aural training

I’d just designed a learning programmed based on aural training and was thinking how to teach a person who does not have perfect pitch how to reconised intervals and chords. I’d really had to think about this, because for me, it’s as simple as knowing the notes that makes up a chord, knowing how a major minor or dimined chord is composed and then knowing what the chord is. It’s a logical thing for me. So how to teach some one who can’t tell what the notes are is something that’ll be interesting to try during my teaching.
I know that each chord has it’s own colour or sound to it. Major short are sharp and happy and bright, quite bouncy. Minor chords sound heavy, sad, and diminied chords sound incomplete and uncomplete. Intervals are similar in some ways. A perfect fifth or octave sounds quite hollow and naked, like there should be more. a major third sounds really close and pleasing to the ear, and a major sixth sounds pleasing but more spread out. Also intervals can be worked out from the chromatic scale, but unless you know the notes, that could be hard to work out.
For me though, it’s a highly logical process but I do use the above with out even I think.
On another note, I’d discovered that modern piano isn’t really my thing. I can get by if I need too, and I can play hymns etc in that style, and probably work out a modern christian song if I needed. But creating and imprvising in that context just isn’t me. It’s too lose for me, I need structure. Also, as far as emotions go, I am more in tune with classical music, such as Bach and Beethoven.

Bach on piano, and music memory

I recently listened to a recording of Bach harpsichord concertos on a piano. I usually don’t listen to this sort of thing, but decided to see what it was like. I found the piano in some cases overpowered the texture of the music. It also tended to drown other instruments and seemed overall unbalanced. The slow movements were really well done though, and the piano and strings played well together. But somehow the concertos played on original instruments sound more satisfying. One because that’s how Bach created them. Two because articulations are much more clear on the harpsichord giving it more colours and more variety. I have heard fantastic renditions of the concertos on piano but have no idea who the pianist was. In the hands of a great pianist they can come alive. But for me, I like to hear the music the way it was written and on the instruments it was written.
Now on to another topic. The last week or so, when I have sat down to play, even though not much lately, I’d been testing my memory. I can still play pieces I learnt at the prep level. I can play at least one piece from each grade, and could play more if I could remember what music I played and hear it again. For grade 6, I can play one complete piece and with a bit of polishing, another, and with hearing the third one, would be able to do that one too. All this to say, if the music is learnt properly you won’t forget it until much later, and it might not take as long to polish it. I memorise the music by first listening to a recording to get the overall picture of the music. While listening, I note where the themes, melodies and try to work out what form it’s in. Then I break the music in to sections, and try to make each section stand alone for easy learning. Then I start at one section and learn the notes, and the rest that goes with it. Then I try to polish that section then move to the next section,. And so on until it’s learnt. Then I double check with recording and score together to make sure I’d learnt for correctly. Depending on the piece, I will break it down even more. For example, with the fugue in F minor by Bach, I learnt all the voices, the entrances of the voices first, then the episodes next. I also practiced hands alone.