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Alex

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Everything posted by Alex

  1. Bach is always good! I'd suggest maybe trying the Anna Magdalena notebook if you're really a beginner. I don't want to sound condescending, but the two-part inventions are trickier than they might seem, more so if you want them to sound musical and polished! Bach always takes more work than it would seem. I would recommend practicing all of the scales, both major and all groups of minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic). Every pianist should learn the scales and fingerings for them and such. What you should focus on is a proper balance of things you need and things you want. Learn a piece or chart that you want to learn, but make you sure you balance it out with about 60% more of stuff you need. Not only does this provide goals for you (being willing to work through the stuff you need to do in order to reward yourself with stuff you like) but it also provides something to look forward to before every practice session. Practice slowly when learning your music, and even after you've "mastered" it, go slowly back over all of the sections for accuracy. Once you learn all of your theory and are technically proficient enough to play a large portion of the standard piano rep, you're more able to put the stuff you need on the back burner and actually play what you want for 90% of the time. Just so you know, this takes years of dedication. But it's easily achievable for anyone with the focus and desire. So, get at it! :) Now, I know this thread is about rep, but I felt like I should say something. :P I don't want to step on your teacher's toes, if you have one. Good rep ideas: Mozart K1-K5, or if you're looking for something a little tougher, Haydn has some wonderful piano sonatas that are technically achievable. Clementi and Kuhlau have some fun stuff as well! You might take a look at some of their sonatinas. If you want something more romantic, some of the Chopin mazurkas are do-able, though expressively, they're an enormous challenge. Stephen Heller wrote some fine piano etudes as well, you might check some of those out. Anyways, I think this is quite enough to get started with, so have at it and good luck! ;)
  2. :lol: Hahah! Good point. I was just passing on my wisdom and revelation to people with much more life experience than I. :P Jk. And I wasn´t saying anything to spite anyone, I was just making my opinion clear. I couldn´t resist. :o
  3. Music is whatever you want it to be. That´s one of the coolest things about it, for me. I´ve said this millions of times to musicians who ask questions like these: IT'S ALL A MATTER OF OPINION. We can apply all the Darwinistic reasoning we want, but will we come up with an actual answer to this question? My thought is no. We can debate all we want, and think in circular logic all day. But honestly, what's the point? I've thought about things like this alot in the past year or two, when I really began trying to grow in my own logic and thinking. A great realization for me was this: I just like to make music. Thinking in circles about questions like this wastes my time because it keeps me from doing something productive. This is just my own opinion, of course. ;) The point is, this is a question that there really isn't a black-or-white answer to. Music is a tool to eloquently express what we cannot in words. If you use it to bring something good, or interesting, or fun, or thought-provoking, or whatever into the world, than it's a good thing. We're creating a piece of art that wasn't there before, something intellectually and emotionally stimulating. If we focused as much time on improving our musical craft as we did on debating fairly useless questions (Sorry, but it kind of is. In my opinion, of course :P) than music would have more good things to offer. I think this is really one of those "It is what it is" things. Music is just music. Whatevs. That's just my two cents.
  4. A smattering of U2 albums: The Joshua Tree, All That You Can't Leave Behind, and The Unforgettable Fire mostly.
  5. Why is it that we always assume aliens are technologically advanced? :o They could be cavemen for all we know. :P Even so, they would probably love Bach. At least, some type of music. If they didn't, they would probably love to discover it. Everyone needs music. :w00t:
  6. Alex

    No Barber on IMSLP

    Not legally, probably. Barber's music is all still under copyright protection. He died in 1981. His music won't be public domain in America for another 40 years or so, if I'm not mistaken.
  7. Yeah that happens to me alot. Probably because I'm using Internet Explorer on an antiquated machine, but nonetheless. :P
  8. Maybe making increasing the deadline by a month would help. :P My brother moved out and we've been moving rooms around. Ergo, my house is in jumbles. My computer with all my ideas for the competition piece is all packed up at the moment and there's nowhere to set it up. I'm also supposed to be arranging a piece for a local high school band.
  9. Well, even by your definition, alot of pop could still be considered art. You just asked if there even need be a division. That's the whole point of my argument. I don't believe there IS a division. Pop is an art form, in my opinion. While it may not have as much creative depth or subtlety, I still think it's perfectly valid to consider it art. And I must say, your definition of art is fascinating. While it is not my personal belief that opinion defines art, it is perfectly valid and acceptable. Thank you for clarifying.
