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Bach Sinfonias Practice tips (Read 10291 times)

Offline tsagari

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Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
« on: August 06, 2008, 08:24:05 AM »
Hi

I've started studing Bach Sinfonia no 1. My teacher is on vacation and out of reach so if any of you can give me some tips of how to study Bach's Sinfonias. I was used to the two part part invetion but these now are more complected. She (my teacher) told me that it would be difficult but I did not take her very siriously  ::) but now I Know she was wright so please help ;D
Nancy

Sheet music to download and print: Sinfonias by Bach



Offline 0range

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008, 09:11:54 AM »
Your first job is to separate the voices and isolate the motifs and countermotifs (if there are any, I've never studied this piece). Then find inversions, retrogrades and fragments.

Once you've memorized the motifs, learn the full score - save the ornamentation, this you can fill in once you've memorized it as is.
"Our philosophy as New Scientist is this: science is interesting, and if you don't agree, you can *** off."

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #2 on: August 27, 2008, 09:45:40 AM »
Thanks Orange, I suppose all the others agree with you ;D
Nancy

Offline moscheles001

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #3 on: August 27, 2008, 03:20:08 PM »
Is your difficulty based on the piece's being in three voices, and not knowing how to approach it, or is it the technical problems associated with playing a three-voice piece for the first time?

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #4 on: September 02, 2008, 10:20:24 AM »
I WOULD SAY BOTH
Nancy

Offline moscheles001

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #5 on: September 03, 2008, 05:30:44 PM »
In that case, Orange is right that you need to locate the motifs and counter-motives so you know what to emphasize and when to emphasize it.

In terms of mechanics, when I started the Sinfonias, the first thing I realized was that I had to rethink fingerings. Frequently, the middle voice is shared between the two hands, with sometimes a single note in the middle voice played by one hand while the rest of the voice is played by the other hand. The fingerings I came up with to play these pieces frequently felt just plain wrong, but I couldn’t figure out anything more “normal.” I found myself having to slide a finger not just from black key to white key, but from white key to white key. I also found myself switching fingers on keys more often than not. I got used to them with practice, however; and, after doing some research on baroque keyboard practice (Richard Troeger’s book, especially), I found that the fingerings I was “inventing” were in keeping with the way Bach and others played at that time. Just a whole lot slower.

The thing I realized was that keyboard counterpoint is not the same as counterpoint played by several instruments and voices. Counterpoint on a keyboard instrument is basically a sort of sleight-of-hand in which you create the illusion of several voices sounding at once using dynamics and articulation.

I know this isn’t really concrete advice, and I apologize for that. Definitely talk to your teacher about working out the fingerings. It’s worth the effort, though: it feels great to have all those voices singing together under your hands!

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 07:18:11 AM »
Thanks for the post. Reading through I relized that what was new and confusing for me is the frequent change of the middle voice between the two hands and that made me wonder if I have to study hands together. What I did is to study each voice seperately and use left hand when required. You realy need to study the score before you put your hands on the piano. Anyway thanks again. My teacher is back we are starting lessons next week and she will help on that :D
Nancy

Offline moscheles001

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #7 on: September 04, 2008, 12:12:22 PM »
Let me know if she says anything that I could find useful, too! The great thing about learning the Sinfonias is that, once you get a handle on them, Bach's fugues--and a lot of other difficult music-- suddenly seem more within reach. It's like a whole new world opening up for you.

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #8 on: September 05, 2008, 06:39:28 AM »
Dear moscheles, thanks for the inside information about the use of Bach Sinfonias. I will let you know if she says anything usefull. I can not wait myself. Also I never had problems with Bach fingerings what I am using is Ricordi edition and I will sent you a post on Monday to tell you who is the editor. I have tried the one found in this site and as far as the two-part invations are concerned the Ricordi edition is far better. My teacher also tried the different fingerings I found elsewhere but we end up using the Ricordi.
Nancy

Offline moscheles001

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #9 on: September 05, 2008, 11:11:37 AM »
Thanks. Right now, all I can afford is the Dover edition. When I was a young piano student I had the Bischoff edition by Kalmus, but those days are long gone.

By the way, I notice you're Greek. My best friend Aliki is a native of Athens.

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #10 on: September 12, 2008, 02:29:30 AM »
Hello!

