Duetting

It’s fun to play duets on a piano, but you have to get used to certain things: playing while offset from middle C and perched on one or other end of the stool; having to ignore half the printed music; avoiding clashing hands or entangling arms with your partner; and, most importantly, matching your playing to hers.


To play duets, you need four hands, which might seem quite a lot
For one piano. Two are yours, the other two are not;
So players have to listen hard to what the other’s doin’,
Or else they’ll soon get out of sync and it will end in ruin.

The music has two separate parts. Take Mozart’s Turkish Rondo:
The upper part’s called Primo, the lower part’s Secondo.
Now Primo, with the better tunes, can really show off with ’em;
While Secondo usually plods along just banging out the rhythm.

You must match each other’s tempo, whether speeding up or slowing;
Once you’ve started, there’s no stopping – you must keep the music flowing.
The best advice to duet players boils right down to this, my friend:
Do make sure you’re both together at the start and at the end!

[Image: bbc.co.uk (painting by Roger Dellar, 2005)]
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