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Early Piano Training Survey

Discussion in 'General' started by musical-md, Aug 23, 2011.

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Regarding your early piano training (prior to college-age), please check all that apply:

  1. Music Theory/Harmony using workbooks/assignments/exercises

    4 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Sight-singing with Fixed-Do

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Sight-singing with Movable-Do

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Melodic/Harmonic Dictation

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  5. Harmonization of melody exercises

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  6. Yes, there is a correct "tonal" way to write a chromatic scale

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
  7. Yes, technique is an anatomic/physiologic phenomenon, not a composer's particular works

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  8. Teacher had 2 grand pianos side-by-side in home/studio

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
  9. Teacher performed in public while I studied with him/her

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  10. Piano duets/duos part of training (or accompanying a concerto)

    4 vote(s)
    66.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Time for a new Poll. :D
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    What about just plain old starting lessons at age 5 or 6 with the piano teacher lady who lived up the street?
     
  3. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    I don't understand the first two options starting with "Yes".
     
  4. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    And there is a correct way to write the above sentence.

    Scott
     
  5. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Opps :oops: Corrected. It was an enharmonic spelling :wink:
     
  6. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    These, no matter what my opinion, are certainly arguable. At least, that is what I have experienced. So if you agree with the statement as a result of your early training, you may select it. The 3rd "Yes" statement was changed (dropped the "yes") as it wasn't about opinion.
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Monica,
    Use the most important and influential teacher you had until you were 18. Folks, can you just imagine Monica when she was 18?! :wink:
     
  8. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I didn't learn any of that before 18. Most of the theory I learned was in high school band. But then, I only had about 3-4 years of piano lessons in my childhood, so I guess I'm strange. My first teacher (age 7-8) essentially taught me how to read music. My second teacher (16-18) had a Steinway in her house, but an upright for her second piano. And she didn't teach me much in the way of theory. She was a performer, but she was over 80 by the time I began lessons with her, and past her performing years. She accompanied me when I did the Grieg concerto 3rd movement in a local competition, and she couldn't keep up with me (which is saying something since I didn't play it too fast), but my mom said it was the other way around when she did the Grieg (all three movements) in high school (she had the same teacher).
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Okay, I've just voted. My first teacher had one grand piano in her living room. Her son, who was my age, was learning to play the cello and as we each progressed, I accompanied him a few times in recitals. My second teacher had a piano and also a harpsichord that he built himself and let me play sometimes. That was pretty neat!
     
  10. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    My grandmother was a translator for the Royal Bank of Canada branch in Havana, Cuba. She loved English. She use to recite a saying replete with homonyms, that went like this:

    If you want to write wright right,
    then you have to write wright "wright;"
    because if you write wright "rite,"
    then you don't write wright right, you write it wrong. :roll:
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Is that why you make so manny speling mistaks :!:
     
  12. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    :lol: :lol:
     
  13. StephenC

    StephenC New Member

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    ^ The same thing also happened to me, the only difference is that it only took me a year to take piano lessons when I was a kid since I was not into it yet. But when I was already around 17-18, the interest of learning how to play piano grew in me so I took lessons again. My piano teacher then was a pianist from a church and I did learn a lot from her. But I stopped when I was finishing up my thesis back then.
     
  14. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Exactly. I've just voted but found I could only tick the bottom two boxes. Any of the stuff listed that one might have learned, I would have learned at music class in school, not as part of piano lessons.

    I had 4 piano teachers. In chronological order they were my mother (who had had some musical training but not in performance or in teaching) started me off when I was 5, but there was only so far she could take me. From age 9 I had my first "proper" piano teacher, Maria the daughter of the "mystery Catalan composer" and violinist I mentioned some weeks ago, Joan Massià, and of his wife the pianist Maria Carbonell; she came to our home, at first twice a week, and within a year she had me giving my first "public recital" as part of a pupils' concert organised by her mother. When we moved to Canada (Edmonton) I had lessons, from age 12, with a guy called Robert Pounder who taught at the local music academy (not the aptest of surnames for a pianist). Finally from age 15 I was at boarding school in Germany where I had lessons with Franz Alfons Wolpert, who was also the general music teacher at the school, and was also a composer and musicologist. I have had no piano lessons at all since leaving high school.

    An interesting fact about Wolpert is that he had developed a method for chord classification because he did not think much of the one by Hindemith. Wolpert's system recognises only 15 different types of chord (or 18 if one counts two-note "chords"). I might expand a bit on this method in a new thread.

