Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How long does it take you to learn a piece of music?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How long does it take you to learn a piece of music?

    How long does it take you to learn a piece of music requiring more or less both hands and feet too? How long for something short, maybe 2 minutes or less, and how long for something long such as 5-15min? How long to play it familiarly (memorized), and how long to nearly master it?

    Before you answer, there are some extra conditions I hope those answering will meet to get the feedback I'm looking for, although I'd like anyone to answer, and state their method for learning. I feel like a rare outlier though, so I might not find many of the answers I'm looking for because I have not yet bothered to learn to sight read, or read sheet music with much ease at all. I wanted to skip that seemingly difficult step, and it has worked out so far. The more music I learn, the faster I learn. I have an organ at home which really helps because I can spend hours on it with no drive time or scheduling involved. But, as much as I want to learn more music, it is hard sometimes to power through the memorizing for very long and stay focused. I actually have only practiced a lot off and on with months inbetween of just recitals once a week or two of bits and pieces I know simply to maintain them, so I have actually not finished learning a certain piece that was half of the reason for getting the organ in the first place, and I started it when I got the organ in Jan 2016. At least I have fully learned some others.

    So, I'm looking for answers mainly from those who learn similarly to what I do: memorizing is top priority using whatever means necessary: sheet music, video, midi, by ear..., then get rid of the learning source as soon as it is memorized (even if left hand, right hand, and pedal parts are not yet played together), and start practicing until it is mastered. If possible to find, my preferred source to memorize off of is from midi files through synthesia, so I can visually see which keys to press and when without having to convert little dots on little lines into keys. This method as mentioned before has worked well so far. I see which keys to press, and I listen to an original recording to learn the timing. I feel like if I really tried, I could memorize 3-5 two minute pieces in a week, and nearly master them in another week, but I have not yet come very close to that as I have not put forth the effort.

    I'm making this sort of a two topic thread beginning with the question, and then discussing one of my favorite pieces of music.
    Part of what brought up this question is my battle between me and the first piece of music I ever tried to learn. Once I think I have about learned part of it, I hear something different in the original recording. Very often I find errors in midi files that cause me to check them against the sheet music (if it isn't wrong too) or against the original recording. This particular piece though is so complex sounding, it really shows how complex organ music can get with such a simple tune, and demonstrates the detailed sound quality of a real pipe organ which is probably what makes this piece one of my favorites. It is so smooth sounding with it's legato style exaggerated by reverb and echos (at one time I thought a high pitch chime was used for the echo effects which made me want an extra tone generator set in my organ to have a chimes only stop mixed in with continuous sounding pipes). It can be played slow or fast, eerily soft or loud and evil with booming bass and reeds. Anyway, the midi file isn't quite perfect, but then again there are so many ways of playing things on an organ. The hardest part is how various stops, mixtures and overtones sound so much different compared to my organ, and how the right side hisses and screams with high frequencies such that it is hard to tell what the fundamental notes are while the left side sounds clearer delayed echoed notes much different than the right side and from what the midi transcription shows. Also in some places you can hear it played two very different ways depending on which notes you listen for (only one way is shown in the midi file). Being a perfectionist, I want to get as close as possible to sounding like the original as I can which means amplifying those strange effects even if that is not how the original was played. What I hear in the original could either be the result of the location of the stereo recorder, or a computer generated composition, or the genius of Koji Kondo actually playing it how it sounds. Most of the strange things I hear are at half speed because it is a fast pace composition, so it is easy to miss them.

    Hopefully in the next week or two I can figure out how to play the rest of this piece, and relearn the beginning which I want to change for the who knows how manynth time. And I still have to modify my organ shoes from being too slippery to see if I want to learn legato toe-heel technique for this piece. I once thought I'd NEVER take the easy way out and use toes only, but I'm getting good at it.

    https://downloads.khinsider.com/game...mate-koopa.mp3

    BTW, have I beat Jbird's record for the longest post? :)
    Allen 530A

  • #2
    Pretty darn close!
    John
    ----------
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm starting to wonder if the echo is a deliberate delay of playing certain notes. I know another piece of music by this composer that used an echo effect which could have been artificial as the echo was a bit quieter than the original notes, but the midi transcription shows that it is possible to play both the original notes, and their echo with one hand. The hard part is after realizing you are supposed to simulate an echo, then thinking of it as not an echo, but just the normal timing and spacing of notes as in any other composition, so that you don't play an echo, but it is heard if you know what I mean.

