Piano songs - Rondo Alla Turca

Piano songs and their rhythm are grasped by studying the scores, recognise patterns in them especially the texture to gain an insight into their artistic image.

“How do I play my most amazing piano to make the listener like it, her attention more intense and interest more passionate?” 

Practice which sets itself such a goal, is no longer mere practice but is an education. How do I go about achieving this goal?  

The goal is to make my piano playing reach my audience in an outstanding way, beyond average. 

It would require more than technical prowess. It requires aiming my piano training at my emotional and intellectual reactions. And where better to start than at the very basic of music making. And whose composition best to start with if not Mozart’s.?

I opened up the score to Rondo Alla Turca, to see if I was able to recognize patterns in it. I could tell that the string of semiquavers dominating the score carry certain characteristics that ordained the rhythm created. Namely the pitch, the intervals between them and of course the key signature. But how does knowing these make me play the piano better? 

For example, let us take a look at the phrase shown in Image 1 below.


It helped me grasp the rhythm. Looking at the score and recognizing the patterns is winning half the battle.Through repetition after enough stimulation, and by making corrections accordingly, the intellect, emotion and body come together to allow me to utter the rhythm on the piano properly. 

Being able to recognize the texture in the composition delivers similar result. Rondo Alla Turca is a polyphonic composition, it has several voices singing different harmonies in the melody at the same time.

Raison d'être for playing piano songs

I mentioned "uttering the rhythm properly" in an earlier paragraph. What this means is the all-important, ultimate purpose of playing the piano - a pianist’s raison d'être, that is to project the artistic image of piano songs. 

Activities geared towards projecting the artistic image of a composition begins before I even touch the piano. When I set out to recognize the patterns and identify the texture embedded in the piano songs by just reading the score, they come to life deep inside my mind and heart.

Even with hesitation and playing mistakes that are certainly to occur during practise, I shall be able to make corrections on the tone, in-phrase nuance and technique to match the demands of the songs’ image, content, idea and poetry.

For example, on the nuances of tone and speed, If I were to neglect the advance preparation of reading the score before actually practising on the piano, I would not be aware of the piano songs’ artistic image. Should it be played slower, softer or faster and louder? As a consequence, my practice would be plagued by uncertainty, like a ship sailing in a fog without any navigational tools not having a clear direction of where I am going.  

Had the piano songs were already living in my mind and heart, agitating to be expressed, my emotional state would be elevated. My intuition would be inclined to correct any given speed, loudness or strength if they were not achieved. I would have specific goals to practice for and not deviate from them until they are accomplished. 

Grasp the rhythm of piano songs by studying the scores. Look to recognise patterns in them especially the texture. Try to identify the different voices singing in the melody if the song you are playing happens to be a polyharmonic one. Thus, enabling you to project its artistic image.

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