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Piano Performance Standards

        Each semester, students will be expected to master a minimum of four repertoire items appropriate to their level of study. These pieces must belong to the standard classical repertoire. Normally, at least two historical periods will be represented. Exceptions will be made for those semesters in which an extended work is in progress or a specialized area of repertoire is being pursued. Repertoire items should be contrasting and complementary in terms of their technical and musical challenges. At least one of these selections must be learned from memory. Those students who are fulfilling their departmental piano proficiency requirement through applied lessons are expected to satisfy this requirement by the end of their fourth semester of applied study (i.e. second semester, sophomore year), at which time a comprehensive piano proficiency exam will be administered by their applied instructor. In addition to repertoire requirements and keyboard theory skills, students will be responsible for assigned technical studies each semester. At an end-of-semester jury, students will asked to perform one piece from memory and one other selection chosen from their repertoire list by the jury members. The eight semester program of study will be distributed as follows:

Note: The following guidelines represent minimum standards. Students who enter the program with advanced skills and repertoire, as assessed by their applied instructor, will be expected to develop according to their particular abilities.

During their Freshman year, students will normally study eighteenth century dance movements and sonatinas and nineteenth or twentieth century miniatures. Repertoire assignments will be supplemented with appropriate technical exercises and assignments relating to the departmental piano proficiency requirement.

In their Sophomore year, students will normally be expected to move beyond the sonatina level to the mastery of full-fledged Classical sonatas. They will also be assigned a representative sample of American art music from the Federalist era to the present. Repertoire assignments will be supplemented with appropriate technical exercises and students will be expected to complete their piano proficiency requirement.

During their Junior year, students will explore repertoire at the level of the Two Part Inventions of J. S. Bach and move from the Romantic miniature to Romantic character pieces and twentieth century works of comparable difficulty. Appropriate technical exercises from Part III of Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist will be stressed.

In their Senior year, students will be expected to master at least one movement from a Beethoven sonata and/or a Baroque/Classical concerto. At this stage, work on more peripheral repertoire items (e.g. transcriptions or ensemble music) may be undertaken. Piano performance majors will emphasize senior recital preparation and continue to work on appropriate technical studies.

Freshman Year, Semester I:

1) Sample repertoire: A Clementi Sonatina (complete) and three Romantic miniatures

2) Scales & Chord Inversions: CMm (harmonic) - Gmm, D Mm - (hands together, parallel motion, one octave, minimum tempo requirement MM. eighth note = 60 2

3) Five-finger exercise, hands separately (Placing the thumb on middle C, hold down five consecutive keys. Beginning with the thumb, stroke each key ten times while continuing to depress the keys with those fingers that are not playing. In C and C-sharp

Freshman Year, Semester II:

1) Sample repertoire: a Baroque dance movement and three miniatures, two from the nineteenth and one from the twentieth century

2) Scales & Chord Inversions (same format as above): A Mm - E Mm - BMm

3) Finger independence: Depress five consecutive keys. Beginning with either the thumb or the little finger, play an arpeggiated triad while continuing to depress the keys that are not involved. Then reverse the pattern by depressing the triad while playing the remaining two pitches comprising a minor third. C, C-sharp

Sophomore Year, Semester I:

1) Sample repertoire: R. Schumann's Sonata for the Young No. 1, Op. 118a (complete) or at least two movements from a Sonata by Haydn or Mozart

2) Scales and Chords (same format): Fmm, B-flat Mm, E-flat Mm

3) Technique: Major 7th arpeggio, same octave, hands separately, and hands together in both parallel and contrary motion

4) Transposition: major key melody in all keys up to and including four sharps & four flats

Sophomore Year, Semester II:

1) Sample repertoire: American music (Reinegle, Hewitt, Carr, Paine, Gottschalk, MacDowell, Hanson, Copland, Barber etc.)

2) Scales and Chords: A-flat Mm, D-flat Mm, G-flat Mm (harmonic minor, one octave, hands together, MM. eighth note = 60)

3) Technique: Major 7th chord, hands separately, two octaves, C, C-sharp

4) Transposition: minor key melody in all keys up to and including four sharps & four flats


Junior Year, Semester I: Students should purchase The Virtuoso Pianist (Hanon)
Part III

1) Sample repertoire: J. S. Bach Two-Part Inventions, Impressionist character piece, 20th century character pieces or miniatures (other than American)

2) Rhythmic exercise (complex rhythms): the middle section of Brahm's Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2 3

3) Technique: parallel intervals (double thirds): Hanon exercise # 50, etc.

4) Wrist exercise: Hanon # 48, etc.

5) Scales & arpeggios: Mm, minimum two octaves

Junior Year, Semester II:

1) Sample Repertoire: a substantial, single-movement Romantic character piece (Schumann's Arabesque, an early Chopin Polonaise, or a Brahms Intermezzo exclusive of Op. 118 No. 2, Rhapsody, or Ballade) Three of the following: Bartok - Six Rumanian Folk Dances (complete) Gershwin - Preludes (complete) Shostakovich - Preludes & Fugues Howard Hanson - Three Miniatures (complete)

2) Technique (parallel intervals): Hanon #49, etc.

3) Technique (complex rhythms): Debussy Arabesque No. 1, opening, etc.

4) Technique (octaves): Hanon #51 etc., l.h. broken octaves (stationary repetitions & C scale)

5) Scales & arpeggios: Mm, minimum two octaves

Senior Year, Semester I:

1) Sample repertoire: J. S. Bach, a Prelude and Fugue from W. T. C, at least two movements from a Sonata by Beethoven (exclusive of the Op. 49 Sonatas), and/or a movement of a student concerto.

2) Technique (Parallel chords): passages from Beethoven's Sonata Op. 2 No. 3, Movt. IV, etc.

3) Technique (widely spaced textures): Prokovief - Op. 65 No. 1 "Morning," etc.

4) Technique (voicing): Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2 (chorale section), etc.

5) Scales & arpeggios: Mm, minimum two octaves

Senior Year, Semester II:

1) Sample repertoire: Complete the Beethoven Sonata started in the previous semester, Brahms Intermezzo Op, 118 No. 2 (complete), and either a piano ensemble items or two unorthodox selections, e.g. music from the Renaissance or a transcription

2) Technique (leap exercise): C scale, hands separately, pitch repetition between thumb and little finger with a two octave spread, in rhythm, MM. eighth note = 60, plus except from cadenza of Beethoven Op. 2 No. 3, Movt. I

3) Senior recital prep (optional except for piano performance majors) 4

4) Scales & arpeggios: Mm, minimum two octaves


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