Scarlatti Toccata in D minor with rapid fire repeated notes: Melodic contouring, dusting the keys, and slow motion replay (VIDEOS)

Here’s my anti-anxiety solution to playing those demanding, rapid-fire repeated notes in Scarlatti’s D minor Toccata.

First, being a technology nerd, I never dreamed I could master a slow motion replay on iMac’s iMovie, but through trial and error, I managed a half-speed rendering of the opener. Naturally, I deleted my sadly depressing droning voice that would have curbed the enthusiasm of players geared up for the Scarlatti challenge.

Essentially, I framed the bullet-fire repeated notes in real time, then slowed them up on the re-take. (A golden teaching moment, perhaps?)

Regardless, if you have to face the music, deal with it like I did, one clip at a time. (Just a reminder to use fingers 3,2,1, 3,2,1 for the repeaters)

Major Bullet Points:

1) Think MELODY through the dizzying repeated notes. There’s no time to count how many you miss. (You’re only human, so cut yourself some slack)

2) Let your arms completely relax– poof, they’re on puppet strings, or maybe if you’re the domestic type, let them hang over a clothesline, pleasantly suspended.

3) In the same spirit, make believe you’re doing some house cleaning and dust the keys, shaking loose your wrists.

Now take good mental notes and store them in your MUSCLE memory box as paradoxical as this may sound.

A snatch of Scarlatti with slow-motion replay.


Don’t expect a beat up old clunker with squeaks, squawks, and stiff, sticking keys to do the job!

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: OR or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
This entry was posted in arioso7, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, musical phrasing and breathing, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, pianist, pianists, piano, piano addict, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessson, piano pedagogy, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, piano repertoire, piano student, piano teacher, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, piano world-wide,,, pianoworld,, playing piano, playing repeated notes on the piano, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Scarlatti Toccata in d minor k. 141, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, word press, word, wordpress,, you tube, you tube video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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