Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Yamaha CP4 Rebate
Yamaha CP4 Rebate
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
118 registered (Al LaPorte, Anita Potter, A Guy, ando, anamnesis, anotherscott, 30 invisible), 1207 Guests and 10 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#491936 - 12/12/07 12:08 PM Advice on technique issue (Brahms 117/1)
Zubi-Zomp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Jersey Shore
I've been working on Brahms' Op. 117 No. 1 (Intermezzo in E-flat Major) for a while now, and most of it's come together nicely. But I'm having a frustrating problem with the last section, specifically the following passage:

At the point I'm at right now, I cannot keep those sixteenth notes in the inner RH voice from being very heavily emphasized, but I would really like to de-emphasize the inner voice in favor of the outer voices. Problem is, I haven't been able to get my right hand to get with the program. I keep landing on those sixteenths like a hammer (at least, relative to whatever I'm trying to do on the outside notes). :rolleyes:

So, does anyone have any advice on how to improve one's intra-hand dynamic independence (for lack of a less pretentious term \:D )?

(Hope I stated all that clearly...)
"Music is a proud, temperamental mistress. Give her the time and attention she deserves, and she is yours. Slight her and there will come a day when you call and she will not answer."
- Patrick Rothfuss

Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#491937 - 12/12/07 01:32 PM Re: Advice on technique issue (Brahms 117/1)
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18537
Loc: Victoria, BC
Try practicing playing the top note only of the octave with the internal line. Then try practicing the bottom note only of the octave with the internal line. Both times, concentrate on the outer voice.

Practice playing the top note only of the octave with the right hand and the internal line with the left hand. Then practice playing the bottom note with the left hand and the internal line with the right hand. Listen closely to what you are doing and concentrate on a smooth, soft inner line with an accented outer line. Then try to imitate that sound with the right hand alone, first playing only the top line with the internal line, then the bottom line with the internal line.

Then with full octaves try practicing by playing the octave first, then the internal line very softly after the beats. Gradually bring the internal line closer and closer in tempo with the octaves, still preserving the balance between the two.

Then play only the octaves and the inner melody note that coincides with the octave. Leave out the other inner notes for the moment and, again concentrate on the sound of the octaves.

Perhaps these practicing methods will help.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#491938 - 12/12/07 03:45 PM Re: Advice on technique issue (Brahms 117/1)
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12392
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
You can also try playing those notes silently. Don't even press down the keys for the inner notes while playing the octaves. Do this slowly at first, then gradually speed up. Then once that is comfortable, allow yourself to press down those keys. They should be quieter then.
private piano/voice teacher FT
Petrof 9'2, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

#491939 - 12/12/07 04:09 PM Re: Advice on technique issue (Brahms 117/1)
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13825
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Play the octave with your arm and the 16ths with your fingers. Also keep your fingers on the surface of the keys.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#491940 - 12/13/07 09:15 AM Re: Advice on technique issue (Brahms 117/1)
Alexander Hanysz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 141
Loc: Adelaide, South Australia
BruceD's suggestions are very good--forming an aural image of the sound you want will help you solve the technical problems.

Another thing that might help, bizarre though it sounds, is to make the two voices feel independent by practicing the exact opposite of what you want: see if you can play the 16ths forte while keeping the octaves an even pianissimo (but listening to the octaves). You can go even further down that road by trying to play the 16ths staccato while holding down the octaves. Spend just a few minutes doing something silly, then go back to trying to play it the way you want it!

#491941 - 12/13/07 09:49 AM Re: Advice on technique issue (Brahms 117/1)
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Here is what my teacher would say: It is in the hand/arm motion"

Drop into the notes on those RH & LH chord figures with a lifting motion on the interceeding 16th notes. So for the middle measure, it would be

This doesn't mean drop from "on high", you can keep your fingers close to the keys.
It will now be easy to make your outer voices strong and inner voices more quiet....and with less effort. Let us know what works best for you.
Estonia L190 #7004
Casio PX 310
Yamaha NP 30

#491942 - 12/13/07 12:20 PM Re: Advice on technique issue (Brahms 117/1)
Zubi-Zomp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Jersey Shore
Wow. I knew this was the place to come for good advice.

Thank you, all, these all sound like fantastic ideas, and I'm looking forward to giving them a try.
"Music is a proud, temperamental mistress. Give her the time and attention she deserves, and she is yours. Slight her and there will come a day when you call and she will not answer."
- Patrick Rothfuss


Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
The February 2015 Issue of our Free Piano News Newsletter is out now! FREE Piano Newsletter
The best thing I've learned on Piano World....
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) Jazz Piano Online
Jazz Piano Online Lessons
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
1890 Steinway "B"...
by Entheo
03/03/15 07:24 AM
Carpet under grand piano
by pinkfloydhomer
03/03/15 06:58 AM
Need help to identify 41 key piano (Herrburger Brooks)
by Paulmk5
03/03/15 06:01 AM
Glenn Gould on television - Music in the U.S.S.R.
by pianoman9
03/03/15 05:35 AM
What is the key of your life?
by piano_friend
03/03/15 03:20 AM
Forum Stats
78,379 Registered Members
43 Forums
162,029 Topics
2,379,049 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission