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Help with Pathetique Sonata 1st movement measures 4 and 10!! (Read 867 times)

Offline rovis77

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Hi, I just have a doubt with these measures. There are a lot of 64th notes in these measures. Should they be measured mathematically or a bit rubato?

Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Beethoven: Sonata 8 (Pathétique), opus 13
piano sheet music of Sonata 8 (Pathétique)


Offline adodd81802

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Re: Help with Pathetique Sonata 1st movement measures 4 and 10!!
«Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 09:40:11 AM »
I'm not sure on your score, or whether or not you are ready for this piece if you are not familiar with the way these notes have been scored...

But in all the scores that I can see there is numbers underneath or above the groups of notes which indicate a rough idea of how to play them.

I have attached an example from one of the measures you have mentioned. You can see the 6 / 6 / 7

Whenever you see these numbers, it usually indicates you are squeezing additional notes into a beat that wouldn't usually fit, and in result, then make all the notes within that number equal value.

An easy example (not in this score) being a triplet. while in common time, 3 normal 8th notes make 1 1/2 beats, However a triplet of 8th notes (usually indicated with a number 3 above the notes) is only 1 beat and you give each note a value of 1/3 of a beat which there is no other easy notated way of writing

The same will apply in this bar, however note the different time values, you actually have notes ranging from 8th notes right through to 128th notes! (Semihemidemisemiquaver for English people)

Mathematically speaking it's very difficult to count out each notes individual value, so your options are to break the bar into the 4 beats and work out what notes are to be played in each beat, using the rough note values to speed up or slow down a little.

A metronome could probably help you with this.

I have drawn divider lines to show you what notes are played within the beats.

Sure you could argue that ever so slightly you slow the beat so that it doesn't sound too robotic or rushed, but your overall goal is to still feel the beat whilst playing the notes.

The general feel of the descending chromatic is obvious... 6 32nd notes, 7 64th notes and 16 128th notes.. it's clearly indicated you're to accelerate as you descend.



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Offline guilleferra

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Re: Help with Pathetique Sonata 1st movement measures 4 and 10!!
«Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 10:52:18 AM »
I am not sure if there is really a "correct" way to play those notes. Listenin g to a number of great interpreters, my feeling is that some of them play those notes with equal duration and others respect the groups indicated on the score...

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Help with Pathetique Sonata 1st movement measures 4 and 10!!
«Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 10:57:01 AM »
It may be right to say you can interpret the score and "make it your own"

but there is certainly a correct way, and that's how it's written on the score ;)
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline rovis77

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Re: Help with Pathetique Sonata 1st movement measures 4 and 10!!
«Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 01:41:29 PM »
Thanks for your answer!!. So, do I have to play this groups of notes perfectly divided mathematically or I do not measure them mathematically and just go with the idea that they indicate that the run speeds gradually till the end?.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Help with Pathetique Sonata 1st movement measures 4 and 10!!
«Reply #5 on: May 23, 2018, 04:21:00 PM »
As mentioned, you have little to no way of mathematically measuring for example the 3rd beat which has 6 32th notes and 7 64th notes (not counting the 2 16th notes at the start of the beat), as a mathematical division it's almost impossible.

You will have to experiment with fitting the notes in the beat, using the note values as a guide.

Here's one thing you can do to help you break down further is use a metronome, but double the tempo, break the bar down into 8 pieces rather than 4 and get an even better idea of what notes you should have in each half beat that your metronome makes.

I have re-attached my example

the Red lines / circles = whole beats
Blue lines / circles = half beats

The tempo marked in this piece is Grave (25-45) (check other performances for a more accurate tempo)

if you double your metronome to play 50-90 you can practice this music in half beats

I have an app on my phone which allows me to accentuate beats, if you have something similar you can identify the strong beats as the whole beat and the weak beats as the half beat and use this to keep your notes in rhythm.

There is no easy "one size fits all" solution to this. You almost need to feel the rhythm and understand what the composer intended without simply staring at the notes and trying to work out the maths.



"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."