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An Interview with Dennis Alexander

An Interview with Dennis Alexander
Last summer, my son Andrew learned a Dennis Alexander composition entitled "Full Moon Rising" (from Simply Sensational, Book 1).Like many students playing many Dennis Alexander pieces before him, he was completely enthralled by the sound of the piece. As a teacher (and in this case a parent), I reaped the invaluable benefits of having an intrinsica...
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The Chinese Phenomenon in the Piano World

During the past twenty or so years,most professional pianists and piano teachers have noticed the influx of Asian pianists. They appear at piano recitals and competitions locally and internationally, often comprising the majority of the performers. The names of Yundi Li, Yuja Wang, and certainly Lang Lang are better known today than most past giant...
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How Do You Choose Repertoire for Your Adult Students?

"I'm too old to play pieces I don't like," said Heather at one of our first lessons. Heather is a retired Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, as well as an expert on the composer Schubert. It's no surprise that her repertoire is steeped in Schubert's music. She loves it that way, and so do I. It's not always this easy picking reper...
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Diminished seventh chords, and, pardon the expression, half-diminished seventh chords in jazz and popular music

Diminished seventh chords In jazz and popular music, diminished chords are invariably played as four-note chords, rather than triads, whether the chord symbol says Cdim (C °) or Cdim7 (C ° 7). A diminished seventh chord consists of a diminished triad plus a diminished seventh above the root of the triad: However, enharmonic spellings are fre-q...
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A Party for the Fingers

Margaret Goldston's Jazztoccata (Alfred) has been a huge success with my late-intermediate students. The composition's strong rhythmic drive exudes energy, and the C-minor key gives the piece an introspective quality that my older students welcome. One student beamed with delight as she told me that it sounded like a piece a professional pianist wo...
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What Aspects of Teaching Pedaling Do You Think are Most Important?

Most aspects of piano playing and teaching show characteristics of both science and art. Some appear to be more on the "method" side of that spectrum, others on the "intuition" side. Pedaling seems to be significantly more than fifty percent art, due to the enormous variety and complexity of sounds that can emanate from the instrument, and also sin...
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Committed to Record: An Appreciation of Walter Legge

Committed to Record: An Appreciation of Walter Legge
We now take it for granted that we can walk into a store and find multiple recorded interpretations of the great musical masterpieces, make a few clicks on a computer to order CDs online, or hear a variety of performances on YouTube and other websites. It is hard to imagine a time when recordings of the standard repertoire didn't exist at all. That...
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Winds of Change

My last column, a broadside against the sterility of the classical piano recital, engendered a lot of comment (see Letters to the Editor, Jan/Feb 2013 and page six of this issue). I'm grateful to those who agreed with me, and I thank those who didn't as well. The trouble is it's hard to be subtle in an 1,100-word column. I went for the Big Effect a...
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Solfeggio in C minor (Wq. 117/2, H. 220), by Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach

First, what are we to call the composer of this well-loved piece? Sometimes his first name is given as "Carl," sometimes as "Karl," and thus his initials are sometimes "C.P.E." and sometimes "K.P.E." He spelled his name "Carl," so only misguided chauvinism can account for some German sources giving the more Teutonic "Karl." In fact, however, he ans...
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About Piano Magazine

Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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