The controversial area of memorizing in performance

Posted by: music32

The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/26/13 01:22 PM

I extracted opinions from Seymour Bernstein among others.

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/the-haydn-sonata-in-c-unpinned-and-matters-of-memorization/
Posted by: Fordsnack

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/26/13 06:31 PM

Interesting, I like to memorise and always have for some reason. This might be why my sight reading is not so good... But I do feel I can get lost in the music more. Which I like
Posted by: geraldbrennan

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 07:25 AM

You know, if you went to a play, and half of the actors who did not / could not memorize their lines walked around the stage with their faces buried in the script, well, that would annoy the heck out of ME, anyway.
I don't see how this is any different. I know there are some fine instrumentalists and conductors who are not blessed with good memories who will disagree that this is a performance deficiency, but to me it's no different than needing a script for your lines.
That said -- there are interesting tendencies that evolve with each of the two types. I am an example of a pianists with a great memory; I can read through a piece once and I don't need it again. BUT -- I am a terrible sight-reader, BECAUSE my memory is so good. The best sight-readers I know have poor memories. I once had a girlfriend who could play anything I gave her at sight and at speed. Once, after she sight-read a fugue from the WTC II at a nice clip, I asked her if she knew what a "fugue" was. She said she didn't know. She had a terrible memory and could not improvise to save her life, but wow, what a reader!
Of course the very best, have great memories yet have persisted in their studies to gain and maintain great sight-reading skills.
Maybe next lifetime...
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 09:03 AM

Originally Posted By: geraldbrennan
You know, if you went to a play, and half of the actors who did not / could not memorize their lines walked around the stage with their faces buried in the script, well, that would annoy the heck out of ME, anyway.
I don't see how this is any different. I know there are some fine instrumentalists and conductors who are not blessed with good memories who will disagree that this is a performance deficiency, but to me it's no different than needing a script for your lines.
I don't think the comparison to acting is particularly strong. The actors are supposed to be imitating real life where people don't speak from scripts and their emotional reactions and physical movements are far more important than in a piano recital. A better comparison might be listening to actors on the radio where I'd guess they almost always use scripts.

And then there is the obvious examples of orchestral performances, chamber music, or pianists playing contemporary music, where the score is almost always used. Also the historical fact that until a certain point in time pianists always used the score, and it was considered and insult to the composer not to do so.

I think memorization is a complicated issue and should be considered quite different for amateurs vs. professionals. I think amateurs should certainly be allowed/encouraged to use the score because the time it takes to memorize could be put to far better use in most cases. And I'd guess many amateurs would perform far better with the score because the anxiety over memory problems gets eliminated.

For professionals, the issue of memorization is far more complicated because it's usually a given that they are expected to perform from memory.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: geraldbrennan
You know, if you went to a play, and half of the actors who did not / could not memorize their lines walked around the stage with their faces buried in the script, well, that would annoy the heck out of ME, anyway.
I don't see how this is any different. I know there are some fine instrumentalists and conductors who are not blessed with good memories who will disagree that this is a performance deficiency, but to me it's no different than needing a script for your lines.
I don't think the comparison to acting is particularly strong. The actors are supposed to be imitating real life where people don't speak from scripts and their emotional reactions and physical movements are far more important than in a piano recital. A better comparison might be listening to actors on the radio where I'd guess they almost always use scripts.

And then there is the obvious examples of orchestral performances, chamber music, or pianists playing contemporary music, where the score is almost always used. Also the historical fact that until a certain point in time pianists always used the score, and it was considered and insult to the composer not to do so.

I think memorization is a complicated issue and should be considered quite different for amateurs vs. professionals. I think amateurs should certainly be allowed/encouraged to use the score because the time it takes to memorize could be put to far better use in most cases. And I'd guess many amateurs would perform far better with the score because the anxiety over memory problems gets eliminated.

For professionals, the issue of memorization is far more complicated because it's usually a given that they are expected to perform from memory.


Not to mention the fact that actors also have prompters to give them lines if they forget any. I don't think that can be done with piano as easily (how would they fit a prompter *and* a piano in that little box??).
Posted by: music32

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 09:32 AM

I would love to add your quote to my blog, as I am interested in player feedback..
Posted by: music32

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 09:34 AM

another thought-provoking, valuable set of insights.
Thanks for sharing. Certainly as you say, in the chamber music realm, using music is customary.
Posted by: music32

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 09:37 AM

your post prompted my memory of Christopher O'Reilly turning pages with an iPad on Public TV.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 10:16 AM

I think that once pianists became 'stars', as originated by Liszt: solo concerts, piano sideways on to the audience so that they could see not just his noble profile but also his flying hands and his expressive (and noble) face......the die was cast. A star can't share the limelight with a lowly page-turner, nor have any attention directed away from him and his playing (as would occur if he kept looking at the score).

