Monthly Archives: April 2016



In the last video, Classical Period Music part 1 (check it out here), we talked about some of the important points of the Classical era, like when it was (roughly 1730-1820), homophony and the sound of Classical music, and the role of instrumental music. If you missed that video, definitely check it out!

In today’s Classical Period Music part 2, we’ll look at more of the instrumental genres that became a thing, like symphonies, sonatas, and string quartets, and the composers who innovated them. We’ll also talk about some of the developments of music toward the end of the Classical era, with the new crop of musicians like Beethoven and Schubert.

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Today’s blog post is something a little different – Brooke Neuman is here as a guest to share 10 strange facts about history’s most famous pianists. To make it extra awesome, she created an infographic. I enjoyed this post when I first came across it, and I’m sure you will too!

Now I’ll hand the mic over to Brooke.

Chances are you’ve been inspired by classical pianists such as Beethoven and Chopin.  Besides being insanely gifted musicians, however, what do you really know about these individuals?

Believe it or not, history’s most famous pianists have led pretty eclectic lives. For example, did you know that Glenn Gould wore an overcoat and gloves during each performance, even if it was 90 degrees outside?

Or that Arthur Rubinstein was a grand storyteller who spoke eight different languages, including Russian, French, Polish, and Italian? Impressive, right.

Learning about the lives of history’s most famous classical musicians will help you better connect with the music you’re playing. It’s also useful if you ever find yourself playing piano trivia with your friends!   

Want to learn more? Check out the infographic below for some more wacky facts.


Editorial-Shoot-BrookeThis infographic originally appeared on Brooke Neuman is a piano editor at TakeLessons, an online marketplace that connects thousands of teachers and students for local and live online music lessons.



I hope you enjoyed this post, and thanks again to Brooke for sharing this with us. Music history is full of all kinds of fascinating facts – it’s easy to think of history as “dry” or “boring”, but once we remember they were just strange human beings (like us), history becomes much more interesting.




Today’s episode is about Classical period music, and since there’s so much to talk about, I’ve decided to split this into two videos. Honestly this subject is so dense and interesting that we could talk about it for hours and hours, but the focus today is to get a general idea of the period, an overview.

Recently I did a two-parter video on Baroque period music, so if you like this video, you’ll probably dig that one as well. The Classical period happened right after the Baroque period, so I’m attempting to keep it linear.

Baroque Period Music, part 1
Baroque Period Music, part 2

In today’s video we’re going to cover the basics of Classical style, homophony, and instrumental music.

In the second part, we’ll talk about some of the genres that were innovated in the Classical period, such as the symphony, and how the music shifted in tone toward the end of the classical period.

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In today’s tutorial on Mozart’s Minuet in F Major, K2, we’re going to smoosh together some learning points from previous videos. We’re going to dissect this difficult grade 1-level piece and look at the theory behind it, then figure out how to play it.

Here is the sheet music PDF for Minuet in F Major:
Minuet in F Major sheet music
*There are several versions on this page – I prefer the one at the very bottom, by Pierre Gouin.

Let’s get started!

Cover tiny file
look inside
Notebook for Nannerl
Piano. Composed by Leopold Mozart (1719-1787). Edited by Stefan Simon. Schott. Classical. Softcover. 80 pages. Schott Music #ED9006. Published by Schott Music (HL.49008268).

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In today’s episode of PianoTV, we’ll be building on all the chord information we’ve learned to far, and putting it all together with this episode about How to Read a Lead Sheet.

All the chord videos we’ve done – major and minor, 7 chords, diminished chords and suspended chords – can be found by following the links, so if there’s anything you’re a little lost with in this video, you can check those out and get caught up.

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Today we’re going to head back into the world of chords, and learn how to play suspended chords.

We’ve done several chord videos in the past, like how to play major and minor chords, diminished chords, all kinds of 7 chords, and inverting chords. Definitely check out the links if you need a refresher.

All of those chords, plus today’s video on how to play suspended chords, will play a role in the next video (just a head’s up!)
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Today’s video tackles the common melody embellishment, the appoggiatura. What is an appoggiatura? How do they work, and how do you pronounce them? We’ll figure that all out today, without getting way too technical.

In a previous video a long time ago, we talked about how to harmonize a melody with thirds and sixths, to make the melody sound more interesting and complex. If you missed that video, definitely check it out.

Today, we’re going to talk some more about melody writing. Writing a melody is a huge and complex topic, so my approach is to chip away at it one piece at a time.

So the specific topic we’ll be looking at today is a crazy word called an “appoggiatura” (uh-poj-uh-TOO-rah). I specifically want to look at this concept because it’ll be a feature in the next tutorial we do.
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Today’s video is a pretty straight-forward and simple one, but it’s something I see done wrong all the time – and that is note stem direction.

As musicians, we read a lot of music, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we know how to notate it. This video doesn’t get into songwriting in the general sense – we’ll go there another day. Instead, let’s talk about how to literally write notes on the music staff.
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Today, as a follow-up to our discussion on Baroque music (part 1 and part 2 can be found by clicking the links), I thought it would make sense to do a tutorial video on a Baroque composition – specifically, a Telemann Fantasia in G Minor.

This Telemann piece is at around a grade 1 level. It’s actually a smaller part of a larger composition – basically, we’re just going to learn a section from the full fantasia.

In this video, we’ll look at the backstory of the piece, hear it on the piano (sheet music is linked below), and do a quick musical analysis to make it easier to play. Let’s get started!
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