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Topic: Does anyone play anything other than classical?  (Read 2016 times)

Offline iratehamster

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Does anyone play anything other than classical?
on: August 07, 2005, 12:48:44 PM
Does anyone play anything other than classical?

I play ragtime and stride piano exclusively--I don't know one lick of classical, and it wouldn't bother me if it stayed that way.  (I heard the Maple Leaf Rag when I was 12, and consequently lost any desire to play anything else but ragtime and its direct descendant, stride.  Joseph Lamb's rags are the equal in beauty and depth of any classical piano that I've heard.)  I'm a little dumbfounded and dismayed by the overwhelmingly classical background of most pianists I've run into.  (A quick survey of threads on this board only confirms that impression.)  I guess that has something to do with teachers and what they prefer to teach students to play.  I also think part of it results from ignorance of the existence of any ragtime beyond the Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer.  But enough of my partisan comments about ragtime--I want to hear your responses.   :)

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #1 on: August 07, 2005, 07:02:37 PM
I learnt some ragtime in my youth, but nowadays play Fats Waller or James P Johnson when i wish to give the classical a break.
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Offline Kassaa

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #2 on: August 07, 2005, 07:17:39 PM
I play mostly classical, but did some boogiewoogie festivals, and I play some jazz.

Offline Ruro

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #3 on: August 07, 2005, 08:42:55 PM
My teacher recently got me a Jazz book to work with, and it is much easier then classical stuff I have been trying to teach myself >_< If I'm not mistaken though, the book is called "Easy Jazz Music" _

I recently got quite interested in transcribing my favourite TV Music, I did the Stargate SG1 Theme for my mum, she's obsessed with that series (and Colonel O'Neill!). I was thinking about doing some others, and it's even better when you realise some of your Favourite Series already have Piano Versions in them!

Laugh all you want, but I plan on doing the Digimon Tamers Theme next, fortunately the Japanese series already created one, so I can finaly try playing by ear...

But on a whole, I plan to make Classical my prime genre though! *Prokofiev All The Way!*

Offline iratehamster

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #4 on: August 07, 2005, 09:51:14 PM
I learnt some ragtime in my youth, but nowadays play Fats Waller or James P Johnson when i wish to give the classical a break.
Awesome.  :)  Two of the Big Three of stride (Willie "The Lion" Smith being the third).  I hope to get to the point where the chorded tenths in their works no longer intimidate me, but that depends on how much my handspan is capable of stretching through practice.  (I can play a slow tenth, but not a fast one.)  A friend of mine with noticeably smaller hands has a wider handspan than I do which she says was the result of years of practice.  But there's still the odd stride piece that doesn't use tenths (like Johnson's You've Got To Be Modernistic, which I'm learning now).

Do you have a copy of the Harlem Stride Piano Solos book of transcriptions that's no longer in print?  I don't know where else to find transcriptions of Johnson's big hits, like Carolina Shout.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #5 on: August 07, 2005, 10:15:06 PM
Have not got that particular book but i do have a book full of Johnson, Waller, Tatum etc.

I will have to get it scanned.

Concerning the 10ths, i did read that some of the stride pianists used to use an exentension on the little finger. Others, cut the webbing in between their fingers. Not recommended.

I have some old recordings of Willie "The Lion Smith" somewhere. He made more noise than Glen Gould.

I just love this stuff.
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Offline dave santino

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #6 on: August 07, 2005, 11:20:47 PM
I play everything!!!!  ;D On piano though, I play equally as much jazz as classical, if not more. I just find the whole harmonic vocabulary and content of most jazz to be far superior to that of most classical *puts on Phlame suit*. However, I still love classical.
"My advice to aspiring musicians? Wear sunblock and use a condom!" - Steve Vai

Offline jeremyjchilds

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #7 on: August 08, 2005, 12:05:15 AM
I play everything!!!!  ;D On piano though, I play equally as much jazz as classical, if not more. I just find the whole harmonic vocabulary and content of most jazz to be far superior to that of most classical *puts on Phlame suit*. However, I still love classical.

I woulden't say "far" superior, or even "superior" but I definitely agree that the harmonic language of some Jazz is unbelievably rich. I would add that I find the newer music to have richer harmony than the older jazz.

You can't just make a statement like that unless you have your "plhame" suit on.  :)
I've played a lot of jazz, and though the changes are unique, Jazz definitely does not have a monopoly on profound content.

Listen to the way Rach's melodies are encircled with lush harmonies, Scriabin, Brahms, heck, even Bach have more expanded harmonic vocabularies then much of the jazz idiom.

THe jazz lover in me wants to jump on board with you, but everytime I see something profound, old bach is already there saying "I did that long ago...." :-\


"He who answers without listening...that is his folly and his shame"    (A very wise person)

Offline ted

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #8 on: August 08, 2005, 02:51:43 AM
These days I spend very little time on other people's music of any sort. I have a small repertoire of classical and a somewhat larger one of ragtime, stride, swing and blues, including my own pieces in those styles. Working on these would constitute a very small part of my playing time, which now comprises around 95% improvisation of no classifiable style (or very many styles, depending on which way you look at it).
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." - James Joyce

Offline chozart

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #9 on: August 08, 2005, 04:01:20 AM
accompanying in a band pop and jazz
did that for a year and am retired so i can work on auditions
otherwise did classical and classical wannabe stuff with orchs and band

(also did a few ragtimes last year and years before)
Music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Offline JPRitchie

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #10 on: August 11, 2005, 12:16:27 PM
Although some of Joplin's Sedalia and St. Louis rags have become quite popular, his New York rags haven't been played as much. "Gladiolous Rag" is from the late St. Louis period.  "Fig Leaf Rag", "Sugar Cane Rag", and "PineApple Rag" are early New York, while "Stoptime Rag", and "Scott Joplin's New Rag" are latter New York. When properly rendered, these pieces have a definite "show tune" sound to them with exceedingly well-tuned harmonies, in contrast with the broken chord "World's Fair" sound in earlier pieces. So, they might be better suited to popular tastes.
-Jim
P.S. My CD (https://www.cdbaby.com/ritchie) has material that might be of interest to anyone attempting to play these rags.
jpr

Offline prokomozart man

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #11 on: August 11, 2005, 08:28:14 PM
lotsa jazz and rag!

