Sometime subdividing beats, sometimes combining beats

March 19,2018

When we are playing slowly and the notes seem to separate from each other and there is no flowing line, it is useful to subdivide the note into 2, 3 or 4 equal parts.  This subdivision can occur just in the head, or better yet, in the body.  The body can go through all the same motions that it would to play the note again, except that instead of a new sound resulting, the old sound simply continuous.

When we are playing rapidly and the notes don’t seem to flow evenly, it is useful to combine notes into groups of notes.  In doing this only the first note of the group is played with any intentionality.  The other notes happen as if unintentionally, as if filling in a parenthesis, with physical motions that are more subtle or subconscious.

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Music is the art of time alone

Music is the art of time, and in it space has little role to play.  This results from the basic difference between hearing and seeing.

While the physical cause for all our sensations, including sight and sound, lies in some mechanical phenomenon in space, the ‘effect’ of that cause, as experienced in our consciousness, is of a radically different nature.    We cannot answer the question “what does sound sound like“.  There is nothing about a sound wave that implies hearing.

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I always choose the part “on the left”

March 18,2018

When I play four hands with another pianist, given the choice, I will choose to sit on the left, and play the “secondo” or lower pitched part.  Why?

The person with the lower pitches  can always insure an overall balance of sound with the person on the right  (the “primo” part) no matter how loud or soft that person plays, in spite of any unanticipated crescendos or decrescendos that he or she might make.

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