Even solo violinists and cellists (playing solo Bach etc) and singers have got in on the act. A Lieder recital is more like a soloist (the singer) with piano accompaniment than a chamber concert, so whereas a violinist playing the Franck Sonata would use the score as well as his partner, the singer wouldn't - even when singing Wolf, where the piano part is often as (if not more) important than the singer's.
Posted by: geraldbrennan

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 11:13 AM

"I would love to add your quote to my blog, as I am interested in player feedback.."

Of course.
GB
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 11:45 AM

Originally Posted By: geraldbrennan
That said -- there are interesting tendencies that evolve with each of the two types. I am an example of a pianists with a great memory; I can read through a piece once and I don't need it again. BUT -- I am a terrible sight-reader, BECAUSE my memory is so good. The best sight-readers I know have poor memories. I once had a girlfriend who could play anything I gave her at sight and at speed. Once, after she sight-read a fugue from the WTC II at a nice clip, I asked her if she knew what a "fugue" was. She said she didn't know. She had a terrible memory and could not improvise to save her life, but wow, what a reader!
I don't see how one can sight read a piece with some difficulty and then have it memorized unless if one is talking about photographic memory. Presumably one hasn't sight read all the notes, rhythms, etc. correctly the first time if one is a poor sight reader, so one would be memorizing errors. I also think it's a big mistake to not use the score until one has memorized every marking in the score in addition to the notes.

I think that in general all pianistic skills(technique, musicianship, sight reading, memorizing, etc.) tend to move mostly in parallel. They are all related. Most very good pianists are very at all of them and most beginners or less talented pianists are not so good in all these areas. Of course, one can always find exceptions to the above, e.g. a pianist with great technique but poor sight reading skill or poor musicianship. But I think those are the exceptions rather than the rule.
Posted by: Saranoya

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 12:41 PM

Originally Posted By: geraldbrennan
I am an example of a pianist with a great memory; I can read through a piece once and I don't need it again. BUT -- I am a terrible sight-reader, BECAUSE my memory is so good.


I have this problem as well. I read through a score once, or even just hear a piece played from start to finish once or twice, and I'm inclined never to look at the score again.

When I started taking lessons again five months ago, I explicitly asked my teacher never to play a piece for me before I had worked through it myself, because if she did, I would never learn to sight-read. She's been pretty good about sticking to that rule, and yet, my sight-reading still hasn't improved much. I still find myself looking at the score once, and then moving on from there without it.

Do you have any ideas about how to avoid this trap? Because I literally can't seem to do it -- look at the score and play at the same time, I mean. I always loose my place, and so it becomes simply easier for me to ignore the score, even before I can actually play through a piece.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 12:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Saranoya
I still find myself looking at the score once, and then moving on from there without it.

Do you have any ideas about how to avoid this trap? Because I literally can't seem to do it -- look at the score and play at the same time, I mean. I always loose my place, and so it becomes simply easier for me to ignore the score, even before I can actually play through a piece.


How do you actually learn a piece, if you ignore the score after one read-through, unless you have a photographic memory?
Posted by: Saranoya

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 12:55 PM

@ bennevis: I don't know. I guess "I read it once" doesn't really adequately explain what I do.

It's more like, I read the first four bars once (or the first three, or the first two, or sometimes maybe the first eight, depending on what makes the most sense in the context of the phrasing of the piece), and then I play them, and once I know what they sound like, I don't need to even remember which specific notes were in them, because I can hear those two or three or four or eight bars in my mind.

Then I move on to the next few bars in the same way, until I reach the end.

The trouble is, because I easily remember melodies, but not necessarily specific notes (my musical hearing is not absolute), sometimes I hear a piece on the radio, or play through the score once and then forget about it for a while, and when I try to play it on the piano later, it comes out in the wrong key.

