Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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PianoGirlsMum
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Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by PianoGirlsMum » 04 May 2009, 19:51

Hello!

My daughter is trying to play Pachelbel's Canon in D :piano; and is unsure about how to play a part. Could someone here give her a hand? I'm no help to her!

There is a rest under some of the notes on the staff. She is wondering how you play a rest and a note above it at the same time. Here is a picture of what we mean...
Canon (Small).jpg
Thanks so much!
Carol

Descombes
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by Descombes » 04 May 2009, 22:04

It's much more straightforward than it looks. Start off by thinking of the music in three parts: top, bass and middle. (Perhaps think of three instruments, like a violin, a viola and a 'cello.) First play the bass - two beats to each note. Then add the top part (the descending tune with the note stems pointing upwards) - a steady dotted crotchet followed by quaver rhythm. Then quietly add the middle - rest dum dum rest rest dum dum, etc. Above all keep the top part legato and the middle part as a quiet accompaniment. If necessary play each part separately, before combining them.

The problem you mention (having a rest at the same time as a note above) is really something the eye is aware of, but not the ear. Your daughter should not be put off by it.

I hope this is clear. It would be so much easier to show you on the piano and avoid all these words.

I'm sure she will enjoy playing it. (If she's got the full version, there are a few more puzzles in store later!)

PianoGirlsMum
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by PianoGirlsMum » 04 May 2009, 22:24

Thank you, Descombes, for your reply. Like you said, its so hard to do this with words and without a piano there in front of us for demonstration! I will show this post to my daughter, and then I think I'll download a midi file of the song for her. Maybe when she can hear what she is seeing it will all become clear for her.

We would have asked this question to her instructor, but the best teacher in the world moved away last summer and we've not found anyone else since. :( Thanks again for your help!

markymark
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by markymark » 04 May 2009, 22:27

By the time I got signed in, Descombes has beaten me to the answer! :x

Just to add to what has been said, remember that Pachelbel's Canon in D major was a piece of music written for three violins and a cello or even double bass. Because you only have two hands, some of the layers have had to be bundled together.

The right hand is playing two of the layers which have been written into one staff. The rests simply refer to the accompaniment line which is running up towards the dominant melody on the top.

I have the organ music for this piece and the three staves help space out the music as the foot pedals can do the continuous bass line which starts off the music. As pianos don't have foot pedals, this accounts for the condensed arrangement of the music.

PianoGirlsMum
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by PianoGirlsMum » 04 May 2009, 22:59

Ah! Thank you, markymark. It does make sense to remember how the piece was intended.

I think this will be a good challenge for Taylor. She has been enjoying a lot of "pop" tunes for the past few years which has truly developed her love of playing. She goes into her own little piano world when she plays. Its amazing what she can tune out around her when she is at the keys! She is humoring me with adding in some classical pieces now, as I think it will be good for her to learn, both for her skill level and overall cultural development.

Have you any suggestions for some fun to play classical pieces? She is 14 and I guess would be put in the intermediate category. She's been playing songs mostly from modern recording artists. (Beatles, Jonas Brothers, and Brad Paisley are some of her favorites :) )

PianoGirlsMum
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by PianoGirlsMum » 04 May 2009, 23:29

Yay! She got it. It made sense that it was 3 separate parts. It just irked her that what she deemed to be an unnecessary mark was there. :roll:

I'm going to enjoy this one! :)

:piano;

Descombes
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by Descombes » 05 May 2009, 20:02

I'm glad Taylor is getting the hang of it now. You asked about some suitable repertoire for her and described her level as Intermediate. It's difficult to recommend anything really, since that word covers such a huge range of playing. It sounds as if it was a great shame that you lost her last teacher. Is there really no possibility of finding another good one? In my experience, it's difficult for a promising pupil to make really good progress without regular and professional guidance.

One last point. I was delighted to see you describe the Beatles as modern. My pupils mock me for liking the idols of my youth, 40+ years ago!

PianoGirlsMum
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by PianoGirlsMum » 05 May 2009, 22:56

Descombes wrote:One last point. I was delighted to see you describe the Beatles as modern. My pupils mock me for liking the idols of my youth, 40+ years ago!
:lol: Yeah, my 14 year old should have been born a few decades before she was! She loves the Beatles and has got a big book of their songs for piano. I love it when she plays "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"... I just can't help but sing and dance along! (In the kitchen, of course, where I won't embarrass her! :oops: :lol: )

We probably could find another instructor, I'm sure there are plenty around, but with money being tight it's difficult to afford lessons at the moment. I've got an 11 year old that is a natural on the guitar and I would love to see him back in lessons, and a 9 year old drummer who really could use the lessons! So even though I could probably swing lessons for one, I know I can't for all, so they'll have to wait a while longer for now. I'm just happy she still plays daily and loves it! Her last teacher was great, she understood that the kids are not going to practice if they don't like what they are playing, so she let them have free reign on material as long as it was in a certain range. ie: no easy outs! She was also great in that she came to my mother's house (2 houses down) and gave lessons to, at one point, 6 teenagers. She was there all afternoon once a week! She was young enough to relate to them, but old enough to have some authority. She will be hard to replace when we do start looking for a new instructor.

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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by PianoGirlsMum » 06 May 2009, 16:12

Hi Dave, nice to meet you!

I will most certainly check out Werewolves of London / All Summer Long, its already playing in my head now, thanks! :lol: I'll be singing that one all day now until I go buy it... Maybe I should learn the new lyrics... either that or I'll be off to the kitchen again! :lol:

Taylor has been playing Pachelbel's Canon in D for a couple of days now and sounds great! She's got the first few pages down. I love it when she gets into a new piece and just immerses herself into it. Ya know, if she keeps on with this growing up business I'm going to have to go learn how to play, myself! I've gotten far too spoiled with her playing all the time! Maybe I'll go check out those books you suggested, Dave!

:piano;

PianoGirlsMum
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by PianoGirlsMum » 06 May 2009, 19:15

Yes, Taylor is the 14 year old. She's been taking lessons on and off since she was 7, but I hated having to push her to practice. She has had 3 different teachers, one of which was nice when I was around and a witch when I was not :evil: , but that last teacher was the one who really allowed Taylor to develop a love of playing. She was fantastic, and thanks to her Taylor now plays happily every day. I am now quite confident that Taylor will be playing for enjoyment for years to come! She has even played a Christmas song at our church, and will be playing for some seniors at a group home in a couple weeks during a youth choir performance. I am very proud of her. :)

micheljohn
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Re: Help reading this line, please? (pic included)

Post by micheljohn » 08 May 2009, 09:05

You shared here a great learning about music & piano, Thanks

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