by Professor Alan Belkin

Lesson 1C - Transcribing a Piano Accompaniment

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Comments from Professor Belkin on Example No. 1C:

In this, our first version with string orchestra, the arpeggios are rendered more or less literally in cello and 1st violin. From measure 6 on,the first violins have an independant part (so as not to drop out completely). Note that the basses HOLD the notes of the bass line, in an attempt to imitate the piano pedal resonance.

There are some problems:

- Resonance should normally be in the same register as the main lines, but in a weaker timbre. Placing it in the bass, as here, makes the
result bottom-heavy, and, worse, leaves no resonance for the upper notes.
- strings playing legato will SING. The piano arpeggios now sound like melodies, instead of accompaniment.

Assignment: Try another version, for string orchestra, which fixes these problems.

©Alan Belkin, 2006