Category: Level 3A
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Music for a Friend: Sacred and Serene

Sometimes a work that a composer doesn’t regard as especially important becomes a beloved favorite in later centuries. Ave Verum Corpus, written as a favor for a friend, is a good example. The motet (in Mozart’s time typically a polyphonic choral composition on a Latin text) celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi—and why the text […]

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Mr. Spindler, Harmonic Blocking, and Musical Minds

At first glance, Spindler’s two Preludes in G present a flurry of eighth notes—first in the treble line, then the bass line. However, if we look through our “theory glasses,” patterns emerge! This video explains how grouping the 8th notes into chords allows us to see the harmonic structure of each phrase. Harmonic blocking is […]

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Singing Sakura

Nancy sparks Vivian’s imagination as she describes the imagery within the music — the cherry blossoms floating upwards on a breeze, matching the echoes of music in the upper register. Vivian practices the ostinato in the left hand and sings the melody first before playing the piece hands together. Vivian’s singing prompts lyrical playing, and trains her […]

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A New Approach to Technical Fluency

In keeping with the Year of Technique and Artistry, Nancy and Randall Faber are pleased to present Hanon-Faber, The New Virtuoso Pianist—a fresh, new approach to the 150-year-old keyboard exercises of Charles-Louis Hanon. Why This Edition? Concert artists recognize that finger strength is subordinate to the coordinated use of fingers, wrist and arm, which together harness […]

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Love Potion No. 9

Level 3A-3B, FunTime Jazz and Blues, Love Potion No. 9 Who doesn’t like to have fun playing pop tunes with crazy lyrics and zippy syncopations? Sam clearly enjoys the modal flavors and bouncy rhythms that are served up in this love potion concocted by “that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth.” The twirly, chromatic sequence of […]

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Malagueña: Melodic Flourishes and Modal Harmonies

Level 3A, Performance Book, Pg. 16, Malagueña Spanish music invites liberties—like bending the rhythms and adding melodic flourishes to the modal harmonies. The triplets in this dance make elastic circles, and Sam adds a bit of original rhythmic spice to the melody. The melodic dips in the middle section surge into a mini cadenza that […]