The hardest piano piece ever written

Posted by: phantomFive

The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/08/14 03:18 AM

Here's a sample from Ligeti etude 14-A, which is so hard it hasn't been played by a human. The tempo marking is very precise, half-note = 105.



Also, I think it would be unfaithful to the score to play it quietly, but that might just be my own personal interpretation. Try playing a bit of it.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 03:34 AM

That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:

Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 05:37 AM

I know that you know "song" is incorrect usage, so using it deliberately looks a lot like you are trying to troll the forum. We'll see how that goes....with luck, the thread will die a quick and relatively painless death.

And anyway, topics about "the most" whatever are inane by definition, since there is no way to determine "hardest", "greatest", "saddest", "best", etc. Yeah, I know, some threads of that sort get a lot of responses (including mine), but that doesn't mean they aren't stupid - they are.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 07:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:


Hideous. thumb

As for the OP, we know my thoughts on that.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 07:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:


I'm almost spat out my cereal.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 07:54 AM

Check out 11:25 and on. ha
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 08:07 AM

Good lord. How does someone that bad even get gigs and photo shoots?
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 08:39 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Good lord. How does someone that bad even get gigs and photo shoots?


Initially she bought them, having inherited a bundle.

Over time, people started attending her performances as campy events -- kind of like Tiny Tim two or three generations later.

My small backup auxiliary dog really sings better than that, though...
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 08:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Check out 11:25 and on. ha
How on Earth could you listen long enough to know??
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 08:44 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Good lord. How does someone that bad even get gigs and photo shoots?

There are three established ways:

1) Be so good & ultra-talented that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down.
2) Be so bad & ultra-hopeless (but not so hopeless that all semblance of music is missing) that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. It requires a total absence of self-awareness and self-criticism, or alternatively, an ability to delight in the irony of pocketing $$££€€ while being fully aware that the audience don't know you're playing for laughs (and money) grin .
3) Be totally unique that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. Like Vladimir de Pachmann, who chatted and gave a running commentary while playing, and applauded himself or shouted 'Bravo!' when he played a tricky passage particularly well (or rather, better than normal for him) wink .
Posted by: TwoSnowflakes

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 09:56 AM

I think she just might have turned the Queen of the Night diurnal.

The hardest piece song in the world is that one, right there, that the pianist is having to play. Those are darn near unsafe working conditions.

Can we apply a few of those Ligeti "ffffff"s to the Jenkins' "performance"? He's got at least a few to spare, there.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 10:48 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
I know that you know "song" is incorrect usage, so using it deliberately looks a lot like you are trying to troll the forum. We'll see how that goes....with luck, the thread will die a quick and relatively painless death.

And anyway, topics about "the most" whatever are inane by definition, since there is no way to determine "hardest", "greatest", "saddest", "best", etc. Yeah, I know, some threads of that sort get a lot of responses (including mine), but that doesn't mean they aren't stupid - they are.


I don't think there is any piano piece ever written that is harder to play. The etudes are famous for their extreme difficulty, so it's not just me here
Posted by: ando

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 11:16 AM

The 14A etude does nothing for me, musically speaking. The only reason I think somebody would attempt it is because it's known to be Ligeti's "unplayable etude". I prefer to focus on what pieces have musical meaning to me, when judging whch pieces are the most difficult. Certainly the two most difficult pieces I ever hacked my way through were Ravel's Scarbo and the Carl Vine's first Sonata - and I did not do them justice, let me tell you!. Absolutely wretchedly difficult - but possibly not considered among the hardest. But there is also the difficulty of finding the best expression through such pieces. Difficulty isn't only about tempo and horrid finger combinations.
Posted by: DanS

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 11:19 AM

I could never get that section of the Ligeti Etude up to to all 8 fortes. The best I could do was 7 Fs so I had to give it up. laugh
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 11:36 AM

An old adviser once said that a particular (potential) goal was like learning to micturate through a straw: "It's a very difficult thing to learn, and once you've mastered it, you really haven't accomplished very much."
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 11:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Check out 11:25 and on. ha
How on Earth could you listen long enough to know??

I clicked a random place in the video and happened to click there.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 11:59 AM

Originally Posted By: DanS
I could never get that section of the Ligeti Etude up to to all 8 fortes. The best I could do was 7 Fs so I had to give it up. laugh

If the piano isn't broken by the end, you didn't do it right?
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 01:06 PM

Playing ffffffff is easy. (Just hit it with a hammer).

It's playing pppppppp that's hard (Étude No.9)........ wink
Posted by: Vid

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 01:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:



Ouch!!! I know someone who is the pianist equivalent of this woman.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Good lord. How does someone that bad even get gigs and photo shoots?

There are three established ways:

1) Be so good & ultra-talented that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down.
2) Be so bad & ultra-hopeless (but not so hopeless that all semblance of music is missing) that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. It requires a total absence of self-awareness and self-criticism, or alternatively, an ability to delight in the irony of pocketing $$££€€ while being fully aware that the audience don't know you're playing for laughs (and money) grin .
3) Be totally unique that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. Like Vladimir de Pachmann, who chatted and gave a running commentary while playing, and applauded himself or shouted 'Bravo!' when he played a tricky passage particularly well (or rather, better than normal for him) wink .
I figured she was either very, very rich or was someone's beloved grandmother. In the latter case, I forgive her.
Posted by: ando

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
I figured she was either very, very rich or was someone's beloved grandmother. In the latter case, I forgive her.


I can forgive her because she's been dead for a reeeeeeaally long time and she's probably rolled over enough times over it by now. wink
Posted by: Vid

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/08/14 03:37 PM

Forgiveness comes easy since I can choose to never listen to her again. grin
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/08/14 03:40 PM

The hardest piano song ever is the last part of the Moonlight Sonata.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 04:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Vid
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:



Ouch!!! I know someone who is the pianist equivalent of this woman.

Where did you hear me play? grin
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 09:18 PM

I think in order to sing fffffff you will need a throat lozenge (or more)!
Posted by: riley80

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/08/14 10:19 PM

Good heavens - WTMI out of Miami used to play her recordings in the morning show.
(N0) Thanks for the memories.
Posted by: riley80

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/08/14 10:22 PM

At least this is written in C, so to speak.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 12:16 AM

A couple of things:

Originally Posted By: wr
I know that [the OP] knows "song" is incorrect usage, so using it deliberately looks a lot like....trying to troll the forum.....

I doubt it. I agree that our guy probably does know that "song" is frowned upon by many here but I think he probably just doesn't consider it as a big deal.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
3) Be totally unique that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. Like Vladimir de Pachmann, who chatted and gave a running commentary while playing, and applauded himself or shouted 'Bravo!' when he played a tricky passage particularly well (or rather, better than normal for him) wink .

Many people regarded (and still regard) Pachmann as being considerably more than that. I mean, what you said is true. His unique absurdity undoubtedly added to his reputation (as well as subtracted). But he also had very great gifts to his playing, and as I've said before, I consider his recordings as the closest hints we have about what Chopin's playing might have been like. To be sure it's at best a caricatured version -- but I think it's at least a version, with a delicacy and types of rubatos and a range of pianissimos that I consider in line with descriptions of Chopin's playing.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 12:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The hardest piano song ever is the last part of the Moonlight Sonata.

That's only true if you didn't play the rest of the song very well. That is, the ending follows naturally
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 12:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C

I doubt it. I agree that our guy probably does know that "song" is frowned upon by many here but I think he probably just doesn't consider it as a big deal.

