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Dohnanyi exercises (Read 11749 times)

Offline didi

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Dohnanyi exercises
« on: November 29, 2004, 11:25:55 AM »
Hallo all

Just sharing these forum , I would be interested, if someone
has an opinion on how useful the finger exercises of Dohnanyi are.

Dohnanyi was a brillant pianist and according to the preface
of the exercises, these ones should be condenced exercises,
giving pupils more time for their repertoire.

Thanks you for any opinion.

Best Regards // Dietmar :D

Offline dmk

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #1 on: November 29, 2004, 12:00:55 PM »
Ok I know this is slightly off topic but....how exactly do you pronounce Dohnanyi??  I've heard it said so many different ways Doe-nan-yi: Don-yan-yi


Any ideas  :D

The exercise are useful....BUT If you think they are a cure all forget it!  As to prefaces in front of exercises read the front of Hanon for a good laugh.  Take any such prefaces with a 'grain of salt'

DMK
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Robert Fripp

Offline doofus

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #2 on: December 26, 2004, 01:09:28 AM »
Koji Attwood did those exercises as a kid.

Offline janice

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #3 on: December 26, 2004, 05:43:44 AM »
My teacher pronounces his name as Don--eee--on--eee

Try doing a search on his name here at the forum.  Many people speak highly of his exercises!
Co-president of the Bernhard fan club!

Offline TheRach

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #4 on: December 27, 2004, 03:22:29 AM »
Koji Attwood did those exercises as a kid.

He never said what he thought of those exercises, did he?
I've had no experience with Dohnanyi, so there's not much I can say.

Offline doofus

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #5 on: December 27, 2004, 09:33:40 PM »
Well, this guy has a lot to say:
http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm

If you read enough there, you'll find out how to download a free copy of his book (he wants feedback).

Anyway, he does recommend "mastering piano technique" or whatever it's called again sold by amadeus press.  There's a book and video combo you can buy.

The version of that book I downloaded (pdf file) is 348 pages long.

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #6 on: December 27, 2004, 10:06:52 PM »
  I'm fairly convinced they did wonders for my finger independence as a kid.  The exercises were varied enough also that I didn't get overly bored practicing them.

koji (STSD)
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline Rach3

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #7 on: December 28, 2004, 03:27:51 AM »
I'm almost certain it's Doh-nee-ah-nee, where the 'h' is aspirate (don't know how to indicate that). The stress is on the 'ah' syllable. I've heard several musicians (and  two musicologists) pronounce it this way.

I'm also considering doing these regularly (my teacher is, as usual, ambivalent) so I'm also interested in what y'all have to say.

-Mach3
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner

Offline Rach3

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #8 on: December 28, 2004, 03:32:56 AM »
On second thought, I'm not sure whether the 'nee-ah' part is entirely elided into one syllable, or whether it is considered to be two syllables.
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner

Offline eleena

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #9 on: December 30, 2004, 07:37:29 PM »
I acquainted myself with dohnanyi exercises a few months ago and personally I have found them very useful. Practising them is not so boring as Hanon's exercises.
I have noticed after giving some exercises to my pupils that they found them even fun; some of those exercises are so difficult at the beginning that they make practising even more intresting. And they touch many technical issues.
I think that with Dohnanyi exercises at the latest one realises the difficulty of playing and one's enormous lack in technic.
I recommend those exercises.

Offline alkanite

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #10 on: December 31, 2004, 05:23:29 AM »
I thought I had decent finger independence before I tried these.  I chuckled to myself when I couldn't get through the first exercise without being seriously humbled.  Many of my students find it rather humourous as they realize their fingers don't obey their brain.

At first these exercises may seem too frustrating.  But a few days work (at no more than 10 minutes a sitting), and one can see a dramatic improvement in independence.

Important note: His suggestion in the preface is slow practice (forte with high finger lifts) and rapid practice (piano with minimal lift).  Nothing in between.  These are obviously targeted practice suggestions and in harmony with his "waste no time" principle.

Highly Recommended.

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #11 on: January 01, 2005, 05:53:45 PM »
I have never played them, but I know that rachmaninoff went so far as to record one of the etudes.

