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 Post subject: Which composers for a good technique?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:06 pm 
Hi all of you.

I just registered today, so this is the first time to discuss with you.
My language is not english, I hope you understand my mistakes.

I´m in my second year with piano, having started very late -now I´m 48-
but I really like it, and it´s worth practising, about two hours a day. :D I expect my age does not prevent me much from learning up to half the way -a 4-5 level out of 9.

I have heard several times that to become a good pianist you have to master properly Bach and Beethoven. What do you think about?

If you had to choose six composer especially interesting to develop a good technique, which would you choose? Please, explain your options, it is interesting in order to know better.

Regards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 3:16 am 
Indeed. Admirable!! (: good luck for your piano training!

I would personally recommend:

bach- for fingerwork, voicing (bring out different voice parts, contrapuntal texture etc), and to bring out a baroque sound- so that you can play staccato and legato very evenly, and with very controlled dynamics.

i would choose two out of three: haydn/mozart/beethoven: for fingerwork, character. (beethoven trains technique very much also!)

some romantic composers- chopin, liszt: for lyricism (bringing out the line, training elegance, charm and tone) and for technique.

some modern composers- just close your eyes and pick any one! (: maybe you can aim to try some scriabin or schoenberg?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 6:01 am 
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Indeed, first choice is Bach. Even if you'd play nothing else, it will do wonders for your technique. Of course it does not train any specific technical skills like octaves, parallel runs, etc, needed for virtuoso repertoir, but for developing overal skill and musicality there is nothing better. I know this from experience as I have put Bach before everything else the last couple of years.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:47 am 
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Location: damwoude
what about czerny? :oops:

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music is enough for lifetime but lifetime isn't enough for music 'rachmaninoff'

while composing I've got always an picture in my head 'beethoven'


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:01 am 
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Czerny will do if you're only concerned about mechanical technique.
If you want to enjoy some priceless music on the way, Bach is your man.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:26 pm 
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I think Chopin said the same thing about Bach, so techneut knows what he is talking about.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:00 pm 
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Location: damwoude
and beethoven said it about handel :P and hydn and mozart.

_________________
music is enough for lifetime but lifetime isn't enough for music 'rachmaninoff'

while composing I've got always an picture in my head 'beethoven'


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 Post subject: Which Composers for a good technique?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:15 pm 
Thanks for your answers.

Personally I agree with most of your comments. Although I don´t know enough yet I consider:
Bach: very good to become a real musician. Contrapuntal textures are really important. Now I´m training Two-voices Invention nº8. It seems to me a real pleasure to hear it, specially Glenn Gould. Wish I could do it half of it anyday.

Beethoven: Sonatas and sonatinas and others. Recently heard his legato was a step ahead in new musical expression. I have already learnt the easy sonatina in G (Sol). I aim to prepare Sonata op.49 nº2 in the future.

Mozart: Clarity of musical phrase. Classical and galante style, very nice to hear. I aim to prepare Sonata K. 545 as soon as I can.

Chopin: His language is so personal and emotional. Very interesting for his studies. Sheer romantic music pleasure, despite being studies. Still very difficult for me.

Schubert: Although not specially interesting for technique, it´s a challenge to perform his sonatas with the required musicality. What I said about Bach on becoming a musician would apply for this great composer.

Bartók: He composed a progresive cycle called Mikrokosmos, as well as For Children.His work with influence of popular music from Central Europe is very interesting. His style is unique.

Regards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:07 am 
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Location: damwoude
Quote:
Chopin: His language is so personal and emotional. Very interesting for his studies. Sheer romantic music pleasure, despite being studies. Still very difficult for me.


watch out with chopin. It's very difficult to play it! first you have a ' simple' melody with much expression and later you got the same melody much difficulter and you need to have the same expression

this is for the most pieces of chopin. Of course he has got 'easy' pieces.

_________________
music is enough for lifetime but lifetime isn't enough for music 'rachmaninoff'

while composing I've got always an picture in my head 'beethoven'


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:07 pm 
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Location: Ede, Netherlands
Bach is a must-learn. He is the universal god of music. Everything is in his compositions. You learn technique, musicality, counterpoint, playing more voices together, clarity of voices, etc.

I would suggest some classical works as well, like Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. These contain some of the most general technique (scales, arpeggios, etc.), "clear" playing, understanding of form and structure, etc.

Then comes the romantic pieces. Most people like Chopin, Liszt and Schumann the most, but you could also try Grieg, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, etc.
These are for musical development, lyricalism, and also contain a lot of technique.

If you like, you could try some contemporary music, from Schönberg to Boulez, whatever.

Etudes can be especially handy in the beginning. You could try some Czerny for example. I don't know your level, but most people start with op. 599 (very basic) and then move to op. 299, then op. 740, etc.

