Three Studies

for solo piano

The score of Three Studies can be purchased from Sheet Music Plus.
Listen to live recordings of Three Studies performed by Korean Pianist Jieun Shin at these links:
Study No. 1
Study No. 2
Study No. 3

These colorful pieces function both as compositional studies and piano études. While each one develops the same pitch and interval relationships, each one also focuses on a different pianistic idea or technique as follows:

In this piece, flowing arpeggios mutate into different chords before they are finished. Part of the pianistic challenge is being aware of when notes of the arpeggios change and adjusting to unexpected harmonic mutations. As the arpeggios sometime cross over the simple melodic/rhythmic motive that accompanies them, fingering might also present occasional challenges.

This is a slow study, which may seem odd for a pianistic étude. It’s not a workout for the fingers, but a workout for the ear and for touch. The full keyboard range is used (with much pedal) to create wide reverberating colors made of non-traditional pitch combinations. Players need to listen carefully to all the notes and decide how to balance and shade each color combination on this very large pallet.

Two aspects of this study are immediately identifiable: 1) the rhythm is unpredictable and 2) it relies on well-articulated repetition of the notes C and Db. While these two pitches (and a few others) play important roles in the previous two studies too, here they become an obsessive part of a pianistic “workout”. Other notes and chords appear both above and below them, opening up the music to a wider range of harmonic colors.

(performance time ca. 9 minutes)

This work was funded by the National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan (ROC)

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