Author Topic: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)  (Read 21397 times)

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Offline Guido

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Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
« on: July 15, 2007, 12:14:58 PM »
I'm arranging an orchestral score at the moment, but since I'm not a pianist, I'm not exactly sure what's possible.

One handed 'trill' of these notes: (attached pdf). If it is possible, then which hand is it easier in for most pianists?

If anyone can guess which piece I'm arranging based on this one bar fragment I will be extremely impressed! (Hint it's 20th century!)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 05:10:55 PM by Guido »
Geologist.

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mahlertitan

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2007, 12:20:58 PM »
I'm arranging an orchestral score at the moment, but since I'm not a pinist. I'm not exactly sure what's possible.

One handed 'trill' of these notes: attatched (pdf). If it is possible, then which hand is it easier in for most pianists?

If anyone can guess which piece I'm arranging based on this one bar fragment I will be extremely impressed! (Hint it's 20th century!)

Rite of Spring

Offline Guido

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2007, 12:42:50 PM »
Jesus Christ! How the hell did you manage that?

EDIT: Oh yeah. I wrote it on facebook! Duh!!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 12:45:21 PM by Guido »
Geologist.

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mahlertitan

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 12:51:27 PM »
Jesus Christ! How the hell did you manage that?

because i am brilliant.

Offline Norbeone

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 12:56:43 PM »
Yes it is possible, but VERY difficult.

lukeottevanger

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2007, 12:58:59 PM »
re. whether it's possible or not, my recommendation would depend on what else your scoring involves. At the basic level, yes, it's possible (right hand better than left, I think) but not very pianistic, as you guessed. The hand might well tire quite quickly and start to lose precision. There are other alternatives which may or may not work depending on what else is playing at the time in your arrangement, and what type of sound you are aiming for.

mahlertitan

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2007, 12:59:21 PM »
Yes it is possible, but VERY difficult.
of course, i just proved it.

Offline aquablob

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2007, 01:02:34 PM »
It is possible, but can be very difficult (depending on the fingering... more on that below). Most pianists would prefer their right hand, simply because most are right-handed.

I was messing around with it a little bit and thought of a few different fingerings. For reference, 1=thumb, 2=index, 3=middle, etc. The most intuitive (but probably not the easiest) way would be 1 and 4 on the C and F, 2 and 3 on the D and E. It's very hard to keep the fingers in sync this way, though, and the difficulty increases with the tempo. Though I am sure there are virtuosi out there for whom this synchronization is not an issue, I am not one of them.

But since the D and E are adjacent white keys, you could actually hit them both with one finger. This takes care of the problem of keeping the inner notes in sync with one another, but what of the outer notes? I ran into trouble when using 2 for the inner notes, because I could not find a fingering that made it easy to keep the outer notes in sync. The same happened when I tried using 3 for the inner notes.

Then I made a pleasant discovery: if I use 1 for the inner notes, I can comfortably use 2 and 5 for the C and F, respectively, and I have no problem keeping the notes in sync. In fact, with this fingering, I really have no problem keeping these trills going cleanly and clearly for basically as long as I want at maximum tempo.

So to recap, here is my recommended fingering: 2 on the C, 5 on the F, and 1 on the D and E together. Piece of cake!

P.S. All I have right now is a little electric keyboard without weighted keys. Until I try it on a real piano, I can't tell you with 100% certainty that this fingering is as good as I think it is. I'm going to say I'm 85% sure at this point. Hope this helps!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 01:05:23 PM by aquariuswb »

lukeottevanger

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2007, 01:04:35 PM »
Yes, that is a very sensible suggestion. Use it, Guido!

Offline Guido

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 02:16:20 PM »
Thankyou very much in deed for that detailed and considered answer.

I will post up more questions as and when I need to.

Cheers!
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Guido

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2007, 05:14:48 PM »
Second question: What would be the best way to divide these notes between two hands?

Cheers!
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2007, 05:48:19 PM »
Second question: What would be the best way to divide these notes between two hands?

Cheers!

First, where in the score is this found, and are there any other notes in the texture?

I can't say I agree with Aquarius's solution. It forces you to cross 1 over 2, which feels awkward. My idea: using 2-3, treat D-E as a quick grace note tied to the main half note. Holding down D-E, do a tremolo on C-F with 1 and 4.

The reason the trill is very hard for both hands is that is forces you to trill 4-3 together with other notes. Trills involving 4 and/or 5 are very fatiguing.

m_gigena

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2007, 06:29:52 PM »
I can't say I agree with Aquarius's solution. It forces you to cross 1 over 2, which feels awkward.

