Piano For Dummies, 3rd Edition
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Piano playing is a dynamic experience. Some people think of classical music as old, intellectual, sometimes boring music written by a bunch of dead guys who wore wigs. This may be true (except for the “boring” part), but the sound and feel of classical music is unique. You, too, can apply the sound and feel of classical music to your songs, even ones written in this century.

Here’s a list of the musical tools you need in order to add that classical sound to your music:

  • Trills

  • Arpeggios

  • Scales

  • Octaves

  • A curly powdered wig (to look like Mozart)

Here is an excerpt from a classical piano piece by Mozart called Sonata in C. Notice the use of arpeggios in the left hand and the trills scattered throughout in the right hand. Then, after introducing the cute little melody, what does he give you? Scales!

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Composers like Liszt and Grieg wrote some very dramatic and loud piano music. For example, the opening bars of Grieg’s monumental Piano Concerto begin with loud, descending octaves. (This piece makes important use of dynamics.)

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But classical composers could also do soft and sweet, and one way they sweetened their sound was by rolling their chords. Liszt, for example, loved to end his odes with a beautiful, soft chord, rolled gently from the bottom note to the top. The squiggly line next to the chords gets you ready to roll.

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About This Article

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About the book authors:

Hal Leonard Corporation is a United States music publishing and distribution company currently headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is the largest sheet music publisher in the world. Adam Perlmutter is the author of Piano For Dummies, 3rd Edition. He is a freelance music writer, transcriber, and engraver.

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