My teacher had mentioned, that it should take me a good five years to get up to University level for both piano-work and music theory. It’ll be no trouble.
HELL YEAAAAAHHH! GIVE ME PIANO ALL DAY OF THE WEEK!
Music Theory Portion:
This week, for Music Theory. My teacher introduced me to the Renaissance period.
*For that, some listening from the likes of these composers was suggested:
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
Some music forms/styles from this era are:
* Early Operas.
* Sacred Choir music.
We’ve also these instruments, to name a few:
Some notes, worth to mention after this era had ended:
* Use of church modes became less common.
* Integration of polyphony, as opposed to monody.
Polyphony refers to multiple voices. Monody refers to a single vocal.
* Counterpoint: When two or more musical lines (or voices) are observed in a composition.
* Variety in range, rhythm, harmony, notation, and instruments.
* Music as a vehicle for personal expression (as opposed to its being used, exclusively for religious convention.) Romanticism is when this convention came to full bloom.
And, should I ever need royalty free music sheets, IMSLP has me covered:
Baroque means “Bizzare”. Heuheuheuheuhe.
* The anacrusis is an incomplete bar, it isn’t an actual bar. It isn’t Bar #1.
Transposition: Minor goes to minor, and major goes to major due to the different quality of sound. Just as well… one must have a thorough knowledge of each key before transposition. I’ve done transposition with my Gaspar Suite, here’s an example… although, however, other elements within the composition was changed as opposed to just the key:
Chapter 1 of Theory:
Whole Tones And Semitones On The Keyboard:
*Half steps (semitones) are located between any two adjacent keys on the piano, no matter the colour. Semitones can move up or down.
*A semitone can also lie between two white keys: Notes E-F and B-C.
*A whole tone constitutes of two semitones.
*Clefs indicate where the half steps are located on the staff.
*Accidentals alter a given note, moving it up or down a semitone. Natural accidentals render a note to be neither flat nor sharp, hence a white key would be a note with a natural accidental.
Different notated pitches can be en-harmonically equivalent. When looking at the keyboard, of a piano… the black keys, being placed upon two white keys can be named two different ways:
Sharp for the right, and sharp to the left. Despite each note, if played in separation… sounding exactly the same on the piano. This is known as enharmonic equivalence.
*More of a complexity arises for the B-C key, and E-F key. Should the ‘C’ key be flattened in notation, one would more play the adjacent ‘B’, due to lowering that C by a semitone. The B, therefore can also be known as C flat. C, in relation to the B key… can also be known as B sharp.
For the E-F, it would be the same as the B-C keys. E flat, and E sharp.
Then, we complicate things further with Double Flats and Double Sharps:
Double flats, are equivalent to a wholetone.
This is merely the basic form of enharmonic equivalents. There are far more examples out there, which I’ve yet to touch upon.
For 1″30 Hour to 3 Hour sessions.
RELAX. RELAX. RELAX.
Don’t worry about messing up, that’s part of the learning-curve.
My left hand is still comparably weak and uncoordinated to the right. It requires more attention, and practice. I have improved in some areas, however, I need to practice relaxing more.
If something is painful, stop and figure out a different way. You don’t want tendinitis. YOU DON’T WANT TENDINITIS.
+ Meditate first. Trust your hands. Whatever comes out, comes out. No-one will care.
1> Strengthening left hand with stress ball exercises. Gently is the key here. Do not overdo things.
2> Continue finger-independence exercises for both hands. Focus on the left.
3> C Major, A natural minor and A harmonic scales practice.
4> Practicing more of Alouette and Kumbayah.
5> Practice keeping quavers even.
6> Practice subdivision to the metronome. When you have mastered the exact time, then you can do Rubato.
The most important thing, is to relax.
Always allow your weight (gravity) to play the note, with a strong curve. The first knuckle is very important.
* The pianist is expected to sit in the middle, and they lean from their core when they’re required to reach the extremities of the piano.
