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To play or not to play... (Read 3423 times)

Offline Antnee

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To play or not to play...
« on: April 11, 2004, 03:27:19 AM »
On occasion, someone will come over to our house for a random visit (drop a sibling off, Pick one up, eat dinner, a party, whatever). anyway My dad almost always wants me to play something for them. I would normally jump at the opportunity to practice my performing skills but sometmes my dad asks me to play a piece that's pretty long( everyone I play for considers over one minute a long piece.. ::)) and I say "it's too long to play at the moment". But then he'll say just play part of it. Here's the problem. Would I be right in playing just part of the piece? I just seems to me that the composer should get more respect than this. When I play, I want the listener to hear the music not how good I am. What should I do? Just learn a shorter piece to play?
            Thanks-Tony
"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." -  Stravinsky

Xelles

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #1 on: April 11, 2004, 04:28:09 AM »
Quote
On occasion, someone will come over to our house for a random visit (drop a sibling off, Pick one up, eat dinner, a party, whatever). anyway My dad almost always wants me to play something for them. I would normally jump at the opportunity to practice my performing skills but sometmes my dad asks me to play a piece that's pretty long( everyone I play for considers over one minute a long piece.. ::)) and I say "it's too long to play at the moment". But then he'll say just play part of it. Here's the problem. Would I be right in playing just part of the piece? I just seems to me that the composer should get more respect than this. When I play, I want the listener to hear the music not how good I am. What should I do? Just learn a shorter piece to play?
            Thanks-Tony

"piu con crescendo sarcasm possible"
What do you think non-pianists want to hear? I'll give you a hint, it doesn't include the pp dynamic.

Offline Clare

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #2 on: April 11, 2004, 06:40:10 AM »
Yeah, just play the hard  and noisy bit at the end. ;)

Offline Bob

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #3 on: April 11, 2004, 07:56:04 AM »
It's always a good idea to have short, showy (and easy) piece for situations like this.  Someone somewhere is going to ask this again.  It's can helpful to recruit a student or to impress people if you're speaking.  People give you more credibility when you impress them first.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #4 on: April 11, 2004, 12:11:48 PM »
To answer your own question, you must answer (but first ask) what is your philosophy?  You already answered your own question which points toward your philosophy.

You already answered your own question. 8)

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #5 on: April 11, 2004, 12:18:34 PM »
But don't take your own answer for it!  Take someone elses:

♣ Beethoven the patriot
The old castellan [of Gratz castle], was firmly convinced that Beethoven was not quite right in his mind; he would often run, bareheaded, without a hat, around in the great park of the castle hours on end, even if it were raining with lightning and thunder. On other occasions, he would sit for whole days shut up in his room without seeing anybody and not speaking a word. But the most insane behaviour occurred when the French occupied Gratz after the battle of Austerlitz (1806). The prince had aroused the hopes of the French general of meeting the celebrated composer and to hear him play on the piano-forte. To this end, a great musical soiree was arranged at the castle and the composer was to play his latest compositions. Beethoven, however, refused although the Prince repeatedly and earnestly requested him to do so. Nevertheless, the Prince still hoped to persuade the obstinate musician, and invited the French general and other distinguished guests. On the appointed evening Beethoven was nowhere to be seen. Finally the news came that the artist had secretly left the castle and fled on foot to the town of Gratz in the cold winter night - only a letter to the Prince had been found in his room. In it he explained that he could not play to enemies of his country and added "Prince! what you are, you are by circumstance and by birth. What I am, I am through myself. Of Princes there have been and will be thousands. Of Beethovens there is only one..."


;D
http://www.geocities.com/ilian73/composers/beethoven.html#quoteby

Offline rachlisztchopin

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #6 on: April 11, 2004, 12:30:47 PM »
hm good idea!!! loud and showy! i like it lol
could u guys list some showy pieces that impress people but arent impossible to learn

Offline comme_le_vent

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #7 on: April 11, 2004, 01:08:53 PM »
i once played for a friend of my parents, they were expecting a short sweet piece, i played the alkan concerto for solo piano, nuff said.

la campanella isnt that hard, and its showy....
http://www.chopinmusic.net/sdc/

Great artists aim for perfection, while knowing that perfection itself is impossible, it is the driving force for them to be the best they can be - MC Hammer

Shagdac

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #8 on: April 11, 2004, 01:44:37 PM »
Comme....

