April 14, 2018 at 10:19pm

Would we see electronic gadgets that are useful for pianists? For example, I need one of these because URA Centre is a bit too dark for my poor eyesight.

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Carlyn Ng

Can this be found anywhere in any electronic store here in sg, or at some bazaar? Looks like the type that can be easily found.

April 25, 2018 at 1:00pm
Gavin Koh

Possibly. I haven't had a chance to see a bazaar near my neighborhood for months now.

April 25, 2018 at 2:26pm
April 14, 2018 at 11:17pm

Awkward situation for a pianist #1 - What would you do if you, the pianist, attended a recital all ready to play K.467 and was caught off guard by the starting bars of K.466? Luckily, it was only a lunchtime concert (a rehearsal for the evening concert) for Maria Joao Pires. But, more luckily for her, Maria had played K.466 before and she easily switched gears to play the required piece.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v... See More

Awkward situation for a pianist #1 - What would you do if you, the pianist, attended a recital all ready to play K.467 and was caught off guard by the starting bars of K.466? Luckily, it was only a lunchtime concert (a rehearsal for the evening concert) for Maria Joao Pires. But, more luckily for her, Maria had played K.466 before and she easily switched gears to play the required piece.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n89F9YKPNOg

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Mabel Ong

Woah, that will be a lot to memorise! I'm still struggling with just one or two pages! Kudos to her!

April 18, 2018 at 1:18pm
Gavin Koh

Yes, memorizing is a pain for pianists everywhere. The best I have memorized is a single piece at a time. And nowadays, I just prefer sight reading on the spot, although you can't do that with... See More

Yes, memorizing is a pain for pianists everywhere. The best I have memorized is a single piece at a time. And nowadays, I just prefer sight reading on the spot, although you can't do that with very fast pieces.

April 18, 2018 at 1:25pm
Carlyn Ng

piano teachers should be able to sight read even faster pieces?

April 21, 2018 at 9:33pm
Gavin Koh

I should think so. If you get your hands on a piece that reads greater than Allegro (eg. Vivace, Presto, and Prestissimo, etc.), you're at least going to do some music speed reading - be aware of... See More

I should think so. If you get your hands on a piece that reads greater than Allegro (eg. Vivace, Presto, and Prestissimo, etc.), you're at least going to do some music speed reading - be aware of the key and signature, glance through the score to ferret out difficult passages, note all changes to key and signature, repeats, dynamics and other special ornamentation. After that, you could theoretically play the piece at a fast enough rate on the first go, and aim to pick up speed after acclimatizing yourself to the piece.

The pain is always memorizing the piece for a performance; well, rote learning helps.

April 21, 2018 at 11:54pm
April 15, 2018 at 12:12am

Awkward situation for a pianist #5 - When something breaks on the piano, will you panic? Perhaps a string snaps in the middle of your performance, perhaps your score flies off, or perhaps this happens to you... your chair breaks... Ouch! Has something similar ever happened to you? Did you keep your cool and continue?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb9NXU4yUYw

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Gavin Koh

Maybe, but unlikely. In an upright, the snapped string will whip around inside the wooden enclosure. But in a grand, this is likely to happen:... See More

Maybe, but unlikely. In an upright, the snapped string will whip around inside the wooden enclosure. But in a grand, this is likely to happen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCDxvLheZiY

Bottomline: Beware your eyes when a piano string snaps.

April 18, 2018 at 1:37pm
Mabel Ong

Won't have time to react if it really snaps. No?

April 18, 2018 at 5:42pm
Gavin Koh

Very unlikely that it could hurt someone though. Never heard such news before - "Man attacked by slashing piano wire". Sounds like something I would read in the tabloids.

April 18, 2018 at 7:31pm
Mabel Ong

Keke.. I also never heard of.. and certainly hope it won't happen to anyone.