Bach is one of my favorite composers. But I'm still early intermediate level and has only studied First Lessons in Bach Book I. I really enjoyed learning the book and I'm planning to study more Bach in the future.

This is my question : (Sorry, it's a bit naive)

What are voices and how do I separate them?



Thank you very much!

Momopi

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #11 on: September 12, 2008, 06:51:28 AM »
Hello muschellesoo1
 I had my first session yesterday. We did not had the time to go through Sinfonia no 1 but I ask how we study this piece and she said voices seperately then hands separately (that is frist and second voice together) and then hands together. You know what I did, on the score I mark each voice with a different colour so the eye can follow the music easily.
As for you monopoli I am surprised with the question. I do  not think it's naive but I've read this morning your post about "traditional teaching sessions" and how happy you are with your teachers,  and your question is a proof that there is something wrong with the teaching methods. Any way this discussion is not part of the topic here.
I don not know what is Bach's Book 1. You mean the Well temperated Clavier (I hope not)? Any way voices are people singing. In any piece you can have up to four voices, soprano, basso etc. If you study the score of Bach's Sinfonias (Inventions for three voices) you will notice if you follow the score that you have three different melodies. The third voice is clearly your left hand, the first voice is on your right hand the misic line on the top of the score, the middle voice changes between the right and left hand. I hope you understand what I am saying. I think it's good to mark them with different colours so you can seperate in your eyes :) :) :)
Nancy

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #12 on: September 12, 2008, 07:27:58 AM »
No. My native language is not English. Now, I get it. I thought voices were different from soprano, basso things and stuff. I was afraid I was thinking of something else. It turned out to be the same thing. Thanks! :)



PS: As for lessons, we'll resume october. We stopped in July. I'm busy with my undergrad thesis. But I still look at my play every now and then.

And it's momopi  ;)

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #13 on: September 12, 2008, 07:31:58 AM »
Your are welcome ;D
Nancy

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #14 on: September 12, 2008, 07:38:39 AM »
Nah. No well-tempered clavier for me. No yet. Just kiddie stuff first. But I do like to study that too, maybe in the far future. I'll ask my teacher next time.

And maybe I need to buy a music dictionary. :)

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #15 on: September 12, 2008, 08:29:43 AM »
Yes you might need a dictonary,  but your teacher should have told you about voices, she might assume that you know - ask her to show you the different voices in every piece you play. Indentifiing voices is very important for music interpretation. Also when you practice you should practice voices separately. I hope I not too bossi I just want to help  ;)
Nancy

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #16 on: September 12, 2008, 08:51:38 AM »
Yes you are right. I will tell her to teach me those stuff. Thanks!

Quote
Also when you practice you should practice voices separately.

I dunno if it's the same thing (Since english is not my language), but what I do is I look at the piece, try to play, spot the things i'm having difficulty with, identify different melodies, then practice those things separately first because my fingers find this counterpoint thingie a bit difficult. I don't do the color stuff. Maybe you can show me. If it's not too much, I hope~~~  :P maybe you can scan and upload a some pieces with those cute markings you're talking about.

Quote
I hope I not too bossi I just want to help

Lol, you're nice, I think~~~

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #17 on: September 12, 2008, 09:31:00 AM »
 I will try, but it will take some time, I do not know if my husband has a scaner in his office but I will try to find a way. Otherwise tell me what you working on so I can give you an example.  :)
Nancy

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #18 on: September 12, 2008, 06:53:19 PM »
Wow! you have a husband. so, you're an adult already? cool! actually, I'm a young adult too, but my mind is still like that of a child. when men ask me out I get confused but of course I'm excited by the prospect of eating cute food in a cute restaurant.  ;D

What I'm working on? hmmm.... (Well I'm purposely not working on these now, because if I play for more than 15 minutes a day, I will completely forget my undergrad thesis w/c is more important at the moment - according to social conventions, at least.)


First lessons in Bach - #14 (these are mostly from anna magdalena ntbk, pieces are cute and they made me happy, I managed to memorize some without consciously memorizing them)

Tchaikovsky's Album for the Young- The Sick Doll; The Doll's Burial (actually I'm not supposed to use this bk, but I insisted)

Gurlitt Album for the Young - #1 - #5 (just like the Tchaikovsky's book)

Hanon #29 & #31 (we don't study this book progressively. my teacher just chooses certain exercises that my hands might need)

I use two other books too. already finished bu I insisted we review it all over again before using new books.

