Piano Practice & Music Theory 07-11-2020.

Feedback:

My teacher said that I can now skip Alfred’s “All-In-One” Level 1 to the very back of its repertoire. From page 89 to 140 “The Entertainer”.

Rhythm practice has truly benefited me, with that, understanding Music Theory to a Second Grade level has helped tremendously. I intend to more to the third grade, of course.

I have practiced rhythm up to 16th notes, with syncopation of both 4th and 8th notes.

My teacher said that the only thing which stands in the way of my progress, is the ability to relax my hands in playing.

How long have I been playing under the tutelage of a teacher? Over two months, now. And what a benefit it has truly been.

Therefore I must, again. Practice: “Relaxation”.

Music Theory (Grade II):

First compound time example: 6/8.

Some months back, I composed a Berceuse (French Lullaby) on Musescore:

In my experimenting with 6/8, I noticed the difference between 6/8 and 3/4 has much to do with the pulses in a bar. For 6/8 we have two beats per bar, due to 6 being able to be divided into two. Therefore, 6/8 is a compound duple.

For 6/8 we’ve the subdivision counting of 1-2-3-2-2-3. That which is bolded, is when one hears the ‘beat. Again, two beats.

The hierarchy/accent of the two beats (strong & weak) is separated into six:
Strong, Weak, Weak, Medium, Weak, Weak.

Therefore, every quaver receives an accent.

This difference is more noticeable, as one subdivides from crotches and beyond. Funnily enough, two dotted crotches can be complete one bar of each a 3/4 and 6/8 meter.
Here is a song which clearly demonstrates a polyrhythm of 3/4 and 6/8. My teacher had recommended this one to me. Damn, she’s good at rhythm. 20th Century pieces do that to you, HYUK-HYUK-HYUK~

Two beats are simultaneously happening at once. Both 3/4 and 6/8.

Latin American music is full of polyrhythm and syncopation. In our day and age, many pieces that are solely made for percussionists in mind are indeed polyrhythmic.

Duple: Refers to two beats per measure.
Simple: Means that each beat within a measure can be divided into two notes.
(I.E: Two crotchets in a 2/4 bar can be divided into four quavers.)

2/2 and 2/8 are examples of simple duples.
3/4 and 3/8 are examples of simple triples.
4/4 and 4/8 are examples of a simple quadruples.

9/8 is an example of compound triple.
12/8 is an example of compound quadruple.
6/8 is an example of compound duple.

The simple, again, indicates that any beat can be divided into two notes.

All simple meters will have a 2, 3, and 4 for the top number in the signature.

As for compound meters, each beat within a bar is divided into three notes.

All compound meters will have at least one dotted note as its beat. In example of the 6/8 meter, two dotted crotches fill one bar. One can then, subdivide those two dotted crotches into six quavers to fill the bar. Thus, dividing each note by three as opposed to two.

A recap:
Rhythm refers to how music fits in time. Rhythm does not consider pitch, if viewed as a separate value. Take for example, an atonal bar for a percussion instrument not capable of pitch.

Melody refers to a single line of music, and it takes into the account of both the note’s pitch and the way they are arranged in time (rhythm).

Harmony refers to several lines of music heard, or played simultaneously. The harmony is a feature is music, used to support the melody.

Pianists can play both melodic and harmonic pieces, due to their having both bass and treble at the mercy of their fingers and hands. The left is often relegated to harmony, whilst the right often leads with harmony. Especially in the beginner stages.

It is as if, the pianist accompanies themselves.

That’s why you’re all social recluses, hmmmmmm?

Pianistic Practice:

This week, it’s all about relaxation and nothing else.

Solidifying technique, past learning how to play anything ‘pretty’ is my key motivation here. I learn music for the wonderful journey it provides me. How it enriches my life, and introduces me to new experiences.

Therefore, I dedicate at least one hour a day to relax. And to concentrate on feeling relaxed, only.

1) Finger independence exercise: Solely to relax + mix with stress ball exercises.

2) Scales:
Play extremely slow. EXTREMELY SLOW. Do not advance further, onto the next note, ’til you are confident in that you are feeling relaxed. After each note played, do a conscious body check.

Stop-relax-play.

3) Repertoire:
Master Quadrille.
Camille Saint-Saens “Royal March Of The Lion.”
Mozart’s “Aria”.

Mozart’s Aria ventures into the introduction of semi-quavers… that is, semi-quavers paired with quavers. Excellent. I love Saint-Saens, just as well. Here’s the entire “Carnival Of The Animals”:

By the end of the year, I will be up to first grade repertoire. For which, I am tremendously excited. If it took me a good four months to get to first grade, that is progress indeed.

I’ll be with you all, soon, my eccentric ivory ticklers!

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