Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

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bear
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Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by bear » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:21 pm

A couple of years ago I counted the number of different pieces/songs that I normally play during a week. It totaled a little over 100. Today, it's probably twice that.
All sight read, none memorized.
I know some freelance musicians. They will fill in for someone who couldn't make a gig. Often they will be performing with a band for the first time, without knowing the other members and without rehearsing. No matter what is played they are seamless, including solos. They seem to have a computer for a brain. No sheet music, Ipads, etc.. I think I hate them.
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AndreiKrylov

Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:50 pm

how many pieces can one (/you) remember?
-
many...200? probably more ,but does it really matter??
Is it really important if piece is memorized or not?
NO IT IS NOT IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
What is important is how piece interpreted and presented.
If it is touched the listener and sounds beautiful!!!
I've heard players who played with tremendous accuracy, speed and precision both from score or memorized, but absolutely boring ...
or with no speed and precision and almost unlisttenable, yet memorized etc. ...
Play it beautifully!!
Memorized or not...Beauty and passion is the key, not aount of memorization, ability to sight read etc.
these just purely technical aspect of the craft, yet Art even with technical perfection but without deep spiritual content is ... just audio noise with guitar...
Smudger5150 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:34 pm
I've read a lot of threads regarding memorising pieces versus sight-reading and I wondered how all you memorisers(?) cope with expanding your repetoire or trying out new pieces.
Is there general a limit to how many one can remember at 1 time?
Do you all limit the number of pieces you have memorised so that you don't forget one of them?
Is that why some players seem to play the same repertoire all the time? (Maybe that's just my perception...)
Do some of you rely on sight-reading to 'remind' you how to play a piece therefore allowing you to not have any limits to what you learn to play? Or does that have it's limits too?
Is it not possible to rely on sight-reading to play some pieces more or less straight away or is that only possible for pieces x number of grades below your level? i.e. an advanced player should be able to play all beginner pieces from sheet music without needing to learn a piece (I theorise). Or is there a limit to that too i.e. even the best sight-reading CG player can't play a piece with, say, 3 voices and would have to learn it to some degree?

So in an attempt to summarise my various hopefully-related queries:-

Do you all find there is a limit to how many pieces you can memorise and what techniques do you use to learn/play new pieces without affecting your memory of the pieces you already know?

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Tony Hyman
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Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by Tony Hyman » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:37 pm

I don't purposefully or intentionally pressure myself into thinking "now I must memorize this piece".I suppose its partly "laziness".But the type of work that I generally do eg background tea parties and occasional recitals in Church, I use reading as in speech technique where you use notes as a guide.Its perfectly acceptable practice in that milieu.However, there are pieces that I do play without a "parachute" simply because I have practiced them so much and they have naturally grown into my memory capacity.To answer the question I think I have about 10 pieces that I can do without out scores on stage, but I would not limit myself to a definite figure as to what my capacity actually is, or not.

I just find that the pieces just fall in line naturally without scores as I go along.Or as the saying goes "The more I practice the luckier I get."

ddray
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Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by ddray » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:26 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:50 pm
how many pieces can one (/you) remember?
-
many...200? probably more ,but does it really matter??
Is it really important if piece is memorized or not?
NO IT IS NOT IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) ...
Part of me agrees with that. Why is it acceptable for ensemble players, choirs and most organists that I've seen to have the music in front of them? But on the other hand -- and I know it's not an exact analogy -- we wouldn't want to watch a play or movie in which the actors are all reading from scripts. It's good if great works are "internalized", but of course it can be overdone. I'm thinking of the great pianist Sviatoslav Richter who had such a HUGE repertoire. There was little that he wouldn't play, but iinm later on he started having memory lapses and played from sheet music in recitals. I've wondered if maybe he had memorized so much that it all began to jumble together in his brain. So maybe it's better to keep your repertoire to a relatively small core of works/composers that you love most.
Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart.
-- J. S. Bach

AndreiKrylov

Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:36 pm

ddray wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:26 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:50 pm
how many pieces can one (/you) remember?
-
many...200? probably more ,but does it really matter??
Is it really important if piece is memorized or not?
NO IT IS NOT IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) ...
Part of me agrees with that. Why is it acceptable for ensemble players, choirs and most organists that I've seen to have the music in front of them? But on the other hand -- and I know it's not an exact analogy -- we wouldn't want to watch a play or movie in which the actors are all reading from scripts. It's good if great works are "internalized", but of course it can be overdone. I'm thinking of the great pianist Sviatoslav Richter who had such a HUGE repertoire. There was little that he wouldn't play, but iinm later on he started having memory lapses and played from sheet music in recitals. I've wondered if maybe he had memorized so much that it all began to jumble together in his brain. So maybe it's better to keep your repertoire to a relatively small core of works/composers that you love most.
Richter told many times that he used scores because he wanted to be as precise regarding music as possible, not because of "memory lapses" etc.
There is a big difference in our attitude to this subject.
I am listening the music!!
I do not watch it!
I do not care how certain artist look, etc.
especially for any kind of solo recitals.
Watching someone actually make my listening experience worst...
but... certainly if one would want to SEE music... then yes - playing by memory will be more "entertaining"
BUt bo I(someone) really need to be entertained when listening Bach???

ddray
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Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by ddray » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:43 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:36 pm
Richter told many times that he used scores because he wanted to be as precise regarding music as possible, not because of "memory lapses" etc.
I read somewhere that during a concert in 1980 he suffered a memory lapse which caused some embarrassment and only after that did he play in public using a score. But I could be wrong. Whatever. :D
There is a big difference in our attitude to this subject.
The difference is probably not that big.
Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart.
-- J. S. Bach