* Look at the last chord, or note to a scale. That is how you will know if it is either a minor or major.
* When I play with my thumb, particularly on the left hand. Sometimes I draw my hand at the edge of the keyboard. It’s a terrible practice that will lead to tendinitis. So rectify it now!
Alouette requires even, and steady quavers between all sections.
Let’s master the technique first! Of dexterity and control.
Work on the left hand, it won’t work on itself.
And always play in a relaxed state. No tension.
Slow down! Anyone can play fast, but it takes control to slow down and be accurate/relax.
I will know that I’m past the stage of a beginner, playing-wise after a year or two. Preliminary Grade 1 pieces, would be considered intermediate.
It’s a matter of quality for practice, not quantity. Sometimes it will feel as if you’re not progressing, in acquisition of skill… this is normal, just keep pushing through. There will be learning curves which crop up, here and there often. Slow down, reflect and focus on problems incrementally. Pianists tend to have more knowledge in melody, and harmony due to their learning two clef at once–also our Organist buddies, too. Pianists are often, through stereotype seen to be loners or introverted compared to other instrumentalists.
Thank-you Melchiorblade7, of whom, I found in the comment section one one of Quantum Of Conscience‘s videos on Youtube.
Any pianists I come across who appear approachable, and willing to speak of their experience of skill acquisition… I like to question. Pianists are my favorite. When Kobe-2020 pisses off, I will go out and attend piano recitals, and if I may… question the hell out of the pianists. Get ready for me, you social shut-ins! I questioned this fellow, who has (and continues to) uploaded his pianistic progression through the years. He had said that he practiced consistently on the piano for five years, although he possessed that preliminary basis of practice years prior… he had not began practicing seriously, until that five year period. The intervals of his practice deliberate, steady, and focused for the second year.
Two years out of five. He practiced for 4 hours a day, for 5/6 days a week for the first two years.
The remaining three years, with that acquisition of skill as a basis… practice was then decreased to smaller intervals… from 1-2 hours a day for 5/6 days a week. For this year, he mentioned that he increased his practice to 3 hours, for six days per week.
Technical exercises of: Scales and arpeggios, he encourages greatly. “Etudes” are musical studies which an instrumentalist practices to focus on a particular technique.
Funnily enough, his routine and his applying an organized and structured practice regime, mirrors how I do tend to do things. So, I hope to be near, or over his level in five years. He advises to take a break in-between sessions of practicing, especially if you are feeling tired or unfocused. Practicing, whilst in either of these states does terribly, for one tends to learn bad habits in forcing their way through the endeavor. He recommends to do scale work. Start slow, and focus on it deliberately. Increase the speed, gradually. Do not play fast. Arpeggios are wonderful exercises. His advice mirroring my piano teacher’s as well.
He recommends an etude from
the sexy Frederich Chopin: “Chopin’s Etude No. 1 Op. 10”, and scale exercises of any kind. I have acquired the repertoire associated, and will take to practicing this when I’ve advanced a couple of grade levels in pianism (the Chopin). My teacher had also mentioned that Chopin’s repertoire is more suited to the advanced intermediate player, or beginner student. Just as well, she mentioned that when I reach that level, I ought to begin with Chopin’s Op. 25, with both No. 1 and 2.
Some Of My Favorites From The Chopin:
“Nocturne in E-flat major Op. 9 No. 2”.
“Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 “Heroic Polonaise”
“Polonaise in C sharp minor Op. 26 No. 1”
“Waltz in F minor Op. 70 No. 2”
“Grande Valse Brillante Op. 18”
These are essentially… the late intermediate level for me in a couple of years. HELL YEAH.
For the supple wrist, and independent finger dexterity!
I’m already doing all of this. HELL YEAH!
Whatever it is I admire in each of you. Whatever it is I see in each of you. One day, I will have it for myself. It doesn’t matter if it takes five years. Ten years. Twenty years. I will get there.