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The Women Behind Chopin’s Music

Chopin revolutionised the nature of piano music composed both technically and emotionally but the actual musical instrument that provided his greatest source of inspiration was the female voice. In this documentary marking the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, pianist and trailblazer James Rhodes explores not only the Polish master’s music but also his complex relationships with women. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Creative ways to introduce Bach  (Read 6838 times)
pianistimo
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« on: December 04, 2007, 06:58:28 PM »

OK this question is more in the range of students 12 and older.  Typically, students are introduced to 2 and 3 part inventions - but what if a student is a slight bit on the dyslexic side (very slight) and is really frustrated by this type of music.  What is a good way to still cover Bach and not become frustrated by him.

I printed out some general info about Bach (esp about the WTC) and was thinking about some kind of easier introduction than preludes/fugues or even the inventions.  Are there any suites that fit this bill?  I know the Anna-Magdalena notebook would be easy but perhaps too easy and too boring.  Are there some suites that are 'pared down' for easier reading - or could one do this?  He seems more inclined to songs and melodies.  Also, Bach was really into 'theme and variations' when younger - and perhaps that is an idea to start.  Any suggestions of theme and variations to work on?

addendum:  I just printed out 'Small Prelude' from PF and it looks just about right.  Still interested in any more ideas. 
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Kassaa
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 11:28:47 AM »

The French Suites seem to be easier than the preludes and fugues, and there are of course the clavier-ubung works, like the small prelude you printed out.
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Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Waldstein Sonata will remain.
pianistimo
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2007, 01:54:10 PM »

Yes. The French Suites might be a really great start.  Even if they are randomly picked through and we only play this or that dance from them.  Thank you!
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Mayla
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2007, 03:11:16 PM »

.
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
pianistimo
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2007, 03:52:47 PM »

Goldberg variations?  Woah.  Now that's a fur bit more difficult with the rhythms and trills, etc.  Are you sure?  Some of the gigues and all from the English suite are really easy and not bad - so I'm imagining the French suites would be the same way.  Not sure about the Aria of the Goldberg - but, you know what - sometimes fear prevents us from doing something because we 'think' it's difficult when it's really not if broken down into manageable parts (ie measures).  If I have success with the French suites - I might consider doing something like that.  First eliminating trills and all - and just going for the 'effect' of the Aria.  In fact, possibly just rewriting it in the simplest manner.

Mayla - all because of this good suggestion I found on 'free-scores.com' a suitable version for about level 3 of the aria.  Good idea!  I'm printing it out right now.  http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=6068
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