WHAT!!!!!!!!!

Guess you forgot to put ("Just Kidding")
after your comment, huh?


hahahaha ;D ;D ;D

Offline Antnee

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #9 on: April 11, 2004, 08:59:43 PM »
Yea..
    I know there's a thread on showoff peices already but any suggestions on short showy pieces would be most appreciated.. ;)
"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." -  Stravinsky

Xelles

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #10 on: April 11, 2004, 09:09:48 PM »
Quote
hm good idea!!! loud and showy! i like it lol
could u guys list some showy pieces that impress people but arent impossible to learn

Hey, that could start a very interesting thread...I'll go make it! (mainly because I need to increase the post count)

Offline trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #11 on: April 14, 2004, 08:09:09 PM »
For the laymen audience I'd often play some popular classics, such as:

- 'Minute Waltz (Waltz of the Little Dog)' by Chopin (in Db, Op.64 no.1)
- Alla Turca (Turkish March) from Mozart's A major Sonata, K.331
I would also love to add the Chopin Ab Polonaise, Op.53 and the Liszt Liebestraume No.3 to the list once I have them memorised.

For the more serious audience, however, that would be quite another story . . .;)
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline goalevan

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #12 on: April 14, 2004, 08:26:14 PM »
I'm pretty sure he knows Alla Turca... looks at his name :)

Offline ayahav

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #13 on: April 14, 2004, 11:26:52 PM »
For a laymen audience, you could also try educating them with music of a relatively unknown composer.... One suggestion I have is Villa-Lobos. Try 'O Polichinel" from 'a prole do bebe no.1'. It isn't too difficult and sounds very impressive...

I once also came across a series of music books called applause. They are all about pieces that sound more difficult than they actually are....

oh.... and Grieg's "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen" (did I spell the village name right?)


cheers.... Amit

Offline trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #14 on: April 15, 2004, 02:45:19 AM »
Hi ayahav,

Not sure about the Grieg spelling, which is quite 'Greek' to me - heehee, but the Villa-Lobos piece is properly spelt 'O Polichinelo' or simply 'Polichinelle' - which literally means 'clown' (who makes you laugh out of breath in a circus). It is classified as a Grade 8 piece under Britain's ABRSM. It's fun to hear each hand playing rapid alternating double thirds in different keys, although the two staves were written in the same key signature - unlike some pieces by Prokofiev that have different key signatures for the upper and the lower stave!

Again Artur Rubinstein rules here in the RCA recording of his legendary 10 Carnegie Hall recitals in 1961 . The two sets of A Prole do Bebe were actually dedicated to Rubinstein. I frankly dislike Marc-Andre Hamelin's rendering on the Hyperion label of Villa-Lobos and Szymanowski. Sorry folks, but I am for the human, musical grandmaster rather than the most supremely impeccable but mechanical pianist.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline donjuan

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #15 on: April 15, 2004, 06:11:29 AM »
:) ;DI've also been in situationswhen relatives relatively (heehee) ignorant about the piano.  What I would like the do is what Sviatoslav Richter did whenever others asked him to play...walk over to the piano, sit down, pretend like you are going to play a long, tedious piece....play a single chord - F major - whatever chord summarizes the way you feel at the moment.. and stand up as fast as you can telling the audience you are done.

:o of course, most people will be disappointed when you do this so I guess we must find another solution.......

I recommend short pieces like Liszt's Transcendental Etude No. 1.  

No..Wait....

I tried that but the audience was more irritated than satisfied...

Try for pieces under ten minutes such as "the fountains of the Villa d'Este" by Liszt or Soirees de Vienne: Valse Caprice No. 6 by Schubert/Liszt.

Sorry for dwelling on Liszt, but when one thinks about it, Liszt is the best for crowd pleasing ;)

Offline Goldberg

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #16 on: April 15, 2004, 07:02:47 AM »
I actually prefer the Ritcher way of doing it--people will ask me to "play" so I go over to the piano and "play" a chord and ask them if that's enough. Of course they DO get a little upset so then--and this is, I believe the best thing to do--I make a flashy little improv for them and they think I'm incredible even though it's a bunch of garbage. That way you don't have to PREPARE anything that you don't REALLY want to learn. A while ago, for instance, I was working constantly on the Goldberg Variations...and frankly, no one who hasn't spent more than a few seconds listening to classical music would want to hear those.
However, Campanella is a very good choice and I played that on several ocassions until people started complaining that "I only knew one song" and the like. Now I'm doing Busoni's version just for kicks because it's better IMO...