      This new realization once again sets back my efforts as I have to now comb back over the piece from a new perspective.
      Allen 530A

      Comment


      • #4
        Nutball, surely you know that there is no answer to this question. What would it matter how long it took me to learn a 2 min piece? It would likely take you a different amount of time. There is nothing wrong with that. The length of a piece is of no significance. It will be easier and faster to learn a 5 minute piece that is well within one's skill level than a 2 minute piece that is beyond it. There was a time when a piece like the "Tuba Tune" by C.S. Lang would have required months of work. In fact, maybe no amount of time spent on it would produce playable results. The other day a copy of it turned up online and I printed it out. I always wanted to learn it. I was stuck for a postlude that Sunday and just decided WTH I'll just sight read it. And I did! And the result was fit for public consumption but maybe not an archival recording, but there happens to be one.

        It would matter I think how the learning is to be done. I could NOT learn this piece from the MIDI file! Nothing in my (self) training has prepared me to learn something this complex except with written notation. Standard music notation, not MIDI tablature. Because the progressions are so odd it would be hard to learn, even with notation because all music, even Bach, is patterns of familiar scales and scale fragments and harmonic progressions foundational to Western Music. There are elements to this piece that are almost microtonal in concept. There are rythmic challenges that may, or may not be possible by a human player.

        Bottom line, given standard three stave organ music to work from, I (me) could have something playable more or less right away. As soon as I understood how the piece worked I'd be all over it. But its not that I can do that, or how I can do that, but how long it has taken me to get to that point. And, yes, the 'echoes' are just (or should be) long held notes on one keyboard answered by the punctuated rythymn's played on another keyboard. The 'pedal' part is actually quite simple.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Leisesturm View Post
          There was a time when a piece like the "Tuba Tune" by C.S. Lang would have required months of work. In fact, maybe no amount of time spent on it would produce playable results. The other day a copy of it turned up online and I printed it out. I always wanted to learn it. I was stuck for a postlude that Sunday and just decided WTH I'll just sight read it. And I did! And the result was fit for public consumption but maybe not an archival recording, but there happens to be one.
          I'm with Leisesturm on this one. I have 3-5 min. pieces that have taken up to a year to learn, while others took only minutes. Much depends on the repertoire of techniques you have in your skill set, as well as many other variables you have not included in your OP (BTW--John has beaten you many times over in some of his older posts!!!O:-)).

          It's really a highly individualistic thing--depending on the learner, the music, the instrument, and the interaction between them over time.

          Michael
          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

          Comment


          • #6
            tldr;

            First off, I don't spend time memorizing anything. It's one of those things that I recognize the benefits of doing, but one in which the effort vs. reward equation never worked out for me. That said, I'm never done learning a piece. Performing a piece with 100% note accuracy is always difficult for me, but even with those pieces I've played for many decades, I'm still perfecting, learning, and hopefully improving my performance.
            -Admin

            Allen 965
            Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
            Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
            Hauptwerk 4.2

            Comment


            • #7
              Can't see the sense in that question. Why would it matter to you how long I do over learning a piece or if the way I do it is in any way close to how you study? Some very high regarded artists study a piece sometimes their whole life and make different recordings of it.

              Biggest problem I have with your way of doing is that I don't know if you learn to play the music, the notes or if you just learn to copy a version you heard. Playnig the notes is just the beginning.

              Comment


              • #8
                It was a late at night question. Maybe I should have asked how long it takes you to play a piece nearly mistake free from memory. I don't know for sure if my method would be much slower than just sight reading because i still learn in small pieces, the best way to memorize. Sight reading means you can immediately play something, but playing well from memory is what I'm going for. If you sight read some thing new until memorized how long would it take you? I'm just trying to get an idea of average times. Sometimes I hear people should start memorizing anywhere from weeks to months before a recital if they will be going off of memory, or can't sight read well without some memorization.

