This is indeed the year for piano. I’ve marked my calendar/schedule for many pianistic events to take place–specifically at The Conservatorium. I see it as wise, to sit in the front row… directly parallel to the view of the keyboard, and the performer’s hands on the keys… so that I may observe their technique.
In my observations, although sparse… (I began learning piano five months ago, and I began attending musical events, the very same) weight is never forced/sourced from the fingers. Physiologically speaking, that would be impossible. Fingers don’t have ‘muscles’ (Sorry, Hanon, your exercises are outdated). The mechanic of movement, that the finger joints are capable of are by way of tendons–which, of course run up the entire course of one’s arms.
Therefore, an efficient way of playing is to never play from the fingers… but rather, through conventions of gravity. Source weight from the pivot of the wrists (whilst keeping them loose) and elbows. With a drop–and of course, the fingers will be shifting positions in a subtle push forward (for standard legato) all the while. Staccato is handled differently, where the push is inverted with the tips. Of course, these aren’t the only muscles to consider. The entire body, is used for piano.
In my sitting closest to a pianist, last performance I had attended… I could hear breathing. The fellow played for an hour, just as well… with little breaks/intermissions, and of course–he did an encore performance for his adoring crowd. Beautiful hands, intelligent playing–grace. He is one of the staff members at The Conservatorium, he looks a bit like Mr. Six from Six flags (Mr. six is cool, don’t worry) and seems to scream PIANO from his very pores.
Err… literally, he was sweating. In-fact, any pianists performing repertoire which is demanding WILL sweat profusely. This fellow was playing Bach, Liszt, Schumann, and Rachmaninov for his entire performance. He’d stop between each movement, crack his hands/fingers at his sides… brace himself for the next piece… taking note that he had no music sheets in-front of him, to speak of. He is such a lord. Lord of the keys!
Sweat pianists, sweat. I’ll smile all the while.
Note: Musicianship will be added to my learning curriculum, mid-year. I will be moved up to fourth grade Musicianship, via the AMEB standard. When I advance far enough, to AMUS, I will be sitting some tests to earn some qualifications in-relation to the theoretical conventions of music. Musicianship, or Music theory. As for my progression in playing, I foresee that this will be a more gradual progression. Eventually, when reaching past seventh grade, I will sit an exam, the very same.
After doing so, I intend to attend Music School. And perhaps, eventually, I wish to bridge into higher-education, so as to contribute to research in-relation. Although, knowing me, this is apt to change.
Why do this? Simple, because I can and I must. If I do not cease this opportunity now, I will live my life in regret. The time is now, for me!
Being a musician IS a trade skill.
Some recommended listening from my teacher:
Ian Munro, Jason Gilliam, Boris Berezovsky (the pianist, not the politician).
With these recommendations, I’ve still my favorite. The Rat Stroganoff.
My rat is named after him. Hence, Ratmaninoff. When Ratmaninoff goes to the vet, they have no idea how to spell his name. One of the vets said they searched up the pianist, and listened to him for the first time. Good! More ears need to hear Rachmaninoff. I also have a pet-name for my rat, to which I call him “Rachmans“, which makes absolutely no sense, in reference to the original Rachmaninoff.
Frederic Chopin is also my favorite, and that’s mainly because Chopin was, in my opinion, hot. I gots me a thing for pianists. I won’t deny it.
GRADE III THEORY.
Scale Intervallic Sequences:
Harmonic Minor: T-S-T-T-S-T1/2-S
Natural Minor: T-S-T-T-S-T-T
Melodic minors will be explored during 4th and 5th grade theory (AMEB).
It helps to remember these sequences, by remembering that TONES rest mid-way.
I had trouble wrapping my head around accidentals at first, my teacher clarified this for me… thankfully!
