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Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven - Early Intermediate Version

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Hello and welcome to this early intermediate level piano tutorial for Beethoven's famous "Moonlight Sonata", first movement.
Let's come to the piano to start learning.
Let me demonstrate the entire piece for you.
Here's the score for "Moonlight Sonata", and by the way, did you know that "Moonlight Sonata" is not
what Beethoven called this piece.
When he wrote it, he just called it Sonata Opus 27 Number Two,
but someone in the audience, one of his first performances,
who was a music critic, heard it and said oh it sounded like moonlight on a lake,
and when this critic published their article, everyone thought ooh, "Moonlight Sonata" and that became its nickname but again, not
Beethoven's original name, but it's a good nickname so it's always stuck.
Let's check out our tempo indication. Adagio means slow.
We're in treble and bass clef, and what key are we?
We have one flat, which could be
F major,
or it could be D minor. How do we tell?
Well, let's look at our first note. We start on a D,
and the right hand is playing a D minor broken triad.
So, that tells us we're in the key of D minor.
So be on the lookout for B-flats. In fact, if you want to, pause and find all the flats.
Either circle them or put a little flat symbol in front of them like this B right here is flat, B-flat, B-flat
Make sure you're not going to forget to flat those B's because of the key signature.
Now, let's check out our time signature.
Cut time. Remember that C with a slash means cut time, which could be written as 2/2. Either of these mean the same thing.
And 2/2 means two half note beats per measure.
Usually we see 4 quarter note beats per measure, right, with 4/4. That's what we're most used to.
2/2 means now instead of a quarter note getting a beat we're going to feel the beat every half note. So everything kind of gets cut in half.
Whole notes now are only worth 2 beats.
Half notes, which normally are 2 beats are only worth 1 beat. So we have a beat here,
and then a half note later we get another beat.
So wherever you see this x, that's where a beat is occurring.
And some of you might think, well why not just think 4 beats per measure? 1 2 3 4
Cut time looks a lot like 4/4. In fact, just looking at it you can't even technically tell the difference.
But the difference is we don't, Beethoven didn't want a beat, beat, beat, beat. That would feel too boring. 1 2 3 4
It's too repetitive. He wanted these to flow together more like all six of these. 1 2 See how if I feel it that way, that all six of these are part of 1 beat. 1 2 That's a lot more beautiful than 1 2 3 4. See what I mean?
So it's how you feel those notes all in a group.
And that's why it's in cut time and not 4/4.
But when you're learning it you can still think in 4 beats, but just remember as you start to play it and perform it, to try and group these in groups of six.
Now let's talk about some tricks for learning this.
In learning the right hand, look for patterns!
We've got A D F, and so let's learn these as block chords,
because it's a lot of time to go duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh....
It's just the same pattern. So just do block. Try this with me. With fingers 1 3 5 play this as a block.
Another block, another block, another block, another block, check each one, and then notice we get a new block. Now we get B-flat D F, so play that as a block with fingers 1 3 5.
That block repeats, and then we get a B-flat, E-flat, G with fingers 1 3 5. Play that as a block. That block repeats because remember the E is still flat. Flats live up to the bar line when placed in the music.
And then here's a new block: A C-sharp G, play that as a block.
And then we get A D F, play that as a block,
then A D E, 1 4 5, play that as a block, and then G, now a lot of you are going to play this as a C, but that's not correct! Why?
Look way back here we had a C-sharp. Remember, sharps placed in the music live all the way through the whole measure
and die at the bar line.
So this C is still sharp
up until the bar line. So G C-sharp E. You might want to mark that in music so you don't forget. G C-sharp E, play that as a block,
and then three ledger lines down
F A D play that as a block.
Now, what's the trickiest part?
Right here, right? Because the block is changing every beat. So let's practice this again. And again, playing these as blocks
will really help your fingers get used to these positions,
and then you can play broken.
I'd suggest doing it as a block a lot. Many, many repetitions.
Until you feel really confident with that, and then when you do broken your fingers will just know where to go.
Now pause, and I want you to work on the right hand
playing you know you can just put all of these into one big block.
Just practice each individual block for the right hand part, and then pre ...