Offline ayahav

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #17 on: April 15, 2004, 11:04:57 AM »
Actually, I believe that upon checking your score, you should find that it is spelt "O Polichinel" in Portuguese. The spelling "Polichinelle" is French, and probably first appeared on the Parisian additions. Also, Polichinelle is not a clown. Polichinelle is the name of a marionette from the Venetian theatre. It's true Italian name - Pulcinella - is the name of an army general. (You must have confused Pulicinella with Arlequino - Arlequino dons his name to the Harlequin that we all know, the clown in the black and white diamond suit) Looking at the piece you will also find traces of an army march in the strong beat that is maintained throughout.



It is believed that Polichinelle also became Punch in the English language later...

Amit ;)

Offline trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #18 on: April 15, 2004, 11:13:03 AM »
Hi ayahav,

Thanks for correcting me. Interesting information.:)
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline ayahav

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #19 on: April 15, 2004, 11:18:21 AM »
That's ok... I spent a long time working on this piece and performed it a few times together with the whole work (a prole do bebe no.1). When I perform I either write my own programme notes, or I talk about the work before I perform it... Interesting trivia, things to look out for while listening... I have  more information about this work if you are interested.... (about the whole "a prole do bebe no. 1".

another suggestion for a piece to play, which is a bit difficult is Choros No.5 by Villa-Lobos (I just thought about it while I was writing/talking about the prole do bebe.) It's got difficult cross-rhythms in both hands simultaneously, so two different rhythms in the right hand, and two different rhythms in the left hand. But it's amazing. Villa Lobos also called it "Alma Brasileira" - The Brazilian soul...

Offline trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #20 on: April 15, 2004, 12:07:08 PM »
Hi ayahav,
Oh yes, please do tell us more on A Prole do Bebe.
I just love these jewels!
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline ayahav

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #21 on: April 15, 2004, 04:21:28 PM »
Heitor composed this work for his wife who could not bear children. He also wrote the second set and the third for the same reason, although the third set's manuscripts were lost and never published.

I particularly liked the anecdote about Villa-Lobos answering a question at an interview about how he knew the folklore rhythms that he used. He claimed that while travelling through the jungles of Brazil the parrots and the other birds sung the tunes to him, and that he also heard the rhythms there. This anecdote is lovely in a programme note concerning the Choros No.5 (Alma Brasileira -> Soul of Brazil).

The set was originally composed for Arthur Rubinstein who performed the entire work in a world premiere in Rio de Janero along with other works by Chopin, including the Barcarolle (and the berceuse as well I believe). The berceuse also fits into this frame of the world children because a berceuse is not more than a lullaby...

Offline Antnee

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #22 on: April 16, 2004, 03:09:46 AM »
I think a nice sparkly scarlatti sonata would be nice too. One of my favorities are k. 39. If it's played fast it is simply dazzling. If you go here and scroll down to SCARLATTI there is a pretty good recording of it.

http://www.classicalarchives.com/main/s.html :D
-Tony-
"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." -  Stravinsky

Offline trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #23 on: April 16, 2004, 07:59:25 AM »
Hi ayahav,
Thanks, and very interesting!
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline ayahav

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #24 on: April 16, 2004, 09:29:00 AM »
anytime

Offline bernhard

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #25 on: April 16, 2004, 12:09:38 PM »
Ayahav:
Quote
I believe that upon checking your score, you should find that it is spelt "O Polichinel" in Portuguese.


Actually Peter HK is correct (the score is incorrect): The spelling is “O polichinelo”. There have been two or three orthographic reforms in Brazil since Villa Lobos death. The spelling on the score may have been (if not a simple mistake) the spelling a the time of publishing. For instance, “pharmacy” used to be spelled in the 20s as “pharmacia”, but the orthographic reform did away with “ph” and replaced it by “f”. However you may still see it spelled like that in  old editions or in new ones of old works who want to sound “authentic”.

