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#346945 - 01/22/08 05:03 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7424
I sight read OK, but I never think of myself as reading ahead. But I must do that in some fashion, since like others, I need the page turned just a bit before the music actually arrived at that spot. It seems to me, though, that instead of reading ahead, what I really do is look at a wider area of the score than just a vertical slice. That area can shrink or expand depending on how dense the information in it is, but (except for the final note of a piece) it always includes more than just the instant of music that is sounding. It is, after all, visual information, not the sound, and so it doesn't have to have an exact linear relationship in time to what is being played. And I think that I rarely look at just one staff at a time; the grand staff appears like one thing to me.

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#346946 - 01/22/08 05:27 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keystring Online   content
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I'm just getting into this. Betty, the bit of Clementi I sent you was prima vista sight reading to see what it is that I can do now, and how I do it.

Decades ago when I was self-taught I went by what I heard in a pseudo-solfege fashion, fixing the tonic "doh", hearing the melody go up and down by the pattern shapes of notes (staircase-like arpeggios, linear runs), while chords and inversions were pattern shapes and sounds in my hands. But I could well be playing a piece written in G major as C major and never notice, except that a note here and there sounded like it should be a semitone up or down and I'd adjust to what it "should sound like". That was 30 years ago.

What I have now: Learned that the first thing you do is to scan the piece quickly. Fix what the key signature is, whether it's major or minor, be conscious of what positions on the keyboard the hands will be traveling and audiate ahead of time if you can. After a while that sequence should become natural (said the book) and will only take a long moment. Apparently I've learned to do that. So I'm in the right key signature starting with the right finger off the bat, and I can use some of what I used to do, including hearing what I'm playing. I'd say that I see the notes in handfuls, and then move on to the next handful of notes while I'm playing, and that while scanning the handful I must be scooting along both clefs in turn, making note of significant things.

I'm aware that Clementi seems to use predictable patterns that I'm familiar with so that there is less to watch for. That Alberti bass is so often there and if my right hand is playing a C then I practically anticipate that my left will be playing something like CGEG depending on the key, and the cluster of notes have that "look" to them. If I see a sharp coming up in the LH I'm anticipating a modulation, hear it, and sure enough, there it is. I don't know how I would fare trying to read something wildly unpredictable. I chose that snatch of Clementi because it seemed to have a modulation, had large intervals somewhere in it, and I started in the middle of nowhere as it changed themes to make it as unpredictable as possible.

I suspect that having scales and arpeggios in different keys under your belt makes sight reading easier, because then those patterns are in your hands. Music is made up of the stuff of scales, chords, arpeggios. I'm a babe in the woods for chord progressions - have some of it by instinct - but I imagine that practising the I IV I V I see in Cooke's scale book will end up creating a familiarity in all the keys, that will find its way into sight reading. I imagine that in a sense you prepare for the ability to sight read by internalizing patterns you get through working with things like scales, and that you also draw on these internalized patterns once you start to sight read. Is this plausible?

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#346947 - 01/22/08 06:51 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
Age_of_Anxiety Offline
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Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 273
Loc: home
 Quote:
Originally posted by whippen boy:

So, while I endorse doing lots of sightreading (including reading lots of four-part hymns), I would add that most pianists would benefit from additional challenges, such as playing from open score (especially if one part requires transposition). [/b]
Does an open score mean a score for multiple instruments that is not transcribed for piano? Would multiple instruments be on the same staff?

Also, what if playing all of it is humanly impossible? Leave notes out?

And wow...transposing one staff and not the other sound very complicated. But, I suppose theory knowledge might come in here as well.

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#346948 - 01/22/08 07:01 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Akira:
It seems you are saying two different things, argerich fan. Your peripheral seems is in the future ("snatching glances"), whereas keyboardklutz's perpheral ("dimly aware of what you're playing") seems to be in the now.