I think I've seen Argerich doing this to the trill after the cadenza in Schumann's piano concerto. I don't have the score with me right now (what is worst, I don't really know where I put it), but I think that trill was E-F.

lukeottevanger

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Re: Is this possible on the piano
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2007, 01:28:20 AM »
I can't say I agree with Aquarius's solution. It forces you to cross 1 over 2, which feels awkward. My idea: using 2-3, treat D-E as a quick grace note tied to the main half note. Holding down D-E, do a tremolo on C-F with 1 and 4.


Surely it asks you to cross 1 under 2, which feels fine if a little unusal. My initial idea was to take the C and D with the thumb and the E and F with 2 and 3; this would be very straightforward (there's a trem just like it in one of my clavichord pieces). Aquarius' idea is similar, because it too involves playing two notes with the thumb; it is a little bit tricker and more unusual than my version, but far from impossible, and IMO it's better because it means that the trem will be played exactly as written.

Offline Guido

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Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2007, 01:35:47 AM »
Thanks for the input everyone - I guess a pianist who reads the score will figure stuff out for themselves, so I could print Aquarius' more unusual fingering, and they can reject it if the wish.

Here is what happens either side of the above excerpt - It's from the Augurs of Spring section. That is all that is happening in the piano part.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2007, 01:46:11 AM by Guido »
Geologist.

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Offline Guido

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Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2007, 01:45:35 AM »
OK. I was being a little stupid here. I probably should have posted what I was trying to reconcile into piano form first. See attatched PDF. the previous one is the two combined into one stave - I think at the time I thought it would be to avoid awkwardness of crossing over - but what would be the best arrangement of these two lines, or would it work better with one hand?
Geologist.

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lukeottevanger

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Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2007, 01:55:13 AM »
You ought to redistribute those semiquavers you have 'in the left hand' - I assume this is fig 14 in the score though, which doesn't link up with the trill which is fig 24. Though perhaps you aren't making a straight transcription...

As far as fig 14 goes, I'd have the hand swapping in each bar, so that the bassoon's descending C major semiquaver arpeggio is taken with the right hand, and the first two cello pizz notes with the left, and then swapping for the second half of the bar; use a similar idea for the next bar, though that's a bit fussier.

As far as the trem as fig 24 goes, well, at this point in the score the two trills are introduced separately - first the C-D, then the F-E, which makes Aquarius' suggestion that little bit harder though still workable. On balance, though, because of this I'd switch back to my original idea - trill the C-D normally, then switch to a C-D  E-F trem, with the C and taken by the thumb. This will work nicely with the grace note lead into the trill of 24+2. Very neat.

But it all still depends on what else is playing what - I'm assuming this isn't a one-piano-only transcription.

EDIT - seen your new post. I'll post this anyway, then have a look at your new attachment.

Greta

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Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2007, 01:55:52 AM »
Yeah, that definitely doesn't work. The 2nd half of each measure has the right and left hands crossing, which at that speed is completely awkward and will not have a good result. This is why it is extremely problematic for a composer to not play piano. ;) Because not just in piano writing but other writing as well, you can get these awkward unintended crossings of lines.

Without looking for the score I don't know what's best there. The right and left hands lay very well separately, I'm wondering if you couldn't just 8va that. ;D

Quote
As far as fig 14 goes, I'd have the hand swapping in each bar, so that the bassoon's descending C major semiquaver arpeggio is taken with the right hand, and the first two cello pizz notes with the left, and then swapping for the second half of the bar; use a similar idea for the next bar, though that's a bit fussier.

EDIT: That's a neat idea and mostly works, except for the last beat of the two bar runs, where the bottom G is lower than the Cb and F, where they will still cross.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2007, 02:05:02 AM by Greta »

lukeottevanger

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Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2007, 02:03:50 AM »
I'll write out what I would do later - unfortunately Sibelius doesn't work on my PC at the moment so I'll have to do it on my wife's laptop, which isn't here at the moment.

But basically, as I said it could be something like this (I wouldn't bother with the enharmonic notation myself - and anyway Stravinsky doesn't use it here either):

bar one
R - GECG B E

L - E G#  EGBE

bar two (fiddlier, but easy)
R - G E   C BE

L - EECG EGG

where underscore is just to clarify lower octave, and where semiquavers are unspaced

lukeottevanger

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Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2007, 02:08:08 AM »
Yeah, I've just tried that out, it's very easy. Add a staccato to the quavers (which are after all pizz.) so that the hand is kept clear e.g. at the end of the first of these bars, where the right has the E immediately before the left.