when is enough enough

Posted by: adultpianist

when is enough enough - 07/10/13 08:43 PM

How far are you prepared to take your studies, and to what level?

I will carry on learning until I have reached a reasonable standard and can sight read with ease. But even at an expert level, I have seen concert pianists talking through the music with the conductor and they discuss things and make little changes to suit one another. I don't think you ever stop learning.
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: when is enough enough - 07/10/13 08:48 PM

Keep it up as long as you enjoy what you are doing! And if the joy goes away one day, make minor changes to your routines to re-ignite your interest. Alas, it is a never ending pursuit. smile
Posted by: Brent H

Re: when is enough enough - 07/10/13 08:57 PM

I don't do studies, per se. By the time I finished graduate school I'd have more than my lifetime's ration of studying.

I ask my music teacher to help me with whatever I'm currently pursuing, musically. Sometimes it's just a simple pointer that gets me over a small hurdle. Other times it's an ongoing process that takes several small steps with practice in between.

But no overarching goal (other than making the kinds of music that I'm into) and no curriculum or benchmarks. So in a sense, it may never be "enough" for me. At some point it might not make sense to do a lesson every week but I can't imagine any real end to my desire to gain more insight into my playing (and singing for that matter).
Posted by: Derulux

Re: when is enough enough - 07/10/13 09:06 PM

Enough is enough when you can't do any more. Personally, I can never do enough. wink
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: when is enough enough - 07/10/13 09:23 PM

There was another thread that mentioned goal setting. My piano goals seem more modest than most. I understand that regulars on a piano forum tend to be enthusiasts, many with a burning passion.

Each person has their own priorities. I tend to be process oriented, so I don't aim for any particular level (eg: exams) or pieces. For me, the priority is to enjoy the journey, and learn some along the way.

Some seem much more interested in maximizing their abilities. For me, if I have twice as much fun and get half as far, so to speak, I'm willing to make that trade off.

I use the word hobbyist. Some people dislike the word, but it is accurate for me. Hobbies are supposed to be fun. There are many more important things than hobbies. These include: family, physical health, financial well being, friends. All these I put in front of my hobbies. Others may have such a burning desire and passion that they sacrifice one or more of those for their piano journey. I don't see a right or wrong in that, as long as it is a conscious choice.
Posted by: Whizbang

Re: when is enough enough - 07/10/13 09:44 PM

Originally Posted By: adultpianist
How far are you prepared to take your studies, and to what level?


I don't understand why I play piano. I just--have to?

I don't really have a final level I'm striving for. My musical aptitude is not so great, but I feel I do myself a disservice if I don't try my best. So I guess I'm going to get to whatever level that gets me to.
Posted by: ElleC

Re: when is enough enough - 07/10/13 11:10 PM

I have no intention of becoming anything but a piano hobbyist. I love learning what I can and I try my best and get the most out the experience. But I think I'm a little too old and past my prime to gear myself towards perfecting this instrument. I don't intend to go on competitions, but I may join another recital with the 5-10 year olds for fun. If I have an ultimate goal, it would be to learn as many techniques as I can so that I can get to a level where I'm satisfied with my skills and won't need a teacher. I know that's kind of a broad/bold statement...again I'm not planning to compete or become a concert pianist. Just wanna learn enough to cruise.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 02:19 AM

Originally Posted By: adultpianist
How far are you prepared to take your studies, and to what level?


I set out from the beginning to write music. I easily come up with lyrics. I wish to write melodies.

Originally Posted By: adultpianist
But even at an expert level, I have seen concert pianists talking through the music with the conductor and they discuss things and make little changes to suit one another.


They are discussing their interpretation of the music. It is one thing to copy perfectly. It is a whole different thing to play music.
Seiji Ozawa creates music out of Beethoven and other's. I have not seen another conductor that does anything but try to copy perfectly. Seiji is in a league of his own. Seiji gets it.
I also admit. I am not the greatest listener of Classical. What I have heard, I have heard.
The only other person I have heard in classical close to this is when I saw the movie about the pianist who went crazy. He would go to a night club where they had a piano. He would play it. What I heard in that movie out of him was impressive.
I enjoyed it.