Also, it sometimes leads to quirky mistakes. Recently I was learning one of the Burgmüller opus 100 pieces (n° 5), which ends its melody in the left hand on the first repetition of the first theme, and in the right hand on the second repetition of same. Until my teacher pointed it out to me, I never realized that I was playing the ending of the second repetition in the wrong hand, one octave too low.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 01:31 PM

Maybe what you should do is to start learning pieces where the accompaniment is just as important as, or integrated into, the melody so that you can't just play half by ear, half by memory which is what you seem to be doing. Like Schumann's Arabeske, Op.18 for example, or Rachmaninoff's Prelude in D, Op.23/4, or Brahms's Intermezzo in A, Op.118/2, all of which are somewhat above the level of the pieces you're playing, but are immediately appealing, and most importantly get you to learn to read scores and sight-read properly. Bach's polyphonic music (two- and three-part Inventions etc) will also do the trick.

Otherwise, you will find it difficult to progress beyond your current level.
Posted by: Saranoya

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 01:43 PM

I think I know what you're getting at, bennevis, and I also think that my teacher has already caught on to the same drift. She gave me 'Impertinence' by Handel to study a while ago. It's a simple piece, but it does have two melodic lines (left and right hand) that are pretty much independent of each other.

I learned that the same way I learn anything else, though. I have no trouble holding two distinct melodic lines in my memory at the same time. I just have trouble immediately translating what I see on the page into a key press on the piano.

But maybe if I try one of the pieces you suggested, I will be forced to read from the page because the distinct melodic lines are too complicated to remember (even with the occasional mistake) after one try. I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind. Thanks!
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 04:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: geraldbrennan
I am an example of a pianist with a great memory; I can read through a piece once and I don't need it again. BUT -- I am a terrible sight-reader, BECAUSE my memory is so good.


I have this problem as well. I read through a score once, or even just hear a piece played from start to finish once or twice, and I'm inclined never to look at the score again.

When I started taking lessons again five months ago, I explicitly asked my teacher never to play a piece for me before I had worked through it myself, because if she did, I would never learn to sight-read. She's been pretty good about sticking to that rule, and yet, my sight-reading still hasn't improved much. I still find myself looking at the score once, and then moving on from there without it.

Do you have any ideas about how to avoid this trap? Because I literally can't seem to do it -- look at the score and play at the same time, I mean. I always loose my place, and so it becomes simply easier for me to ignore the score, even before I can actually play through a piece.


There are books you can buy with lots of sight reading examples. You only play them once or twice, and then move on. If you are an advanced player, then you buy an inexpensive compilation of intermediate pieces and use that. This is separate work from learning your repertoire.
Posted by: music32

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 09:47 PM

Thanks...
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 09:58 PM

For me, I prefer watching pianists play from memory. When one plays from a score it makes them seem unprepared and isn't as exciting.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/27/13 10:44 PM

I don't really care if a pianist uses the score or not as long as he/she plays well.
Posted by: music32

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/28/13 12:13 AM

agree
Posted by: erjamo

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/28/13 01:56 AM

I know there are some fine instrumentalists and conductors who are not blessed with good memories who will disagree that this is a performance deficiency
Posted by: geraldbrennan

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/28/13 06:40 PM

Re: Pianoloverus

"And then there is the obvious examples of ... pianists playing contemporary music, where the score is almost always used."

Fascinating point, here.
I would maintain that no matter if it's Xenakis, Webern or whoever, if the pianist actually is able to understand the essence of the piece and take the work to heart, it's no harder to memorize than Mozart. I do not dispute that many, maybe even most, pianists who play this repertory, use the score, but because they are not able to take this sort of repertory to heart and are not sufficiently clear about what the composer is saying.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/28/13 07:02 PM

Originally Posted By: geraldbrennan

Fascinating point, here.
I would maintain that no matter if it's Xenakis, Webern or whoever, if the pianist actually is able to understand the essence of the piece and take the work to heart, it's no harder to memorize than Mozart. I do not dispute that many, maybe even most, pianists who play this repertory, use the score, but because they are not able to take this sort of repertory to heart and are not sufficiently clear about what the composer is saying.
My guess is that not many would agree with this. Maybe Realplayer and Brendan, two PW members who perform a lot of contemporary music, will give us their thoughts about this. I cannot see how music that is generally considered more complex rhythmically and harmonically than other music would be just as easy to memorize.

I specifically remember that the American woman pianist(can't remember her name even though I've heard her twice in recitals)well known for her performances of contemporary music used the score when she played a contemporary work on her Carnegie Hall debut some time ago. I don't think many would accuse her of not being sufficiently clear about what the composer said or not taking the work to heart.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/28/13 07:06 PM

Originally Posted By: geraldbrennan


Fascinating point, here.
I would maintain that no matter if it's Xenakis, Webern or whoever, if the pianist actually is able to understand the essence of the piece and take the work to heart, it's no harder to memorize than Mozart. I do not dispute that many, maybe even most, pianists who play this repertory, use the score, but because they are not able to take this sort of repertory to heart and are not sufficiently clear about what the composer is saying.