You can also just practise scales and arps for general technique.

Hope this helps!

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Yiteng

"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Friedrich Nietzsche


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:16 pm 
You need to learn fingerwork which you can get from Bach and Beethoven and Mozart, and then you need to learn virtuoso technique with Chopin and Liszt etc. Bach makes a good excercise. However, you have to play music that makes you play loud so that you will build up your arm strength.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:45 am 
Technique? i heard that some guy named Vladimir Horowitz was good in that area.... :)

Cheers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:57 am 
bach and chopin

haydn helps too
beethoven helps a little


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:18 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
For certain I believe that any composer helps with technique. I can say this with reassurance because when I first sat down with Chopin's prelude #15, my wrist could not move in a way which is demanded as in bar 38/39/40 ish (I think I miscounted). Where the outside fingers play two continous notes while the middle fingers play a third or fourth. At first my wrist was hurting me so much that i found it painful. But after about three weeks I could play it no problem. Now only if I could handle his Etude Op.25/#10.

If you are looking to build in a certain technique than look for a composer who mastered it. Example: if you need a good stretch look at Rachmaninov :roll: or Brahms. If you want speed than look at a composer who wrote majority of his or her pieces with Allegro (cant name anyone, but I think of Haydn :x not the best guess)

Anyways, the way I see it is that as long as you practice you will get better, musically and technically. So it does not really matter in the larger picture of playing the piano. Sure, playing bach every now and then to pick up on the minute details of three or four part inventions is good. But in the long run it does not matter if you are looking for a specific composer to build technique. Essentially all music requires technique.

Regards
-JG


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:22 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
After rereading what I just wrote-- I think I did not make any sense in the above post :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:26 pm 
Well if you're looking to improve your technique, Schmidt excersises (There is an entire book of these) are a good choice. They are small, repeated excersises specifically designed for this purpose.

I also think that Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu has produced some great songs that can help your technique (The Mystic Forest, FF6, or Zanarkand, FF10). They are actually songs for video games but they a great pieces themselves.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:17 am 
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Bach before Chopin.
Mozart before Beethoven.
Dramamine before Schoenberg.

Pete


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:00 am 
PJF wrote:
Bach before Chopin.
Mozart before Beethoven.
Dramamine before Schoenberg.

Pete


And everything before Rachmaninov. :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:15 pm 
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Posts: 647
Location: Sydney, Australia
if you dnt mind. Instead spending time on all sorts of technical exercises. Why dnt you spend more time on learning new reportories.
I reckon, each reportorie has its own distinct technical difficuities or you could said- a built in technical exercise.

Why I say this, its because I dnt do any of them these days. But I did it when I was young....hee should I blame my teacher??? or lack of discipline...

I hope this helps :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:07 pm 
If you want to improve your playing, there are a few musts:

Firstly, Bach is in my opinion the best composer to improve technique. Careful study of Bach's keyboard music will result in excellent co-ordination and evenness, plus his music is among the best written for the piano. Start off with the Well Tempered Clavier; this is a good introduction to contrapuntal music, and the preludes focus on aspects such as apreggios and chords. After you've mastered this, the Italian Concerto is a must. It's also a wonderful piece of music. If you're ready after this, the Goldberg Variations are a very challenging but rewarding collection. Bach is probably the best Baroque composer to study.

After this, it would be a good idea to play some Classical music. Haydn is an often overlooked yet very helpful composer, and his 50+ sonatas will help with evenness and accuracy.

Mozart is a must; definitely one of the most helpful composers. Some of his music can be rather dull at times, but it's still worth learning.

Once you've become more advanced, Beethoven's piano sonatas will be an excellent addition to your repertoire. They are technically difficult at times.

Now some Romantic composers would be helpful. Chopin, the greatest composer of this period, provides music that is stimulating and wonderful to play. It is really enjoyable to go through a few nocturnes and really express yourself. The 24 preludes are the perfect starting point; most are fairly accessible, with a few more difficult and some (ie. the prelude in F# Minor) are at a level of virtuosity that few ever reach (avoid these ones!!). After this, the nocturnes and mazurkas are musts. Avoid the Etudes and Ballades until you are very advanced.

The piano sonatas of Schubert are wonderful; as are the illustrative pieces of Schumann and Grieg. Brahms' waltzes are worthwhile.

Bartok is a good modern composer to study. As someone said earlier, Uematsu's music is wonderful.

Also, I advise that you STEER CLEAR of Hanon's exercises. They are useless.

Finally, don't touch anything by Lizst or Rachmaninov until you are extremely advanced. You could seriously hurt yourself! :x
Hope this helps...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:35 pm 
I forgot to mention:

Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas will be helpful. Obviously you don't have to lear all 500 of them (!) but learning a few will help you.


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