That is true, it's not something I care about. I am kind of curious though, because calling it a 'song' seems so natural to me, is that a regional variation, or do most people make that mistake?
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 12:37 AM

Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The hardest piano song ever is the last part of the Moonlight Sonata.

That's only true if you didn't play the rest of the song very well. That is, the ending follows naturally

the rondo ala turca by mozart is also rly hard, i tried it erlier and it was rly hard, lots of fast nots
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 12:42 AM

About the song thing. It just doesn't work for me. Song is something you... sing. In Greek it's the same thing. So... :-/

Other than that, I do think that Ligeti has written some notoriously difficult etudes, but about being the hardest of all... I'm just not sure...
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 12:43 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
The 14A etude does nothing for me, musically speaking. The only reason I think somebody would attempt it is because it's known to be Ligeti's "unplayable etude".

Maybe that is intentional, maybe part of the difficulty is to sustain concentrated practice and endure learning a piece that does nothing for you musically speaking?
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 01:01 AM

Originally Posted By: phantomFive
That is true, it's not something I care about. I am kind of curious though, because calling it a 'song' seems so natural to me, is that a regional variation, or do most people make that mistake?

We "sophisticates" grin call it a song only if it's something that is sung -- i.e. a vocal thing.

The way a lot of people here see it is, these things:

Younger people tend to call any music thing a "song," sometimes even any kind of thing at all that gets "played" on youtube or audio CD's. And really, to some extent the music and CD industries do that.

It is also usually regarded as a relatively recent thing, i.e. that this didn't happen until about the last couple of decades, and got momentum mainly since youtube.

And....this is the "snob" way of looking at it, but it's partly true:
People who don't know that much about classical music tend to call any music thing a song.

But, these things are only partly true.
When I was a kid, which was about 200 years ago grin my teacher, who was an old-school pianist and teacher (Russian), often called piano pieces "songs." Maybe she just did it with kids, I don't know. But that's how it was.

Some classical music types, including here, go pretty nuts over it when people call piano pieces "songs." They think it's a sign of not knowing that much, or not being that advanced. And y'know, there is a correlation there. grin

But I think they're fighting a losing battle. I think the language is evolving to where it won't be long before it will be considered absolutely normal and correct to call any music thing a song. That will bother a lot of people here. It doesn't bother me at all.

Anyway not nearly as much as when they say "shipping" even if a boat isn't involved. ha
And I'd bet almost all of the people who complain about calling piano pieces "songs" do say "shipping" even if a thing comes by truck or plane or pigeon. smile
Posted by: currawong

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 01:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
And I'd bet almost all of the people who complain about calling piano pieces "songs" do say "shipping" even if a thing comes by truck or plane or pigeon. smile
Not only do I never use "shipping", but I hadn't heard it used as it is now (for any sort of transport of goods) until maybe the last few years ("postage and handling" is what we used to say, and still do in some circles). Maybe I've just been living under a rock.

As to the "song" thing, I don't think I'm a snob. I don't usually comment on it, but it does annoy me because it's turning a specific term into a general one, and what do you do when you want to be specific? You now have to say "I really love this song, that is, this vocal work". I just wish I could now use "song" in the context of classical music and not have to further explain. I know language changes, and I realise it appears to be a losing battle, thanks to iTunes and youtube and all that stuff. But please, don't call me a snob just because I would like to keep the precise term.

Not implying that you are actually calling me a snob, Mark.
Posted by: Roland The Beagle

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 01:55 AM

Hardest piece questions are made difficult by the fact that there is lots of horrendously unplayable stuff that someone could write in theory for no reason. I could probably write the hardest piano piece in the world in Sibelius right now. There would be no music in it, but oh well.

When you make music a requirement, then you get into the difficult issue of how much musicality a piece has to have to be considered, like this Ligeti Etude.

My vote goes to Gaspard de la Nuit as a piece that is musical poetry and where every ounce of the virtuosity serves the music. I haven't heard an interpretation approaching this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKgcHjq1xKQ
Posted by: Piano Doug

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 01:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: phantomFive
That is true, it's not something I care about. I am kind of curious though, because calling it a 'song' seems so natural to me, is that a regional variation, or do most people make that mistake?

We "sophisticates" grin call it a song only if it's something that is sung -- i.e. a vocal thing.

The way a lot of people here see it is, these things:

Younger people tend to call any music thing a "song," sometimes even any kind of thing at all that gets "played" on youtube or audio CD's. And really, to some extent the music and CD industries do that.

It is also usually regarded as a relatively recent thing, i.e. that this didn't happen until about the last couple of decades, and got momentum mainly since youtube.

And....this is the "snob" way of looking at it, but it's partly true:
People who don't know that much about classical music tend to call any music thing a song.

But, these things are only partly true.
When I was a kid, which was about 200 years ago grin my teacher, who was an old-school pianist and teacher (Russian), often called piano pieces "songs." Maybe she just did it with kids, I don't know. But that's how it was.

Some classical music types, including here, go pretty nuts over it when people call piano pieces "songs." They think it's a sign of not knowing that much, or not being that advanced. And y'know, there is a correlation there. grin

But I think they're fighting a losing battle. I think the language is evolving to where it won't be long before it will be considered absolutely normal and correct to call any music thing a song. That will bother a lot of people here. It doesn't bother me at all.

Anyway not nearly as much as when they say "shipping" even if a boat isn't involved. ha
And I'd bet almost all of the people who complain about calling piano pieces "songs" do say "shipping" even if a thing comes by truck or plane or pigeon. smile


+1
Well said, Mark.

I think it's also that people who have made a serious commitment and invested thousands of hours in learning and playing the piano, see the casualness of the word "song" as dissonant to the rigor and dedication they have brought to the piano. Kind of like someone saying, "Oh, you know, I just learned one of those Beethoven thingies, I think it was a sonata or something like that, in c minor. No, maybe it was A-flat major. Whatever." grin

One would immediately discount the seriousness and commitment of the speaker. It doesn't exactly compel one to want to hear them, or perhaps even to carry on a serious musical discussion with them.

In other words, not so much snobbery (although that definitely exists), but rather a reaction to something at odds with a deeply integrated part of one's being.

I do agree that the evolution of language will continue unabated, but I'm not so sure that professional and serious amateur musicians will start calling their pieces "songs" anytime soon. At least, I hope not!

Now I've got run to UPS to pick up a "shipment." wink
Posted by: Verbum mirabilis

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 03:01 AM

I don't like pieces that aren't songs getting called songs because it's so misleading. Songs are usually pretty short, about 2-10 minutes in duration. Calling a small one-movement piece a song isn't that bad IMO, since the "only" difference between a piece and a song in that case is the fact that the piece isn't sung. When it comes to symphonies and sonatas, using the term "song" is, IMO, belittling and even insulting (especially if used intentionally) and definitely misleading.

Then you have cases like fugues and piano transcriptions of songs. For example, if someone says to me: "I love this song" when listening to a Bach fugue I understand what they mean but I get the impression that they don't really know what a fugue is.

Now, if someone says to me: "I love this song" when listening to a piano transcription of a Schubert Lied, the way I understand that is that they are referring to the original Lied, not to the piece which is being played.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 03:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark C
Anyway not nearly as much as when they say "shipping" even if a boat isn't involved.

The trouble is, "transport" is just too long a word.. grin
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 03:59 AM

Originally Posted By: currawong
Not only do I never use "shipping"....

It's possible that you and I are the only ones. grin

Quote:
....please, don't call me a snob just because I would like to keep the precise term.

Huh.....let's see, did I indicate anything like that....

