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Topic: Legato  (Read 2063 times)

Offline x_mozart

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Legato
on: June 07, 2006, 06:01:01 PM
I don't get it. I play piano, i do try to do legato, but somehow it sometimes doesn't work. There's two kinds of legato right? Pedaling legato and also finger legato? Or..is there more? o_O
I wanna know how you can practise legato properly. And how long do pianists practise to perfect legato?
I'm currently playing gr.9 and gr.10 repetoir music, RCM level. I've been playing for 1 and a half years right now.
Can anyone recommend any pieces which i can practise legato in my grade level?

Thank you.

Offline Mozartian

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Re: Legato
Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 06:05:49 PM
Try some Mozart sonatas?

Ideally you should be able to play a legato passage legato without the pedal. Unfortunately I can't really explain how to practice legato- to me it's all in the ear (which, from a technical standpoint at least, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever :-\).
[lau] 10:01 pm: like in 10/4 i think those little slurs everywhere are pointless for the music, but I understand if it was for improving technique

Offline gruffalo

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Re: Legato
Reply #2 on: June 07, 2006, 06:33:01 PM
how much of scales do you practice and how much do you practice them and it what ways?

Offline Kassaa

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Re: Legato
Reply #3 on: June 07, 2006, 06:35:42 PM
Try some Mozart sonatas?

Ideally you should be able to play a legato passage legato without the pedal. Unfortunately I can't really explain how to practice legato- to me it's all in the ear (which, from a technical standpoint at least, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever :-\).
As Mozartian says here, legato is something in the ear. You should think from one note to the other, before playing the note already thinking how it should sound. When you really know how something should sound and think it before playing it it will be a lot easier to play and it will sound more as you want it to sound.

Edit, Chopin nocturnes require good legato technique, and maybe the second movement of the Italian concerto by Bach? Try to do the last one completely without pedal.

Offline zheer

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Re: Legato
Reply #4 on: June 07, 2006, 07:30:58 PM
the Italian concerto by Bach? .

   Very difficult.

    Bach + mozart.












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Offline Kassaa

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Re: Legato
Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 07:33:49 PM
   Very difficult.

    Bach + mozart.













Yeah, second movement is a pregnant dog, the memorizing sucked arse, but it did help me playing legato and thinking long lines.

Btw, I'm now uploading a vid of the complete Italian Concerto that I played in a small church some months ago.

Offline henrah

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Re: Legato
Reply #6 on: June 07, 2006, 08:42:05 PM
Experiment to find out at what point the next note needs to be played to coincide exactly with when the previous note ends.
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline nicco

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Re: Legato
Reply #7 on: June 07, 2006, 10:51:44 PM
Chopin etude Op.10 No.3 is etude for legato ;) A lot of finger legato, substitute of fingers is required. And of course bach preludes and fugues.
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline kriskicksass

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Re: Legato
Reply #8 on: June 07, 2006, 11:05:24 PM
I'm not going to pretend to be familiar with any syllabus or grading system, but numbers like 9 and 10 generally don't go with a year and a half of playing. If you're having trouble with legato, I'll bet anything the music you're playing is simply too difficult for your hands at this point. Play scales, Hanon, Bach inventions and sinfonias, and maybe some light Chopin (as in mazurkas). Play something that feels easy, but make it absolutely perfect. Be patient. A smooth legato, like all facets of pianism, takes time discipline.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Legato
Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 07:30:01 AM
  Legato is not something you can just practice and you get better (although you can try and take a very, very long time to even achieve a bit of what you want).  It is entirely a matter of technique.  Because it is a matter of technique, playing Mozart, Bach, or any other kind of piece or study will not help.  What will help is a teacher, a very good one for your situation, who specifically knows how to teach you the technique of legato.

  From my observations of other students and teachers (even ones at universities with doctorates), I have seen that very, very few even understand the sound of legato, let alone the technique.  What is considered legato by many is not actually legato at all!  It's appalling that there are teachers who teach, who are highly respected, have had wonderful performing careers and 1)can't play legato or 2) if they can, don't have any intellectual understanding about how to teach it to others.

