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Topic: Summertime Bery Rubinstein  (Read 531 times)

Offline emilia

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Summertime Bery Rubinstein
on: December 01, 2021, 09:10:08 AM
Hi. I'm currently learning to play Beryl Rubenstein's arrangement of Summertime. There is this one bar which I can't work out the timing for -  I'm not sure which notes the right hand comes in on with the left hand. It's the top bar in this picture.  If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated  and I hope that my question makes sense. Thank you.

Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: Summertime Bery Rubinstein
Reply #1 on: December 01, 2021, 09:51:07 AM
Hi Emilia,

I think the end goal here is to play quite freely with the hands independent of each other, so that individual notes may or may not coincide, but the main beats are together.
However, while practicing you need something that works at a slow tempo.
I would start by practicing the hands separately until you've really internalized these scales.

Then slowly hands together, working out a temporary solution to the rhythm. In the first half of the bar you have 14 against 5, which could work out as 2+3+3+3+3. In the second half you have 16 against 3, which could work out as 5+5+6. Practice this slowly until you are able to focus on one hand at a time while the other is sort of on autopilot. Then you've reached a stage where you no longer need to subdivide the scales.

Hope my answer makes sense ::)

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Summertime Bery Rubinstein
Reply #2 on: December 01, 2021, 05:02:17 PM
Yes, one could simplify, as 32 says , but the arranger is asking for a polyrhythm.
Without getting too much into the weeds, in the first half of the measure, a simple approach would be to treat the LH part as grace notes to a RH note, except for the first beat of the polyrhythm which they play together.
The LH octave C as a grace note to the A in the RH, the LH D as a grace note to the RH D, the LH D# as a grace note to the RH F, and the LH B as a grace note to the C in the RH.
This is not exact, but very close to the polyrhythm.  To describe in further detail, one would have to see a couple of RH notes as grace notes to the LH part instead, and can be hard to switch perspectives a few times in the flow. So at first, I have my students
approach this sort of polyrhythm as I first described.
Try it out, and see how it works for you. It should come pretty easily. 
4'33"

Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: Summertime Bery Rubinstein
Reply #3 on: December 02, 2021, 09:07:18 AM
Yes, one could simplify, as 32 says , but the arranger is asking for a polyrhythm.
Without getting too much into the weeds, in the first half of the measure, a simple approach would be to treat the LH part as grace notes to a RH note, except for the first beat of the polyrhythm which they play together.
The LH octave C as a grace note to the A in the RH, the LH D as a grace note to the RH D, the LH D# as a grace note to the RH F, and the LH B as a grace note to the C in the RH.
This is not exact, but very close to the polyrhythm.

Just to clarify - I didn't suggest that you should simplify the arrangement, my suggestion was to work out a simplification of the polyrhythm while practicing slowly. Which if understood correctly is exactly what themeandvariation does, adding that you can treat the LH notes as grace notes, which I also think is a great idea.

However, although I understand why themeandvariations puts the LH grace notes where he does, I think its hard to argue that what's described in the quote above is closer to the correct rhythm than what I suggested, because it seems to subdivide the right hand scale very unevenly, into 3(e-g#)+3(a-c)+2(d-e)+4(f#-b)+2(c-d).

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Summertime Bery Rubinstein
Reply #4 on: December 02, 2021, 04:32:56 PM
Hey 32 -
The problem with your suggestion is that you have the hands hitting together  on crucial LH beats, which loses the heard impression of a polyrhythm.
It will be noticeably lost.
In my description, I acknowledged that it wasn't exact, (and did offer a glimpse of how to adjust in my second description, suggesting that a few RH notes would be seen as grace notes :   "This is not exact, but very close to the polyrhythm.  To describe in further detail, one would have to see a couple of RH notes as grace notes to the LH part instead, and can be hard to switch perspectives a few times in the flow. So at first, I have my students
approach this sort of polyrhythm as I first described."
But my first description this gets the ball rolling.  Then an adjust can be made.
Also, I would posit that because the passage is to be played at such a quick speed,
that to the ear, my second description (with a couple of RH grace notes) would sound the same - identical to playing all LH (except the first beat) as grace notes.  At a slower speed, of course, that would not be true - and my second description would need to be worked in.  Does that make sense?
Again, if the LH is played with the RH notes, the staggered effect of the polyrhythm is completely lost. 

PS. "3(e-g#)+3(a-c)+2(d-e)+4(f#-b) +2(c-d)."
Your description of my calculation - is lacking the calculation for the fact that each LH beat is worth 2.8 of the RH notes. I believe the placement of the LH notes - where I put them  - is where they would fall. 
BTW - in your last calculation - "+2(c-d)" you are missing the the added space from D to E  - to the main beat.
In you third  calculation "+2(d-e)"  if the RH played a grace note on the C to the LH D, then the continuity is preserved. But the placement of the LH would be in the same place , between C and D in the RH as in my first calculation. As I said, it could be adjusted a bit, but at this speed, only the LH placement in between the RH notes is all that is needed to create the effect- musically.
One modification: (correction) the D# in the LH as a grace note to the RH G - in other words, played just after th RH F#. My apologies. (the pdf upside-down notwithstanding).
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, 32.!
4'33"

Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: Summertime Bery Rubinstein
Reply #5 on: December 07, 2021, 08:43:13 AM
Hey theme -
So, with that modification, I would say that it's even more true that our practice suggestions are actually very similar, and like I said I think it's a great idea to treat the LH octaves as grace notes.

Offline dw4rn

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Re: Summertime Bery Rubinstein
Reply #6 on: December 07, 2021, 12:03:32 PM
I somehow doubt that anyone listening to this spot would really want to have the 'impression of a polyrhythm'...
Don't get me wrong, I think your practice suggestions are probably very adequate, but surely no one including the performer will ever be able to tell if each LH octave gets its fair 2.8 share of the RH notes?
I guess this is the sort of thing a good improvising jazz pianist would do entirely without thinking about the ratio of notes between the hands. A really good sight-reader too, I would imagine.  Nevertheless, it's interesting to hear your ideas on how to go about practicing it if you're not quite there yet.
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