Fortunately I didn't. What I said (or at least meant!) was:

I was calling people snobs who look down on those who don't use the term in the precise way, and who assume it means they don't know that much and are probably a bit stupid.

And I hold to that.

And y'know, I guess you could say that makes me a snob. ha


P.S. (edit): About "looking down" on them....
I actually look UP on them.
Because, to a great extent, it represents new people becoming interested in classical music (or at least talking about it) who hadn't been much into it before.

Don't we want more of that, not less? Don't you want to embrace them and encourage them, not kick their ass because they don't use a word in the technical way? And compared to the fact that they're actually talking about classical music, isn't it the tiniest drop in the bucket that they're saying "song"?
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 04:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Piano Doug
....I think it's also that people who have made a serious commitment and invested thousands of hours in learning and playing the piano, see the casualness of the word "song" as dissonant to the rigor and dedication they have brought to the piano. Kind of like someone saying, "Oh, you know, I just learned one of those Beethoven thingies, I think it was a sonata or something like that, in c minor. No, maybe it was A-flat major. Whatever." grin ....

Off the subject but what bothers me a million times more than saying "song" (and almost as much as "shipping") ha is when a pretty serious musician doesn't know the key of a piece. It gets me mad at that person, and even more so, at the person's teacher. This happened recently: I heard someone play some quite advanced pieces -- pretty well actually -- but fumfed around when trying to say what keys they were in, and really didn't know. I threw a fit. ("HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHAT KEYS THEY'RE IN!) The person made sure to know the keys from now on.

Of those pieces anyway. grin
Posted by: drumour

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 04:40 AM

By rail or air - freight.
By ship - cargo.
By road - shipment.

I didn't think these were subject to regional variation, but I was probably wrong.


John
Posted by: Piano Doug

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 04:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Piano Doug
....I think it's also that people who have made a serious commitment and invested thousands of hours in learning and playing the piano, see the casualness of the word "song" as dissonant to the rigor and dedication they have brought to the piano. Kind of like someone saying, "Oh, you know, I just learned one of those Beethoven thingies, I think it was a sonata or something like that, in c minor. No, maybe it was A-flat major. Whatever." grin ....

Off the subject but what bothers me a million times more than saying "song" (and almost as much as "shipping") ha is when a pretty serious musician doesn't know the key of a piece. It gets me mad at that person, and even more so, at the person's teacher. This happened recently: I heard someone play some quite advanced pieces -- pretty well actually -- but fumfed around when trying to say what keys they were in, and really didn't know. I threw a fit. ("HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHAT KEYS THEY'RE IN!) The person made sure to know the keys from now on.

Of those pieces anyway. grin


This is frightening! Maybe if one of us lives to be really, really old, we will be the last person alive to know anything about key signatures. Then we will become highly sought after for our esoteric knowledge! smirk
Posted by: currawong

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 05:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: currawong
....please, don't call me a snob just because I would like to keep the precise term.
Huh.....let's see, did I indicate anything like that....
As I said, "Not implying that you are actually calling me a snob, Mark." I was speaking to anyone when I said "don't call me a snob".
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Don't we want more of that, not less? Don't you want to embrace them and encourage them, not kick their ass because they don't use a word in the technical way?
Of course. But on the other hand, I don't see why we have to assume they wouldn't even want to know what the correct terminology actually is. I certainly want to learn correct terms when I'm in a field new to me, and I don't mind if people inform me. It all depends how the information is imparted, doesn't it. There are ways which attempt to include newcomers, and ways which come across as excluding.
Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 06:22 AM

If we are classical musicians talking within the realm of classical music, "song" is a term of art (i.e, it has a specific meaning that may not match what the word means elsewhere).

If we are kids talking about downloading something from iTunes, a "song" is any downloadable "music".

If we are culturally illiterate programmers, we call music-related digital files "songs", regardless of whether they are MIDI or audio (incidentally, my DAW has become slightly more intelligent about this and now calls them "projects" - which, in context, works for me).

If we are but wee children just learning our language, we may call any and all discrete chunks of music "songs", because that's the only word we know.

Assuming that most of you agree that here in the Pianist Corner of Piano World, we are classical musicians of some stripe or another, I would think that using the term of art would be the accepted thing to do. I'd also think that newbies who didn't know that it was a term of art would be only too happy to discover that it was and would pick up on the usage immediately, and of course, use it.

That there is any resistance at all to the correct classical music usage of the term within a classical music community like this one is, to me, an indicator of some changes taking place that are eroding the entire concept of classical music. That's okay - change is inevitable. But at the same time, I'm not going to pretend that the language I learned to describe this music is invalid, just because some programmers who didn't know any better mistakenly started referring to all music files as "songs".

Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 06:26 AM

I don't know how my scores are... going... to my customers. So they are dispatched from me... Now shipped, or trained, or flown in... doesn't make a difference for me (probably flown would be the best word?)
Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 06:52 AM

Originally Posted By: currawong
But on the other hand, I don't see why we have to assume they wouldn't even want to know what the correct terminology actually is.


Exactly.

When I was new to classical music as a youngster, I was very eager to learn the terminology involved, and it didn't require any special coddling on the part of those who already knew it to get me to learn as much as I could as quickly as I could. I'd think, for those interested in classical music, that sort of eagerness would still prevail.

Has something changed?
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 07:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis
I don't like pieces that aren't songs getting called songs because it's so misleading. Songs are usually pretty short, about 2-10 minutes in duration. Calling a small one-movement piece a song isn't that bad IMO, since the "only" difference between a piece and a song in that case is the fact that the piece isn't sung. When it comes to symphonies......

My favorite big song is Mahler's 'Symphony of a Thousand'.

My favorite oratorio song is Handel's Messiah.

My favorite chamber song is Mendelssohn's Octet.

My favorite piano song is Ravel's Gaspard de la unit.

My favorite 'song' song (Lied) is Schubert's An die Musik.

My favorite 'chanson' song (or mélodie) is Faure's Après un rêve.

My favorite pop song is 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.

(They are all songs, according to iTunes on my computer.... wink )
Posted by: DanS

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/09/14 07:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Piano Doug
One would immediately discount the seriousness and commitment of the speaker. It doesn't exactly compel one to want to hear them, or perhaps even to carry on a serious musical discussion with them.

In other words, not so much snobbery (although that definitely exists), but rather a reaction to something at odds with a deeply integrated part of one's being.

Well said
Posted by: jdw

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 07:29 AM

I may be an even bigger snob for being irritated when people refer to any text set to music as "lyrics." Did Robert Frost, Shakespeare et al. write lyrics? ok, lyrical poems maybe.

I should maybe not confess that I'm capable of forgetting the key of a piece I've played. I'm aware of it while I'm learning it, but then....
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 03:05 PM

Mozarts first 6 piano sonatas I have heard are the hardest of his piano sonatas and K 545 I have heard is the easiest and the rest of his 20 something sonatas fall somewhere in between.
Posted by: Ebadlun

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 07:54 PM

The last one in D major K576 is subtly evil.

Charles Rosen wrote 'many famous pianists have played it badly', and I wonder if he'd had a bad experience of it himself.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 08:10 PM

Sometimes K 545 is known as Piano Sonata no. 15 but really it is his 16th piano sonata.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 08:24 PM

I've never heard it called the 15th.

As regards the original question, has this been posted yet? I don't know if it includes piano or not, but you could substitute the piano for the cows, say, or perhaps the penguins. Or even the explosives.

Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 08:40 PM

I like "remove cattle from stage".
Posted by: Ebadlun

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 08:43 PM

I was doing OK sight-reading that until 'Have a nice day', which I found impossible at that point.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 08:46 PM

http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnks...ie_20_KV545.pdf shows up top Sonatae no. 15 fur das pianoforte which is german for piano sonata no. 15.

That right there tells you that K 545 is his 15th piano sonata when in fact it was actually his 16th.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 08:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Ebadlun
I was doing OK sight-reading that until 'Have a nice day', which I found impossible at that point.
You did better than I did. I got lost at the Tutti.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 09:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I've never heard it called the 15th.

As regards the original question, has this been posted yet? I don't know if it includes piano or not, but you could substitute the piano for the cows, say, or perhaps the penguins. Or even the explosives.


The real tough part here is getting the Cro-Magnon feel. No pianist has ever done that suitably, IMO, it's always too strained, without a chocolate sound.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/09/14 10:14 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
I like "remove cattle from stage".


He meant mobile phones making a lot of noise.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 12:03 AM

Is the Faerie's Aire the record for most notes on a page?
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 01:10 AM

I would think a symphony since it usually has 2 pages in 1 when you look at the PDF would have the most notes per page, especially when there are a lot of instruments like in Mozart's Symphony no. 40. Now Symphony no. 1 in Eb would definitely not have the most notes per page. It has even less notes than that K 545 per page on average mostly because there are a lot of halves and wholes in it whereas with his 40th symphony it is mostly quarters, eights, sixteenths, and 32nds even though the woodwinds start off with whole notes, and a similar thing for the K 545. In fact I could count the number of each type of note from 32nd and possibly 64th per measure of all 3 of those and give you the average per measure and a similar thing for average per page and average per movement. Now if I were to do that I would have to take triplets into concern because some of Mozart's works have triplets and I bet that at least 1 of his symphonies has triplets.

I could also probably look at all of Mozart's works not transcribed and figure out how many total of each type of note from 256th(he did use this in at least 1 of his works) to double whole(I think he might have used this) including dotted, double dotted, and triplets and other tuplets but mainly triplets because triplets are most commonly used out of all the tuplets there are, and divide that sum of each type of note(by this I mean I count them separately and take their sums separately) by 626 + x(626 from largest kochel number, x because he made more music than just 626) and give you the average(arithmetic mean), median, mode, variance, MAD(mean absolute deviation), and SD(standard deviation) of each type of note in Mozart's works.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 01:44 AM

Weird thing is, if I'm going to spend effort playing a song, I'd rather spend the effort playing Fairie's Aire instead of the Ligeti etude
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 02:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Is the Faerie's Aire the record for most notes on a page?


Well, who would want to turn pages with the Faerie's Aire?
But yes, it looks very "crowded".
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 02:29 AM

I don't think it is the record for most notes per page for the reason that my previous post says.
Posted by: Verbum mirabilis

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 04:41 AM

Originally Posted By: caters
I would think a symphony since it usually has 2 pages in 1 when you look at the PDF would have the most notes per page, especially when there are a lot of instruments like in Mozart's Symphony no. 40. Now Symphony no. 1 in Eb would definitely not have the most notes per page. It has even less notes than that K 545 per page on average mostly because there are a lot of halves and wholes in it whereas with his 40th symphony it is mostly quarters, eights, sixteenths, and 32nds even though the woodwinds start off with whole notes, and a similar thing for the K 545. In fact I could count the number of each type of note from 32nd and possibly 64th per measure of all 3 of those and give you the average per measure and a similar thing for average per page and average per movement. Now if I were to do that I would have to take triplets into concern because some of Mozart's works have triplets and I bet that at least 1 of his symphonies has triplets.

I could also probably look at all of Mozart's works not transcribed and figure out how many total of each type of note from 256th(he did use this in at least 1 of his works) to double whole(I think he might have used this) including dotted, double dotted, and triplets and other tuplets but mainly triplets because triplets are most commonly used out of all the tuplets there are, and divide that sum of each type of note(by this I mean I count them separately and take their sums separately) by 626 + x(626 from largest kochel number, x because he made more music than just 626) and give you the average(arithmetic mean), median, mode, variance, MAD(mean absolute deviation), and SD(standard deviation) of each type of note in Mozart's works.


A symphony will definitely have lots of notes per page, but a Mozart symphony? A lot of instruments? Yes, a late Mozart symphony definitely as more instruments and notes/page than an early Mozart symphony but the orchestras of Mozart's time were relatively small.

BTW, this thread is going in interesting directions.
Posted by: jdw

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 06:59 AM

For all its fiendish difficulty, the Faerie's Aire is worth it for that sublime moment when the penguins enter. However, there's been controversy about whether this should happen in measure 5 or measure 7.9.
Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/10/14 07:04 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
The 14A etude does nothing for me, musically speaking. The only reason I think somebody would attempt it is because it's known to be Ligeti's "unplayable etude".


It is published "for player piano (ad lib. living pianist)", so there's some question about whether it's even hard at all, since it should pose no difficulty for a player piano. I notice that Idil Biret has recorded it in "living pianist" format, but I haven't heard her performance.

But about your comment - isn't it at least possible that someone else might find it musically interesting enough to attempt it, rather than just because it's "unplayable"? I rather like it in this very playable player piano performance, which was made by the person Ligeti entrusted it to (the sound quality of the video is not so great, unfortunately). I'll admit that the Nancarrow pieces I've listened to over the years may have acclimatized my ear to this kind of stuff...

Posted by: DanS

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 08:06 AM

Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Weird thing is, if I'm going to spend effort playing a song, I'd rather spend the effort playing Fairie's Aire instead of the Ligeti etude


laugh
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/10/14 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Originally Posted By: wr
I know that you know "song" is incorrect usage, so using it deliberately looks a lot like you are trying to troll the forum. We'll see how that goes....with luck, the thread will die a quick and relatively painless death.

And anyway, topics about "the most" whatever are inane by definition, since there is no way to determine "hardest", "greatest", "saddest", "best", etc. Yeah, I know, some threads of that sort get a lot of responses (including mine), but that doesn't mean they aren't stupid - they are.



I don't think there is any piano piece ever written that is harder to play. The etudes are famous for their extreme difficulty, so it's not just me here


Piano quartet(2 pianos 8 hands) of Symphony no. 40 by Mozart is hard just like the orchestral version is, in fact it is harder than the orchestral version. Same thing for piano duet of same piece compared to piano quartet and piano solo compared to piano duet. What makes them harder is the fact that with each one you have less and less players to make the symphony sound like the original symphony but on the given instruments. To get a true symphony no. 40 on the piano you would need 14 people on at least 7 pianos with these assignments:
Primo Piano 1: flute part
Secendo Piano 1: Oboe 1
Primo Piano 2: oboe 2
Secendo Piano 2: Bb clarinet 1(meaning you have to transpose everything down a half step since Bb is C on the Bb clarinet)
Primo piano 3: Bb clarinet 2:
Secendo piano 3: Bassoon 1
Primo piano 4: Bassoon 2
Secendo piano 4: Horn 1(Bb, Eb, or G horn meaning you have to transpose everything down by the difference between the note that is C on the original instrument and that same place of the staff on the piano)
Primo piano 5: Horn 2(Eb or G)
Secendo piano 5: 1st violins
Primo piano 6: 2nd violins
Secondo piano 6: Violas
Primo piano 7: Cellos
Secendo Piano 7: Contrabasses

And as you can see you would need pianos that are extended down to C in the subcontra if there is anything in the contra octave in the contrabass part. Also 2 people both playing treble and 2 people both playing bass is simply not possible because of too much overlap so you would need more than 7 pianos but the assignment would be very similar. Because of that while symphony no. 40 piano xtet might be harder in practice than a piano duet version, it is much easier once mastered than the piano duet version and sounds just like the symphony transcribed for the piano in a way that piano players are able to play every single note of the symphony.

