November 23, 2017 at 4:42pm

Piano Piece Pick of the Day #3 - It seems that today's recommendation has something in common from yesterday's writeup - the year 1944.

From a romance movie known as Love Story comes this exquisite piece of film music that feels like a mini piano concerto - the Cornish Rhapsody by British film composer, Hubert Bath.

Often showcased as a companion to the Warsaw Concerto by Addinsell, it was made popular by Richard Clayderman when he did a cover of both pieces in 1985.

... See More

Piano Piece Pick of the Day #3 - It seems that today's recommendation has something in common from yesterday's writeup - the year 1944.

From a romance movie known as Love Story comes this exquisite piece of film music that feels like a mini piano concerto - the Cornish Rhapsody by British film composer, Hubert Bath.

Often showcased as a companion to the Warsaw Concerto by Addinsell, it was made popular by Richard Clayderman when he did a cover of both pieces in 1985.

Video

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Gavin Koh

Piano score for Cornish Rhapsody is here

November 26, 2017 at 10:14pm
November 21, 2017 at 10:02am

Another topic that needs addressing is the size of our meetups (20 performers in #57 and 17 performers in #59). Short of reducing play time gradually from 5 to 4, 3, 2, 1 minute, are there suggestions for addressing the popularity of our mini recitals?

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Goh Zensen

Soo Hin, good idea! I will try to convince the sub-station leaders/owners to do what you suggest.

November 24, 2017 at 9:38am
Liew Soo Hin

It's a win-win situation, and of course the entire piano community will benefit. And in your own terms, making Singapore even less of a cultural desert (I saw you contributed an article under your... See More

It's a win-win situation, and of course the entire piano community will benefit. And in your own terms, making Singapore even less of a cultural desert (I saw you contributed an article under your name).

November 24, 2017 at 5:03pm
November 24, 2017 at 5:09pm
Gavin Koh

Excellent proposal!

November 24, 2017 at 5:39pm
November 22, 2017 at 1:34pm

Piano Piece Pick of the Day #2 - Tchaikovsky wrote all kinds of music in his time. But, one of his most melanchology songs would have to be "None, But the Lonely Heart".

Coming from his set of Six Romances (Op 6), the last piece wraps around your heart and embraces you in sadness. There is even a movie of the same name that came out in 1944, staring Cary Grant and Ethel Barrymore. A sad movie of the time, it featured Tchaikovsky's song as the background music.

Listen to this... See More

Piano Piece Pick of the Day #2 - Tchaikovsky wrote all kinds of music in his time. But, one of his most melanchology songs would have to be "None, But the Lonely Heart".

Coming from his set of Six Romances (Op 6), the last piece wraps around your heart and embraces you in sadness. There is even a movie of the same name that came out in 1944, staring Cary Grant and Ethel Barrymore. A sad movie of the time, it featured Tchaikovsky's song as the background music.

Listen to this piece below and follow the link to the voice/piano score.
Video: https://www.youtube.com.sg/watch?v=uE6kbNuSOEY
Score: https://imslp.org/wiki/Special:ImagefromIndex/03988/ft01

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Gavin Koh

I haven't watched "The Bear" (L'Ours in French) before - will grab it from The Esplanade library this weekend. You see, I love playing June; it's one of the earliest works from Tchaikovsky I... See More

I haven't watched "The Bear" (L'Ours in French) before - will grab it from The Esplanade library this weekend. You see, I love playing June; it's one of the earliest works from Tchaikovsky I learnt. Can't wait to hear the soundtrack in its entirety.

November 22, 2017 at 5:43pm
Gavin Koh

Not surprisingly, I found the full movie of The Bear on Youtube. Interesting to hear the familiar strains of June throughout.

November 22, 2017 at 10:56pm
Goh Zensen

I"m very glad you've managed to watch The Bear and finding its orchestral soundtrack superb!

November 24, 2017 at 9:39am
Gavin Koh

Hey Yong Meng, there's no thumbs up in your forums. Guess I got to give this thread a Heart!

November 24, 2017 at 2:03pm
November 10, 2017 at 5:13pm

How would one start off as a piano teacher? I am guessing the hardest bit would be to find yourself students who are willing to give you a try. How should one go about that? Or it would it better to join a school and work for them to get experience?

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Goh Zensen

Exactly. It thus takes a fundamental shift in societal values and perceptions, just like our government is taking pains to change parents' mindset on what defines "success" - it is no longer good... See More

Exactly. It thus takes a fundamental shift in societal values and perceptions, just like our government is taking pains to change parents' mindset on what defines "success" - it is no longer good grades entering top schools, then top universities, then becoming doctors or lawyers earning big bucks.

In some of my articles, I wrote about certifications being essential for doctors and engineers because we can't afford being prescribed wrong medication, or living in houses that might collapse anytime. But what is the inherent risk in music, which is largely about appreciation and enjoyment?