    I'm intrigued by the statement that there is a (and by implication only one) correct tonal method for writing chromatic scales. What is it? Is it the one which minimises the number of accidentals necessary, taking the prevailing key signature into account? What if one is temporarily in a key which is not reflected in a change of key signature?
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    :lol: Funny!
     
  16. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Hi rainer,
    I'm glad that you asked. The operative word here is "tonal." That is the clue to the approach I was taught. Most modern theory texts just simply state to write the elevated alteration going up (natural or sharps as the case requires), and lowered alteration going down (natural or flat depending on the key). I should specify here (if I didn't above) that I'm talking about writing chromatic scales. However, to make them reflective of tonality, there are two exceptions to the aforementioned practice: while ascending, write the lowered 7th rather than the raised 6th (to indicated the relationship to the subdominant), and when descending write the raised 4th degree rather than the lowered 5th to acknowledge the dominant key.

    What do you think?
     
  17. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Am I correctly picking up your implication that these exceptions are not stated within the theory texts you mention (presumably because the texts' authors did not envisage taking tonality into account), but are modifications which those who taught you have "invented" and applied to the textbook rules in order to make them reflect tonality?
    I can see how that approach would help the reader identify the tonality of a chromatic scale if it wasn't already known, but I'd have to ask how often such situations arise. Also, one is more often likely to come across only a fragment of a chromatic scale than a complete one, and unless one is lucky enough for the fragment to happen to contain points at which modifications to the textbook alterations occur, one would be none the wiser. Does the approach have a purpose other than to inform/confirm what key one is in?

    Two more flies in the ointment:

    What if the tonality modulates during a chromatic scale? Would it confuse you to come across G# A Bb Bn C C# D Eb En F, or would it just tell you that somewhere after the Bb and before the Eb the key had changed from C major to F major?

    The above rules are OK for major tonalities, but what about minor? How would you write an A minor chromatic scale? It seems irksome to have a note-letter appear in three different incarnations (sharp, natural, and flat), which it would have to if you raised the 4th(D) rather than lowered the 5th(E) on the way down: E D# Dn Db C B Bb A. And that's even before we think about what to do with/near the 7th. Do you want to distinguish natural/harmonic/melodic minor chromatics?
     
  18. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Rainer,
    The method I learned is that found in A. Danhauser's Theorie de la Musique, (Editions Henry Lemoine - Paris c. 1929), Troisième Partie - La Tonalité, 13e Leçon: DE LA GAMME CHROMATIQUE.
    In exemples given, it demonstrates the following: BOLD=chromatic alteration
    Ascending Chromatic scale of C Major: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, Bb, B, C
    Ascending Chromatic scale of C Minor: C, C#, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C
    Descending Chromatic scale of C Major: C, B, Bb, A, Ab, G, F#, F, E, Eb, D, Db, C
    Descending Chromatic scale of C Minor: C, B, Bb, A, Ab, G, F#, F, E, Eb, D, Db, C

    A note in the text states that an A# in the C Major chromatic ascending scale would suggest the tonality of B major, a VERY remote key to C major, whereas the Bb suggest F major, a closely related key. Also, in the descending version, a Gb would suggest the key of Db major, a VERY remote key, whereas an F# suggest the key of G, a closely related key.

    Note for example that in the ascending scales above E is diatonic in C major but chromatic in C minor.

    Ascending Chromatic scale of D Major: D, D#, E, E#, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D
    Ascending Chromatic scale of D Minor: D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, Bb, B, C, C#, D

    Additional text indicates that for instruments that are tempered in tuning (like the piano) the difference is strictly theoretical, the enharmonic notes being executed/sounded identically. But for instruments capable of the differences in pitch (the difference being a pythagorean comma) then the writers of such methods (for violin for example) are very particular to indicate the differences above (See for the chromatic major scale: L'Art du Violon by P. Baillot, pg. 68).

    Isn't this stuff fascinating?! I love it! I thank God I had this lady to teach me when I was young. Was it old-fashioned? Yes, but then so is most of the music that I love and play! :wink:
     
  19. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Yes, this is indeed fascinating and you are lucky to have had an old-fashioned teacher.
    I take it by "E is diatonic" you really mean the interval between E and the previous note is a diatonic (small) semitone. I'm not sure what significance you attach to how the E is approached.
    But would a violinist really play the "inbetween" notes at a higher pitch (C#, D#, G#) when ascending and at a lower pitch (Db, Eb, Ab) when descending, while playing all the other notes (C, D, E, F, F#, G, A, Bb, B) at the same pitch ascending as descending?
     

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