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Chopin iPhone App features New Recordings

The Chopin Project announced the initial release of 20 exclusive new recordings, including many Chopin rarities via The Chopin Project iPhone App. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Moonlight Sonata Mov.1 Note Reading Help  (Read 8792 times)
light22
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« on: June 17, 2011, 03:31:15 PM »

Hello,

I am a beginner to the piano and I am trying to teach myself as best that I can, but I have some questions.  I have only learned how to play one song and that is Bach's Prelude in C major and all when smoothly with that piece.
I would like to try Moonlight Sonata, Movement 1, now....but am having a very hard time reading the music.  Any suggestions on how I can understand how to read music with key signatures.  I am trying to understand...but am very confused.
I figured out that it starts out with C# in the left hand, not C like i had originally thought.
And it starts with G# on the right hand, but I get all mixed up trying to read the music from there. 

Thank you for any help
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piano sheet music of Sonata 14 (Moonlight)
nystul
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 06:36:42 PM »

Why not start with something easier?  Like, a lot, lot easier?
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fleetfingers
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2011, 12:49:05 AM »

At the left side of each line, there will be a key signature. All of the sharps you see there mean that that key will be sharp each time it appears in the music (unless there is a natural sign, which cancels the sharp). And, if there is a C# in the key signature, then ALL of the C's are sharp, not just the high C. This is a difficult piece to read because, even if you've got the key signature down, there are many accidentals - extra sharps and cancelled sharps. There are also many B#'s, which can be confusing to a beginner.

Sorry if this information is obvious to you already, but from your question it seems like maybe you didn't already know it. Hopefully, it helps.
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oxy60
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2011, 03:42:14 PM »

I agree, start with something without sharps and flats and only with quarter, half and whole notes.

There is lot more to the Beethoven than just reading the notes. Everybody plays it but VERY few get it right.

Staying with the masters check out a little Sonatina in G by the same composer available here (grade 3).
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"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)
allthumbspiano
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2011, 07:03:56 PM »

The first thing I tried to learn was chopin fantasie impromptu.  Needless to say it didn't go very well, or at all I guess.  I would start with something easier.
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light22
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 09:12:26 PM »

Thank all of you for your replies.  Fleet fingers, your input helped me to understand better why I was having a hard time reading the music.  I did not know what an accidental was and didn't know that if a note was indicated as a sharp in the key signature as the beginning of the score, it also would apply to all the notes higher and lower in the scale not just the ones on the line in which the sharp was marked (unless indicate otherwise as an accidental).
I just am learning to read music, and also without a teacher.  The advice is really helpful. 
Also, is a B# just a C natural?

I checked out the music for Sonatina in G, thanks for the suggestion.  I will perhaps give it a try and also maybe a few other simpler pieces.
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fleetfingers
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2011, 09:31:40 PM »

Also, is a B# just a C natural?

That's right. Smiley

When you get to the "X", come back to the forum and we'll help you out. Wink
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light22
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2011, 09:43:44 PM »

okay, i will.  thank you very much Smiley
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oxy60
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 12:13:13 AM »

I checked out the music for Sonatina in G, thanks for the suggestion.  I will perhaps give it a try and also maybe a few other simpler pieces.

The words simpler and complicated only have meaning here. The rest of the world thinks you play piano. They have no idea how difficult the piece we play might be.

There is a recording here of that Sonatina. As you listen to it, notice that you can't really tell how easy or difficult it is.
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"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)
hannah9
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 06:20:09 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpFtKi_HYGI

here - try this link! I wouldn't advise you to copy it completely though - but if you follow along with the score it will help immensely!! Smiley
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learning:
La Campanella - Liszt
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G minor
Chopin - Heroic Polonaise
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