I won't go into other Genre's of music. There are those that people really create music. I enjoy it. Some even extremely simple stuff. Some just didn't have the money for instruments. Weren't allowed an education in music. Yet, they created music that I consider great. It's because they had music in their hearts. They shared it. That's all that counts.

Originally Posted By: adultpianist
I don't think you ever stop learning.


When you stop learning, you die.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 02:40 AM

As far as my lazy discipline can take me.
Posted by: outo

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 03:22 AM

Originally Posted By: adultpianist
How far are you prepared to take your studies, and to what level?


As far as I can...I assume my natural limitations will become an obstacle before I have reached the level I would want to get to... I would be very happy to be able to learn some advanced repertoire when I retire. But if not I'll settle on the ability to play few hundred Scarlatti sonatas smile
Posted by: earlofmar

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 07:27 AM

so long as it keeps giving me a legal high, I'll keep bashing those keys.
Posted by: malkin

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 07:28 AM

Presently, it appears that I will continue until I die. It is quite possible that a change in circumstances would require me to discontinue, but I'll worry about that when it happens.
Posted by: Sam S

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 09:12 AM

It's making music that keeps me moving forward. If it wasn't piano, it would be some other instrument (and has been other instruments in the past). But the piano is so versatile and there is such a vast repertoire of music to play that I doubt I will ever exhaust the possibilities of the piano.

And there is so much to learn. It does keep me sharp and on my toes to learn new things.

Sam
Posted by: Farmerjones

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 09:16 AM

I just go where my curiosity takes me.
Posted by: Peyton

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 09:18 AM

So much of the fun is the learning part. I know sometimes I feel a big let down when I'm done with a piece. As much fun as it is being able to play it all the way through there was something nice about every day sitting down and taking on a new measure. And of course... no piece is ever really "finished".
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 10:37 AM

Quote:
How far are you prepared to take your studies, and to what level?


I plan to take my piano studies as far as I possibly can, and to the highest level I can possibly achieve. 

After starting as an adult, I have been been playing for 14 years now (wow!) I have had a teacher almost constantly (except for a few 3-6 month stretches when my schedule has prevented me from having regular lessons).  I have recently been noticing more and more that I don't need a teacher for a lot of pieces that I want to play (especially Nevue and Einaudi pieces).  I've just had about 7 weeks of teacher-less-ness, and I worked up some pieces that I'd had on my "play in the future" list for a long time.

But working with a teacher makes it possible for me to tackle more challenging pieces that would take much longer, or not be do-able, on my own. And in the last few weeks, while I was without lessons, I set aside some more difficult pieces to come back to when I get back to my weekly lesson (starting next week, yay!)

I consider myself to be at an intermediate level right now, and there is a lot of music I like at this level. The times I've gone without lessons have shown me that I will always keep playing and can continue to progress and acquire new music on my own. But there is also a lot of music above my current level, and especially because of those times without lessons,  it's clear to me that working with a teacher is the best way to make sure that those pieces eventually come within my reach. 
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 10:59 AM

As my Mom used to say: "I'll tell you when you've had enough!"
shocked
Posted by: Mr Super-Hunky

Re: when is enough enough - 07/11/13 02:36 PM

I'll never stop playing for so many reasons. It helps me direct my energy in a positive way and keeps my mind sharp. It also allows me to express my emotions in a way that is more than just a smile and a laugh.

Playing piano also helps me unwind late in the evening before bed.

I could go on and on but like the old TV commercial....

Pork chops and stuffing,....I'm stayin'!

Plowboy, your mom sounds like mine. She used to drill the phrase "Don't be so easily satisfied" into me. European old school tough.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 07:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Peyton
So much of the fun is the learning part. I know sometimes I feel a big let down when I'm done with a piece. As much fun as it is being able to play it all the way through there was something nice about every day sitting down and taking on a new measure. And of course... no piece is ever really "finished".


That last part sounds really profound, but I wonder...

If not permanently "finished" then temporarily finished...

