open position chords

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

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano

Post Reply
User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: open position chords

Post by Colin Nicholson » 31 Jan 2011, 01:54

Hi Pianolove

An open position chord is the opposite of a "closed" position chord. Its not a term I use very much in teaching, but its there for reference purposes. If you take a simple triad - say C major: C E G .... that's in its closed position, hence root/third/fifth ( I think this term is use more in the USA?)

Pianists often play these chords in open positions - hence spreading the chord wider like arpeggios, or even changing the position/ swapping the 3rd & 5th over. For example - playing 10ths is a popular way of expressing a chord, so instead of C E G, we play C G......E, so stretching 10 notes above C to play the 3rd of the chord - a very desirable sound. The left hand usually produces this sound, and widely used in Romantic music. It is often said that you need large hands to play some of Rachmaninov's & Chopin's works, this is because of the large stretches in their chords - take the Ab Ballade by Chopin - some mind-blowing stretches there! - and try the G9 chord at the end of Schumann's Traumerie - a wonderful sound, and needing the thumb to play 2 notes at the same time!!
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: open position chords

Post by Colin Nicholson » 31 Jan 2011, 09:20

Its the Ballade No 3 (Op. 47) in A flat major - a very demanding piece. I played it at college but forgotten some of it now. There are some good recordings on Youtube, but haven't found any yet where you can see the hands up close. Horowitz makes the piece look easy!!

But I think everyone's favourite aswell in the Ballade No 1 in G minor.
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest