Notespinner

Thoughts on composing, teaching and performing music, by Fergus Black

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Portrait of Chopin

Fioriture interpretation in Chopin’s Nocturnes by Frank Merrick

Old editions have their uses. The old Novello edition of Chopin Nocturnes has a very helpful table of the fioriture (fast florid passages) in the Chopin Nocturnes, with an interpretation by Frank Merrick of how to play them.

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A pianist's hand - ready for sevenths

A Guide to Playing Grade 8 ABRSM Dominant and Diminished Seventh Arpeggios

I've recently posted some Learning Guides to practising Diminished and Dominant Sevenths for ABRSM Grade 8 piano. I felt that students needed a framework for practice: so that they could see more easily the common elements in some of these arpeggios, and the differences in others.

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A 19th century painting of waltzing couples.

Dance Music

Students need help with their dancing. Being able to identify a waltz (oom-pah-pah), or a Sarabande (slow, in three, and 'sits down' on the second beat) from their distinctive rhythms and texture is useful in itself, but there is an added bonus.

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A painting by Bob Duncan of a young pianist struggling with sight reading

Common Problems in Piano Sight-Reading

Many people struggle with sight-reading at the piano. But not all for the same reason or reasons. Here are some common problems, together with my solutions to them.

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cartoon of a singing teacher with pupils

Choosing a Voice Teacher

How does one choose a voice teacher? How do you know if it's someone who will develop your voice appropriately, but not harm it? It is hard to know what to look for or what to ask a prospective teacher.

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A photo of a wedding

Another Wedding (sigh!)

Please, people! If you go to a wedding ceremony at which live musicians are performing, please have the courtesy not to talk over them.

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