A Complete Guide to Piano Improvisational Accompaniment Techniques and Skills

  In recent years, as the public’s demands for music culture have become higher and higher, piano accompaniment has been more widely used in mass cultural activities. However, with the improvement of the public’s musical literacy, the most basic improvisational accompaniment method can no longer satisfy the masses. The needs of cultural activities require the integration of a variety of elements. Therefore, piano improvisational accompaniment has also received more and more attention. This article makes an in-depth analysis of the characteristics, application and improvement of piano improvisational accompaniment in mass cultural activities.
  1. Application background
  In the first half of the 19th century, the development of piano music in Western European countries had entered the romantic period. At this time, pianos entered China with missionaries and foreign businessmen, gradually forming a piano culture with Chinese characteristics. With the popularity of piano in China, it has gradually become an important part of the amateur cultural life of our people. In order to meet the diversity of mass cultural activities, piano improvisational accompaniment began to appear one after another. Because it can deepen the theme better than traditional music, and is more rhythmic and rhythmic, it is very popular in mass cultural activities.
  2. Overview of Piano Improvisational Accompaniment
  (1) Concept
  Piano improvisational accompaniment belongs to the category of music creation. It is widely used in mass cultural activities and is a common art form in music teaching, singing rehearsal and performance. Piano improvisational accompaniment generally refers to artistic re-creation without prior preparation. The accompanist comprehensively uses piano performance skills, keyboard harmony techniques, and composition theory knowledge to use chords and harmony within the limits of melody conditions. Techniques, etc. to perfect the melody of the song. Piano improvisational accompaniment of songs is an integral part of a musical work, and is mainly “accompaniment”. However, it and the accompaniment object work together to create a complete musical work. In practice, care must be taken not to overwhelm the guest.
  (2) Characteristics
  Piano improvisational accompaniment is a comprehensive performance, and its greatest feature is improvisation. In mass cultural singing activities, without pre-rehearsal or pre-creation, the advantages of piano improvisational accompaniment are highlighted.
  The accompanist must first have a certain piano foundation, and at least have to complete “Bayer’s Basic Piano Tutorial” and “Cherny’s Elementary Piano Etudes Op. 599” to a certain level. Only in this way can the skills of piano improvisational accompaniment be fully utilized. During the learning process, piano playing skills and improvisational accompaniment skills should be improved at the same time. Of course, you must also learn harmony systematically. In addition to the first two being directly related to improvisational accompaniment, achieving the goal of improvising accompaniment freely still requires a lot of practice and practice.
  The principles of piano accompaniment are related to harmony, but it is not just a matter of harmony. When it comes to piano improvisational accompaniment, you need to consider not only how to choose and what method to play, but also how to practice harmony according to the needs of specific works. Therefore, piano improvisational accompaniment requires the accompanist to have analytical and comprehensive application abilities. It is a concrete manifestation of basic knowledge and skills in practice and can reflect a person’s ability in piano literacy and music learning.
  (3) Classification
  1. Column chords
  : When playing a chord, you should press each note at the same time to ensure neat and accurate performance. This type of accompaniment is suitable for marches and singing music themes. It has a full sound, strong rhythm and a sense of jumping.
  2. Bass plus chord type:
  On the basis of column chords, a root note octave lower is added. The root note is played separately from the columnar chord, with the root note played first and then the columnar chord. This accompaniment method can effectively highlight the uniqueness of the root note, enhance the sense of rhythm, and is very suitable for music with a strong sense of rhythm.
  3. Semi-decomposed chord type
  Semi-decomposed chord type is an accompaniment form in which one note of the chord is played first, and then the other two tones of the chord are played at the same time, mainly in an alternating manner. Semi-decomposed chord playing is a common playing technique in which the bass is played simultaneously with two other notes. As the performance progresses, the bass gradually decreases while the other two notes gradually increase. This playing technique emphasizes the two-note timbre and enhances the effect of the music.
  4. Fully decomposed chord style:
  During the playing process, each note in the chord must be played in order. This playing method is also called the arpeggiated style. The performance of the accompaniment is clear and smooth, with good lyrical and descriptive characteristics. Because of its versatility, this accompaniment type can be used in most musical works.
  5. Alternating hands. Alternating
  hands means not playing the main melody of the music, but using both hands to alternately play columnar chords or other types of accompaniment textures. This type of accompaniment can effectively enhance the effect of the accompaniment and make the form of accompaniment more beautiful. Flexible.
  3. The application significance of piano improvisational accompaniment
  (1) Piano improvisational accompaniment is widely used.
  As the king of musical instruments, the piano has a large volume, a wide range, free tonal conversion, rich sound levels, diverse timbres and playing techniques, and is suitable for expressing various styles. It has many advantages such as musical works and can be widely used in organizing singing competitions, art festivals and other activities. Especially when faced with some special situations, such as songs using simplified notation and no accompaniment; the tune of some songs is not suitable for ordinary people to sing; and the singing speed of the chorus is difficult to control, using piano improvisational accompaniment becomes an inevitable choice. When performing solo accompaniment, players with strong piano improvisational accompaniment skills can better grasp the song style, allowing the singer to fully express the emotion of the song through accompaniment, and effectively interpret the meaning of the song, thus making it easier to Understand the songs deeply and continue to improve your singing skills.
  (2) Piano improvisational accompaniment can improve the performance effect.
  Excellent accompaniment can increase the attractiveness of the singer when singing, and excellent improvisational piano accompaniment can also play an important role in harmony and musical structure. Through impromptu piano accompaniment, the audience can feel the beauty of form, structure, melody and timbre of musical works, thereby broadening cultural horizons, improving artistic accomplishment, enhancing the perception and appreciation of beauty, and cultivating the ability to create beauty. Therefore, at the performance site, in order to enhance the audio-visual effect of the song, the theme melody is often presented in the form of piano improvisational accompaniment, thereby enhancing the performance effect.
  (3) Piano improvisational accompaniment is more flexible and free than regular score accompaniment. The
  piano has rich, diverse and distinct timbres, and can play symphonic music, with changes in intensity and a wide range. In the past, piano accompaniment usually used regular musical notation, which was richer and more expressive than simplified musical notation. However, in mass cultural activities, some accompanists lacked systematic and professional music education and lacked the ability to perceive and understand music, so they used common musical notation. Piano accompaniment may lead to incoherence with the beat. Therefore, in this case, using improvised piano accompaniment is more flexible and free, and at the same time can add color. This not only helps to develop tacit cooperation between accompanists and singers, but also helps to improve their musical perception and self-confidence.
  (4) Piano improvisational accompaniment is highly practical in dance rehearsals
  . In dance performances, it is often necessary to use piano improvisational accompaniment to music. In dance rehearsals, it is often necessary to intercept specific dance moves from videos for repeated learning, or to adjust the speed of dance moves. In this case, dance music is required for coordination. In this case, it is difficult to meet the higher requirements using fixed accompaniment music. At this time, the advantages of piano improvisational accompaniment can be reflected. The accompanist can perform according to the scene situation, and can adjust the speed, intensity, volume and repeated parts of the music according to the needs of dance rehearsal to maintain real-time fit with the dance movements.

  4. Strategies for improving piano improvisational accompaniment skills
  (1) Strengthen performance skills training.
  Solid piano performance skills are the basis for learning piano improvisational accompaniment. Piano improvisational accompaniment also requires good basic skills as a foundation. Therefore, skill training is a crucial part. . Piano improvisational accompaniment requires cooperating with the singer to grasp the pitch and rhythm according to the type of song, and the theoretical knowledge of composition technology must be flexibly used to create. At the same time, accompanists are also required to develop their ability to transpose. Therefore, learning to play the scales, arpeggios and chord connections of the twenty-four major and minor keys, and being able to quickly transpose, are essential basic skills for piano improvisational accompaniment. In piano improvisational accompaniment, the ability to transpose is a difficult skill that requires long-term training, and its importance cannot be ignored. Through repeated performance skills training, a solid foundation for piano improvisational accompaniment can be laid.
  (2) Developing correct finger techniques
  Good finger techniques are an indispensable part of piano improvisational accompaniment. Piano accompanists should develop their finger skills through regular practice. Piano improvisational accompaniment often requires faster fingering during performance and the ability to apply it consistently and freely on the keyboard. Therefore, piano accompanists should focus on practicing skills such as finger coordination, finger strength control, and finger independence, so as to effectively improve their own playing skills.