It would seem that on the surface of things that for any given player at a certain level of expertise at a given point in time there is probably only so much that can be done or accomplished with a certain piece of music - no matter how long or hard it is worked on - and so, given all this, the piece is finished.

Later, as one's abilities improve and skills increase and the same piece is again attempted, there probably will be more one can do with it - technically and interpretively - to "finish" it at a more sophisticated, better played and better sounding level - but here again there is a point beyond which very little or nothing can be done to finish it even more, and so it is "finished"...

And on it goes...but it is doubtful if this cycle can continue indefinitely, and so at some point it is finally finished.

Now, I am finished...
Posted by: Peyton

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 08:00 AM

Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton
So much of the fun is the learning part. I know sometimes I feel a big let down when I'm done with a piece. As much fun as it is being able to play it all the way through there was something nice about every day sitting down and taking on a new measure. And of course... no piece is ever really "finished".


That last part sounds really profound, but I wonder...

If not permanently "finished" then temporarily finished...

It would seem that on the surface of things that for any given player at a certain level of expertise at a given point in time there is probably only so much that can be done or accomplished with a certain piece of music - no matter how long or hard it is worked on - and so, given all this, the piece is finished.

Later, as one's abilities improve and skills increase and the same piece is again attempted, there probably will be more one can do with it - technically and interpretively - to "finish" it at a more sophisticated, better played and better sounding level - but here again there is a point beyond which very little or nothing can be done to finish it even more, and so it is "finished"...

And on it goes...but it is doubtful if this cycle can continue indefinitely, and so at some point it is finally finished.

Now, I am finished...


I don't know John... maybe it's just a character flaw, but I am never satisfied with my playing. I always know I can do better. Nothing ever really feels finished. Don't get me wrong...I like that feeling. It keeps me interested and gives me drive.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 08:02 AM

Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
...it's clear to me that working with a teacher is the best way to make sure that those pieces eventually come within my reach. 


In a larger sense aren't we all self-taught?

How much of one's piano studies are actually accomplished in the presence of a teacher? Less than 5% probably...

Most of one's work is done alone - both the physical work of playing/practicing and the psychological/emotional work involved in persisting and motivating and encouraging yourself.

Random thoughts on a rainy day...
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 08:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Peyton
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton
So much of the fun is the learning part. I know sometimes I feel a big let down when I'm done with a piece. As much fun as it is being able to play it all the way through there was something nice about every day sitting down and taking on a new measure. And of course... no piece is ever really "finished".


That last part sounds really profound, but I wonder...

If not permanently "finished" then temporarily finished...

It would seem that on the surface of things that for any given player at a certain level of expertise at a given point in time there is probably only so much that can be done or accomplished with a certain piece of music - no matter how long or hard it is worked on - and so, given all this, the piece is finished.

Later, as one's abilities improve and skills increase and the same piece is again attempted, there probably will be more one can do with it - technically and interpretively - to "finish" it at a more sophisticated, better played and better sounding level - but here again there is a point beyond which very little or nothing can be done to finish it even more, and so it is "finished"...

And on it goes...but it is doubtful if this cycle can continue indefinitely, and so at some point it is finally finished.

Now, I am finished...


I don't know John... maybe it's just a character flaw, but I am never satisfied with my playing. I always know I can do better. Nothing ever really feels finished. Don't get me wrong...I like that feeling. It keeps me interested and gives me drive.


Peyton - not a "character flaw", because I feel the same way more often than not (and I certainly don't have any character flaws laugh ) - but maybe it's just a matter of setting one's standards too high, or operating under the illusion that there is more one can do, or believing too much in the "myth" that a piece is never really finished (because one can't play it perfectly every time - or even at all).

When is a piece "finished"?

