Check out this amazing video performance by Harry AKA ‘Harry the piano’
Harry presents himself and then announces that he is going to play the theme tune from harry potter in every style known to man. Well, I must admit, he almost does.
It starts off with a grandiose opening and then begins to sound a little like a silent movie on steroids. Later he goes into a string of other styles from Jazz to classical including ‘a la Chaz and Dave’ (London cockney pub music), a Chopin waltz and even in the style of Michael Jackson.
This performance is brilliant but a bit rough around the edges. It is totally improvised and the cameraman is shouting out ideas for the next style as the recording goes on.
This man is one versatile pianist who obviously dominates his instrument.
You can hear more from Harry at his website harrythepiano.com where you can download his CDs and DVDs or purchase them online. I heard some previews of some of the tracks off his CDs and they are not bad at all. A lot better quality than in the video, obviously well rehearsed, flawlessly performed and studio recorded.
I found this pretty cool app for the iphone and ipad which is now also available for android too.
Its a piano chord finder so you can take any melody and find the chords to it in a flash.
The idea is that you type in to the app the notes of the melody or the notes that you would like to harmonise and the app will tell you which are the chords that will go with that particular note. You choose the chords and build them up allowing the app to play the chords as you touch them.
As well as hearing the audio, which can be piano or organ sounds, you also get to see the chord as it should be played on the piano keyboards.
The way the app functions is quite basic as you don’t always necessarily harmonise each note of a melody. The chords at first glimpse are simple major chords but there is an option to change the chord database so that it will give you Jazz chords or Gospel chords as well.
All in all the app is a little clumsy to use but for those who don’t really know anything about harmony then it can be of great use… for those who do understand about music theory and chords then it can be entertaining for a while and as the app is free there is nothing to loose.
To find the app, you have to search the app store for ‘Piano Harmony MIDI Studio Pro’.
The famous pianist Jerry Lee Lewis rose to fame in the early 1950s with hits such as ‘A whole lotta shakin going on’ and ‘Great balls of fire’.
Lewis pioneered a whole new musical style which later became know as ‘rockabilly’. This was a mixture of his two great loves in music, first that of the then predominantly negro music, rhythm and blues with that of his other musical influence, that of country. The result was a sort of high energy boogie-woogie piano based sound.
His success carried on through the 1960s despite a huge scandal due to his marriage to his younger cousin. He still has huge record sales and is still touring to this day.
There are lots of piano tutorials available which will teach you how to play in the style of this revolutionary trend setting musician.
Here are a couple of the one I managed to find on YouTube.
This is a video tutorial that breaks down how to play the some of the basic riffs in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis
And this is another good one
And just to finish off, here is a clip of the great master himself from 1956.
In 1986 Jerry Lee Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame due to his pioneering contribution to the genre of rockabilly.
The first time I heard the music of Keith Jarret I wasn’t sure if I was listening to classical music or jazz. It was in fact a completely improvised piano solo played live in concert. This first piece from the 1975 Koln concert in Germany was the first piece I ever heard from this artist and to this day it still remains one of my all time favorite piano pieces. The simplicity of the haunting melodies is deceptive and there are times when I would swear that this man sounds as if he has three hands. How can one man make such rich music on one piano? There are times when he is obviously hearing the music he wants to play and has run out of fingers to play it so he starts singing the missing parts joining in with percussive knocking on the piano with his feet. This artist has been a great inspiration for me and simply listening to him makes you feel that playing the piano can be a really simple and worthwhile task when it comes down to it.
I was searching the web for some easy classical pieces to include in my soon to be released beginners piano course when I stumbled across this amazing video.
This is of the pianist Wilhelm Kempff playing Movement 1 from the famous Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. This piece is not that difficult to play and is attempted by many beginners. They will not however be able to play it with as much tenderness and feeling as does the late Mr Kempff here.
You can tell that this man truly loves his instrument. See how he caresses the keys effortlessly in this extraordinary recording that brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it.
Here is an incredible performance of Beethoven’s s Pathetique, played on an invisible piano by the genius of comedy, Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean). It begins with the opening from the Pathetique but then in the middle it is seamlessly joined to the final part of the last movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.