  (3) Proficient in basic chord structures and decompositions.
  Piano improvisational accompaniment skills emphasize the richness of harmonic structures. Mastering this skill can help piano accompanists easily complete improvisational accompaniment. Therefore, piano players should master the chord structure and decomposition through practice, and develop the skills to freely use chords for piano improvisational accompaniment.
  (4) Strengthen rhythm training.
  Unexpected situations sometimes occur at mass cultural performances. Therefore, the piano improvisational accompaniment skills at this time emphasize the accuracy of rhythm and the ability of quick thinking and reaction. Therefore, these two points appear in performance practice. Particularly important. Piano accompanists should pay attention to rhythm training in daily life and improve their ability to perceive rhythm, so that they can complete improvisational accompaniment quickly and accurately.
  (5) Pay attention to the study of music theory.
  Solid music theory knowledge is the support of piano accompaniment. Therefore, piano accompanists must master music theory knowledge. Only in this way can it be possible to flexibly apply performance skills in mass cultural performances. In the process of learning music theory, the following points should be achieved.
  One is to learn basic music symbols and rhythm. Piano improvisational accompaniment emphasizes improvisation, and being able to change music is often the key in improvisational accompaniment. Learning basic musical symbols and rhythms will help piano accompanists quickly apply their playing skills and perform proficiently during improvisational accompaniment.
  The second is to memorize music terminology. Proficiency in musical terminology is of great help in improving piano improvisational accompaniment skills. Piano accompanists should memorize commonly used musical terms so that they can quickly use these elements during improvisation to achieve quick transitions and achieve a high level of improvisational accompaniment.
  (6) Cultivate personal musical sensibility.
  Piano improvisational accompaniment emphasizes the improvisational expressiveness of music. If the accompanist lacks musical sensibility, then the improvisational performance will feel lack of vividness and appeal. Therefore, piano players should focus on cultivating their own musical sensitivity and improve their musical sensitivity through music appreciation, listening training, live performance, etc.
  (7) Practice that pays attention to the sense of rhythm.
  The sense of rhythm in piano improvisational accompaniment is very important. When training improvisational accompaniment, you should pay more attention to the sense of rhythm. A metronome is a very useful tool to help piano learners practice their sense of rhythm. In practice, you can also train your rhythm perception ability through harmonious rhythm exercises or imitating music drum beats. Only through scientific training methods and persistent practice can piano accompanists strengthen their sense of rhythm and perform better in piano improvisational accompaniment.
  (8) Improve the ability to design harmony.
  Harmony plays an important role in piano improvisational accompaniment. The purpose, rationality and perfection of melody accompaniment are directly affected by harmony selection, so harmony design becomes piano improvisation. An indispensable core element in accompaniment. In common musical melodies, the use of internal chords can maintain the harmony and smoothness of the main melody. However, at the climax and modulation of the music, specific harmonic techniques and treatments must be used to achieve special effects. The song “China, China, the Bright Red Sun Never Sets” praises and praises the vibrant new China with its majestic melody and firm and powerful rhythm. The whole song consists of three phrases, the first two phrases are parallel, and the third phrase is the finale of the whole song. If only internal chords are used and the intensity of the harmony is weak, it will be difficult to promote the further development of the melody emotion. However, if unstable chord changes are appropriately used in the climax, the tendency of the harmony can be enhanced and the intensity of the harmony can be enhanced. , thereby effectively promoting the melody to develop towards passionate and high-pitched emotions, showing the emotional color of this melody.
  5. Conclusion
  Piano improvisational accompaniment plays a very important role in mass cultural activities. Accurate application of piano improvisational accompaniment skills and continuous improvement of accompaniment level can play an extra role in the performance. Based on the author’s work experience, the improvement of the application level of piano improvisational accompaniment must start from basic music theory knowledge and performance skills. It is necessary to accumulate experience bit by bit in practice. While mastering the theoretical basis, it is necessary to pay attention to practical operations. And be able to apply it skillfully. However, how to play the role of piano improvisational accompaniment more effectively still requires our continuous thinking, exploration and practice.

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