Ligeti made lists of possible titles and the titles of the individual numbers were often changed between inception and publication. Often Ligeti did not assign any title until after the work was completed. The right hand plays only white keys while the left hand is restricted to the black keys. This separates the hands into two pitch-class fields; the right hand music is diatonic , the left hand music is pentatonic. These chords are built primarily from fifths , reminiscent of open strings, hence the title. Vivacissimo, sempre molto ritmico — Feroce, impetuoso, molto meno vivace — Feroce, estrepitoso — Tempo I Two different rhythmic patterns interlock.

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For the teacher of intermediate and intermediate-advanced students, etudes by Carl Czerny , and Johann Cramer , have been instrumental in helping students develop particular aspects of their technique.

Some pedagogues feel that the time used to practice etudes takes up a disproportionate amount of time in practice especially since they may last only a few minutes in a performance. They feel that the time that is consumed by etudes takes away from practicing repertoire that would more adequately build a recital program, or have more value in terms of developing musical understanding. Yet, virtually every 1 international competition with exceptions, for example, Leeds International Pianoforte Competition has at one point required the playing of one or several etudes, likewise, graduate program auditions, such as the Ohio State University DMA Entrance Audition, require some form of etude.

Undoubtedly, possessing the ability to play a virtuosic piano etude is essential. This document examines the history and the evolution of the piano etudes as a genre.

The predecessors of this genre include the Baroque works such as the Inventions and Sinfonias by J. The most important ancestor of this genre is Czerny, as his numerous etudes and studies have been widely used for centuries and are still assigned to almost all piano students, teachers, and even concert pianists.

The great masters who composed in this genre 1 Based on the Competitions in and The best known etudes of the first half of the twentieth century are the etudes by Claude Debussy , Sergei Rachmaninoff , and Alexander Scriabin The etudes of this period broke away from the concept of the etude in the nineteenth century.

Composers seemed to have lost their interest in composing piano etudes in the second half of the twentieth century. Ligeti revisited this genre and began composing these piano etudes in He completed the first two sets of etudes in From until his death in , composing etudes continued to interest him, as the third set of etudes were written in his last period of 3 His etudes are full of humor and imagination, and the various elements involved in the compositions include jazz, player piano as used by composer Conlon Nancarrow , Sub-Saharan African culture, and the musical languages of Chopin and Debussy.

This piece strikes listeners with its complex rhythm that starts with small incremental change: reducing one eighth note each phrase only in the right hand. This operation leads to the split of the bar line in two hands and results in different accents in two hands. Lecture is given on May 23, The lament motive throughout this piece represents extreme emotional grief that Ligeti dedicated to his Polish friends. This document will concentrate on the etudes Fanfares and Arc-en-ciel, discussing their context as well as giving a performance guide.

Fanfares is an etude that is striking in its rhythmic vitality. This piece is a rediscovery of the traditional tonality that Ligeti began to add in his compositions dating from the s. In addition to its attention—grabbing tonality, the use of ostinato is adventurous and intriguing, although the use of ostinato across the entire piece already occurs in the earlier composition Musica ricercata and second movement of the Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano.

One of the most important characteristics of Fanfares is the playful and energetic dynamics. The fragments of the melody alternate between the right and left hands, accompanied by unchanging eight-note ostinato, which is like a kitten frolicking with a string. In this document, chapter two surveys important piano etudes that have been composed across history, and discusses how this genre was explored as a reflection of the composer and the period.

Various influences on these etudes, including the most important—African rhythm, and how he applied these elements— will be examined. Other consideration that might affect the performance or enhance the understanding of these pieces includes melodic structure and harmonic approach, and these will also be discussed in the following chapters. It serves as a guideline to 6 performers and encourages them to get acquainted with these master piano etudes.

These etudes may represent a point of departure from the traditional training in piano and unfold a new style of the genre etude as well as other genres of the twenty-first century. Since the Inventions are limited to two voices, the ability to focus on playing with hands independently was advantageous to establish skills of playing musically independent layers. The Sinfonias BWV add a third voice, creating the necessity for one of the hands to play two voices, or for both hands to alternate the middle voice.

The technique of differentiating independent voices was a skill that Bach intended to develop. Yet, there were still many pieces written during this time that were not necessarily designed to teach any specific skill, but instead general concepts of pianistic skills. For example, Scarlatti wrote a series of about sonatas that were 8 first published under the title Essercizi per Gravicembalo. Most of these sonatas in binary form are idiomatically written for the harpsichord.

Characteristics of these works include fast scalar passages, repeated notes, hand crossing, trills, and leaps. In terms of creating different sound qualities, these sonatas provide good examples of imitating the sound of Spanish guitar and crystalline bell. Moreover, teachers can use these as an exercise to teach how to embellish or differentiate the second statement when the sections are repeated.

However, none of the sonatas specify only one type of technique. Regardless of the varying techniques that the pieces include, the character of these aforementioned pieces are somewhat similar to the etudes of Czerny or Chopin composed later on, as they all possess technical difficulty, and the length of the pieces are comparatively short. Except for general pianistic exercises figure 2. Figure 2. This trend for composition of etudes began in the 10 late eighteenth century and continued into the early nineteenth century, and these pieces include etudes by Czerny and Cramer.

Pianists in the present day keep them in the practice room. Among these composers, Czerny is perhaps the best known in this genre.

The studies written by Czerny are meant to teach different types of patterns that occur in Classical music. They have various titles, such as Exercises in Progressive Order Op. Therefore, these etudes serve as studies that are played only for the sake of practice, rather than the type of etude known in the present day as pieces which combine the aspects of musical thought and melodic lines that are expected to be performed as an artistic work in front of audiences.

Composing highly virtuosic piano compositions was motivated by the development of keyboard facility and the fascination with virtuosic performance in the nineteenth 12 century. During the nineteenth century in France, two piano manufacturers Erard and Pleyel made significant contributions to the development of the piano, and with these newly invented pianos, Chopin was able to create various tone qualities and make use of diverse pianistic techniques.

The etude Op. The techniques in this study involve swift movements of the right hand, extended positions, and flexibility in the wrists. Although the 5 Oxford University Press. Some of them have nicknames that allude the specific techniques they include, for example, Double Sixths Op. Also, some of them are named by the effect that the specific technique creates that make them programmatic works on character pieces, for example, Aeolian harp Op.

New York: Schirmer Books, , The title of each etude gives both performer and audience the idea that these etudes are programmatic, for example, Mazeppa is the name of a legendary folk hero, and Feux follets imitates the movements of fireflies. The texture is much more intricate, and the inclusion of sophisticated melodies and intricate formal structure puts these etudes far beyond the physical exercise studies of Czerny or Cramer. Take Mazeppa as an example, the introduction displays two different types of technique: swift arpeggios and cadenza-like scales figure 2.

The main section of the etude introduces even more techniques, including double thirds and leaps figure 2. Finally, the middle section requires an intimate style and voicing in the top of the left hand on the thumb, and, on the right hand there are constant leaping of double-thirds figure 2.

This piece presents an overwhelmingly energetic spirit that is based on formidable pianistic technique, and lasts approximately eight minutes, which is longer 16 than any etude of Chopin. The latter version shows that in the later years Liszt realized sometimes fewer notes can convey his thoughts more easily, even when reaching a virtuosic climax. Schumann, for example, wrote his Opp.


V. Arc-en-ciel






Études (Ligeti)




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