In that case, you'd lump Maurizio Pollini - one of the most intellectual pianists of our time - into that category of 'not able to take this sort of repertory to heart and not sufficiently clear about what the composer is saying'. He's the only major pianist who routinely programs Stockhausen, Boulez, Nono etc in his concerts. And he always uses a score for such music. Many other pianists just talk about their enthusiasm for such music but never play it.

There is a very good reason why pianists (unless they have photographic memories) use scores for this sort of music - because there is often no clear pattern of notes (try memorizing Boulez's Sonata No.2....) or harmonic progressions to latch on to.

An analogy I can relate to is chess: I can easily remember a complicated chess position after a couple of minutes of looking at it, and reproduce it on another chessboard (as well as remember complete games that I've played recently) - as long as the position is logical, such as would occur in a normal chess game. I can also play 'blindfold' games, i.e. without sight of the board. Any good chess player can do the same. But if the position on the board is entirely random and could not possibly have occurred in a game, I'd have great difficulty if there are more than a few pieces on it - because there is no clear pattern or logic to the arrangement of the pieces. I probably wouldn't do any better than someone who can't play chess.
Posted by: jdw

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/28/13 08:37 PM

I would respectfully suggest that people with great memories (who memorize without even trying) are not likely to be the best judges of whether memorization is essential to fine artistic understanding of a piece. What basis is there for comparison, in that case?

One could make the same point about those incapable of memorizing. It seems to me that the best informed would be those who have tried it both ways.

In any case, I think the amount of time and effort the memorization will take has to enter the equation. If memorization is automatic, of course it's a no-brainer, you'll memorize. But if memorization takes a lot of investment, that is time that could be put to other use. Then it becomes a question of weighing its advantages against the possible benefits of doing some other kind of practice.
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/28/13 11:07 PM

I perform a lot of contemporary music and always from score. I have found there has been no problem internalizing the music, and have been doing this for the past 40 years.

Recently, there's been one piece that's been giving me trouble, even reading from score, and I have begun work on memorizing it. It's something about this piece's peculiar attributes that get my fingers bolloxed up in spite of having the score there, so I'm hoping memorization will solve that. It's not something I've run into before. If you saw it you might understand. I have to record it a few months from now.
Posted by: Scordatura

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/29/13 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: geraldbrennan
That said -- there are interesting tendencies that evolve with each of the two types. I am an example of a pianists with a great memory; I can read through a piece once and I don't need it again. BUT -- I am a terrible sight-reader, BECAUSE my memory is so good. The best sight-readers I know have poor memories. I once had a girlfriend who could play anything I gave her at sight and at speed. Once, after she sight-read a fugue from the WTC II at a nice clip, I asked her if she knew what a "fugue" was. She said she didn't know. She had a terrible memory and could not improvise to save her life, but wow, what a reader!
I don't see how one can sight read a piece with some difficulty and then have it memorized unless if one is talking about photographic memory. Presumably one hasn't sight read all the notes, rhythms, etc. correctly the first time if one is a poor sight reader, so one would be memorizing errors. I also think it's a big mistake to not use the score until one has memorized every marking in the score in addition to the notes.

I think that in general all pianistic skills(technique, musicianship, sight reading, memorizing, etc.) tend to move mostly in parallel. They are all related. Most very good pianists are very at all of them and most beginners or less talented pianists are not so good in all these areas. Of course, one can always find exceptions to the above, e.g. a pianist with great technique but poor sight reading skill or poor musicianship. But I think those are the exceptions rather than the rule.


+1, pianolover!

While it's true that people aren't all endowed with the same aptitudes, to my knowledge, no scientific study to date has ever brought to light any evidence suggesting that memorizing and sight-reading might be mutually excluding processes - and a sizeable amount of experimental research has been conducted into both abilities over the years. Current theoretical understanding of brain processes, too, doesn't offer anything that would predict that being good at the one necessarily prevents being equally good at the other - whereas it does offer explanations of why highly talented learners of skills tend to be able to develop - in parallel - all-round facility in their chosen field.

