SOPP481: What level of harmony I need to follow the course "Prelude Improvisation Formula"?
Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas!
Ausra: And Ausra!
V: Let’s start episode 481 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Massimo, and he writes:
I have a question about prelude improvisation formula.
1. What level of harmony I need to follow the course?
2. How many hours a day I need to have a good results?
V: Remember, Ausra, how I created this course in our summer cottage?
A: Yes, I remember it.
V: It was quite a few years ago, I think, when Ausra and I were having a nice time relaxing in our summer cottage. We no longer own that summer cottage, but the video of me talking about this prelude improvisation formula in front of a curtain of flowers that Ausra’s mom was growing at the time still is online. So, this prelude improvisation formula is based on my DMA Dissertation. Right, Ausra?
V: About improvising keyboard preludes based on the examples of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach’s Klavierbüchlein.
A: That’s right.
V: So, I made a course out of that after my, basically, DMA studies. And for the best results, what do you think, Ausra? Do they need to know any chords, any harmony, or not? I have my own opinion.
A: Well, if you intuitively are a good musician, then probably not, but overall, I think you have to have sort of a basic level of harmony, understanding of basic chords.
V: I wrote to Massimo privately, that knowledge of three note, four note chords would be great—Tonic, Dominant, Subdominant—those chords, and their inversions, of course. Of course, Baroque harmony is probably a different one from Classical harmony. Right? But this foundation wouldn’t hurt for Massimo and any other interested person who wants to learn to improvise keyboard preludes based on the models that J.S. Bach wrote to his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann. And then, he asks about how many hours a day. What do you think, Ausra?
A: Well, I think this kind of question is partly unanswerable, because it depends on what level you are, and in general what kind of character you are, and how fast can you improve and make progress. So, it might be very different from person to person.
V: Yes, it’s like prescribing medicine.
A: But anyway, I think if you are doing something, it would be nice to spend at least an hour a day, probably.
V: I wrote to him, “Two hours a day,” just to feel safe, that he will see results. After two hours, I think anybody will see results. So it might be, as you say, one hour might be enough, but for some people, they might need two hours.
A: So, if you are spending one hour a day for, let’s say a week, and you see that you are making no progress, then try to spend more time, because maybe one hour is maybe not enough for you.
V: Yes, and it’s important to master those exercises, and not go through them too quickly. Spend time with them. Maybe some people won’t be able to master them in one week, you know, but maybe they need two or three or more weeks. And that’s ok. They can choose their own speed. What do you think?
A: Yes, that’s, I think, what is right.
V: Unless we are in a group setting, I don’t think we have to hurry and strive for very fast learning here. Better to feel enjoyment from your practice than a stress that you are not meeting a deadline.
A: That’s right.
V: Right. So guys, if you are curious about Prelude Improvisation Formula, check it out in our Secrets of Organ Playing store. And of course, our Total Organist students receive this course for free, like anything else we create, without any additional cost. Alright! Thanks, guys, this was Vidas,
A: And Ausra,
V: Please send us more of your questions, we love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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