WEEK 3 Practice Updates, and a harmony micro-challenge: Cadences
We've made it to week three of Bach in March!! Some of us started sooner and others of us started later with our pieces and it's all good - progress is persistent and always available. I look forward to seeing your practice videos below if you're interested in sharing those.
A brief reminder to sign up for the interactive masterclass with me on March 31st, and a note that the community concert has been rescheduled for April 1. The Bach in March watch party will take place in early april - be on the lookout for a message from me. I'll write you if I'd like to play your video!
The Repertoire for the interactive masterclass will involve on piece from each of the following categories: A Little prelude / invention / sinfonia, a prelude and fugue, a dance suite movement, and a Goldberg variation.
Many have asked about the Goldbergs this month, and I encourage you to check out our ongoing Goldberg variations challenge. It's never too late to start, and I always suggest committing to a variation that feels within your technical capability. How do you assess whether something is right for your level? See how far you can sight read into it, at an even rhythm and slow tempo. Do you feel like your fingers can find the right notes, where your ears seek them out? Do your hands feel strong enough to play the piece? Can you already hear the piece in your head before you begin playing?
Nico's livestream on Friday March 18 inspired me to share an idea I had with you! In pretty much all of Bach's music, cadences play an essential structural role in organizing his music.
- Where's the first cadence or a shadow of a cadence you come across in your piece?
- What about the end of the first section, or the first phrase?
If you haven't been able to make as much progress on your challenge piece, no worries: here's something much smaller, a micro-challenge!
Pick up that first cadence in your chosen piece, and play it as a chord progression! If you can, make a recording of that chord progression and compare it with you playing the piece up until that first cadence. How do they sound? Alike or Unlike? What do you take away?
I'll be back soon with an example, to help you better understand how to do this.
Ah, it's week three already (and the first week of spring yet I am sporting a winter sweater!). While I have made a lot of progress (I have the piece memorized!), I still have so much more work to do to get this to sound right. My entrances on the theme are not consistent and I have a problem bringing it out when it's a middle voice. And still having difficulty with the tempo while recording. Oh well... few more days to polish it.
Note: one of my dogs was listening to me play. I gave her a brief cameo in the end :)
I remembered I was working on the Prelude in D major from book 2 a few months ago so I brought it out again to work on. I think this is one of Bach’s more cheerful preludes and it’s fun to play. I think during Bach month I’ve realised/learned that to bring out different voices you don’t just play them louder but can use articulation and direction to achieve the same result. I also think I will start use the pedals more to experiment more without worrying that this might be “wrong”some how!
Hi Hilda and everyone. As we come to the end of March, I used everyone's energy and inspiration to post my progress on the Prelude and Fugue in E Flat, Well Tempered Clavier Book 1, BWV 852. I've been working on this for awhile, but the Bach Challenge helped me to really focus on it this month. Thank you again Hilda, and to everyone for their posts!