Films, Audio & Samples
Andrew Portman: Folk Dance ...Embedded video
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Sample: 1'31" - 2'31"See details ➔
Sample: Pages 2, 3, 6 and 8 of scoreSee details ➔
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Folk Dance Miniatures is a suite of ten short piano pieces, all written in the key of Bb major. They were inspired by the bright and cheerful mood of Czech Christmas Carols. These delightful short compositions have their own individual character and each one takes less than a minute to play.
Folk Dance No. 1
The scale-like movement forms the melodic basis of this piece. Both hands are an interval of a third apart, which forms the harmonic backbone, and thus, giving it its distinctive character.
Folk Dance No. 2
This is a piece of two contrasting ideas, firstly, a melody is shared between the hands, and secondly, hands play together in parallel motion a third apart. Its form is based on four two bar phrases.
Folk Dance No. 3
This is a good introduction to syncopation and the concept of question and answering phrases. It has a combination of interval movement no greater than a sixth apart in the R.H. and scale passages in the L.H.
Folk Dance No. 4
This "Puppet Dance" introduces the time signature of 2/2. The slower pace of the longer value notes, reflects the slow movements of the dancing puppet. It has a mixture of short two & three bar phrases, utilising legato and staccato articulation. It also introduces two note chords in the L.H. as well as the use of the sustain pedal.
Folk Dance No. 5
This dance explores harmonies and cadences, with three and four note chords. The short melodic phrases cross over the bar line. The second half is an introduction to suspension and resolution of harmonies. The use of the sustain pedal adds another layer of depth to the performance.
Folk Dance No. 6
This is a rhythmic piece, combining legato and staccato articulation. The "Cha Cha Cha" element is portrayed with the repeated notes. Elements of specific technique relate to arpeggio and broken chord playing; which is shared between the hands, and also played just with the R.H. It has a range of dynamic expression, and includes changes of tempo. The addition of accidentals introduces the student to non diatonic harmonies.
Folk Dance No. 7
The Hoedown nature of this dance is reflected by the L.H. chords occurring on the upbeat, all of which are played staccato. The short two note slurs further add to the bright character of this piece. The legato middle section provides a nice contrast. The accidentals throughout are an introduction to diminished & augmented chords.
Folk Dance No. 8
The main feature of this piece is the melody first played by the R.H. and then passed on to the L.H. There is a mixture of two and four bar phrases. The semiquavers are an introduction to playing trills.
Folk Dance No. 9
The dominant feature of this piece is the Alberti bass in the L.H. The melody in the R.H. contains intervals ranging from seconds to sixths. This dance is good for wrist rotation technique.
Folk Dance No. 10
This waltz uses the the ornament, the acciaccatura, which adds interest to the melody playing. The long melodic phrases convey the elegance of the waltz. There are two alternating rhythms in the L.H.
to all aspiring students of the piano