November 24, 2017 at 9:05am
Goh Zensen

I think I mentioned somewhere else that ABRSM is also applauded for having "moved with the times". Recognising that several seasoned practicing pop musicians would look absurd in making them go... See More

I think I mentioned somewhere else that ABRSM is also applauded for having "moved with the times". Recognising that several seasoned practicing pop musicians would look absurd in making them go through their graded exams, they now confer them with their credentials (bearing the ABRMS logo) in the form of open-ended certificates. That is, instead of showing Grade 8 or something, they pen a paragraph on their musicianship and mastery after witnessing their demonstration of skills.

November 24, 2017 at 9:10am
Goh Zensen

Soh Hin, did you know that in the past (just a few years ago), teachers who were graduates were placed on a higher salary scale (almost doubles that of non-graduates') but of late, even non-... See More

Soh Hin, did you know that in the past (just a few years ago), teachers who were graduates were placed on a higher salary scale (almost doubles that of non-graduates') but of late, even non-graduates can be placed on the graduate's scale directly?

There have also been several case studies whereby employers chose Polytechnic graduands over University graduates with straight As (over the same job position) because they found the former more creative, resilient and industrial-based while the latter was only exam-smart and theoretical?

Explaining now why govt schools in Singapore is taking a different slant - they no longer over-emphasize academic achievements but holistic development (many facets not measurable by tests).

November 24, 2017 at 9:17am
Goh Zensen

ABRSM certs thus are not stated as 'basic requirements'. In many cases, criteria mentioned are: "ABRSM Grade XXX OR equivalent credentials or field experiences, etc......" This is because they... See More

ABRSM certs thus are not stated as 'basic requirements'. In many cases, criteria mentioned are: "ABRSM Grade XXX OR equivalent credentials or field experiences, etc......" This is because they know that a large proportion of candidates with ABRSM graded certifications have been gotten because of drills and theoretical understanding of music. Many don't understand music per se, and neither can they apply music principles flexibly via improvisations, re-arrangements, etc.

November 24, 2017 at 9:21am
November 12, 2017 at 10:14pm

Would you play the piano like that? Please discuss below. Hope it cheers up your Monday Blues!

1) Crazily fast [Flight of the Bumble Bee by Rimsky-Korsakov] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daVftrhHyTM
2) Outrageously destructive [Orage (which means "Storm") by Liszt] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EAv9qENcH4
3) With amusing... See More

Would you play the piano like that? Please discuss below. Hope it cheers up your Monday Blues!

1) Crazily fast [Flight of the Bumble Bee by Rimsky-Korsakov] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daVftrhHyTM
2) Outrageously destructive [Orage (which means "Storm") by Liszt] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EAv9qENcH4
3) With amusing antics [The Scarlet Cape by Federer] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGChZFWnzus
4) Monumentally sad [Elegy for the Victims of the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 in Japan by Tsujii] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqoV4ZW7xTA
5) With 2 fingers taped up on each hand - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyK_o_tRtuM
6.1) Defying gravity in outer space, part 1 - [Beethoven Piano Sonata #8, 1st movmt] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBAPps64uds
6.2) Defying gravity on Earth, part 2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d1nENCol1Q
7) Playing the piano backwards and upside down [Rondo Alla Turca by Mozart] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0iH5iNSDMY
8) "Breed" a different kind of pianist [America the Beautiful by Ward] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfPBfMGLf9Q
9) In full costume [Maple Leaf Rag by Joplin] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItA-pPKBP8Y
10) Creatively improvising with different music styles [Happy Birthday by Mildred J Hill] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S75gYhODS0M
11) Playing a large piano with your feet, I kid you not! [The Pink Panther Song by Mancini] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PMhkemeQRg
12) Handicapped, but yet playing the piano and singing with such dignity! [A Million Stars by Luminița Anghel] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwTpbRPT4HU

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Gavin Koh

Yes, Yuja Wang was insanely fast! But, the Guinness world record for hitting a single piano key in one minute is 824. Sounds pointless, but I guess it's fair as playing a piano piece subjects the... See More

Yes, Yuja Wang was insanely fast! But, the Guinness world record for hitting a single piano key in one minute is 824. Sounds pointless, but I guess it's fair as playing a piano piece subjects the effort to an evaluation of accuracy and correctness.

November 18, 2017 at 12:16pm
Mabel Ong

824 in a minute? That means... 13 times in a second??!!! OMG!

November 21, 2017 at 10:40am
Gavin Koh

Yes. Fingers will be totally numb after a few seconds. See here:
... See More

Yes. Fingers will be totally numb after a few seconds. See here:
http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2017/6/portuguese-musician-brea...

November 21, 2017 at 10:45am
Mabel Ong

Ya, I just read about him. And the record is so recent, just this year!

November 21, 2017 at 12:15pm
November 1, 2017 at 1:44am

Which performing pianist do you like best and why?

