Discuss technical aspects of piano playing and recording.

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John Robson
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Postby John Robson » Tue May 01, 2007 7:49 pm

I see "Mit humor" in much of Schumann's music. How does one play with humor? Should one giggle, tell a joke, or just laugh while playing. I don't know what it means to play with humor. Any ideas?

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Postby pianolady » Wed May 02, 2007 6:11 am

You can ask someone to tickle you as you play. :lol:
Sorry, John. Don't know the real answer.
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Postby Anonymous » Wed May 02, 2007 12:56 pm


mit humor doesnt really means to play WITH humor

it means that you must to enterpret the piece with funnily characteristics:

1. small motions of body while playing
2. the giocoso motion of the hand


the secret to play with humor is not to make yourself look funny but make the music with a funny interpretation..

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Postby Terez » Mon May 14, 2007 12:32 pm

Pretty much every aspect of musical interpretation can be assigned a human emotion - music has the power to communicate these emotions, IMO, much more purely and effectively than words. I don't know how to describe it any better than that.

In any case, is "mit humor" any different, really, than "dolcissimo"? Do you dip your fingers in honey for that one? :wink:
"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin

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Postby lol_nl » Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:03 pm

The indication speaks for itself: find out what humor means in music. There's no prescribed way to play with humor. It is your own creativity and insightfulness which has to create the humor in music.

If you are looking for pieces which contain a lot of humor, listen to Prokofiev's works, and especially his third concerto.

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


Postby Anonymous » Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:13 pm

Yes, Prokofiev, and especially Shostakovich, are the masters of irony and sarcasm (heck, Prokofiev even named a cycle as such!). Literature-wise, they are probably quite like Mikhail Bulgakov in this respect... actually, Bulgakov is quite an inspiration for my Prokofiev adventures.

I actually had a very hard time with witty/ironic pieces until I started to approach the score like a text in "some" language, the language being - obviously - music. Think of it as telling a witty story, an anectode, a feuilleton or narrating a sarcastic novelette, don't just play, speak - and it will come out (in fact, it - surprisingly - just did, roughly an hour and a half ago, when I played through a Prokofiev sonata :wink: ).

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Postby joeisapiano » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:29 am

beethoven had some pretty hilarious stuff in his piano sonatas, too. just look at the op. 14 in g major mvt II, or the op. 10, no. 2 in f major.

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Postby Paradisi » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:56 am

I found humor in Schumann by playing up the contrasts in his music - often he builds up and it sounds really serious - and then suddenly the mood changes and lightens up as if to say "just kidding!"

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