, bassists employ one of a number of strategies, usually either adding a fifth string at the low end or extending the length of the low string (and the fingerboard beneath it) so that it can produce the lower pitches on what is normally the E string.

Similarly, a few composers call for notes above the A I mentioned at the high end. The standard orchestral range, though, is low E to high A.


Edited by ClsscLib (04/11/14 02:16 PM)
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#2260411 - 04/11/14 07:31 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
caters Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
The contrabass has in its normal range A-1 to G6

I got this here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Range_contrabass.png

But the fact that it sounds an octave lower than written tells us that if we were to play the same exact notes on a piano as on a contrabass, because of how they put the 8vb in the clef we would have to play an octave lower than written for that part thus the range on piano having to be A-2 to G5 which you cannot play all of even on an extended piano.

The human ear cannot even hear the sub-sub-sub-contra octave otherwise known as C-2 to B-2


Edited by caters (04/11/14 07:32 PM)

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#2260413 - 04/11/14 07:38 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: caters]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1811
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: caters
The contrabass has in its normal range A-1 to G6

I got this here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Range_contrabass.png

But the fact that it sounds an octave lower than written tells us that if we were to play the same exact notes on a piano as on a contrabass, because of how they put the 8vb in the clef we would have to play an octave lower than written for that part thus the range on piano having to be A-2 to G5 which you cannot play all of even on an extended piano.

The human ear cannot even hear the sub-sub-sub-contra octave otherwise known as C-2 to B-2


That's wrong.

If I needed to rely on Wikipedia, I could find more accurate info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bass

Since I've played the double bass at a pretty high level for forty-five years though, I didn't need to look this up; this is a home county hunt for me.

But do please carry on.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2260417 - 04/11/14 07:47 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
caters Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
That is exactly where the image came from and clearly shows the 8vb and 8va in bass and treble notes respectively to extend the range to where there are ledger lines so that you don't have to write so many ledger lines.


That image clearly shows A in sub-sub contra to G in the 3rd octave it clearly shows that. Why those? Well there is the 8va at that G in second octave written so that it is G in the 3rd octave. There is also an 8vb right under what is written as A in the subcontra to extend it to A in the sub-subcontra or A-1(the -1 next to the A with no space is a negative 1) Thus the range of A-1 to G6

Also C4 is middle C so that is even more evidence to that particular range.

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#2260431 - 04/11/14 08:30 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
mrenaud Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 1315
Loc: Switzerland
You are aware that the picture shows the sounding range, not written range, right? Contra-C (not sub-sub-contra A, as you claimed) is most definitely the lowest note of the modern five-string double bass in standard, non-scordatura tuning, as the article clearly and unambiguously states.

Or maybe that Wikipedia article is wrong, just like my composition teachers, all bassists I've worked with, all textbooks and resources I've consulted and also my own ears. But I wouldn't bet on that.
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#2260432 - 04/11/14 08:33 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: caters]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1811
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: caters
That is exactly where the image came from and clearly shows the 8vb and 8va in bass and treble notes respectively to extend the range to where there are ledger lines so that you don't have to write so many ledger lines.


That image clearly shows A in sub-sub contra...


Well, no. Has your teacher yet taught you the difference between the bass and treble clefs? I know having different clefs is probably as confusing for you as the K. numbering system for Mozart's works, but it's another case where doing a little extra work now will really pay off for you in the long run.
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#2260476 - 04/11/14 10:11 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
caters Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
yes my teacher has taught me the difference between treble and bass clefs and I know which clef is which and I know that instruments that are primarily bass also have at the higher end some treble notes like the cello is primarily small and great octaves but has some contra, 1st,and 2nd octave in there as well.

What is really confusing for me as far as clefs is going from normal treble or bass clef to alto or tenor clef.

The 8va is more commonly used with treble notes at the high end of the treble clef and 8vb is often used for lower end of bass clef so that you don't have so many ledger lines.