Extended pianos and quarter tone pianos thankfully do exist and so it is actually possible to make symphony no. 40 sound exactly like the original but all on the piano. I could even do this with the equivalent of 7 piano duets on musescore(thats because unlike true pianists musescore does not mind overlap).
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/10/14 12:41 PM

ha
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 12:45 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
But about your comment - isn't it at least possible that someone else might find it musically interesting enough to attempt it, rather than just because it's "unplayable"? I rather like it in this very playable player piano performance,

Mainly I suspect you're trolling
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/10/14 12:46 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8nuy1t329g shows the whole symphony no. 40 sheet music as the pictures so that you get the idea of where in the symphony the players are but this is the kind of 7 or more pianos playing the whole symphony no. 40 thing I am talking about. That link is only the 1st movement but in the playlist it says next in playlist 2nd movement of the same symphony transcribed to piano and than after that 3rd in the playlist and than 4th in the playlist. This is part of a playlist that has piano transcriptions of some of Mozart's pieces.

You might think at first that this is some kind of quartet or duet but actually it is neither one nor is it solo(that's a little abvious). I think that it isn't a quartet and I know it isn't a duet because I have listened to duets of this exact same symphony and those duets don't sound the way this sounds. This actually sounds like every single note of the symphony played on 7 or more pianos.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 12:50 PM

Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Originally Posted By: wr
But about your comment - isn't it at least possible that someone else might find it musically interesting enough to attempt it, rather than just because it's "unplayable"? I rather like it in this very playable player piano performance,

Mainly I suspect you're trolling

wr doesn't troll.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 12:53 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
I would think a symphony since it usually has 2 pages in 1 when you look at the PDF would have the most notes per page, especially when there are a lot of instruments like in Mozart's Symphony no. 40. Now Symphony no. 1 in Eb would definitely not have the most notes per page. It has even less notes than that K 545 per page on average mostly because there are a lot of halves and wholes in it whereas with his 40th symphony it is mostly quarters, eights, sixteenths, and 32nds even though the woodwinds start off with whole notes, and a similar thing for the K 545. In fact I could count the number of each type of note from 32nd and possibly 64th per measure of all 3 of those and give you the average per measure and a similar thing for average per page and average per movement. Now if I were to do that I would have to take triplets into concern because some of Mozart's works have triplets and I bet that at least 1 of his symphonies has triplets.

Orchestral scores tend to have a lot of empty space since most of the time the instruments aren't all playing together.

See the interesting perspective of this famous piece for example:




Here is the score of Mozart symphony 40 for comparison:
http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/usim...minor__K550.pdf
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 01:22 PM

I know but to play the whole symphony no. 40 by Mozart on the piano like I gave the link to the first movement of you would need more than 7 pianos because what happens if 2 people are playing the same note? You would need more pianos otherwise there will be a few notes missing.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 01:31 PM

Better make it about 60 pianos, one for every instrument in the orchestra.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 01:32 PM

but some instruments play the same notes so thats why I am going on the lesser end to simplify things.

By this I mean all the flutes play the same notes as other flutes, all the 1st violins play the same notes as other 1st violins etc.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
Iyou would need more than 7 pianos because what happens if 2 people are playing the same note? You would need more pianos otherwise there will be a few notes missing.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 02:45 PM

Troll.
Posted by: AtomicBond

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 05:48 PM

This



(ok, not really, but it's still amazing smile and you have to admit but some of Animenz's arrangements are some of the hardest ever, especially as he writes many of them in a week of less)


edit: or this one
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 07:02 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
I know but to play the whole symphony no. 40 by Mozart on the piano like I gave the link to the first movement of you would need more than 7 pianos because what happens if 2 people are playing the same note? You would need more pianos otherwise there will be a few notes missing.

You don't need all that.

Hummel shows how to do it: http://youtu.be/DyB1dUouCq8
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 07:21 PM

With all the notes and all the instruments in symphony no. 40, to not miss a single note of the symphony you do need 7 or more pianos. Those ones with less pianos always miss some of the notes of the Symphony no. 40.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 07:27 PM

You also need two pianos when both treble and bass clef press the same note at once. How else are you supposed to do that?
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 07:31 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
You also need two pianos when both treble and bass clef press the same note at once. How else are you supposed to do that?

thumb
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 08:13 PM

Okay but what if you have 2 treble clefs overlapping or 2 bass clefs overlapping? You would also need two pianos in those scenarios.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 08:20 PM

Why not just get 88 pianos? One for each key. That should solve the problem.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 08:21 PM

No, that'll never do. What if there are 89 instruments playing the same note?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 08:26 PM

You're right.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 08:32 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Why not just get 88 pianos? One for each key. That should solve the problem.


Polyphonist is right and what if there is contra octave written in contrabass which sounds an octave lower than written? You would need in that case pianos extended down to C in the subcontra and those do exist but are more expensive than the regular ones.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 08:33 PM

Dang. If only we had some way to solve all these problems.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 09:58 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Dang. If only we had some way to solve all these problems.

Handbells.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 10:50 PM

Do they make handbells pitched at contrabass C?
Posted by: Dwscamel

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 11:13 PM

Not yet.

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

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 11:15 PM

One could definitely make that argument. Who was the pianist giving the lecture?
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 11:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Do they make handbells pitched at contrabass C?

Apparently not many of them
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/10/14 11:31 PM

That's just a measly C1. We're talking about the real bass notes here; the Imperial C. grin
Posted by: Dwscamel

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 12:25 AM

@Polyphonist: the pianist's name is Kevin Sharpe.

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

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 01:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
That's just a measly C1. We're talking about the real bass notes here; the Imperial C. grin


Contra is C1

Subcontra is C0

sub-subcontra is C-1


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

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/11/14 02:03 AM

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


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

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/11/14 02:19 AM

Well none of mozart's pieces have quarter tones but I was just bringing it up because I thought it might be good to bring it up along with the extended pianos that go down to C in the sub-contra otherwise known as C0.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/11/14 02:33 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdNNudSfpgM is a piano solo version of Symphony no. 40. It has all 4 movements
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS05QSfeT6g is a Piano duet of the same symphony. It is however only the first movement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8nuy1t329g I think is a piano quartet(2 pianos 8 hands) of the same symphony. This is the first movement as well but the other 3 are in the same playlist as that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72eEBz2rGWU is the first movement of the original symphony.

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

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

Posted by: mrenaud

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/11/14 12:52 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
Well none of mozart's pieces have quarter tones but I was just bringing it up because I thought it might be good to bring it up along with the extended pianos that go down to C in the sub-contra otherwise known as C0.


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

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

But please, do carry on.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 01:10 PM

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

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 02:14 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
The contrabass goes from A in the subcontra to G in the 2nd written....


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

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

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

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

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

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 07:31 PM

The contrabass has in its normal range A-1 to G6

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

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

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

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 07:38 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
The contrabass has in its normal range A-1 to G6

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

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

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


That's wrong.

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

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

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

But do please carry on.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 07:47 PM

That is exactly where the image came from and clearly shows the 8vb and 8va in bass and treble notes respectively to extend the range to where there are ledger lines so that you don't have to write so many ledger lines.