  10. I agree with Tokke. Printed scores are my favorite as well. Though, I am intrigued by seeing sheet music on a Kindle-type device. It could eliminate alot of clutter in my house if they decided to market alot of sheet music on the Kindle network. (And increased the screen size, of course...) I might be willing to try, but I don't see liking it better than a printed score.
  11. I had spelling mistakes? Uh oh. :o I'm losing my touch. Oh well. What Tokke was saying was clearly a judgement of quality, and alot of people around here think the same thing. You do not. I'm just wondering why people think that, because they don't like pop, that gives them the right to label it as "not art." Bon Iver's album "For Emma, Forever Ago" would be defined as pop by Abrella's definition. Yet I find it to be a more eloquent expression of lost love than many of Chopin's piano works. I fail to see how it isn't art. I fail to see how your stated reasons give you the right to decide what is art and what is not. I don't think anyone has this right, because art is subjective. My definition of art is "the expression of one's emotions, spirit or thoughts (the last, only to some degree. An ingredients list could be considered art by this definition.)" It has nothing to do with level of class or complexity, or even quality. Think of it this way. Comparing Mozart to Bullet for my Valentine is like comparing a Van Gogh painting to a young childs first drawing. Now, I would consider this early painting "art." If only, because it is the first step on the journey to becoming a great artist if the child wishes to become one. Pop is more technically juvenile than Chopin, yes. Much (not all) is used as a means for emotional and spiritual expression. THAT is my definition of art, as I stated previously. Isn't that the purpose of art, anyway? By your logic, I could compare a Da Vinci to a weird modern sculpture and come to the conclusion that the sculpture is not art. Is that true? Absolutely not. It's just different. I understand that you aren't judging the quality of pop by saying it isn't art, but I want to know WHY you say it isn't art. I know this has nothing to do with the original topic, but I can't let Tokkemon's statement go unanswered.
  12. So, what gives you the right to decide whether pop in general is or isn't art? Let alone whether it should or shouldn't be? I can understand that you think it's trivial. But I think there is music by Schubert and Mozart that is trivial. Does that mean it's not art? And I wasn't ranting. :P That's the issue with the internet. The whole tone of the thing is lost. Not to say that there wasn't sarcasm there, though. ;)
  13. There you go again, thinking with your head, Tokke... ;) Count me in. I have some good ideas. :D Not, I KNOW I spaced about last month's competition, and I apologize, but I'm really determined this time. :o
  14. Haha, sorry. Haven't ever really listened to either of them. And I don't want to recommend or not recommend music I've never heard. ;)
  15. Hey, your headinbutt syndrome seems to be acting up. Might wanna get that looked at. What gives you the right to decide what's art and what isn't? And you should probably listen to some really high quality pop before you make these broad, arrogant, and even stupid statements. I don't care if you're joking or not, I'm gonna pull the liberal card and say that I take offense to that statement. I'm a writer of pop music myself, in addition to more traditional classical styles. Are you saying my music isn't art, because I only used 4 chords? It's ridiculous, closed-minded people who talk like this that drove me to leave the forum in the first place, all those years ago. You don't me to leave again... Do you? :sadtears: High-quality pop: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds U2 - Most of their records David Bowie Michael Jackson etc. The list is endless. So let's not say things like "pop music isn't art" unless we know what pop music is. Every genre has alot of crappy stuff. We put classical on such a pedestal because all we remember is the good stuff. We forget that Haydn and Mozart weren't the only composers in the Classical Period. There were thousands of composers of the time who wrote utter crap, I'm sure. Let's be honest here. So, just because your definition of pop annoys you, it means it's not art. Well, I could say that the paintings of Da Vinci annoy me (which is not true, I'm just giving an example) or that the music of Debussy annoys me (which actually is true.) Does that make either one of them "not art?" No. It's all opinion. If a million people thought the same as me, does that make it more true? Not in the least. So yeah. Opinion. You can have yours, let's just not state it as fact. Mmk? Mmk. Oh, and YOUR MOM's lyrics are idiotic. :thumbsup: But... That's just my opinion. :D
  16. Sorry Jason. I totally spaced about my competition piece. I managed to somehow get writer's block within the first 15 bars. Soooo. Yeah. My bad.
