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gavin-koh-6941's picture

Has anyone here composed and sold pieces of their own? Would love if you could share your experiences.

#composing

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Goh Zensen

Yes, I've composed both pop and classical pieces. But I didn't sell any of them to any publishers. One pop piece was launched together with my stage band group's CD album, which was subsequently... See More

Yes, I've composed both pop and classical pieces. But I didn't sell any of them to any publishers. One pop piece was launched together with my stage band group's CD album, which was subsequently sold in the Asia-Pac market. Now planning to thread carefully the way to launch my Piano Concerto, which took me 23 years to complete.

November 2, 2017 at 1:31pm
Gavin Koh

Additionally: Has anyone used Soundcloud, Bandcamp, or similar websites to share and sell their composed pieces? Has anyone set up a composer portfolio?

November 3, 2017 at 9:07am
chris-khoo-911's picture

Can playing by ear actually be learnt or is it something innate, i.e. either you have it or you don't. I've always thought that all pianists could play by ear (at least simple tunes on the simpler keys) but was amazed to find out that it wasn't so in my JC days.

#performing

of 27
Goh Zensen

Bing Shao, I think I'd missed your posts! Anyway it was great meeting you in person and we had a good chat on the play-by-ear methodology in greater depth!

November 2, 2017 at 8:36am
Gavin Koh

One thing that has helped greatly in improving my play by ear ability is to listen on Youtube hundreds of pieces that follow the score as a video. Now, when pieces are played, I start visualizing... See More

One thing that has helped greatly in improving my play by ear ability is to listen on Youtube hundreds of pieces that follow the score as a video. Now, when pieces are played, I start visualizing staves and notes and can more intuitively figure out how to play a piece just through listening.

November 2, 2017 at 11:18am
Gavin Koh

Oh yes, to answer your question. I don't think this is an innate ability unless your parents have been exposing you to music ever since you are in the womb. Then maybe you would be more accepting... See More

Oh yes, to answer your question. I don't think this is an innate ability unless your parents have been exposing you to music ever since you are in the womb. Then maybe you would be more accepting of music in life.

November 2, 2017 at 11:20am
Gavin Koh

Before I forget. There are quite a number of Ear Training software on the Android Play Store that may be of some use. I have used 'The Ear Gym', 'Functional Ear Trainer', and 'Perfect Ear' before... See More

Before I forget. There are quite a number of Ear Training software on the Android Play Store that may be of some use. I have used 'The Ear Gym', 'Functional Ear Trainer', and 'Perfect Ear' before. Quite simple but useful apps for training yourself to play by ear. I am pretty sure there are equivalent apps on iTunes too - like 'Play by Ear' and 'Ear for Life, Ear Training'

November 2, 2017 at 3:11pm
mabel-ong-6441's picture

I'm looking around for a new piano. Anyone heard of Hailun? Is it good?

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Mabel Ong

Oh. Hehe, I thought it's ok to discuss here, like how people discuss openly about Telco plans, or how they give product reviews.

October 27, 2017 at 4:03pm
Goh Zensen

Comparing and contrasting among Telco plans, their service standards etc are still fine because of the "mega" or "macro" nature of things. But here, some of the forum members could either be... See More

Comparing and contrasting among Telco plans, their service standards etc are still fine because of the "mega" or "macro" nature of things. But here, some of the forum members could either be exclusive dealers of certain piano brands or owners/affiliated partners of certain piano retail shops. Thus unless I want to be public enemy #1 in the piano industry, I would talk about this privately.

November 1, 2017 at 8:09am
Gavin Koh

I personally feel it is not sensitive to talk about brands and qualities/reliabilities; the web revolution is breaking down all these barriers and we have to realize that companies will either... See More

I personally feel it is not sensitive to talk about brands and qualities/reliabilities; the web revolution is breaking down all these barriers and we have to realize that companies will either have to evolve or die out. Mabel, what you need to do is to just google "Hailun Piano Reviews". Read about the reviews and watch the video reviews on Youtube; listen to piano comparisons. Be objective and not too hasty in your decision. After you have done your homework, perhaps come back here and share about the Hailun piano; a targeted question or two may even get answered. Although I think forums with Hailun piano owners will be able to fill you in even more.