Offline prokomozart man

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #12 on: August 11, 2005, 08:29:54 PM
oh and I was in a funk-band in highschool. I think it's great to play things other than classical!

Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #13 on: August 11, 2005, 09:22:30 PM
i play jazz and rock guitar.

Offline mwarner1

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #14 on: August 12, 2005, 03:40:05 AM
I grew up on both classical and ragtime, actually. The first music I can recall hearing is Beethoven's 6th and 9th symphonies and Joplin rags. I used to play a bunch of the rags but would have to relearn most of them now. The ones I used to play were "The Entertainer," "Maple Leaf Rag," "Gladiolus Rag," "Solace," "The Magnetic Rag," "Pine Apple Rag," and "Wall Street Rag." I might still be able to make my way through Maple Leaf from memory, but that's a big maybe. I haven't touched Joplin in years, but I will undoubtedly return to him at some time or another. The ones I found most enjoyable to play were probably the "Wall Street Rag" and "Gladiolus Rag," although "Solace," if played correctly (very slowly!), can make a grown man cry...

In particular, I find the harmonic content of the third strains to be quite stimulating. The third strain of "Wall Street Rag," for me, defines ragtime.

Offline arensky

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #15 on: August 12, 2005, 05:13:52 AM
Does anyone play anything other than classical?

  I guess that has something to do with teachers and what they prefer to teach students to play. 

I play both Jazz and Classical, and make a living doing both. What I've found is that when classical muscians find out you play Jazz, they treat you like some kind of freak, it usually goes like"This is my friend the Jazz Pianist": as if to say, "this is my Black Friend" or "this is my Asian friend".  What Jazz muscians do is equally annoying, and more insidious, although it happens less as Jazz becomes academcized(sp) and methodical: they say " Hey, he has all that classical training" as if that makes you some sort of spy from the government, and somehow makes your improvisation less honest; let's see, most of the great stide pianists, Art Tatum(I own most of his recordings) Fats Waller,James P.Johnson(a symphonic"Classical" composer) and Willie the Lion Smith had "classical" training at some point, and Waller had lessons with Godowsky! So I just go my way, play my club and hotel dates and recitals and concerti and enjoy my rich multifaceted musical life. :D

Hamster (I love that!), the problem with teachers (I'm one too) is that most of them cannot start to appreciate anything outside of the realm of their own experience. When you become "the wise owl" with your mortarboard, or (more akin to Jazz) the "guru", you are setting yourself up as an authoriy or authority figure.  Confessing ignorance of a topic or subject close to your field of professed "wisdom" will undermine that authority, or so many of the owls and gurus believe. If you have not experienced something, how can you discuss it let alone teach it? And the sad fact is that "Classical" piano and "Jazz" piano are still considered to be different worlds, and the inhabitants of the respective castles still view the other with suspicion. How can the jazzer appreciate Bach is he doesn't sit down and learn a piece? Instead of harping on the fact that "I'm creative because I improvise!" If they would ditch their own original genius for a few minutes a day and get inside of Bach's Head or Ravel's head or whoever, they would learn something that would inform and enrich their precious "own thing"! How can the "legito" ( Jazz slang for "legitimate musician",a term of derision) unerstand Bill Evans or Art Tatum? NOT BY PLAYING TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDINGS!!!!!! >:( Bad Classical Pianist! Bad Legito! :) Just kidding folks! You can only understand Jazz by doing it! Grabbing music out of thin air, composing spontaneously, improvising, making stuff up, whatever it is.

Anyway, that was long (whew) and somewhat unfocused; this is a question that deserves more thought and elucidation; I will start some posts about these issues, soon. Anyway, most piano teachers don't teach Jazz because they don't know about it, and should anyone teach what they don't know?? By the way, if you play stride piano and ragtime well, you don't need classical training. (but see abov re. Tatum, Waller etc.) And as you can see from reading this thread, ragtime is now a part of the classical pianists background and experience, and in fact has become part of the classical repertoire, although many teachers still treat it as  an amusement or "something else" This too, shall pass.
And someday we shall return to the days when all musicians compose and improvise, like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Monk, Parker, Coltrane and Hendrix:)

Do you play "Jinx Rag" by Artie Matthews? There's a great 20th Century piece! I paricularly enjoy "Pine Apple" "Wall Street" and "Gladiolus" Rags by Joplin, and "Grace and Beauty and "Frogs Legs" by Scott; There's so much good Ragtime, and like "classical pieces", some not so good :D

                Jazz is America's  Classical Music.  Dr. Billy Taylor

=  o        o  =
   \     '      /   

"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline allthumbs

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Re: Does anyone play anything other than classical?
Reply #16 on: August 12, 2005, 05:15:30 AM

Greetings

I used to play ragtime in the early '70's (even got to meet and hear Eubie Blake play in a free concert before he passed away).

While I still like to play and listen to ragtime, I find that it's not as challenging as the serious classical repertoire, nor as diverse.

Just my opinion.

Cheers
Sauter Delta (185cm) polished ebony 'Lucy'
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