I guess my next question is that if one is only dimly aware of the music being played, one would one know they are playing it as they intended to (i.e. how they heard it in their head)?. Is dimly aware enough to make that determination, as opposed who put their entire focus upon the sounds (like perhaps, when you have something memorized)?

Keyboardklutz, I'd like to explore the 'hear the music on the page' concept a little further, if you wouldn't mind indulging me. Are you saying that you can pick up a piece of music that you've never seen before, look at it for the first time and hear what the entire piece will sound like in your head, without hitting a single note? If so, I'd like to ask how one might acquire a skill like that. [/b]
Sorry, Akira I seemed to have missed your post. No, I'm not very good at hearing the whole score but to be honest we only focus on one element at a time, don't we? I've been practicing hearing 2 and some 3 part species counterpoint. Also Bach 2 part chorales. It's a wonderful experience to hear more than one part in your head.

You'll have noticed I'm now not sure which, conscious or non-conscious, is ahead and which 'in the common now' . I'm rethinking that one.
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#346949 - 01/22/08 07:03 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keystring Online   content
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In an open score each instrument and voice is on a separate staff. You may have your usual treble clef and bass clef, as well as the C clefs in alto and tenor for such instruments as bassoon, viola and cello (which can be changing clefs within the staff).

My question: would transposed instruments be in that form in an open score, or brought into concert pitch? (Not that I have any ambitions to learn to play from open scores this late in life. Just curious.)

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#346950 - 01/22/08 07:27 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
Alexander Hanysz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 141
Loc: Adelaide, South Australia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Age_of_Anxiety:
Does an open score mean a score for multiple instruments that is not transcribed for piano? Would multiple instruments be on the same staff?

Also, what if playing all of it is humanly impossible? Leave notes out?

And wow...transposing one staff and not the other sound very complicated. But, I suppose theory knowledge might come in here as well. [/b]
Yes, like an orchestral score, or a string quartet, or a piece for choir. One staff per instrument or voice.

Score reading and transposition used to be considered an important part of a general musical education. Yes, you have to be able to scan the whole score, decide what's most important, and leave things out.

There's a nice book called "Preparatory Exercises in Score Reading" by Morris and Ferguson; I think it's been reprinted.


 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
My question: would transposed instruments be in that form in an open score, or brought into concert pitch?[/b]
Traditionally, yes. Nowadays, many composers write everything at concert pitch in the full score, and trust computer software to transpose it to the right pitch for the orchestral parts.

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#346951 - 01/22/08 07:40 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keystring Online   content
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 Quote:
...Nowadays, many composers write everything at concert pitch in the full score, and trust computer software to transpose it to the right pitch for the orchestral parts
Which also tells me that it is originally written in closed score, with harmonic patterns etc. in the composer's mind, and I suppose that in reading an open score you are recreating that process and trying to keep the same patterns in mind in order to know what is important and what to leave out. Fascinating.

I am also beginning to understand why people on this board are writing that knowledge of theory helps. It seems that sight reading can in part be a kind of intelligent anticipation which you verify by actually reading what should logically be there and see whether it varies, and how. Would that be part of the process?

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#346952 - 01/22/08 09:38 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
playadom Offline
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Registered: 10/21/06
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Loc: New Jersey
I'm really not consciously aware of the sight-reading process, I just look at the notes, and I end up playing, analyzing, and whatever happens.

If I were to pay deep attention to my eyes, I'd say that I were looking about 3/4 of the way ahead, but not too far to the point where I can't see exactly what the current measure is.
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#346953 - 01/22/08 11:23 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
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Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
If pushed to analyse it, I reckon I look at entire 'chunks' at a time, patterns and shapes being translated pretty much directly into finger/hand/arm movements. Once a 'chunk' in under way, I would start looking towards the next one, whilst still peripherally viewing the one currently being 'processed' and being 'dripped' out of the 'buffer' as it were. E.g. in a medium pace 6/8 piece a 'chunk' might be a whole bar (if mostly quarter and eighth notes) or perhaps half a bar (if there are lots of 16ths). Despite what others say above, I don't believe I dart between the staves, but see and digest both at the same time[1]. Whatever the actual mechanics and processes involved, it seems to work OK, as I scored 13/15 in the sight-reading element of my recent DipABRSM examination; the minimum for a pass is 6/15.

