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Messages - Raymondbl

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Help! / Re: Improving at Playing Piano
« on: April 19, 2015, 04:40:41 AM »
Crescendos and decrescendos and other types of phrasing are abstract terms that generally represent increases or decreases in volume. While I still don't think you should know "when to use them," I do think that you should know about them, and other theoretical terms, like cadences and German sixths. Knowing about them and exploring them can strengthen your musical sensitivity because it exposes and impresses you with a wider variety of feelings.
Also, I think that when you consciously decide on using certain patterns, it's harder to improvise and come up with different interpretations to play.
If you have a microphone and want to converse about this with your piano at your side, add me on skype: raymondbliu

Off-Topic / Re: Super cool NSM tinychat!
« on: April 19, 2015, 12:13:27 AM »
I'll be on, doing some improvisation for the next half an hour to an hour. I have to practice doing it in front of people.
edit: off. You guys missed an awesome improvisation.

Help! / Re: Improving at Playing Piano
« on: April 17, 2015, 10:45:04 AM »
If you don't get it, no worries. It's something that comes more over time.

As far as that PoV being too academic- Think of it as... I don't know, lets say martial arts versus street fighting. If you train it badly, the wrong way, train at a crap dojo, then common sense and experience will of course win out. But if you train somewhere really good, you'll be above all the people simply relying on what they already know how to do.
Not an exact metaphor. Hopefully it got the point across.
I don't find it to be formulaic at all, more like, "Oh, I can use this here!" or, "this next phrase is a big moment, let's crescendo up to it! Or, I could die away first and make it a big surprise!"
If you simply think of music as a message you have to relay, often our interpretitive choices get a little dry, and stay within the same range of feelings- you can only communicate a feeling of majesty so many ways by thinking about as big and grandiose, but thinking about it as a nationalistic dance is different :)
Ehh, that metaphor isn't that good because the difference between martial arts and street fighting would be more similar to the difference between practicing only pieces and practicing scales/finger exercises. When I think martial arts vs. street fighting, I think technical precision. And a strong technical base is crucial towards translating your feelings to the keyboard.

I find it the opposite - by having the mindset of "using" a certain type of phrasing, the range of feelings is severely limited, because it's not a feeling anymore. It's just a crescendo, or it's just a decrescendo - the original meaning, the nuances of that crescendo or decrescendo is lost.

Many times, a single phrase can portray accurately its meaning even when you think to use one thing here, or another thing here. But then, when the exact same formula (exact same rubato timing, exact same dynamic change) is applied to every single instance of the phrase, regardless of the context of those instances (what comes before, what comes after), the effect is lost and it sounds like just a formula.

Other times, you know from the beginning that this guy is using such a cliche rubato when the mood doesn't match up with the rubato that he's not feeling the music and only using a formula.

While this is likely an exaggeration, it is said that some great musicians never play the same piece the same way twice. I think that's because their playing is influenced by the particular mood they're feeling at the moment.

This debate is so subjective that it can't really be decided. I think comparisons of these two types interpretations on a single piece of music could help demonstrate both our points.

edit: I agree with you on the majestic tone/nationalistic dance thing, but that could support either of our arguments - the pianist could feel it as having a noble character, or he/she could play it with a prideful character, depending on his/her preference and current state of mind.

Help! / Re: Improving at Playing Piano
« on: April 17, 2015, 02:06:31 AM »
Many men have tried.

Many men have died.
I don't doubt it. :P In fact, tell me via thread or pm if you have improv time this weekend and what time, because I can't wait. nice parallelism and rhyming, btw

Help! / Re: Improving at Playing Piano
« on: April 16, 2015, 06:19:29 AM »
I realize that this is already mostly answered, but I would also add one thing.
In classical music, a piece (especially in romantic literature) is largely made beautiful by the using of phrasing; that is, distinguishing musical ideas. But one musical idea should also lead into or come out of another- my teacher's teacher, in London, would say "Ugh, Booring" when someone just played through two or more phrases without dynamic variance.
At the end of a phrase, you can either crescendo into the next phrase, or die away (decrescendo, or, more accurately, smorzando). Usually, dying away is used often in Chopin when approaching cadences, and such.. Then you get into different interpretations of which is appropriate, and that's a whole different ballpark, but you can use those as general guidelines.
Hope this helped!
     I strongly dislike point of view because it tends to be formulaic. You can't "use" a "dying away." You can't decide for yourself what is "appropriate." Instead, the music is just a message that you have to relay.

When you speak, you don't consciously decide or debate to use a certain inflection, do you? No - it comes naturally. The same can be said with music. The difference between speaking and playing an instrument, however, is that we can easily translate our feelings into our speech, but not so much into music.
Although we might feel the message of music a certain way, it's technically difficult to translate that message through your fingers and into the music.
This is because we're "practicing" speech pretty much all day, every day, but we practice music only rarely. Practice reinforces the technical relationship between our minds and the instrument so we can express ourselves more accurately.

