Week 3 Thread: Galant Style for Galant People 🕴

Welcome to the Main Thread for the third week of "Mozart & Haydn - Music from the 18th Century" challenge! 

This week, we will talk about the several strategies you can implement in your memorization as a general learning habit. What strategies can you use to memorize a piece of music better and faster?

  1. Think about how you memorize things different than music and about how you would remember something: what does usually work for you?

  2. What changes could you implement?

  3. Try to challenge yourself and use one of the strategies to memorize at least one section of the piece you are studying and if, you are brave, post a video clip of the results.

Pick a piece from the suggested repertoire according to your level or share any piece written during the 18th century that you have been working on!

If you want to describe your process, feel free to use the following template.

  • Piece(s) you have been working on:
  • Things you found easy:
  • Things you found difficult:

Happy sharing 😍

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  • It is said that Mozart copied out all of the voices for Allegir's Miseri, note for note, when he was fourteen years old.  He said [allegedly] that we only hear one and a bit voices at the same time.

    Was he able to write out the parts because he could hear the top line and a bit of the bass line and was able to complete the other voices according to the systems that he had learned and memorised aurally since he was 2 years old?

    Like 1
    • Roy James-Pike Allegri's...

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    • Roy James-Pike I assume so... but, while that is possible, we can only speculate about how Mozart was able to do what he did. It is very possible to reproduce patterns if we know how these patterns work. 

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    • Roy James-Pike It is a bit different from what you were talking about, but Mozart translated in Galant style anything he knew. 

      For instance, think about the third movement of his Sonata in C Major, K 545: the theme comes from the German Folk Song "Hänschen Klein." And who knows how many themes and motives he used ingeniously translating them into great music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSeWL-hXhtk

      Like 1
    • Antonella Di Giulio Of course, we can't know the minute details of how Mozarts skill's very developed in actuality.  My question was really about what type of ear training he would have done.  My thoughts are whether it was not intervalic [tonic-solfa] but based on harmonic structure that came from counterpoint, and the 17th century social tradition of singing together for enertainment.  Your workshops on the schemas and the dice game written by Mozart were he tabulated the most comprehensive set of possible almagamations of notes and chords.    

      Like 2
    • Antonella Di Giulio Thank you again.  I checked out "Hanschen Klein" on youtube and I have downloaded K545 to review its use in the 3rd movement.  I have started my analysis of K330.  I have reviewed the 1st movement for Mozarts' use of arpeggios and 3rds.  I shall review it tomorrow for the scales, where they begin, double-back and how he leads into them and leaves them.  Looking forward to your final session on this challenged.  So much appreciated!  

      Like 1
    •  Antonella Di Giulio I just checked out the 3rd movement of K545. 

      I thought I recognised the tune when I heard "Hanschen Klein"! 

      There is an arrangement of this for flute and piano. 

      We have so little from the major composers of this period, as the flute was way behind the development of the clarinet, and other wind instruments.  Therefore, others, often later flute players, have made arrangements of some of the 18th century solo piano pieces, particularly if they are light, like this one.

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    • Roy James-Pike Yes, his training was possibly based on harmonic progressions, but singing was a huge component of the overall training of musicians as well back then, and still should be :)

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    • Antonella Di Giulio Agreed!  Ear/vocal training should be a regular part of our practice.  Terrific session tonight [in the UK]!

      Like 1
    • Roy James-Pike thank you! 🙏

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  • I will show some courage here and be the first to upload a video of my struggle to memorize a piece. Thank you very much for making me do this, Antonella! I always thought I’m just too stupid, too old or whatever. But I think what I was lacking was mostly intention. I was just hoping for memorization to happen as a side effect of my practice! So like many of you I was learning all three movements of my sonata (Mozart K 332) simultaneously during this challenge. Here is how far I got with memorizing the third movement.

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    • Andrea Buckland Great job! Oh no... you are not stupid or old for memorization. The more we convince ourselves that we are not able to do something, the less we will be able to accomplish anything. Mostly, we might not know "how" to do certain things because nobody trained us.


      Now I would just start looking at the parts where you feel not sure about the memory: did you notice that they are all very similar? And so... I would look at all of these parts and see what is the difference between them. Then I would categorize them and label them with some names: this is the George part, this is the Mike Part and this is the XY part. 


      I was looking at the pedal while you were playing: maybe use a shorter pedal in these sequences of notes at the right hand. 


      It is already very good memorization! You did an amazing job with this movement.

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    • Antonella Di Giulio thank you, Antonella! I will definitely try that! 

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    • Andrea Buckland Amazing job playing and memorizing! I really love your sound. Great that you learned all three movements at the same time. Another idea to help me improve my speed of learning. It can get really slow to try to perfect one movement before going to the next (and if it takes too long, interest  in the piece starts declining for me). 

      Like 3
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andrea Buckland Bravo Andrea for your courage and your very good playing! I am convinced that it is a matter of habits, and the moment of changing these is a bit difficult, but with the persistence the new way of dealing with the pieces, through memorization, becomes more and more fluid.  

      Like 4
    • Juan Carlos Olite thank you very much for your encouragement, Juan Carlos! 

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    • Vidhya Bashyam thank you, Vidhya! I somehow can’t really focus on one piece

      alone- there is always a lot of music on my piano. Not a 100 % sure that this is a good thing 😉

      Like 2
    • Andrea Buckland Excellent memorization, Andrea!! I'm glad you had the courage! There is no need to hold back. The sonata you are playing are so great, and some really nice finger-work in that last movement!   

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    • Sindre Skarelven oh Sindre, thank you!! I’m trying to implement what we learned about grouping practice in the scales-intensive course… still a long road to go! 

      Like 3
    •  Andrea Buckland thanks for posting the video. You're inspiring me to follow suit with memorising!

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    • Natalie Peh looking forward to hear you play!

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    • Juan Carlos Olite I totally agree about the habits...

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    • Andrea Buckland Same. I can’t focus on just one piece either. I am starting to apply my tonebase challenge learning methods to my non tonebase pieces and it’s helping add some discipline and organization. Recording weekly snippets with the goal of the whole piece recorded in a few weeks seems to help keep me focused.

      Like 3
    • Vidhya Bashyam Andrea Buckland I planned this challenge with the goal in mind of giving you tools and strategies you can apply to anything you will practice in the future. 

      I do have a lot of music going on on my piano as well, but also a plan in mind. I try to regularly sightread some new music, have technical pieces, two new pieces at different stages, and review old repertoire.  It is a good habit to review old pieces regularly and maybe compare our own recordings.

      On a side note, I must say that our memory struggles to forget mistakes. And so,  it might happen that you will play the same wrong notes again and again at the same spot until you will not focus only on correcting that.

      I do still remember all the wrong notes I played at any concert... somehow. And so, if I was going to perform that piece again, the memory of that one wrong note will suddenly reappear while I am playing if I do not work on correcting that part in my mind.

      Like 3
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andrea Buckland Fabulous job and SO much strong progress.  You are inspiring me to try to memorize!

      Like 1
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