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Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( +"Alphabet and 3 Rules of Dynamics" in comments ) (Read 20451 times)

Offline vladimirdounin

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I am sorry that I had no opportunity to participate in the work of this wonderful Forum for more than one year. I am very moved and appreciated that some of the members of this Forum still remember me and send sometimes e-mails to me.

May this my recording (encore from ordinary concert - I recently played it at "Glenn Gould Concert Studio" of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - CBC, Toronto, Ontario, October 20. 2006) be my HELLO to everybody who remembers my postings about Fine Indication Of Relative Note Intensity (FIORNI) and around this and other problems in performing and teaching.

With my best wishes,

Vladimir Dounin

piano sheet music of Für Elise


Offline counterpoint

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( it is back, NOT removed )
«Reply #1 on: November 19, 2006, 10:08:09 PM »
Really great, I am deeply impressed by the subtlety of your playing! You know, this piece is one of the most maltreated piano pieces one can think of. So I'm quite fearful whenever someone threatens to play this  :D
But what pleasing surprise hearing your wonderful performance!
I'm very curious about your "rules", which - surprisingly - seem really to work.
Could you tell more about it?
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( it is back, NOT removed )
«Reply #2 on: November 30, 2006, 12:00:26 PM »
Really great, I am deeply impressed by the subtlety of your playing! You know, this piece is one of the most maltreated piano pieces one can think of. So I'm quite fearful whenever someone threatens to play this  :D
But what pleasing surprise hearing your wonderful performance!
I'm very curious about your "rules", which - surprisingly - seem really to work.
Could you tell more about it?

I would like to tell and I consider this my duty and  the first objective of being here. I had no opportunity to visit Forum for more than year due to personal problems and moving. Now I was very glad to read numerous requests to read more about "these rules".

These rules are very simple and logical. All of them (that I know) I can write on one standard  Letter Size page. The problem is that no one of them was printed ever before (as far as I know), and the fact itself that I had a chick to print them causes usually severe allergy.

 By the way, my teachers did not allow me to write down or mark in my scores any of them. It was very easy for me  to understand them in the country, where, e.g., great D. Shostakovich in 1948 was thrown away (for his "formalism in music") not only from the Conservatory (he lost in this way his job as professor) but from his appartment simply on the street as well.   

These rules are obviously  the same kind of "formalism in music". However, I could not expect such "totalitarian emotions" around them, these "passions" really surprised me. I taught these rules without any problem to 5-6 years old beginners, to my choristers in opera, who never did music before and performed on the stage in excellent way after 15-20 rehearsals, to violinists, to saxophonists etc. However, many colleagues of mine do not want to listen about any rules in music (they believe in so called "self-expression" instead) and deny even any reason for using them.

In spite of all these circumstances, I would like to try to tell about all of these rules here. However, instead of printing all of them at once, let us do everything step by step: exactly like I do with my students of any age. As long as I will have "feed back" (does not matter:positive or negative) I will continue these steps.

STEP ONE. We must accept the simple fact that our Piano music is a wonderful kind of ... math. It is not more frustrating fact at all than the statement that flowers are made of molecules, or each of us consists of atoms. And even the most exiting words in our lives are made just of simple and boring letters. This is the truth, even if we do not like it. Pitch = frequency of vibrations, just data. Timing and Volume are pure math as well. That's all. I do not know anything else in Piano music. If somebody can enrich my knowledge - let us discuss it. 

EXERCISE ONE. Please play any two notes with the absolutely equal strength. For example, B and C, forte. Ask at least 3 persons: which note is louder? If the answer is "C" or "B", you have to ask them: are you sure? If any of 3 persons says that he/she is sure - you are not ready to start learning "The Rules". You have to practice more. If all 3 say that the strengths of notes are absolutely the same - congratulations! You are ready for our "step two". But tell me, please, about your results first.

With my best wishes,

Vladimir Dounin.   

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" of playing beautifully)
«Reply #3 on: December 01, 2006, 10:39:32 AM »
I'm very curious about your "rules", which - surprisingly - seem really to work.
Could you tell more about it?
Quote

STEP TWO: In spite of popular opinion that "the bigger contrasts in dynamics are the better ones" we have to realize that our dynamics are in fact very limited. It is not only about our physical power and durability of "Steiway" and "Yamaha", it is about our audience. The person in a very first row hears you louder by 80 times (these are scientific data - do you want to make him deaf at the end of your concert?) than the person in the last one (do you want him/her to stand up and ask you to return money because nothing was possible to hear from their seats?).

It means that we can make the only illusion of fortissimo and pianissimo but never use any of both in real. About technical details of these illusions we will speak later. Today we have to think about the words that many great pianists expressed in different ways but the sense was still the same: the bigger master uses the smaller resourses (it is about differences as well). We can say today: the biggest uses the smallest ones and try to find out: what is "the smallest?".

EXERCISE TWO: Play any two notes in sequence (e.g. our familiar "B" and "C") with the SMALLEST difference in volume that you can feel. Ask at least 3 persons: which one is louder? If only one or no one will answer properly, your difference was too small. However, if all three gave the right answer - you  did too much, your difference was TOO BIG.

However, if two of three feel about your "B" and "C" the same that you ment - you are really great today: it is exactly the SMALLEST difference that we can feel. We will call this SMALLEST difference in a very simple way - One Degree of difference = 1'.

I am waiting for your comments and opinions (positive or negative - both are welcomed). Then we will continue our "school of playing beautifully".

                    Vladimir Dounin                             

Offline counterpoint

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #4 on: December 01, 2006, 11:19:58 AM »
Dear Mr. Dounin,

it seems to me that you make very much words which contain very little information. Great part of the people in this forum are well trained pianists/piano players, who don't have a problem in controlling their dynamics. Perhaps you have students in your everyday work, who never in their life thought about dynamics at all.

What is interesting to me is the point, where your special method is different from that, what we all learned from our teachers. Since you tell us, that your method will make us play as the world's best pianists in a few hours. Until now, that sounds as an empty phrase to me.

On the other side, you are playing very well and beautiful, but that is no prove for your method. You're a musical person and you have the intuiton to play as beautiful as you do. But I bet, you had some really good teachers, which told you much more about music and piano playing than just dynamics and timing.

So, please, what's your method about, what is different from others?  ;)
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 08:11:27 AM »
QUOTE
Dear Mr. Dounin,

it seems to me that you make very much words which contain very little information. Great part of the people in this forum are well trained pianists/piano players, who don't have a problem in controlling their dynamics. Perhaps you have students in your everyday work, who never in their life thought about dynamics at all.

ANSWER

Dear Counterpoint,

I appreciate your comments and will try my best to satisfy you. I have understood that you have no problem in controlling your dynamics (I wish to say the same about myself and my students but have no reason for such a statement. I, and all my students, of course,  have a lot of problems with dynamics. And the more of them we solve - the more others we see behind solved ones. This is my reason of being here).

