Deborah Rambo Sinn
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Deborah Rambo Sinn

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Is Seeing Believing? Rhythm It’s happened to you, too, hasn’t it?  You look at your student’s score and realize that there is a typo – a wrong note, bad accidental, or a phrase marking that doesn’t make sense. Aren’t there many elements that catch us by surprise, though? How literally

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Is Seeing Believing? Articulation Imperfect composers work in the imperfect medium of notation in order to pass on their ideas to us – the imperfect performers. However, performers, pedagogues, theoreticians, and historians, argue incessantly about the finest definitions of articulation, ornamentation, notation, and rhythm. Funny, isn’t it? While vigorous mental

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Currently, I am working on Poulenc’s first Novelette (C Major). It is a glorious work, which nearly shouts for massive amounts of rubato. There are several problems with this, though. According to many sources, Poulenc did not care for rubato and complained about pianists who ignored his metronome markings. The

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Here’s a beloved Clementi Sonatina (hands raised by anyone who has not played this). As kids, we were probably wowed by the fast scales, something I still observe in my students to this day. However, we probably all missed the importance of the bass line! Here, I’ve highlighted a few

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The author jumps into the deep end of the interpretation pool. What was Mozart thinking when he wrote phrase markings the way he did? To play with the breaks occurring at the ends of measures is simply choppy and inelegant. I’ve looked at hundreds of pieces and believe these to

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Years ago I heard a recital by harpsichordist Elizabeth Wright at Indiana University and subsequently had an impromptu lesson with her on a Bach concerto I was playing. I was in graduate school at the time and had been taught up to that time that good taste dictates almost no

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I was given this question to answer by Elisa Russell for the Facebook page, The Piano Curriculum. “I am at a loss teaching Impressionistic pieces, I need help! As my students are advancing, I want them to play these pieces, but do not know how to explain “impressionism” correctly. I

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Do you consider the score to be the starting point or the infallible last word of the composer? I know musicians who think one way or the other or something in between. What’s your starting point? When you consider learning a new piece and pick up a new score, how do

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Prepared for MusicNorthwest’s Adult Chamber Music Camp Some Tips to Keep You Sane When You Are Short on Rehearsal Time! Over the years, I’ve maintained several chamber music partnerships spanning many miles. My current one, with a violinist living in Pittsburgh, involves a 2,630 mile separation! When we get together,

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Melody isn’t always the compelling force driving music forward. Have you ever wondered what it is about the first movement of the Moonlight sonata that is so compelling? Its melody is unremarkable and excruciatingly dull if played alone. The rhythm provides no contrast throughout the piece and is equally unexciting. So

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