Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Young Girl Rocks Out on Keyboard – Do You Think She Hit a Golf Ball?

Dan Everett posted shared this on his Facebook page and I thought I’d say a few words about her playing. I managed to find it on YouTube:

The commenters there identify the piece as Sonatina in D Major, Op 36, No 6 by Muzio Clementi. I wouldn’t have guessed that, but then, I simply don’t know Clementi. But that’s irrelevant.

I want to talk about her playing. Actually, I want to talk about how she uses her body. She plays with her body, as any halfway decent musician does. Look at how her upper body moves once she’s underway. That’s not merely a matter of moving her arms back and forth in front of the keyboard, it is some of that. It’s mostly keeping the groove and it’s setting the muscle tone in which her arms and fingers make the more differentiated movements that activate the keys.

Look, hear how strong her left hand is at 0:22 as she walks it back and forth. She’s leaning into it. And again at 0:34. Meanwhile the right hand is playing scalar figures.

The hands punctuate together at roughly 0:40, marking a turning point in the music. Listen to the left hand chords at 0:54, which are repeated an octave lower at 0:58 – well, not really repeated. But similar chordal figures, and she digs in. The young lady has a firm grasp of the piece’s structure and it comes out especially in her left hand. Hands together at 1:01. Look at/listen to her left hand just before the page turn and then hands together 1:05-1:09.

Now we move to the next section of the piece (I’m sure there’s a technical name for it, but I don’t know it). The left hand just keeps thumping away on a static figure – little or no motion up or down – while the right hand diddles the scalar melodic figures. And now an excursion into minor territory at 1:28. The left hand heads to the basement at 1:34.

She really digs in (left hand) 1:38-1:42, and then backs off on the volume (watch her body here), a short break and back to the beginning at 1:44.

The power at 2:04, 2:13, 2:15. Then she backs off. Watch hands and body at the end, 2:40-2:44.

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