April 21, 2018 at 9:33pm
April 14, 2018 at 11:47pm

Awkward situation for a pianist #4 - Cell phones! Bleeping and blooping in the middle of the concert hall? Oh no... please don't make it awkward for the pianist. Always remember to turn it to silent mode. Please. Listen to Christen Zacharias' views on disturbed concerts. Would it happen in Singapore too? Share any experiences you have. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAaU8yPXA1A

April 14, 2018 at 11:37pm

Awkward situation for a pianist #3 - Well, page turners better pay attention, because if you make a mistake, the pianist will create a blunder - big time! Maybe, it's time all pianists invest in a page-turning app.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If6SJWoAQKE

of 1
Gavin Koh

Here's a sample automatic page-turning app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qoshc9jlHJI

Do you use something similar... See More

Here's a sample automatic page-turning app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qoshc9jlHJI

Do you use something similar?

April 14, 2018 at 11:38pm
April 14, 2018 at 11:28pm

Awkward situation for a pianist #2 - What happens if you had a stuck pedal problem during your recital? Here's how Brazilian pianist Eliane Rodrigues handled the issue - injecting some "underground" humor into the major hiccup (puns intended).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBbRTRBY4D4

April 10, 2018 at 12:45am

Besides Richard Clayderman, are there any other people whose light piano music playing is well known (if not as famous)? Here's my list of the pianists from yesteryear (please see comments below as I can't paste them here due to some technical reason). Some of these artistes are still around to serenade us; their music, and their playing style, shall however remain evergreen. Enjoy listening and getting ideas for a song you wish to perform.

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Goh Zensen

Have you heard Yanni's "Until the Last Moment"? When I first heard it, I thought it was another Richard Clayderman's piece:

... See More

Have you heard Yanni's "Until the Last Moment"? When I first heard it, I thought it was another Richard Clayderman's piece:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R4xEB-v_dE

April 12, 2018 at 3:17pm
Gavin Koh

I listen to a lot of Clayderman, so there is no way I can mistake Yanni's music as Clayderman's. One obvious giveaway to "Until the Last Moment" would be the missing Alberti bass variation you... See More

I listen to a lot of Clayderman, so there is no way I can mistake Yanni's music as Clayderman's. One obvious giveaway to "Until the Last Moment" would be the missing Alberti bass variation you would expect to hear in most of Clayderman's songs.

Most of Clayderman's pieces are arranged by Oliver Toussaint and Paul de Senneville. Their arrangements are very distinct and in the class of soft pop music. Mean people might call his music "elevator music", but whatever the case, it is because Clayderman's music is composed for the masses and not for the elitists (see article link).

April 14, 2018 at 4:26pm
Mabel Ong

Are Yiruma and Kevin Kern considered eligible in this list? ?

April 14, 2018 at 1:34pm
Gavin Koh

Not really, they are new age pianists. But then the term "new age" is kind of a misnomer and we could also argue that the term easily crosses over with easy listening and light piano music. So as... See More

Not really, they are new age pianists. But then the term "new age" is kind of a misnomer and we could also argue that the term easily crosses over with easy listening and light piano music. So as not to be too ambiguous, I wouldn't accept Yiruma and Kevin Kern. Consider my list the "old guards". Why don't you start yours featuring only new age pianists, like Jim Brickman, and others.

April 14, 2018 at 6:35pm
April 3, 2018 at 1:28pm
of 3
Mabel Ong

Wow. Is this real? Hehehe.

April 14, 2018 at 4:01pm
Gavin Koh

Well, it's technically 2 days after April Fools' Day when I posted it. But, you could actually buy one of these off Amazon. Over here:... See More

Well, it's technically 2 days after April Fools' Day when I posted it. But, you could actually buy one of these off Amazon. Over here: https://www.amazon.com/Sega-Toys-Grand-Pianist/dp/B000H5UODQ. So, you see... they are VERY REAL. Maybe the Online Store ought to stock up on this product if there is demand for it. ?

