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Kabalevsky’s “A Game” is a delightful way to practice staccato (Videos)

Dimitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987) composed a winner for late elementary and early intermediate level students. While playing “A GAME,” they learn a bouncy staccato with light interspersed accents on downbeats. How refreshing to weave technique into a musical romp that moves along with a “feeling of one main impulse per bar.”

According to notes found in Alfred’s An Introduction to Kabalevky’s Piano Music, “No modern composer has concerned himself with writing original compositions especially for the young piano student than Kabalevksy. His short pieces, composed almost invariably to deal with specific problems of piano pedagogy, are always spontaneous, full of fresh sounds and musical witticisms, rhythmically interesting and often surprising, and fun to play.”

“A Game,” Op. 39 No. 5 is no exception.

Kabalevsky advises the player to have a loose wrist, drop to the bottom of the key-bed for each note and release it instantly. Embedded accents should be “emphasized only slightly.”

My video tutorial fleshes out a step-wise approach to practicing “A Game” that includes blocking intervals and chords as part of a layered-learning process.

My two readings follow: (Why not enjoy a replay!)

Another Staccato romp by William Gillock that pairs nicely with Kabalevsky’s Op. 39 Children’s Pieces

Both composers wrote “Clowns” pieces



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