I just pretend to know what I'm doing. I actually have no great love for the piano. It seems to work.
We should have a tinychat improvisation battle sometime in the summer.

Help! / Re: Improving at Playing Piano
« on: April 15, 2015, 04:06:07 AM »
I regularly practiced piano 8 - 10 hours a day until recently, when I switched focus to computer programming. At that time, I also cancelled my lessons.

So, I've had to teach myself. That's the ultimate goal of a teacher - to get you to the point where you can teach yourself. And the key to being able to teach yourself is having a set of basic principles as a lifetime guide. For example, these are some of my guiding principles in the technique department:

1. Individual fingers should use the shortest path into the key, i.e. there should be no "pulling" or perpendicular motion, but completely vertical finger motion, going downwards. (This is difficult because there are two circles working against each other - fingers naturally pivot around the knuckles away from the keys, and keys naturally pivot inside the piano away from the fingers in a circular fashion). Exceptions to this are made for repeatedly striking the same key quickly, as in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 or La Campanella.

2. The wrist should be flexible and free of tension. Any force you need will come from the weight of your arms.

3. The thumbs are not fingers, and when they need to press keys, they should not be moved very much. Instead, the wrists/arms should do most of the moving for them. This means that when playing scales, you should not "tuck" your thumb under, because that destroys form.

4. Grand piano keys have two stages, and you don't need to hit the bottom of the key for sound to come out. The speed with which we strike the keys and the weight/momentum we put into them are both variables which influence the tone: so we have fast but shallow (light tone), fast and deep, (percussive tone), slow and shallow (pale tone), and slow and deep (rich-ish tone). The first variant, fast but shallow, is the most difficult. We should pieces so we can play them without hitting key bottom.

The only guiding principle I have in the musicality department:

1. Imagine how I would phrase the music if I were speaking it instead of playing it.

That's a start.


Fits me well as an aggressive troll.

Off-Topic / Re: The Rant Thread/My Life Sucks Topic [Don't be pricks]
« on: April 01, 2015, 01:48:10 AM »
Ok so my laptop battery has been going out and dying really fast for about a month now (my laptop is 2.5 years old, so that's to be expected) so I've just been keeping it plugged in 24/7 so I could actually use it. Well 2 days ago it was plugged in, was not charging for some reason, but was holding the charge at 80%. Then out of nowhere yesterday my laptop just died and now the charging cord doesn't work either... *sigh* so I bought a new cord and in order for me to receive it tomorrow instead of next Monday, I paid an extra $13. Ugh. I hate malfunctioning electronics.
Has anyone bought a laptop battery before? Does it have to be name brand? On Amazon I can get one for $30 while HP sells them for $100
I would hate if the charging cord was not the issue. It doesn't sound like a charging cord issue to me.

I once bought a 3rd party battery for my camcorder (Sony), but a higher-capacity model than my original one. It worked well and I had no complaints.

If they do it right, a third-party battery can theoretically be every bit as good as the original manufacturer's battery. In my case, it was better.

Off-Topic / Re: The Rant Thread/My Life Sucks Topic [Don't be pricks]
« on: March 30, 2015, 11:38:38 PM »
vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
Sounds spot on. The physical experiencing of another's feelings.
Perhaps an extreme form of empathy...?
Not extreme.

Off-Topic / Re: The Rant Thread/My Life Sucks Topic [Don't be pricks]
« on: March 20, 2015, 03:22:17 AM »
I just realized that's the one thing I forgot to check. I also just realized that Finale Notepad was using 15% of the CPU for about 5 seconds despite not being used for the past hour. So, yeah, that might be the problem. What do I do if seemingly random programs do that?
Dang it, I was banking on a single process being the problem. If the programs that eat up the CPU are random, then I've run out of ideas. Perhaps it's an issue with aging/malfunctioning hardware, although your processor seems to be only 2 years old. Perhaps something in the operating system has a corrupted file/registry, which must be fixed by re-installing Windows. It's probably something else entirely that I have no knowledge of.

I think that if you go into the "details" section of the Task Manager and right click on certain processes,you can set the priority to "low." That could temporarily alleviate the issue by preventing them from obtaining too much CPU bandwidth, while you continue to investigate.

Off-Topic / Re: The Rant Thread/My Life Sucks Topic [Don't be pricks]
« on: March 20, 2015, 02:12:19 AM »
I am a software developer, working on a variety of projects from html webdesign over drivers for some medical devices.