Research generally supports the widely held contention amongst musicians that sight-reading expertise results from doing a great deal of it over a very long period. Learners whose aptitudes lean towards taking in and processing external, visual information are likely to find sight-reading easier, more immediately rewarding and more of an enjoyable challenge than learners more naturally disposed to refer to internally stored information, and will tend to spend most of their practising-time working from score, to the neglect of developing competence and confidence in memorizing and retrieval skills - and vice versa as regards natural memorizers, of course.

Pedagogically speaking, the above is "old hat" and adds nothing new. Fortunately most instrumental teachers are aware of the musician's reliance upon both processes and of their vital role in ensuring learners don't neglect the weaker process in favour of the one they naturally prefer using.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/29/13 11:59 AM

Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
I perform a lot of contemporary music and always from score. I have found there has been no problem internalizing the music, and have been doing this for the past 40 years.
What do you mean by "internalizing" the music?
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/29/13 12:43 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
I perform a lot of contemporary music and always from score. I have found there has been no problem internalizing the music, and have been doing this for the past 40 years.
What do you mean by "internalizing" the music?

Just getting to know it pretty cold and having the image of the piece and performance in my head.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/29/13 03:36 PM

I must admit, I find it no harder (or easier) to remember Schnittke than Alkan; I've not attempted anything like Sorabji yet, so perhaps a score may lend itself with use then, but, um, I wouldn't say the heightened complexity increases the amount you need to *remember*; an incredibly complex mathematical equation could have merely a couple of letters, bear in mind.
Xx
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/29/13 05:38 PM

Originally Posted By: FSO
I wouldn't say the heightened complexity increases the amount you need to *remember*; an incredibly complex mathematical equation could have merely a couple of letters, bear in mind.
Xx
That would mean the complexity of the equation was in its ideas and not in its formulation. A different situation completely.
Posted by: Scordatura

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/29/13 09:06 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: FSO
I wouldn't say the heightened complexity increases the amount you need to *remember*; an incredibly complex mathematical equation could have merely a couple of letters, bear in mind.
Xx
That would mean the complexity of the equation was in its ideas and not in its formulation. A different situation completely.


I take it you mean equations like e=mc2, where e encompasses any number of more specialized equations, such as K=1/2mv2 (sorry, no superscript provided for mathematical powers!)?

Am I correct? If so, I understand your point, its implications, and the immense importance of its implications. If not, please would you say more in explanation?

Thanks!
Posted by: FSO

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/29/13 11:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Scordatura
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: FSO
I wouldn't say the heightened complexity increases the amount you need to *remember*; an incredibly complex mathematical equation could have merely a couple of letters, bear in mind.
Xx
That would mean the complexity of the equation was in its ideas and not in its formulation. A different situation completely.


I take it you mean equations like e=mc2, where e encompasses any number of more specialized equations, such as K=1/2mv2 (sorry, no superscript provided for mathematical powers!)?

Am I correct? If so, I understand your point, its implications, and the immense importance of its implications. If not, please would you say more in explanation?

Thanks!

Well...Pianoloverus...I recognise your point, but perhaps you've not quite grabbed mine...I mean, why is it easier to remember an arpeggiated chord than a sequence of notes? Because we simplify; if we did this with the more "complex" music we might find it's a bit easier...for instance, thinking in terms of synthetic chords and the like...but, um, that was behind the point; I've seen people (well, one person laugh ) perform Clair de Lune without sheet music, but Webern's Opus 27 with it...this, to me, is sheer madness; understanding why the notes are as they are makes them *so* easy to remember...um...do you see? It *is* more complex, I agree, but people seem unwilling to really delve into it and understand it quite as well...of course, this isn't true of everyone laugh But...do you see? I hope you do...I can elaborate if it's not clear...Scordatura...yes and no laugh I mean, pretty much, I just wouldn't use that example (for starters, Ke is merely the kinetic energy, not the total...I mean, um, otherwise you imply that mc^2=.5mv^2 --> c^2=.5v^2, which obviously is just gibberish, unless all velocities are root two X the speed of light laugh EDIT: Forgive my idiocy, I didn't recall the phrase "encompasses any number" before I went off into a mini-rant... laugh )...um...I meant more along the lines of, say, the integral (with respect to a) of u/v (which is [{v X du/da} - {u X dv/da}]/ v^2 ), not that that's really complex... laugh But, um, in short...yes laugh I hope this is all clear enough... shocked
Xxx
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/30/13 08:06 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: Scordatura
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: FSO
I wouldn't say the heightened complexity increases the amount you need to *remember*; an incredibly complex mathematical equation could have merely a couple of letters, bear in mind.
Xx
That would mean the complexity of the equation was in its ideas and not in its formulation. A different situation completely.


