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Hi, i've been playing the piano for 10 years, and i mostly played from memory during my first 3 years with the instrument, and eventually for a work wich requires to (like Chopin etude opus 10. no 1)

I'd like to memorize some music but i'm bad at it, or i don't have the will/time to do it.

I'd like to be able to, as i would like to play some simple pieces for some friends at the piano in their houses (for example mozart piano sonata k330) without carrying the score.

Do you think playing from memory is any important?
Do you have any recommendatios? thanks
 

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I was told by my piano teacher not to memorise, as that would inhibit my learning to read music.
Personally I think that's utter nonsense. You must of course be good at reading, but remember that musical notation IS NOT MUSIC. You memorize it and that's the way of internalizing the music. Otherwise you won't ever make it yours. And of course, you won't ever be able to improvise, should you be interested -and you should.

We tend to think that improvised music enfolds other genres than classical (especially jazz/blues/rock). Don't forget that many of the great composers and piano players were improvisers too -now people play standard cadenzas. Even top-notch players aren't able to come up with their own ones. Don't think your teacher can either, if he told you that. Many classically trained musicians have little respect for it. Arrogance and ignorance, I suppose.

I told a friend of mine who plays piano to come up with an interesting line using a minor pentatonic scale and he laughed at me. You mean with only those 5 notes? Yes, he did read them quite fast, but no music came out of the keyboard.

Regards,

Vincula
 
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Personally I think that's utter nonsense. You must of course be good at reading, but remember that musical notation IS NOT MUSIC. You memorize it and that's the way of internalizing the music. Otherwise you won't ever make it yours. And of course, you won't ever be able to improvise, should you be interested -and you should.

We tend to think that improvised music enfolds other genres than classical (especially jazz/blues/rock). Don't forget that many of the great composers and piano players were improvisers too -now people play standard cadenzas. Even top-notch players aren't able to come up with their own ones. Don't think your teacher can either, if he told you that. Many classically trained musicians have little respect for it. Arrogance and ignorance, I suppose.

I told a friend of mine who plays piano to come up with an interesting line using a minor pentatonic scale and he laughed at me. You mean with only those 5 notes? Yes, he did read them quite fast, but no music came out of the keyboard.

Regards,

Vincula
That's a bit strong. I was starting out at the time, and I think my teacher was making the reasonable point that if I wanted to master sight reading, I need to make sure I practise it every time I play. That's a different situation from an already competent player deciding to memorise something for performance. However, the OP seemed to be asking about both a specific situation and also a more general query about the value of memorising. I was offering my thoughts on a specific time when memorising might not be appropriate.
 

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That's a bit strong. I was starting out at the time, and I think my teacher was making the reasonable point that if I wanted to master sight reading, I need to make sure I practise it every time I play. That's a different situation from an already competent player deciding to memorise something for performance. However, the OP seemed to be asking about both a specific situation and also a more general query about the value of memorising. I was offering my thoughts on a specific time when memorising might not be appropriate.
Right about that then. Haven't slept quite well lately, I suppose. No my intention being so vehement in my utterance al all. I understand the recommendation from a methodological perspective at a certain point -in order to master sight reading- but not as a general rule.

I insist in that musical notation and music are different things not to get mixed together. Pretty much like language and the written code of it. You can read English reasonable well without speaking the language or even understanding much of it. Of course, you won't be able to speak to anybody or use it as what it really is: a means to communicate.

Regards,

Vincula
 

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I once had a piano teach tell me that you don't really know a piece until you have it memorized.
Or, to put it another way, in the process of learning a piece to the point that you can consistently play it from beginning to end at performance tempo with no mistakes, you will have it imprinted in on your muscle memory and it should not take any additional effort to play it from memory.
In practice, I'm not sure if this is true or not though. As an amateur pianist I don't know if I can say I've ever reached that degree of mastery over any piece I've played.
 

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Learn it until you can throw the sheet to the dustbin! Do you imagine opera singers reading their sheets live on stage? Well, there's absolutely no difference at all. They are instrumentalist too, you see.

Of course you need not know every piece by heart, but a good amount of it it's very healthy!

Regards,

Vincula
 

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Having only played piano for 2 1/2 years I have come to realize that my music memory has drastically improved since I started memorizing pieces. And I have found out that I can absorb more bars for memory now than when I first started.
Granted, pieces which are harder for me I still need the music (Bach's Two Part Inventions) but that does not bother me.
I am just glad at my age I still have a memory:)
 

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Memorization
Sight Reading
Learning

All different things. People learn in different ways.

Rachel Flowers comes to mind. She can't read sheet music, and has learned and memorized complex keyboard pieces, many of which don't have sheet music available anyway.

But MEMORIZATION and SIGHT READING skills are different things.

As for memorization, it's generally better for a performance. Imagine actors on stage holding a script, or a soprano holding a chorus book
 

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Memorization
Sight Reading
Learning

All different things. People learn in different ways.

Rachel Flowers comes to mind. She can't read sheet music, and has learned and memorized complex keyboard pieces, many of which don't have sheet music available anyway.

But MEMORIZATION and SIGHT READING skills are different things.

As for memorization, it's generally better for a performance. Imagine actors on stage holding a script, or a soprano holding a chorus book
It just occurred to me that there are more than one way that pieces are memorized. There's didactic memory (photographic memory), where you picture the page of music, and there's motor memory.

I rarely intentionally memorize pieces anymore, but I noticed an odd quirk that would happen when I played some pieces from memory: In spite of there being no sheet music, I would often quickly reach up to turn the page at the appropriate time anyway.
 

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Sviatoslav Richter was once asked why he always played from the score at his concerts.
His answer was: "Ich kann Noten lesen."
Richter took to playing from music as in later life he had a hearing problem which interfered with his sense of pitch. I heard Clifford Curzon play at the RFH and he played from music years ago. What's the odds? If you play better from music why not? I have heard both Yuja Wang and Angela Hewitt and they had iPads on the pianos. I believe the first person to actually play without music was Clara Schumann to show she could do something that the men couldn't!
 

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Memorization was required during my years of private organ instruction. I would be required to play for various competitions and it was necessary to memorize the piece being performed in front of the judges.

I suppose mine is motor memory ... the constant repetition of church hymns played over the past 62+ years.


On a humorous note, I have gotten so used to playing from my iPad Pro that when reading actual printed scores, I routinely tap the lower right part of the page and nothing happens :lol:.


Kh :cool:
 

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My experience at memorizing.

I took piano lessons when I was a kid. I liked to memorize when playing the piano because one could concentrate on my hands and keys.

As a wind player when I played a solo I always use music even when I could play the music for memory. When playing a solo on a wind instrument I had nothing to look at. My eyes would tend to wander I would get distracted,
 

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I agree with much of what is posted here, but I must say it just looks more impressive when a musician is playing without sheet music, because it seems to imply either that:

A) they have a good memory

and/or

B) They have devoted so much time and effort to the piece that they don't need the score.

When sheet music is seen it can cause one to question whether the performer really loves the music they are playing, or are they just a really proficient sight reader playing a paid gig.
 
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