I am specializing not in Dynamics but in "Microdynamics". I want to know relations between any pair of neghboring notes: which of them is louder or softer in comparison to the next and previous ones. If we will compare our notes with shingles on the roof - I want to know exactly: which side of each shingle should be "above" and which side should be "under". You know that  roof will be leaking if order of these "over" and "under" is wrong. Exactly the same we can see/hear in music: music is ugly and boring, if wrong notes are stressed or softened.

If you do not see any problem for you on this field, tell me, please about the first 27 notes of "Fur Elise": which one of these 27 notes (they are pasted here, at the top of this post) do you stress and which one do you soften? I will even more appreciate if you will tell me the same about the first 27 notes in my recording that I attached here. In this case I will be able to compare your version with the another one that is in my head.

Please, take my request seriously and do this favour for me. I am really interested: what you will answer. Especially interesting for me is your way that you (inevitable) will  have to find to convey this information to me and other readers. (I and my students do it easily - that is the basis of my method).

QUOTE
What is interesting to me is the point, where your special method is different from that, what we all learned from our teachers. Since you tell us, that your method will make us play as the world's best pianists in a few hours. Until now, that sounds as an empty phrase to me.

ANSWER

"Our Teachers" tought us right notes and more/less right timing. However, they usually did not know the way to correct bad phrasing and wrong stressing and softenning of the notes. As far as know, only method "play like I play" was used. The majority of students are not able to copy play of their teachers. This is the reason, why so many students drop music: they can not enjoy what they play. All what we have to do to improve the situation is: to give to our students exact, accurate knowledge about each note they play. I am suggesting an "easy-digestable" form of this knowledge. That is new.


QUOTE
On the other side, you are playing very well and beautiful, but that is no prove for your method. You're a musical person and you have the intuiton to play as beautiful as you do. But I bet, you had some really good teachers, which told you much more about music and piano playing than just dynamics and timing.

ANSWER
I am very thankful to my country for my 19 years of super-intensive and FREE musical education (who can afford the same here?), even more - the state paid me (scolarship) for my successful study. I know about music at least 100 times more than any of my students.

However, many of my students play the same pieces better than I do, if I give them right instructions about each note in the score. I have to post their recordings here, in "Audition Room", of course. This should  be a real proof for "The Rules". I am going to do it  as soon as I will learn technical details of recordings (equipment is bought already).

I do not think that this way is better than my education, but it is more effective and economical. It means that everyone can play better than I do, for much cheaper price than my state and myself (practicing in ineffective way) paid.

So, please, what's your method about, what is different from others?  ;)
Quote

ANSWER

Please, read my recent answer to "Marik" in "Performance" ("The best way to play "Moonlight"). I described the method in a very short way there. (Sorry, I do not know: how can I copy my text from that answer here).

With my best wishes,

Vladimir Dounin

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #6 on: December 02, 2006, 08:31:32 AM »
QUOTE
gorbee natcase
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
                                           You should write a book and cash in.


ANSWER

I have remembered one song with the words: “Sometimes silence says much more than many words”. Now I can see clearly: why “The Rules” work perfectly “in contact” and never “from a distance”? The simple answer is that nobody reads them.

Now I do believe that I can write a book, I do believe that some people can buy it. However, I do NOT believe that anyone will read the first 100 pages out of 102. Everyone will read just page 101 and page 102 and then say with disappointment: “Unfortunately, this does not work. It is not possible even to understand: what this is all about”.

Imagine, please, that you are trying to teach “Building Materials and Construction Business” from a distance, but no one is interested to know: what brick is and how to make it? 

Can these tiny differences in strength of the notes be really important? I would like to answer with such a parallel:
 If my Chinese student asks his Mom: “Could you, please bring poison for my teacher?” -  I am not scared for my life. I say “thanks” and drink glass full of this “poison”. Because I know that my careful student simply noticed from my voice that I had a sore throat.

Why “poison” then?
- Because China has very old medical traditions and Chinese language and mentality do not consider medicine and poison as something different. It corresponds perfectly with the basic statement of classical European medicine: “Everything is a poison, everything is a medicine. Only dosage (quantity) makes a difference”.

Absolutely the same can be said about any language, including one of them – our beloved Music. Try to say your “Hello” to your friends “ppp” (too soft) – and they will be going to call “Ambulance”. Try to say “fff”(too loud): “How are you?” to your boss at work, - and he will call police or fire you, etc.

Modern specialists say that these tiny differences in strength of certain sounds are the biggest problem and obstacle in learning foreign languages, especially in distant learning.

I will never forget one my neighbor in Johannesburg. He immigrated to South Africa from Liverpool, England, where he was born and lived over 50 years. And this well educated British gentleman complained to me (Russian immigrant with 200-300 words of vocabulary) that I am the only one person in South Africa, who can understand him without problem. All the rest immediately asked him (quotation): “Which bloody language are you speaking?” The explanation was: I did not know right stressing and softening in English words at all, and my brain was “open” for any variant of pronunciation. At that time I did not know “South African English” as well yet. However, today I can not understand already all the friends and relatives of my sister in USA; she has to translate for me almost each of their phrases. This is happening because I got used to “Canadian English”. By the way, one famous American actress wrote in her CV: Foreign Languages  - English but very poor.

There is no one reason to be arrogant about these tiny “degrees” of difference: try to exaggerate them, or cancel them at all – and your music will be ugly, boring, dead. It is not easy, it is very-very difficult to catch and analyze these differences without special training. Try, please to write down the exact “temperature” of the first notes of “Fur Elise” that I attached here. I am sure: many will give up. However, there is no way around this problem. We have to know exactly: what to do, if we want to be successful in any business, especially in music. 

With my best wishes,

Vladimir Dounin

Offline counterpoint

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #7 on: December 02, 2006, 09:35:37 AM »
Quote
I have understood that you have no problem in controlling your dynamics (I wish to say the same about myself and my students but have no reason for such a statement. I, and all my students, of course,  have a lot of problems with dynamics. And the more of them we solve - the more others we see behind solved ones. This is my reason of being here).

Well, greatest part of learning a new piece is finding out adequate dynamics (which include microdynamics) and timing. But I would not say, thats a "problem". It's part of the fun learning a new piece.


Quote
I am specializing not in Dynamics but in "Microdynamics". I want to know relations between any pair of neghboring notes: which of them is louder or softer in comparison to the next and previous ones. If we will compare our notes with shingles on the roof - I want to know exactly: which side of each shingle should be "above" and which side should be "under". You know that  roof will be leaking if order of these "over" and "under" is wrong. Exactly the same we can see/hear in music: music is ugly and boring, if wrong notes are stressed or softened.


Why pairs of notes? Most musical motives/phrases consist of more than 2 notes. And taking your image of shingles on the roof: I would prefer to use flexible rubber-shingles, which adapt automatically to the requirements.