AndreiKrylov

Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:46 pm

ddray wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:43 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:36 pm
Richter told many times that he used scores because he wanted to be as precise regarding music as possible, not because of "memory lapses" etc.
I read somewhere that during a concert in 1980 he suffered a memory lapse which caused some embarrassment and only after that did he play in public using a score. But I could be wrong. Whatever. :D
There is a big difference in our attitude to this subject.
The difference is probably not that big.
yes we all love music and guitar!!!! :)

ddray
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:10 pm

Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by ddray » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:23 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:46 pm
ddray wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:43 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:36 pm
Richter told many times that he used scores because he wanted to be as precise regarding music as possible, not because of "memory lapses" etc.
I read somewhere that during a concert in 1980 he suffered a memory lapse which caused some embarrassment and only after that did he play in public using a score. But I could be wrong. Whatever. :D
There is a big difference in our attitude to this subject.
The difference is probably not that big.
yes we all love music and guitar!!!! :)
Absolutely. :okok:
Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart.
-- J. S. Bach

Smudger5150
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Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by Smudger5150 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:00 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:36 pm
...
There is a big difference in our attitude to this subject.
I am listening the music!!
I do not watch it!
I do not care how certain artist look, etc.
especially for any kind of solo recitals.
Watching someone actually make my listening experience worst...
but... certainly if one would want to SEE music... then yes - playing by memory will be more "entertaining"
BUt bo I(someone) really need to be entertained when listening Bach???
I know it's been a while but was trying to find a different thread and noticed your comments.

For me, I find that seeing someone play can be fascinating and sometimes adds something extra to the experience. I know that you mean in that it shouldn't matter how the artist looks but I just think it gives a DIFFERENT experience. Especially for people who can't play anywhere near the level of the artist they are witnessing.
For example, I was listening recently to various fingerstyle guitarists, like Muriel Anderson on my music system/laptop etc and I thought it was all ok - but I wasn't amazed by it or anything. But then I caught Muriel Anderson on Youtube playing in concert and I listened to some of her pieces again and really enjoyed the pieces she was playing.
Now I don't 'think' it was because she's pleasing on the eye but rather, I think I enjoyed watching her technique and actually seeing her create the music.
For me, it's analogous to seeing a flamenco player playing really fast with rasguedo and tremolo etc in that the actual performance of seeing HOW they do it is enjoyable to see to. An aspect of the performance that you don't get when just listening to a recording. Actually, I think I saw a Youtube of your good self doing some gypsy-flamenco piece with rasguedo strumming and that was very entertaining to watch as well.

So I can understand why some people find the presence of sheet music a barrier when watching classical guitarists play unless the guitarists can place it in such a way that it doesn't block the audiences' view of them. Personally, I don't mind if a player has sheet music or not. In some ways, I find it more impressive to see a guitarist use it but that's just me.
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AndreiKrylov

Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:19 pm

Thanks for your post!
Please do not take my answer personally in any ways.. - I just used posts here and yours to bring my own conceptions and vision of things
related to this subject .

Do we sure what really attract us in the "music listening"?
would average "listeners" really love to hear (to see) playing of old man with very bad teeth, almost no hair, crippled and crooked and not
well dressed or you would rather watch someone young and full of energy, or at least someone WHO LOOKS "DECENT"? The only one
who as old man with very bad teeth, almost no hair, crippled and crooked and not well dressed "listeners" probably still will WATCH (listen?)
will be a former "Star" isn't it?
And what all this stuff have to do with the Music itself?
NOTHING. NONE.
But that is a rules of the game...we are talking about sound.. but in reality we involved in synthetic art, in ritual there parts
which has nothing to do with the Sound, Music itself, seems to have paramount importance...
we follow popular opinion, we follow trends, we follow opinions of "our leaders" and as one nice member of this forum wrote -
we are coming "to judge" performers ... and their look is probably one of most important part of "Music"...
MUSIC! music?

As far of presence of sheet music?
Well? just another example ... of what is "concert" really about...
it is about watching. and Listening? probably secondary minor part of it.
And there is nothing wrong in all this. It is just our nature - we are TALKING about Art of Music (sound),
yet it is another Art of PERFORMANCE... not Music really...
I've read on this forum few times complaints about very little listening of classical guitar on streaming services...
And because I have an access to statistics - I can confirm that assertion.
But... folks who are listening (mostly) have a totally different attitude... they are LISTENING.
Therefore PERFORMANCE part of Music and Look of performers have zero value and interest for them.
The same goes with popular opinion, trends, opinions of "our leaders" , critics etc.
in this situation person is one to one with himself and AUDIO, Music which he is listening.
If he likes, enjoys, feel pleasure from Music itself - then he listens that if not... no.
Why would he? It is not a ritual there collective members of certain cult like he himself
came together to unite in one important event promoted and introduced to them by the "Most important *guitarists and critics" in this particular case.
And suddenly Music, presented without Power of Look, Power of Opinion, Power of Ritual, becoming !?
boring.. unpleasant and .. not worth to listen...

Therefore it is just to different forms of Art.
Synthetic Art of Classical Guitar Performance (and any other music instrument)
And Art of Sound, Music itself...
seems like these two going to different directions from each other...

Rognvald
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Re: Critical mass - how many pieces can one (/you) remember?

Post by Rognvald » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:23 pm

I have never consciously memorized a piece of music. It just happens. When in top playing form, I have 2-45 minute sets memorized and another hour of music I can read with confidence. It is easier, for me, to be expressive and play with confidence when a piece is memorized. However, I have no problem bringing music on the stage and have done so for the majority of my paid jobs on CG. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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