March 27, 2017 at 9:18am

Do music need to be technically challenging in order to be superior or aesthetic? This is a highly divided issue in Music Aesthetics. Would like to hear your views and rationale!

of 8
Goh Zensen

Expressions or interpretations aside, pianists who can run fast passages skilfully (with precise notes and precise rhythm/duration) may perceive that they can play both fast pieces and slow music... See More

Expressions or interpretations aside, pianists who can run fast passages skilfully (with precise notes and precise rhythm/duration) may perceive that they can play both fast pieces and slow music with similar precision/accuracy. But others who have difficulty playing fast passages can only play slower works. Thus their argument might be: A sports car can be faster than a regular car, but it can be as slow as a ergular car too, if it wants to be. But a regular car can never be as a fast as a sports car.

March 27, 2017 at 8:12pm
Goh Zensen

In fact we are dwelling into a topic that encroaches into social-politics. How do we comfort or encourage someone (who has the aspiration to be a doctor and has been working hard towards it... See More

In fact we are dwelling into a topic that encroaches into social-politics. How do we comfort or encourage someone (who has the aspiration to be a doctor and has been working hard towards it throughout his life) who is janitor, because he failed to make it to becoming a doctor or any other white-collar professions? By the same token, we know of several instrumentalist-aspirants who have been learning to master the playing of piano for decades but they can never reach the technically-challenging levels required of most classical piano concertos. What should we be telling this person?

Verdi, as we know him, is one of the greatest composers, especially in writing Opera music. But did you know that he was very poor in playing the piano? But his music works are supreme! Which explains I don't agree with Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, which sees Musical Intelligence as one unique factor in mankind. My point here is: While someone is excellent as an instrumentalist but poor at composing, other are the opposite.

March 27, 2017 at 8:31pm
Corrine Ying

Zensen: In terms of performing ability, there are more objective methods to measure this. However, if we're talking about composing ability, like what you said, it's a different matter altogether... See More

Zensen: In terms of performing ability, there are more objective methods to measure this. However, if we're talking about composing ability, like what you said, it's a different matter altogether. That is why, very few child prodigies grow up to become geniuses who change the world. Because while these prodigies are excellent at playing music or are very knowledgeable in whatever field they're in, they rarely produce anything original.

I am neither a concert pianist nor a composer, but I don't consider myself a failed musician because, my mission is to spread the lifelong love of piano music to others, and that's enough meaning and purpose for me.

March 30, 2017 at 1:13am
Goh Zensen

Corrine, well said! If you trust my musical judgement, your performance standard is on par with concert pianists'!

March 30, 2017 at 1:15am
March 25, 2017 at 10:26pm

One item which delights me is that we can now play musical instruments in the MRT train. In the past this was forbidden by law (and spelt out explicitly in small prints at each station).

of 5
Goh Zensen

Yes, a permit is needed for a person to busk. But if we are simply playing an instrument INSIDE the moving train itself, it is a different scenario altogether.

March 27, 2017 at 8:21am
Sng Yong Meng

Jin Li, did the accordionist play on the platform, or inside the train?

April 4, 2017 at 10:41am
Lim Jin Li

From what I know, I think buskers are only allowed to play on platforms for now.

March 27, 2017 at 11:43am
Goh Zensen

When my car is sent for the next servicing, I'm going to play my recorder, pianica and accordion on the MRT train!

March 27, 2017 at 1:55pm
March 28, 2017 at 10:15am

Visited a piano shop yesterday with Jerome, Gee Yong, and Julia, and tried on a Fazioli.

What are your views on Fazioli pianos?

of 4
Chris Khoo

Have never tried this piano. But have tried the super grand one with extra keys (in black )

March 28, 2017 at 10:21am
Sng Yong Meng

Did that happen in SG?

March 28, 2017 at 10:36am
Chris Khoo

No in Toronto, Canada

March 28, 2017 at 11:12am
Sng Yong Meng

Nice! If you still have a pic of that, and don't mind sharing; post it here! =)

March 28, 2017 at 11:55am
March 25, 2017 at 8:50pm

Dear pianists, I'd like to ask you all to share about your journey in learning the piano. How and when did you start? What was your highest and lowest point in the journey?

of 2
Goh Zensen

For me, music was completely self-taught and self-researched. In other words, I don't have any music teacher to date. Like Max, from age 7, I started self-learning music first "by eye" - meaning... See More

For me, music was completely self-taught and self-researched. In other words, I don't have any music teacher to date. Like Max, from age 7, I started self-learning music first "by eye" - meaning when my 4th brother had his first Yamaha organ (and he was the one attending lessons at Yamaha), I tried remembering when and where he exactly played which keys/notes and duplicated his playing thereafter. Later, as I self-explored and read more about music theories, I began to develop methodologies for playing-by-ear, and devised my own music theory at age 17. Sad to say, I only had my piano from age 17!

March 25, 2017 at 10:01pm
Corrine Ying

I'd say my lowest point was after getting my piano diploma, and the highest point would be when I found Pianover Meetups. Now I'll go into more detail (be prepared for grandmother story)...

... See More

I'd say my lowest point was after getting my piano diploma, and the highest point would be when I found Pianover Meetups. Now I'll go into more detail (be prepared for grandmother story)...

I started showing interest in piano from 6 years old, by playing out the tunes I heard on TV. Parents enrolled me in piano lessons and I went on the conventional ABRSM route. Was pretty motivated until diploma level, where my playing was deemed unmusical. All along my repertoire had been limited to exam pieces, but thankfully the Music Elective Programme in JC offered more opportunities to play duets, 2-piano works, and perform in public. My JC teacher, who was really passionate about music, inspired me to further my music studies at a tertiary level.

However, I hit another low point as I started to struggle with the more technically demanding music. I lost confidence as I felt my small hands could not handle the virtuosic Romantic music that sounded so beautiful and impressive. I chose to do a dissertation and gave up practising the piano. It was ironic because as a music grad, I was losing interest in music. And at that time, I was unaware that my piano world was limited to classical music.

One day, I chanced upon the piano arrangement of Super Mario Bros (the most popular video game in the 80s) and found I really enjoyed playing it. I began searching for more of such arrangements of video game and movie music, and progressed to doing my own transcriptions. It was at that point (in my mid 20s) that something clicked and I understood musicality! Even my playing of classical works became more musical.

But while I was playing those songs I truly enjoyed, I felt something was missing. I wished I could connect with other people instead of just playing them for myself. My wish was granted when I found Pianover Meetups! Participating in the meetups expanded my world. I met people who were self-taught musicians, people who improvised, played by ear and seniors who were still persevering despite their age. I discovered new perspectives and interesting, new repertoire. A big "thank you" to Yong Meng for his vision and dedication!

March 26, 2017 at 10:33am

Pages