Moonlight Sonata Presto Agitato (Amateur Recording)

Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement (Presto Agitato) is the most exciting movement in the famous Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.

The fast tempo (Presto Agitato) has to be sustained across the entire 3rd movement (around 7 minutes), making it quite a difficult piece for amateur pianists.

We record a version (imperfect, with mistakes) on Korg G1 Air. There is a long chromatic section, whereby we analyze what is the fingering most appropriate for the chromatic scales.

Cai Yun Zhui Yue Piano Sheet Music (PDF)

This is a classical piano tune that is masterfully transcribed (by arranger Wang Jianzhong 王建中). In English, it is also called “Colourful Clouds Chasing the Moon”. In Chinese, it is called 彩云追月.

The transcription is really very nice, the harmony and the melody of the original tune is preserved and even enhanced. Few piano scores for Chinese music can achieve this effect.

The sheet music (or piano score) is originally from, we simply convert to PDF for the convenience of those who are seeking it:

PDF Sheet Music Score for Cai Yun Zhui Yue: Cai Yun Zhui Yue PDF

I checked that this version is the same as the one performed by Li Yundi:

Chromatic Fingering for Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement

In Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement, there is a very fast stretch of chromatic notes in bar 187.

I was wondering if the most basic fingering is good, or a more advanced fingering involving the 4th or even 5th finger would be better. (Read more on advanced chromatic fingering here:

Some people on Reddit suggest some very fanciful fingerings, including “using LH (Left Hand!!) (faster playing up)4321,4312,4321,4321. So, groups of 4321 with the exception starting on the C. That part goes 4312. Just play all the way up with the LH and smack that top A (was it?) with yer Right Hand”! This fingering is apparently attributed to Alfred Brendel.

It turns out that at least 2 professional pianists seem to use the basic chromatic fingering: 2 13 123 13 123 … etc. They do not use the fourth finger at all. The starting fingering of the first note (G#) may vary.

The first pianist is Valentina Lisitsa. Watch at 0.25 speed to see the fingering at around 6:07 time. Lisitsa seems to use a “special trick” by using her left hand to play the lowest G# in the chromatic range.

The second pianist is Rousseau. You can see his fingering clearly, it is the basic chromatic fingering at around 6:34 time.

Hence, it seems that for Moonlight sonata it is not needed to use the advanced chromatic fingering. Using the pedal during the chromatic (both pianists use it to some extent) gives the illusion of a fast chromatic.

For other pieces like Fantasie Impromptu, the advanced chromatic fingering works well for greater speed.

Cheap Digital Piano Singapore

Do you know that there is a decent digital piano selling for just $599 on Qoo10?

Qoo10 Link here (with other piano recommendations):

It is the Casio CDP-135 Digital Piano, with 88 Weighted Keys. It is an excellent choice for parents with children who are starting on piano. The child may show some initial interest in learning piano, but who knows, children may just give up after a few weeks. Buying a upright piano will cost at least S$3000, and if the child gives up it ends up as a “white elephant” collecting dust.

$599 is certainly affordable for most Singaporeans, and it will serve as a first piano for young children. If they have a sustained interest, after a few years an upgraded piano can be bought. An additional benefit is that digital pianos never go out of tune. With Singapore’s humid weather and young children hitting the keys, actual pianos may go out of tune frequently.

Video of the Casio CDP-130, which is an older version of Casio CDP-135. (That means the CDP-135 is even better than what is shown in the video below.) The pianist plays Fantaisie-Impromptu, which is a difficult classical piece (above Grade 8 level). Hence, playing grade 1-5 classical pieces is no problem on the Casio CDP-135.

If you are willing to fork out a little bit more cash, the Yamaha P-125 is a good catch (around $950). (Also found on my Qoo10 piano recommendations page.)

Basically, the Yamaha P-125 is the top tier of the P range, P for portable. For Yamaha, the ranking goes like this P<YDP<CLP (Clavinova). For beginners, P-125 will be more than enough. YDP is for intermediate players, and Clavinova is for musicians and for actual performance.

Finally, if your budget is around S$1800, the best digital piano is probably Korg G1 Air.

Also, read our previous post on Cheapest Digital Piano Singapore.

How Piano Lessons May Improve Language Learning for Kids | Time

Music => Language => Abstractness (Abstract Mathematics, Advanced Physics), these 3 faculties reside on the same (right) part of our brain., the earlier a kid develops it through music education (piano, violin or any instrument) the better.

Korg G1 Air Digital Piano Review

I was searching for digital piano brands when I stumbled upon the Korg G1 Air. Korg is relatively unknown compared to Yamaha/Kawai etc, but it makes excellent digital pianos. Do check out the video above, it features Fantaisie-Impromptu by Chopin, one of my favorite piano pieces.

According to many reviews (see AZ Piano Reviews, Pianodreamers), Korg G1 Air is one of the best digital pianos in its price range. I went to the showroom and tested it out, it is indeed good. The weighted keys do feel like an actual acoustic piano. Touch of keys is very important for classical pianists. The 3 piano sounds are supposedly sampled from Steinway, Bosendorfer and Yamaha respectively. It also has bluetooth audio, so you can stream your music from your phone through the piano’s speaker systems.

The price is surprisingly affordable too, it is around S$1800 (Singapore dollars). According to many reviews online, it is equal or better than many other digital pianos in a much higher price range! I do agree, I have tried Yamaha’s Clavinova (higher priced than Korg G1), the Korg does not lose out to it in terms of sound and touch. Korg is fully made in Japan. Richard Clayderman endorses the Korg digital pianos:

There is another even cheaper model Korg C1 Air (priced at around S$1400), which many also say that it is quite good.

International buyers may want to check the Korg G1 out on Amazon:

Korg G1 AIR Digital Piano Black

For Singapore, the Korg G1 is available on Qoo10: Korg G1 Air. (comes with bench and headphone)

I think in Singapore especially, having a digital piano is a good idea if you want to practice at night (e.g. after 10pm) without disturbing the neighbors. Its design is quite space-saving too, it can fit into the smallest of homes without any problem.