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What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings? (Read 6456 times)

Offline johnmar78

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What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
« on: August 06, 2013, 05:57:40 PM »
Hey Folks, more discussions again this time  ;D, please chuck your ideas and free to speak.

http://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory5.htm

According to this site, that at PRESTO in 1950 metronome it suggested bpm 144. AND the MODERN metronome suggested 180-209bpm.  ;)

So does this mean, we all played too fast these days????

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 07:21:19 PM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline johnmar78

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 07:40:55 PM »
How many in the beat, though? 8? When I hear the people from the old school play, I have a feeling they take more time, are more relaxed, have far more reserves in both power and speed, but take hair-raising tempi sometimes (runs litterally like glissando's, repeated chords almost as fast as a Kalashnikov, etc.), such as you don't hear often today. We sound more stressed, but actually play more slowly.

Dima, according to my best knowledge and practice, its 4(1/16) notes per crochet -its 4 x1/16 notes per beat. So in 4/4 time it would be 16X1/16 notes per 4 beat. Remember playing at 144 bpm required different touch as playing at 180bpm. The faster you go, the lighter your hands would be, and ofcourse, techniques has also changed.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 08:05:58 PM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 09:46:16 PM »
Besides, I think a person's heartbeat in different situations is a far better parameter then the markings on some mechanical device.

 :) I like this.

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 10:12:13 PM »
Another possibility is that the 120 was not the 120 we know now. I have no idea.

I seriously doubt that since bpm is something very easily measurable and so I'd imagine older metronomes could easily have been accurate +/- a few bpm.

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 10:25:45 PM »
According to this site, that at PRESTO in 1950 metronome it suggested bpm 144. AND the MODERN metronome suggested 180-209bpm.  ;)

Not sure where you're reading the "209", and you appear to have cherrypicked a bit, presumably to try to prove some sort of point. The only mentions of presto in the article in reference to bpm say the following...

Quote
100-152 bpm (some sources suggest 168-208 bpm)
(a nineteenth-century Maezel metronome suggests 160 bpm)
(a 1950 metronome suggests 144 bpm)
(a modern electronic metronome suggests 180 bpm)

So, in the 19th century, it was marked at 160 bpm, in 1950 marked at 144, modern 180. I cannot find any pattern here, especially when you consider the rest of the data, which seems to confirm that the 19th century metronome usually marks tempos faster than the 1950 metronome but slower than the modern electric.

It doesn't seem like there's anything significant in these numbers other than that different metronomes have different tempo suggestions.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 10:39:10 PM »
Rachmaninoff speaks quite specifically and frankly about the correct use of the metronome under the section 'Regulating Tempo' in his essay, Ten Important Attributes of Beautiful Pianoforte Playing.

I don't think Chopin had some glorious, ideal metronome marking for each of compositions. Tempo is always about energy, character, and flow, rather than a static BPM number.

Offline j_menz

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 11:23:54 PM »
Yet another reason to regard these jumped up little clocks as pointless.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline johnmar78

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 09:06:35 AM »
yes, I went thru a whole cycle of experimenting metronome vs non metronome practice over a years period. After all, I have to say metronome can be used as an indicative use only. But a "healthy internal beat " should be developed WITHOUT using metronome as mentioned by others. I noticed this improved much more in my playing in musical terms. ;)

My point was what brand of metronome Chopin was used??? must be a pretty old tec ones :o a slower version I suspect?

Yes, Dima, 8notes per  beat  is much fastser than 4. ;)

Online lelle

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #10 on: August 07, 2013, 10:41:49 PM »
I know that much about mathematics in music, thank you, but that was not my point. I am talking about a difference in perception of time and movement back then and now. Rachmaninoff, for example, tells us in his Ten Important Attributes Of Beautiful Pianoforte Playing (March 1910) that at an exam, the student was required to play scales "with the metronome at 120, eight notes to the beat" (that is 240 - four to the beat!). This gives us an indication, I think, about how time was perceived: many notes, but in big lines. That's why I suspect that the "presto" from 1950 at 144 may have been eight to the beat, otherwise it doesn't sound much like presto to me. Another possibility is that the 120 was not the 120 we know now. I have no idea.
P.S.: I know that some musicologists would like to cut the tempi of Chopin's etudes in half to finally be able to play them, but I am not so sure this is a correct approach. You would first have to be 100% sure about what the old measures actually indicate. Besides, I think a person's heartbeat in different situations is a far better parameter then the markings on some mechanical device.

Scales at 8 notes a beat at 120 is pretty damn fast. I need to practise.

Offline ajspiano

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Re: What is Chopins tempo marks vs modern 1950 metronme markings?
«Reply #11 on: August 07, 2013, 11:44:42 PM »
8 notes by 120 hey? given some parts of rach's music that doesn't surprise me. It also seems pretty reasonable/likely considering his background.

We're talking about a hanon intensive super demanding regime from the examination boards..  wasn't it something along the lines of any pattern from hanon, in any key at 200+ bpm?

Scales, being predominantly linear closed hand 1-3 or 1-4 patterns are much easier to rip through at phenomenal speeds than some other other situations - perhaps excluding the thumb pass element :P

Also, with a hanon based schooling I would assume also a fair whack of czerny - and much of his work is marked at 108 to the minum for semiquaver passages, and these may be described in quite a few cases as preperatory scale studies..  or studies on common figures at similar speeds.