Ayahav
Quote
Also, Polichinelle is not a clown.


Both you and Peter are correct here. Yes, polichinelle is a clown of sorts. The character is very old, his origins are in the Roman theatre, and then it became incorporated in the comedia del arte. He is characterised by a big nose, a big belly, and a hunchback. He is a clown in the sense that he takes himself very seriously and thinks grandly of himself, but in fact he is a stooge and everyone laughs behind his back. His personality and character change somewhat in different countries: In France he is a sham hero, who will brag about his courage but run away at the first sight of danger. In Germany he is a fool. In England he is of course, Punch, and in Italy as you said, he is an army man.

If you like a “Prole do Bebê” you might also like his “Cirandas”, a cycle of 16 pieces based on Brazilian Nursery rhymes (fairly difficult), or his “Cirandinhas” a collection of nine pieces, similar to Cirandas, but much easier (Cirandinha is a diminutive of Ciranda – a kind of chidren’s dance were several children hold hands forming a circle and go round).

And if you want something really awesome, try his “Rudepoema”, his most extended piece for piano.

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 trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #26 on: April 16, 2004, 07:55:44 PM »
Hi Bernhard,

Thanks for your credits. It's fun to compare both pieces under the title 'Polichinelle', the other being Rachmaninoff's Op.3 No.4. Both contain humorous elements - which is quite unusual for a melancholic Rachmaninoff. And hey, this Rachmaninoff is yet another nice piece to entertain any audience!;)

A digression here: I was just wondering - how did you manage to type in those foreign (non-English) characters?
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline Antnee

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #27 on: April 17, 2004, 05:48:29 AM »
  Too bad we're not virtuosos(duh ::) ) because Liszt's transcriptions would be great. Beethoven's Fifth comes to mind as well as Rossini's William Tell. Man do I wish I could play those...any others to recommend?

-Tony-
"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." -  Stravinsky

Offline donjuan

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #28 on: April 17, 2004, 07:31:14 PM »
Hi RondoAllaTony! :D

Liszt transcriptions are absolute genius.  I can recommend a great book you might like.  It's called "Piano Transcriptions from French and Italian Operas" and is available from amazon.com or amazon.ca.  this book contains the great opera transcriptions ;D

Reminiscences of Norma
Reminiscences of Don Juan (notice myusername...)
Reminiscencesof Robert the Devil
Grand Concert Fantasy on Sonnambula (viciously difficult)
Concert paraphrase- Rigoletto
Waltz from Faust
William Tell Overture

and many others.

my personal favorite is "Reminiscences of Norma".  Maybe you should look into it...

Now let me ask you a question...

Where can I obtain a recording of someone playing LIszt's transcription of the William Tell overture?  What i have been doing lately is reading Liszt's piano sheetmusic while listening to Rossini's original orchestral version.

If anyone knows where I can get a recording of this piece, (Online, CD, etc.) please let me know.


Offline trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #29 on: April 17, 2004, 08:11:51 PM »
Quote
. . . Now let me ask you a question...
Where can I obtain a recording of someone playing LIszt's transcription of the William Tell overture?  What i have been doing lately is reading Liszt's piano sheetmusic while listening to Rossini's original orchestral version.
If anyone knows where I can get a recording of this piece, (Online, CD, etc.) please let me know.

Hi donjuan,
Not even from Leslie Howard?
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline donjuan

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #30 on: April 17, 2004, 09:38:51 PM »
Quote
Hi donjuan,
Not even from Leslie Howard


I have seen Leslie Howard's 2 volume set of Opera Transcriptions, and it does not contain the William Tell Overture.  Do you have this music? If not, do you know where to get it?

Offline Sketchee

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #31 on: April 17, 2004, 10:59:13 PM »
For short and sweet pieces by Liszt there are Valse Oubilee No 1, Annees de Pelirinage, Premiere Anees No 7, for Ravel either of the A maniere de... pieces.

But I don't think it's such a bad thing to play an excerpt from a piece.  Whether you play just one movement or just one section or just one bar of a piece, you're still exposing someone to the composers music. If they like it, they might want to hear more and be more interested in that composers works.  You don't need to listen to every single Beethoven Sonata to like Beethoven!  ;D
Sketchee
http://www.sketchee.com [Paintings. Music.]

