Friday, July 25, 2014

Crossing the Barrier from Notation to Real Sound

A woman scientist -- my oldest surviving student (i.e., I have taught her for several decades) --  has been determined to find "the music part" in piano playing.  This morning she made a huge breakthrough in Chopin's Prelude in F# major, responding to the essentially consonant wash of black-key harmony rather than to the printed notes as unrelated, separately-attacked, therefore either right or wrong notes.

It was stunning because it was so fluid -- and this is not an easy texture to achieve.

It was stunning, also, in that it revealed the possibility which I have long suspected that one of Chopin's gifts was to create melodies out of the resonance of the left hand, as Beethoven does in the "Moonlight" Sonata.

Too many piano students are brought up on the formula of right hand melody / left hand accompaniment, even though that often does not apply, it merely palls for both player and listener.