Technically, it's probably finished when one can play it perfectly as written. Interpretively, it's probably never finished because there may be an almost unlimited number of interpretations and variations one can put on it...perhaps this is what is meant by a piece never being finished...
Posted by: manyhands

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 08:17 AM

Lessons help me grow (entering yr 5) and give me someone to talk to about music which is absent elsewhere in my life...hmmmm have to do something about that!
Posted by: Brent H

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 08:42 AM

TrapperJohn,

Here on ABF it's my feeling that we're a mixture of two strains of piano hobbyists. One strain is motivated primarily by the challenge of "getting better" and/or they are really into the whole "a piece is never finished" type pursuit of perfection. The other strain, in which I hope it's not too presumptuous of me to include yourself, is not looking for mountains to climb but just into playing tunes and hearing the hopefully lovely sounds that our piano can make when played with any modicum of technique at all.

I have to take care to remember that even though a perfectionistic set of expectations would make me, personally, so miserable I'd quit playing tomorrow for some other people my own ideas of "that sounds good enough, let's move on" would be just a miserably discouraging. But one result is in threads like this the two types of ABF'ers can end up talking across each other rather with each other...
Posted by: Peyton

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 09:14 AM

Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton
So much of the fun is the learning part. I know sometimes I feel a big let down when I'm done with a piece. As much fun as it is being able to play it all the way through there was something nice about every day sitting down and taking on a new measure. And of course... no piece is ever really "finished".


That last part sounds really profound, but I wonder...

If not permanently "finished" then temporarily finished...

It would seem that on the surface of things that for any given player at a certain level of expertise at a given point in time there is probably only so much that can be done or accomplished with a certain piece of music - no matter how long or hard it is worked on - and so, given all this, the piece is finished.

Later, as one's abilities improve and skills increase and the same piece is again attempted, there probably will be more one can do with it - technically and interpretively - to "finish" it at a more sophisticated, better played and better sounding level - but here again there is a point beyond which very little or nothing can be done to finish it even more, and so it is "finished"...

And on it goes...but it is doubtful if this cycle can continue indefinitely, and so at some point it is finally finished.

Now, I am finished...


I don't know John... maybe it's just a character flaw, but I am never satisfied with my playing. I always know I can do better. Nothing ever really feels finished. Don't get me wrong...I like that feeling. It keeps me interested and gives me drive.


Peyton - not a "character flaw", because I feel the same way more often than not (and I certainly don't have any character flaws laugh ) - but maybe it's just a matter of setting one's standards too high, or operating under the illusion that there is more one can do, or believing too much in the "myth" that a piece is never really finished (because one can't play it perfectly every time - or even at all).

When is a piece "finished"?

Technically, it's probably finished when one can play it perfectly as written. Interpretively, it's probably never finished because there may be an almost unlimited number of interpretations and variations one can put on it...perhaps this is what is meant by a piece never being finished...


There is a quote from a famous musician and I can't remember who the heck it was. It was told to me a long time ago. A famous pianist was asked near the end of his life after countless performances and recordings what he thought about a certain piece that was considered to be the cornerstone of his work. He said something like "I've almost got it!". That says it all to me. A good work is never "finished" because as soon as you think it is you lose something.
Posted by: Brent H

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 09:58 AM

Well that's the kind of thing I was talking about. It's a neat anecdote but it really boils down to illustrating that famous touring concert pianists are incredibly perfectionistic about their performances. I think we all know that.

It certainly doesn't inspire me to try to practice some piece of music until it's so perfect a concert artist would think it's almost "finished". I've found two things about my playing. I really enjoy a good tune played well enough that it sounds beautiful and is recognizable. And other people who hear me play are much more concerned with hearing a tune they love than with figuring out how close to perfectly I played it.

In the end, if it gives me pleasure and gives pleasure to others that's as "finished" as it was ever meant to be.

P.S. I also found if I can sing the words to a song people know, they don't even care if I'm playing the piano at all much less how well I played!
Posted by: Peyton

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 10:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Brent H
Well that's the kind of thing I was talking about. It's a neat anecdote but it really boils down to illustrating that famous touring concert pianists are incredibly perfectionistic about their performances. I think we all know that.

It certainly doesn't inspire me to try to practice some piece of music until it's so perfect a concert artist would think it's almost "finished". I've found two things about my playing. I really enjoy a good tune played well enough that it sounds beautiful and is recognizable. And other people who hear me play are much more concerned with hearing a tune they love than with figuring out how close to perfectly I played it.

