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#436758 - 12/08/07 07:54 PM Music Minus One. Some questions...
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I recently saw that Sheetmusicplus has these on sale this month for 33% off. I was looking through the collection and listening to the samples, but I really can't tell the quality.

How good are these? I noticed that some a remasters of very old recordings and the slower speed, practice recordings, are digitally slowed down.

Is the music distorted?

Is it easy to match the music, tuning-wise, with the piano, or does everything sound out of tune?

Is the music easy to read? As in legibility; not difficulty.

If they're any good, I was thinking about the 2 Mozart Quintets, Schubert's Trios and Quintet, and a couple of Mozart Piano Concertos.

Thanks for the input,


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#436759 - 12/09/07 10:44 AM Re: Music Minus One. Some questions...
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18874
Loc: Victoria, BC
John :

The only one of these I have so far is the newer edition (2005) of the Grieg A minor Piano Concerto including two CDs and score.

In the 20% reduced speed version, I sense no distortion of sound; it's simply about 20% slower than "normal" performance tempo.

My piano is tuned to A440 so there is no tuning conflict between the pitch of my piano and the pitch of the recording.

The "new" print edition of the score of the Grieg, edited by the performer on the CD, Milena Millova, is a well-printed, sharp, clear text with the (slight?) advantage of having the second piano part printed in slightly smaller type than the solo part.

Another couple of features of this set - and I quote from the MMO edition :

"Where the performer begins a piece solo or without an introduction from the accompanying instrument, we have provided a set of subtle taps before the movement as appropriate to help you enter with the proper tempo. Subtle taps have also been added at appropriate points to facilitate synchronization with the orchestra during tempo changes. These taps are in the right channel and can be diminished or exaggerated by using your stereo system's balance control."

"Chapter stops on your CD are conveniently located throughout the piece at the beginnings of practice sections, and are cross-refereneced in the score. This should help you quickly find a desired place in the music as you learn the piece."

The allowance for cadenza time is a little more problematic, but manageable. If you wanted to do a formal performance with MMO, and if you have found that your timing of your candenza doesn't coincide with the timing allowed on the CD, you would need a second person to "pause" the recorded performance for the cadenza and continue the "play" after you have completed the solo cadenza to cue in the orchestra again.

For what it is, however, and looking only at this one example, MMO seems to be a good idea.

I'm currently working on the second movement of the Chopin F minor Concerto, and I'm about to order the MMO version for practice. This is going to be interesting, given that much of the second movement of this Chopin concerto has solo recitative-like passages where timing is somewhat flexible, to say the least, accompanied by string tremolos. It's going to be interesting to see how our mutual timings coincide - or don't!

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#436760 - 12/09/07 12:29 PM Re: Music Minus One. Some questions...
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Thank you, Bruce for the comments. This makes me want to look into them a bit further especially for the chamber music, which I really love. The comment on the cadenzas made me think a bit because I was wondering about that myself. The tapping shouldn't bother me. I've read in other places with complaints about it, but in reality it's good to have because there's no eye contact! This gives a sense of bearings on where to be and when to start.

I shouldn't have any problem with my piano either since it is also at A440.

The F-minor concerto is beautiful and quite difficult! I sense a lot of rubato in the 2nd movement when I've read through it so I wonder too how your timings will be. ;\)

Take care,


#436761 - 12/11/07 10:26 AM Re: Music Minus One. Some questions...
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
I am looking for Bartók's first piano concerto in a music minus one version (orchestra only). Does anyone know whether it is for sale anywhere?
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

#436762 - 12/11/07 03:55 PM Re: Music Minus One. Some questions...
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18874
Loc: Victoria, BC
Music Minus One (as opposed to a music minus one version) has not prepared a recording of the Bartok First Piano Concerto, according to their website.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#436763 - 12/13/07 08:49 AM Re: Music Minus One. Some questions...
gmf001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 247
Loc: Uxbridge, ON, Canada
for those using MMO or other recordings to play along with, you might be interested in some software I stumbled into a while back. It's called the "Amazing Slow Downer" Rather than rely on just one slower speed performance that you often find with MMO, Amazing Slow Downer can either slow down or increase the speed of any digital music file in increments of 0.1% without affecting pitch. it can also adjust the pitch up or down in 1 cent increments, therefore allowing you to match to any tuning irregularities between the recording and your local instruments. It's available for both Win and Mac platforms. Quite an interesting tool. I've used it not only for a 'play along' with MMO but also to analyze exactly where notes fall in complex passages. You can slow things way down to listen to details. As you get further from the norm you do get some algorithmic challenges, but it's really a great practise tool.


#436764 - 12/13/07 09:47 AM Re: Music Minus One. Some questions...
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18874
Loc: Victoria, BC
John :

Further to my earlier post on this thread:

I did order the MMO version of the Chopin F minor Concerto, and the score appears to be an identical copy of the Schirmer (ed. Joseffy, © 1918) edition, except for the print style of the title on the first page.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#436765 - 12/14/07 11:16 AM Re: Music Minus One. Some questions...
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Thank you, Bruce for the update. I was planning on ordering my Mozart Quintets today.



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