Michael B.
[1] Recently I have been playing quite a lot of music with passages written across three staves (e.g. Albéniz's Almeria) and find that I can read all three, just the upper and lower one perhaps more peripherally given the wider distance the field of the eye's vision has to cover.
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#346954 - 01/22/08 11:59 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Michael has a point. When you reach cadences you know what they sound like but you don't hear them in time. There was this bogus letter by Mozart where he talks of experiencing an entire piece in one moment. The letter was forged but there is some truth there - much of what you sight read is done in chunks i.e. taken out of time. So, where do the chunks go between being seen and being heard?
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#346955 - 01/22/08 12:22 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
whippen boy Offline
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Loc: San Francisco
The 'chunks' go into the memory buffer - that is a good description. I also like the rest of Michael's description, as I think he describes the process very well.

When I mentioned open score with transpositions I was mainly thinking of vocal music, in which the tenor part is transposed down an octave (relatively easy). I believe just about any pianist who accompanies a choir will encounter this sort of music, so learning how to do it is extremely valuable.

Here is one of the pieces I had to sightread this week, the tenor part must be played down one octave: Poulenc

Organ pieces sometimes use alto clef, which creates the interesting situation of needing to read three clefs simultaneously. It becomes easier with practice.
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#346956 - 01/22/08 12:42 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keyboardklutz Offline
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whippen boy, how do you increase the size of the buffer?
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#346957 - 01/22/08 12:54 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
whippen boy Offline
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Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
I think it only takes systematic practice: read that hymnal from cover to cover. \:\)

And then try my other suggestion, to read things that are increasingly difficult so you are challenged. I might suggest reading a Mozart sonata; once you can do those fairly well, try some Beethoven sonatas, then (eventually) something like Prokofieff sonatas.

As a kid I used to read through a different prelude & fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier every day. I think that helped a lot, especially as these pieces go systematically through the key signatures and they can be tricky.

Playing for singers and/or instrumentalists is helpful, only because they demand you keep the beat steady and can play up to tempo. If you only play solo piano music, you might want to use the metronome to help you with this.

I also throw open score into the mix, only because it can be so challenging.
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#346958 - 01/22/08 01:21 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
Gyro Offline
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Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I personally believe that it is "eyes on," not
"eyes ahead." The "eyes ahead" apparently comes
naturally as you get very good at it, but
if you try to do this from the start, that's
wrong. You see a similar type of faulty
thinking in "flat-fingered" playing. This
apparently comes naturally as one gets
more advanced and needs to employ it in
certain advanced pieces, but to see advanced
players doing it and then reasoning that
you should do it from the start is just plain
wrong--curved fingers for novices. Other
examples of this kind of slovenly type of thinking
are: seeing a concert pianist play a
difficult piece seemingly without effort and
then reasoning that the way to become good
is to just relax all the time when
playing; watching a showboat writhing about
on stage and then reasoning that the way to
become good is to become a "whole body"
player; watching a concert pianist play
with beautiful legato and then reasoning
that one needs to develop "the legato touch"
above all else, even neglecting hitting
the right notes in the right time in favor
of it; watching a concert pianist play
a lengthy piece from memory and then
reasoning that one should try to memorize
from the start and not bother with trying to
painstakingly read the notes; and so forth.

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#346959 - 01/22/08 01:35 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
epf Offline
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Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 658
Loc: Central Texas
Although I'm certainly not the best sight-reader in the world I think I'm okay. The approach I use is to actually scan an entire measure (both staves and the n looking ahead) as I play. As currawong noted, it's like reading words. We don't read letters but, rather, whole words. I do not read music by the note (I used to, but moved beyond that). My eyes are constantly moving up and down, right and left and, sometimes, even looking at the keyboard.

