#1
My old piano teacher used to scold me for not strictly following notation, improvising here and there and choosing dynamics by feeling, instead of notation.

for instance, in für elise, I always

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1iZXyWLnXg

play the part at 1:56 loud, which I believe is contrary to what is says on the sheet music. My teacher used to say this was wrong, and that a good pianist should stick to the sheet music.

I completely disagree, I find a good musician should interpret whatever he's playing however he feels to be adequate, but maybe I'm alone on this?

discuss/opinions
#2
If you know music better than your piano teacher, why did you hire him in the first place?
#4
Quote by Mad Marius
If you know music better than your piano teacher, why did you hire him in the first place?

well I was 12 at the time, and this is looking back at his teachings retrospectively.
also, maybe I'm completely foolish with my claim.
#5
No I see what your saying, but I think you we're looking at it as though it were a cover, and trying to make it your own. Whereas a pianist in an orchestra or such would need to be strict sheet music.
Romantic era music had a lot of room for improvisation, even to the point of tempo changes mid song. Crazy music lol.
#6
Quote by CoreysMonster
well I was 12 at the time, and this is looking back at his teachings retrospectively.
also, maybe I'm completely foolish with my claim.


I think that's the way with classical music. It's not like blues, where you can mess around with it.

Classical musicians would see it as an affront to Beethoven if they tried to play his pieces their own way.
#7
Actually I think that, although it is something nearly everyone agrees on, its a big deal because there are some people who take that 'margin for experimentation' [if you will] a bit too seriously and use it to let themselves fall short of the standard of the original song, technically and musically both..

it happens in guitar a lot, i think its definitely important to play what feels right in the moment, because music is literally just feeling, stimulation, etc, BUT only if you already understand the original song, and what it is your changing the part from
#8
Depends on what your role as a musician is. If you're playing for other people, you should probably do what they want. If you're in charge and intend to just play it how you want, you should do it your way.
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#9
Your teacher weas kind of right and kind of wrong.

If you're playing someone else's piece within an orchestra or group, you should follow whatever the sheet music or conductor is telling you to. You aren't there to show off your flair, you're there to perform other's music.

If you're playing by yourself, or it's your concert, then yes, you should play how you feel.
#10
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Your teacher weas kind of right and kind of wrong.

If you're playing someone else's piece within an orchestra or group, you should follow whatever the sheet music or conductor is telling you to. You aren't there to show off your falir, you're there to perform other's music.

If you're playing by yourself, or it's your concert, then yes, you should play how you feel.

I'm the new Dr. Phil around these parts. Scram.


...Sorry.
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#11
I'm under the impression that recital musicians who play classical music are used as vehicles to allow the composer's music to be heard, rather than playing for self-expression as in jazz, blues and all that followed from there. The expectations as to what makes a good classical pianist are different to what makes, say, a good guitarist.

Would this be an incorrect assumption?
#12
well it's just a matter of opinion - if for example you play laid to rest from a.s.p. you might be the kind of person who likes it exactly as is whereas you might be the kind of person who likes it but when playing the song you do something you think sounds better. to person 1 you are ruining the song but person number to sees it as perfecting it/improving it (for himself). there is no right or wrong - i prefer improvising but i'm sure there are other people who are like your teacher who just likes it as is.
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#13
Quote by Mad Marius
I think that's the way with classical music. It's not like blues, where you can mess around with it.

Classical musicians would see it as an affront to Beethoven if they tried to play his pieces their own way.


Quote by sashki
I'm under the impression that recital musicians who play classical music are used as vehicles to allow the composer's music to be heard, rather than playing for self-expression as in jazz, blues and all that followed from there. The expectations as to what makes a good classical pianist are different to what makes, say, a good guitarist.

Would this be an incorrect assumption?



ah, I never thought of it that way. I guess it's true, he only got mad at me for doing that with classical pieces, for jazz and blues he didn't care. It's something I never quite understood, but yeah, I guess you're right.
#14
Besides, "classical" music has been around for hundereds of years, so it has a lot of traditions and value attached. People frown upon those who try to change it.

I mean, if you take an old poem and replace obsolete words with contemporary synonyms, it won't really be the same. You don't mess with the way it's written. Same with classical music, I guess.
#15
I feel that way about classical guitar. People will **** up my favorite songs, get too comfortable with them, play around. It ruins the song half the time. The sheet music was there for a reason, it's so you'd read THAT, and play THAT, not some classical-guitar-turned-free-form-jazz bull****.
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#16
Classical music is not near as strict as you guys seem to be making it out. What differentiates a top class orchestra like the london symphont or royal philharmonic from a average joe school orchestra is how much they take the piece and push it's musical direction/ above a certain standard of orchestra the technical abilities of the player makes almost no difference, it's the emotion and dynamic they put into the piece that changes it. The purpose of a conductor is not just to beat time but unite them under one emotion and dynamic so they all play together rather than just as individual instruments.

