Phrasing - How to do it right

Technique, methods and advice for learners

Postby presto » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:19 pm

I've been learning the 4th movement of one of Beethoven's sonatas (Sonata op. 26)--I learned it first to perform in a recital, and now I'm perfecting it for a college admission audition.

The main problem that is continually cropping up, though, is my lack of phrasing. My teacher says that I simply don't take long-enough breathers between phrases and make it into a stream of unending notes instead (well, she said it more nicely than that--I fortunately happen to have a kind teacher!).

In case you aren't familiar with this piece, it has a rather fast tempo, allegro (though I don't play it nearly as fast as a certain extremely fast recording I've heard), and it seems to me that if I take the time to stop for too long, I'll mess up the tempo. Also, the sheet music doesn't have many pauses written in at all, just phrases.

Do you suppose my problem could be solved by listening to professional music recordings and noting the pauses, or do you suppose there's more to it than that? I don't know. I've always been a fast player, and I guess the concept of pauses just isn't clicking in my brain. I realize, however, how important it is, so I intend to keep trying until I get it. In the meantime, do you have any helpful suggestions or similar experiences you could tell me about? I'd appreciate any help I can get. Thanks. :)




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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:19 am

Presto:

In the Finale of the Beethoven A-flat Sonata, Opus 26, I think it's safe to hear an implied melody in the 16th-note figures (every other note--e-flat, f, d-flat, etc.), and they continually form a duet with the left hand eighths. Note, too, that on the 2nd beat of m.6 the voices are reversed: the r.h. tune goes to the left and vice versa, and the duet comes to a full cadence on the first beat of m.12. These first twelve bars form a two-phrase Period. Then there's an episode to bar 20, which is repeated, with switched hands again, to m.28.

I don't mean to lapse into Form-and-Analysis jargon, but if you follow this clear pattern you'll see it happening through the entire movement, and you'll begin to hear the phrasing even though rhythmically the thing is a kind of perpetual motion. I'd suggest that you play it through in small sections, playing ONLY the two melodic lines. Listen to the interplay of the duet back and forth. Then when you play it as written, play the first phrase and STOP (on the 1st beat of m.6). Do this with each phrase, working to shape it melodically and to hear the harmonic progressions and--especially--the cadences.

Phrasing can be done not only with actual pauses, but with touch and dynamics as well, and this piece could hardly have broad pauses at all the phrases without sounding like a series of hiccups--it has to keep moving. But if, for practice, you stop after each phrases, then maybe after two, or at the end of sections, and really get the phrase structure in your ears (WITHOUT HURRY!!), you'll find yourself more able to control subtle little tempo fluctuations almost without trying, instead of sounding like something with no brakes rolling down a hill!

Incidentally, your post has added to our incentive to present a comprehensive article on practicing. Watch for it soon.

Dr. Bill L.
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Postby presto » Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:00 pm

Thanks, Dr. Leland. :) I'm so glad to have found a board where I can post questions and get qualified answers for them, because I don't really know anyone within my family or without, besides my piano teacher, who would know enough to help me out. I'll be watching for that upcoming article on practicing--it certainly is an important topic.

That was a great analysis of the piece--I mean about the duet where the tune switches from right hand to left and back again throughout. Now that you have, I see my problem better, and you may be surprised to know that it isn't what you might expect. Let me explain: see, I already knew about the tune-switching, and I took short pauses where I thought it appropriate at the end of each musical idea or long phrase, but what sounded good to me was apparently not so for my teacher. So I've started to pay even more attention to the length of the pauses and work it in with the dynamics. But it seemed sometimes that I would do that, and she'll still say that it wasn't long enough! Perhaps I hadn't fully understood her viewpoint, or perhaps our ideas on the interpretation are just different.

Just yesterday, however, during my most recent lesson, we tried it out again, with me trying to be especially careful about the musicality of the piece (which I now realize more fully, as you explained, is what helps you to phrase properly--you can't just play a bunch of notes in the proper tempo and expect to do it very well), and she was much more pleased. So I am getting it at last! :)

Just out of curiousity, did you ever play this piece for a recital too, Dr. Lelland?
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:41 am

Yes, I've performed it five or six times over the years; it's a wonderful piece with an expressive Funeral March "on the death of a hero". Did you know that the tremolos and chords in the trio section are meant to be the drum rolls and gunshots of a military salute?

