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#22249 - 02/20/03 05:30 AM Two-Part Inventions
Eighty-Eight Offline
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Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 23
Loc: CT
Do any of you out there have a preferred order of teaching the Bach Two-Part Inventions? Or do you feel that teaching them in their numerical order would be just as good?

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#22250 - 02/20/03 10:51 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
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Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
Well, I would say that it depends a lot on the particular student, but it's well accepted that some are easier than others, both in terms of voicing and in terms of technical grade.
I would say that usually starting with no. 4 or no. 1 would be nice, then go to no. 8, no. 14 and after that it's more or less equal.

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#22251 - 02/22/03 02:11 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Piano lady Offline
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
I learned them in numerical order. Doesn't matter. They're all hard. There is no such thing as easy Bach.

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#22252 - 02/24/03 04:44 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano lady:
I learned them in numerical order. Doesn't matter. They're all hard. There is no such thing as easy Bach.


No need to exagerate... Bach is technically demanding and quite a special style when it comes to interpretation, but once you get the basic notions it all makes sense. The 2-part inventions are no where near the 3-part (Sinfonias) when it comes to voicing. Essentially because there's an additional voice. LOL

\:D \:D ;\)

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#22253 - 02/24/03 01:30 PM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Piano lady Offline
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
Then toss in the Fugues, Suites and Partitas where you get three and four voices going. There is no recovery.

Repeats? Try different voicing and ornamentation.

Sinfonias are far more complex than the Inventions. Yet both require touch, complex voicing, not to mention figuring out the phrasing. Ornamentation is another animal altogether. Good fingering is essential in all.

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#22254 - 02/27/03 06:04 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
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Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano lady:
Then toss in the Fugues, Suites and Partitas where you get three and four voices going. There is no recovery.


That's why Bach is served gradually! If someone doesn't master the Sinfonias, it's no good to progress on to the rest. If you are at ease with 2-part Inventions you'll have no problem with Sinfonias, one step at the time.

Ornamentation is surely difficult but I think "sober" should rule. Essentially rely on your personal taste and abilites to choose which ornaments you'll do. No need for complicated figuration, you're not playing the harpsicord. Use them as actual "ornaments".

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#22255 - 03/01/03 04:02 PM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Piano lady Offline
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bontempo:
That's why Bach is served gradually! If someone doesn't master the Sinfonias, it's no good to progress on to the rest. If you are at ease with 2-part Inventions you'll have no problem with Sinfonias, one step at the time.


Not necessarily so. I only did 3 of the Sinfonias before moving on and I'm very comfortable with Bach. But I did all of the Inventions.

 Quote:

Ornamentation is surely difficult but I think "sober" should rule. Essentially rely on your personal taste and abilites to choose which ornaments you'll do. No need for complicated figuration, you're not playing the harpsicord. Use them as actual "ornaments".


I agree. I tend to make things difficult and sometimes freely ornament when I feel like it. Better know the piece well and be very familiar with period styles.

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#22256 - 03/02/03 08:20 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
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Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano lady:
Not necessarily so. I only did 3 of the Sinfonias before moving on and I'm very comfortable with Bach. But I did all of the Inventions.


I feel that "mastering" does not necessarily imply "doing all". You can only study 3 of the Sinfonias and master the concept, or play them all and still be unable to go forward.

I once received a transfer student who had played (not STUDIED, I guess) 3 Clementi Sonatinas and ALMOST ALL of the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook! Anyway, all the pieces were marked and had that look of having been worked (from the partition, I think).
After 2 months lessons, I truely don't understand how this was possible! If a student of mine had arrived at this level and studied this amount of repertoire, s/he would be more than ready for stuff like easier Mozart Sonatas, Little Preludes and Fugues and easier repertoire pieces like some of Debussy's Children's Corner, some Beethoven's Variations sets or even the easiest Chopin Preludes. But this student was clearly BELOW all of this, in fact I still have no idea HOW his former teacher had let him get so far without really LEARNING anything!

