In addition to his own works, Franz Liszt transcribed the music of other composers. Many of his transcriptions are as well-regarded as his own. As a pianist, he was able to recognize and appreciate the underlying sounds and meanings of a work and use his talent for transcribing them in a compelling and memorable manner. Among his transcriptions are Bach’s six organ preludes and Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, Beethoven’s symphonies, and the songs of Schubert.
A piano arrangement is a piece of music written specifically for a solo instrument, usually the piano. It may be created for rehearsal purposes, or it may simply be a reworking of a piece that already exists. Sometimes, the reworking involves the elimination of some or all of the original piece’s most significant characteristics. This practice is sometimes called a piano reduction. The most effective transcriptions, on the other hand, are able to marry the defining characteristics of the underlying work with the piano.
The process of identifying and recognizing the most important elements in a work of music can be accomplished using software designed to slow the tempo and detect the relevant notes. These elements include pitch detection, which is used to identify individual notes in a piece of music, and harmonics, which are elements of a composite of vibrations. Pitch detection is often used to detect a note that is in a chord, as well as to detect rhythms and lyrics.
Transcriptions for solo piano
Some of the more interesting types of transcriptions involve notations that can be performed by musicians in a cafe. This can be a jazz improvisation, or a video game soundtrack. When these kinds of transcriptions are done with sufficient care, they can produce astonishing results.
One example of the most impressive piano transcriptions is the Liszt-Schubert song transcriptions series published by Dover. Among the reworkings are the aforementioned Schwanengesang, as well as nine other great lieder.
Another example of a piano transcription is the famous “The Rite of Spring,” transcribed by Stravinsky for four hands piano. For many years, the “The Rite of Spring” was considered the most impressive transcription imaginable, and was often used in ballet rehearsals.
One of the most notable innovations in music transcription was the use of hand crossing to create the effects of different pitches. For example, Beethoven’s symphonies were transcribed for the piano in a number of versions, including one where a few of the piano pieces are combined into an orchestral suite.
Other popular examples of transcriptions are the arranging of violin concerti by Vivaldi. Mozart and Tchaikovsky also took on this challenge. Several of their symphonies were reorchestrated, and Mozart arranged several of the arias from other operas for a small wind ensemble. Similarly, some of Bach’s fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier were transcribed for string trio.
While most transcriptions are limited to the above-mentioned functions, others are more creative and are accompanied by visuals. Liszt’s piano transcriptions of Bach’s organ music became a classic model for subsequent works.