November 1, 2017 at 9:27am
Mabel Ong

Nice game plan, Gavin! Let me do my homework 1st. ?

November 1, 2017 at 7:04pm
gavin-koh-6941's picture

Has anyone ever taught dyslexic students? What is your experience teaching them; like will they have problems reading music notes or understanding concepts of rhythm and/or note/rest values? And how would you help them overcome their problem - for eg. would you use large staves/notes, marking on the piano keys, etc.?

#SpecialNeeds

gavin-koh-6941's picture

Time to share more nuggets of usefulness. Second off my list: Now, where do I get free classical piano scores?

That's easy: http://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page

#PianoPieces

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Mabel Ong

Haha! I love IMSLP too!!

November 1, 2017 at 1:06am
gavin-koh-6941's picture

Time to share some nuggets of usefulness. First off my list: Where do I get a list of piano music listed by difficulty?

Well, here's a handy reference: http://www.classicalmusicdb.com/levels

#PianoPieces

sng-yong-meng-85's picture

Dutch pianist and composer Jeroen van Veen built a life-sized Lego Piano over a period of more than two years. Consisting of almost 30,000 second-hand Lego bricks, the idea of building the Lego Piano came about over a debate at the coffee table between Jeroen and his two sons. He gave his first public performance on the Lego Piano in his concert in Almere, Netherlands on Friday, 12 November 2016.

#general

of 1
Carlyn Ng

Waa... Big Lego Piano!!! *drools.. ?

October 29, 2017 at 1:11am
goh-zensen-1469's picture

Have you been seriously pondering over the following question? Many pianists avoid this question, perhaps because of sociopolitical sensitivity (instead of musical sensitivity)?

Take for example the entire China with a population of 1.3 billion. Most would agree that the most celebrated (classical) pianists are Lang Lang and Li Yundi.

So my question is: Are there other pianists (non-celebrities) in China whose piano playing is on par with theirs? If the answer is yes (e.g. if... See More

Have you been seriously pondering over the following question? Many pianists avoid this question, perhaps because of sociopolitical sensitivity (instead of musical sensitivity)?

Take for example the entire China with a population of 1.3 billion. Most would agree that the most celebrated (classical) pianists are Lang Lang and Li Yundi.

So my question is: Are there other pianists (non-celebrities) in China whose piano playing is on par with theirs? If the answer is yes (e.g. if you say at least thousands of them), then why aren't they famous? In other words, does it mean that only when you reach this level of piano playing superiority will you definitely be "discovered" and made eminent?

Note that I'm confining my topic to pure playing-by-score instead of playing-by-ear or improvisations, since that would have opened a bigger can of worms.

For those who feel that within China, very few pianists would match or beat the level manifested by Lang Lang or Li Yundi, then my next question for you will then be: What is it that they can do (or do well) which other pianists in China can't? Is it the speed or tempo of playing? Or is it their sheer playing techniques? Or is it their interpretations?

I would like to hear your viewpoints before I elaborate on this further.

#performing

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Goh Zensen

Wayne, very well said! I'm in agreement with every statement you've made; and thank you so much for making explicit what I've been wanting to say (but haven't said it) for years!

September 4, 2017 at 7:06pm
Mabel Ong

Actually a lot depends on luck too. You can be super talented and hardworking, but you still need luck to get noticed, appreciated, groomed. ?

October 13, 2017 at 9:22am
Goh Zensen

Totally agree!

October 25, 2017 at 9:37pm
Mabel Ong

Pity not many pianists in SG are recognised.

October 26, 2017 at 1:01am
sng-yong-meng-85's picture

Just as people ask if driverless cars will replace the joy of driving and if sending email kills the warm personal touch of writing a traditional letter, people too, are asking if it is really possible for computers to make music. Music, after all, has been an essential part of human existence for as long as civilisations have existed. Now then, to what extent can humans accept music that is artificially-created as part of their lives?

