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Happy 150th Birthday, Claude Debussy!

Great piano composers’ anniversaries don’t normally take place annually, but since the Chopin & Schumann year 2010 and the Liszt celebrations 2011, time has now come for another immensely important composer. Today, the 22nd of August 2012 marks the 150 years birthday of the French composer Claude Debussy, by many considered the father of “modern music”. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Mozart Rondo alla Turca  (Read 1642 times)
pianoannie
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« on: March 25, 2004, 03:20:58 PM »

I'd like ideas for teaching a particular section of Rondo alla Turca.  The 3rd theme (sorry, don't have the measure numbers in front of me) reappears near the end, but this time as octave 16th notes (A A B B C# C#).  It goes too fast to use a lot of wrist rotation, although of course a very relaxed wrist is essential.  My student is struggling to get this to all sound clear and fast enough. What's the best way, technically, to get through this section?  I've given him several tips, but he is still struggling.  
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piano sheet music of Alla Turca
johnreef
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2004, 07:42:37 PM »

I was always under the impression that wrist rotation is a misnomer, as it is actually the forearm that is rotating -- if you do not allow your forearm to rotate at the elbow your wrist is absolutely incapable of rotating.

Regarding Mozart's broken octaves --- how about letting your fingers find and hit the right notes without using your arm as a means of getting them there -- let your arm simply shape the music.
Is your student having a problem with fatigue? I have always believed (contrary to just about everyone else, I admit) that muscles get tired in piano playing because they are not strong enough, rather than because they are not relaxed enough. A corrolary to this --- if you are straining to lift a heavy weight with your arms, you are not going to lift it with more success by relaxing your arm muscles more.


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faulty_damper
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2004, 11:57:03 PM »

You mean the M&M theme music!  It's all a matter of practice... unless he isn't practicing as much as you'd like.  

For me, I play it mostly with my wrist (up and down motion) and forearm moves to the notes.  Coordinating it to hit the right 8vs was difficult at first because I didn't do much octave playing.  If he isn't playing any other exercises which include 8vs, then it'll be difficult as this would be new to him.  Try Czerny.  He has an exercise which includes broken octaves in his Op.299.  Can't remember which one but it's around number 30.

And perhaps consider that his hand isn't big enough yet to be comfortable with the stretch?
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trunks
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2004, 11:30:47 PM »

I would suggest practising the lower octave note as an acciacatura, then the exact reverse, with some rotation (actually, vibration is the more appropriate term) about the forearm.

By the way I was just wondering how your student does the earlier octave passage while he feels challenged by this broken octave passage. And to me, the octaves aren't difficult at all. The RH running passages in the middle section are the trickiest parts of the movement. They require thoughtful fingering and sticking to that fingering whenever practising, otherwise it is all to easy to mess them up completely!
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Peter (Hong Kong)
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amateur classical concert pianist
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