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Approaching Advanced Silent Night

How to approach Advanced Arrangements such as Silent Night

Released on December 13, 2012

  
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Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Robert Estrin here at VirtualSheetMusic.com. I want to share with you a real resource that I found on the website here at VirtualSheetMusic.com. There is all the different Christmas songs with all kinds of beautiful arrangements. You may have looked at them and some of them may have scared you with all the notes. I want to show you that, yes you can approach them and, I'm going to show you a number of ways that you can extract different parts and, over time play more and more complex arrangements but you can dive in right now.

So we have a beautiful arrangement here of Silent Night. Now let's say you get it together with someone and, they are a singer or an instrumentalist and they put some music in front of you and they say, "Oh can we play this together?" Just like this everybody wants to sing. Well maybe you have time to work out this wonderful arrangement but, maybe you just want to have fun with it right now and, I'm going to show you how you can do that.

First, I'm going to play this a little bit the way it's written so you can hear it, then I'm going to show you some tricks, how you can play music that might be too hard for you to read but, you can still enjoy it right away...

[music]

So there's a beautiful arrangement of Silent Night one of our favorite. Well here are a couple of ways you could simplify this arrangement. So even the first time you sit down, no matter what level you are, I'm going to show you basically two alternative ways you can play Silent Night and work through this.

The simplest way would be, take a look at the music and, just click the very top line and, the very bottom line..

[music]

Now as you progress you might be able to add more parts to your arrangement and play maybe, thirds on the top, maybe, even start adding some notes on the bottom. Listen to another arrangement just a little bit more complex.

[music]

And if you progress a little bit more or you're brave, play the first three notes on the left turn and, it's still not that hard to play this...

[music]

So you can actually work this up in several stages. That way you could play it right away and as you spend more time with it, you get more and more until you get to the full version. That way you don't have to wait weeks or months to learn it, you can play it instantly. Now why is it so important? Well, a lot of times music you play are arrangements and, there are many different arrangements that might be perfectly wonderful, just like when you play if you ever had the experience of playing an orchestra part reduced for the piano, you know that sometimes there are actually, there are more notes than you can physically play.

So it's important to make an arrangement, in fact if you get different editions of the same Concerto the piano parts will be dramatically different, so there is creative license here you could even add notes to your arrangements just endless possibilities. Let me skip to the middle section and, show you how you can approach that section in much the same manner. Now this section has all kinds of notes. So maybe, you don't want to play all those notes, you can just play the top notes once again...

[music]

Now that was just the top note with the octaves. You can have the thirds once again... So these are just some of the ways that you can simplify the music yet, you can also come up with your own arrangement. You can take the skeleton of this and add your own parts if you wanted to.....

[music]

I want to tell you a personal note of a situation that I had recently at a performance. I played an in-home concert and, after the concert there was a woman there who was a very fine singer and, she wanted to sing Silent Night of all songs. And she told me that she sings in multiple languages and, we would sing it, she would sing it, I play it four times along, four different languages which was very impressive to me.

But I felt that if we did it four times exactly the same, even with the different languages it could be a little bit boring. So I sat down and made up four different arrangements so that the music was enhanced. So this is what I want to encourage you to do. Experiment with your music, use the guides that you have here on Virtual Sheet Music and expand upon it and, see what you can come up with, with your music.

So have some fun this Christmas Season take out these arrangements and see what you can do with them. Thanks so much this is Robert Estrin here at VirtualSheetMusic.com, until next time...
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Fulvia * VSM MEMBER * on December 16, 2015 @1:26 pm PST
thank you, and Merry Christmas!
Rick Lamascus on December 16, 2015 @6:05 am PST
Thank you for the great tips on variation and starting off simply and working upward!
Rick
Avrelle on December 6, 2015 @6:00 pm PST
Thanks for those excellent tips, Robert. That is a beautiful version of Silent Night. I intend to tackle it the way you suggest by practicing simpler versions at first and after mastering each stage, eventually moving on to the final advanced version. Thanks again for your suggestion.
ANTHONY on November 29, 2015 @9:00 am PST
EXPLAIN HOW ALL ITEMS COME TOGETHER IN PLAYING A SONG.
1. TIMING
2. TEMPO
3. RHYTHEM
4. DOWNBEAT
5. BEATS PER MEASURE

THANK YOU
ANTHONY
reply
Robert - host, on November 30, 2015 @11:32 am PST
You have outlined what could potentially be a 5 part video series! We will give this some serious thought.
ANTHONY on December 2, 2015 @6:43 am PST
THANK YOU. I'M CONFUSED AS MJUSICIANS HAVE TOLD ME IT'S MORE IMPORTANT WHEN PLAYING SOLO PIANO TO "BE ON BEAT" TO THE RHYTHEM OF THE SONG YOU ARE PLAYING - - RATHER THEN BEING IN PERFECT TIME TO THE SHEET MUSIC. THEY SAID "SING" THE SONG TO HELP W/TIME.

THNX AGAIN
Robert - host, on December 2, 2015 @10:55 am PST
When playing pop music which has a great deal of music off the beat (syncopated rhythm) it can be extremely helpful to listen to the music since the sheet music is often produced after the song is written unlike Classical music. So the recording in a sense is the score!
Robert Bissett on April 28, 2015 @6:38 am PST
Great, started playing a year a go. Have a teacher and moving along ok. I read the comments and found them interesting. Thanks for remembering that some of us are just starting out. Bye the way am71 and always wanted to play
Doug Baker on February 13, 2015 @11:18 pm PST
That was all very encouraging !
kamau stephen wanjiku on December 13, 2014 @2:05 am PST
i want a copy of advanced piano for silent night, am in ongata rongai kenya
reply
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on December 14, 2014 @2:41 pm PST
You can find it inside our Christmas Variations:
http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/score/ChristmasVariations.html

Please, let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks.
joel on September 7, 2014 @8:40 am PST
Wonderful !! thats all i ve been looking for im just a "rookie" wondering on such a new advice from a Master
Thanks a Lot!!
Jeanne on September 6, 2014 @11:55 am PST
I am a retired RN & I started piano/ vocal lessons lessons about
5 years ago.After much frustration I purchased EZ play today
Books & @ Clavinova. My reluctant teacher/accompanist fully approved once he saw how much I now enjoyed playing.
Karla Ober * VSM MEMBER * on January 11, 2014 @11:45 pm PST
Thank you! These sheet music "hacks" are really helpful!
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