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Congrats! We have made history ("Fur Elise", "Moonlight" by Beethoven) (Read 6292 times)

Offline vladimirdounin

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Congratulations! We just made history. (“For Elise”, “Moonlight” by Beethoven).


Have we made history? Maybe – “yes”, maybe – “not”. I do not care, though I hope that we have.

I am not a historian, I am a classical musician. I love classical music and I am worried that in global scale it has the tendency to die off and be replaced with something that I do not like.

I do not know any serious reason for this withering. During my life I was lucky to see quite many times how powerful is our art in hands of the best and how much the plain people around us need just classical (not any) music. (Yes, I mean school students, workers, farmers, soldiers, prisoners, everyone in the society).

 Therefore my dream is to worm (find out) all the secrets of the best pianists and share them between all of us - mortals.

Who does not feel him/her self mortal and imperfect in piano play - do not read, please. It is not for you.


 Warning! The article is terribly long and boring .                                                                                              
                                         Vladimir Dounin

Dear Colleagues,

First of all, please allow me to congratulate each of you who answered my questions, as well as this wonderful Forum, because in the last week we altogether started at least a new chapter in the history of music! I am more than serious, let me, please show only a few reasons to have said like that:

1.Never before in history the information about the most elusive substance of music – the individual volume of each given note in relation to the previous note and the following note (hereafter shall be called “Note Strength”) – has been transmitted (sent), received, processed and sent back IN PLAIN TEXT, without any real sound (playing, singing etc.) at all.
(And even more - it was done with a precise accuracy!)

I am especially pleased to announce this because many high-ranked specialists have told me that this is impossible in principle. Fortunately, they have been no more right than the renowned scientists who “had convinced” (it is a real, well known historical fact) society that flight on any apparatus heavier than air was absolutely impossible, and they did it not before but AFTER the Wright brothers had already crossed the Atlantic.

Our first tests were as short and simple as the first in history audio recording (“Mary Had A Little Lamb”, performed by Mr. T. A. Edison himself) and the first Radio – Message  (“SOS”). However, the first short step opens endless ways to new horizons. Look at only a few randomly chosen unprecedented opportunities:

2. Literally tomorrow (because everything is done except anti-piracy protection) you can download a new software “Music teacher” and install inside of your piano inexpensive set of sensors and pushers. These specially designed by the world-famed piano manufacturers sensors and pushers will replace your fingers for this kind of work.

Now, please, switch on your imagination! Let us say you have decided to learn our beloved “Fur Elise” by Beethoven. Your PC invites you to choose the “base-model” out of 100 top rated recordings. E.g. your choice is “Vladislav  Tashkenazy” because you like his conception as a whole. However you are unhappy with some details of this famous recording.
Therefore you press “Edit”.

What can be different in Piano Music? – Only 3 things: Pitch, Timing and Note Strength. (Let us mention “Damper” and “Piano” pedals as well but they are not engaged in this particular software yet, it will be done after tomorrow).

The first of all we have to edit “Pitch”, because Tashkenazy recorded D seven times instead of Beethoven’s E (at the end of each “sentence”, like bars 7, 15, 29 etc.)  You have to replace all of them with “E” and to add the missed “C” at the final resolution of the piece.

Your reason for this action is this: Beethoven could not be illiterate in Harmony (just because his, Haydn's and Mozart’s music are the basis of the Classical Harmony) and write the resolution of the Seventh of D7 in the “up” direction instead of the legal resolution “down”. Moreover, he could not leave this “seventh” unresolved at all at the end. Beethoven’s autograph and the very first edition prove it. By the way, isn’t it a shame, in your opinion, for the great Mr. Tashkenazy to choose the faulty edition for his recording? We know that he graduated from the best Conservatory and had a really great teacher Mr. G. Althaus.

Your next step is “Timing”. In the bar 45 (the first bar of F-Major episode) you prefer to brake the F-Major “on” beat instead of “before”, because the grace notes were not crossed by Beethoven.

The last correction is “Note Strength” (not the volume of the music in whole, of all notes together). You prefer to make more prominent the lower voice in bb. 52 and 54 and to play more shiny the entire top notes in this episode. Now everything is done in accordance to YOUR taste.

