memorization or sight reading while performing?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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fast eddie
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Re: memorization or sight reading while performing?

Post by fast eddie » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:51 am

I'm also an amateur who only plays in my practice room, but I have a thought about this. I had a guitar teacher (who also taught at a local university) and in my private lessons he always insisted that I memorize everything he assigned. He said he didn't want me thinking about black ink on the page but only the music. When I saw one of his students at the university give a recital, he had the sheet music on stage. I asked him why and he told me that he did memorize it, but had the music there incase he went blank. Just my $ 0.02
Fast Eddie
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: memorization or sight reading while performing?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:58 pm

The half-way house is horrible - my situation is that I can't consciously memorise music, but I do memorise it by practising it, but then I have to play with music, but I play from memory, and then if I forget what I'm doing, I can't find my place in the music. That happened once in front of an audience when I was playing a piece by Bartok on the piano that only lasted 54 seconds!

P.S. reading music is not sight-reading. Mod, put it in a FAQ!
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

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Re: memorization or sight reading while performing?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:21 pm

no difference! Memorized or read from score.
Imagine - brilliant and beautiful and passionate playing from score
or boring and dull, mechanical playing by memory..?
or opposite...
choice is evident.
brilliant and beautiful and passionate playing of MUSIC is important!!!!!!!!!!
which way it is done ?
who cares?
I'd better speak by music...Please listen my guitar at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.

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Re: memorization or sight reading while performing?

Post by JohnB » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:06 pm

I have no particular feelings about this either way .... except that, with the guitar, the music stand could act as something of a barrier between the player and the audience.

fast eddie's post reminded me that my teacher, back in the early 70s, recommended playing with the score in front of me, even when I had memorised the piece. As well as a very good classical guitar teacher (and player) he was also a jazz guitarist and did session work on acoustic guitar for the BBC, so was used playing from the score and I think he wanted to encourage that ability, together with sight reading.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso"

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Re: memorization or sight reading while performing?

Post by Guildford_Gas » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:59 pm

Have just recently joined the forum and stumbled across this thread while looking for advice on how to learn pieces so that I can play them without having to sight-read.

the posts reminded me that back in the 1970's when I was living in Newcastle on Tyne, they had an annual arts festival. One year both John Williams and Segovia gave concerts. The JW concert was concerti with and orchestra whereas Segovia's was a recital (count myself very lucky to have seen him play live).

One of the concerti Williams played was a Giuliani piece which I'm sure he played without the music, which I think is the norm. The other was a first performance and I think the work had only been completed shortly before the performance. JW played that directly from the score.

I think that's the only time I've seen a professional performer do so.

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