Etude

From Academic Kids

An etude (from the French word étude meaning "study") is a short musical composition designed to provide practice in a particular technical skill in the performance of a solo instrument. For example, Frédéric Chopin's etude Op. 25 No. 6 trains pianists to play rapid parallel chromatic thirds, Op. 25 No. 7 emphasizes the production of singing tone in a polyphonic melody, and Op. 25 No. 10 covers parallel octaves.

Contents

History and function

Musical studies have been composed since the 18th century, most notably by Carl Czerny, but it was Chopin who transformed the etude into an important musical genre. Etudes can be in many forms and are sometimes grouped into larger schemes — Robert Schumann's Études symphoniques bears the title, in its second version, Études en forme de Variations. [1] (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/notes/67166-N.asp)

Etudes for other instruments have been written as well, for example Rodolphe Kreutzer's etudes for the violin.

Chopin's etudes tend to stress a specific aspect of performance difficulty; Liszt's etudes tend to stress mastery of performance as a whole.

The etudes that are most widely admired are those which transcend their practical function and come to be appreciated simply as music. For example, Chopin's etudes are considered not just technically difficult, but also musically very powerful and expressive. In contrast, Czerny's are generally regarded by pianists and audiences as being only technically difficult. Thus Chopin's etudes are continually performed before appreciative audiences, whereas Czerny's are confined to the practice room.

List of etude composers

For the piano

Born before 1700

Born 1700–1799

Born 1800–1850

Born 1850–1899

Born after 1900

For other instruments

de:Etüde es:Estudio ja:練習曲 nn:Etyde no:Etyde fr:Étude (musique)

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