Piano songs - Rondo Alla Turca ( Turkish March )

Chords in piano songs can be layered making them sound more attractive to listen to, steps in building strength in the fingers to accomplish it is also explained.

Perhaps it is the prestige associated with performing classical piano songs composed by famous historical figures that the learning of classical pieces dominates piano lessons. I would have loved to learn more jazz or salsa songs with a teacher.  

Be that as it may, there are classical songs that I thoroughly enjoy playing namely Rondo Alla Turca by Mozart or Canon in D by Pacheibel. The point I am trying to make is music is so broad, you are most certainly going to find something you like, even if in general you find the genre (example: classical music) not as sexy as jazz or salsa. 

The case in point, Rondo Alla Turca is an amazing song. It fits with my taste in music, which is why in my opinion I think it is a song ahead of its time, also the reason why I can play it. I struggle with other classical songs much to the frustration of my teacher. I find some of them perplexing. Or should I say I could not find the artistic image of the songs. 

But Rondo Alla Turca has for some mysterious reason made a connection. The melody is attractive, more so when chords are used to voice them. My favorites are shown in Image 1 below. 


Layering the sounds in chords of piano songs

Before I was able to play the chord phrases shown in Image 1, I practiced a specific exercise for weeks that helped to build independence in my fingers. What I did was, I chose one chord that I liked for example the one shown in Image 2, pressed the keys involved and kept them at the bottom of the keys. Then I lifted every finger in turn and played each note in the chord one at a time. 

I did this with single notes at first, then in pairs, the upper pair such as EA, diagonal pairs such as AE and the outer pairs such as AA. I varied the chords I practiced with to keep things interesting. It could be done with any chord at all. Repeating this exercise a few times a day for several weeks resulted in me having better control over chords when it was time to play them properly. 

The next challenge was to the express the chords’ musicality correctly, a crucial element that forms part the total artistic image of the song. Apparently not all notes in a chord are equal. To voice a chord musically, the upper note has to be played stronger, more pronounced compared to the lower notes that make up the chord.  

When I was told to do this, I thought it was insane. It was hard enough just to hit all the notes in the chord simultaneously, I am supposed to hit just one of them stronger and play the remainder of them soft at the same time? 

After being shown how it could be done only did my skepticism faded. It is rather brilliant actually.  

It took a lot of getting used to and that required time, as an example let us take a look at the chord shown in Image 2 below. It consists of the notes ACEA. A is the upper note and the A in the lower octave together with CE are the lower notes.


Pressing keys in silence to
get the piano songs right

What I had to do was play A forte, then A (lower octave), CE without making a sound. In the beginning play them separately, as in A first then A (lower octave), CE. Next try to bring them closer and closer together, meaning to say A (lower octave), CE  is played more immediately after A. As I began to grow accustomed to the exercise I started to play the A (lower octave), CE with sound but remembering to keep it piano. 

As a consequence when I wished to voice the chord properly, I am able to layer the notes in the chord making the upper note sound louder while keeping the lower notes soft.

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