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Manuel Marino Music Composer

Granddad's piano
Photo by jez`

Ah, broken chords. The sound they produce, the cascading pattern of chordal notes, is simply gorgeous. There’s something undeniably captivating about it. And the best part is that this technique is one of the easiest to learn. All you need to do is have a chord under your fingers and be able to “break it up.”

So, what do I mean by “break it up”? You’ve probably heard of solid chords. This is when all the tones of the chord are played simultaneously. For example, if I play a C Major triad by pressing down all three keys at once, that’s a solid chord. However, if I play the individual notes of this chord one at a time, I get a broken chord.

Broken chords are frequently used in New Age piano music. There’s something incredibly appealing about playing the notes of a chord in a broken pattern. Perhaps it’s because it gives the piano a fuller sound, or maybe it’s simply because it sounds beautiful.

Now, let’s explore how we can create broken chords.

In the lesson “Reflections in Water,” we encounter four open position chords. These chords are perfect for “breaking up” because they are widely spaced. Your fingers can easily cover over two octaves of notes. Once we position our fingers on these chords, we can start playing them in a broken chord style. How? By allowing our fingers to explore the various note possibilities! And trust me, there are many of them.

When you listen to me play this piece, you’ll notice that it’s nothing extraordinary. In other words, I’m not aiming for a “sophisticated” sound here. I’m simply gently playing around with the notes and utilizing the element of time to create a calm ambiance. And it works! The notes gracefully float out into the air, and music comes to life An Artist Portrait (Part Two) - This is the Part Two (and final part) of the true life story as artist written by Frank V. Cahoj for our Weblog. (Part One) An Artist Portrait (Part Two) I give an unbelievable amount of credence to these two early periods in my life: one of everlasting creation, one of analysis and disillusionment. The… . It’s not about meticulous planning or striving to come up with something intricate. It’s about following a few simple guidelines and letting go of the need to control the outcome.

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