I give piano lessons in N4 locations such as Finsbury Park, Manor House, Stroud Green and Harringay. I also venture further to N8 (Crouch End, Turnpike Lane, Hornsey) and Muswell Hill (N10).
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Flashback to Schoenberg
It is common to watch a modern film or television drama series and encounter the cinematic technique of flashback. The pioneering film for the flashback technique in cinema was Histoire d’un crime directed by Ferdinand Zecca in 1901, but the use of flashbacks thereafter were rare until about 1939, in William Wyler's Wuthering Heights, when the housekeeper Ellen narrates the main story to overnight visitor Mr. Lockwood, who has witnessed Heathcliff's frantic pursuit of what is apparently a ghost.
In the 1941 Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane, the protagonist, Charles Foster Kane, dies at the beginning, uttering the word Rosebud; the rest of the film is a reporter's attempt to unravel what the word meant it through a series of interviews with Kane's friends and associates.
Flashbacks are usually used to clarify plot but can also act as a narrator. One can only speculate that they were introduced because the viewer market was saturated with television programmes and films using the traditional chronological technique, which led to predictability and loss of viewer interest. If you are watching a television drama that develops chronologically and you can successfully predict what happens at the end, you would probably watch it to see if you were right, but it is unlikely you would watch it with the same level of interest as you would if there were information gaps deliberately injected and resolved using flashbacks, which kept you engaged all the way to see if all resolved satisfactorily.
Getting used to this new technique would have taken time and viewers accustomed to the traditional pace of film would have reacted differently when flashbacks were used. Some might proclaim it a cinematic stroke of genius. Others might have found it too radical and hearkened for the old.
So you can imagine what public reaction was like when Arnold Schoenberg promoted his use of serialism, as a clean break from how music had been composed in the past centuries. Music had been written using harmony as an underpinning structure. Scales and chords gave music an agreeable harmonic sound, and there were rules governing the use of dissonant sounds in music. But writing music using the traditional structure meant that more often than not only around seven of the twelve notes available in a chromatic scale featured prominently in a piece of music. And when it came to chords and harmonies, the choice of chords was restricted, and harmonic rules governing chord progressions further limited the development of the music.
Schoenberg's serialism, or twelve-tone music, featured the twelve notes of the chromatic scale arranged in what was called a note row. Each note row could be transposed a semitone higher a further eleven times, giving twelve note rows in all. The original note row could also be inverted to form twelve more offspring, and these could be played backwards. Hence, from the original arrangement of notes, Schoenberg came up with a total of forty-eight. The only rule governing the use was that the notes of each row had to occur in strict order, in turn, either as part of the melody or harmony. In this way they were all given equal treatment.
Schoenberg's ideas were taken up by his students, Anton Webern and Alban Berg, who collectively are referred to as The Second Viennese School. (The First referred to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.) When you listen to the music, the absence of keys makes it somewhat disconcerting. Some have claimed this gives the music the liberty to fully express raw emotion; for others, the music results from dry adherence to mathematical rules that spoil the final product.
Schoenberg's music polarised opinions, and if the sound of it is off-putting, perhaps if you heard it in a film - in a scene, for example, where a character is lost and uncertain of where to go, or one where someone had suffered inexorably - you might find the music easier on the ears.
Learn the piano by playing music you like while extending your skills in a positive process.
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