Pieces:
Gymnopedie
Birdling (Grieg)
Moonlight sonata 1st movement (I actually studied this last 2005. tht time I study every summer but I went abroad and had to stop piano - again. I'm learning it again and it's a good very piece for my pinkie)

I also tried sight-reading Pathetique Sonate movt2. I did get all the notes but my hands were painful afterwards and my playing was super slow, so I'm not gonna play that for a long time.

I did sight-read Clementi op36 no1 movt1 the other day. (slowly, of course) I think I will surprise teacher with this next time :)

and so many others I randomly play for fun and leisure. I cannot list everything, I'm sorry :(



PS: do you think the name momopi is cute? if I ever I'll have a pet, I'll name her momopi too~~~ ^__________^

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #19 on: September 15, 2008, 06:37:20 AM »
Hi monopoli,
I have  not manage to scan something for you yet - I will send you a personal message when I can -but I check the moonlight sonata that you said you are practicing. Notice from the fith bar onwards you have two voice on right hand and a third on your left.  :) :)
Nancy

Offline jazzyprof

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #20 on: September 16, 2008, 01:43:51 AM »
tsagari: If you read the posts of bernhard who used to be a member here, you'll learn more about studying the sinfonias and 2-part inventions than you'd ever want to know!  For starters, here's a useful thread:
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,2714.0.html
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy, next to my wife; it is my most absorbing interest, next to my work." ...Charles Cooke

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #21 on: September 16, 2008, 04:44:33 PM »
tsagari, it's momopi! :(

Quote
Notice from the fith bar onwards you have two voice on right hand and a third on your left.

Ohhh... I see :) Yes, teacher always help me identify these things but we never call them voices, just melody. I thought voices were for choir.

Still, I want to see those cute markings you did. But if you are busy, it's okay, I understand.

jazzyprof, link is interesting and helpful. thanks! :)

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #22 on: September 17, 2008, 05:59:22 AM »
Hi,
Thanks for the link jazzyprof. I have gone through Bernhard's post on Bach before. However most of these give you detail information about the two-part invations. I have not seen something in extented details about the three-part invations. Unless have been lost through all this invormation provided by Bernhard. I would love to see some sort of analysis for three-part invation no.1 like the one he gives for the two-part no.1 Where are you Bernhard ::) ::) ::)
Monopoli sorry for the indirect comments I made for your teacher  :'( of not having explain to you voices - melodies- ;D
Nancy

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #23 on: September 17, 2008, 08:46:55 AM »
No worries, our piano lessons are not in English (melody was the translation I came up with) besides we only had 11 lessons so far~~~  :D next will be on end of October~~~



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And it's momopi!

ももぴ     (momopi)
モモピ    (momopi)
모모피   (momopi)
момопи (momopi)

 ;)

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #24 on: September 23, 2008, 05:25:13 AM »
Momopi, sorry for the name :'( I've send you a personal message. I have the invation scanned for you but I do not know how to attached it in this post
please help, help ::) I need advice how to do it
Nancy

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #25 on: September 24, 2008, 06:43:07 AM »
Wow~~~ Thank you tsagari!!! *momopi smiles*

Maybe we can ask a senior member how to do it. Emailing me is a great idea, but what if another student wants to see your markings too? So, I think it's better to post it here... ^_________^

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #26 on: September 29, 2008, 06:08:11 AM »
Hi momopi

I think I made it. I hope it works. This is the link for of the first page of Bach's sinfonia no 1. I've coloured the three different voices orange is the first voice, green the second and purple is the third. Where you see red is the motif - the main melody repitied by the different voices.
Also my teacher gave me a good advice on how to study the different voices when played by the same hand. One voice piano and the other forte and the other way around ;)

http://s498.photobucket.com/albums/rr348/atsagari/?action=view&current=e46f8194.jpg&track=tag_email_clickthrough
Nancy

Offline momopi

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #27 on: September 30, 2008, 06:51:43 PM »
Thank you!!!  :D


I do feel sorry for the sheet music though... What do different colors mean?

Offline tsagari

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Re: Bach Sinfonias Practice tips
«Reply #28 on: October 01, 2008, 05:40:06 AM »
Each color line is a separate voice with the ecxeption of red colour which is the main melody carried by the different voices. Notice that when the phrase is red there is also another color.
Nancy