I know a few... C++/Java/C# is the stuff I use mostly.
Interesting. Which language(s) do you feel have the most potential for the future? I'm sort of bummed out that I chose to invest in my first programming language (Java), and am looking to specialize in another language more useful for heavy desktop applications or client-side web applications.

I'm a 16-year old high school student and have been learning programming for two years. I got my OCPJP certification last year. Currently working on OCM certification.

Done that.
It seems better, and I was able to cause a bluescreen by opening many programs at once. (Copypaste details below.)
More info: It doesn't always instantly Blue screen. I was able to get Chrome open, albeit with a lengthy, massive CPU spike. (95%+ for 5+ seconds) It seems somewhat stable now, but opening a new page lags the entire computer. It's not just chrome. IE was extremely laggy and FireFox crashed as well. Yet, I was able to check for updates with windows update. I'll update this post in a few moments when I get the next inevitable bluescreen.
Opening 14 tabs at once maxed out the CPU for 20+ Seconds. It's an Intel i5-3210 (2.50 GHz) so I don't understand why this is happening.
Opening Itunes, GC, FF, and IE simultaneously resulted in a 40+ second max spike and Blue screened 30 seconds after the cpu usage went down
And now the details:

Problem event name: Bluescreen
OS Version: 6.1.7601.
Locale ID: 1033

Additional info:
BCCode: 1000007e
BCP2: FFFFF88006401D7B
BCP3: FFFFF8800732D798
BCP4: FFFFF8800732CFF0
OS Version: 6_1_7601
Service Pack: 1_0
Product: 768_1

Files that help describe the problem:
So, do the programs max out the CPU by themselves, or with another process? For example, when you get Chrome open, is Chrome itself taking up 95%, or is it taking up, say, 25%, with another process taking up 70%?

Off-Topic / Re: The Rant Thread/My Life Sucks Topic [Don't be pricks]
« on: March 20, 2015, 01:20:19 AM »
As a computer scientist I do the same thing and get payed way more.
What is your job/What kind of projects do you work on?
What programming languages do you know?

That's just the thing. It didn't crash when I used IE to download FF. And FF didn't BSOD until the 3rd launch. And it didn't Bs when I just used Windows Update to check for additional updates. (Checked, and nothing was updated in the past 3 days)
Here's a lengthy description I posted elsewhere to look for answers:
Completely out of the blue, (no pun intended) my laptop bluescreened last night. I thought it was just some random error, but now I can't get it to run for more than 10 minutes without a bluescreen. The strange thing is this: I didn't do anything different. I didn't download anything new.
More info: It's a Dell Inspiron 5520r running windows 7. I haven't had any other bluescreens up to this point. I have also replaced the hard drive with a SSD when it was dropped a year and a half ago. Another note: either the day before or a few days before, I noticed the ram was being hogged. I found out that Trustedinstaller was using 600,000+ KB, so I naturally closed it. Also, after the 2nd bluescreen, I noticed that the gadgets did not pop up as they normally do, and the host program was taking 600,000+ KB of memory. After the 3rd one, it was only taking up 10,000+ KB. And I noticed that Chrome was up every time, but it's been on my computer since I got the SSD.
Any suggestions?
edit: and I have no restore points for some bizarre reason. :(
Open your Task Manager and monitor the memory usage, sorting the list of processes by memory usage, and see if anything hogs up an abnormal amount of memory. Sorting by CPU usage might reveal something, too. Perhaps try to somehow intentionally crash your system with the Task Manager visible so you can catch anything that happens immediately before the crash.

Off-Topic / Re: The Rant Thread/My Life Sucks Topic [Don't be pricks]
« on: March 18, 2015, 10:26:55 PM »
Well, it just happened to a freshly downloaded copy of Firefox. There goes the easy solution.....
If you're sure it has to do with browsers, it could be a wifi card driver issue. Try updating the driver/firmware.

Off-Topic / Re: The Rant Thread/My Life Sucks Topic [Don't be pricks]
« on: March 18, 2015, 08:03:09 PM »
Blue Screens of Death restart the computer.

And I've narrowed the problem down to Google Chrome, but I have no idea why. And Chrome is was my favorite browser....  :(
A majority of people are having no problem with it. If Chrome used to work finely for you, perhaps you a file was corrupted. Have you tried uninstalling Google Chrome, deleting the folder from your Program Files folder, etc. and installing it again?

Off-Topic / Re: The Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread 2
« on: February 26, 2015, 11:04:15 PM »
Ahh, my headphones literally get broken by existing. They have this terrible frame that just starts cracking after one month and then they last like a week before the whole thing falls apart. I've been to the store to get them fixed four times.. Now the cable is starting to get really bad, so maybe I should give up on them.
Are they over-ear (circumaural) headphones or are they earphones?

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