Sunday, August 12, 2012

just a comment

I found this article at Snopes interesting:  Guitar Man.

Back in the 80s when I was an aspiring keyboardist, I would go to Hastings sometimes and buy the piano score books to albums and groups that I liked.  One of the books I bought was for Styx's Paradise Theater.  Remember the beginning of the song "Snowblind"?  It has a bass line with a sort of arpeggiated keyboard riff over it.  I tried and tried to get the hang of that piece, but never could.  I didn't seem to have enough hands.

Then one day I bought a video of them in concert, and they played that song.  The bass part, of course, was played by Chuck Panozzo on his bass guitar.  The keyboard part was, of course, being played by Dennis De Young on a synthesizer.

"WTF?!" I thought.  "This part takes TWO professional musicians to play and I'm supposed to play both parts myself?!"

I did learn to play "The Best of Times" and could crash through "Half Penny, Two Penny" fairly well, but did I ever master "Snowblind"?  Nope.


  1. "This part takes TWO professional musicians to play and I'm supposed to play both parts myself?!"

    Don't feel too bad. That's often expected of piano accompanists, whom I expect your score book was written for.

    I sang for a while in a choir, one that did full cantatas from time to time. In performance these cantatas are supported by a full orchestra, but such orchestras are never available for practice. So we had a piano player, and that player worked from a reduced score.

    A piano reduction reduces an entire orchestra's worth of parts into two staves on one piece of sheet music that can be played by one pianist. A very accomplished pianist. Not every subtle voice is there, but the core basics are, and that gives the practicing choir something to work with.

    I suspect you found such a reduction, though it was only for two parts (one, oddly enough, being a keyboard!) instead of an entire orchestra.

  2. Well, I understand all that. Like I said, I had bought a lot of these books and I was familiar with the reduced score. However, I forgot to tell one very important part of this story.

    The thing I was all flabbergasted about was this: The part that I was supposed to play with my right hand was being played by Dennis De Young with BOTH hands. So once I saw that the guy who wrote it had to use both hands to play it, I gave up. I still practiced it, but from then on I just completely ignored the bass line and practiced only the right hand part, but with both hands. It made things a lot easier.

  3. That is a different arrangement altogether. Perhaps it was meant to be played by two people at the same keyboard? If not, perhaps it was just a bad arrangement.