Robert Estrin - piano expert

How to Read a Score - Part I

Few highlights on approaching a music score, from concert pianist Robert Estrin.

In this video, Robert gives you some first ideas to approach a music score. More about this in the Part II of the video.

Released on May 15, 2013

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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

Hi, I'm Robert Estrin at Today, the topic: how to approach a score. Well, there are many types of scores. There is a piano score. There's a violin score, or there's a whole orchestral score. Now if you're working on a piece that has other parts in it, chamber music, or a part of an orchestra, or a piano with other instruments, sometimes it's invaluable to see the whole score, to see how your part fits in.

Now, there are many things to look at in a score. One of the most important things is to get a sense of the key and the time, any changes that occur within the composition. So to get an overview of a piece, it can be incredibly valuable to look through the score for any type of tempo or key changes and time signature changes. More than that, if you're looking at an orchestral score, the groups of instruments and when different instruments come in, and other types of changes that occur, so you're ready for them.

If it's a piece you're playing with other musicians, you want to know what they are doing within the composition. Not just from playing with them and waiting to randomly hear them during a rehearsal but to be prepared to actually know what's going on with other instruments is great. You can listen to a recording while referencing the score. You could circle things of particular interest. And if you're not a pianist, you could try to plunk out the notes on a piano, and if you are a pianist you can play the whole score, if you're adept at that. Next week's video is how to approach an orchestral score, so I think you might want to tune in for that one as well.

Thanks for joining me, Robert Estrin, here at
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