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Thread: Pedal Exercise by CPE Bach

  1. #1
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Pedal Exercise by CPE Bach

    Hmmm, another exercise for pedals. If you were good at the splits or Twister as a teen then this should proove no diffculty.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Hmm indeed. Owes more than a little debt to Dad there. Baroque purists would probably insist that it be played all toes which is not impossible - certainly on the 1st page, but on the 2nd page, I for one would very much appreciate some help from the heel. I've also noticed before that CPE had this curious fondness for having a leading note fall to a tonic rather than rise to it - and in a couple of places in this exercise, it fairly plummets!
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I'm not entirely convinced this would have been executed "toes only", the middle passage (which is rather like the first solo 'cello suite's prelude) looks like it was intended for heel to toe training. Hard to know, really.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Aye, could well be. I'd certainly use both ends of the foot too, but I'm sure there are some people out there who would trace some historical evidence about whatever organ CPE was using, and what sort of pedalboard it was. I once watched John O'Donnell play the pedal solo in JSB's Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on the Adelaide Walker all toes from start to finish because he was so used to playing the Ahrend in Blackwood Hall. I recall being quite surprised the first time I played the Ahrend because there are a notable number of "manoeuvres" wherein I found it awkward to use the heel in places where I would do so quite instinctively on a (now standard) radiating concave board.

    I guess an analogy might be brass players performing pieces originally written for valveless instruments - if it's easier to execute with the valves even though one doesn't have to, should they or shouldn't they?

    In regard to pedalling, I for one have never been fussed. Whatever works for the player.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    It's interesting to see how a straight pedal board influences the style of playing. I find that it increases the demand for toe, heel in the extremities, wheas a radiating and concave allows more toe ,toe use in the extremities... given the 'correct' historical methods, this strikes me as odd.

    Also a CC to F compas in a straight pedal board makes the 'knees together' business very difficult except in the middle register. As already said by Soubasse, I'm all for what suits the player/instrument.

  6. #6
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    I may have strange outlook but I think whatever entails the Best Performace of the pieceis the most important factor for each individual organist ( just look at videos on youtube).as well as the instrument involved with the performance...not any techniques that may be applied.( knee position, heel/toe,moving around the bench etc etc) There will always be schools of thought as too what is best etc etc etc..... to me bottom line is: production of musicical sound as the composer may have entended it to be played...not how you got there!!!! My 2 cents. I teach basic techniques from different schools and try and help student decide what works best for him/her to perform within their physical, mental abilities.

  7. #7
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I assume if you're vertically challenged (dwarf or, what is it they prefer to be called nowadays?) then organ won't be a desirable instrument really
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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