He actually PLAYED almost all of Bach's Anna Magdalena, but for my standards he probably couldn't even play the Minuet in G at the level I consider acceptable to progress!!! :rolleyes:

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#22257 - 03/02/03 09:37 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Janice Offline
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Registered: 01/19/01
Posts: 565
Loc: Newalla, Oklahoma, USA
OOOh, I have a transfer student like that. She can rip off many sonatinas, etc, fast and furious but has no idea what she's doing. Doesn't have a clue about counting, can't locate the notes, ledger lines are a mystery to her. When I was counting with her she even said "how do you know to count 4?". I just about fell out of my chair. She has taken 5 years and really knows nothing except how to play fast. I am sooo tired of FAST.
I vote for studying a piece! All the Bach won't make a student a good pianist.

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#22258 - 03/04/03 01:42 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
 Quote:
Originally posted by Janice:
OOOh, I have a transfer student like that. She can rip off many sonatinas, etc, fast and furious but has no idea what she's doing. Doesn't have a clue about counting, can't locate the notes, ledger lines are a mystery to her. When I was counting with her she even said "how do you know to count 4?". I just about fell out of my chair. She has taken 5 years and really knows nothing except how to play fast. I am sooo tired of FAST.
I vote for studying a piece! All the Bach won't make a student a good pianist.


I mean, the big question should be: What on Earth were these students doing all that time?? And what went throught their teachers' minds in letting them progress so far without actually knowing what they were doing? We're talking about students that should be on Faber PA 1 or maybe 2A!!!


A consciencious teacher should have as a motto "If you can't do something with a minimum quality (and I'm not talking professional pianists here!) then better not to do it at all".

[ 03-04-2003: Message edited by: Bontempo ]

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#22259 - 03/04/03 06:11 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bontempo:
I mean, the big question should be: What on Earth were these students doing all that time?? And what went throught their teachers' minds in letting them progress so far without actually knowing what they were doing? We're talking about students that should be on Faber PA 1 or maybe 2A!!!


A consciencious teacher should have as a motto "If you can't do something with a minimum quality (and I'm not talking professional pianists here!) then better not to do it at all".

[ 03-04-2003: Message edited by: Bontempo ]


DITTO!

(Bontempo, you'd better lay off the Belgian beer. We're agreeing again!) \:D

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#22260 - 03/04/03 11:11 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
Sorry, I have to agree to disagree. Nothing to debate here, just the facts. I do not believe it is always right to tell a student that they cannot continue to learn because they are not good enough. Or that they do not practice enough. Or that they are not perfect enough. Some students get enormous pleasure from playing, provide enormous pleasure to their friends and relatives - and yet are not really up to snuff in the musical education world. And probably never will be for any number of reasons. Are we going to deny them the pleasure of a musical life? In our own studios we decide what our goals and expectations will be. But let's also be careful about how judgemental our personal decisions are when we apply our own thinking to the world of teachers at large. I am happy to teach anyone who has the interest. Some of them don't have a whole lot of talent, but come to lessons with enthusiasm and joy. Some are hopelessly over-scheduled but wouldn't dream of giving up lessons. They are not the students for some - but for those of us who have the patience (and lord it takes patience), let's be careful about placing our own personals values where they don't always fit.

P.S. to Jalapena - as a flylady follower I'm quite surprised at the perfectionism. Mmmmm?

"A consciencious teacher should have as a motto "If you can't do something with a minimum quality (and I'm not talking professional pianists here!) then better not to do it at all".

[ 03-04-2003: Message edited by: Lilla ]

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#22261 - 03/04/03 12:10 PM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
Actually, Lilla, I'm not a "Fly Lady follower." I just visited her website a couple of times & thought her articles were hysterical. Someone needs to provide guidance to "organizationally challenged" individuals who don't know how to declutter & clean house. The Fly Lady seems to know how to dispense much-needed advice with a healthy sense of humor so as not to offend anyone. Here's to the Fly Lady!

Just this past weekend, I showed my home twice. One lady remarked, "I never knew that a house could be so clean! I never knew that kids' bedrooms could look this good!" Made me grin from ear to ear! \:D I just said, "Thank you," but I was thinking, "It looks this way because I work at it." \:\) Good thing she couldn't read my mind, eh? ;\) The other woman hated my decor & said she'd need to change everything (even the kitchen sink), :rolleyes: but at least she didn't say my house was dirty. Had she done that, I sincerely believe I would have knocked her into next year & asked God for forgiveness afterwards!

[ 03-04-2003: Message edited by: Jalapeņa ]

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