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Thread: WTC extreme keys

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    Default WTC extreme keys

    Has somebody learned the Eb/D# Minor, C# Major, or F# Major p/f's from Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier? Are the key signatures as much of a pain as they seem? In learning them, would you play them in a related key, e.g., play the C# Major in C Major?

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    I've played the C# major. It's a pain in the neck to read. But the prelude at least is one of the easier-to-play pieces in the WTK. I'm not sure I understand the purpose of learning it in a different key. If you want an easier-to-read key why not just play one of the preludes/fugues written in an easier-to-read key?
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member Mesa's Avatar
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    Interesting titbit: Irving Berlin composed and played solely in F#. His piano was transposable to play in different keys.
    You're a crazy, penniless lobster doctor. No combination of you should be a comedian.

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    Senior Member ptr's Avatar
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    I'm with Heather! there is really no point of transposing any of the WTK, if it is to hard for You, You just need to practice more!
    The difficult key's are supposed to be awkward for a beginner to intermediate keyboardist, it is an essential part of the game of Bach! Transposing is for when You can play all the 48 blind folded, then You should learn to transpose a vista (on the fly), the minors to majors and visa versa then to any randomly given key...

    /ptr
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    I asked about the easier keys because I wondered if "getting the feel" for the piece was more important at first than dealing with all those sharps.

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    Member Jonathan Wrachford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurelian View Post
    Has somebody learned the Eb/D# Minor, C# Major, or F# Major p/f's from Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier? Are the key signatures as much of a pain as they seem? In learning them, would you play them in a related key, e.g., play the C# Major in C Major?
    No, I wouldn't recommend you to play in a related key! the reason being, if you get comfortable with that easy key, you might have a really hard time adjusting to the original key. My recommendation for you would probably be to learn the main jest of the song by playing almost painfully slow.....speed up...and eventually after acuracy is achieved, go for speed!

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    Senior Member Novelette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurelian View Post
    I asked about the easier keys because I wondered if "getting the feel" for the piece was more important at first than dealing with all those sharps.
    I wouldn't personally advise transposing a piece to a more "accessible" key. Reading the more remote key signatures becomes easier with practice. The practice is good for your fingers; as for actually reading the music, in the primary key, knowing the locations of the half-steps makes it extremely easy to play in whatever key. Where there are accidentals, especially double-sharps and double-flats, it can become a little tricky. In those cases, I recommend trying to figure out what the composer is doing and then either try to remember the local harmonic logic or at least the sound of difficult passages. Usually, the accidentals often disguise a fairly straightforward harmonic/melodic procedure, so don't let them intimidate you!

    Still, you are not bound by the original keys; you can transpose any music to any key you like. For me, personally, I prefer not to transpose unless I'm improvising on the melody.

    Best of luck to you!

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