Quote
If you do not see any problem for you on this field, tell me, please about the first 20 notes of "Fur Elise": which one of these 20 do you stress and which one do you soften? I will even more appreciate if you will tell me the same about first 20 notes in my recording that I attached here. In this case I will be able to compare your version with the another one that is in my head.


I'm wondering, if you really want to play a piece exactly the same, every time you play it.
That's a horrible idea to me. And then these 20 notes will be repeated while playing the complete piece many, many times. Do I want to hear that special motive every time in the same accentuation? No!

Okay, considering how to play the beginning of "Für Elise", there are some thoughts,
speaking of the first 9 notes:

is it one single motive, or is there a (virtual) break after the 5th note? I tend to the second.
We have a (slow) trill and a 4-note-motive. In this 4-note motive the 2nd and the 4th note are accented. The trill will begin with an accent in my opinion (contrary to how you do play it).

The continuation (left hand/right hand):  here we have arpeggios, which are played with crescendo to the highest note (no accentuation of notes in between these arpeggios).
The repetition of the trill now with octave jump at the beginning: here the lower note of the octave is accentuated.

That's how I would play it, but I will make small changes of rubato and/or contrary accentuation each time, I play the music anyway.



Quote
"Our Teachers" tought us right notes and more/less right timing. However, they usually did not know the way to correct bad phrasing and wrong stressing and softenning of the notes.


I had teachers, who were very accurate in the respect of phrasing/dynamics/timing (and fingering too). Often I was not really convinced of what they suggested, but it gave me the awareness how important these things are.


Quote
As far as know, only method "play like I play" was used.

That's not true for me.

But it seems, that your actual method is just this.


Seems to become an interesting discussion, I'm curious hearing your reply.
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline piano121

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 01:24:45 PM »
About the Pour Elise, it´s nice some one have the corage to post it after all. There is so much prejudice against this piece. Shure, thousants of students have beeing playng this badly, but any way It´s a lovely piece when is well played.

Overall, I like you interpretation of this music, my only complaint, is about the tird section. IMO you start it way to furious in the firts note, already Forte, so you lost the feeling of crescendo at the progression of that part. Other than that it´s very nice, specially this first section.

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #9 on: December 04, 2006, 08:16:00 AM »
quote author=counterpoint link=topic=21780.msg244224#msg244224 date=1165052137
Well, greatest part of learning a new piece is finding out adequate dynamics (which include microdynamics) and timing. But I would not say, thats a "problem". It's part of the fun learning a new piece.


ANSWER
For me "fun" is music that sounds enjoably. However as long as it sounds irritating or simply disgusting - this is still "a problem" in my opinion.


QUOTE

Why pairs of notes? Most musical motives/phrases consist of more than 2 notes. And taking your image of shingles on the roof: I would prefer to use flexible rubber-shingles, which adapt automatically to the requirements.


ANSWER

1. Let us take such an example: If you asked my help in your bad relations with your neighbors and I knew that you were living in #23 Green Avenue, then I will negotiate with # 21 and #25 and try to fix your problem between "PAIR 21/23" or between "PAIR 23/25". It is very unlikely that my focus on #197 or # 11 could be productive in this case (I mean, that all houses on your side of Green Avenue had odd numbers).

2. Put your imaginary flexible rubber-shingles on the roof in such a way that the top part of each shingle is "over" ( not "under") the bottom part of the shingles in the next (in "UP" direction) row  and your house will be full of rain. Put "under" - and live "dry" in this case.

QUOTE

I'm wondering, if you really want to play a piece exactly the same, every time you play it.
That's a horrible idea to me. And then these 20 notes will be repeated while playing the complete piece many, many times. Do I want to hear that special motive every time in the same accentuation? No!


ANSWER

Would you like to hear from me even one  single time accentuation like " i AM li-VING in TO-ron TO"
or "pa-RYS is A ve - RY beau -TI -ful CA-pi-TAL of France" etc. I am tired of listening even from CDs and Broadcasting the same accentuations in music (it is questionable definition of this noise, of course). I prefer to use right stressing and softening "every time I play it"


QUOTE
Okay, considering how to play the beginning of "Für Elise", there are some thoughts,
speaking of the first 9 notes:

is it one single motive, or is there a (virtual) break after the 5th note? I tend to the second.
We have a (slow) trill and a 4-note-motive. In this 4-note motive the 2nd and the 4th note are accented. The trill will begin with an accent in my opinion (contrary to how you do play it).

The continuation (left hand/right hand):  here we have arpeggios, which are played with crescendo to the highest note (no accentuation of notes in between these arpeggios).
The repetition of the trill now with octave jump at the beginning: here the lower note of the octave is accentuated.

That's how I would play it, but I will make small changes of rubato and/or contrary accentuation each time, I play the music anyway.


ANSWER

Let us give your description of your way to play these first 9 notes of "Fur Elise" to my students, and my:

E-  D# +   E   D+  E  B-  D  C+  A 

 we will give to your students. Let us compare then: your or my instruction will be understood and fulfilled more accurately. Let us compare the lengths of our instructions as well.


QUOTE
I had teachers, who were very accurate in the respect of phrasing/dynamics/timing (and fingering too). Often I was not really convinced of what they suggested, but it gave me the awareness how important these things are.

ANSWER

My first instruction to new student is: do not believe anyone including myself. Because never ever your audience will say: very good pianist but he had a very bad teacher or red bad book. No way - they will say that you are bad. Do not play in the way that  did not convinced yourself. Because your audience never will believe and enjoy your music if you do not believe and enjoy.



QUOTE
That's not true for me.

But it seems, that your actual method is just this.

ANSWER

No, this impression is wrong. Never ever I say to any of my students: "Play like I play".
At the contrary: I always play for them different versions of the same sections  untill my students say: I like this one! After THEIR choice is made, I give them the shortest route to THEIR "ideal".
 


Seems to become an interesting discussion, I'm curious hearing your reply.


Vladimir Dounin

Offline counterpoint

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #10 on: December 04, 2006, 11:25:19 AM »
Would you like to hear from me even one  single time accentuation like " i AM li-VING in TO-ron TO"
or "pa-RYS is A ve - RY beau -TI -ful CA-pi-TAL of France" etc. I am tired of listening even from CDs and Broadcasting the same accentuations in music (it is questionable definition of this noise, of course). I prefer to use right stressing and softening "every time I play it"

Your "wrong" example sounds somewhat funny to me, since the accentuation, you give for "Für Elise" is pretty similar to it

" i AM li-VING in TO-ron TO"

E-  D#+   E   D#+  E  B-  D  C+  A


You have syncopated accents throughout these 9 notes. exept for the B D

Okay, you say, that your students are not supposed to play like you. That's great.

But why do you talk this negative about other pianists as

"I am tired of listening even from CDs and Broadcasting the same accentuations in music (it is questionable definition of this noise, of course)."