For example, if one were adding a sharp to a Bb… this would make the note a B natural as opposed to a B#, since one would raise or lower the semitone in correspondence. Initially, I had assumed, that if one were to apply an accidental sharp to a Bb, it would lead one to play a B#–but this is not correct, especially when we are speaking in context of the piano, and how the piano keys sit. The sharp, as an accidental leads one to step up one semi-tone on the keyboard, whilst the flat has the inverse effect. As for double sharps, and flats… these would be equivalent to stepping up and down two semitones–which, would be akin to a tone (there are two semitones in one tone).
There is total of only two inversions, for triads. Bach’s repertoire, is demonstrative of some sexy inversions. Especially in his inventions.
I asked my teacher for further clarification on the different types of minors, there are. In total, three: natural, harmonic, and melodic.
In reading a score with the key of a minor, it is played in the context of ‘harmonic minor’–therefore if a score was in A Minor, one would play the harmonic of that minor–with the seventh raised with an accidental, and not through the key signature (the key a minor has, is sourced from its major equivalent). The natural minor wasn’t introduced in the AMEB syllabus, until recently–for theoretical purposes.
The seventh of the harmonic minor, is raised in correspondence to its diatonic scale pattern.
I’ve been learning about triad chords thus far. I composed this minimalistic piece, some-time ago which makes use of triads. The piece ends on the tonic, giving it a proper conclusion (this is an unspoken rule that can be broken).
The triad chord in this piece is a Tonic Chord. It is built from F to C.
Take note, the 2nds of the Tonic chord for F Major (G), are also added to vary the melody, that is, in separation and not on the chord itself–the primary chords used in this composition, are however triads.
I may re-purpose this piece’s basic rhythm with a Median Chord, and Dominant chord to explore the possibilities further.
F-A-C (Tonic chord of F Major) I Chord.
C-E-G (Median chord of F Major, is essentially the same as the Tonic chord in C Major.) III Chord.
G-Bb-D (Dominant chord of F Major) V Chord.
When I advance to fourth grade theory, I will compose another piece–that is, with other chords in-mind. I also intend to compose some pieces in the minors I have learnt to play, thus far–that is, with the intention of raising the leading-tone (7th) up a semi-tone manually, through accidentals.
Note: Accidentals are called accidentals due to their only occurring, occasionally in the course of a musical composition. They are distinguishable from the key signature. Before accidentals, musicians played music, in-accordance to what their ears told them sounded good. This is known as ‘Musica Ficta’.
Etymologically speaking. Accidental is sourced from Medieval Latin–from “Accidentalis” and original Latin with “Accidentem”. It refers to something occurring outside the normal course of its intended nature. Therefore, the term accidental in the context of music is indeed very fitting.
For accidentals are characterized by both non-essential attributes, and occur outside of the expected nature of its context. In this case, the key signature.
+ Chords. Completion of ‘Chords’ in AMEB ‘Theory Of Music’.
+ Annotation of bass clef, up and down two leger lines.
+ Scale degree revision. Technical names, and qualities.
All 2 8VEs. RH, and LH. Contrary, and similar motion with both, also.
A Natural Minor
A Harmonic Minor
E Natural Minor
E Harmonic Minor
D Natural Minor
D Harmonic Minor
C Chromatic Scale.
G Chromatic Scale.
(New) D Chromatic Scale.
(New) D Major.
With scales, I exercise technical skill and use of the hands. Paying close attention to playing smooth, and even legato, with smooth tone of each note–just as well, experimenting with the movement of the tips, slightly expending force forward… and exercising the wiping motions for staccatos.
Scales, again are where I source much of my refinement of technique. I make it a habit to practice scales, right before practicing anything else in piano-work.
“Royal March Of The Lion.”
Refinements of rhythm, and articulations. I am re-visiting these pieces, due to months prior… my hands were still being strengthened and trained to play properly. Technique, always, is at the forefront of my practice, past repertoire.
*LH push in, not down when playing.
*RH extension, keep grounded.
*Don’t miss any stacattos!
*Play bar, by bar. Not the entire piece.
*Slow, and relaxed. Be quick to go slow. Fracture mistakes. Don’t play the entire piece, through.
“A Little Hush Song” = New Repertoire.