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What do we mean by "modern piano studies"?

I know what a classical piano study consists of but when we talk about modern piano what exactly do we mean? Is it jazz music? What years of piano history are considered modern?

2 Answers

  • petr b
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Point of reference is essential to know what is meant. Since you say classical, the 'later modern music' is by era definition, music composed between 1890 - 1975, and then the more specific reference is to 'modern / contemporary style' i.e. not late romantic era or style' (All composers do not 'shift style' on cue with later assigned period / era dates :-)

    Debussy Etudes, Scriabin (at the least, because he is both 'modern and 'somewhat' but not fully 'late romantic') or something by Stravinsky, Bartok, Messiaen, George Crumb, Toru Takemitsu, etc. Even the 'minimalist' conservative harmony of Philip Glass may 'count,' but I would suggest some Glass is far less technically demanding than what might be expected.

    I.e. both modern harmony (vs. common practice harmony -- this may exclude say, 'Rachmaninoff' -- who is by date 'modern' but by style 'romantic') and a less usual configuration or less traditional way of playing the piano. The requirement is to show you are both somewhat conversant with not just modern harmony, but also with less traditional patterns of piano playing -- both ear and hands negotiating something outside the realm of the earlier periods.

    Below, if you are not familiar, are a handful of varied works. Some are quite difficult, not meant to intimidate but rather give you an idea of 'the kind of music' somewhat expected.

    John Adams ~ American Berserk

    Frederic Rzewski, "Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues,' a piece played in the 'modern / contemporary' requirement for the Van Cliburn competition by pianist Roger Wright:

    Nikolaos Skalkottas ~ Catastrophe in the Jungle

    Henry Cowell ~ (known for early innovative piano 'extended' techniques...)


    Banshee -- played exclusively with the fingers on the harp of the piano (requires a grand with the lid open, an upright will not do -- do not choose if you do not have daily access to a grand.)

    George Crumb ~ A little suite for Christmas, a series of lovely miniatures, sometimes also using extended techniques, playing the harp of the piano, etc.

    You may need nothing as 'difficult,' a short piece I recommend to essay the 'earlier end' of modern is Bartok, Microkosmos, Book V, No. 133, 'Syncopation (III)'

    Best regards.

  • 8 years ago

    when people talk about modern piano studies they might mean things such as jazz but it doesn't always have to be jazz.

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