Author Topic: piano duet challenge  (Read 2468 times)

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Michel.R.E

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piano duet challenge
« on: September 01, 2015, 08:01:11 PM »
When I wrote my piece for kitty and me, I was inspired by a work for children called "Un tas de petites choses" by André Caplet ("a bunch of little things") for piano 4-hands. don't listen to the link if you don't want to be "inspired" by it... but do so if you want to hear something brilliantly "agile".

What is brilliant about the Caplet piece is that the child's part never moves from 5 fingers on the same 5 notes: C - D - E - F - G.
Regardless of what key the movement is in the child's part plays only those 5 white notes. The last movement is in a butt-load of flats!

There is a massive market for works for young pianists.
I suggest that we try writing short duets for piano 4-hands, the upper part intended for a young child, and following the same rules as the Caplet piece: hands don't move from the basic position covering white notes, C to G.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Ron

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Re: piano duet challenge
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 08:05:09 PM »
Excellent idea.
Ron
Rules? What rules?

Michel.R.E

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Re: piano duet challenge
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 08:10:11 PM »
oh! I forgot to mention... minimal counterpoint in the child's part. usually at this age their parts are mostly solid octave writing (ie: both hands playing the exact same notes) with the occasional interval at a cadence.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Ron

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Re: piano duet challenge
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 09:37:32 AM »
Here's my small contribution.


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Ron
Rules? What rules?

Michel.R.E

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Re: piano duet challenge
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 10:58:50 AM »
I love it!  :)
that's awesome.

I can think of maybe a few tiny suggestions for it, but it works really well "as is".

I love this sort of challenge because it gives you, in a sense, a chance to analyze your own writing and see how the harmony relates to certain "fixed points". Here, the C - G functions as a sort of pivot around which the harmony exists.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Ron

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Re: piano duet challenge
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 11:38:06 AM »
A few things I had to realize as I started work: Keep the child's part simple. Even five notes can get complicated between two hands, so I finally fell back on Michel's advice to keep it simple octaves. I initially forgot that we are talking about 1 piano, 4 hands and had the parts overlapping. Not a good idea for a child's and an adult's fingers to become entangled at the keyboard (though I once saw Michel and Alan Belkin do just that in concert). And, just because the child's part is in the bottom 5/7ths of C major does not mean that the adult's part has to be such. I tried to be gentle about introducing "foreign" notes, using Cm7 and Dm7 for example.

And, finally, how to lay out the score so that the parts are side-by-side with the higher part (the child's) on the right hand page. I couldn't do it in Finale, so extracted each part making sure each fit exactly one page, printed to pdf separately, then combined the two with Adobe Acrobat. (I think the only way to do this with a multi-page work would be to "print" each page individually and then piece it all back together from all those individual pages.)
Ron
Rules? What rules?

Michel.R.E

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Re: piano duet challenge
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 12:25:56 PM »
I found a way to do it in Finale... do it as "parts".

piano 1 is one part, and piano 2 is another part. (technically, in piano duet,  piano 4-hands, they're called primo and secundo).

then you use Jari's plugin to copy the layout of one part (the more complicated of the two) to the other. This means they will now both have the same number of measures per system, and systems per page.

it DOES get annoying when it's time to put the whole thing together. I print one part, then print the other, and with Acrobat I then just put the parts together page by page (you can drag and drop pages from one PDF document into another using Acrobat).
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

gogreen

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Re: piano duet challenge
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 04:03:13 PM »
Very clever, Ron!