You talk like you have the key to paradise and that your students are free to play like they want. That sounds not very credible to me, I'm sorry.

If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #11 on: December 04, 2006, 11:51:31 PM »
Your "wrong" example sounds somewhat funny to me, since the accentuation, you give for "Für Elise" is pretty similar to it

" i AM li-VING in TO-ron TO"

E-  D#+   E   D#+  E  B-  D  C+  A


You have syncopated accents throughout these 9 notes. exept for the B D

Dear Counterpoint,

Yesterday I had no way to prove that you are wrong. Fortunately, a few minutes ago I read literally fantastic (for me, at least) post of Marik in "Performance" section. (About my performance of "Fur Elise"). Read it a.s.a.p., please!!!

Now I have evidence that my spelling of Notes Intensity and the real ones practically are the same.

Now you have only two options:

1st. You have to say that my way to play this melody of "Fur Elise" is disgusting for your ear and (the best variant) suggest your own, the better one (post it here, in Audition Room for comparison).

2nd. You have to admit that your "theoretical image" of this song in your head has nothing in common with the real one. That your teachers gave you wrong conception of "right accentuation". That you are teaching your students "wrong accentuation" as well.

Sorry for these words! It is not against you personally. It is a real disaster in our business. All the instructions about "wright accentuation" came from original insrtruction for Military Bands: how to play marches during parade: One - two - ONE - two- ONE - two and so on. This way to perform is excellent for illiterate soldiers recruited from their villages. From such a "performance" they can understand clearly which foot at the moment must make step on beat: LEFT - right - LEFT - right - LEFT - right with this accentuation.

However, this accentuation is at least ridiculous, more often - disgusting, if it is applied to divine melodies of Chopin, Mozart etc. 

A lot of musicians know this, often say about this but never write. Because all of them are scared of idots, who have right to dictate teachers: what to teach. (Like example, I can attach a few letters of "authorities". They in absolutely serious way "prohibit" me to teach my students to use pedal in charming sonatas by Clementi  and "Wild Rider" by Schuman. Now I have to go for their "seminars" to learn  and write down: where am I alowed and where am I prohibited to use pedal to fit their "standards").


QUOTE

You talk like you have the key to paradise and that your students are free to play like they want. That sounds not very credible to me, I'm sorry.


ANSWER

Now you have this "key to paradise" as well. Please, read recent Marik's post in Performance.
("The best way to play "Fur Elise"). Try to use it. If it will not work - post your or your students performance here and I will correct these mistakes (if any). Marik will confirm then all these corrections using his equipment.

Thanks for your very interesting objections! I am waiting for new ones.

Vladimir Dounin

 

Offline counterpoint

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #12 on: December 05, 2006, 12:38:10 AM »
Quote
Yesterday I had no way to prove that you are wrong. Fortunately, a few minutes ago I read literally fantastic (for me, at least) post of Marik in "Performance" section. (About my performance of "Fur Elise"). Read it a.s.a.p., please!!!

I have already read this new post of Marik. The values he got for your recording do match quite well. I never doubted this!


Quote
Now you have only two options:

1st. You have to say that my way to play this melody of "Fur Elise" is disgusting for your ear and (the best variant) suggest your own, the better one (post it here, in Audition Room for comparison).

I said already, that I liked your recording very much. But this statement does not mean, that I want to play the piece in the same way as you do. It's your way to play the piece. I play it my way. I'm quite sure, you would not like it. But for what reason should it be of any interest for me, if you like how I play the piece?


Quote
2nd. You have to admit that your "theoretical image" of this song in your head has nothing in common with the real one. That your teachers gave you wrong conception of "right accentuation". That you are teaching your students "wrong accentuation" as well.


As I said, you are not the measure, what is right or wrong for me. You don't seem to understand this!?

Quote
A lot of musicians know this, often say about this but never write. Because all of them are scared of idots, who have right to dictate teachers: what to teach. (Like example, I can attach a few letters of "authorities". They in absolutely serious way "prohibit" me to teach my students to use pedal in charming sonatas by Clementi  and "Wild Rider" by Schuman. Now I have to go for their "seminars" to learn  and write down: where am I alowed and where am I prohibited to use pedal to fit their "standards").

I don't know your situation. You are a free man in a free land. Who can force you to teach in a special form, you're not convinced of?




Quote
You talk like you have the key to paradise and that your students are free to play like they want. That sounds not very credible to me, I'm sorry.


ANSWER

Now you have this "key to paradise" as well. Please, read recent Marik's post in Performance.
("The best way to play "Fur Elise"). Try to use it. If it will not work - post your or your students performance here and I will correct these mistakes (if any). Marik will confirm then all these corrections using his equipment.



Again: I dont believe in any "best way" to play a piece of music, I only believe that there are many ways - and, as Schoenberg said: all ways lead to Rome except one: the middle way.


Quote
Thanks for your very interesting objections! I am waiting for new ones.

Thank you for your detailed and goodwilling explanations. There are some important points, where we disagree strictly, but there are also points, where we fight on the same side. Especially in the fight against alleged "authorities"  :D


counterpoint

If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline m

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #13 on: December 05, 2006, 08:15:01 AM »

Now I have evidence that my spelling of Notes Intensity and the real ones practically are the same.
 

Dear Vladimir,

Not THAT fast, and don't get THAT excited!

Before we resume, please listen to this version and tell me what is the difference in those 21 first notes compare to your original version, esp. in regards to what you call "musicality".

Best, Mark

Offline counterpoint

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #14 on: December 05, 2006, 09:39:10 AM »
 FurElise2.mp3 (86.12 KB - downloaded 4 times.)


That's really cool  :D
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #15 on: December 05, 2006, 09:50:17 AM »
I have already read this new post of Marik. The values he got for your recording do match quite well. I never doubted this!

Sorry, I understood you in a such way that you denied my ability to write down accurately the "temperature" exactly as it was played on piano. Thank you that you confirmed this vitally important for my method fact.  


Quote
I said already, that I liked your recording very much. But this statement does not mean, that I want to play the piece in the same way as you do. It's your way to play the piece. I play it my way. I'm quite sure, you would not like it. But for what reason should it be of any interest for me, if you like how I play the piece?

I do not think that you are right in your: "you would not like it". Everything that I know and can in music is "borrowed" from other performers and teachers, who did it differently from me but I liked their way. It is normal. Look at Seneca's letters: "Why I quote always thoughts of my enemies? - Because good thought belongs to everyone in the world. It is for each of us". Be sure vice-versa: that I will immediately "steal" from you even one single bar (of your interpretation), if it will touch my heart and soul. Like example of my borrowed from my teacher (Vladimir Nielsen, Sankt Petersburg, Russia) position on this matter, I'd  like to tell you one funny story:

I played to my teacher charming "Children Polka" by Glinka (Russian Mozart). He disliked one of themes (the whole Polka consists of popular children songs and opera themes) in my performance. He showed me the right way to play it. I liked it very much and immediately changed my mind. However, I said as an excuse, that I knew that theme as lullaby.Then I played this lullaby with the words singing to him.

