Music of Piano Scales


Someone wrote to ask about ideas in piano practice routines. Here's a thought.

Scales, scales, scales.

Begin your mastery with scales. First, master the Hanon 60. Which at the end spells out all major and minor scales in all keys, and chromatic scales.

You should be able to run scales smoothly, with precise control of speed and dynamics, absolute dictation of left/right hand independence, capable of executing one or more loud staccato on any chosen set of notes amid quite background run in any scale of any key, and with one hand running double, triple, quadruple tempo than the other and constantly and abruptly switch left/right roles or play catchup or dynamics-exchange, or any mathematical combinatorics of the above, with eventually a left right hand independence, where each hand runs their own arbitrary scales, all these with your eyes closed. (one should be able to play anything piano-forte eyes-closed, basic or advanced, to begin with. If you cannot play with eyes closed, there's something wrong already. When you are ready to leap, you'll be able with eyes-closed too.)

One way to note the mastery of scales is to listen to Jorge Bolet (1914 – 1990) or Claudio Arrau (1903 – 1991) play of Liszt's Transcendental Etudes number twelve the Chasse-Neige (Snowplough).

Liszt's transcendental etude №12

Music Sheet pdf. Source

Liszt: The Complete Etudes Franz Liszt, Claudio Arrau, Nikita Magaloff amazon

Miroslav Kultyshev plays Liszt Transcendental Studies №12.
Sofya Gulyak plays Liszt Transcendental Studies №12.

A minor comment on this piece can be found here (author is Johann D'Souza): Source

Note their exquisite execution of scales running up and down by the left hand, impeccably fluid, imperceptibly subtle, death impinging. I doubt any genius or prodigy or idiot savant their capability of one listen and play of this piece. I bet they can listen one hundred times and not able to play once correctly of Liszt's Snowplough. Mozart prodigies can go home.

When you understand this piece, you see that the execution of scales is a art of its own. One can create the greatest music, greatest musical expression, by just running scales alone.

With my programme, after mastery of scales, one would master chords — broken or whole. The mathematical combination is staggering. Right now i'm still at the scale level.

PS de-focus on sight reading. Commence a programme of music theory lettering. After a couple years of music theory, sight reading becomes a child's play. The traditional music-notation and associated sight-reading is there to waste beginner's time.

blog comments powered by Disqus