April 14, 2018 at 6:33pm
Gavin Koh

And you could watch another video of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-5rii9LrjA. Although I won't recommend... See More

And you could watch another video of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-5rii9LrjA. Although I won't recommend anyone playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1 on it.

April 14, 2018 at 4:10pm
March 19, 2018 at 11:31pm

When composing a song, does the melody come first, or the lyrics?

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Adelynn Khoo

Is there a formula used by the many successful composers? You know, maybe writing the melody first is *easier*?

March 23, 2018 at 12:48pm
Goh Zensen

If you are talking about composer and lyricist being two different persons, then we have cases for both. However, by default, it is usually the composer penning the melody first, then the lyricist... See More

If you are talking about composer and lyricist being two different persons, then we have cases for both. However, by default, it is usually the composer penning the melody first, then the lyricist filling in the lyrics later.

March 26, 2018 at 8:03am
Gavin Koh

As Zensen said, "by default" the music comes first followed by lyrics. In the next Pianovers (#75 on 22nd Apr), I will be playing an exception, a song where the lyrics came first.

"When... See More

As Zensen said, "by default" the music comes first followed by lyrics. In the next Pianovers (#75 on 22nd Apr), I will be playing an exception, a song where the lyrics came first.

"When October Goes" had music composed by Barry Manilow only after the lyricist's widow sent Manilow the lyrics. Manilow set a lovely melancholy tune to what Johnny Mercer wrote (Mercer had died of a brain tumour diagnosed just months before) and the completed song was released as a single by Manilow (and it was quite a success).

Listen it on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Reiqwbo4b7Q or come to Pianovers #75 to listen!

April 14, 2018 at 6:55pm
Gavin Koh

In the case of "When October Goes":

"Setting the Mercer lyrics to music, Mr. Manilow discovered, was one of the easier tasks of his career. "The tunes came like that", he said snapping his... See More

In the case of "When October Goes":

"Setting the Mercer lyrics to music, Mr. Manilow discovered, was one of the easier tasks of his career. "The tunes came like that", he said snapping his fingers. "I struggle with the pop stuff till I bleed, but this stuff... like that." [Article ref link]

So, it could be easier to compose music around the lyrics after all. Maybe, you only need to connect with the lyrics, be inspired by them, and voilà!

April 14, 2018 at 3:18pm
April 6, 2018 at 1:24pm

This video shows the different genres of music in the world. The pianist tried to put the most famous songs of each country to demonstrate the name of each style, playing a song for each region of the world from A to Z.

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Goh Zensen

Wow, I suppose ethnomusicologists would disdain this because while some countries are represented by their folk music (which is most rightful), others are by either the nationality of their... See More

Wow, I suppose ethnomusicologists would disdain this because while some countries are represented by their folk music (which is most rightful), others are by either the nationality of their classical composers or the country's pop music! So far Brazil is represented most accurately by its Samba classic Tico-Tico.

Japan should be Sakura (if folk), if not Sukiyaki (if pop). USA is most debatable - though Ragtime could be one, what about Gershwin's Broadway/Blues, Sousa's Marches, John Williams's Oscar Soundtracks, Rock & Roll and Hip-Hop, just to name a few? Maybe I would choose Home of the Range (American Folk Song & the Unofficial Anthem of the Amercian West)!

April 7, 2018 at 12:43am
Gavin Koh

Fabricio Andre Bernard Di Paolo, or Lord Vinheteiro, is first and foremost an Youtube Star who wanted to teach other Brazilians about classical music. He has been putting out great piano videos... See More

Fabricio Andre Bernard Di Paolo, or Lord Vinheteiro, is first and foremost an Youtube Star who wanted to teach other Brazilians about classical music. He has been putting out great piano videos since 2008, and I would consider taking his opinions with a pinch of salt. Because, it's all for entertainment sake and after all Youtube Stars are here to get more clicks (which translates to cash for people like Lord Vinheteiro).

April 9, 2018 at 1:09pm
Goh Zensen

Exactly!

April 12, 2018 at 3:18pm

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