One of the sticky places for me was always the fast r.h. in the scherzo--how'd you make out with them?

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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:42 am

P.S. I meant to say "the fast r.h. THIRDS in the scherzo"--sorry!
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Postby Stretto » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:55 pm

Presto,
Hope you don't mind me chiming in on your conversation of something I considered posting originally that has really helped me in playing regarding a tip a teacher gave me once. That is to imagine the "parts" as though they were instruments or vocalists performing each "voice". So actually assign different voices and parts as though an instrument had a particular part in your mind and play as if those instruments were playing rather than the piano. Imagine the different places where an instrumentalist or a vocalist would need to take breaths or phrase things in order to breath.
Let's say a vocalist was singing the notes in the piece in "a stream of unending notes" as your teacher put it, they would run out of breath.
In listening to a person talk also, for example, what if someone talked to you non-stop without a break or pause in their speech. As the listener, you would grow tired of listening and be wondering when you'd get a little break or rest. These little breaks, or pauses, are equally as important as the notes.
Has your teacher ever talked in terms in any of your pieces of assigning voices and parts in your music as though an instrumentalist or vocalist was performing those parts? Perhaps since the piece kind of takes on a duet type voicing, you could find some instrumental duet-type music to listen to and listen to how two instruments kind of play off of each other.
I don't know if I will have time to see if I can dig out a copy of the score, so maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree on this. Just a thought.
The other thing I've done somewhat is to get a picture or scene in my mind of what the piece makes me think of. Especially if I get tired of a piece or my mind wanders while playing it or I don't like it particularly. Making up some kind of imagery to go with it keeps playing it a little fresher and more exciting. Like I once imagined a piece as though monsters where chasing me in parts of it; another piece once I imagined being a leaf falling off a tree and heading down a mountain stream in Co. (just the kind of place I'd love to be) getting stuck along boulders, rocks, being dragged under, going through rapids.
Have you used either of these ideas in your playing. Perhaps you already have and in that case at least it might help someone else reading the thread.

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Postby presto » Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:27 pm

Dr. Bill--I wish I could say that I've played the entire sonata, but the only part I've done is the 4th movement, which my teacher assigned to me. But reading your description of the trio section has just whetted my appetite to try out the rest--it sounds wonderful, and I can hardly wait to take a look at it! I love expressive, meaningful pieces.

Did you ever get any sticky parts in the 4th movement? Fortunately, I didn't have too much trouble with learning it. And do you think it's a good choice for a college audition? (As a sidenote: Wow, I can hardly believe that I can play part of a piece that a professional concert pianist played; it makes my day!) :)

Stretto--of course you may chime in! This is an open topic, and anyone who has something to ask or say on the subject is welcome to do so. Thank you for taking the time to help. All of it is good advice--I've learned those things from experience and others' tips. The only thing I hadn't done was the one about imagining the parts to be assigned to to different instrumentalists. The moment I read it, I felt that it would be yet another good way to get over this hill. I'll try that the next time I practice.

Incidentally, does anyone else have any problems with the phrasing in a certain piece? I'd love to read about it. Maybe the people on this forum can help you as they've helped me.




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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:10 am

Well, when I first learned this sonata at conservatory I had a lot of trouble with all those 16th-note figurations in the last movement, because I didn't have a teacher who was able to explain rotation, as you do. Nice man, good musician, but couldn't really explain the nitty-gritties of technique.

If I could air an old gripe here (and I'm sure it happens to most performers): People come up after a recital and say things like, "it looks so easy", or, "it must be wonderful to be able to do that." Some people still think the performer is some kind of a freak who just has to sit at the instrument and let all the technique and music shower down on him from heaven or some place--they're always surprised to find that even world class players struggled for a long time with the same problems they do. A lady once said to Paderewski "you're a great genius!" He replied, "Before that, I was a drudge."

Presto, I was especially interested in your first post about the Beethoven, because when I studied with Karl Engel in Germany he zeroed right in on my main problem, which was--PHRASING! Finishing a phrase before you begin the next, putting periods on the ends of your musical sentences. I wasn't doing that because I wasn't hearing it. He did a lot for me musically.

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Postby presto » Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:58 pm

Dr. Bill Leland wrote:Presto, I was especially interested in your first post about the Beethoven, because when I studied with Karl Engel in Germany he zeroed right in on my main problem, which was--PHRASING! Finishing a phrase before you begin the next, putting periods on the ends of your musical sentences. I wasn't doing that because I wasn't hearing it. He did a lot for me musically.

