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November 18, 2017, 04:27:35 AM *
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Albéniz – Asturias and 20 other piano pieces

Even though Isaac Albéniz actually never composed any music for guitar much of his piano music is part of the standard guitar repertoire. Asturias (Leyenda), the fifth movement from Suite Española, opus 47, is one example. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Why some Chopin etudes are so much harder to memorize than others  (Read 782 times)
william_ni_guang_xin
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« on: June 19, 2017, 01:16:31 PM »

Hi virtuosos and on-their-way-to-be-virtuosos, (this is my first post)

it took me 2 hours to memorize Op. 10 No. 2, yet it took me 7 hours a day for 5 days, to memorize the middle section of Op. 10 No. 3, I memorized Op. 10 No. 9 within an hour, but got my brain fried trying to take down The black key etude.

And also, are etudes more difficult to memorize than other piano music of the same level, say Chopin's Prelude No. 24 or Flight of the Bumblebee...

Recently I accepted a challenge to learn the first cadenza from Prokofiev's Second Concerto, and I feel it's a lot easier to memorize than Winter Wind...
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klavieronin
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 02:18:32 PM »

it took me 2 hours to memorize Op. 10 No. 2, ... I memorized Op. 10 No. 9 within an hour

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chopinlover01
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2017, 02:11:10 AM »

Hi virtuosos and on-their-way-to-be-virtuosos, (this is my first post)

it took me 2 hours to memorize Op. 10 No. 2, yet it took me 7 hours a day for 5 days, to memorize the middle section of Op. 10 No. 3, I memorized Op. 10 No. 9 within an hour, but got my brain fried trying to take down The black key etude.

And also, are etudes more difficult to memorize than other piano music of the same level, say Chopin's Prelude No. 24 or Flight of the Bumblebee...

Recently I accepted a challenge to learn the first cadenza from Prokofiev's Second Concerto, and I feel it's a lot easier to memorize than Winter Wind...

My bulls*it meters are off the charts.

"I memorized a Chopin etude in an hour lol and also the flight of the bumblebee transcription is the same level as a Chopin etude"

"Also, Prokofiev Second Concerto Cadenza is about the same as winter wind"

Either you're a diabolical genius, or. . .
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mjames
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 02:24:25 AM »

This is less about the title and more about you (not-so-humbly) bragging. The simple answer is that they're all different pieces with varying degrees in content and difficulty.
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Pianism is my religion, Bach is my God, and Chopin's my prophet.
william_ni_guang_xin
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 11:22:01 PM »

Show off  Grin

Was that a compliment?
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william_ni_guang_xin
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 11:29:14 PM »

My bulls*it meters are off the charts.

"I memorized a Chopin etude in an hour lol...

Either you're a diabolical genius, or. . .

Will clearly I'm no genius, because I said it took me 5 * 7 hours to memorize the middle section from op. 10 no. 3, and also the Prokofiev 2, I actually learned the piece, you should try to if you can already play winter wind
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william_ni_guang_xin
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 11:33:08 PM »

This is less about the title and more about you (not-so-humbly) bragging. The simple answer is that they're all different pieces with varying degrees in content and difficulty.

Will thank you for your reply, but can you give me more detail, cause right now My Teacher asks me to memorize the 24 Chopin Etudes, And it's giving me a real pain in the... I had a lot less trouble memorizing Rachmaninoff pieces, for real, what the heck...
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danielo
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 12:45:31 PM »

Op 10 no 2 has a great deal of repetition, I would say at least a third of the piece is the same chromatic scale pattern. It fits under the fingers quite nicely, and after a while they almost play themselves. No 3 I think has a lot more underlying difficulty than appears apparent at first, keeping that singing tone beautiful and even, with the underlying harmonies also coming through. The rapid 6ths passage in the middle has always caused me problems as well!
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Learning:

Rachmaninov Preludes Op10 1, 4 and 5
Chopin Ballade in G Minor
Chopin Etude Op10 No 2
Schubert Impromptu No 3
klavieronin
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 01:36:33 PM »

Was that a compliment?

