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Topic: List of techniques  (Read 24850 times)

Offline mrdaveux

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List of techniques
on: September 17, 2005, 03:16:48 PM
Hey everybody!

I thought it would be interesting if we all make up a list of the technical issues encountered by pianists (not musical ones, which are way more important, just the mechanical ones), with the pieces that exemplify (is that a word ?...) them. So I'll go ahead and get started, and anybody can add to it (it would be interesting if we could find an appropriate classification for these techniques too).

Scales (Moszkowski's op. 72 #11)
Arpeggios (Chopin op. 25 #12)
Chromatic runs (end in coda of Chopin Ballade op.23)
Octaves-staccato (Liszt Rhapsody #6)
Octaves-legato (Chopin op.25 #... I forgot the number of the etude!)
Octaves-broken (Liszt Ballade #2)
Double notes-legato (Liszt feux follets)
Wrist rotation (any Mozart sonata)
Jumps (Liszt Camapnella)
Polyrythm (Chopin op.66)

Offline stevie

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #1 on: September 17, 2005, 03:20:55 PM
well this is very interesting because there is literally an almost infinite amount of possible technical permutations.

no exercise book (not even liszt's or cortot's) covers everything.

this is why its only important to study the most oft-occuring difficulties and techniques, and it is true that learning one technique can help with another of the same category-
ie - scales in 6ths will help with scales in 5ths and 7ths.

Offline nanabush

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #2 on: September 17, 2005, 04:04:35 PM
I'll add to arpeggioes... Chopin op 10 # 11 (i think)  E flat major, arpeggioes for both hands entire way through
Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline paris

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #3 on: September 17, 2005, 07:19:05 PM
Jumps (Liszt Camapnella)

well there are many different kinds of technique in la campanella

jumps
repetitions
double thrills
4-5 thrill (or if you're lucky 3-5  ;) )
octaves

those jumps on beggining are easiest part of it
Critics! If one would be a critic, one should begin with self-criticism !
    -Franz Liszt

Offline bernhard

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #4 on: September 17, 2005, 07:30:58 PM
I am sorry to disapoint you guys, but this is the wrong way to go about it.

You see, technique is a way of doing things.  You are not listing techniques, you are listing things to do for which you require specific techniques.

A scale or arpeggio is not a technique. It is a musical figuration. The way you do a scale or arpeggio is the technique. Unfortunately there is not a single way to do these things, it depends on the musical context. A scale in a Bach fugue will require a "technique" (a way of doing it) very different from a scale in a Liszt study.

Then there are "techniques" that may be completely inapropriate in one context and perfect for other contexts (e.g., Baroque fingering where a long finger goes over a sorter finger can be used to great effect in certain passages - of all periods - where normal passing of the thumb would generate very awkward movements).

Even "jumps" are not technique. The way you achieve the jump is the technique.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline stevie

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #5 on: September 17, 2005, 07:53:53 PM
that is true, technically ;) but we all know what is meant.

musical figurations, pianistic figurations, it is fascinating the amount of ways a simple melody can be presented.

i love liszt's operatic fantasies, not only for their drama and great tunes, but because of the sheer variety of colour and sounds he gets from the piano.

Offline rob47

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #6 on: September 18, 2005, 04:28:26 AM
i find a very tricky musical figuration to be brinnging out a simple melody in tha right hand which is to be played within an octave pattern, such as petroucka's third mvt.  Gilels does this quite well.

"Phenomenon 1 is me"
-Alexis Weissenberg

Offline mrdaveux

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #7 on: September 18, 2005, 04:06:55 PM
Hello there.

I understand that what I was listing aren't really techniques, but pianistic figurations, OK. What I wanted with a list of those, if possible by categories, is a guideline for my students, so that I could set a plan for them to study each figuration (having them practice pieces that contain them), so that they can become well equiped pianists.

I mean, myself, for example, I wasn't introduced to octaves and thirds until my 6th year of lessons... how is that possible ? Now I would like to establish a goal for each year, so my students could cover a certain amount of figurations according to their level. Am I going the wrong way about this ?