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Gavin Koh

Yes, some of Clayderman's pieces are still appealing. But I got tired of the boring left-hand accompaniment styles from Olivier Toussaint and Paul de Seneville. See image for what I mean.... See More

Yes, some of Clayderman's pieces are still appealing. But I got tired of the boring left-hand accompaniment styles from Olivier Toussaint and Paul de Seneville. See image for what I mean. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5e/54/f9/5e54f979f8f89c9a111a41e082b60be7...

November 21, 2017 at 11:08am
Mabel Ong

Which piece are you learning now?

November 21, 2017 at 10:57am
Gavin Koh

I was just learning Harmonies du soir (Liszt). I have other pieces I am interested in, but will shelf them because of the stuff that I hear from our Meetups. For example, Asturias led me to... See More

I was just learning Harmonies du soir (Liszt). I have other pieces I am interested in, but will shelf them because of the stuff that I hear from our Meetups. For example, Asturias led me to Villanesca (Granados).

November 21, 2017 at 11:51am
Mabel Ong

Har... I just saw the scores for the Harmonies piece. So many chords. ? ? Definitely beyond me.

November 21, 2017 at 12:11pm
April 2, 2017 at 10:07pm

At my recent talk on composing and arranging at Anglican High, I highlighted to the O-Level music students on the importance to deepen one's understanding of music theory in order to be a superior music arranger. Then one of the them asked me this question, "Would ABRSM Grade 8 theory suffice?"

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Goh Zensen

Haha!

April 3, 2017 at 5:01pm
Goh Zensen

Best part is: America doesn't seem to have the ABRSM/Trinity equivalent kind of graded exams for music. Correct me if I'm wrong?

April 3, 2017 at 5:02pm
Liew Soo Hin

What topics in music theory are important then, to be a superior music arranger?

November 15, 2017 at 6:41pm
Goh Zensen

Almost all topics are important; though the more apparent ones are Parts of Music/Textures/Layers, chord identity and chord structures, types of bass playing, principles of counter melodies... See More

Almost all topics are important; though the more apparent ones are Parts of Music/Textures/Layers, chord identity and chord structures, types of bass playing, principles of counter melodies formations, sub-harmonies and super-harmonies, types of modulations, types of rhythms, syncopation, etc.

November 16, 2017 at 8:49am
April 9, 2017 at 12:58am

This thread is meant not just for adults, but also for children. To what extent do you find taking piano exams a stressful experience? Or do you feel motivated to go for it as the outcome is rewarding?

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Liew Soo Hin

Maybe I progress at the right pace, so I didn't find it that stressful. Exams are definitely useful, and still has its place in the education system. Some of us don't progress if there isn't any... See More

Maybe I progress at the right pace, so I didn't find it that stressful. Exams are definitely useful, and still has its place in the education system. Some of us don't progress if there isn't any exam at all.

November 15, 2017 at 8:59pm
November 8, 2017 at 11:16am

If you could only liszt* one, what would be your personal favorite piano (or music-related) quote? Can you find it on this liszt* (https://takelessons.com/blog/quotes-about-piano)?

*pun intended

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Mabel Ong

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman - Beethoven.

Haha.. different quote, but from the same composer! ?

November 9, 2017 at 10:58am
Adelynn Khoo

There's one quote I came across, can't remember from where or who.

Life without music is a mistake.

November 13, 2017 at 1:12pm
Gavin Koh

That would be Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and cultural critic. He said, "Ohne Musik wäre das Leben ein Irrtum", or translated as "Without music, life would be a mistake."

November 13, 2017 at 10:09pm
Adelynn Khoo

I see! Really love that quote.

November 14, 2017 at 1:47pm
October 31, 2017 at 5:59pm

Joke riddles for pianists (with cringeworthy answers):
a) What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
b) Why was the stupid pianist banging his head against the keys?
c) What is the difference between a piano and a fish?
d) Why did Mozart kill his chickens?
e) Why is crossing the street like playing the piano?
f) What do you call a laughing piano?

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Gavin Koh

Just got back from a Pianovers meetup... Haha... I was correct, but my reasons were very different. The oboe player would say to the conductor - "Ho bo?" (Hokkien / Singlish as in "Are you okay... See More

Just got back from a Pianovers meetup... Haha... I was correct, but my reasons were very different. The oboe player would say to the conductor - "Ho bo?" (Hokkien / Singlish as in "Are you okay?"), which is a homophonic play on the word "oboe".

November 13, 2017 at 6:30pm
Adelynn Khoo

Omg.. Lolz! So imaginative, Gavin! I couldn't have guessed "Ho Bo"!!

November 13, 2017 at 1:09pm
Gavin Koh

[Headslap] Or, perhaps the conductor says "Oboe," and the oboeist gives a thumbs-up in reply to what he thinks is the conductor asking "Ho bo?" The conductor therefore thinks he is the most... See More

[Headslap] Or, perhaps the conductor says "Oboe," and the oboeist gives a thumbs-up in reply to what he thinks is the conductor asking "Ho bo?" The conductor therefore thinks he is the most obedient.

November 13, 2017 at 10:16pm
Goh Zensen

Haha, hilarious!

November 13, 2017 at 10:44pm

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