B. L.

Yes, yes, YES that's EXACTLY it! I wasn't doing the phrasing properly because I wasn't hearing it! That's why I was wondering if listening to some professional recordings might remind me of how to hear it properly so I could apply it to my piece. In the end, I just imagined an orchestra playing it in my head, and then went and played it as I heard it, and it was much improved. How nice it would be to have a Karl Engel to help me out too, but since you've been his pupil, I guess I get the benefit by the Transitive Property (geometry)!

I also know what you mean when you say about the freak who's gifted with showers from heaven--I used to think that way, but not so much anymore (well, maybe just a little!). Part of it is a gift, yes, but the rest of it is perseverant work. (As Edison put it, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.")

Lastly, I was reminded of a relative of mine who thought he wasn't good at learning music, but then he described his teacher and I realized that although she was fine musician, she was simply not able to teach! So I guess you had one of those, but fortunately had a good one later.

Did you find it hard to memorize this piece? I'm lucky in that memorizing usually comes naturally as I learn, and this piece wasn't too bad at all. Except I still haven't quite memorized the dynamics markings--that's all.
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Postby Stretto » Sat Oct 01, 2005 11:41 am

Presto/Dr. Leland:

Your conversation really sparked my curiosity about this piece and I thought, hey, I have this book, "Complete Piano Sonatas", Vol. 1 Publised by Dover. I was thinking well with my luck, the piece you are referring to would probably be in the other volume but I looked to see if I could find it and here it is! I'm so excited that I can actually look at the score of a piece being discussed here on a forum. That is so cool! Your conversation sparked my curiosity as I said as to what particular phrasing difficulties this piece was posing.
Presto, I wanted to make sure I'm looking at the correct piece you are working on. The piece I have here starts out in the key of Ab Maj. in 2/4 time (Allegro as you already mentioned). It starts out with the notes: Eb-C-F-A nat. included in a run of 16th notes in the r.h. to start the piece off with rests only in the l.h. for the first 2 & 1/2 measures. Does this sound like the piece you are working on?

Wouldn't it be cool if we had a "piece" of the month, maybe a familiar, famous one that most students wind up playing somewhere along the way that we could discuss the in's and out's, up's and down's of it? Sounds fun.

By the way, I have told people a time or two, "you make it look so easy", Dr. Leland, probably not in relation to a pianist, but other performances, for example this Spring, I went to a dance performance as one of my students is getting pretty involved and advanced in dance. She did make it look so easy, and natural, and smiled like "this is no big deal", "just plain easy fun", I was so impressed how natural and easy she made something that is very technically difficult look, so I said that, "you make it look so easy" :( Of course I know it's a lot of difficult, grueling, knitty gritty work to get to that point. I guess to me this is where professionalism, etc. comes in when a person can take something extremely technically difficult and make it look "easy". To me this is where one crosses the line from technique into artistry. So I don't really think that it fell on them from heaven when I've said this. Also, it's hard to know what to say to someone when you have no earthly clue about what a particular skill takes, when confronted with a "concert" pianist and one has no clue about music whatsoever, a person probably says that as they don't know what to say. Kind of like me knowing virtually nothing about computer programming, etc. trying to carry on a conversation with someone trained and knowledgable in the field. In the case of listening to a musical performance, I would probably just say, "I enjoyed listening to your playing" or "I am so glad you included Beethoven's . . . in your performance, I really enjoy that piece" - something like that. What do you think would be best for a person to say to a performer after a concert as far as compliments go?

Let me know, Presto, if I have the right piece.
Also guys, since I have this huge book of Beethoven Sonatas and have only played one piece out of here (Op. 2. No.1, 1st mvt.), any other really good one's in here either of you could recommend to me??

PS. I was re-reading the thread and I do believe I am looking at the same piece, just want to make sure I'm looking at the correct mvt.




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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:19 pm

Yes, Stretto, that's the sonata all right, and I think the phrasing in the Finale presents a problem for two reasons. First, it's a "perpetual motion" kind of piece, without a lot of built-in pauses to help you out, so the breaths often have to be quick and subtle; second, most of the phrases are the same length--3+3 measure groups--so if you phrase the same way all the time it starts to sound repetitive and monotonous. You have to project the architecture and make slight differences, maybe more pronounced breaks at the ends of main sections, etc. The C Minor episode switches to 4-bar phrasing, as well as to a new key and thematic idea (while being tied in to the rest by keeping the same constant 16th rhythm), so that's a help.

