differences in music time periods

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Can someone help me remember some things I've forgotten from my childhood lessons, specifically the main differences in playing Baroque, Classical, etc music? I need a refresher on how the ornaments are different, and how staccato was to be played differently. What about dynamics? How did the fact that baroque music was played on harpsichord rather than piano effect how we play it on piano? Also, I find that the slur marks written in some of my old Schirmer books are different from some newer books I have from Alfred or FJH. Are all equally valid?

-- Michelle (noname_poster@yahoo.com), May 29, 2001


There's a well-written article in the May/June 2001 issue of Clavier magazine: "Teaching Students to Play Legato & Staccato Phrases" by Peter Jancewicz. In this article, he discusses a variety of articulations & how they're used in different musical periods. If you don't already subscribe to Clavier, you can call & order back issues: 847-446-8550.

As for the main differences in baroque, classical, romantic & 20th century repertoire, as well as the differences in editions, you might want to consider purchasing the book, "Intermediate Piano Repertoire: A Guide for Teaching" by Cathy Albergo & Reid Alexander (Frederick Harris Music). It has a reference chart of the characteristic elements of the four style periods. The rest of the book is a list of piano literature editions that the authors recommend (complete with comments regarding certain scholarly editions), along with their recommended teaching order.

Regarding ornamentation, try reading "Keyboard Interpretation from the 14th to the 19th Century" by Howard Ferguson (Oxford University Press). This book is available through Amazon.com.

There are many other reference books & videos on the market, so I tried to narrow my recommendations down to just a few good ones. Hope this helps.

-- Music Educator (noname_poster@yahoo.com), June 04, 2001.

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