Robert Estrin - piano expert
Visit Robert's Website: livingpiano.com

Robert Estrin - Meet The Piano Expert

Got questions about the piano? Post your questions, get your answers

Robert Estrin shares his piano expertise with our audience.

Released on March 20, 2012

  
Share |
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.
Post a comment, question or special request:
You may: Login as a Member  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




Daniel Tsukamoto on July 12, 2017 @2:12 pm PST
Hello Mr Estrin! I saw you on YouTube, where you explained how to properly play section A of Polonaise, Op 40, Nr 1 by Chopin. As a pianist receiving a Master of Music in piano performance almost 22 years ago, I never thought about using the arms in conjunction with the wrists. What is the easiest way to memorize this piece without experiencing blackouts during performances? I am curious.
reply
Robert - host, on July 13, 2017 @1:27 pm PST
One of the best ways to solidify memory is practicing away from the piano. Here is an article and video on this subject: http://livingpianos.com/how-to-play-piano/how-do-you-play-the-piano-with-your-mind/
adria taylor on July 10, 2017 @6:25 pm PST
Hi. Robert. A few questions for you.

Whenever i sit at my keyboard, I always find I'm either too far or too close. But I am relatively short, just 5'0" How do I find that in between position of not being too far or too close?

Also, I am learning tetrachords in piano lessons.I know tetrachords are a scale of four notes, the interval between the first and last being a perfect fourth. What more can you tell me about tetrachords? Could you made a video on tetrachords in the future? Thanks.

A little feedback. I've always liked it when you did videos from a bird's eye-view, it made it easier for me to see how it's done and made it easier for me to understand it compared to from a side view. Thanks.
reply
Robert - host, on July 13, 2017 @3:05 pm PST
Here is a video which shows how to sit at the piano: http://livingpianos.com/how-to-play-piano/how-to-sit-at-the-piano-best-piano-sitting-position/

Tetrachords are more important to understand for string players since the two halves of the major scale have the same whole-step/half-step arrangement. I will consider making a video on this subject.

We utilize bird's eye view when seeing which notes are depressed is important. The side view is better to understand the use of the wrist in piano playing which is difficult to discern from above.
adria taylor on July 14, 2017 @10:16 pm PST
Thank you for replying.

OK. I did watch the video. I will have to take what was shown in the video and use it to find that in between position at the keyboard.

Thank you! really appreciate it. really hope you do.

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my posted question, means a lot to hear from you.
Osama Elkhawad on July 5, 2017 @10:53 am PST
Hi Robert

I found two contradicting statements with regard to counterpoint in Mozart Sonata # 16.

one time you admitted that there is a "counterpoint" when you wrote:
Yes, there are many examples of counterpoint in the Mozart Sonata in C major K 545. The development section of the first movement (after the double bar and repeat sign) has some back and forth musical lines between the hands which is one example of counterpoint

but in a different place, you denied that, when you wrote the following:

However, not all polyphonic music utilizes counterpoint for example, if you’re playing Mozart you have a clear melody and harmony. In the famous C major sonata K545 you have a melody in the right hand but only broken chords in the left hand. The left hand by itself doesn’t really have much of a melody to it, it’s simply an accompaniment to the right hand melody. The same is true in Chopin’s E minor Prelude – you have clear delineation between the parts in the right and the left hands – one is the melody and the other is the harmony which supports it. These are not examples of counterpoint even though they are polyphonic (more than one note at a time).

How can we make these contradicting statements consistent?

Respectfully
Osama Ahmed
reply
Robert - host, on July 6, 2017 @12:13 pm PST
Yes, the Mozart Sonata K. 545 in C-major has parts that demonstrate counterpoint well and other parts that feature polyphonic music which has clearly delineated melody and supportive harmonies which are not classic examples of counterpoint which have competing melodies of equal importance.
Margaret on June 27, 2017 @12:20 pm PST
Hi where can I buy sheetmusic crossoverhands Mary had a litte Lamb
reply
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on June 28, 2017 @2:40 am PST
Hi Margaret. At the moment we don't have a version for piano four hands of Mary had a little lamb, I am very sorry about that. We'll consider to get it published in the next future.

Please, let me know if you have any further questions or requests, I will be happy to assist you.
Margaret on June 29, 2017 @4:54 am PST
Hi thanx for your help anyway. Maybe you will have this info later
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on June 29, 2017 @8:24 am PST
You are very welcome Margaret. Glad to help, at any time.
Music is my live on June 10, 2017 @11:50 am PST
Dear Mr. Robert Estrin
Greetings ,,,,
have a nice day.
Related to Counterpoint , can you please advise me if there is any type of counterpoint in Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 16 in C, K. 545 ???
If any , can you please advice in witch time exactly ???
Thank you in advance for your kind help and explanations.
reply
Robert Estrin - host, on June 10, 2017 @12:53 pm PST
Yes, there are many examples of counterpoint in the Mozart Sonata in C major K 545. The development section of the first movement (after the double bar and repeat sign) has some back and forth musical lines between the hands which is one example of counterpoint.

In the last movement, there is some interesting counterpoint starting around measure 41. Strictly speaking, most polyphonic writing utilizes counterpoint in one form or another.
Music is my live on June 11, 2017 @9:37 am PST
Dear Sir

Thank you for your kind help and reply.

Your information help me a lot.

really thank you.
Hatim Ibrahim on June 11, 2017 @12:55 pm PST
Hi Bob
Do those examples necessarily classify the Sonata K 545 as a contrapuntally composed piece?

In other words, in what sense should those harmonic progressions be described other than counterpoint?

Since Ref. http://livingpianos.com/general/what-is-counterpoint quotes:" These are not examples of counterpoint even though they are polyphonic (more than one note at a time)."
Hatim Ibrahim on June 14, 2017 @11:17 am PST
Any updates?
Robert - host, on June 26, 2017 @11:39 am PST
Counterpoint and harmony cover 2 different aspects of music. Harmony is the vertical rendering of chords. The way the individual notes within the chords progress linearly from one to the next involves counterpoint. Counterpoint is a deep subject. Simple 4-part harmony (as in Bach Chorale writing) is an example of counterpoint. Fugues are a more complex example of counterpoint. A melody played over chords (or broken chords as in alberti bass in Mozart) involves very simple counterpoint. It isn't really a good example of counterpoint since there is clearly a melody and harmony instead of equal voices. But technically it is a simple form of counterpoint. It's good to analyze and appreciate music for what it is rather than to get hung up on the words used to describe it.
Abubakr abbas on June 2, 2017 @1:55 am PST
Dear Sir,
What is the different between Counterpoint and Counter-melody?
If somebody says: any counter-melody is a counterpoint, is this academically correct?
Thanks,
Abubakr abbas
reply
Robert Estrin - host, on June 2, 2017 @4:01 pm PST
Counterpoint is the global term for polyphonic music which is built upon the weaving of independent lines. Counter-melody is one example of counterpoint.
Ken Cory * VSM MEMBER * on May 12, 2017 @4:44 pm PST
Do you have any tips on how to maintain our repertoire (how to keep many pieces ready to play, or nearly so)?
reply
Robert Estrin - host, on May 13, 2017 @2:10 pm PST
Yes, here is an article and video which should help you:

http://livingpianos.com/music-lessons/how-do-you-maintain-a-musical-repertoire/
Norman Kaye * VSM MEMBER * on May 10, 2017 @9:24 am PST
Hello Robert,
Here's something that puzzles me.
Do electronic pianos need regular tuning, do they go off key?
reply
Ken Cory * VSM MEMBER * on May 12, 2017 @4:55 pm PST
Fully electronic pianos, also known as digital pianos, never need tuning. Electroacoustic pianos, such as the 1970's stalwarts the Fender Rhodes, the Honer Clavinet, and the Yamaha electric baby grand, did need tuning, because they had mechanical parts (tines, strings, etc). In my opinion, modern digital pianos could benefit from some subtle *detuning*! One slightly sour note would add so much to the realism of the experience!
John Brooks on May 3, 2017 @8:26 am PST
Hi, Robert,

Do you have a segment describing how you film/record these episodes? I was watching Burgmulller 4 and would like to know how you get the music to appear and etc. It is a marvelous way to teach.

Thanks,

John Brooks (jonalin@reyespoijnt.com)
M&H 25254 CC2
reply
Robert Estrin - host, on May 4, 2017 @5:01 pm PST
Our production has expanded considerably over the years. Here is an article and video showing how we produced our videos in early 2013:

http://livingpianos.com/piano-questions/piano-questons-production-equipment-the-camera-and-audio-recorder-i-use/

As for the notation, that is the magic of Virtual Sheet Music!
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on May 4, 2017 @5:04 pm PST
Thank you Robert for the link, but I think John was asking about the sheet music examples superimposed on the video itself.

John, those examples are made by Virtual Sheet Music in post-production by using in-home software and techniques.

If you are interested in more information, please, let me know. Glad to know you like the videos and you find them valuable for teaching music!
Abby.M on April 28, 2017 @10:30 am PST
Dear Sir,

I really enjoyed your videos on YouTube about how to play and pedal Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. They really helped.

Similarly, I would like to know how to pedal Beethoven's 'Appassionata' Sonata (Opus 57, No 23). When and how should I use the damper pedal and una corda pedal, especially for the first and third movements. Thank you for the great videos and explanation.
reply
Robert Estrin - host, on April 29, 2017 @11:33 am PST
That's a deep subject! Here is an in depth video I did years ago on pedaling: http://livingpianos.com/how-to-play-piano/how-to-use-the-pedal-on-the-piano-keyboard-kaleidoscope-robert-estrin/
Questions? Problems? Contact Us.