Presto, yes-yes-YES--listen! People worry that they'll copy the artist they hear, and that's baloney. So what if we do, for awhile? If you listen constantly to a variety of music and different performers that won't be a problem (I'd give anything to be able to imitate Richter or Horowitz anyway). Listen, listen, listen, soak yourself in music like a teabag!

If you want a suggestion for a Beethoven sonata that EVERYBODY wants to play, how about the "Pathetique"? This is a truly great piece even though it's overdone, and I've never yet heard a student who counted the rhythm correctly (including me, way back when). It's No. 8 in C Minor, Opus 13.

The nicest thing I think you can say to a performer is "that turned me on", or "you really communicated to me"--something that indicates you truly connected with people. Doesn't matter if it comes from a professor, a student, a little kid, or the maid--it shows you did what you're always trying so hard to do. And being able to communicate with you great people on the Forum is exactly the same feeling.

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Postby presto » Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:55 pm

Yes indeed, Stretto, you have it right. Just in case you want to double-check it's Beethoven's Sonata Op. 26, 4th mvt. (Allegro). Sounds exactly the same as what you looked at. I don't think too many people know about this sonata (or I'm just one of the few ignorant ones; I don't know which is true), but I certainly hadn't heard of it before my teacher brought it out. Most of the ones I've heard of are the very popular sonatas like "Moonlight Sonata". If I'm correct, I think I also know the "Pathetique" that Dr. B referred to. I'll have to check the full title to be sure.

Dr. B, I'd like to mention that everything in your post was so well said--from the analysis of the pauses (those are exactly the problems with the pauses--the danger of sounding "montonous and repetitive," among other things), to the remarks about communicating with an audience--of any kind. Forum, piano recital, anywhere. My opinion of the ideal goal of a pianist is to move the hearers in a certain way, to convey to them something special that pianist himself receives from the piece, but too often all that is lost in the vortex of unfamiliar surroundings, unfamiliar piano, lighting, whispers, wondering what the audience members are thinking and saying, and hoping you won't make any errors. That's usually where most of us freeze and feel content just to make it through without blunders. So I'm working toward, as Stretto said, "making it look easy," and feeling natural about being up there on the stage. The one or two times I was able to do so felt wonderful! Now I just have to learn how to do it consistently, and I'm guessing practice, experience and simply getting used to it are the keys. But then, since you were a concert pianist, you may have even more insight on that. And I won't forget what you said about listening--another good musician gave me the same piece of advice, and I know it's very, very good!

Oh, and Stretto, perhaps you should suggest your "Piece of the Month" idea to Dr. Zeigler and see what he thinks, or maybe start such a topic yourself. It could be the start of something pretty interesting. :) Only let me warn you, I'm not a great, terribly advanced student myself--I'm getting ready to study music in college next year, which means I haven't even learned things like harmonization yet, and so I don't know if I'd be able to keep up in the analyzing side of things with the rest of you. The thing is that I'm pretty good at "analyzing" things by ear; for instance, if you sat me down at a piano and told me to harmonize a melody I'd probably do it without trouble, but there are so many technical rules and priniciples of theory that I've not yet learned that would make it difficult for me to do the same thing on paper.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:48 am

Stretto wrote:Wouldn't it be cool if we had a "piece" of the month, maybe a familiar, famous one that most students wind up playing somewhere along the way that we could discuss the in's and out's, up's and down's of it? Sounds fun.

This sounds like a great idea, Stretto. Since my own knowledge is more musicological than musical, I would leave such an analysis forum to those of you with more direct experience doing it - maybe I'll learn something. If Dr. Leland and the rest of you are willing to participate on a regular basis in such a forum, I'll start it. Also, one of you has to agree to moderate the forum and choose the "Piece of the Month." To keep the forum organized, I would probably allow only the moderator to choose works for analysis, although I'd start a "Suggestions" thread within the forum so that others could suggest ideas to the moderator. :cool:
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Postby Stretto » Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:47 am

