MUSICAL MEMORY - online book

A System To Cultivate The Musical Memory For Musicians.

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102.   Before proceeding to the ultimate condition of the performance of a piece, that of memorizing it in its entirety, in addition to the power of playing it with accuracy and suitable expression, a thoroughly intelligent understanding of it should be acquired. By this we mean a recognition of its leading themes, the order of their occurrence, and the relationship of the keys in which they appear, also, if there be a wealth of elaboration which prevents one from perceiving readily the form of the themes or the order of some of the progressions, the outlines of such themes or such progressions, should be written out by the pupil. No earnest student will regard these demands as unreasonable, and when complied with, they will form a solid, mental foundation upon which he can safely and gradually graft all the details of a piece in correct order.
103.   In many compositions, especially those in sonata-form, there is a large amount of recapitulation and repetition, and passages frequently occur which, while resembling one another in the main, differ in small yet not unimportant details. In such passages, unless the points of difference are clearly brought before the mind of the student, are carefully compared, and specially memorized, such details may possibly suffer. We will therefore lead the student through the first movement of Beethovens First Sonata, showing him how such may be analysed, and drawing his attention to points of interest in the structure and methods employed, as well as to other features which may help him towards the accurate memorization of it. It will be seen that by so doing we can appeal only to the Intellectual memory. In the other forms, repetition is the chief means of bringing such into employment, but in regarding a piece Intellectually we bring to our assistance previously acquired knowledge of the theory of music and musical composition. How far a student needs, or can employ the suggestions given, each must judge for himself.
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