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

Also C4 is middle C so that is even more evidence to that particular range.
Posted by: mrenaud

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 08:30 PM

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

Or maybe that Wikipedia article is wrong, just like my composition teachers, all bassists I've worked with, all textbooks and resources I've consulted and also my own ears. But I wouldn't bet on that.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 08:33 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
That is exactly where the image came from and clearly shows the 8vb and 8va in bass and treble notes respectively to extend the range to where there are ledger lines so that you don't have to write so many ledger lines.


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


Well, no. Has your teacher yet taught you the difference between the bass and treble clefs? I know having different clefs is probably as confusing for you as the K. numbering system for Mozart's works, but it's another case where doing a little extra work now will really pay off for you in the long run.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/11/14 10:11 PM

yes my teacher has taught me the difference between treble and bass clefs and I know which clef is which and I know that instruments that are primarily bass also have at the higher end some treble notes like the cello is primarily small and great octaves but has some contra, 1st,and 2nd octave in there as well.

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

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


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

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

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/12/14 12:08 AM

But the picture you are referring to in Wikipedia is labeled "Playing Range." It doesn't say "Written Range." Playing range = sounding range. If you click on the label "Playing Range" at the top of the picture, it takes you to another page showing the ranges for all instruments. This chart shows the range of the double bass as E1 to A3. As the article explains, basses can be stretched down an additional major third, to C1. On the rages page, you can also compare the bass range to the piano range. No extended range piano is needed to cover the range of the bass. Regular pianos go down to A0.

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

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/12/14 12:51 AM

I tried to play this etude when I first got it (because why not, and even if I can't play it up to speed, it wouldn't hurt to improve this particular technique which is difficult for me). I couldn't get past the first few measures without being bored and giving up. I think it would be interesting if someone used this technique and made a more playable piece out of it.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/12/14 01:25 AM

"The technique" meaning continuous double (and triple) notes in both hands?
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/12/14 02:02 AM

I don't normally get bass and treble clef confused but somebody else said that the bottom note in that picture is contra C.

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

It is often hard for me to do that, especially bass to tenor translation.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/12/14 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
"The technique" meaning continuous double (and triple) notes in both hands?

Look at it, see how you would finger it. To me the most obvious way is to play one chord with the 1st and 5th finger, then some combination of the inside fingers, back and forth. That is not easy to play (it shows up towards the beginning of the third movement of Beethoven's appassionata sonata, toughest part of the whole sonata imo)
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/12/14 04:50 PM

Check out Rachmaninoff 23/9.
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/12/14 04:52 PM

My nightmare still is Evryali, Xenakis, but some messed up notes, who cares...
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/12/14 08:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Check out Rachmaninoff 23/9.

Good one. If only it weren't right-hand only.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/16/14 02:16 PM

I once saw in a list of videos 2 pianos 16 hands. It is impossible to have 4 players on 1 piano so it is impossible to have 2 pianos 16 hands.

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

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/16/14 04:03 PM

I must say, caters, your posts are rather amusing if nothing else.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/16/14 04:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Vid

Ouch!!! I know someone who is the pianist equivalent of this woman.


I wish you'd leave me out of this!
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/16/14 04:22 PM

Sorry, Plowboy, that joke's taken. grin
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/16/14 05:57 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
I once saw in a list of videos 2 pianos 16 hands. It is impossible to have 4 players on 1 piano so it is impossible to have 2 pianos 16 hands.


I've no idea of what you're on about in your second paragraph, so I've deleted it wink .

But in case you're interested, the world record for the largest number of musicians playing the same instrument simultaneously has recently been broken, in Manchester, England. Sixteen pianists joined forces to perform Ticcatoccatina, a five-minute work for 32 hands on one piano by Tom Harrold.

Check that out, baby! grin
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/16/14 07:46 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: caters
I once saw in a list of videos 2 pianos 16 hands. It is impossible to have 4 players on 1 piano so it is impossible to have 2 pianos 16 hands.


I've no idea of what you're on about in your second paragraph, so I've deleted it wink .

But in case you're interested, the world record for the largest number of musicians playing the same instrument simultaneously has recently been broken, in Manchester, England. Sixteen pianists joined forces to perform Ticcatoccatina, a five-minute work for 32 hands on one piano by Tom Harrold.

Check that out, baby! grin


How is it possible for 16 pianists to be playing on the same piano? I mean I can see how 16 pianists can play on 8, 16, or any number between those but 16 pianists playing 1 piano seems impossible.
Posted by: patH

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/17/14 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
But about your comment - isn't it at least possible that someone else might find it musically interesting enough to attempt it, rather than just because it's "unplayable"? I rather like it in this very playable player piano performance, which was made by the person Ligeti entrusted it to (the sound quality of the video is not so great, unfortunately).

Didn't sound too bad in the beginning; in the end it became a bit repetitive. But then, so are lots of Bach preludes from the well tempered piano.

As for a living pianist attempting this: I was a bit reminded of Depardieu playing the piano in "Green Card". I guess someone could try to hammer a piano in a certain way, and lots of people couldn't tell the difference with the Ligeti.

Green Card scene (playing starts at ca. 1:50)
Posted by: patH

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/17/14 06:10 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
And anyway, topics about "the most" whatever are inane by definition, since there is no way to determine "hardest", "greatest", "saddest", "best", etc.

To paraphrase a German football coach: The hardest piece is always the next one. wink
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/18/14 02:29 PM

The contrabass and Double bass are two names for the same exact instrument. Playing range = written range which for most instruments = sounding range but for things like the piccolo and contrabass it doesn't. The contrabass can play down to c in the great octave with an 8vb written but it sounds as if it is playing an octave lower than written. Thus my reasoning towards extended pianos.

As to the number of pianos needed to play Mozart's symphony no. 40 I realized that I don't need 14 pianists on 7 pianos. I can actually have 3 treble and 1 bass instrument per piano thus lowering it down to 4 pianos and 7 pianists but that is still a septet. Why my reasoning towards 3 treble and 1 bass per piano? Well there are fewer bass instruments than treble instruments in the orchestra and that ratio is approximately 3 treble : 1 bass.

This ratio and the 4 instruments per piano means that I can have all the notes of a quartet as a duet for 1 piano 4 hands
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/18/14 02:34 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
The contrabass can play down to c in the great octave with an 8vb written but it sounds as if it is playing an octave lower than written. Thus my reasoning towards extended pianos.

grin
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/18/14 04:12 PM

Beam me up, Scotty...
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/18/14 07:15 PM

Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Here's a sample from Ligeti etude 14-A, which is so hard it hasn't been played by a human. The tempo marking is very precise, half-note = 105.



Also, I think it would be unfaithful to the score to play it quietly, but that might just be my own personal interpretation. Try playing a bit of it.


8f's? Not possible unless you have a whole orchestra playing mezzo forte or something. Nobody could hit the piano hard enough for it without muddying the notes into a dissonant chord or worse, breaking a piano. For me what sounds forte is mezzo forte but what sounds piano is piano. Somehow my ears or my brain have the louder dynamics displaced so that mezzo forte sounds forte and forte sounds fortissimo. I am not getting deaf of these loud sounds like how Beethoven got deaf, just they are displaced so that there is a smaller gap between mezzo piano and forte than there should be. I have seen in musescore if you look at the dynamics window they have everything from 6 p's to 6 f's. Now how can somebody ever hear 6 p's on the piano or not get deaf from 6 f's on the piano.

Beethoven I do beleive not only got deaf of higher frequencies first but also of louder dynamics first.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/18/14 07:16 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Here's a sample from Ligeti etude 14-A, which is so hard it hasn't been played by a human. The tempo marking is very precise, half-note = 105.