I'm not good enough to grasp whole phrases, but I can usually get a full bar in, and this allows the music to flow.

AS Betty noted, however, most of this happens below the conscious level so I'm describing what I think is happening.

Ed
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#346960 - 01/22/08 01:50 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keystring Online   content
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Do people do things in a monkey-see monkey-do fashion, Gyro, or because they are systematically taught until they come on the right thing the right way? Imitation rarely works, because you are imitating the result of a process. In fact, I cannot imitate myself (I don't know if that makes sense). By learning to sight read and practicing it, eventually you see patterns, anticipate, have your eyes go forward or whatever. If you try to mechanically force it to happen you are so busy watching this mechanical action that the results end up not happening. If I am drilled in scales and theory, it may be that I am acquiring tools that will support me in sight reading. Then the fingers and eyes do what they should. Another person trying to imitate will in their turn be trying to imitate a result - but it is the practice, theory, and familiarity with keys and patterns that they are seeing. The only way to imitate is by imitating the process, if you will, whatever that might be.

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#346961 - 01/22/08 02:03 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
wdot Offline
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Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 726
Loc: South Carolina, USA
Well, I'm impressed, whippen boy. We've sung that Poulenc Motet in my church choir, and I wouldn't want to tackle reading those odd harmonies from a choral score.

I agree with your ideas about starting with Mozart and early Beethoven and then working from there. I also think material like the Mendelssohn Songs Without Words and the Grieg Lyric Pieces is excellent sight reading fodder. While reading Bach fugues is going to be beyond most people, selections from the Partitas and French and English Suites are also good material for reading practice.

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#346962 - 01/22/08 04:47 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
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Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
John:
I think it only takes systematic practice: read that hymnal from cover to cover.

Indeed, whilst, at least from a melodic and harmonic point of view, adding Bach (inventions, suites, WTC in easier keys) and Mendelssohn Songs Without Words, Haydn and Mozart Sonatas, easier Beethoven sonatas, Chopin Mazurkas, etc. Once you get an idea for a variety of key signatures, chord structures, accompaniment figures, etc, and the accidentals that you will most likely encounter (due to standard modulations, etc), then try something a bit more 'accidental-intensive' like easier Brahms and perhaps Debussy. Then once you gain in confidence pull out a few pieces by Bartók, Ravel, Prokofiev and Hindemith. Once happy with some of those, then go back and play the D#/G#/Bb minor and C#/F# major WTC preludes and fugues from both books, and there'll be no dinner for you until modulations towards e.g. A# minor (complete with Fx and Gx, etc) don't scare you any more ;\) .

For a few years now I spend at least 4hrs (and sometimes double or even more) with WTC per week. It is a practically inexhaustible treasure trove, and arguably forms the basis of so much that came afterwards in terms of harmonic and melodic structures, sometimes not obviously, but the roots are often there. These days my favourites always have at least 4 sharps or flats, and often many more... the D# minor P&Fs are particular beautiful, and I wonder how often they are passed over due to the apparently intimidating notation/reading issues.

However, melody lines, chords and accompaniment figures are one thing, but rhythm is (and isn't, as it is all bound up in the notes as well!) another. Play as many pieces with different rhythmic patterns as possible, don't just pick out the simple time signatures from your stack of sheet music, but dive into 6/8, 12/8, 12/16, 9/8, etc WTC and other pieces. And don't busk over those dotted, double dotted, triplet, sextuplet, etc, rhythms in classical slow movements. Work them out exactly, playing half tempo and counting out loud if necessary. Accurate rhythmical playing is IMO a huge part of making a piece sound musical[1]. Don't even think about phrasing details until your conception of rhythm and articulation, how it is notated, and most importantly how this translates into finger/hand/arm movements, is solidly ingrained. Once comfortable in the basics, pull out the Bartók again, and try all those odd ones (5/8, 5/4, 7/8, etc.) as well.