... See More

Just as people ask if driverless cars will replace the joy of driving and if sending email kills the warm personal touch of writing a traditional letter, people too, are asking if it is really possible for computers to make music. Music, after all, has been an essential part of human existence for as long as civilisations have existed. Now then, to what extent can humans accept music that is artificially-created as part of their lives?

#general

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Goh Zensen

A side track to this is: It is easier to get the computer (organ/keyboard) to harmonise for your melody than to teach someone to do so. Likewise, it is easier for the computer to identify your... See More

A side track to this is: It is easier to get the computer (organ/keyboard) to harmonise for your melody than to teach someone to do so. Likewise, it is easier for the computer to identify your chord (based on your notes played) than to teach someone to do it. Thank goodness the computer is unable to identify the key of a piece of music yet. If it is able to (in time to come), it will indeed be a scary era.

June 9, 2017 at 12:17am
Carlyn Ng

If the computer harmonises the melody, is it creative enuff to figure out which chord progression is better?

October 14, 2017 at 12:44pm
Goh Zensen

There is an AI engine in the computer software. If this engine is able to constantly gather human inputs as to which harmonisations/progressions are better, it will "learn" over time so that... See More

There is an AI engine in the computer software. If this engine is able to constantly gather human inputs as to which harmonisations/progressions are better, it will "learn" over time so that future churning outs will be "better".

October 25, 2017 at 9:36pm
adelynn-khoo-6442's picture

This makes the piano performances so fun, and entertaining to listen to! Haha!!

#performing

sng-yong-meng-85's picture

Richard Clayderman's Coup de Coeur.
Feeling nostalgic indeed.

Saw a discussion among some Pianovers about Richard Clayderman, and suddenly thought of this piece - one of my all-time favourites.

#PianoPieces

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Goh Zensen

Lovely piece!

July 4, 2017 at 8:51am
Gan Theng Beng

The first time i hear this song i dont think much about it. The 2nd time i hear it, got some feelings, after 3rd hearing the tune keep lingering in my minds and now i am hooked.

July 12, 2017 at 9:46pm
Carlyn Ng

Wow! Didn't know abt this piece. Nice to know!!

October 16, 2017 at 3:20pm
chris-khoo-911's picture

If only my piano teachers had explained to me the purpose of scales and arpeggios all those years when I was learning the piano, I believe I would have taken to them with greater enthusiasm. But somehow none ever did ! It was only after I stopped learning the piano that I realized how important they were as finger exercises . So a message for all piano teachers: Explain to your students what these exercises are for and I'm sure you'll have an easier time getting them to practise them :)... See More

If only my piano teachers had explained to me the purpose of scales and arpeggios all those years when I was learning the piano, I believe I would have taken to them with greater enthusiasm. But somehow none ever did ! It was only after I stopped learning the piano that I realized how important they were as finger exercises . So a message for all piano teachers: Explain to your students what these exercises are for and I'm sure you'll have an easier time getting them to practise them :)

#teacher

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Adelynn Khoo

I think it's important to work on having both hands equally strong. Corrine did point out the boring aspect of it, which often discourages the student. Hahaha, not easy being a piano teacher. I... See More

I think it's important to work on having both hands equally strong. Corrine did point out the boring aspect of it, which often discourages the student. Hahaha, not easy being a piano teacher. I wonder how a piano teacher can add it to the lesson plans without the kids screaming. ?

October 13, 2017 at 5:26pm
Carlyn Ng

How abt Czerny?

October 14, 2017 at 12:41pm
Chris Khoo

Oh absolutely . The school of velocity :)

October 14, 2017 at 12:53pm
Carlyn Ng

Haha.. yes.. ? and I'm guessing his Art of Finger Dexterity isn't popularly explored by many.

October 14, 2017 at 3:01pm
wenqing-970's picture

Was watching this VOD about the side of piano competitions usually unknown to most people - piano tuners' work

ps: video is only available for streaming till 29th May so do watch soon if you are interested to know ?

