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Breathing Space in Music by Edward Weiss



While most students want to know when to play certain notes and chords, it's equally important to know when not to play. For example, I had a student who knew how to improvise and play in the New Age style. What he didn't know how to do was to allow for breathing space. I tried to teach him that you don't have to play note upon note but allow for some pauses.

Eventually he got it. He learned how not to rush and that the pauses between notes are as important as the notes themselves - especially in the New Age style of piano playing. Listen to pioneer New Age piano player Steven Halpern to get an excellent idea of this. Steven literally defined "breathing space" for music. His music floats in the air. It is pure improvisation and, if you listen to him play, you'll find that' it's one of the easiest styles to play in.

He let's the spaces in between the notes work for him. There's definitely no rushing here. It's very trance inducing and calming. To play in this way, you need to be very much IN THE PRESENT and listen for what's to come. There's no planning or forethought here except maybe to choose a Key or Mode to play in. Then you just improvise.

The spaces between the music are as important as the music itself. In fact, without the spaces, you wouldn't have this style. The spaces define the style of music. A lot of New Age pianists emulated Halpern and you can't do better to learn how to master the art of silence than by listening to him. Also, check out the author's online piano lesson "Oriental Sunrise" to get another good example of "breathing space."

About the Author:
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years! Visit us now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!

Other articles by Edward Weiss



New Age Piano and Improvisation
There are so many areas in life where one must do things right. Thankfully, art is an area where great discoveries are made by making mistakes!Take improvisation for example. We sit at our piano or keyboard without any thought of what is to come. Our fingers touch a certain chord that ...more

The Case Against "Traditional" Piano Lessons
How would you like to spend 4 years in a University learning how to play other peoples music? If you think this is ridiculous, you're right! Because that's what thousands of piano music students do each day.They sit in front of their piano or keyboard with sheet music of a dead composer in ...more

Composing for Dummies
When most people hear the word composer, they automatically think of classical composers like Mozart or Beethoven. This is the point where many "would be" composers freeze up because they tell themselves that their music could never be as good. And this is also the point where would be music ...more

Creating Your Own Unique Music
Have you ever dreamed of penning your own compositions? Writing music has been a dream of mine for the longest time. And it's a dream I am fortunate enough to have realized.The idea of having a finished piece of music in front of you is exciting to say the least, but many students rush the ...more

Piano Lessons Can Be Fun!
There are essentially two ways to learn piano - note reading or chords. For those who want to spend years learning how to play other peoples music, note reading is the way to go.For those who want to create their own special music, chord understanding is a must - and much easier to learn. ...more