19th Century music, Burgmuller Inquietude, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, music history, music teachers association of california, music theory, musicology, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire for intermediate level students, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, Theory, Twenty five Progressive pieces by Burgmuller, uk-piano-forums, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video

Piano Instruction: Flexible wrist, rolling forward motion for shaping groups of notes in Burgmuller’s “Inquietude” (VIDEO)

I’ve chosen Burgmuller’s E minor “Inquietude” (Restlessness) from the composer’s Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, to demonstrate a spring forward movement of the wrist used with groupings of three slurred 16th notes that permeate the selection.

I also enlist syllables, “da-lee-dle” to assist with shaping the 3-note figures.

The Schirmer edition is below. I use Palmer/Alfred which doesn’t have accented notes in the bass, just staccato entries.

(Note that the Left Hand plays through the treble rests on the first and second beats) “da-lee-dle” refers to the three note right hand, slurred figures that occur between beats.

TREBLE LINE: rest da-lee-dle, rest da-lee-dle rest da-lee-dle rest daleedle, etc

There’s a slight leaning on the second syllable (lee)

Practicing should begin in slow motion.

(When all is said and done the piece will fly by rapidly, but just the same, in the fast tempo, there must be phrase shaping, an understanding of harmonic rhythm, and a supple wrist motion propelling the music along)

The Left hand triads are springboards into the three note 16th figures so the interdependency is evident. Chordal resolutions from Sub-dominant to Tonic, or from Dominant to Tonic suggest a shaping down. Think LEAN/resolve in these measures.

In the video I demonstrate the need for a supple wrist that should move forward through the three note 16th groupings. It should start its motion from a lower position in order to move forward. (but not too low) If the wrist is too high, there’s no room to go forward. That’s why self analysis is an important component of practicing.

I often recommend starting with the Bass (left hand), being aware of the flow and resolution of chords. The tonic “e” minor chord followed by the sub-dominant “a” minor (in second inversion) suggest a LEAN on the sub-dominant and a relaxation to the tonic (e minor)

In the G Major middle section, a G Major chord is followed by a G diminished chord, which suggests a slight leaning on the diminished and a relaxation to the G Major triad.

After concerted slow practicing, a faster tempo should be approached GRADUALLY.

Even up to tempo, wrist pliancy is always needed and the forward motion remains, though attenuated.

Intertwined with the technical demands of this piece, is the requirement to play expressively in the Romantic genre.

3 thoughts on “Piano Instruction: Flexible wrist, rolling forward motion for shaping groups of notes in Burgmuller’s “Inquietude” (VIDEO)”

  1. Your tutorial is very insightful.Like it very much. Seriously, Can you publish a study guide (DVD) on Burgmuller’s? His work is very popular among the students all over the world.


    1. Hi Li, Thanks for your kind comments. No, I haven’t thought about a Burgmuller DVD.. at least not as yet.
      I remember performing OP.100 in total as the opener of a concert…something most pianists wouldn’t think to do,.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.