Deciphering the piano

How to do it or can we read score as we do it with the book ?


To read and to reproduce notes on the keyboard

When we start learning classical piano, we cannot ignore lessons on deciphering music scripts. Just as it is impossible to read a novel if no one knows how to read, or like trying to count when you don’t know any numbers. You cannot really play the piano if you don’t know how to read the notes. Deciphering specifically involves the speed at which you can read the notes and being able to reproduce these notes on the keyboard. You must learn to read from the bass to the treble clefs rapidly and simultaneously, this is what will help you learn how to reproduce the score on the keyboard with both hands simultaneously. What usually seems very complicated to a beginner can be learned nevertheless rather rapidly with the method, time and motivation.

On the contrary, wanting to get around the solfeggio, the notes, and play by ear risks misleading yourself if your goal is to invest in classical piano and find achievement and artistic inspiration from it. The pleasures of classical piano reside in the care of interpretation and musical expression. You should be able to free yourself from sight-reading and not "stick" to the score so that you can acquire a certain agility in your piano technique in order to avoid being hampered in the interpretation phase.

Lean piano without notes ( sight ) reading ?

There are methods that suggest you play piano without learning the solfeggio, or even without notes. Classical musicians will discourage you from these methods, although very attractive for beginners. This is because those that choose these methods, can already imagine their fingers running down the keyboard, interpreting major classical pieces, are, however, only really happy learning little pieces off by heart, again and again, without knowing the real pleasure of playing an entirely new piece and adding your own personal touch to it. 

Notes are not an enemy to avoid or to ignore !

The pleasure is all in the ability to read and hear classical works one by one, to go from one score to another and gain experience. The reading of notes for piano is not an enemy but a key for a pianist’s success and freedom.  Deciphering the piano permits discovering the musical codes, learning their complexity, and achieving a perfect mastery of the keyboard. Realising all the subtleties of a piece without knowing how to read a score becomes impossible to interpret. For a beginner, deciphering sheet music often seems daunting. This is especially true for those who at first had opted to play the piano without any prior musical theory, and finally understood that learning pieces  "off by heart" does not help them to progress.

Piano has to clefs and we have two hands, we have to work simultaneously !

This is why we must learn to read the two clefs as early as possible and begin deciphering simple scores for both hands simultaneously. The complexity of each score can increase progressively. But the left and right hand must be perfectly coordinated on the keyboard. You need to be meticulous and driven, as this will take several months before you can reap in all the benefits. Piano is not a short-term passion; learning the piano takes months and years. Fortunately, the first joys of interpretation do come with the easiest of pieces. Deciphering the piano, in addition to allowing you to interpret the pieces, can also familiarise you with the world of classical music. You will discover how it has been written; the mathematical minds will find a logical structure here. To learn piano is like learning a foreign language that, unlike other languages, is universal.