I was really shocked when at another occasion my teacher disliked my "rough way" to play that theme and showed me with his own play: how it can sound amazingly beautiful  AS LULLABY. Then he even sang this lulluby to me with the words to convince me...



Quote
As I said, you are not the measure, what is right or wrong for me. You don't seem to understand this!?

I am not, music IS ! In spite of popular talking about equal value of any performance, really good  ones are out of question: which one is better. Unfortunately, they happen as rare as good books, movies, doctors, lawyers, automechanics etc. in our life. However, people never will confuse them with "fake","rubbish". (Look at my post in discussion "Cliburn - most overrated pianist in history")

This is like in math: it is possible to argue which answer is better: "5 x 5 = 21" or "5 x 5 = 29". However, anyone who had chance to know "25" never will prefer previous variants.

Quote
I don't know your situation. You are a free man in a free land. Who can force you to teach in a special form, you're not convinced of?

My situation is the same as the situation of any other person in normal totalitarian state. Only one musical institution in the whole country is allowed to take exams and judge: what is right and what is wrong. (By the way, in classically totalitarian USSR each Conservatory and University had right to take exams from the students).

If I am, for example, only the person in the country, who has right to make chairs and all the rest here are prohibited to compete with me: what can you expect from the quality of my production?

I can give you telephone number, or you can get it from Internet. You can have a great fun! Call to them and ask my question: "Guys, you printed Handel's, Mozart's , Chopine's etc. pieces in your textbook with plenty of wrong notes. They sound terribly. How can I mark these wrong notes for your examiners because my students play right notes from reliable editions?" The answer will be: "You have to play exactly, what we printed. Otherwise your students will fail their exam." Your comments???



Quote
Again: I dont believe in any "best way" to play a piece of music, I only believe that there are many ways - and, as Schoenberg said: all ways lead to Rome except one: the middle way.

Shoenberg is not my and many others' favourite. The original text "ALL ways lead to Rome" without "except" looks for me better. Let us not close any of them for anyone!



Quote
Thank you for your detailed and goodwilling explanations. There are some important points, where we disagree strictly, but there are also points, where we fight on the same side. Especially in the fight against alleged "authorities"  :D

Unfortunately, I am not fighter. I am rather a refugee. In unforgettable for me 1986 my immediate "authority" expressed his and other "authorities"'  concern that my income from my concerts is much higher than income of their favourites. He was very disappointed then that I refused to re-address immediately all my "invitations for concerts" to these listed by him performers.

By accident, after several weeks 3 professors of Moscow Conservatory: V. Gornostayeva, M.Voskresensky and V. Merzhanov executed "out of schedule inspection" of Russian pianists and found me absolutely unfit for public performances. I was deprived of my license to play concerts.
So, I had simply to change my profession.

By coincidence children of named above professors immediately got job in Moscow Philharmonics (this always was not easy even for the children of professors).

Fortunately for me, USSR did not collapse yet at that time. And I had chance to play again for "high comission" of USSR Ministry of Culture. They were surprised with the fact that "out of all the pianists of Russia only I failed my test", and were happy to say me that this time I played much better: I got license plus increase of my fee (for each concert).

As a result of a good bunch of similar stories I prefered to  be ,as you say, "a free man in a free land". By the way, you are "free man" of which country? I do not know "why?" but many of my "free" friends from different "free" countries are looking for another one.

I hope to see here your always interesting objections again!

With my best wishes,

Vladimir Dounin






Offline counterpoint

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #16 on: December 05, 2006, 10:33:06 AM »
Only a short reply by me for this time:

Music is not math! In contrary: NOTATION of music derives from math, but that's only how it is written down - not was it really is. Music is feelings (of all sorts: good and bad ones), movement (dance), reflections from real life impressions and fantasy. Forcing music into mathematical rules will kill the life of music. That's what I think.
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #17 on: December 05, 2006, 11:05:29 AM »
Dear Vladimir,

Not THAT fast, and don't get THAT excited!

Before we resume, please listen to this version and tell me what is the difference in those 21 first notes compare to your original version, esp. in regards to what you call "musicality".

Best, Mark

You are right, like always Marik. I said exactly the same words to myself already and had very serious reason for this "self-criticism": I lost $100 for lack of attention and "not THAT fast" on the road, thinking exactly about your information.

I listened to your version of "Fur Elise". Unfortunately, I could not ask your recording to play slower: normal and the best way to check "temperature". Interesting, that all bad pianists are absolutely not able to play slow. Good performance is still good in any tempo, even in 1/4 of usual ( slower is the zone of absurdity, of course).

Something wrong was with the very first note, you explained something already on that topic in your post in "Performance". So, I can not estimate the "temperature" of this note due to technical disturbances.
The rest sound to me as:


E? D# -    E+ D#-  E+ B-- D+ C - A++    C- E+ A- B++   E- G#+ B- C++  

I can guess that you are going to say that this version  belongs to somebody  very famous, whose "musicality" is confirmed by numerous "voices of media". It can happen easily. I have seen on the walls of one concert hall articles about 17 pianists that played there. Somebody highlighted the same words about each of these 17: "He is undoubtedly a king of all pianists of the planet and the best out of all living  nowadays performers" (Sorry for my English, I quote from memory).

Music is story telling. If I do not know the whole story - I can not judge the first words of this story. My personal example: I worked at Opera Theatre at my 16 (rehearsal pianist), and always listened to all performances using my position. I always enjoyed exept one absolutely disgusting misical. I left and went at home instead because of the ubsolutely unprofessional way to sing of soprano. She obviously could not even speak normally and disappointed me completely. Do you know what it was? "My Fair Lady" and soprano had to be so bad at the beginning.  

So there is no way to discuss the musicality of these 21 note without the whole picture.

However, let us imagine that I listened to the whole piece and found that I don't like it in spite of famous performer. What then?

I always teach my students to ask themselves: is this performance good BECAUSE of this  or IN SPITE of this. Nobody is perfect. Pianist "who never played lie" - our beloved Gilels recorded the 2nd Concerto by Saint-Sans (I forgot exact spelling) with ridiculous mistake in the 1st movement. He confused in all these repeated chords quarter rest with eighth rest (French composers prefered to use "mirrored" eighth rest instead of usual spelling of quarter rest). Nobody had chick to correct him. Is he great "because" of this obvious mistake or "in spite"?

To judge musicality objectively I prefer such a technology: I play or make recording of the same sections of music and give them for comparison to as many different people as possible. Really good version always win (whoever you ask - it does not depend on age, profession, level of education and erudition etc. Music exists not for professionals but for anyone in the world). If I have only some balance of voices - then both variants are bad.

