You won't believe what
you hear! Well, maybe you will. It's me,
pretending to be a typical piano student struggling
through a favorite Clementi Sonatina. It's intended to
be funny (not cruel). Of course, if you happen to be a
piano student of similar ability, you might want to
think about what sorts of things make this performance
less than ideal. At least you aren't listening to
yourself! If you're a teacher, have a good belly laugh
New on the Blog
from the concert hall, the teaching studio and
the organ bench, posted Mon, Wed and Fri
wait, there's more!
Hello again. This assemblage of words is brought to you for
another month by one human being whom you may never have met and who
conceived and executed thousands of tiny maneuvers with his hands at
a date and time several weeks in the past, then posted them to a
machine which is there to serve your need for reading material at
any time of the day or night in whatever part of the world you
happen to reside.
It all sounds fairly one-sided. I write, you read. But as it
happens, I sometimes hear from you guys regarding things Iíve posted
on my site, and this monthís effusion is about that phenomenon. Even
when you donít write Iím listening. But Iím getting ahead of myself.
from Don't your Fingers get tired? (A question and answer
page for the curious)
If you are particularly accomplished at either instrument,
yes. If you are not, then not so much.
The instruments are vastly different, of course. One makes
sound by striking strings, the other by moving vast columns of air through
pipes. One can grow up to nine feet (concert size)--the other fills up several
small rooms. (I'm assuming neither instrument is electronic.)
But the music written for the two instruments, when it is
written well, is also very different. For one thing, a piano has a sustaining pedal
which allows notes to continue sounding so long as your foot is on the pedal.
You don't need your fingers to maintain contact with the keys. An organ does not
have a sustaining pedal. The instant your fingers leave the key the note stops
sounding. Thus you cannot play a chord in the bass and moving your hand up to
the high part of the keyboard in a flashy sweeping gesture and make it work. On
a piano, that would sound impressive. On an organ it would sound stupid.
from the department of "Godmusic" --
under the sub-heading "Christian piano music"
Perhaps it will only become evident after
long years of profitable study of the texts and tunes
available on Pianonoise, but there are few assumptions that,
if I am not in the business of imploding, I do not at least
feel my duty to question. Someone has to. Since it appears
that staunch opinions are the principle export of mankind,
there is plenty of raw material. As it happens, a little
while back I came across a page on the web which contained
all kinds of such assessments. It was a conversation, a chat
page. Since the conversation took place in 2005, I was not
able to contribute to it then, and I doubt I could have
added much, since most of the principle positions were
covered. But in retrospect, and since internet conversations
which are sometimes the product of only a momentís
reflection often wind up on servers for years, we have the
chance to go over it, consider all the dramatis personae and
their prejudices, and see if any stunning insights come to
us. Perhaps the original participants were missing a few
There is a fellow named Bernhard. He
seems amiable enough--sometimes, but he has a problem. He
has a piano student, andóbut let him tell it:
"I have a student who is a committed
Christian, and she has decided that she is now only
interested in religious music. She brought me a CD to listen
to, with some ghastly pop Christian music saying this is
what she wants to play from now on. I was horrified at the
prospect of having to listen to this drivel, so I suggested
to her instead that she should dedicate her musical studies
to some of the greatest sacred music ever written Ė and gave
her a number of CDs to listen to by Bach (St Matthew
Passion, Mass in B-minor, cantatas, etc.) Mozart (Requiem),
Beethoven (Mass in B minor) and Arvo Part, plus Gregorian
chant and the like. She was suitably impressed and wants to
have a go.
So here is the problem: Does anyone have
any suggestions for "sacred" pieces? Preferably originally
written for piano solo, that are not too forbidding (around
grade 5 Ė 8 )? Although there seems to be plenty of "sacred"
pieces for voice or choir, the only ones I could come up
with for piano solo were [the following]:"
James luck on his way back to Cleveland; take in a ball game
while you're there....
If you are in the mood for
something with the consistency of paste, the taste of
recycled poster board, and an appearance that will make you
marvel about what they can do with plastics these days, the
hotdogs at Jacobs Field are your item. If you are not so
inclined, not to worry. You can always wash it down
afterward with something like the hottest, flattest soda
("pop" in the Midwest, "coke" in the South) I have ever had
the inverse privilege to consume.
Visitors to Jacobs Field (affectionately known
as "the jake" by Clevelanders--Dick Jacobs, the club owner, felt compelled to
write a memo to the media trying to encourage/demand that this kind of thing be
stopped since the phrase is often used colloquially in reference to a toilet,
but to no noticeable effect) --Visitors to Jacobs Field will bask in the
splendor of the view of the Cleveland skyline, and the relative spaciousness of
the lower levels as they make their plebian way to the fifth (yes) floor in
order to bake in the northern Ohio sun and ponder incredulously just how small
it is possible to manufacture a hotdog which costs $3.75.
Jacobs Field is also known for its massive wall
of luxury sky boxes which contribute to a more gargantuan look than some of its
retro-ballyard brethren and for the healthful effects of the air since
far-sighted legislators have decreed that no smoking is to take place on the
grounds. These same legislators were kind enough to pay for the stadium by
levying a cigarette tax so that smokers wouldn't feel entirely left out of the
loop. I miss Cleveland politics.
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