( :laugh: Dr. Zeigler: I guess you called me on my own idea. I apologize for side-tracking the thread on the idea of a "piece" of the month-type forum. I kind of just tossed it out there to see what the feedback would be. I would be willing to regularly participate in such a forum if there was at least 2 or 3 others that would also be interested. I'm kind of rusty on analyzing a score, but I could muddle my way through the basics. I think we could have a "piece" of music regularly somewhere on the board for discussion, then anybody could participate from a beginner student saying, "I want to learn that piece eventually!", to someone who may listen to a recording of it giving their personal opinion based on the way it sounds to them, to a detailed analysis, to what the composer may have been thinking, well, you see what I mean. A piece could be discussed from a lot of angles to make it more all-encompassing of everyone reading the forum. I was wondering if the "piano repertoire" forum kind of already falls in this category. If we used that forum, perhaps someone could just put a "piece to discuss" in there occasionally, maybe everytime the site is updated. It would save some work and time vs. a new, separate forum that needed more regular upkeep. Perhaps someone could post a piece once in a while in the "piano repertoire" forum saying for example: "Let's discuss Fur Elise." Then a list of questions for discussion: "What was the composer thinking?"
"When you listen to this piece or play it what does it convey to you personally?" "Anyone want to give an analysis of the piece?", etc., etc. Again I'm sorry for using this thread to throw the idea out. Talking about the phrasing in your piece, Presto, and thinking how neat it was that a few people were all looking at the same score kind of triggered the idea.)

Presto, I'm excited for you heading off to college to study music in the near future. A whole exciting, new world is about to be opened up to you! When I learned more via classes in theory, ear-training, sightsinging, music history, etc., etc., it was a real eye-opener and helped me make the music I was playing or listening to come alive and be a lot more meaningful, make a lot more sense, and made me a lot more appreciative of what went into composing it. Now I would just as soon examine the behind the scenes of a piece of music than play it.

So, now for some ideas for your Beethoven piece. I looked it over last Sat. but had not had time to post before now. I can see what you and Dr. Leland mean by the 'breaks' or 'breaths' between phrases having to be subtle. I kind of muddled my way through playing it to see what I found myself doing with the phrasing. Here's a practical tip I gleaned. Please, please, feel free to correct me Presto, Dr. Leland, or anyone else if you disagree with this. In most of the piece, you have to automatically pick up both hands and set them back down to get from the end of one phrase to where the next phrase starts on the keys. I think of that motion of slightly picking up the hands and setting them back down to represent a break or 'breath' before beginning the next phrase. I found myself using this same little motion between phrases even where my hands where close enough to connect the notes. For example, in the first count of meas. 9, the l.h. is in a convenient position to make it tempting to just run the l.h. notes in the whole measure together, but slightly picking up the l.h. and setting it back down (along with the r.h.) between the end of one phrase and the beginning of the next in that meas. gives you the sound that a new phrase is starting as opposed to running the l.h. notes together and consequently running the two phrases together. On most of the phrases, however, you do end up automatically having to pick up your hands to get to the place on the keys where the next phrase starts, and I like to think of this slight motion of picking up the hands and setting them back down as a purposeful 'breath'.
Also in shaping and varying the phrases with dynamics, that's where the real fun lies, to me, in a perpetual motion-type piece. You could really go to town varying the dynamics in the phrases on this piece. In my first year in college, the very first professor I had for private piano instruction gave me a lot of advice on varying the phrasing dynamically in a perpetual motion-type piece. I learned Bach's 2-Part Invention #14 (you can hear a recording of it in the "Listening Room" on PEP). If I had been trying to play this piece on my own, I would have just ran it all together probably in one continous mf monotonous style. Basically, my instructor helped me map it out by writing in crescendos and diminuendos within the majority of the phrases, as well as making crescendos to the end of some phrases, and diminuendos to the end of some phrases. Like if we added a cresc. to a phrase and the phrase repeated elsewhere, we might make a diminuendo the next time around. Also part of my assignment in practice was to pick which hand I wanted to bring out more in each phrase (since both hands have a 'voice'), so that if I brought out the r.h. in one phrase, the next time or in the next section the same phrase came around, I might bring out the l.h. Well, that was kind of the jist of it, all of which made it more enjoyable to play and more enjoyable to listen to. I've been able to take the same ideas and apply them to other pieces that would otherwise tend to 'run together'. Obviously a person would want to try to base the dynamic variation in the phrases around the, as Dr. Leland calls it, the 'architecture' of the piece.
In your Beethoven piece, for example, it starts out p, in which a person could kind of gravitate toward mf to f by the E-flat (dominant V) chord at the beginning of meas. 6. Then at the start of the next phrase in meas. 6, start out sneaky and soft with a crescendo in that phrase (resemblence of E-flat, V chord again) and then getting really loud by the end of the next phrase coming to the A-flat (tonic I or home key) chord at the beginning of meas. 12. Start soft again on the next measure, etc.
If you haven't already, play through the piece looking for the phrases that end on the E-flat chord (dominant V - chord based on the 5th note of the Ab Maj. scale), and which end on the Ab chord (tonic I - chord based on the first note of the Ab Maj. scale). After the key (tonality) is established up through about meas. 28, it does start going into 'no man's land' (kind of like a drive in the country where the passengers aren't quite sure where the driver is headed). Even in no man's land, there is a hint at the main key (tonality) as Eb and C octaves keep appearing in the l.h. When you start finding the A-flat and E-flat chords again, you know your somewhere familiar (home key). Then the piece goes to C-min. and as Dr. Leland said helps with the variety. In that section you can find a c-min. chord at the end of the first phrase (i or tonic in c-min.) and and g-min. chord (v or dominant in c-min.). You can tell when it gravitates to 'home key' again when you start running into those E-flat and A-flat chords at the end of some phrases. Well, hearing where the phrases comes to a V chord (E-flat) and where a phrase comes to a I chord (A-flat), I think, would help with shaping the phrases and creating clarity between phrases.