Yours Sincerely,

Vladimir Dounin
                  

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #18 on: December 05, 2006, 01:42:27 PM »
Dear Vladimir,

Not THAT fast, and don't get THAT excited!

Before we resume, please listen to this version and tell me what is the difference in those 21 first notes compare to your original version, esp. in regards to what you call "musicality".

Best, Mark

Dear Marik,

(repeated text: the 1st version disappeared for good after "post" button was pressed)

You are right, like always. Exactly the same words I said to myself already even before you said them. I lost $100 for lack of attention on the road and for “not THAT fast” exactly, when I was thinking about “your numbers”. (You can see, btw, that my fully respected opponent Counterpoint confirmed satisfying accuracy of my notation. Do you still have doubt about this?)

Unfortunately, I could not ask your recording to play slower: the best way to analyze “temperature”. It is quite interesting, btw, that all the bad pianists absolutely can not play in a slow tempo, only fast. This is a quite reliable criteria: if this “temperature” sounds still good or not in ½  or even in 1/4 of  normal tempo?

To me it sounds like:

E? (unclear) D# -    E+ D# - E+ B- - D+  C -  A++   C- E+ A- B++   E- G#+ B- C++    

In old good times, when days were much longer than 24hours, I played chess. So I can expect your next “move”: this recording belongs to someone of “the greatest pianists of all contemporary living”, “king of all pianist of all times” etc , famous with his exceptionally “musicality”.

Music is story telling. I can not evaluate performance of the very first notes, if I did not hear the whole story. For example, I worked as rehearsal pianist at opera at my 16. I enjoyed to listen to all productions of this excellent, internationally recognized  Opera and Ballet Theatre (Kazan, Tatarstan). However, I left after very first 20 minutes of some musical because its central character (soprano) obviously couldn’t sing and even speak properly. Later I got known that I disliked “My Fair Lady” and soprano had to be so bad at the beginning.    

Let us imagine that I listened to your recording in whole and still disliked it. What then: does it prove that I am stupid and this performance is great?
I always teach my students to ask themselves: is this guy or performance good BECAUSE of this , or IN SPITE of this?
Our (by you and me) beloved Gilels recorded the 2nd Concerto by Saint-Sans (I am not sure about the spelling) with ridiculous mistake. In the 1st movement he miscounted all the chords, because he considered all the quarter rest the eighth ones. French composers prefer “mirrored eighth rest  “ to the usual for us “normal” spelling of quarter rest. Is he great in this concerto “because” or “in spite” of  this obvious failure?

If  I was in a real need for reliable judgment about “musicality”, I’d  prefer a simple test: I play or make recording of two identical section of the same piece and give them for listening and comparison to as many people as possible. If one of them is really good – choices “pro” of our jurors are practically the same. If I have only some certain balance of opinions – both are not the best. (Age, gender, profession, education, erudition etc. of listeners do not matter. Music exists not for professionals, but for anyone in the world).

With my best wishes,
Vladimir Dounin.




Offline m

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #19 on: December 05, 2006, 07:28:02 PM »

The rest sound to me as:


E? D# -    E+ D#-  E+ B-- D+ C - A++    C- E+ A- B++   E- G#+ B- C++  

I can guess that you are going to say that this version  belongs to somebody  very famous, whose "musicality" is confirmed by numerous "voices of media".

 :) :) :)
Yes, the performer is Vladimir Dounin. ;)
Yep, it is your recording (a little bit modified). I am wondering why there is such a difference in the notes "temperature"? :o
Listen to them again carefully and compare differences and tell me if you notice any. Do you really hear any change in "musicality" of the performance?

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #20 on: December 06, 2006, 05:09:47 AM »
:) :) :)
Yes, the performer is Vladimir Dounin. ;)
Yep, it is your recording (a little bit modified). I am wondering why there is such a difference in the notes "temperature"? :o
Listen to them again carefully and compare differences and tell me if you notice any. Do you really hear any change in "musicality" of the performance?

Do you want to say that you did the same, absolutely even "temperature" for all of these notes?  I will ask my students to listen to your recording. It is interesting for myself: what they will say? What they will hear?
I still hear the same that I printed in spite of listening another 10 times in a row.

From my very first post here I am asking: if someone can suggest way to measure Notes Intensities electronically, with reliable result. I asked "Yamaha" to give me their codes to see Notes Intensities from their Disklaviers printed on the paper. However, nobody wants to understand importance of this information for every pianist.

We can not discuss "musicality" without clear definition: what exactly do you mean saying this word?

All the best,

Vladimir

Offline m

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #21 on: December 06, 2006, 05:19:46 AM »
Do you want to say that you did the same, absolutely even "temperature" for all of these notes?  I will ask my students to listen to your recording. It is interesting for myself: what they will say? What they will hear?
I still hear the same that I printed in spite of listening another 10 times in a row.


No, the "temperature" is not absolutely even. I ran it through a compressor, which much evened out it, though.
Here are new values. For illustrative purposes I put them next to original ones:

E-   1.3—1.3
D# -4.7---4.6
E ---5.3---4.8
D#--7.3---5.2
E----3.8---3.7
B----7.3—5.4
D----7.8---5.2
C----9.8---6.7
A----7.6---5.7    Abass
               Ebass---3.6---4.7
               Abass---3.3---3.7
C----5.0---4.7
E----8.6---6.6
A---11.5---7.6
B-----9.4---6.0     Ebass
      Ebass---4.8—4.0
      G#bass-3.8—3.5
E---7.8---6.4
G#--6.2---5.4
B----8.8---6.4
C----7.8---5.4

From my very first post here I am asking: if someone can suggest way to measure Notes Intensities electronically, with reliable result.

I think I have already posted somewhere in details as for how you can do it.

Best, Mark

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #22 on: December 06, 2006, 06:48:21 AM »
No, the "temperature" is not absolutely even. I ran it through a compressor, which much evened out it, though.
Here are new values. For illustrative purposes I put them next to original ones:

E-   1.3—1.3
D# -4.7---4.6
E ---5.3---4.8
D#--7.3---5.2
E----3.8---3.7
B----7.3—5.4
D----7.8---5.2
C----9.8---6.7
A----7.6---5.7    Abass
               Ebass---3.6---4.7
               Abass---3.3---3.7
C----5.0---4.7
E----8.6---6.6
A---11.5---7.6
B-----9.4---6.0     Ebass
      Ebass---4.8—4.0
      G#bass-3.8—3.5
E---7.8---6.4
G#--6.2---5.4
B----8.8---6.4
C----7.8---5.4

I think I have already posted somewhere in details as for how you can do it.

Best, Mark

Thanks a lot for very interesting experiment and numbers. These numbers are exactly what I  always wanted to see. In 1971 or 1972  my research was printed in Scientific Magazin of St. Petersburg Conservatory. "Social and psychological features of piano art". I stated that pianist never knows exactly what he is doing due to complicated combination, mixture of "pre-expectations" of the notes, tacktile signals and acoustic signals in his brain. They are at the end very far from the real sounds of his play that audience can hear.

