Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

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Jonathan the 2nd
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Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 05 Jul 2012, 17:14

I have an odd problem with Chopin Mazurkas lately . I am learning these wonderful pieces ,but there are 51 in the book I have .I can pin them down by page numbers or Opus numbers but they each have a special character and beauty which only reveals itself as I play the first few notes . How do experienced players remember which is which when there are so many on the plate . Some share a character or have a similarity and that just makes it more of a puzzle . I don`t think our words have developed enough to contain what Chopin wrote . I am enjoying the Fminor Op68 No4 at the moment . Just feeling your way into this one is such a pleasure .

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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 06 Jul 2012, 02:10

The F minor has an analysis on the web and after reading it I wondered why they do an analysis of these pieces. I only learned that this F minor piece has no proper ending . None of the technical phrases do anything to expand my feelings about the music. It seems like a chemist writing a chemical analysis of paint in a Picasso . If a composer used what Chopin had written they would jeer and call him a copycat . One youtube performance seemed to plonk a chunk of it down as if it was cut out of a scales manual . That section sounded readymade like a warmed over pizza out of the fridge and not an organic part of this composition .
It`s the last one he wrote as far as I can tell . That information seems a bit ambiguous too the way it was stated . Maybe Chopin realised he was on the way out so he left a continuous composition as a gesture defying death .

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 08 Jul 2012, 00:58

I hope the comments and question about musical analysis don`t offend. I need to know why they do that . Reading them is a mixture of obvious and inorganic chemistry. Two extremes that don`t move me forward .

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Colin Nicholson » 10 Jul 2012, 07:51

When anyone wants to discuss "musical analysis" with me.... first job is their cheque book comes out. This is a highly specialised subject, and you are in (what I would call) - VERY DEEP experimental waters. No one here on this forum will probably want to enlighten or even humour you with this subject, because its something I learnt at college during my degree.

Musical analysis is a very interesting subject, and each piece of music has its own 'land marks' / motif/ theme/ theme a1; a2; b1;b2 etc.... and various subjects are covered in great depth such as the choice of chords, humorous elements of the mazurkas - using dissonance & occasional chromatic decorations/ suspensions/ notes of anticipation...... and so on.

Analysis also covers things like Musical Form/ structure/ Key changes/ abrupt or passing modulations/ rhythmical features (some mazurkas having stress on the 2nd beat of the bar) ...... and loads of other issues.

I hope this gives you an insight.... but to be honest, this kind of subject needs to be paid for, and is not covered on this forum.... unless someone wants to step in?
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Gill the Piano
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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Gill the Piano » 10 Jul 2012, 17:55

Don't look at me - I loathed analysis and still do; it's like pulling the wings off a butterfly to see how it works; you kill the butterfly and you still can't fly!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 12 Jul 2012, 17:59

I asked the Head Librarian at the local library one day what was the best book he had ever read. He gave me a copy of Italo Calvino`s "If on a Winter`s night ,a traveller ". ( Just corrected the exact title ).One chapter has the writer discussing the idea of collecting all the words that start with S or with E or counting all the letters used in the book . That kind of idea , as if it would give some statistical insight .A pretty useless but amusing thought. That`s why I hate musical analysis . I know when a theme is repeated. If it`s slightly sharper , so what. I`ve just heard it myself. I just don`t see why they do it . The book ,however , has always been a firm favourite . Recommended .
If the names of chords or intervals are listed like parts in a car spares manual , instead of described in a prose style , maybe the writer would lose all touch wih reality . If you automated the process the slot on the side of a piano could give you a printout to show any wrong notes that needed attention .

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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 31 Jul 2012, 01:04

One interesting part of this Mazurka topic is that I began playing recently at 69 but had a very clear idea of the musical keys. So I have never practised scales. I just learn each piece directly without worrying how many sharps or flats are involved. I am at home with occasioal double sharps and flats too. My trills I find most awkward , as coming from bowed string I find playing the bottom note each time is a distracting extra movement . It`s coming though . I was surprised how I began to absorb the No 1 Choros chords by Villa Lobos . The scales will eventually improve finger speed and finding the notes .I avoid obviously awkward finger combinations . My improvisation of fingering ,when I compare to printed fingerings seems surprisingly similar .

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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 11 Aug 2012, 20:28

But it gets worse. I move on to other Mazurkas and when I return,like a dog who has buried a bone,I hear more details and the piece seems to have changed again. I will need to make up a picture book to help me with this .

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 11 Aug 2012, 20:31

But it gets worse. I move on to other Mazurkas and when I return,like a dog who has buried a bone,I hear more details and the piece seems to have changed again. I will need to make up a picture book to help me with this . This week I met my sister who lives at the other end of the country. I was looking forward to talking about her piano playing as she started much earlier than me. But she has stopped playing and got rid of the piano. How sad is that?

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Re: Identifying Chopin Mazurkas .

Post by pianino » 24 Sep 2012, 17:14

You remember them as their number in their opus. Chopin published them in sets and each has a place within its set.

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