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Chopin's tuplets

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Chopin's tuplets

Postby johnlink on Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:19 pm

How do you handle Chopin's tuplets? For example, what would you do with the 5:4, 22:16, and 17:16 that occur his Prelude No. 18? Can any human being actually play 22:16 or 17:16 evenly? I doubt it. And even if the 5:4 could be played evenly, it seems that grouping the first three notes (B, C, Db) into a triplet and playing the last two (Gb, C) as sixteenths might sound better. What do you think?

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Postby MindenBlues on Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:21 pm

I think, for crossrhythm it is necessary to come to the stadium that the hands are independent. Then it is don't care if it is 5:4 or 22:16 or whatever. It is only necessary that a hand for itself manages to play the notes evenly along the time.

The question is, how to come to that stadium. Playing the licks hands separated so long that one can play them in the sleep in the target speed, so that it is burned into muscle memory, seems to be a good first step. Only as second step, to play it together - but not at slow speed. Better at target speed. In my experience, cross rhythm gets much more difficult at low speed because the independence of the hands get lost sooner or later. In my case also at target speed it needs time to get evenly. It gets better with patience and practising time. At the end the hands are independent for THAT specific crossrhythm. The learning thing starts with every new crossrhythm again (in my case), but the progress gets faster. Hope it helps a bit.
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Postby johnlink on Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:30 pm

MindenBlues wrote:It is only necessary that a hand for itself manages to play the notes evenly along the time.

Of course. But is it possible for a human being to evenly place 22 notes in the time that would be occupied by 16?

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Postby PJF on Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:45 am

These fioriture should be played as a single ornamental entity. They should never be divided in such a way to 'make it fit' better. For example, in the opening paragragh of the Solo in Chopin's E minor concerto, there are several of these fioriture. We find one for the r.h. of 21 notes in e harmonic minor with l.h. playing (in 1/8 notes) a B7 chordal accompaniment in 3/4 time; 21:6. The six quaver B7 chords of the l.h. are played in time, while the 21 note fioritura sings in E harmonic minor with utmost fluidity. Supplesse! We could (rightly and preferably) divide it as 21:6 or for ease of execution (7:2 + 7:2 + 7:2) would be acceptable; but never as (6:2 + 7:2 + 8:2) nor (8:2 + 8:2 + 5:2). The whole point of the fioriture is to maintain plasticity of melodic line; any attempt to make it easier by dividing it into rhythmically elementary segments will destroy the intended effect.

I imagine this would be an easier task for the human voice than the fingers.

HAPPY PRACTICING! :D
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

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