In the end, if it gives me pleasure and gives pleasure to others that's as "finished" as it was ever meant to be.

P.S. I also found if I can sing the words to a song people know, they don't even care if I'm playing the piano at all much less how well I played!


I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.
Posted by: keystring

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 10:19 AM

There is a certain element of discovery and growth. There is always something new to discover in a good piece of music, or a new way to expand it. There are always other ways of hearing, or drawing out a note or a series of notes, or using silence. You're not trying to "complete" something like putting together an Ikea chair and when the last bolt is in place and it looks and functions like a chair, you know it's done. There is a creative element and that's the fun part. (Something like that).
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 07:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Brent H


It certainly doesn't inspire me to try to practice some piece of music until it's so perfect a concert artist would think it's almost "finished". I've found two things about my playing. I really enjoy a good tune played well enough that it sounds beautiful and is recognizable. And other people who hear me play are much more concerned with hearing a tune they love than with figuring out how close to perfectly I played it.



Well stated Brent - I agree with this approach or attitude to a very large extent, especially the part I've italicized...it's nice if others think so too, but since I'm playing it - creating it or re-creating it - what matters most is what I think and feel...although this in itself goes to the "when is it finished" question because the next question is: just how beautiful can one make it sound given additional efforts?
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 07:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh
Posted by: dmd

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 08:01 PM

Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh



I think that you absolutely do get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over. But then, you remind yourself that it is necessary if you wish to be able to play something very well and not just ok. It just plain requires repetition and plenty of it.

Now, you can stop playing something for awhile and then come back to it in 2 or 3 months and then hit it hard again for a week or so. There are any number of ways to get the reps in ... but you do need the reps.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/12/13 10:32 PM

Originally Posted By: dmd


Now, you can stop playing something for awhile and then come back to it in 2 or 3 months and then hit it hard again for a week or so. There are any number of ways to get the reps in ... but you do need the reps.



I know this works - I've used this "technique" several times with favorite pieces I really loved - work on it until its "finished" - set it aside to rest for awhile - then hammer it again with even more determination and intensity - it's invariably better with the 2nd and 3rd efforts - sort of like a romance with a spirited, haughty and independent woman! smile
Posted by: Peyton

Re: when is enough enough - 07/15/13 07:55 AM

Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh


That's what I'm trying to say... if it's a beautiful piece (take any Chopin prelude for example)... I never ever get tired of playing it over and over. I think part of the reason is because I'm constantly thinking..."I can make this better." For me that just makes playing even more enjoyable... knowing that "I'm not there yet" and that I can still improve. You ask "When is better not hardly recognizable as better?" and I don't know the answer because I've never reached that point. Maybe, if anyone else was listening, they would not hear the difference, but I do.
Posted by: iceporky

Re: when is enough enough - 07/15/13 08:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger
Some seem much more interested in maximizing their abilities. For me, if I have twice as much fun and get half as far, so to speak, I'm willing to make that trade off.


Where is the Like button?
Posted by: outo

Re: when is enough enough - 07/15/13 10:27 AM

People are different...I am a perfectionist and always will be. That is probably the reason why I got so sucked into learning piano... Finally something that I won't get bored at because things become easy or "done".

There are pieces that are not worth perfecting, but many are and I don't think I will ever get permanently tired of them. They may never be perfect enough in my own ears, but I will leave them for a while when I see no improvement and come back later when I have evolved enough to make them even better. I can easily understand why some real pianists feel they have never finished a piece they have been playing for years.

I think I enjoy solving problems more than just playing things.
At least for now performing is not interesting to me. I just want to uncover all the secrets to the perfect sound and technique smile
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/15/13 02:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Peyton
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh


That's what I'm trying to say... if it's a beautiful piece (take any Chopin prelude for example)... I never ever get tired of playing it over and over. I think part of the reason is because I'm constantly thinking..."I can make this better." For me that just makes playing even more enjoyable... knowing that "I'm not there yet" and that I can still improve. You ask "When is better not hardly recognizable as better?" and I don't know the answer because I've never reached that point. Maybe, if anyone else was listening, they would not hear the difference, but I do.


