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Review: The Pianist’s Guide to Historic Improvisation by John Mortensen

“If I have one regret about my traditional education, it’s that it wasn’t traditional enough. We have forgotten that in the eighteenth century – those hundred years that form the bedrock of classical music – improvisation was a foundation of music training. Oddly, our discipline has discarded a practice that helped bring it into being. […]

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Blog Education Historical Performance Music Musicology Partimento

Chapter 3: A Case for Partimento Pt. 2 – Improvisation

The Benefits of Improvisation A linguistic parallel may be applied to outline the relationship of different musical fields of study. When learning a foreign language, a student may be taught grammar, aural, literacy, pronunciation, and translation skills. But a language may only be said to have been learnt if the student can speak it. Subsequently, […]

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Blog Education Music Partimento

Chapter 3: A Case for Partimento Pt. 1 – Music Theory

Reform needs to occur in musical theory and improvisation pedagogies. I posit that Partimento can be used as a method in which to holistically integrate compartmentalised aspects of music education. Partimento can act as a scaffold to train improvisation (Callahan, 2017, p. 196). Improvisation is an admirable goal in and of itself and produces valuable […]

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Piano Teaching: Requirements, Realities, Aspirations

The profession of piano teaching encompasses a broad range of talents and skillsets requisite for effective dissemination of knowledge. I shall speak of the necessary qualities for teaching, practical considerations and associated issues for maximal success of both teacher and student. This is not an all-encompassing, nor prescriptive outline of piano teaching. However, it provides […]

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Analysis Blog Education Music Musicology Partimento

Chapter 2: Issues with Classical Pedagogy – Examinations, Theory Harmony, Improvisation

There are institutional, individual and perceptual issues at all levels of classical music. The rectification of these issues may lead to a keener understanding of music theory, and a proliferation of classical improvisation at amateur and professional levels of performance and education. I shall deal with those issues which may be resolved through the integration […]

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Analysis Blog Music Musicology

Analysis: Haydn Andante and Variations in F minor, Hob XVII:6

Written in 1793 in Vienna “between his two stays in London” (Ax, 2012), the ‘Andante with variations in F minor’ “underwent several revisions” (Sisman, 1993, p. 193). It was an “alternating strophic-variation set in six parts” intended to be a movement of a sonata (Sisman, 1993, p. 193). This was later changed to a reprise […]

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Analysis Blog Music Musicology

Analysis: Don Giovanni no.15, trio ‘Ah! taci, ingiusto core’

We join Donna Elvira in Act II at her balcony, scorning herself for still loving the notorious philanderer, Don Giovanni. Meanwhile, the Don has set his eyes on his next conquest, the maid of Donna Elvira. To be successful in this latest exploit, he must lure Elvira away. Don Giovanni and Leporello exchange outfits and […]