"Morning Serenade" OVERHEAD PIANO KEYBOARD TUTORIAL
Additional Practice Sheet bars 21-28 from Goggle Drive:
Please contact Mercuzio directly for his arrangement.
Download FREE MP3 "Morning Serenade" P. Barton, FEURICH Harmonic Pedal piano
NOTES ON USE OF PEDAL IN THIS RECORDING.
The modern acoustic piano has a huge dynamic range and is capable of making many textures, from staccato to legato and colours controlled by finger touch, weight, speed of attack and the pedal, as you of course know.
On my FEURICH 218 piano I'm privileged to have the 4th harmonic pedal. For those unfamiliar with it, in a nutshell, it allows a pianist to play staccato while all the other undampened strings across the whole piano ring with sympathetic resonance. This is a phenomena that until now, has never been able to be controlled. But as now the pedal design is perfected, it seems a good idea to use the extra colours it produces on our modern piano and Mercuzio's arrangement of Morning Serenade is an ideal piece for it.
The resonance position is half way down, there's a grove so you can feel it with your foot quite easily. And when you press the una corda pedal, the keyboard shifts to the right and the hammers that normally play 3 strings together, just play two. The una corda doesn't just make the piano relatively quieter but makes a more silvery sound too. I use the una corda's silvery sound and the resonance position of the harmonic pedal in the sections played by the mandolins.
You may be surprised to find also the harmonic pedal has the sustain (and sostenuto) integrated in the pedal too so when I get to the sections played by full orchestra, I don't have to search for the traditional sustain to the left of the harmonic pedal on the Lyra, just press the harmonic pedal a little further down to get from the resonance half position, the mandolins, to the sustain, the full orchestra.
If you have an acoustic piano you can simulate the effects of harmonic pedal with books weighing down the keys on the parts of the keyboard you won't play. You are in effect raising the dampers from those strings so any played notes with a sympathetic relationship to those open strings will trigger those strings to ring all by themselves. The main drawback of placing books on keys though is it's not controllable, you can't clean the sound when the harmonies change, and the resonance is not taken from the whole keyboard as it is with the harmonic pedal. But you can still become familiar with this little known musical phenomena on the acoustic piano and have some fun with it, and if you enjoy improvisation, come up with your own music adapted to these effects. Staccato is especially effective.