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Musical phrasing.

Playing the piano is far more than just playing correctly.

Correctness = getting the right pitch + rhythm+ tempo.

Maybe even add seasoning = dynamics, articulation.

That’s just sound.

We want to make music.

We must read beyond the score, and try to find out the hidden meaning, the deeper meaning.

What does the music try to express? What do YOU want to express in and through the music?

We need interpretation.

Music is very similar to a language.

There is grammar in a language: noun, pronoun, subject, object, adjective, tense, paragraph. Punctuation mark.

The same goes for music: downbeat, upbeat, melody, rhythm, harmony, phrasing, section. Rest.

Punctuation marks = rests.

They are very important and powerful. They denotes pause, separation (finishing and starting) of different ideas, suspension, expectation. But they are ignored by too many and their significance is largely diminished unfortunately.

Therefore, read carefully. Read the details. Think about how to play that note, that rest. And how to express its particular meaning in the context.

Musical Phrasing I (Read beyond the notes, phrasing, rests):

Emphasis on words = Emphasis on notes
We choose to emphasize a word and that emphasis denotes a particular meaning.

(from the song “In an unusual way”, from the musical “Nine”)

I think I am in love with you.
I think I am in love with you.
I think I am in love with you.
I think I am in love with you.
I think I am in love with you.

The same goes for emphasis on a particular note. That’s where our interpretation makes a difference. And that’s musical phrasing/musicality.

Listen to how I play the first phrase of Chopin’s Mazurka Op.17/No.2 here:

Musical Phrasing II (music = language, grammar, emphasis on words/notes):

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