You are probably looking at the title of this blog and thinking (if you have no musical background) “what is a scherzo a piacere?” so I am going to explain what it is and why is this blog called that.
A scherzo is a name for a piece of music that is humorous and upbeat (there are other types of scherzos but we will not get into that right now). If a scherzo was playing in a movie, you could expect it to be a humorous scene, and it would make it even funnier. So I use the word scherzo for this blog because it is a humorous and upbeat approach to music appreciation, unlike reading a textbook.
“A piacere” is a term that is written in sheet music to tell the player how to play a certain part. For example, when a pianist sees this word in his music, he says “Ah! I need to play it as that musical term tells me to!” How does he play it? However he wants. “A piacere” is telling him he gets to play that part however he interprets it should be. Sure he keeps to the right notes, but he can play it faster or slower or faster and faster or louder or softer or loud then soft. So in this blog, I stick to the “notes” which are the facts of music history and composers, but I write about whatever music I want when I want for however long I want. It’s not going to predictable what I’m going to write about from week to week. And on Fridays I might share some videos, pictures, or memes related to classical music that might be relevant to a previous post. You will never know what’s coming next.
Because of this, I have included a few pages summarizing the historical periods of music. In each one, I have listed composers from that period, including some works you might know. This is so you have something to reference back to when I jump around across history.
This is a random pic I found in an old music magazine with the caption “Beethoven in his home.” I honestly don’t know who the other people are in the picture with Beethoven, so I decided to put Haydn in the caption since he was alive at the same time and kinda looks like the guy who is face palming. Actually they’re probably just relaxing after a big dinner to listen to Beethoven play but I like to think he’s face palming.
Beethoven actually wrote a series of 32 variations, but not on Heart and Soul. Heart and Soul is a song from the 1930s. Don’t recognize the title? There’s a 99% chance you have heard this song if you have been near a piano at some point in your life. Listen: Heart and Soul
This is the song that everyone plays when they see a piano. Every time people see a piano, no matter how much experience they have, as long as there are two people they will play this. If you haven’t heard hopefully you get the idea. It is something everyone wants to play but no one wants to hear. Hence Haydn face palming and the other guy next to him in agony. There is nothing so torturous as hearing music you hate over and over again.
On this blog we will discover music you will want to hear over and over again, so you will not be face palming like Haydn, or whoever that guy is in the picture who is not enjoying himself.