venerdì 11 marzo 2016

Study of double jumps in music for piano

One of the difficulties that are often encountered in the piano music are the quick movements, the jumps that we must do to reach distant keys from the position where you will find the hand.

Very often the jump is double, because writing is expected to reach a distant key and then go right back to the previous position.

There are many examples. Now I'm studying a transcription for piano of Mozart's famous Serenade for strings, "Eine kleine Nachtmusik". It is a beautiful transcription made by Ludwig Stark (1831-1884), the author of the famous Method "Lebert und Stark". Here's an example:

Lezioni di pianoforte

As you see, there is a double jump (highlighted by the first blue square) between bichord 'F sharp - A' in the central octave, the 'G' under the 'middle C' and then the bichord 'G - B' in the central octave. Similarly another passage, highlighted by the second blue square.

To study well these passages necessary to fix well with the eye of the target position and then execute the move at lightning speed: as exercise is useful to make the move in sudden way and then stop in front of the key or keys to arrival.

It's 'evident that the glance is very important, as well as the speed of movement of the arm.

Here is another example taken from the same piece; as you see, teaching graphic helps to focus attention on the single pass:

Metodo per pianoforte

 With a short video I explain the mechanism:

venerdì 12 febbraio 2016

The vocal style at the piano in Chopin Nocturnes

The Nocturne is one of the most typical forms of piano music of the nineteenth century and the Romantic music. In this kind of composition the musician writes for the piano keyboard thinking ideally expressiveness that is typical of the human voice

The romantic Nocturne-form was born, with the Irish composer John Field (1782-1837), but the word was in use in the eighteenth century: But at that time it indicated the musical entertainment of the evening, he could hire the gallant tones of serenade, or those more generally worldly of the fun (the most famous example is "Eine kleine Nachtmusik", "a little night music", by Mozart).

Chopin Nocturnes
In the nineteenth century, with marvelous examples of Field and then with the Fryderyk Chopin masterpieces (1810-49), the Nocturne becomes the expression of a romantic vision of the world: the night, the darkness become the metaphorical place of desire to exceeding the limit, the soul expand to the dimensions of the dream and the irrational. 

We listen to the most famous of the Chopin Nocturnes, op. 9 n. 2 in E-flat Major. Click on the following link: Chopin, Nocturne op. 9 n. 2.

Consider the rhythm of the music: it is a time 12/8, ie a slow pulsation that inside provides a ternary subdivision. More artifices of musical writing are directed to evade and counter any idea of rhythmic rigidity or excessively regular scan: some indications urge the search for phrasing and emotionally moving rhythmically elastic.

The vocal style, as I said at the beginning, is the reference model for the construction of the melody: it is a song (given to the right hand), supported by an accompaniment (left hand), this latter as important and ample, as subordinate and functional to the maximum expansion of lyrical singing. Therefore, it is precisely the same thing that happens when a singer's voice is accompanied by an instrument (for example, the piano itself).

Amples bounds toward the high notes determine the lyricism of this song, we might imagine given to a lyric-coloratura soprano, that is characterized by clear timbre, brilliant of acute and vocal agility.

This agility is made pianistically from Chopin through ornaments and grace notes, that elude the regularity of the musical phrase and culminate in the vaporous, iridescent concluding cadence.

The piano performance requires a piano touch that knows how to satisfy the infinite nuances of sound in his right hand, while the left supports the low harmony and accompanied with a large extension chords.

A delicious physical wellbeing envelops the performer in playing this piece, which really makes us exceed the boundaries of materiality, evoking our deepest sighs.

YouTube channel:

giovedì 28 gennaio 2016

Five reasons why you should sing

Singing is good for health! Is good for our body, it is an effective natural therapy for the physical well-being and of the whole person.

I share an article written by Umnia Shahid and published in "The Express Tribune" on Oct. 9, 2014.

Are you afraid to sing at a family gathering or in the privacy of your bedroom because you feel it won’t be music to people’s ears? Don’t sweat it. Bring out the Madonna in you because singing has multiple physical, mental and spiritual benefits. The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health has undertaken extensive research to support their aim of getting the National Health Service in the United Kingdom to provide medical practitioners the option of “singing on prescription.” As compiled from, here are five reasons why you should sing.

1.Boosts cardiovascular health:
Singing is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. It decreases risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.

2. Stimulates the brain:
Singing requires memorising lyrics and following a melody as well as connecting words with emotion. Breathing while singing brings more oxygen to the brain, which results in neurons firing, enhancing mental awareness, concentration and memory.

3. Reduces stress:
When you sing, your brain releases feel-good chemicals including endorphins. This makes singing an effective mood lifter and a valuable tool in alleviating depression. Singing with a group develops a sense of community and belonging, thereby reducing anxiety. Singing is even used as therapy for people with cancer, dementia and for stroke survivors.

4. Natural healer:
Other than time, music is a great healer. Singing has similar effects on the body and mind. It ensures physical, mental, psychological and social well-being. It also improves the posture and breathing, as it increases the capacity of the respiratory system.

5. Builds confidence:
Singing helps develop skills to speak in a natural, powerful and confident voice. It can improve your ability to use your speaking voice with more clarity and confidence. Singing releases a hormone called oxytocin, which helps reduce anxiety, thus helping you overcome your fear of public speaking. Oxytocin also increases feelings of trust, which strengthens confidence in not only yourself but also those around you.