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 Post subject: Which Language for expressive comments?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:16 pm 
Greetings,

First, I'm new to the Piano Society so I'll introduce myself before posing my question. I'm primarily a jazz pianist but do enjoy playing/composing in the serious (or "classical") style as well. Most of the time when I write jazz/contemporary pieces I'll put written indications of tempos and other devices in English (e.g. "Fast Swing", "moderately", etc...). When I compose "serious" music I prefer to use Italian ("Moderato", "Allegro", etc...). Since I'm from the US and English is my primary language does it matter what I use? I recently wrote a piano piece for my son and wrote the dedication in French because it reminded me of Chopin and I frequently have seen his dedications printed in French. When I had an Italian pianist play the piece he didn't question the Italian remarks but asked, "why is the dedication in French?"

Does it really matter?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:56 pm
Posts: 7
Location: USA
I'm a composer,too, and I use Italian sometimes, English at other times--Usually, I use English when I have to write something outside of the usual allegro, andante-something a little quirky. But I do think that whatever language you use it's a good idea to be consistent within the piece. Otherwise it might seem a little haphazard and confusing.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Language for expressive comments?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9479
Location: Netherlands
pianoparker wrote:
Greetings,

First, I'm new to the Piano Society so I'll introduce myself before posing my question. I'm primarily a jazz pianist but do enjoy playing/composing in the serious (or "classical") style as well. Most of the time when I write jazz/contemporary pieces I'll put written indications of tempos and other devices in English (e.g. "Fast Swing", "moderately", etc...). When I compose "serious" music I prefer to use Italian ("Moderato", "Allegro", etc...). Since I'm from the US and English is my primary language does it matter what I use? I recently wrote a piano piece for my son and wrote the dedication in French because it reminded me of Chopin and I frequently have seen his dedications printed in French. When I had an Italian pianist play the piece he didn't question the Italian remarks but asked, "why is the dedication in French?"

Does it really matter?


Welcome here !

I don't think there is a hard language rule. Italian is obviously default but some composers use their own language (all French composers, obviously :lol: ), and many composers use other language languages when it suits them. Beethoven mixed Italian and German, and even a contemporary person like Kapustin uses Italian but with a liberal use of Frence and English (perlé, swinging, with an easy swing).

So... does it matter ? Not a lot as long as people understand it. Scriabin's way-out directions often require a dictionary, as do many of Sorabji's Italian concoctions.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


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