If music is a language, the above are some of the essentials of grammar and vocabulary without which no-one else will understand your attempts to communicate[2]. The years I spent playing in church and for choral societies as rehearsal pianist certainly helped exercise my sight-reading. However, the majority of my experience was hours on my own, playing as much sheet music as I could lay my hands on; this is a practice/obsession which I still continue to this day \:\) .

Michael B.
[1] What often defines a 'musical', or for want of a better word, 'professional' performance is a certain fluency in rhythmical feel; not metronomic, but an innate awareness of the metrical structure of phrases, sections and whole pieces. I think this often goes unnoticed, but it becomes very apparent when one hears the opposite, i.e. the sloppy and inaccurate rhythm (often caused by unsurmounted technical difficulties, but sometimes just plain unawareness) of many amateur players. Often too many amateurs worry more about playing the right notes, even if they then struggle very obviously to play them in the right places. The piano is a percussion instrument after all, and when played unrhythmically it is a obvious as when a drummer can't keep a straight beat either.
[2] Often the language metaphor is used, but it is not misplaced. When I first came here from England, I was reasonable proficient in French, but not really what you might call fluent. After eight years of working and living in a francophone environment, I no longer have to translate (either to or from) into my mother tongue, but the ideas, concepts and general information just go straight into (what I like to call) my brain, without having to bypass the 'translation' stage. These days I no longer remember what language I spoke to someone in a particular meeting, as what was important was the content, not the means of transmission. Similarly I don't have to hesitate and search for vocabulary from English to express what I wish to say to someone in French. Reading musical notation is similar in the sense that total immersion is pretty much the only way to gain fluency. To my eyes the marks on a page of sheet music convey concepts, sounds and movements (and in 'chunks') rather than individual notes and chords, in the same way as what I am writing here plugs directly in the minds of fluent English readers, rather than being a bunch of words and phrases that need to be translated into another language before being transformed in 'mentalese.' How one conceives of the musical notation and how it relates to the physical reality of playing a musical instrument is of paramount importance when learning new pieces, or indeed working on or revisiting ones that you are already familiar with. So, if one can remove the need to 'translate' and plug those dots, lines and dashes as directly as possible into the part of the brain that then instructs what you do physically, then sight-reading starts to become a different experience entirely.
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#346963 - 01/22/08 05:02 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
For a few years now I spend at least 4hrs (and sometimes double or even more) with WTC per week. It is a practically inexhaustible treasure trove, and arguably forms the basis of so much that came afterwards in terms of harmonic and melodic structures, sometimes not obviously, but the roots are often there.
Absolutely! After one has 'mastered' the hymnal \:D the next step is the WTC. I can think of no better sightreading material; not only that, I think it is good for musicianship, stimulating for the mind, and perhaps even food for the soul!

 Quote:
Originally posted by wdot:
Well, I'm impressed, whippen boy. We've sung that Poulenc Motet in my church choir, and I wouldn't want to tackle reading those odd harmonies from a choral score.
Aha! I bet you had a pianist teach your choir how to sing that piece - he or she would have had to play that open score in order to train the choir - you should ask your accompanist about it sometime. They might be greatful for someone to notice how difficult their job is. \:\)
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#346964 - 01/22/08 10:30 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8696
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
After all, I suppose you can drive, see ahead and analyse a tune on the radio all at the same time.
But you do this on the M25 all the time, right? ;\) (Even when BBC3 play Brigg Fair yet again?) whippen boy can tell us plenty about I-80 from SF to Oakland... (do you approach it from 280 or 101?)

Whatever. Very interesting responses on this thread, all of them worth a read. I don't inhabit the rarefied realms of whippen boy's sight reading abilities, yet we're both church musicians and sight reading is simply the order of the day. How often has the DoM said "I fancy we'll do a different anthem this morning!" (Usually because some choir member was sick or hung over.)

Then, plop. It's a new anthem I haven't seen before. My good mates, I cannot say for certain just how I sight read, I only know that two time frames are involved: the "now" of the notes I'm playing, the "future" of what notes I will be playing.