As far as instruments are concerned Wikipedia shows the written range not sounding. Like they will show 1st octave in the piccolo article written but you know that it is an octave higher or 8va and they have the sounding range separate.

So that contra C is written not sounding. Contrabass sounds an octave lower than written and so when they have 8vb in the contrabass part it is 2 octaves lower than written as far as the sound because that 8vb already means an octave lower than written so 8vb in contrabass is equivalent to 15mb(double octave down) on piano.

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#2260520 - 04/12/14 12:08 AM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: caters]
Piano Doug Offline
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Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 183
Loc: New York City
But the picture you are referring to in Wikipedia is labeled "Playing Range." It doesn't say "Written Range." Playing range = sounding range. If you click on the label "Playing Range" at the top of the picture, it takes you to another page showing the ranges for all instruments. This chart shows the range of the double bass as E1 to A3. As the article explains, basses can be stretched down an additional major third, to C1. On the rages page, you can also compare the bass range to the piano range. No extended range piano is needed to cover the range of the bass. Regular pianos go down to A0.

By the way, the 2 notes at the bottom of the playing range picture are E1 and C1. In the bass clef, the first ledger line below the staff is E, not C. You are confusing it with the treble clef.

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#2260528 - 04/12/14 12:51 AM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
phantomFive Offline
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Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1648
Loc: California
I tried to play this etude when I first got it (because why not, and even if I can't play it up to speed, it wouldn't hurt to improve this particular technique which is difficult for me). I couldn't get past the first few measures without being bored and giving up. I think it would be interesting if someone used this technique and made a more playable piece out of it.
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#2260535 - 04/12/14 01:25 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
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Loc: New York City
"The technique" meaning continuous double (and triple) notes in both hands?
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Polyphonist

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#2260545 - 04/12/14 02:02 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
caters Offline
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Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
I don't normally get bass and treble clef confused but somebody else said that the bottom note in that picture is contra C.

As far as clefs what I often get confused about is bass clef to tenor clef translation and treble clef to alto clef translation. I normally work in treble and bass clef and so if I am putting a bassoon part into musescore I need to translate bass clef to tenor clef when the tenor clef is used and if I am putting a viola part into musescore I need to translate treble clef to alto clef.

It is often hard for me to do that, especially bass to tenor translation.


Edited by caters (04/12/14 02:03 AM)

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#2260698 - 04/12/14 01:38 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Polyphonist]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1648
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
"The technique" meaning continuous double (and triple) notes in both hands?

Look at it, see how you would finger it. To me the most obvious way is to play one chord with the 1st and 5th finger, then some combination of the inside fingers, back and forth. That is not easy to play (it shows up towards the beginning of the third movement of Beethoven's appassionata sonata, toughest part of the whole sonata imo)
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#2260747 - 04/12/14 04:50 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Check out Rachmaninoff 23/9.
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Polyphonist

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#2260750 - 04/12/14 04:52 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
dolce sfogato Offline
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Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
My nightmare still is Evryali, Xenakis, but some messed up notes, who cares...
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#2260829 - 04/12/14 08:04 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Polyphonist]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1648
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Check out Rachmaninoff 23/9.

Good one. If only it weren't right-hand only.
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2262615 - 04/16/14 02:16 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
caters Offline
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Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 191
Loc: Columbus, ohio, USA
I once saw in a list of videos 2 pianos 16 hands. It is impossible to have 4 players on 1 piano so it is impossible to have 2 pianos 16 hands.

If you want a piano octet in which 8 players play the piano than why not have 2 per piano so that you have 4 piano duets playing at the same time. That there is very comfortable for 8 pianists or better yet 1 piano per player which is the most comfortable. Of course you might have the pianists practicing for months even years if you do it gradually 1 pianist at a time and than conduct 2 pianists, than 3, than 4, than 5, than 6, than 7, than the whole 8 and at some point they might not even need a conductor like how a string quartet often doesn't need a conductor if the people have practiced 1 by 1 and then together.

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