This is the reason: why Chopine, Scryabin and a lot of the others played publicly some notes only in their imagination. In fact they only touched the keys without producing any real tone.

Your powerful  technology seems to be exceptionally useful for such problems. Let me know, please, what is the price of airticket from your place to Toronto and which kitchen do you prefer (there are plenty of restaurants). I would like to invite you for serious discussion and possible collaboration in the future and need to consider budget of such a meeting.

Do not forget my definition of One Degree of difference in Note Intensity : THE SMALLEST DIFFERENCE that we can feel. I told many times that in spite of popular mistake on this matter: the best pianist uses the smallest differences. I did my best already to make my differences as small as possible. It was the phisiological TRESHHOLD of my audio-sensivity.

With your technology you obviously made the differences smaller than human can feel/hear. These differences were smaller than natural TRESHHOLD of human sensitivity or distinctivity, if this word is better. Then you gave them for listenning to me, who played these notes.

What should  happen then in this case: everyone knows what is happening in complete darkness, if you looked before at bright bulb. You will still "see" it in a darkness but with "opposite color". Instead of Red you will see Green or vice-versa. You can "see" black siluet of the bulb on bright  background as well. There can be different optical illusions. The same you did to my ears: I "heard" stressed notes at the same points, where I used to hear softened and vice-versa. You created acoustic illusion.

In any case, pianist is playing for live people, not for computers with accurate, unbiased cencors. For him/her eventually most important are exactly illusions of the audience that he has to create. Just these illusions are his "product". Only these illusions are the thing that the audience will "hear" and remember after the concert? This again never coincide with the reality. Ask 10 people about the same performance, and each of them will tell you different stories. Art is art.

However it is very important to know about your work as much as possible to be successful.

All the best!

Vladimir Dounin

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #23 on: December 06, 2006, 10:30:58 PM »
I am not expecting that many of the readers will read my answer on this topic in "Performance" section. It is the reason to repeat some of its basics here. V.D.

Dear Marik,

You are an invaluable opponent because you are trying to refute me in honest, fair way, just with facts, not with emotions, insults and so on.



You know that I am using unknown to the majority of musicians yet  “micro-dynamics alphabet”. It consists (interesting coincidence) of 7 letters or (notes, if this name is better).
Exactly like 7 notes of our scale and 7 colors of the rainbow.
These letters – notes are : -3’, -2’, -1’, 0’, +1’, +2’, +3’.
I print them: +1’,+2’,+3’ above and -1’, -2’, -3’ below each note that I want to explain to my student: how it should be played.

PLEASE, NOTE: I do it only AFTER my student heard from me a few versions of the same section played by me live, and TOOK HIS/HER (not my) DECISION: which version he/she loves most. Each of them has the full right to modify anything in my performance (and in notation of this version, of course) live, and TOOK HIS/HER (not my) DECISION which version he/she loves most. I only lead them to THEIR IDEAL by the shortest and most reliable way. Do not tell anybody to me, that I am forcing my students to play MY way!

These letters are completely enough to describe ANY events of ANY  line of notes (melody, tenor, bass – no matter).

0’ is Normal, Regular Note for given section of music. This means that 0’ in ff, mP or pp section are absolutely different according to indications of dynamics. However, gradations between 0’ and +1’, or 0” and -1’ are still the same, just one degree.
1’ = One Degree of Difference in Notes Intensity is THE SMALLEST DIFFERENCE THAT WE CAN FEEL.

Why only 7 degrees, not 23 or 56 then? The reason is that I never heard from any DECENT pianist bigger difference than these 7 degrees. Beyond these 7 will be the music that is “not for gentlemen” but for wild people.   

With your help (see your postings) I can convert now my degrees into your db. It gives me possibility to make statement: 1’ degree should not be smaller than “ put here your number self” db. Otherwise it can cause confusion from your audience, like it happened in your test to me. This is very understandable from such an example: If you will print letters too small, people will “read” the words that were not supposed to be seen. They will confuse C and O, V and W, R and B and so on.

Now you have to make the next step and find the way to determine the maximum value of 1 degree in db. I bump against this problem on a daily basis. Each day my students are playing these differences in exaggerated way, they make these differences TOO BIG . In this way intentionally good music turns immediately into vulgar cartoon.

Exactly the same I hear always from my opponents, who purposely make these differences x5-x10 times bigger than I asked them, and I have no tool to prove this fact to them. (This is the reason of my joy about “your numbers”, you gave me a powerful weapon against my opponents. Now, (potentially) I can prove immediately their exaggeration).

What next? Don’t you see yet that this is a very powerful tool for teaching as well?!
Forget about your Gilels and Horowitz for a moment. They are great enough without you and me. Remember instead about the millions around us, who started music lessons and gave up. They dropped music (our money, btw) just because their music was still disgusting or at least did not bring joy to them and their friends and families in spite of huge money spent.


Do you think it is not important to help them?! (And to us self, btw, with a new ocean of business for each of us?) And all that we have to do is: to give them shortest and most reliable way from the beginners to the level, when they could enjoy self and bring joy to the closest ones. I do it already for many years and can not understand: why colleague of mine do not want to support this idea and to do the same?

All the best!

Vladimir

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #24 on: December 07, 2006, 07:12:14 AM »
QUOTE

Quote from: gonzalo
Could you tell me 2 or 3 "rules" you're talking about please? Because I still don't get where the 2 threads are going to.

Take care,
Gonzalo


Dear Mr. Gonzalo,

Thank you for your interest in my method and your question. I received many messages with the same contents. Allow me, please, to answer all of them here addressing just to you.

Judging from your name, sir, you are, probably, thinking in Spanish. I am thinking in Russian. We are communicating in English. To reduce the risk of misunderstanding between us let me, please, to repeat your question in “reversed translation” from Russian to Spanish via English. Sorry, if I understood something wrongly.

So, you wrote to me:

“Listen, guy,

I have no time and wish to read your long and boring posts. I am sure that they are just verbal garbage, because my teachers and textbooks never even mentioned anything like this. You are not a right person to discover or represent anything important because I never watched you on TV and did not read about you in newspapers.

However, I want to be fair to you and give you a chance. Because I wish to have a proof that I am right. Then I will stop even looking at your page in the future, of course. Therefore, send to me 2-3 of your rules for my final judgment.”

Did I understand you correctly, Mr. Gonzalo?

Now, a bit of business statistics:

“If your client was very happy with your services, he will spread information about you on (in average) 3 other persons. Only one of this three will believe and remember his words about you, and less than one, maybe, will try your services in the future.

However, if your client was unhappy with your services, he will spread information about your bad service on at least 70 other person (through direct and indirect contacts). 100% (of these 70) will believe it and never come to you.”