Does that make any sense?
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#346965 - 01/22/08 10:51 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
My good mates, I cannot say for certain just how I sight read, I only know that two time frames are involved: the "now" of the notes I'm playing, the "future" of what notes I will be playing.
Does that make any sense? [/b]
It does to me.
Saying "I'll play bar 1, and at the same time read bar 2. Next I'll play bar 2 and at the same time read bar 3" seems to be trying to squeeze it all into one time frame. I'm certain I read ahead, but I'm also certain I don't do it rigidly like that. Your description of two time frames seems to go further to describing what's happening for me. Perhaps after all it's indescribable. Or is that a cop-out ...
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#346966 - 01/23/08 02:03 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
I no longer have to translate (either to or from) into my mother tongue, but the ideas, concepts and general information just go straight into (what I like to call) my brain, without having to bypass the 'translation' stage. These days I no longer remember what language I spoke to someone in a particular meeting, as what was important was the content, not the means of transmission.
This, I think, is the nail on the head. The content of music is not the sound. The sound is just the medium. Those players with more experience are working from within the content far more. They find the meaning of what they are doing/hearing is far more accessible.
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#346967 - 01/23/08 07:08 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
Age_of_Anxiety Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 273
Loc: home
Whipped boy:

You think that reading WTC would be of use to me even if I can't play them fluently? I can't even S-R inventions up to speed, but you think that once I finish the hymnal, I just just "sight-read" WTC anyway?

You think if you choose a particular composers music that is not too far from your s-r level and play a lot of it, you get used to it, even if you're slow starting out?

Thanks

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#346968 - 01/23/08 07:40 AM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
AofA, don't be afraid to play WTC very slowly. It's music that deserves a lot of attention. I prefer WTC II.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#346969 - 01/23/08 03:45 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
 Quote:
Originally posted by Age_of_Anxiety:
You think that reading WTC would be of use to me even if I can't play them fluently? I can't even S-R inventions up to speed, but you think that once I finish the hymnal, I just just "sight-read" WTC anyway?
If you've sightread an entire hymnal, I think you might be ready for the WTC. \:\) The WTC contains pieces of widely varying difficulty - it is possible to find a grading of these pieces, which will allow you to start with the simplest ones.

You mentioned the Inventions - the two-part ones are excellent, and may be your best bet for now. You don't have to play perfectly AND up to speed. Try playing slowly enough in order to get most of the right notes.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Age_of_Anxiety:
You think if you choose a particular composers music that is not too far from your s-r level and play a lot of it, you get used to it, even if you're slow starting out?
Yes, something like that.

Look, you have to start somewhere. I think it might as well be Bach.

If you don't like Bach or if you find his music just too difficult there are plenty of other options.

If you have a teacher they should also have some suggestions.
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
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#346970 - 01/23/08 04:14 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 781
Loc: Northern, Northern California
The talk about translating words of a foreign language first into your mother tongue made me think of this (follow me now)...

We often talk about how someone who has become fluent in a foreign language doesn't have to first translate things into English. But realize this: if someone came up to you on the street and said "Bonjour!" most of you would know immediately what he meant, without first translating ("Let's see. Bonjour means Hello -- oh he's saying hello."). The point is that for very simple phrases, even someone just learning a new language can understand without translating first.

How does this relate to sight-reading? Well, we newbies are often asking the experts "How do you do it? What are you thinking?" etc.

But maybe, if we simply look at how WE OURSELVES do it for a very simple piece, we can understand better. For example, if we examine how we sight-read a single line of quarter notes, we might get an understanding of how more proficient readers handle a more complex piece.

Or maybe not.
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#346971 - 01/23/08 04:19 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Good one Al! I think our bonjour are the cadences. Or is it au revoir?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#346972 - 01/23/08 04:42 PM Re: Sight Reading : Eyes On or Eyes Ahead?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
The last cadence I play at the end of a piano session is often a Santé!

-Michael B.
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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