Despite the subject line, this post is not asking about how to memorize pieces. Rather, I'm interested in hearing the thoughts of others regarding why some pieces seem to be easier to memorize than others. For me, some pieces that are quite difficult for me to play correctly are still rather easy to memorize. For example, about a year ago I started on "A Day in November" by Brouwer. I can't remember exactly how long it took me to memorize it, but it wasn't long. Maybe a couple of weeks, and then I had it. (Couldn't really play it, but I knew what I was supposed to play.) Even now, if I set it aside for a month, when I come back, I remember how to play it without looking at the score. In contrast, a few weeks ago, I started on Cancao Triste by Lopes. You could hardly ask for a simpler piece. But for some reason, I'm finding it maddeningly difficult to memorize. My only theory is that even though it is a simple first position piece, it has many spots where you play notes in ever so slightly different orders from one part to the next. For example, in one measure you may play F on the low E string with A on the G string, and later you play the F with an open G string -- a very simple variation, but if you mess it up the piece falls apart.
So, anyways, I was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.
Michael L. Benson
Cervantes Rodriguez Concert