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Liszt: The Grand Sonata

In an article about one of the greatest masterpieces of the 19th century piano literature, Franz Liszt's Sonata in B minor, Patrick Jovell guides us through the history of the work as well as a few of the most common analytical approaches. Listen online to the two recommended performances by Vásáry and Arrau while you follow along in Liszt's autograph manuscript or the printed score available from Piano Street's sheet music library. Read more >>

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Author Topic: metronome markings  (Read 1098 times)
michael_sayers
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« on: June 04, 2015, 08:34:35 PM »

Hi Everyone,

I recall a source which says that for a m.m marking such as m.m. = 47 - 52, the tempo will range from 47 to 52 rather than being a particular tempo in that range.

To accommodate this the score could read "m.m. = 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 or 52". This seems like an unnecessarily long solution, especially for one that is m.m. = 99 - 130.

Maybe someone here has thoughts on how to have a m.m. marking encompass the guideline in that source and suggest a range of tempos rather than a tempo range.


Mvh,
Michael
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j_menz
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2015, 02:39:04 AM »

My suggestion - use a tempo/mood indication (such as Allegro, Andante etc) instead of a mm marking. They're much more useful anyway.
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"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant
michael_sayers
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2015, 10:14:46 AM »

My suggestion - use a tempo/mood indication (such as Allegro, Andante etc) instead of a mm marking. They're much more useful anyway.

Hi j_menz,

Sometimes more precision is desired.  A mood indicator can go between the staves [such as "con furia", "solenne", et c.].


Mvh,
Michael
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j_menz
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2015, 12:22:23 PM »

Sometimes more precision is desired. 

Tempo is a function of heartbeat (so it's perception will depend on what's preceded). Some pianos sound faster than others. Some rooms sound faster than others.

Don't confuse precision with accuracy.

1 + 1 = 2.0000003143637 is still wrong.
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"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant
michael_sayers
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2015, 09:18:37 PM »

Tempo is a function of heartbeat (so it's perception will depend on what's preceded). Some pianos sound faster than others. Some rooms sound faster than others.

Don't confuse precision with accuracy.

1 + 1 = 2.0000003143637 is still wrong.

Hi j_menz,

I agree.  So one might suggest a range of (for instance) 47 - 58.  The source I read implied that "m.m. = 47 - 58" would indicate for the tempo to fluctuate within that range.  Yet to have "m.m. = 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57 or 58", in order to avoid suggesting to some readers that the tempo will fluctuate with a range from 47 to 58, seems like a peculiarly long m.m. indication.


Mvh,
Michael
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