#PianoCare #tuning

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Sng Yong Meng

This is really great sharing!! I enjoyed the documentary so much! Hope they don't really take it off after 29 May 2017! That would be a pity.

May 19, 2017 at 2:24pm
Wenqing

probably can download and reupload it to youtube to share here permanently but might be illegal :x

May 20, 2017 at 1:18am
Adelynn Khoo

Oh no.. it's no longer available! ?

October 13, 2017 at 1:00pm
ngoh-wen-jun-1181's picture

A question here regarding choice of rhythm for improvised arrangements:

Choosing between two rhythms to play a set of three notes as follows - playing them as a triplet, or as 2 dotted notes back-to-back.
ie: 2 dotted quavers followed by 1 quaver (or the quaver then 2 dotted quavers) vs playing them as a triplet.

What is the difference between them as such (rhythm apart)? To my understanding, playing the sequence as a triplet inspires a sort of 'equality' to the melody... See More

A question here regarding choice of rhythm for improvised arrangements:

Choosing between two rhythms to play a set of three notes as follows - playing them as a triplet, or as 2 dotted notes back-to-back.
ie: 2 dotted quavers followed by 1 quaver (or the quaver then 2 dotted quavers) vs playing them as a triplet.

What is the difference between them as such (rhythm apart)? To my understanding, playing the sequence as a triplet inspires a sort of 'equality' to the melody they produce; that is to say they are given equal emphasis. Whereas in comparison, by using the dotted rhythms one can choose to give emphasis to the dotted quavers. Apart from this, i cant discern any other notable difference in applying either rhythm.

Anyone have other insights with regards to this?

#scores #arrangements

thepianosg-1's picture

There is no Pianovers Meetup this coming Sunday, 20 Aug 2017.

We will be celebrating our first anniversary of Pianovers Meetup at 10 Square @ Orchard Central - Pianovers Recital!

#ThePianoSG #pianovers #PianoversMeetup... See More

There is no Pianovers Meetup this coming Sunday, 20 Aug 2017.

We will be celebrating our first anniversary of Pianovers Meetup at 10 Square @ Orchard Central - Pianovers Recital!

#ThePianoSG #pianovers #PianoversMeetup #PianoversRecital #announcement

zafri-zackery-1931's picture

I do have a question regarding arranging music that has been bugging me for a while. What exactly is arranging and how different is it from an actual composition of a song? My perception is that an arrangement is basically a version of a song that a player created. If it is wrong or if someone can give me an elaboration, I'd really love to hear it. Also, is there any way or any instance that an arrangement could be so different from the original composition that it can be considered a... See More

I do have a question regarding arranging music that has been bugging me for a while. What exactly is arranging and how different is it from an actual composition of a song? My perception is that an arrangement is basically a version of a song that a player created. If it is wrong or if someone can give me an elaboration, I'd really love to hear it. Also, is there any way or any instance that an arrangement could be so different from the original composition that it can be considered a composition on it's own? Thank you!

#scores #arrangements

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Goh Zensen

But in the real world of music, there are several pieces whereby their original versions weren't written for piano solo -they can be for the full orchestra, or for the pop band. So we need either... See More

But in the real world of music, there are several pieces whereby their original versions weren't written for piano solo -they can be for the full orchestra, or for the pop band. So we need either professional arrangers to arrange them for piano solo playing purposes, or we arrange them ourselves. One example is Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave for the full orchestra. But for play-by-ear musicians like myself, I would rather arrange my own piano version for Marche Slave instead of playing by score on someone else's arrangement. For many pop music, sometimes we don't even have their original scores because the composers/arrangers don't prepare them. Instead, they are produced into their final audio forms (using arrangement software) straightaway.

August 6, 2017 at 3:52pm
Goh Zensen

Your last question is a tricky one. There is a thin line among compositions, arrangements and improvisations. The acid test is really whether the main motiff (melody line or tune) is still... See More

Your last question is a tricky one. There is a thin line among compositions, arrangements and improvisations. The acid test is really whether the main motiff (melody line or tune) is still recognisable. The arranger can add lots of ornaments to it to make it sound in a different style, but if the tune is still recognisable, we will still say it is an arrangement for that particular composition.