So yes i do think it's important to interpret pieces in your own way and bring out your own dynamic, but i also think it can go too far if you just lose the plot of the piece.
for example g3 raping the end of voodoo child... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_borQkUgZM

Dirty edit: i meant voodoo child honestly...
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Last edited by doive at Aug 6, 2009,
#17
its always been a debate of performer vs. composer
and itl never end
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#18
In a strict sense, especially if you're performing for others, you should play exactly what's on the sheet music. To be bluntly honest, there's absolutely no chance that you're improving Beethoven's composition.

It's not life threatening but, yes, I agree with your teacher. If you're not going to play what's on the music, play something else. That said, play whatever you want on your own, but if you want to learn to perform for others... play the music.
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#19
Quote by meh!
In a strict sense, especially if you're performing for others, you should play exactly what's on the sheet music. To be bluntly honest, there's absolutely no chance that you're improving Beethoven's composition.

It's not life threatening but, yes, I agree with your teacher. If you're not going to play what's on the music, play something else. That said, play whatever you want on your own, but if you want to learn to perform for others... play the music.

Isn't that pretty much opinion? I know beethoven was a genius, but say I find that a certain part sounds more impressive played in forte instead of piano, who's to say that my opinion is worth less than beethoven's? I'm improving the piece to what I find tasteful IMO.
Viewing the old masters as perfect is something that's always been a pet peeve of mine. they're music was great, but I highly doubt any of them would say their music is perfect.

well, maybe beethoven would, but he was supposed to be a grump anyway.
#20
Quote by CoreysMonster
Isn't that pretty much opinion? I know beethoven was a genius, but say I find that a certain part sounds more impressive played in forte instead of piano, who's to say that my opinion is worth less than beethoven's? I'm improving the piece to what I find tasteful IMO.
Viewing the old masters as perfect is something that's always been a pet peeve of mine. they're music was great, but I highly doubt any of them would say their music is perfect.

well, maybe beethoven would, but he was supposed to be a grump anyway.


I'm not having this argument, I had it at length in another thread recently.
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#22
It very much depends on the style of classical music. If we think about playing Baroque stuff like Bach then you MUST NOT change any of the notes because you'll mess with all the harmony and counterpoint. If you're playing Shostakovich however then there is far more room for interpretation. In orchestral music the conductor will decide how to interpret the piece and you do whatever he says.

I would say as a general rule, don't change any of the actual notes (unless there are ornamentation signs), but change tempo, dynamics, feel etc. as much as you want. If you listen to different versions of pieces by concert pianists or guitarists then there is a massive amount of variation.
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#23
i think i get what you're saying corey
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#26
I like to throw random bass fills in when the song is just root notes.

For example with a song like 21 Guns, during the chorus, I like to play additional stuff. Sometimes just a scale... but it gives the song some extra depth live.

It sounds good, and the crowd seem to like it, and that's all that matters to me. So yeah, as long as you don't completely stray from the original song, then it's all good.
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#27
Quote by Bassist1992
I like to throw random bass fills in when the song is just root notes.

For example with a song like 21 Guns, during the chorus, I like to play additional stuff. Sometimes just a scale... but it gives the song some extra depth live.

It sounds good, and the crowd seem to like it, and that's all that matters to me. So yeah, as long as you don't completely stray from the original song, then it's all good.


^This for when you perform somewhere where the emphasis is on the person playing it and not the songs. When someone goes to a classical concert they're usually there to hear music from specific composers.
If I thought any of the random classical music i listen to occasionally had been altered from the original I wouldn't like it, simply because i care about the person who wrote it and the person playing it is there for their technical ability to play it correctly.
Last edited by ApeWeevil at Aug 6, 2009,
#28
It depends.


You can interpret, of course, but you must find the balance between freedom and style. You must play within the style. You can't play a romantic piece like a baroque piece and you definitely can't play a baroque piece like a romantic piece.
Last edited by Confusius at Aug 6, 2009,
#29
It's all about moderation, we have machines that can play a piece exactly as it is on paper, but they lack emotion; feeling. They lack what actually makes it music, rather than a collection of sounds.

I think that every person plays a piece differently, if only slightly, and that is a good thing. They are putting a part of themselves into it, some soul and emotion. The line between playing a piece as a human and changing it can be blurry sometimes...

Basically, what I'm trying to say, is that a little change is expectable and good, but too much change to a piece and you can destroy its purpose. It also depends greatly on the genre of music, jazz for example, no two performers or bands would play the same piece the same way (or should play it the same way). A significant change or improvisation on a basic head is what makes jazz jazz, but with classical music it's obviously different...

I'm rambling, I don't know how to express my argument in words properly..

edit: confusius said what I meant.
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