OK - fair enough - but then if you got to the point with a piece where it was near perfection to most listeners, and they no longer could say it had gotten better; and more, if after a series of attempts you couldn't hear any difference or tell that the latest version was better - would you know or recognize or acknowledge that point?
Posted by: Peyton

Re: when is enough enough - 07/15/13 03:32 PM

Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh


That's what I'm trying to say... if it's a beautiful piece (take any Chopin prelude for example)... I never ever get tired of playing it over and over. I think part of the reason is because I'm constantly thinking..."I can make this better." For me that just makes playing even more enjoyable... knowing that "I'm not there yet" and that I can still improve. You ask "When is better not hardly recognizable as better?" and I don't know the answer because I've never reached that point. Maybe, if anyone else was listening, they would not hear the difference, but I do.


OK - fair enough - but then if you got to the point with a piece where it was near perfection to most listeners, and they no longer could say it had gotten better; and more, if after a series of attempts you couldn't hear any difference or tell that the latest version was better - would you know or recognize or acknowledge that point?


To tell you the truth, I don't think I put that much importance on what "listeners" think (unless of course you are talking a master pianist/instructor). I love it when people say "that was beautiful" and, although I certainly appreciate praise and want people to like what I play I still know it was no where near what I really wanted it to sound like. And John, I don't think I think of pieces that I'm working on (and I have been working on some for over 15 years now) as "versions". To me that sounds too cut and dried like "Here is this way and now here is this way". There are so many possibilities and so many nuances that I never think of them as separate versions. I don't think I'm expressing my self very well here but I think in a nutshell, if that's possible, what I'm trying to say is that I feel that a piece of music is kept alive by the musician always trying to make it "better"...not "perfect".( Who is to say what is "perfect"?) The most boring artists and musicians are the one's that have found a formula that works and just keep doing the same thing over and over.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/15/13 08:17 PM

Peyton - very well done! I've pressed you pretty hard on this, and...

You've taken every question and objection that I raised and blown them aside like so much dust in the wind...

I stand enlightened and somewhat humbled.

Looking forward to hearing/seeing your latest "unfinished" gem in the Aug. ABF Recital!
Posted by: Peyton

Re: when is enough enough - 07/15/13 10:23 PM

Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Peyton - very well done! I've pressed you pretty hard on this, and...

You've taken every question and objection that I raised and blown them aside like so much dust in the wind...

I stand enlightened and somewhat humbled.

Looking forward to hearing/seeing your latest "unfinished" gem in the Aug. ABF Recital!


You have come up with some very good and interesting points as well. It's a very enlightening discussion with no obvious answer but one I love to ponder.

Another thought I was having about "finishing a piece"... Just as a painter has to at some point say the painting is "done", sign it and frame it, so a composer must do the same. I wonder if Chopin always played his published pieces in a similar fashion while performing? I'm guessing he was always changing here and there but I would love to know.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: when is enough enough - 07/16/13 06:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Peyton


Another thought I was having about "finishing a piece"... Just as a painter has to at some point say the painting is "done", sign it and frame it, so a composer must do the same. I wonder if Chopin always played his published pieces in a similar fashion while performing? I'm guessing he was always changing here and there but I would love to know.


I don't know for sure since - contrary to popular public opinion - I wasn't actually around when he was performing (I'm old, but not that old laugh ) I'm guessing that what you're guessing is in fact the case. Any good biography would probably shed much light on this.

From my own reading I've learned that it was a rare exception when any of the major Classical or Romantic composers ever performed any of their own works "as written" - improvisation and variations were the norm...this went to their highly prized reputation for "spontaneous creativity"...
Posted by: Ataru074

Re: when is enough enough - 07/16/13 12:08 PM

Enough is when you are not yet comfortable to move to the next piece. I don't believe you can reach the "perfection" of the piece you are studying now, without moving on to the next "level". I believe you can perfect the "now" piece in few years, when your general technique will be more mature.