Not really. More of a friendly jab at your humble-bragging.

I'd be interesting to know how you approach memorising a piece though, and how you decide that you have finally "memorised" it.
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nw746
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 07:09:13 PM »

I memorised most of Op. 10/3 in a one hour sightread-o-rama the other day—expect I'll have all the notes down after another hour or so—but, to be fair, I've known the piece for practically ever, classical music is 99% of what I listen to and I've owned recordings of people playing the Chopin Etudes for aeons. I also wouldn't say I could play it, that's different from knowing the notes—actually 10/3 is one of the more difficult Chopin etudes I think (particularly if one follows Chopin's pedal instructions) and I probably should not work on it until I can play through the parallel sixths passage at tempo without discomfort.

The hardest pieces to memorise for me are those where something is repeated frequently with slight variations. I would find the finale of Prokofiev's 2nd Violin Concerto, where the main theme returns slightly differently each time in pitch and rhythm, to be very hard to memorise. Luckily I'm not a violinist (anymore).
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 08:01:23 AM »

Will clearly I'm no genius, because I said it took me 5 * 7 hours to memorize the middle section from op. 10 no. 3, and also the Prokofiev 2, I actually learned the piece, you should try to if you can already play winter wind
5-7 hours to memorize a technically difficult section of a Chopin etude? That's reasonable, but not something that makes you a bad player necessarily.
I *attempted* (badly) 25/11. Full disclosure; I just messed around with it because I liked the way it sounded.
Prokofiev 2 is a light piece, you seem to claim. I'm.. Baffled. You're clearly either a genius, in WAY over your head, or lying. Probably the latter of the three.
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danielo
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2017, 01:13:16 PM »

5-7 hours to memorize a technically difficult section of a Chopin etude? That's reasonable, but not something that makes you a bad player necessarily.
I *attempted* (badly) 25/11. Full disclosure; I just messed around with it because I liked the way it sounded.
Prokofiev 2 is a light piece, you seem to claim. I'm.. Baffled. You're clearly either a genius, in WAY over your head, or lying. Probably the latter of the three.

Just to say, I'm baffled by the amount of people on this forum who claim others are lying about their standard. This is a dedicated piano forum for people of all abilities, and the knee-jerk reaction when somebody claims that they can learn a piece very quickly is a bit depressing!
I know there is no way I could learn a Chopin etude that quickly, but I go to a piano meet up group every month and there are at least a couple of people there who are of a seriously high standard. Playing Prokoviev sonatas virtually flawlessly. There aren't many other piano forums like this one, and there must surely be a proportionate number of people who comment here, that are seriously good players!
I'm not saying that all posters here are free from some BS and exaggeration, I just don't think the first response should be that someone is lying!!
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Learning:

Rachmaninov Preludes Op10 1, 4 and 5
Chopin Ballade in G Minor
Chopin Etude Op10 No 2
Schubert Impromptu No 3
pianoworthy
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2017, 10:51:18 AM »

I find Liszt way more easy to memorize as a composer. Memorizing the Chopin 25/11 has been a slow tedious process, taking me 7 days a week for several months. Whereas memorizing Liszt's transcendental etude no. 10 took me a little over a week. I find this is the case for most of their compositions.
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virtuoso80
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 03:51:36 AM »

Ones like Op. 10 no. 1 and Op. 25 No. 12 are literally just chord progressions. All you need to think is 'now this chord' and you're done. I got good at Op. 25 No. 12 ahead of 'schedule' because I could just whip it out anytime without music in front of me, because it was just about knowing the chords.

The Op. 10 No. 3 middle section I though actually had a sectional pattern to it that made it not too hard to memorize. I still remember it even though I don't play it much anymore. Other etudes obviously are much less pattern-based and thus harder to memorize
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