Offline jehangircama

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #8 on: September 19, 2005, 02:56:30 PM
left hand speed: chopin revolutionary
finger jumps : chopin op25 no.1
You either do or do not. There is no try- Yoda

Life is like a piano, what you get out of it depends on how you play it

Offline bernhard

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #9 on: September 25, 2005, 07:10:22 PM
Hello there.

I understand that what I was listing aren't really techniques, but pianistic figurations, OK. What I wanted with a list of those, if possible by categories, is a guideline for my students, so that I could set a plan for them to study each figuration (having them practice pieces that contain them), so that they can become well equiped pianists.

Yes. You want the logical system.

There are two main ways to go about learning a vast and complex field of knowledge. You can go from the general to the particular (deduction, or logical method), or you can go from the particular to the general (induction or pragmatical method).

Some people have a stronger inclination towards the logical method. They want to have the full picture, and then apply that general knowledge to each specific case as it appears.

Other people seem more at home with the pragmatical method, dealing with each case on its own terms.

So you have:

Pragmatical people x logical people
Pragmatical problems x logical problems.

Logical people excel at areas that respond well to logical methods
Pragmatical people excel at areas that respond well to pragmatical methods.

And of course mayhem ensues when logical people try to deal with pragmatical problems and pragmatical people try to deal with logical problems. And of course, pragmatical and logical people tend to get intensely irritated with each other. (Lock them in a room and they will end up killing each other – although it is likely the pragmatical person may have the upper hand on this one).

Of course, this scenario is unnecessary. We should be able to display both logical and pragmatical behaviour, and to deal accordingly with logical and pragmatical problems, and train ourselves to detect the differences. To paraphrase the Sufi prayer:

“Allah, grant me the logical acumen to deal with logical problems,
The pragmatical skills to solve pragmatical problems
And the wisdom to tell the difference.”

I happen to believe that the logical method does not work for piano learning (although it may work very well in other areas). And that piano playing/learning is eminently a pragmatical area best suited to a pragmatical approach.

This means tackling one piece at a time, and dealing with technical challenges as they present themselves in the pieces. In time, and by selecting a varied repertory, a pattern will emerge, which you could call the “logical system”. It is at this point that the temptation appears to believe that this is the logical system underlying all of piano playing. It is not. It is simply a personal synthesis. Nevertheless that is when a new piano pedagogy – based on this emerging, personal,  logical system is created.

Unfortunately this emerging “logical system” is completely individual. It may have served you well, and it may be corroborated by your extensive pragmatical experience, but it is an illusion to believe that it will serve everyone equally well.

Let me provide you with an example. The techniques below represent the logical systems of three teachers/pianists I highly admire and completely respect:

According to Gyorgy Sandor there are only five techniques in piano playing:

1.      Free fall
2.      Five fingers
3.      Rotation
4.      Sttacatto
5.      Thrust

Read Fink’s book and the number increases to 32:

1.      Arm extension with pronation
2.      Pendulum swing
3.      Arm rotation
4.      forearm push stroke
5.      lateral motion
6.      finger stroke
7.      hand scoop
8.      pulling fingers
9.      unfolding fingers
10.      arm cycling
11.      pulling arm legato
12.      pushing arm strokes
13.      gravity drops
14.      finger stretching
15.      forearm bounce
16.      forearm skip
17.      forearm rebounds
18.      hand bounce
19.      scoop chords
20.      thumb adduction, flexion and lateral movement
21.      overlapping legato
22.      unfolding finger
23.      sidesaddle walking
24.      joggle movement
25.      forearm finger groupings
26.      finger length adaptations
27.      Lateral extension
28.      Walking rebounds
29.      Fake legato
30.      Hand releases
31.      Hand finger staccato
32.      Finger releases

Then Alfred Cortot lists the following:

1.   Evenness
2.   Independence
3.   Mobility of fingers
4.   Passing under the thumb
5.   Scales and arpeggios
6.   Double notes
7.   Poliphonic playing
8.   Extensions
9.   Technique of wrists
10.   Execution of chords

As you can see, each author summarises the information in their own way, and none of them is truly talking about “technique” (= a way of doing things). In fact, some of them (e.g. Cortot when he talks about passing under the thumb – as a technique, which it is but a completely inappropriate one in 99.9% of piano passages) send you completely in the wrong direction.

