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Topic: OT: How do you play this

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  1. #1

    OT: How do you play this

    I have in front of me a piece of piano music, I have never seen anywhere how to actually play the following, (although the effect is not uncommon)
    Right hand: Middle C, minim.
    At the same time left hand: arpeggio in semiquavers, a,e, Middle C, F
    In other words the middle c is struck twice, on the first beat as a minim, then 3 semiquavers later as a semiquaver.

    Should the second Middle C, last for a semiquaver, or should the note ring for the remainder of the minim (5 semiquavers).

    Maybe one of the scholars amongst you can answer this.

    I can follow the reasoning for this (although perhaps its a bit unnecesarily complicated). The piece I'm looking at is full of this effect, and just to make it interesting its supposed to be for left hand only.

  2. #2

    Re: OT: How do you play this

    Hi buckshead,

    It depends on the tempo, dynamics, phrasing, and pedal indications. But without seeing the music and its context, it may be the intention is to emphasize the middle C as a minum on the downbeat with sustain pedal for the duration of the minum, while the semiquaver Fma7 patterns containing the embedded middle C's are played more softly underneath as a supporting texture.

    Regards,
    Darwin

  3. #3

    Re: OT: How do you play this

    Quote Originally Posted by buckshead View Post
    ...Right hand: Middle C, minim.
    At the same time left hand: arpeggio in semiquavers, a,e, Middle C, F
    In other words the middle c is struck twice, on the first beat as a minim, then 3 semiquavers later as a semiquaver.
    Should the second Middle C, last for a semiquaver, or should the note ring for the remainder of the minim (5 semiquavers).
    It sounds to me that the middle C semiquaver is part of a melodic line, so it should not be longer than a semiquaver.
    I had lately such a case, and in Cubase I can play two notes of the same pitch with different velocities and different lengths, one on top of the other, so that each is exactly what it was meant to be.

    Yudit

  4. #4

    Re: OT: How do you play this

    This whole piece "Prelude & Nocturne Op 9" by Scriabin is full of this effect where one note sounds on top of another. While I realise that I can play it in Cubase, I can't play it on a piano like that. In this instance, (I have simplified the note structure for ease of description) the minim note is the internal (rhythmic) part and I would play it quieter than the outer parts which are melodic. But if when you play the semiquaver you keep the length as a semiquaver then the minim effect is lost and the note becomes only a quaver followed by a semi quaver.

    The melodic line then becomes a minim playing an A, but the internal part consists of 4 semiquavers at A and C#, so you cant play both again.

  5. #5

    Re: OT: How do you play this

    Two pianos at right angles to each other... one hand on each.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  6. #6

    Re: OT: How do you play this

    Scriabin uses lots of sustain pedal, so I think your concern may be moot. Passages where a longer note is reiterated a number of times during its duration typically fall under a single pedal. You may need to find a better edition if the pedal markings are missing or lacking. Good luck.

  7. #7

    Re: OT: How do you play this

    There are no pedal markings at all. The reason I bought this piece, found under a pile of old papers in a junk shop was that it is dated 1895 and sold in a shop in Leipzig and is in Russian. It is in very poor condition but must be not far off a first edition. Its nice to have rather than to play from. Its even got a signature on the front but its not Scriabin though, its now indecipherable through age.

  8. #8

    Re: OT: How do you play this

    I realise its for the left hand, ( but the words are all in Russian) but its written on two staves and I was trying to accurately describe where the notes were, I should of course have used the terms treble and bass or upper and lower staves.

    I have seen the same effect in Well Tempered Clavier and in Gymnopedie by Satie and was hoping that there was a specific intention in the playing rather than being "correct" in the manner of writing. Surely if you can't actually play it it is unnecessary to write as such.

    I don't suppose it makes much difference the way I play but it is nice to know.

  9. #9

    Re: OT: How do you play this

    I play this stuff all the time and basically you play the minum as said, as it's part of the melodic line. When it appears in the arpeggio, just retake the note but quiter, as that time it is part of the accompaniment and should blend in as such. After you have retaken it hold it on to the end of the minim value. It's also as DarwinKopp says - use the pedal so you blur the effect slightly.

    Hope that helps

  10. #10

    Talking Re: OT: How do you play this

    OK thanks very much guys. Its nice to know what to do and nice to have someone who knows able to tell me.

    Do you want to know anything about quantum mechanics ? physics? structures?

    JJ can I be your friend

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