I take it you mean equations like e=mc2, where e encompasses any number of more specialized equations, such as K=1/2mv2 (sorry, no superscript provided for mathematical powers!)?

Am I correct? If so, I understand your point, its implications, and the immense importance of its implications. If not, please would you say more in explanation?

Thanks!

Well...Pianoloverus...I recognise your point, but perhaps you've not quite grabbed mine...I mean, why is it easier to remember an arpeggiated chord than a sequence of notes? Because we simplify; if we did this with the more "complex" music we might find it's a bit easier...for instance, thinking in terms of synthetic chords and the like...but, um, that was behind the point; I've seen people (well, one person laugh ) perform Clair de Lune without sheet music, but Webern's Opus 27 with it...this, to me, is sheer madness; understanding why the notes are as they are makes them *so* easy to remember...um...do you see? It *is* more complex, I agree, but people seem unwilling to really delve into it and understand it quite as well...of course, this isn't true of everyone laugh But...do you see? I hope you do...I can elaborate if it's not clear...Scordatura...yes and no laugh I mean, pretty much, I just wouldn't use that example (for starters, Ke is merely the kinetic energy, not the total...I mean, um, otherwise you imply that mc^2=.5mv^2 --> c^2=.5v^2, which obviously is just gibberish, unless all velocities are root two X the speed of light laugh EDIT: Forgive my idiocy, I didn't recall the phrase "encompasses any number" before I went off into a mini-rant... laugh )...um...I meant more along the lines of, say, the integral (with respect to a) of u/v (which is [{v X du/da} - {u X dv/da}]/ v^2 ), not that that's really complex... laugh But, um, in short...yes laugh I hope this is all clear enough... shocked
Xxx
Of course, it's not clear enough.

I'd guess only 1 in 10 ever finish reading one of your posts where your non paragraphing, ums, and smileys make it incredibly unpleasant to read. If you want anyone to pay attention to anything you say you should change this and stop making excuses about not being able to do so. It's actually IMO insulting to someone trying to read one of your posts and detracts greatly from anything you are trying to say.
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/30/13 08:58 AM

Wonder how people memorize Boulez's "Notation no.6", which is just a tone row then other figurations....with the left hand offset by two notes.
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/30/13 09:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Scordatura
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: FSO
I wouldn't say the heightened complexity increases the amount you need to *remember*; an incredibly complex mathematical equation could have merely a couple of letters, bear in mind.
Xx
That would mean the complexity of the equation was in its ideas and not in its formulation. A different situation completely.


I take it you mean equations like e=mc2, where e encompasses any number of more specialized equations, such as K=1/2mv2 (sorry, no superscript provided for mathematical powers!)?

Am I correct? If so, I understand your point, its implications, and the immense importance of its implications. If not, please would you say more in explanation?

Thanks!

I think what he means is something like the equations for power resonance, which only really rely on factors like the forcing frequency and natural frequency, but are incredible clunky and difficult to memorize. Other equations, such as "curve-fitting" equations used in many engineering codes, are similarly hard to memorize because of all of the fudge factors, the symbols with no physical meaning (what exactly does it mean physically to take the 1.5th root of something?), or other factors.

Applying to music, it's not only the content (notes, harmony), it's the formulation (how it's pianistically laid out), and whether or not it inherently makes intuitive sense (not so much the case for some modern music).
Posted by: FSO