Offline trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #32 on: April 17, 2004, 11:36:46 PM »
Hm . . . if even Howard hasn't got it, then I would be scratching my head . . .::)
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline DarkWind

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #33 on: April 17, 2004, 11:45:56 PM »
It's at naxos.com, search for liszt as composer(duh) and put "transcription" in composition title. It should be 5th on the lis(z)t (omg pun!). If you click to play and the media player says file can't be found, then save the .wax file onto your computer.

Offline donjuan

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #34 on: April 18, 2004, 12:25:57 AM »
Quote
It's at naxos.com, search for liszt as composer(duh) and put "transcription" in composition title. It should be 5th on the lis(z)t (omg pun!). If you click to play and the media player says file can't be found, then save the .wax file onto your computer.


Hi DarkWind!

I appreciate your help.  However, when I click to play the overture, it opens up in the bottom left corner as a condensed version of windows media player.  

Anyway, I am having difficulty saving the piece onto my computer.  You suggested saving it as a .wax file. How do I do this?  My goal is save it to my computer so I can burn it to a CD.

thanking you in advance,
donjuan
 

Offline DarkWind

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #35 on: April 18, 2004, 12:32:15 AM »
Right click and save target as. However, it saves only as a link. To play it you'll have to be either online, or use an mp3 recorder to record the song while it's playing from you're computer speakers. You'll have to listen to the whole piece to record the song. Not like it's necesserarily a bad thing. Anyways, the saving .wax thing is because sometimes when you try to play a song, the player says the file cannot be found. When you save the .wax to the comp, it solves the problem.

Offline bernhard

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #36 on: April 19, 2004, 01:48:19 AM »
Quote
Hi Bernhard,

Thanks for your credits. It's fun to compare both pieces under the title 'Polichinelle', the other being Rachmaninoff's Op.3 No.4. Both contain humorous elements - which is quite unusual for a melancholic Rachmaninoff. And hey, this Rachmaninoff is yet another nice piece to entertain any audience!;)

A digression here: I was just wondering - how did you manage to type in those foreign (non-English) characters?


There are two ways I know of:

1.      From Word, click on “insert”, then on “symbol” and look through the several fonts available until you find the symbol you want. This is quick and useful if you are not going to be using symbols on a regular basis. If so, you may prefer the second option which is the one I use.

2.      Change your keyboard layout so that it corresponds to the keyboard layout of the language/country that uses the symbols you are interested in. In this case, Portuguese (Brazilian standard). Here is how you do it:

i.      Click on Start.
ii.      Click on Settings.
iii.      Click on control panel
iv.      Click on Keyboards
v.      Click on language
vi.      Select “Portuguese (Brazilian Standard)”
vii.      Click OK.

Now your keyboard keys will respond as the keyboard keys of a Brazilian keyboard. Windows allows you to have two keyboard layouts, so your English layout will not vanish. A little blue icon with the letters PT (Portuguese) will appear at the bottom right of the screen. Click on it to switch to EN (English).

You must of course be familiar with the Brazilian keyboard to know which key corresponds to which symbol (or you can experiment). Most of the keys however will remain unchanged. Here are some common ones: (English keys on the left, result in PT on the right):

‘a = á
^a = â
a = ã
`a = à
@ = “
“ = @
@ a = ä

Enjoy!

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 DarkWind

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #37 on: April 19, 2004, 02:47:14 AM »
How about just simply Run>charmap?

Offline ayahav

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #38 on: April 19, 2004, 08:35:19 AM »
You unfortunate PC souls... ;D

On the mac you just use alt and whatever key and it works - because the Mac system fully supports Unicode.. so I can even write my name in Hebrew under here using an english keyboard, and you should still be able to see it without much trouble.

???? ???

Offline ayahav

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #39 on: April 19, 2004, 08:35:44 AM »
darn, the forum doesn't accept unicode..

Offline trunks

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Re: To play or not to play...
«Reply #40 on: April 19, 2004, 07:06:56 PM »
Hey Bernhard,

My keyboard seems to know only English, Chinese and Japanese because mine is on Windows-xp Chinese version. Thanks anyway . . . I was just curious. The Win-Word method should do well if I really need them.:)

I'd rather have more fun on my piano keyboard . . .;D
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist