Making Music Together!

in Music2 months ago (edited)


Playing an instrument with someone is fun. And especially if you are a good friend with that someone, then it’s even more fun.

The instrument I play, the piano, is a pretty solo instrument. Any string instrument will easily find its place in an orchestra. Although they can all be solo instruments, wind instruments also find their place in groups, bands and orchestras. But that's not the case with the piano.

Often we pianists perform with other instruments, in the form of accompaniment, or as a member of the chamber ensemble. But it is a much more common sight that we are destined for a solo performance.

Fortunately, some composers who dedicated their opus to piano music had mercy, so they invented that they could unite two players at the same piano. This is how four-handed compositions were created, which include two people and one piano.

Playing with my son

It is known that the first compositions for one piano for four hands were published in 1782 under the title Drey Sonaten füre Clavier als Doppelstücke fur zwey Personen mit vier Handen von C. H. Müller. (wikipedia). But , that idea to unite two or more keyboard players may have date back to Johann Sebastian Bach, as he composed various concertos for more players, thou not meant to be played at the same keyboard.

Notable composers who composed original compositions for this kind of piano duet, four hands, were Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms. In addition, many other composers used already existing compositions, such as sonatas or symphonies, and made arrangements for four hands. It was a way of learning and practising, but also fun for siblings, colleagues and friends.

As a piano teacher, I often give my students four-handed compositions. It's a great exercise to learn to listen to your colleague, to be more responsible and learn your part well. They really enjoy that way of performing.

I also like to play four hands. I have a dear friend, I just talked to her today via video conference. We now live each in a different country, far from each other, but while we worked together at the same school, we often played together. I mentioned it to her today and asked if I could post one video I found, where we play together. The video was recorded 10 years ago, at one of the concerts. Oh, we were so young. The video is not the sharpest, I hope you will forgive me.

With my friend in Vienna

We played an arrangement of Bach's chorale from Cantata No. 147, Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring. First, we practised each part separately, so we met and talked, laughed, had fun and ..... played as well. I told you, it’s fun because you hang out and play the same instrument with a friend you love. You have to almost breathe together, know what the other person is thinking and how she/he will react to a possible mistake, or a change of pace, rhythm. You have to be like one player.

This post is dedicated to my wonderful and good friend, Aniko, and a reminder of our playing together. I hope to see her this year if conditions allow. I hope you liked as well this little insight into how the players can enjoy playing in the same piano, at the same time. A lot of greetings to everyone!

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Jesus, Joy Of Man's Desiring

▶️ Watch on 3Speak

▶️ 3Speak


What a beautiful post! I loved it :) thanks for sharing and Happy New Year :)

!discovery 30

Grazie @delilhavores, I am glad you liked the post and many thanks for sharing to discovery-it 🤩

Happy New Year to you too 🥳💗

Se non avessi letto che il video è di 10 anni fa, non me ne sarei reso conto: pare tu non sia invecchiata per nulla! Qual'è il tuo segreto! 😜

Complimenti a te e alla tua amica Aniko: siete una bella coppia! 👍


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I am even more younger now, right? 😂😂

Se ti dicessi qual è il segreto, non sarebbe più un segreto 😜

Devi spifferarmelo in un orecchio, il segreto... o su una chat privata! 😜😂

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Forse un angelo ti visita nei tuoi sogni e rivela quel segreto 😇

Quanto sbadato sono?! Ahahahhahh! 🤣
Grazie! 🙏

I didn't say any of that 😇


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I used to play some of those with a friend of mine. Have to say it was quite fun :D

Yes, the first funny part is to choose who will play which part. Than practising and laughing until death (or getting angry) when some same mistakes happens 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

@tipu curate :)

Thanks @rozku 🤗🤗

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My connection doesn't let me watch the video for the time being, but I bet it is charming. I often wondered if that was always a custom of piano teachers nowadays. I have seen some teaching students some waltzes and doing the harmony while students do 2 voice melodies (which in itself is a complex thing). But I after reading this I think it should come as no surprise. My mandolin teacher would take a cuatro from time to time to show how I should play when I'm not alone and he would also make me play cuatro to learn how to do that part as well.

That is actually very good your teacher did. There is a famous photo where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is playing in four hands with his sister. The costume is way more older than nowadays. You know, I am old (ok, bit older 😂) and we used to play as well in 4 hands as children .

I think something went wrong with 3spaek, it says to me as well 502 Bad I suppose you have to come back again if you want to see it ☺️

Well, 3speak is always a gem around here. Slow connection and that do not play along.

Yes, I every teacher used to do the same thing. I also sang in quartets when I was in the choir, but my tuning is really bad, though my rhythm was always on point.

I don't think there's another way to learn to do this than playing to get around the rhythm and feeling of music.

@bertrayo, parece que ahora va bien el vídeo. 🤞

Ya veo que sí. Bueno, la belleza no te se apartado de ti con el tiempo.

Aunque no es el mejor video, la calidad de audio está. Buena sincronización. Muy curioso como te mueves más que tu amiga mientras estás tocando. En general, hay un gran entendimiento de los movimientos de la pieza.

No me acuerdo con que se ha grabado el video, en diez años ahora se saca mejor con un celular (no con nuestro, obviamente 😜)
Gracias por tu tiempo a esucharlo y dejar, como siempre, detallado comentario 👌🤗. Te lo agradezco mucho!

Que tengas un próspero año nuevo amigo 🎇

Ja, ja, ja. Sí, no como el nuestro. Esperemos que no. 🤣

De nada, es un gusto seguir viendo buen contenido musical y darle algo más que solo alabanzas (que son merecidas en muchos casos). 🤗👌

¡Qué tus planes rindan frutos este año! Mucha salud para tu familia. 💛

Gracias @bertrayo, igualmente para tu familia 🍷


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Gracias @music1sound . Feliz Año 2021 🎉👋

This is amazing! Good joob!

Gracias @pedrovivaz (I suppose you speak Spanish?) If not, then thank you 😇

Hahaha those composers! Great they thought of piano players and how lonely it can be for the pianist. You mentioned composers creating pieces for four hands, but not necessarily for one piano.

This reminded me of a piece I really love, created by a Dutch guy a whole bunch of decades ago: Simon ten Holt and his piece "Canto Ostinato". You know him and this piece? Supposedly he composed this piece with absolute freedom to the pianist, or multiple thereof. I've heard quite a few different versions, with 2 pianos, with 4 pianos, with piano and other instruments. A version I regularly listen to is this one...

Really love this one: Usually, listen to it lying down and eyes closed. Takes me to all sort of places, but the physical earth.

Oh, my! I want to listen to it and watch it until the end 🤩 So beautiful ❤️

Thank you @edje

You watched? I suggest to not watch at all but just listen hahahaha
Its beautiful indeed. On YT many different versions around. Have somewhere a link to a recording of 4 hours straight, or I think its around that lenght.

I started to watch it and skipped some parts, but I wanted to watch it until the end as the art illustrations are beautiful as well.

I didn't know about Simeon ten Holt but I read now about Canto Ostinato. It has 106 parts, can be freely repeated, it can be performed in ansamble the musicians preffer, the performance of the composition can last from two hours to more than a day?!!

Clearly longer than my Tchaikovsky Lark Song 😂

This piece I came across many years ago and reminded me of what I love in 'rave' music, some of the underground styles of techno. Canto Ostinato is doing the same things for me. It lets me connect with the music on such deep levels, I become one with it and flow around (and with) the music for as long as a want (and this can go on for a long time! 🙃). This Simeon guy was ahead of his time, since it was composed before Techno (one of the main 'rave' music styles) was invented (which was born in the early 80s in Detroit). But so much similarities though one is pure electronic and the other is pure classical of nature.

Clearly longer than my Tchaikovsky Lark Song 😂


Yes, that's it, rave music in classical music language 👌

Absolutely 🎶

¡Tanto la amistad que poseen como la música que hacen, son hermosas!

Muchas gracias @elisonr13 !