Also, I think it would be unfaithful to the score to play it quietly, but that might just be my own personal interpretation. Try playing a bit of it.


8f's? Not possible unless you have a whole orchestra playing mezzo forte or something. Nobody could hit the piano hard enough for it without muddying the notes into a dissonant chord.

grin
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/18/14 08:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: caters
Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Here's a sample from Ligeti etude 14-A, which is so hard it hasn't been played by a human. The tempo marking is very precise, half-note = 105.



Also, I think it would be unfaithful to the score to play it quietly, but that might just be my own personal interpretation. Try playing a bit of it.


8f's? Not possible unless you have a whole orchestra playing mezzo forte or something. Nobody could hit the piano hard enough for it without muddying the notes into a dissonant chord.

grin

Break the piano on the first chord and that will solve the problem of playing the rest of the song
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/18/14 08:09 PM

A wise solution.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/18/14 08:59 PM

breaking a piano is not wise. What is wise is letting an orchestra play this Ligeti Etude 14a instead of a pianist because orchestras can get much louder than pianos can.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/18/14 09:03 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
breaking a piano is not wise. What is wise is letting an orchestra play this instead of a pianist because orchestras can get much louder than pianos can.

http://youtu.be/9aO6_ONXp-Y
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/18/14 09:06 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
breaking a piano is not wise.

grin
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/19/14 01:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: caters
breaking a piano is not wise.

grin

Polyphonist's posts are getting shorter and shorter. Soon he is going to post comments without any writing at all.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/19/14 01:13 AM

Perhaps it's likely. But for some reason I feel the urge to respond to all caters' posts with the grin emoticon.
Posted by: Damon

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/19/14 11:14 AM

Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: caters
breaking a piano is not wise.

grin

Polyphonist's posts are getting shorter and shorter. Soon he is going to post comments without any writing at all.


!deednI |
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/19/14 07:14 PM

Ligeti's etude no.14 is written for pianists, and the 14-A version is for player piano (if i'm not mistaken).

If we're talking about hard "songs", Christopher O'Riley's Radiohead transcriptions are insanely difficult.
Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/19/14 10:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Ligeti's etude no.14 is written for pianists, and the 14-A version is for player piano (if i'm not mistaken).



You are not mistaken. 14-A was published for player piano, with a live performer being "ad lib." option (which might well have been a bit of drollery by Mr. Ligeti, IMO).

The issue of dynamics is a non-issue. Dynamics within a solo piece are scaled to the instrument on which the music is being played. If a composer takes poetic license with them, that's a consideration, too, and literal-mindedness becomes a serious liability.
Posted by: Brendan

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 09:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
If we're talking about hard "songs", Christopher O'Riley's Radiohead transcriptions are insanely difficult.


They're hard, but not impossible. Most of the stuff in there is pretty natural after you practice it for a while. They're a blast to play, though!
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 07:51 PM

8 f's is impossible with a piano. The loudest I can get is 3 f's. forte is always the same number of decibels no matter what instrument and so a whole orchestra playing forte wounds like x decibels(where x is the number of decibels in forte) * number of instruments and so would hurt your ears. That is how come not every instrument plays forte in an orchestra.
Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 08:14 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
8 f's is impossible with a piano. The loudest I can get is 3 f's. forte is always the same number of decibels no matter what instrument and so a whole orchestra playing forte wounds like x decibels(where x is the number of decibels in forte) * number of instruments and so would hurt your ears. That is how come not every instrument plays forte in an orchestra.


How old are you?
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: caters
8 f's is impossible with a piano. The loudest I can get is 3 f's. forte is always the same number of decibels no matter what instrument and so a whole orchestra playing forte wounds like x decibels(where x is the number of decibels in forte) * number of instruments and so would hurt your ears. That is how come not every instrument plays forte in an orchestra.

How old are you?

A question I have, with difficulty, long refrained from asking. grin
Posted by: FSO

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 08:19 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
8 f's is impossible with a piano. The loudest I can get is 3 f's. forte is always the same number of decibels no matter what instrument and so a whole orchestra playing forte wounds like x decibels(where x is the number of decibels in forte) * number of instruments and so would hurt your ears. That is how come not every instrument plays forte in an orchestra.

Sorry caters, but decibels work logarithmically, the piano/forte scale works proportionately; one does not map to the other without some scaling factor, i.e. the performer. Um...as such, a piece could be written with a thousand fortissimos and be possible to play with a single finger. I could be wrong...but I don't *think* I am...
Xxx
Posted by: Damon

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 09:52 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
a whole orchestra playing forte wounds like x decibels(where x is the number of decibels in forte) * number of instruments and so would hurt your ears.


You have no idea what you are talking about. The equation you just advanced would suggest that 10 instruments playing at 100 decibels would be the equivalent of 1000 decibels. In reality it would be about 110 decibels.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 10:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: caters
8 f's is impossible with a piano. The loudest I can get is 3 f's. forte is always the same number of decibels no matter what instrument and so a whole orchestra playing forte wounds like x decibels(where x is the number of decibels in forte) * number of instruments and so would hurt your ears. That is how come not every instrument plays forte in an orchestra.

How old are you?

A question I have, with difficulty, long refrained from asking. grin


I am 15
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 10:32 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: caters
8 f's is impossible with a piano. The loudest I can get is 3 f's. forte is always the same number of decibels no matter what instrument and so a whole orchestra playing forte wounds like x decibels(where x is the number of decibels in forte) * number of instruments and so would hurt your ears. That is how come not every instrument plays forte in an orchestra.

How old are you?

A question I have, with difficulty, long refrained from asking. grin

I am 15

I'm surprised. My guess was about half that. wink
Posted by: Piano Doug

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 10:39 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
I am 15


So you are not a stem cell scientist, as it states in your profile?
Posted by: DameMyra

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 11:02 PM

Deleted. Not liking it when I'm being rude or snarky.
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 11:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Piano Doug
Originally Posted By: caters
I am 15


So you are not a stem cell scientist, as it states in your profile?


not for real but I often pretend to be one.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 11:07 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
Originally Posted By: Piano Doug
Originally Posted By: caters
I am 15

So you are not a stem cell scientist, as it states in your profile?

not for real but I often pretend to be one.

Things are becoming clearer by the minute.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/20/14 11:29 PM

Troll caught.
Posted by: Piano Doug

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 12:01 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Troll caught.


What do we do with it?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 12:03 AM

grin
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 12:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Piano Doug
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Troll caught.


What do we do with it?

Who can say? Why don't we have a vote.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 01:46 AM

Originally Posted By: DameMyra
Deleted. Not liking it when I'm being rude or snarky.

Yeah, I should probably edit my own posts this way more often.........
Posted by: caters

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 01:54 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Troll caught.


I am not a troll. Just because my profile says I am something when I am not does not mean I am trolling. and just because I often post things that you say are wrong(not as in wrong to post but as in there is a mistake in the post) doesn't mean I am trolling either.

Polyphonist on the other hand is a troll.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 02:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I'm surprised. My guess was about half that. wink
LOL, but a tiny bit insulting...

Caters: Relax, try emailing the stuff you're about to post to yourself (previewing won't work with you I think) to check the validity of what you're saying

Remember that this forum, unlike most online forums is frequented by older people (I'm 36 for example)...
Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 05:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas

Caters: Relax, try emailing the stuff you're about to post to yourself (previewing won't work with you I think) to check the validity of what you're saying


I don't think he cares - he just wants to argue, instead of learning.

Being a kid can be tough, you know, and issues about authority rear their ugly heads, which is what I think is happening here. Kid just can't deal with the fact that people actually know stuff and have the authoritative knowledge required to say "this is how it is".

