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Author Topic: How to solve the first part of Chopin's Nocturne op 9 no1  (Read 1303 times)
faa2010
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« on: November 11, 2016, 05:40:13 PM »

Hello,

I am thinking in playing this Nocturne, but I have some issues with the first part, in bars 3, 4, 11 and 15 respectly.

First, I need to solve them by separated hands, and once done, play them together where I need to synchronized all the notes.

Also I need to see how to play the left hand, another work to do.

Could you give me some advice please?

Thanks
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adodd81802
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 06:08:48 PM »

Is it polyrhythms you're struggling with?

I wonder if this is the best nocturne to start if you do not grasp that...

See these 2 videos that may help you nevertheless. The first is on polyrhythms and the 2nd is regarding the specific nocturne.





He has written some theory on the piece

http://www.practisingthepiano.com/making-friends-fiddly-fiorature/

And lastly, to summarise, from research and reading A LOT on Chopin. As I understanding it, pieces like these are not designed to be mathematically correct, but for the left hand to keep the beat while you right hand is free. If you're worriying about 12 notes in a bar or 14 notes in a bar, those numbers are written just to make it clear within what beats those notes need to be played. It doesn't necessarily have to be equal.

Hope that helps.
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iansinclair
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 06:54:39 PM »

Curiously, this is one of the harder Nocturnes to get to sing -- and sing it must.  As has been said, the left hand must maintain a steady flow (not, however, necessarily metronomic -- in fact, it mustn't be metronomic) while the right hand floats over the top, singing its melodies.

Don't even try to get the various ornaments and graces in the right hand to align exactly with the left hand.  Further, suppose it says 14 notes in the right hand to the steady 6 in the left -- this does not mean that each note in the right hand takes exactly one fourteenth of the major pulse (that would work out to seven against three, in this example, which is awkward).  Those notes won't all have equal length -- or weight or accent.

This isn't Bach...
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adodd81802
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2016, 02:42:50 PM »

How did you get on with this?

Curiously I started a little thread on learning this style for this specific piece, I wonder if you might find it helpful at all

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=62818.0

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xdjuicebox
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2016, 05:12:01 PM »

Just line the downbeats up and approximate the rest

I don't so much try to time the notes themselves, but more the hand positions. I try to synchronize my hand positions, and the notes somehow fall into place
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brogers70
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 07:54:40 PM »

The first way I approached that 11 against 6 business was to break it down into 4 against 2, 4 against 2, and 3 against 2 while I was getting the fingering down, and then just loosening up a bit so that the RH was less strict and the only thing that really lined up were the downbeats. If you are comfortable with basic polyrhythms, 3/2, 3/4, and 3/5, you can break up any of the longer ones into strings of the easy ones to work on getting the notes down and then try to loosen up.

Another approach that can work is just to figure out the order in which the notes should fall in the two hands, without worrying about exactly getting the timing just right (but keeping the LH steady). Then as you get more comfortable with the notes you can just relax the right hand more until you feel the flow.
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sitbon09
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 08:40:37 AM »

Hi.  I also play this lovely nocturne and found this breakdown initially helpful.

Measure 2 (11/6) -  4 against 2 with the exception of 3 against 2 for the last three notes.
Measure 5 (22/12) -  3 against 2 for the first three notes and last three notes only. 
Measure 73 (20/6) -  two groups of four against 1, four groups of 3 against 1 ie triplets. 

I agree with others that as you become more confident with the notes each hand should have its own flow so runs are not mechanical.

Remember that the time signature is 6/4 which is compound duple: two pulse beats per bar.  It is easy to forget.  I also suggest looking at different scores as the phrase lines do differ between editions.  I recommend Henle.

With respect to the opening left hand part you could use finger 5 on the Bb for both beats (counts 1 & 4).  Some teachers I've had have recommended to use the 3rd finger on the F to make the phrases more legato, whilst others have recommended finger 5 on the Bb at the start of both downbeats given Chopin has written two phrase lines per measure, not one.  Something to think about early before locking fingering in.

I hope this helps. 

Cheers

Andrew
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faa2010
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 09:34:45 PM »

Thank you for your advice, I think I am starting to get them.

Also I would like to Know your opinion in the next issue, my hands are not so big (fingers can reach from one key to its 8th one, and With hard work a 9th), there will be sections where I will have to play octaves in the right hand, do you think is ok to continue learning and getting the piece?, am I not going to get hurt or have a certain irreversible pain?
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adodd81802
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2017, 08:26:37 AM »

I can only reach a 9th and I don't recall there being any parts that caused particular strain or injury.

Chopin had reasonably small hands, and I believe could only reach further because keys where slightly smaller in his day.

There is a section of octaves that requires a legato style touch, but this is usually done with a combination of 1/4 and 1/5 fingers to ensure the top note remains most legato.

You will find what your 5th finger can reach, your 4th finger can reach by slightly angling your hand outwards. The key to a lot of Chopin's playing is the angling of the hands.

Also, though mostly covered, bar 2 and subsequently most bars with any off beat rhythms such as that, I just make the first and last notes synchronized and everything in between is flexible.

I will listen to a couple of recordings to get an idea of the overall interpretation and work with that, but I certainly don't mathematically calculate everything, and then almost like a skill in it's own  you can get better at improvising where to speed or slow down for different effects.

Sometimes for particularly long passages, you can use check points, so particular places where the notes should sync up and then again be flexible with everything in between.
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