  17. Well, I have about a year of accompaniment experience. I've accompanied for musicals (segments, not entire musicals), vocal soloists, chamber music, choirs, instrument ensembles, jazz ensembles, and led church congregations in hymns. I've been underpaid, overpaid, and paid nothing at all. So from my experience, 25 dollars an hour should be just right. If the music is harder, let them know, and bump up your fees. You work for them, but they need you. Don't be afraid to be assertive, especially in a college setting. Good accompanists are hard to come by. And by the way, let THEM decide whether you are good enough to be paid a ridiculous price. ;) Good luck!
  18. Erm, I'll refer you to the title of the competition: "BEGINNER piano composition competition."
  19. I use both. I much prefer to compose on a real piano. It really comes down to your own preference. They both do different things.
  20. I agree with Johnbucket. The Well-Tempered Clavier is wonderful. I wouldn't suggest doing (boring) technique excercises when all you need to learn is in the WTC. (I don't suggest trying to learn them in a week though. Technique can't be rushed.) Learn as many of the preludes and fugues as you can. It's been called the "Old testament of keyboard literature" for a reason. (Beethoven's piano sonatas being the "New Testament.") Study them, learn as much as you can. You'll pretty much be a beast, independace-wise, if you learn like 15 or 20 of them. Anyways, that's just my 2 cents. BY THE WAY: I'm seeing alot of common misconceptions about technique here. For one thing, excercises aren't for "developing finger strength." They're for developing finger DEXTERITY. Trying to strengthen the weak fingers is what got Schumann into trouble. The muscles in our fingers are too small to be strengthened past a certain point, that's why we implement our larger muscles and distribute the energy and strength efficiently. You can severely damage your hand if you're not careful. That's why Schumann had to retire from performance. Think of it as finger interdependance, rather than independance. No matter how hard you try, your fingers will never be completely independent on their own. I recommend getting a book called "On Piano Playing" by Gyorgy Sandor. He was a protege of Bartok and the champion of Bartok's music. He had Lisztian technique, so this man has some credibility. "On Piano Playing" is fairly expensive, but it's worth every cent.
  21. Honestly, the thing that has taught me the most about composition is PLAYING. Play your instrument, get really good at it, and learn lots of music. You'll learn so much about the way a great composition works by playing great compositions. Look at great composers like Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, etc. They could play the heck out of their instruments. Sheesh, Beethoven barely composed at all until he was in his twenties - well after he had been established as a virtuoso pianist (and possibly virtuoso violinist, I'm not sure.) Composition lessons are great, absolutely, but playing will really help you understand the craft and the artistry. If you have an instrument teacher, ask him/her to get very in-depth with you when you learn a composition: as in-depth as they will go. I've had exactly one composition lesson in my life, but I would consider myself a much better composer than I was a year ago. Why? Because I'm a better pianist and musician than I was a year ago. I've barely composed anything between now and then, but I've still managed to improve exponentially. That's just my two cents. If you're already a virtuoso at your instrument then, well, nevermind. :D
  22. First of all, I've played a Steinway upright, and it was no good. I've heard bad things about them from people with more experience, as well. I own a Yamaha U3 studio upright. The cost is pretty steep (usually about $5000 or so) but it's an excellent piano. Make sure to have it in a fairly large room, it's a big piano. Mine is about 52 inches tall, with more string length than a 5 or 6 foot baby grand. It's wonderful. The action is a bit too light, but otherwise, it's fantastic. I recommend getting one if you can afford it. I love Yamahas in general, and you can probably find a cheaper one of good quality. Just make sure you play a piano thoroughly before you buy it. Never buy an instrument you haven't played.
  23. First off, I never think about what chords I'm gonna use next. Because I'm IMPROVISING. The question you're asking is basically "how do I plan an improv?" If you plan it out, it's not an improvisation. Anyways, I usually start out with a basic key center and do whatever's harmonically and melodically interesting. That's about as far ahead as I plan. The only other thing I sometimes think ahead about is the mood I'm trying to convey, and how to go about it. I.e., if I want to play something depressing and deathly, I'll often emulate sounds of things that remind me of death: Final heartbeats/breath, church bells, processions, and the mysteries of the afterlife.
  24. I would love to take part. Deadlines really motivate me to finish a piece. :lol:
  25. I *love* the Rondo in D. I was literally just looking at the score for that, wishing I had time to learn it.
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