Even if I'm an old geezer more than four times his age (I forgot if we established that he's a "he" - sorry if I got that wrong), I still remember some of that phase. Ick...in some ways, it never ends.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 06:31 AM

I don't know, wr... I used to be argumentative when I was about 10, but at 15 I had matured enough to be sure to shut up when I didn't know something. I keep doing that! grin
Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 07:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I don't know, wr... I used to be argumentative when I was about 10, but at 15 I had matured enough to be sure to shut up when I didn't know something. I keep doing that! grin


In the US, 15 seems to be the new 10 (or younger). It's really kind of weird.

On the other hand, there's this whole bizarre thing happening about treating kids as if they are somehow equivalent to much older people in their life experience. It's also really kind of weird.
Posted by: prout

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 09:28 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I don't know, wr... I used to be argumentative when I was about 10, but at 15 I had matured enough to be sure to shut up when I didn't know something. I keep doing that! grin


In the US, 15 seems to be the new 10 (or younger). It's really kind of weird.

On the other hand, there's this whole bizarre thing happening about treating kids as if they are somehow equivalent to much older people in their life experience. It's also really kind of weird.





I was argumentative at 10, and still at 15. And still at 64. One of the best ways to learn is to argue, especially if you argue both points of view.

Many of Caters' arguments follow a line of reasoning to its logical, absurd extreme. This is an excellent way of understanding a problem.

The discussion of dynamic range and decibels, and how what would be perceived as a change in loudness for 100 instruments playing as opposed to 10, and how that would relate to a dynamic marking was not thoroughly researched. Increasing the power output of an acoustic system by a factor of 10 does indeed increase the decibel reading by 10, so if the measured level for 10 violins was 100db, then 100 violins would measure 110 db. However, our ears don't hear the increase as 10 times louder, we would perceive the volume as about twice as loud.

So the question- Is ff twice a loud as f ? - Is fff twice as loud as ff ? Do we care, or, as in most music, do we terrace our dynamics as is Bach's music, to be perceived simply as louder or softer than the preceding section, or play from as soft as is possible to as loud as is possible as in Chopin?
Posted by: DanS

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 09:40 AM

Originally Posted By: prout

The discussion of dynamic range and decibels, and how what would be perceived as a change in loudness for 100 instruments playing as opposed to 10, and how that would relate to a dynamic marking was not thoroughly researched. Increasing the power output of an acoustic system by a factor of 10 does indeed increase the decibel reading by 10, so if the measured level for 10 violins was 100db, then 100 violins would measure 110 db. However, our ears don't hear the increase as 10 times louder, we would perceive the volume as about twice as loud.


FWIW, doubling the number of instruments, assuming they're all playing exactly the same, will increase the dB by 3 (measured in SPL). So if 10 violins is 100 dB, 20 violins would be 103 dB, 40 violins would be 106 dB etc.
Posted by: wr

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 07:45 PM

Originally Posted By: prout
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I don't know, wr... I used to be argumentative when I was about 10, but at 15 I had matured enough to be sure to shut up when I didn't know something. I keep doing that! grin


In the US, 15 seems to be the new 10 (or younger). It's really kind of weird.

On the other hand, there's this whole bizarre thing happening about treating kids as if they are somehow equivalent to much older people in their life experience. It's also really kind of weird.





I was argumentative at 10, and still at 15. And still at 64. One of the best ways to learn is to argue, especially if you argue both points of view.



Gawd, not another one...oh, well, my "Ignore user" button still works, should it come to that.

It would be lovely if any learning seemed to be taking place with this kid, but I haven't noticed much. For example, I indicated two ways of how the dynamics in the Ligeti piece can be correctly read, but he simply ignored them and kept hammering on with his absurd nonsense.

Quote:


The discussion of dynamic range and decibels, and how what would be perceived as a change in loudness for 100 instruments playing as opposed to 10, and how that would relate to a dynamic marking was not thoroughly researched. Increasing the power output of an acoustic system by a factor of 10 does indeed increase the decibel reading by 10, so if the measured level for 10 violins was 100db, then 100 violins would measure 110 db. However, our ears don't hear the increase as 10 times louder, we would perceive the volume as about twice as loud.

So the question- Is ff twice a loud as f ? - Is fff twice as loud as ff ? Do we care, or, as in most music, do we terrace our dynamics as is Bach's music, to be perceived simply as louder or softer than the preceding section, or play from as soft as is possible to as loud as is possible as in Chopin?



The dynamic indications in piano music aren't about absolute, measurable levels of volume. Anyone who has played classical music for more than a short while should know that.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 07:57 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
The dynamic indications in piano music aren't about absolute, measurable levels of volume. Anyone who has played classical music for more than a short while should know that.

Right. Everything is relative and up for interpretive judgement. To try to assign an exact decibel volume to a dynamic is as ridiculous as trying to assign an exact BPM to a tempo marking.
Posted by: Piano Doug

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 09:30 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
It would be lovely if any learning seemed to be taking place with this kid, but I haven't noticed much. For example, I indicated two ways of how the dynamics in the Ligeti piece can be correctly read, but he simply ignored them and kept hammering on with his absurd nonsense.



Yes, and despite a number of posters trying to correct his mistaken belief about the range of the double bass, he continues to harp on about the need for an extended range piano for transcriptions involving the bass.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 09:32 PM

And the need for a ridiculous amount of pianos to give a rendition of a Mozart symphony, which he insists uses notes down to 32-foot C. ha
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 10:03 PM

Originally Posted By: caters
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Troll caught.


I am not a troll. Just because my profile says I am something when I am not does not mean I am trolling. and just because I often post things that you say are wrong(not as in wrong to post but as in there is a mistake in the post) doesn't mean I am trolling either.
You are 100% correct.

The real problem at PW are the posters who frequently write nasty, mean spirited, or arrogant posts. Or the posters that use PW for endless back and forth arguments about the most trivial matters possible.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 10:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: caters
]
I am 15

I'm surprised. My guess was about half that. wink
So incredibly obnoxious and mean spirited.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 10:11 PM

The Forum Policeman is on the scene.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 11:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: wr
The dynamic indications in piano music aren't about absolute, measurable levels of volume. Anyone who has played classical music for more than a short while should know that.

Right. Everything is relative and up for interpretive judgement. To try to assign an exact decibel volume to a dynamic is as ridiculous as trying to assign an exact BPM to a tempo marking.

You are right of course, but all the same I am going to look down on any performance that doesn't end with at least two broken piano strings.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: The hardest piano piece ever written - 04/21/14 11:48 PM

What if I break all the strings? Do I get a prize?
Posted by: T.M.E.

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/23/14 10:32 PM

Hamelin's Circus Gallop!
But the most difficult posisble pieces probably would be Busoni's piano concerto and one of Prokofiev's.... probably his second.
Some people say Rach 3, Tchaikovsky 1 or Brahms 2 but I disagree...
I find the most difficult pieces to play are ones that you don't enjoy.
Posted by: phantomFive

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/23/14 10:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
What if I break all the strings? Do I get a prize?

You win my utmost praise and respect for any song where you accomplish that.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The hardest song ever written - 04/24/14 06:59 AM

I've heard opus clavicembalisticum can be quite difficult if you've not warmed up properly. Finnissy's English Country Tunes is also quite tricky, so I've heard, and his The History of Photography in Sound has a couple of spots of bother. Frankly, um, a lot more difficult than anything I've discovered of the composers thus far mentioned...Ligeti's etudes can be made harder by increasing the tempo laugh
Xxx