I need your help with the following terms and questions:
a) what is the texture of a piece ?
b) what is the form of a piece ?
c) what is a melodic phrase ?
d) how can I determine the tempo mark of a piece ? (for pieces with no tempo mark)
e) where can I source the urtext of a classic piece from in order to determine the original intentions of the composer?
f) is determining the scale of a piece is the same as determining the key note ( signature )
Knowing that you are a relative beginner, I was wondering where these questions were coming from. I had rather guessed that it was as you have written below:
While as I do not need to concern myself, sometime I need to start to broaden my command of the music language. In this case, I was reading a book on playing technique and I have come across these terms. I have seen them before numerous times, looked them up and never grasped them.
As Gyro wrote, you have to get at the fundamental things first, and do a lot of hands-on things. In regards to reading texts about
music, well maybe they will give you some general broad idea (or not) but that's not how to do it. Could you have understood math, algebra, writing, by reading about them? No, you had to work on exercises and do things. It's the same here, and even more so since piano is physical. But here's to get you started:a) what is the texture of a piece?
My music dictionary says "The general pattern of sound created by the elements of a work...." and then gives examples like "polyphony" which won't mean anything to you yet. However, you can start becoming aware of some things now. Does the piece you are practising have chords in the LH and a melody in the RH? Or do you hear two melodies weaving in and out? These are textures. There are many more.
I'll bet that there are a lot of musicians who have played music for years who never heard the word "texture". b) what is the form of a piece?
When you get more advanced in music you may start studying "forms", erm, formally. Getting all the names is relatively unimportant except maybe for passing exams and sounding smart. But knowing about form in general is useful.
Example: There is music that goes a certain way for a number of lines say in C major (A), then it does a bit of a diddle and suddenly it's doing the same thing in G major (B), then diddles some more and does the same thing as the first time round (A). If you can catch on to this, then playing becomes a whole lot easier because if you've got the first A, then you also have the last one. This one is an ABA form. Its formal name is less important. See if you can discover patterns in the music you play. Do the same for music you listen to. c) what is a melodic phrase?
Melodic means it's in the melody. A phrase is like a sentence, like something that hangs together. In the song "Twinkle", it would seem weird to sing "Twinkle, twinkle Lit-" and stop, or even "Twinkle, twinkle little" - "star" makes it complete. Even without the words, you don't want to stop there.d) how can I determine the tempo mark of a piece ?
You want to determine the tempo or pace, not a number on the metronome. If it's a funeral march, how slow do people walk in a funeral? Get up, pretend you're a pall bearer, and see how you would walk? If it's a waltz, what is a comfortable waltzing speed?e) where can I source the Urtext of a classic piece from in order to determine the original intentions of the composer?
I think you'd have to be rather advanced in music and maybe a bit of a learned scholar to be able to do that - and even then I'd have my doubts.f) is determining the scale of a piece is the same as determining the key note (signature)?
This one IS a question for now. Ok, you (usually) get what key a piece is in through its key signature. There are two possibilities: the major or relative minor key. Example: If there is one flat then it will be in F major or its relative minor, which is 3 notes down using the notes of that key, so D minor. Your clues are that the piece will often end on the note of the key (so on F for F major) and with the I chord (so F major = FAC). The minor will tend to have a lot of accidentals on the 7th note - so for D minor, you will see lots of sharps signs in front of C to make it C#. It will tend to end on D in the melody.
In F major, you would have a major scale going from F to F, and a minor scale of some kind going from D to D. So yes, that is there, but I don't know if you can properly say that it's a way of "determining" your key.
But seriously, stay with the simple more concrete things to begin with, with an eye to expand to these other things eventually. That way, when you run into these terms, you will draw on things that you already noticed in music. It will be more meaningful.