Offline richard w

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #12 on: January 02, 2005, 01:08:14 AM »
It is interesting to note that no one has spoken badly of Dohnányi in this thread. I recently got myself a copy of these exercises, but have since read numerous threads by certain members on this forum, and Chang's book (some of it, at least). This reading, and the intolerable level of boredom in executing these exercises has persuaded me (and it didn't take a lot of persuading) not to bother with them. First of all, to make any kind of useful progress through the book one needs to spend a good deal more time than just 10 minutes a day. For the fortnight I tried them, I was finding myself playing them for 40 minutes, and I never managed to get to the end of page 3. Furthermore, I didn't even do most of the different key permutations recommended.

Other comments. Whilst the preface seems to be less misguided than Hanon's, there is still precious little information on the correct technique required to master the exercises. Also, if you read what Chang writes about Hanon you will find that a lot of the criticisms are just as applicable here as well. It all depends whether you go along with Chang, and I'm inclined to. (But, I've got plenty more books to read and lots more experimentation to do with my own playing before I draw final conclusions - that is just my interim opinion at the start of a very long journey, which I seem to have started, ever since my arrival at this forum.)

Looking at the exercises, most of them seem to require finger dexterity just for the sake of it, rather than for useful musical achievement. It doesn't bother me that I can't play No.2 fluently in D flat major. I haven't come across a piece where I need to play like that yet. And if I do in the future, I'll work on it in the 'musical' context, and if necessary I might come back to Dohnányi and give it another go.

I for one would ask you to ask yourselves 'Why am I / is my student doing these exercises?'.



I'd be interested to hear from anyone who shares my opinion, or indeed completely disagrees. Please give your reasons.


Richard.

Offline alkanite

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #13 on: January 02, 2005, 05:01:12 AM »
I really have no reason to defend the man, but here goes:

From Preface:

"In music-schools piano tuition suffers mostly from far too much exercise material given for the purely technical development of the pupils, the many hours of daily practice spent on these not being in proportion to the results obtained..."

"...the fault lies...that far too many studies and exercises are given which only little value can be gained, whilst not enough time is left for the study or repertory pieces."

I think, according to this philosophy, it would be counter-intuitive to play these and get to the end of page 3 after 40 minutes.  I mentioned before that 10 minutes of these daily would improve independence, not get one through the book in a short amount of time.  If one tried to do everything he suggested (modulations, etc.) it would indeed take an eternity.  I would venture to say, looking at the sheer amount of work here, this book is a lifelong companion.  However, since these exercises are not arranged in sequential difficulty, one can be selective, targeting specific technical issues.  I stand by my 10 minutes.

I am as big a believer as anyone in the principle that if one wants to improve a passage, one should devise an exercise based on the passage.  Dohnanyi does not disagree:

"After all, however technically well equipped a pianist may be, certain difficulties have to be conquered during the study of the piece itself."

Looking at the exercises, most of them seem to require finger dexterity just for the sake of it, rather than for useful musical achievement.

Agreed.  But I think that was his only goal.  If you subscribe to the 'left-brain, right-brain' school of thought, then these are definitely 'left-brain' exercises.  Tedious, formulaic, you betcha.

I find some of the preface practical, including two gems of technical thought of which no teacher should remain ignorant.

Offline alkanite

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #14 on: January 02, 2005, 05:10:19 AM »
Just thought I would mention - I would rarely assign these to any of my students.  These one must adopt of one's own volition.  I might send the book home with one of my advanced students; if they are they kind that will benefit, they'll know.

Offline ivn8528

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Re: Dohnanyi exercises
«Reply #15 on: October 12, 2013, 11:38:12 PM »
Ok I know this is slightly off topic but....how exactly do you pronounce Dohnanyi??  I've heard it said so many different ways Doe-nan-yi: Don-yan-yi


Any ideas  :D

The exercise are useful....BUT If you think they are a cure all forget it!  As to prefaces in front of exercises read the front of Hanon for a good laugh.  Take any such prefaces with a 'grain of salt'

DMK

Hey, I've always heard it pronounced Dog-nan-nue(something like cute). But I asked my hungarian friend recently and he said its "Doh(like doe with an ending "h" sound) - nan (the "a" sounds like father) - nyi (ny-like canyon...and its a short-ish "i" like the word sh*t). So its like Doh-nan-nyi. Hope that helps. Lol