Robert Estrin - piano expert

The Two Types of Infinite Expression

What is the concept of "infinite expression"?

In this video by, Robert talks about a very interesting topic: infinite expression.

Released on May 15, 2019

Share this page!
Post a Comment   |   Video problems? Contact Us!
DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

This is Robert Estrin at with a really fascinating subject, Two Types of Infinite Expression In Music. Two types, that's a whole lot, isn't it? Well, what am I talking about infinite expression anyway? Well, first of all, I'm going to describe two types of infinity, and how two concepts of infinity, I should say, and how they relate to music, or can relate to music.

The first type of infinity is one that you're probably familiar with where you go out in space in any direction, and you can go forever, right? There's just no limits... Well, what happens in music if you take your expression, and go to any direction without any limits? Well, I'm going to show you. I'm going to demonstrate with the beginning of Chopin's A-flat Ballade, and this is going to be any direction, with no limits. A type of infinite expression. Let's see if it works.

Now, I don't know what you thought of that, and for those of you who are intimately familiar with the piece, you probably are not very pleased with what you just heard. For those who have never heard the piece before, it might not sound so terrible, and how can this be? Well, in the context of the whole piece this is doing so much in so little amount of time that there's no way that this piece is going to hold together, with taking so many liberties, with timing, with expression, with voicing. It's going wildly in all directions with no limits.

I would say this type of infinite expression doesn't work for a classical performance. When you hear a snippet of it, it might be highly interesting, but the gyrations will never give you a coherence in the end of the day. Now, is it possible to have infinite expression in your musical performance? Well, there's another type of infinity I want to discuss with you, and that's the concept of, you go halfway to something, and you can do that again, and again, and again, and never reaching that point, and that's a different type of infinity, isn't it?

And, in that type, I would say, there's possibilities of the most minute details of expression within a framework, which is a type of infinity on its own, isn't it? The nuance in each note, and the levels, and the balance of each chord. It is truly infinite in scope. Yet, it's a completely different sense of infinity from what I just showed you, and how might that sound. Fortunately, I have an extremely refined piano, so I can actually demonstrate this for you. Let's hear if I can pull this off to demonstrate infinite expression as I've just described.

So, there's a refinement yet there's subtle details that have no real limits. In fact, if I were to play the same phrase 100 times no two would be exactly the same. These gradations of touch, and tone, and balance, and nuance of rubato, and all of that. That is endless, so truly infinite expression. Remember, in your music you have infinite possibilities within a framework, so that you have the coherence, and the musical intention of the composer with your own voice, and your own ideas as to what the music is saying without going wildly out with no limits, as the first type of infinity would reflect.

I hope this is interesting for you, and you can experiment with your own music in both ways, and by the way, doing what I did at first, you might, some of you might like it, some of you might not like it, but I would suggest all of you don't be afraid of the privacy of your own home to go wild sometimes to see where it takes you, because you could take elements of that wildly divergent type of infinite performance going in all directions, with no limits, and then, incorporate some of those same elements in your more refined infinitely gradations of expression performance.

I'll see you next time. Robert Estrin here at, your online piano star.
Post a comment, question or special request:
You may: Login  or  
Otherwise, fill the form below to post your comment:
Add your name below:

Add your email below: (to receive replies, will not be displayed or shared)

For verification purposes, please enter the word MUSIC in the field below

Comments, Questions, Requests:

Mike Iltshishin on May 15, 2019 @8:56 am PST
You're transcriber wrote 'rubato' as "Roberto' haha
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on May 15, 2019 @11:40 am PST
Thank you Mike, good catch! Just fixed Smiley Face

I appreciated your notice!

All the best,
Mike Iltshishin on May 15, 2019 @1:02 pm PST
You're most welcome. Thanks for all the great videos!
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on May 16, 2019 @2:48 pm PST
It's great to know you like them! We'll keep publishing them!

Thanks again Mike Smiley Face
Questions? Problems? Contact Us.
Norton Shopping Guarantee Seal