The next step is  “Preview” (“Pre-audition”). You have to check whether you are happy with the result of your corrections or not – your PC plays for you back exactly “your” variant of “Fur Elise”. (On your own, real piano with specially designed pushers, I do NOT mean just pathetic "computer beeping" or performance on electronic instrument). In fact this variant is already a unique piece of the art (nobody played exactly like this yet). After you have auditioned and approved your own way to perform or have done some other correction  – you press the button “Save”.

From this moment on, your PC "listens" by sensors to your practice and prints or displays each time the note-text with all your mistakes (discrepancies  with YOUR plan) marked in red color: wrong notes, timing, note strength (similar to the  “Spelling Check” in “Microsoft Word”). Undoubtedly, you can change your “performing plan” in your PC at any time.

Isn’t it great to listen to your self at any time “from the audience’s seats” and be absolutely objective without the influence of your daily tiredness, stress, nervousness, and mere forgetting of details of YOUR OWN plan? Now each of us will be able to afford lessons with the best professors on a daily basis (as long as their recordings are available for your PC). Good luck in bringing YOUR plan of performance to life!
Would you like to download this software and install the pushers? – Let me know.

 3. From now on each composer can indicate the desired strength of any note accurately instead of taking chances that performers probably will be able to understand the author’s intentions. The performers, in turn, do not need to guess anymore what exactly the composer meant (at least in some tricky spots).

4.   Instead of the quite common situation “blind under the guidance of blind” each student can submit his “Plan of Performing” of any piece and discuss it with the teacher of any level or even get comments and suggested corrections from highly qualified board of advisors. (Judging from my personal life experience: it is always better to hear the 2nd and the 3rd opinions and then choose the most convincing one, than obey one single specialist blindly). As a result, s/he will know “how to play” in all the details BEFORE even one hour of his/her time was spent for inefficient exercising.

Inefficient - because it is simply impossible to work effectively without being aware of the direction one wants to go and what exactly is the goal? In our case, who of us does not want to know for sure at the very beginning of our hard work: which note on which beat should be played and which of these notes should be louder or softer? Who does not want to go straight to HIS/HER OWN goal instead of zigzag and labyrinth with plenty of deadlocks? Presently, the majority of musicians are using the time-consuming “trial-and-error method”. Isn't riding better than crawling? Teachers will profit also from the unprecedented opportunity to learn and teach from a complete disclosure of all artistic details of any performance as long as the recording of this performance is available on their PC’s.

5.   A new scientific field – theory and comparative history of piano performing - will come into musical schools and universities with oceans of researches and dissertations. “Any science is as much science as it can be described mathematically". And "any science starts from reliable data", but what of data do we know about performing art today? We know none of them in spite of billions of "Note Strength" indications accumulated in computers of Disklaviers.

Are you sure that Math and Music have nothing in common? Okay, I will not remind you that our A1 is simply 440 vibration per second as well as A2 –880, that each of our notes is 2/1, 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc. I will only refer you to the excellent education system of ancient Greece and Rome: any student of the math faculty was a musician automatically – music was a substantial part of the math syllabus.

6.If it is so easy (from now on) to pass on all the fine details of your artistic vision to your students, then it will be even easier to pass the same ideas into a fully obedient computer. And your  old friend piano will play for you perfectly any piece of any difficulty exactly in the way you suggest, even in the way that human can not dream about because of their limited nature.

7.    Composers will definitely exploit this feature – they will write an absolutely new kind of music designed specially “for computerized performing”, without observing of all the human limitations.

8. What is wrong in the suggestion that maybe in the future the computer will play piano (physically) more often than humans? Is it disturbing for us today that no single book in our libraries is written by the hand of human – all of them are just printed by “stupid and insensitive machines”, by robots?

 - Not at all, nobody sees here any reason to say that the human soul, thoughts and feelings have disappeared from the books because of this. All of these three are still living in each book (if it is a good one, of course). Why mustn’t the same logic be applied to music?

To understand the real significance of our tiny event and the fascinating future which INEVITABLY will follow, (even if all of us have not wanted it) we have to look back.

TO BE CONTINUED... in "Look back....and ahead"

piano sheet music of Für Elise

No plink i while: Table 'u1112_pianomusic2.sheet' doesn't exist