                One of the first and simplest pieces I learned took me a few weeks to become fluent in the parts for each hand and feet. One week of hard work to put those parts together, and maybe a couple more to play without mistakes. Of course I didn't use the most efficient means, and I had to learn to use a keyboard for the first time. That was learned from sheet music, but memorized before playing it.

                I'd throw out the outliers, Micheal, those that are super easy, or take a year.

                Admin, I think I said how long to NEARLY master something, so how long until you reach the point where you are about as good at playing as you will get any time soon. The music in the link I'm working on now I would call my outlier for sure because of my lack of time actually spent focused on it, the complexity of it, and the lack of good trustworthy sheet music for it.

                Anyway, my intentions from the start when I got my organ were to memorize. I didn't want to mess much with sheet music, especially sight reading 3 lines, or rely on its availability. I also wanted to learn many things that did not have sheet music available for it.

                Havoc, I learn the notes, then play it according to either the best recorded version I can find, or In what ever way I think souds best especially within the limitations of my organ.
                Last edited by Nutball; 06-05-2017, 02:50 PM.
                Allen 530A

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nutball View Post
                  Admin, I think I said how long to NEARLY master something, so how long until you reach the point where you are about as good at playing as you will get any time soon. The music in the link I'm working on now I would call my outlier for sure because of my lack of time actually spent focused on it, the complexity of it, and the lack of good trustworthy sheet music for it.
                  In that case, the correct answer, as others have said, is "It depends".
                  Anyway, my intentions from the start when I got my organ were to memorize. I didn't want to mess much with sheet music, especially sight reading 3 lines, or rely on its availability.
                  The term "sight reading" means playing a piece on first sight or second sight without
                  having previously prepared or practiced it. Am I correct in thinking that what you mean to say is that you don't wish to play from a score?
                  -Admin

                  Allen 965
                  Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
                  Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
                  Hauptwerk 4.2

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I guess that's right. If only it was a very easy thing to learn, but At at this point I've made much more progress looking at MIDI than at scores. I will be learning to sight read likely in the next couple years.

                    I guess the time taken to memorize and play well will vary too much between people and different music to get an answer of any value. It was just something I was curious about.

                    Things are looking up now for that music I was having trouble with. Now that I once again think I have it figured out, it seems like it will not be long before I can play it.
                    Allen 530A

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First, I will admit that this piece doesn't appeal to me. Nor does the sound of the organ. I used to like that kind of sound, but it no longer has any attraction for me. The piece itself has some interesting ideas but they aren't developed enough. They are just repeated. Fortunately, they ARE different enough to create some interest.

                      Second, if you study harmony and counterpoint, most of this piece is easy.

                      UPPER AND LOWER NEIGHBORS - these are notes either just above or just below a given note. The Upper Neighbor to C is D; the Lower neighbor is B. Whether these are sharp or flat or natural depends on the key and any accidentals.

                      If, in the key of C minor, you play a C minor chord, then follow it or precede it with a chord that uses all the upper and lower neighbors to the C-minor chord notes, you get B-D-F-Aflat as a kind of upper-lower neighbor chord to the C-Eflat-G. That chord combo gives you a good chunk of this piece.

                      The other major component of this piece is a HARMONIZED PEDAL SCALE, even if that scale is only 3 notes long. The top voice of the arpeggiated chord seems to follow good counterpoint rules as it relates to the bass line. The other voices fill in.

                      I agree with Admin - SIGHT READING applies to the first time you see a piece (and play through it). Any subsequent playing is no longer sight reading.

                      I've always been better with paper and black dots. I'm working on playing by ear and it's coming, but it will never be as good as my (sight) reading. For others, the reverse will be true. That's just life. The catch is to work with the talents you have and also to work on the oens that you want to improve, even if they will never catch up to your good (easy-to-do) skills.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've been exploring the note patterns to help figure this one out. It is only video game music, so they didn't go far with it, they just need a very short piece that repeats well. For the longest time I never really noticed it because it was used in the last and hardest level of the game, so who cares what you hear when you are trying to beat the game. Like a lot of music, this one grows on you over time and becomes more enjoyable because of familiarity. I think it wasn't played as well as it should have been in the original recording because there are too many high frequencies. I actually often forget it is supposed to be evil sounding, and see it at just another good organ composition. Once I figure this one out, I'm going to try to expand on it and make a good full composition out of it. As for right now, it seems like I will have both hands and feet full how I'm going to end up playing it. This will be the most complex piece I will have ever attempted playing, and I thought Widor and Bach were challenging.
                        Allen 530A

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I dug out this discussion because recently I started wondering which strategies people use to memorise a piece of music. Some say that you just need to play it a hundred times or so (doesn't work for me), others say that you should learn one bar after the other and repeat and repeat and repeat (takes ages if the piece is longer than 2 pages), some say that you should learn the piece backwards (memorise the last bar, then the one before, and so on), and others say that you should look for patterns and learn those.

                          I'm a very good sight reader, but even during music college very seldom had to memorise pieces. One of my teachers asked me to do so, but those pieces were all rather short (4 pages max) and besides, this is more than 20 years ago. ;-)

                          When I play an organ recital with an assistant, I will always have the music printed out - otherwise the other person won't know when to change stops. And for recitals without an assistant, I will still write down the changes I want to do and overall feel a lot more comfortable with the sheet music in front of me.

                          One might argue that memorising organ pieces isn't really necessary. This might be so, but nonetheless I'm interested to hear what works for you. I'm currently doing a mix of various approaches for piano pieces, but can't say I've found the "right" way for me yet.

                          Comment


                          • voet
                            voet commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Andijah, I wonder if your post would get more notice if you used it to start a new thread. Just a suggestion.

                          • myorgan
                            myorgan commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Let's leave it for now and see how people respond. It is related to the thread.

                            Michael

                          • andijah
                            andijah commented
                            Editing a comment
                            voet Yes, I thought briefly about starting a new discussion but then I found this one and thought it's not that far away from my question, so why not revive it.

                        • #14
                          I have found that practicing memorizing makes for faster memorizing. You train your brain to memorize. It will then carry over into other things allowing you to have great memory. I think it best to play through the whole piece and find the difficult parts. Prioritize those first, so that by the time the whole piece is memorized the difficult areas will have become much easier. I think it good to practice backwards for highest playback quality fastest, though I don't do that because I'm in no rush, and haven't had enough reason to try it. I try to memorize a phrase, let your mind choose the length of a part that has it's own minor logical beginning and end. It just seems easier to me that sticking with just one measure or a whole line at a time. Sometimes I find I need to memorize less than a measure at a time, sometimes I can take in a lot at once.

                          You want to memorize a part in short sessions; 5-15min should do. Go through that part a few times until memorized. Sight read it then play it without looking. Then if you feel capable add on to what you learned until the 5-15min session is up. Go do something and come back later to recite what you learned, and add more to it. There's a time when I used this method for memorizing Widor's Toccata with a busy schedule, but I found a short period about 5 times per day to work on it and had it memorized and playing decent in a month because at the time I decided to learn the left and right hand parts separately which took 1-2 weeks each. Also the fewer run throughs it takes to commit a part to memory the better. This way you can gradually increase the efficiency of committing to memory.

                          When taking a break from learning one piece, you can take up that time with memorizing another, but at some point the brain needs a break all together. Right now I'm trying to learn a few at once, but work and transcribing and arranging video game music is taking up most of my time.
                          Allen 530A

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            For me when I was memorizing pieces in college, I used a holistic approach. During the learning process of the piece, I would look at repeated or similar sections, sequences, and chordal relationships.

                            If a particular figure is repeated in more than one location, or if that figure follows a sequence, it makes it much easier to memorize the repetition or sequence. Also A and A' or A'' can be like enough to make them much easier to memorize, by memorizing the differences rather than the similarities. Chord progressions can aid memorization in that if you make a mistake but remain within the chord progression, the likelihood is a listener will never notice.

                            I hope I haven't confused anyone too much!

                            Michael
                            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                            • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X