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Trill speed

Discussion in 'Technique' started by Society1, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Society1

    Society1 New Member

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    Regarding trills in Classical Period piano works, where the tempo is 132 beats per minute and above, in the margins, I see the trills written as 8 thirty-second notes (semidemiquavers) for the right hand.

    However, at the tempo mentioned above, about 18 notes per second are required. Is this physically possible for a pianist?

    If not, what is the alternative rhythm for the hand that plays the trill?

    Doesn't anyone know of a documented top speed of notes per second in piano playing?
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Generally speaking, in Classical literature there is no need to play measured trills. Play them freely.
     
  3. Society1

    Society1 New Member

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    "play them freely"

    If there are not 2 thirty-second notes for each sixteenth note, then what would the rhythm be?
     
  4. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    All Eddy is saying is that the "margin suggestion" to play the trill as demisemiquavers should be taken with a pinch of salt.
    If you are saying that the right hand has to play this trill while the left hand has ordinary semiquavers, then I can see your problem. You may not want to play the trill as semiquavers also, but do they really need to be in a simple ratio? If so, I suppose you could try 3 trill notes for every 2 semiquavers, giving a speed ratio of 1.5 instead of 2, but ideally your brain should be able to instruct your hand to play the trill "as fast as possible" without any well-defined speed ratio.

    No general advice on this issue will be applicable universally, there will always be exceptions. Would you like re-ask your question giving a reference to a specific place in a specific piece?
     
  5. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    An irregular grouping.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I would not worry too much about how many notes you play in a trill. The important thing is that they be even, and consistent.
     
  7. Society1

    Society1 New Member

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    Just before viewing the latest replies, I downloaded a recording and heard the solution suggested: 3 RH notes vs 2 LH notes. I can't see any other way to make the trill sound even with conscious control.

    Thanks to all for the excellent assistance.
     

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