But if it sounds totally different (we don't hear any glimpse of the original song's melody at all), that we can't even say this is an arrangement of that particular composition - so it is on its own (own original composition/arrangement).

However, sometimes the case may not be so straightforward. For example, the arranger can retain the main melody notes, but arranges something completely original say for its long prolonged interlude. Nevertheless we will still recognise that this is an arrangement of the original composition.

August 6, 2017 at 3:45pm
Zafri Zackery

Woah....I didn't expect a whole essay, haha. But I do believe that my understanding on the concept is way better now. Though it might take me a while to understand everything, I do think it has... See More

Woah....I didn't expect a whole essay, haha. But I do believe that my understanding on the concept is way better now. Though it might take me a while to understand everything, I do think it has been a great help that I appreciate a lot. Thank you!

August 7, 2017 at 6:51pm
Goh Zensen

Haha, this is because you were asking one of the BIG questions in music, just like if anyone asks any of the 7 big questions in economics such as what causes inflation and what causes unemployment... See More

Haha, this is because you were asking one of the BIG questions in music, just like if anyone asks any of the 7 big questions in economics such as what causes inflation and what causes unemployment, I'm sure the economics lecturer will answer longer than an essay!

August 7, 2017 at 10:59pm
sng-yong-meng-85's picture

Pianovers Hours - Recital Registration

[Event details]
17 Jun 2017
6:30pm to 10pm
Bliss House

[Programmes]
1830 - 1900, Welcome and Introduction
1900 - 2000, Mini-Recital
2000 - 2030, Dinner is served. Speaker Sharing.
2030 - 2100, Recital Showcase
2100 - 2200, Open jamming and Socialising
*Free-flow of Drinks 1830 onwards

[Registration]
If you'd like to play for us a piece, register your interest by posting a... See More

Pianovers Hours - Recital Registration

[Event details]
17 Jun 2017
6:30pm to 10pm
Bliss House

[Programmes]
1830 - 1900, Welcome and Introduction
1900 - 2000, Mini-Recital
2000 - 2030, Dinner is served. Speaker Sharing.
2030 - 2100, Recital Showcase
2100 - 2200, Open jamming and Socialising
*Free-flow of Drinks 1830 onwards

[Registration]
If you'd like to play for us a piece, register your interest by posting a comment to this, with the following:
1. The title of the piece you want to play
2. The composer of the piece
3. The estimated playing time (e.g. 2m 20s)

[Additional Notes]
1. Registered players will play first, followed by non-registered players.
2. Each registered player has a maximum playing time of ~5min, not limited by the number of pieces.
3. For each Pianovers Hours, the list of registered players will be posted on our website, similar to Pianovers Meetup. Thus, you can build a performing profile over time.

#PianoversHours

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Gregory Goh

Hi, I will be performing an original composition which is under 3mins. Seeya! :)

June 13, 2017 at 11:54pm
Ngoh Wen Jun

Hi. I would like to play Flower dance by DJ Okawari. ~3-4mins.

June 16, 2017 at 5:26pm
Yu Teik Lee

月亮代表我的心/童话 mashup 4mins

June 17, 2017 at 4:37pm
Vanessa Yu

4 hands you raise me up! 3mins

June 17, 2017 at 4:45pm
thepianosg-1's picture

There is no Pianovers Meetup
1. this coming Sunday, 18 Jun 2017, and
2. the following Sunday, 25 Jun 2017.

#ThePianoSG #pianovers #PianoversMeetup #announcement

thepianosg-1's picture

There is no Pianovers Meetup this coming Sunday, 28 May 2017.

#ThePianoSG #pianovers #PianoversMeetup #announcement

sng-yong-meng-85's picture

What is a musician's preferred flavour of cake?

Ti-re-mi-so

#general

of 2
Goh Zensen

Haha you shouldn't have given the answer straightaway!