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/30/13 09:40 AM

If it detracts then it detracts and the only harm is done to myself; if someone is insulted then I apologise and will offer any form of recompense with which I'm equipped. I'd say that your innumerable complaints against me and flat out refusal to accept that someone may experience life with problems you're not familiar with borders on being malicious, spiteful and unduly upsetting but, um, I know that's not the case, that you *are* just trying to help, and as such paying any credence to such notions would be disgusting...I don't *try* to be repellent; perhaps I just naturally am. Vile though I may be, I *do* have feelings which you tend to hurt. My father used to get quite tempestuously angry with me when I'd have asthma attacks as a child, not being able to accept that I couldn't just breathe normally...just a little anecdote I feel fitting.
I don't want you to be insulted or feel the insurmountable frustration you clearly do whenever I'm present. The thing is, even though this new paragraph would indicate I'd turned over a new leaf, say, we both know that as soon as I stop concentrating with the limits of my being that I'm going to go straight back to offending linguistic and aesthetic values. Um...you clearly don't have any problems you can't control as, otherwise, your brutally rhythmic assaults would strike you as hypocritical...you don't seem a hypocrite. I'm glad; it's a terrible thing to fear reprisal on a daily basis for, I'll add, not only textual problems one is powerless to assuage. I don't mind reading messages from dyslexics and the dysgraphic; maybe it's only because I can sympathise, but I'd suspect myself of being able to empathise just as well.
So...to you and all who feel similarly (hence my public rhetoric {the length of which I apologise for} as opposed to a private message), I recommend blocking me as, I will hope to say for the last time, I can't help it and I would hate to be the cause of any further misery. I don't mean to sound vindictive, intolerant, petty or anything similar, which I'm sure I do...I'm just trying to give you the honesty you feel I deny you. I'm not the most worthwhile member here by far and if my mannerisms aren't worth what little I offer I'll understand completely. I'll be sad, but understand.
Sorry to be so dramatic but this can't go on forever. I really am sorry.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/30/13 11:30 AM

FSO -I am sorry that my last post hurt your feelings and I apologise for doing so.

My first thought after reading your latest post was...he seemed to be able to avoid most of the posting style problems (paragraphs were there, and almost no ums, and no smileys) so why not do so all the time even if it means editing these into or out of a first draft of a post? If this is possible that would be my suggestion. If not possible, then I will try to be more understanding.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/30/13 01:34 PM

FSO :

For what it may - or may not - be worth to you, when I see a post filled with smileys, dots, ums, etc., all contained in one unbroken paragraph, I won't read it.

I don't feel that it's up to me to try to decipher and interpret the essence of an unconstructed string of ideas. It well may be that I miss some interesting observations, and that may perhaps be my loss, but if a poster can't respect the conventions of written communication, then I don't feel that I can give him or her my time.
Posted by: currawong

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/30/13 04:50 PM

Here's another perspective, FSO.

I actually like you (as far as I can tell), and I really do think you have something to say. But just as you say you're unable to edit your posts so that they're readable, I'm unable to read them as they are. I'm sorry about that, but it's the way it is. My eyesight is such that I need clarity, otherwise I simply can't read it. If Piano World were only available in white-on-black, for example, I would have left long ago.
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/30/13 05:46 PM

And yet another perspective, FSO:

I'd like to think that I've already secured for myself the role of your prime apologist, even before the pedants started raining down blows upon the grammar of your ground, the sweet arable soil of your smilies, and the delightful UM-pah-pah's of your speech. For my own part, I skim the conventional posts of those whose writing style is like the plainest white of the picketest fence, a sort of literary suburbia whose children trade E.B. White cards, "need it, got it, got it, need it."

Change not a thing, I say! Tread forth boldly in your native trot! In a world plenty stingy, do stay sui generis.
Posted by: Old Man

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 01/31/13 03:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G
And yet another perspective, FSO:

thumb And a damn good one, at that!

FSO, I'm afraid my response will be far more prosaic than your "prime apologist", Ian's. To state the obvious, only you can decide how to communicate on this forum, and that will depend on what you seek from it. A few of the more veteran members have already made their feelings known, so you simply need to decide if their critique has merit, and whether, or how much, it matters that your words may sometimes be ignored.

Speaking for myself, I like it all. When I see a play or a movie, I don't want a Greek chorus. I want a rich cast of characters, the quirkier the better. And what makes this forum interesting is not just the variety of ideas, but the variety of backgrounds, perspectives, passions, pet peeves, temperaments, writing styles, etc. If each of us begins conforming to the desires of our fellow members, we'll edge closer and closer to that Greek chorus, or, as Ian so elegantly puts it, "the plainest white of the picketest fence".

It's bad enough to be shackled by others, but far worse to shackle one's self. And a shackled FSO just won't do. grin
Posted by: E. Christensen

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/04/13 11:35 PM

The comparison to a concert pianist performing with the score to an actor in a play reading the script is not a relevant comparison, it is two completely different traditions and art forms and each has its own set of rules.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/05/13 08:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G
And yet another perspective, FSO:

I'd like to think that I've already secured for myself the role of your prime apologist, even before the pedants started raining down blows upon the grammar of your ground, the sweet arable soil of your smilies, and the delightful UM-pah-pah's of your speech. For my own part, I skim the conventional posts of those whose writing style is like the plainest white of the picketest fence, a sort of literary suburbia whose children trade E.B. White cards, "need it, got it, got it, need it."

Change not a thing, I say! Tread forth boldly in your native trot! In a world plenty stingy, do stay sui generis.


I suppose I shall take the position of FSO's sub-prime apologist, then, and as such, Ian, and Old Man, I agree. And, the flip of it is, I find the constant griping about how "inconsiderate" is FSO's style, to be, well, inconsiderate. Harrumpff. My heart usually leaps with joy through FSO's locutions, and they make my synapses spark and buzz, too! grin "Plus one" with Ian's sentiment, FSO: do stay mui generous.
Posted by: currawong

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/05/13 06:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
And, the flip of it is, I find the constant griping about how "inconsiderate" is FSO's style, to be, well, inconsiderate.
I don't think there's "constant griping" any more - have you noticed this was an Old Thread?
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/05/13 09:03 PM

Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
And, the flip of it is, I find the constant griping about how "inconsiderate" is FSO's style, to be, well, inconsiderate.
I don't think there's "constant griping" any more - have you noticed this was an Old Thread?


Oop! Doh!!! [*headslap*] No, currawong, actually. I Did Not. It seemed So Fresh!!! crazy

Still. I stand by what I wrote (as recently as this morning!). grin I am glad that the constant griping has stopped. thumb

I have other thoughts about reading from the score, too. (I am working on the Handel Keyboard Suite in D min., as well, and followed the links to the whole suite of the Richter performance! And, just like Richter, I perform from the score! Well, I don't mean "just like Richter." I'm going to play it better, just as soon as I learn that darned fugue.) Do you want to know my thoughts about that? (Reading from the score, I mean...)
Posted by: BruceD

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/05/13 11:00 PM

Back to the original topic on this Old-But-Revived Thread :

I am performing in a collaborative recital with a colleague of mine tomorrow and again on Tuesday. She will be playing some of her repertoire from the score - if not all of it. For my part, I will be playing all of my repertoire in these two performances using the score.

We'll see if the audience has any reaction to - or comments on - this performance "discrepancy."

Regards,
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/05/13 11:20 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
FSO :

For what it may - or may not - be worth to you, when I see a post filled with smileys, dots, ums, etc., all contained in one unbroken paragraph, I won't read it.



I agree.. I just can't.
Posted by: Michael Sayers

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/06/13 03:18 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Back to the original topic on this Old-But-Revived Thread

I always find it entertaining when this happens. The thread appears suddenly at the top of the list and everyone starts responding to the posts - in this instance from nine months ago - as if they were inked in last several hours!

I, too, almost did this here wink

I am glad that FSO did not abandon her informal and articulate method of disseminating her observations which often are both astute and deep.


M.
Posted by: TheHappyMoron

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/06/13 05:37 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD

I don't feel that it's up to me to try to decipher and interpret the essence of an unconstructed string of ideas. It well may be that I miss some interesting observations, and that may perhaps be my loss


This interests me as many on this forum spend months deciphering Beethoven and the like on the mere whim it might bring interesting observations and many all over the world spend just as long deciphering Keats, Byron and Wordsworth. And yet some won't spend five minutes reading through a comment posted by someone on an internet forum despite the fact it could bring great insights. odd...
Posted by: BruceD

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/06/13 12:44 PM

Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Originally Posted By: BruceD

I don't feel that it's up to me to try to decipher and interpret the essence of an unconstructed string of ideas. It well may be that I miss some interesting observations, and that may perhaps be my loss


This interests me as many on this forum spend months deciphering Beethoven and the like on the mere whim it might bring interesting observations and many all over the world spend just as long deciphering Keats, Byron and Wordsworth. And yet some won't spend five minutes reading through a comment posted by someone on an internet forum despite the fact it could bring great insights. odd...


I don't think your comparison holds any weight!
Posted by: TheHappyMoron

Re: The controversial area of memorizing in performance - 10/08/13 08:23 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Originally Posted By: BruceD

I don't feel that it's up to me to try to decipher and interpret the essence of an unconstructed string of ideas. It well may be that I miss some interesting observations, and that may perhaps be my loss


This interests me as many on this forum spend months deciphering Beethoven and the like on the mere whim it might bring interesting observations and many all over the world spend just as long deciphering Keats, Byron and Wordsworth. And yet some won't spend five minutes reading through a comment posted by someone on an internet forum despite the fact it could bring great insights. odd...


I don't think your comparison holds any weight!


grin worth a thought though!