  The problem about legato is ignorance about what must mechanically occur in the piano and what your body must do to achieve this action.  Find a teacher who at least knows what your body has to do to get this legato effect.  Someone who prescribes Czerny, Bach, Mozart, et al knows little to nothing.  Look elsewhere.  The alternative is to go to a library and search for books about piano playing and look through the table of contents for a chapter on legato.  Many books have it but many are inaddequate especially the older ones.  Try Sandor's, On Piano Playing, to name one which deals almost exclussively with technique.  Then after you have read the chapter(s), apply the intellectual information and turn it into practical information by applying it.  This is what I have done because of the poor instruction I have recieved and I was tired of teachers telling me to "practice at least 3 hours a day [and you will get better]".  I practice significantly less now with far better results.

Offline zheer

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Re: Legato
Reply #10 on: June 08, 2006, 08:33:21 AM
     Haw to achieve perfect legato according to Horowitz. Start by holding down the middle C with your thumb, then hold down the following D with your third finger thus the note C and D are held down together. Finaly move your thumd under the third finger wilst holding down the note D with the third finger , the objective is to play the follwing E with the third finger as soon as the thumb lands on the note D. Therefore creating the illusion of perfect legato.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Legato
Reply #11 on: June 09, 2006, 09:09:56 AM
     Haw to achieve perfect legato according to Horowitz. Start by holding down the middle C with your thumb, then hold down the following D with your third finger thus the note C and D are held down together. Finaly move your thumd under the third finger wilst holding down the note D with the third finger , the objective is to play the follwing E with the third finger as soon as the thumb lands on the note D. Therefore creating the illusion of perfect legato.

This doesn't even come close to describing what the body must do to depress and release the keys to play legato.

The dampers of each note play a significant part in legato playing and learning how to manipulate them smoothly is one of the mechanical components in the production of a smooth transition from tone to tone - id est: legato.  The dampers must damp each string slowly so the resonance of the strings do not silence abrubptly.  When this is achieved there is no accent on the note silenced allowing the next note to sound without the competition of attention of the ear.  This is just one aspect.

Offline zheer

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Re: Legato
Reply #12 on: June 09, 2006, 12:40:55 PM
The dampers of each note play a significant part in legato playing and learning how to manipulate them smoothly is one of the mechanical components in the production of a smooth transition from tone to tone - id est: legato.  The dampers must damp each string slowly so the resonance of the strings do not silence abrubptly.  When this is achieved there is no accent on the note silenced allowing the next note to sound without the competition of attention of the ear.  This is just one aspect.

   Ok thats the mechanics of piano playing, a good piano tuner will think that way. However as a pianist two things should  be considerd, the first thing to consider is the end result ie the music, the second thing to consider is the means whereby ie the process of sound manipulation through the finger tips.

   A good place to start is with Chopins Etude op 25 no 2 in f minor, i wont go into detail but with this etude you need to think like a violinist.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline chocolatedog

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Re: Legato
Reply #13 on: June 09, 2006, 09:35:11 PM
I would work on legato initially separately to learning a piece. Do you play scales? Then practise playing these at a steady tempo as legato as possible. Or try first on a simple 5-finger exercise - C-D-E-F-G-F-E-D-C-....etc until confident. To play legato there should be absolutely NO gap in the sound between the notes. As far as the fingers go, there should be the slightest overlap between the fingers, ie, the first finger does not let go of the note until the next finger has depressed the next note, but it should be the very slightest overlap. Any longer leads to blurring, any less leads to a gap in the sound. It's like walking - make your fingers "walk" (you know, the kind of thing you probably did as a child...!) and you get the kind of idea. Then when you can produce a good legato, try applying it in a piece of music.

Offline steveie986

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Re: Legato
Reply #14 on: June 10, 2006, 12:23:00 AM
First of all, you are deluding yourself if you think you are on level 9 after a year and a half.

There's no way you can be at level 9 or 10 without being able to play legato. That's like saying you are studying calculus of variations without knowing algebra. I think you skipped some material and got a little ahead of yourself. Your enthusiasm for learning is good but perhaps you should consider backing up a little bit.
 

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