May 12, 2017 at 10:36pm
Sng Yong Meng

Lol. Ok, next one!

May 13, 2017 at 4:53pm
goh-zensen-1469's picture

Just completed the Mini-Recital on 32 pieces of classical works! In the future, would like to look for co-performers for future recitals. Genres could be Chinese Classical, New Age, Jazz and Siblings (blues, broadway, big band, ragtime, boogie-woogie), Marches & Patriotic Songs, Easy Listening, Soundtrack, TV & Jingles, Western Pop/Oldies, Asian Pop/Oldies or World/Folk/Ethnic/Traditional tunes!

#events... See More

Just completed the Mini-Recital on 32 pieces of classical works! In the future, would like to look for co-performers for future recitals. Genres could be Chinese Classical, New Age, Jazz and Siblings (blues, broadway, big band, ragtime, boogie-woogie), Marches & Patriotic Songs, Easy Listening, Soundtrack, TV & Jingles, Western Pop/Oldies, Asian Pop/Oldies or World/Folk/Ethnic/Traditional tunes!

#events #concerts

of 3
Sng Yong Meng

Maybe even original compositions! =)

May 8, 2017 at 12:02am
Goh Zensen

Yes!

May 8, 2017 at 12:05am
Pek Siew Tin

ten q Mr Sng Yong Meng - founder of thepiano.sg. thru pianover meetup i get to know lots of piano expert... Mr Zensen Goh kb skill is excellent ^+^

May 8, 2017 at 8:04am
thepianosg-1's picture

There is no Pianovers Meetup this coming Sunday, 14 May 2017.

#ThePianoSG #pianovers #PianoversMeetup #announcement

goh-zensen-1469's picture

Let's discuss another highly divided topic in Music Aesthetics. In order for a piece of music to be regarded as highly aesthetic/beautiful (好听/优美 in Chinese), does it need to be infusing advanced music concepts or elements (please note that it isn't about being technically challenging such as having to run very fast passages, etc.), such as the use of advanced chords (over and above the basic ones), the deployment of good modulations and counterpoints, or the utilization of sophisticated... See More

Let's discuss another highly divided topic in Music Aesthetics. In order for a piece of music to be regarded as highly aesthetic/beautiful (好听/优美 in Chinese), does it need to be infusing advanced music concepts or elements (please note that it isn't about being technically challenging such as having to run very fast passages, etc.), such as the use of advanced chords (over and above the basic ones), the deployment of good modulations and counterpoints, or the utilization of sophisticated rhythms?

In other words, can very simple pieces (say only using three basic chords like I, IV & V) using the straightforward diatonic scale (and 4/4 time signature) without having any modulations can sound as nice and superior as those above?

#MusicAesthetics

of 2
Tea Zhi Yuan

Hi Zensen:) Really enjoyed your post. My own belief is that simplicity is its own beauty and and piece (or song) doesnt require all the complex rhythms, not-so-commonly-used chords etc etc. I seem... See More

Hi Zensen:) Really enjoyed your post. My own belief is that simplicity is its own beauty and and piece (or song) doesnt require all the complex rhythms, not-so-commonly-used chords etc etc. I seem to prefer a clear, "pure", and accessible melodic line and accompaniment rather than one with complex devices. I think that a perfect example of "simple yet beautiful" music is Mozart's music. The melodic lines of his works are clear and accessible (for sure) but yet this is something alluring in his music to the point it almost mysterious! Allow me to quote pianost Artur Schnabel who once explaimed:" Mozart's sonatas are too easy for children, too difficult for (serious) artists"

April 30, 2017 at 6:26pm
Goh Zensen

Hi Zhi Yuan, I'm glad to hear your viewpoints on this! Proponents of your school of thought also cite traditional folk music which are so simple and yet so beautiful! For example, who doesn't like... See More

Hi Zhi Yuan, I'm glad to hear your viewpoints on this! Proponents of your school of thought also cite traditional folk music which are so simple and yet so beautiful! For example, who doesn't like Home on the Range?

May 1, 2017 at 12:49am