Finally, in this piece, just an estimated observation that may or may not be true. I almost wonder if although the piece is written in the key of A-flat Maj., Beethoven isn't trying to 'trick' everyone into thinking the piece is in E-flat Maj. This sounds like something Beethoven might try to do (purposeful avoidance of the home key), as the piece seems to gravitate toward the heavy use of the E-flat chord or some resemblence of it, which is the chord based on the 5th note of the A-flat Maj. scale (called a V chord or dominant chord). Coming to the E-flat chord at the end of the phrases so much instead of using the A-flat chord (I chord or tonic), gives the piece the sound like it's heading somewhere but never quite arriving. As I said earlier, kind of reminds me of a drive in the country where the passengers are headed somewhere but never quite getting there and they start feeling more at ease as they come across more familiar grounds. Or kind of like a movie, not always sure where it's headed. Kind of fun to play a piece like this as you can be the one who knows where it's headed and 'trick' the audience or keep them dangling not quite sure when they will arrive. Well, I may be off-base on this as one does find the A-flat (home key) chord appearing strongly in the piece at several junctures, just a feeling I get from going through it.

Sorry, Presto, if I put a lot in info. in this post you don't really need or can't use. If so, maybe someone else would find it helpful. Foremost, go with what your teacher thinks best. Well, I wish you the best of luck with your musical endeavors. Hopefully, when you do began college, you will have time to come on the PEP Board and post how your classes, performing are going. By the way, when it comes to playing for others, what helped me the most is, "the more you perform, the easier it gets" approach. I used to tell my professors that I could play well enough when it was just me playing for myself, just flubbed up when I got nervous --(basically, why should I have to perform in front of others so much? question) and I learned from them that part of the reason they had a student playing for others so much was "training" grounds for not only being able to play well, but getting used to being able to play well in front of others. Again, the more I played for others, the less nerve-wracking it got. Of course, I don't go around looking for opportunities to play for an audience as it's not really my cup of tea, but when confronted with playing in front of others, I am able to enjoy it and be relaxed and I attribute that to the frequency of performing required in college. Again, I wish you the best of luck! :)
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:24 am

Stretto wrote:I think we could have a "piece" of music regularly somewhere on the board for discussion, then anybody could participate from a beginner student saying, "I want to learn that piece eventually!", to someone who may listen to a recording of it giving their personal opinion based on the way it sounds to them, to a detailed analysis, to what the composer may have been thinking, well, you see what I mean. A piece could be discussed from a lot of angles to make it more all-encompassing of everyone reading the forum.

Perhaps my post was a little unclear. Although the moderator would be the only one who could start topics in sucha forum (in this case, a work for analysis), any member could reply. This approach would allow unlimited discussion, but keep the forum from going off in 10 different directions at once. The suggestions thread would allow anyone to suggest that the moderator consider a given work. It would also allow him or her to prepare by looking at the score in advance.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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