Here are some threads that discuss similar issues:

https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2998.msg26268.html#msg26268
(scales HT – List of techniques according to Sandor, Liszt and Fink  - pragmatic and logical ways of teaching)

https://www.pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,8981.msg91081.html#msg91081
(repertory x purely technical exercises to acquire technique)

https://www.pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,8417.msg85259.html#msg85259
(when is a piece finished – why technique and interpretation cannot be divorced)

https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,2619.msg104249.html#msg104249
(Scale fingering must be modified according to the piece – Godard op. 149 no.5 – yet another example of the folly of technical exercises)

https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2192.msg21823.html#msg21823
(How to teach very young students – the historical method, the pragmatical  x logical method and total exposure as the best way for under-5s)

https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/board,4/topic,4880.3.html#msg46319
(discusses how to acquire technique and what technique actually is)

https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4385.msg41226.html#msg41226
(technique is personal and relative to the piece – Fosberry flop – the best books on technique)

https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4880.msg46339.html#msg46339
(definition of technique: quote from Fink, Sandor and Pires – Example of the A-E-A arpeggio)

https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,5352.msg50998.html#msg50998
(Exercises x repertory – why technique cannot be isolated from music – thorough discussion of warm-up)

https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,7341.msg114168.html#msg114168
(repeated note-groups for difficult passages – correct technique is never uncomfortable – rotation as the solution to 5th finger weakness – criticism to misguided technical exercises – trusting the unconscious)

https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,7175.msg114163.html#msg114163
(wrist action – the movements that should be avoided when playing and the movements that should be used).

Quote
I mean, myself, for example, I wasn't introduced to octaves and thirds until my 6th year of lessons... how is that possible ?

Simple. Your repertory was not varied enough. (Why that was so, you will have to tell us: Maybe you were not interested, maybe your teacher did not give you enough pieces, etc.)

Quote
Now I would like to establish a goal for each year, so my students could cover a certain amount of figurations according to their level. Am I going the wrong way about this?

The best way to go about this (just my opinion of course) is to sit with the student and find out a number of pieces s/he would love to learn. Take a pro-active role in this: Show him/her (I give my students several CDs for them to listen to) a variety of pieces, of different levels of difficulty - that is don't expect them to have a wide musical taste or even knowledge. Let them choose their favourites. Then youwill have an idea of their taste. Then build them a varied (in terms of musical figurations) repertory, ordered in progressive difficulty (so that one piece prepares for the next) preferably covering different styles and eras. I don’t think that 30 pieces a year is overwhelming. In five years your student should easily have amassed a 150 – 200 pieces in his repertory, and if these pieces were cleverly chosen most piano technique would have been covered, and your student will have an awesome repertory.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline quasimodo

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #10 on: September 26, 2005, 08:12:57 AM
Of course, this scenario is unnecessary. We should be able to display both logical and pragmatical behaviour, and to deal accordingly with logical and pragmatical problems, and train ourselves to detect the differences.

Can't the ability to detect the differences be considered as... pragmatism  ;D ?
" On ne joue pas du piano avec deux mains : on joue avec dix doigts. Chaque doigt doit être une voix qui chante"

Samson François

Offline rohansahai

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #11 on: September 27, 2005, 01:58:26 AM
i find a very tricky musical figuration to be brinnging out a simple melody in tha right hand which is to be played within an octave pattern, such as petroucka's third mvt.  Gilels does this quite well.


Elbows out, bring out the top voice of the octaves and the melody sings out ' a la Gilels '.
Waste of time -- do not read signatures.

Offline rob47

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Re: List of techniques
Reply #12 on: September 27, 2005, 02:07:44 AM
True, but I just gave up instead.
"Phenomenon 1 is me"
-Alexis Weissenberg
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