September - Student Page

July Issue - student page

September Teachers Guide

Kids' Corner - with honorable mention pieces from contest
Past Issues

Franz Schubert

Winterreise (which means Winter Journey) is a song cycle voice and piano by Schubert.

Fantasie in f minor

Impromtpu Op. 90, No. 3 in G flat major:

Sonata per Arpeggione

Ave Maria is one of Schubert’s most recognizable works:
Voice with orchestra:

Solo piano version, transcribed by Liszt:


 Listening Guide: Impromptu Op. 90, No. 4 in A flat major
   You will hear two distinct features in this piece: cascading arpeggio figures and blocked chords with a melody in the top voice. Listen to how Schubert goes back and forth between those two motives. Some of them will be in minor keys, and others in major. Can you tell the difference?

   Although the piece is written in A flat major, the opening is in the key of A flat minor and the music later shifts into a major key. How does it change the mood of the music?

   Notice the pattern in the left hand underneath the arpeggios – there is a single bass note followed by a longer chord. Later in the piece, underneath similar right-hand arpeggios, the left hand starts to play a melody.

   The melody grows in intensity until the music reaches a fortissimo level and tumbles down in another cascade of arpeggios. These lead into a triplet section, which highlights another beautiful melody in the right hand.

   Notice how the melody is hidden in the top of the right hand, on the first triplet of each beat. When the triplets end, a familiar section returns. Do you remember this section from earlier in the piece?

   Soon after this, you will hear a new section – a beautiful melody on top of fast-paced chords. The chords are played in both hands, and the melody is at the top of the right hand part.

   The melody is sweet at times and sad at others. Notice how the creascendos and decrescendos shape the phrases (musical sentences) and help express the feeling of the rising and falling melodies.

   The last few sections of the piece should sound familiar. Do you recognize where they are from? Where did you hear them before?




   The most famous and important Lieder by Schubert are Erlkonig, Gretchen am Spinnrade, Nacht und Träume, and Die Forelle.



Gretchen am Spinnrade:


Piano solo version of it as played by E. Kissin:


Expanded Quiz

1. Schubert was a very good businessman who promoted his own music well.
a. true     b. false

2. Romantic composers like Schumann and Mendelssohn admired his music.
a. true   b. false

3. Lied means ______ in German
a. song   b. symphony   c. concerto   d. sonata

4. Schubert's song cycles were based on ______
a. the Bible   b. folk songs   c. poems   d. pop music

5. A dot under a note means to play it _________.
a. long  b. short and bouncy  c. sadly   d. twice as long

6. A dotted eighth note is the same as ____ sixteenth notes.
a. 2  b. 3  c. 4  d. 5

7. The beat is how fast a piece of music goes.
a. true   b. false

8. Which composer lived during Schubert's lifetime?
a. Mozart   b. Beethoven

9. Which note is a skip away from D.
a. E  b. C  c. B  d. A

10. Which note is a step away from D.
a. B  b. C  c. G  d. A



We'd love to hear from you!
Do you have any ideas or thoughts about any other practice tip we have published this year? Let us know how they worked for you. Were you able to solve a problem spot or learn a tricky passage?

Perhaps you have your own practice tips that you'd like to share with other readers. Write to us and we'll include the best ones in the magazine or on the website.

We also accept original artwork, music, poems, jokes and stories. Submissions that don't appear in the magazine might make it into the Kids Corner.

email: [email protected] or send a letter to Piano Explorer, 200 Northfield Road, Northfield, Illinois 60093

Subscription Rates

Group Rate (5 or more copies):

$6 per person/year (10 issues/ year)

Regular Rate:

$12 per person (1 year)

For delivery outside the U.S. (due to increased delivery costs)
Canada: regular rate-$26, group rate-$12 per person
Other Foreign rates: regular-$34, groups-$17 per person
All subscriptions sent outside the U.S. must be paid by credit card.

To Order Piano Explorer

Online store for renewals/new subscriptions
Pay an Invoice

or contact us by email:
Subscriptions/address changes
Editorial questions/comments

200 Northfield Road, Northfield, Illinois 60093
Toll free (888)446-6888, Fax (847)446-6263

Copyright 2012  Piano Explorer Co., All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.