I do not want anybody to spread bad information about me and my method. I want good one. However, please, look at such an example, Mr. Gonzales.

Let us imagine that I invite you to try new software. This software can give you direction and distance to everything that you want. Are you interested to try? Of course!

You put your first question: where is my dog? You selected tab “in minutes of way”. And you received immediately the answer: “Direction 235’, 2.5 min of way”. Not so bad. You asked: where is my office? ”Direction  96, 4.7 minutes of way”. Where is my native town Happyville. TX ? “Direction 321,’ 8.9 min. of way”. Where is Tokio? “Direction 271. 37.8 min. of way”.

You throw this obvious garbage away, because the distances to Tokio, your office and to your dog definitely can not be even close in numbers.

However you were WRONG! Because you did not read in manual or “Help” that the distance within 1 mile around you will be printed in minutes of walking, the distance within next 100 miles will be printed in minutes of driving, the distance within next 1000 miles will be printed in minutes of air jet flight, and over 1000 miles in minutes of satellite flight.

O.K., after you knew about this misunderstanding, you selected “in traditional measures of length”. Do you know what did you get after this selection? You got distance in miles to London, distance in kilometers to Berlin, distance in   leus (I am not sure about spelling of French unit that is equal 4 km) to Parys, distance in “versta” for distances to Russia etc.

Do you understand my point? We can not speak,  write and read about any measurements and numbers if we have no agreement on the meaning of these measures and  numbers.


“I am sure that YOU are sure” that you have “complete control over dynamics”. I say – no way. At least, I newer saw and heard any pianist yet, who has this “complete” control. (Maybe, A.B.Michelangeli? But I am not sure).

Make the same test that I did over available for me professors and prominent performers in different countries of the planet. I called to them and asked to answer my 3 questions: which note in their national anthem (out of two neighboring notes that I gave them for this test) should be played louder and which softer (3 pairs of consecutive notes).

The results were very impressive. No one answered before 1-2 minutes of silence (how do they play their 200 - 400 notes per minute then?) After long pause the majority of “pure performers” gave right, “very musical” answers. The 100% of “pure teachers” gave exactly opposite answers.

The most interesting were answers of very good performers, who had students as well. All of them gave the right answers, however immediately after their “right” words they shouted: “Sorry, sorry! What did I say?! Of course, at the contrary! (Up side down)”.

What does mean “right and wrong answer” in my test? Before this test I gave the same pair of 2 consecutive notes to 20 citizens and former citizens of these countries and all 100% of them pointed on “right answers”. This was the easiest part of my test, because my neighbors in Toronto arrived from practically all the countries of the world.

This problem is much-much deeper and complicated, than many of us think about this. And my dream is to organize world-wide “brain storm” on this topic. However, today I have to read from many members that this problem does not exist at all.

I am not an average person IN THIS PROBLEM, I am working with this focus over decades. However, you could see that I failed to recognize the true values of notes (when Marik reduced with his devices the value of differences between notes below human’s threshold of sensitivity).   What can we expect from our students in this case, who never were trained and pointed on this matter.

At the same time, right notes and timing do not make your music beautiful and enjoyable yet. You have to know about each note: which one should be louder or softer?

I do not want you to be disappointed here and “spread about me and my method negative information to other 70 persons” (see my beginning), just because I did not satisfy your request and did not give you 2-3 my rules.

Here they are: 1. If you have any long note and group (not single) of shorter notes after the long note, you always should soften the first note of this group.

2. If you see any slur, you have to soften the first note under this slur and shorten the last one under this slur.

3. All the notes belong or to “Conflict Notes” (you CAN NOT stop on them, you need another note to STOP, do not confuse with the word “END”) or to “Resolution Notes” (you CAN  stop on them).

 Example: “Joy To The World”. C B A G F E D C.

C resolution, B resolution, A conflict, G resolution, F conflict, E resolution, D conflict, C resolution.   

Conflict always should be 1’ degree louder than resolution.

Now, I hope that you will not prevent 70 people from looking at my posts. However, if you have wish to understand what I am talking about, please read my articles and put any questions to me.

Thank you very much, if you read up to this point!

With all my very best wishes,

Vladimir Dounin.


Offline dichu_li

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #25 on: December 10, 2006, 03:22:47 AM »
I think Mr.Vladimir has a point in here.all human beings have feelings, if music is all about
feelings,then everyone can be a pianist! Music is about techniques, and that includs math too(I MEAN HOW CAN  U PLAY PIANO IF U DONT EVEN KNOW HOW TO COUNT?). When you've mastered everything, then you can add a little feelings to it (U CAN NOT EXPECT A BEGINNER TO HAVE FEELINGS WHEN THEY DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO)
SO PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT CAREFULLY "Mr COUNTERPOINT"

Offline dichu_li

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise"
«Reply #26 on: December 10, 2006, 03:41:27 AM »
Brilliant performance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D ;D ;D

Offline counterpoint

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( + learning "The Rules" in comments )
«Reply #27 on: December 10, 2006, 10:01:16 AM »
I think Mr.Vladimir has a point in here.all human beings have feelings, if music is all about
feelings,then everyone can be a pianist! Music is about techniques, and that includs math too(I MEAN HOW CAN  U PLAY PIANO IF U DONT EVEN KNOW HOW TO COUNT?). When you've mastered everything, then you can add a little feelings to it (U CAN NOT EXPECT A BEGINNER TO HAVE FEELINGS WHEN THEY DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO)
SO PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT CAREFULLY "Mr COUNTERPOINT"


if music is all about feelings,then everyone can be a pianist!

Did I say, playing piano is all about feelings? Surely there are many other things to learn. But I am a human at any moment of my life, even when playing piano. So I will not act like a robot. That means, every time I play a special piece, it will sound different, and that's the consequence of me being human. Perfection doesn't interest me.


When you've mastered everything, then you can add a little feelings to it

I can add a little feelings to it?

No, my feelings are there, I can't remove them. And I don't want to remove them.

Carefully
mr.counterpoint  :D
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline dichu_li

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( +"Alphabet and 3 Rules of Dynamics" in comments )
«Reply #28 on: December 10, 2006, 02:52:33 PM »
Mr.Dounin
            Can u post more of your performance in the audition room please?

                                                                              dichu_li

Offline vladimirdounin

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Re: Beethoven. "Fur Elise" ( +"Alphabet and 3 Rules of Dynamics" in comments )
«Reply #29 on: December 11, 2006, 11:09:19 AM »
Mr.Dounin
            Can u post more of your performance in the audition room please?

                                                                              dichu_li

Dear Dichu,

Thank for nice words and interest for my recordings. I hope to have a good opportunity to make them on a good piano in March 2007.  Meanwhile, welcome to my class-room: some of my students play their pieces better (because they are practicing well) than myself (I don't).  I am going to post more fun-tests like I did today, If members of this forum will be interested.

Vladimir Dounin