Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

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debussymuir
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Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby debussymuir » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:02 pm

I am a low-intermediate piano student. Is any of the piano music available for download listed by difficulty, as guidance to help me in selecting pieces? Thank you.

KGill
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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby KGill » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:38 pm

At present, no it is not; see viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3239, viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3531, and viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4602#p24319 for some discussion of the subject.

debussymuir
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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby debussymuir » Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:53 am

Thank you KGill, BUT:

IMSLP is agonizing too much on this subject of rating the difficult of scores.

All people want is a ballpark estimate of the difficulty of a particular piece, NOT a detailed, sophisticated analysis of the range of challenges a work offers. Something as basic as a rating of 1 to 5 would be better than what exists now. A person looking for an intermediate score could check out the 2's and 3's without wasting time on the 5's.

The ratings should be done by the site's users, without the site's staff or volunteers having to take on this chore. Find someone who is savvy with internet media and the many sites where user ratings are used -- youtube, airbnb, amazon, etc., etc. -- and let them implement a user rating method. This person needs to know media and the internet and need know nothing about music.

Don't be afraid of this. You could greatly improve the overall usability and reach of this fine site.

Melodia
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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby Melodia » Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:45 am

You miss a bit of the point of the fact this a wiki though. People will be trolls. "LOL, I'll rate this really hard piece a 1 hahah" will happen. And staff would have to clean it up.

cypressdome
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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby cypressdome » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:48 am

Sadly, Melodia is absolutely correct. One just has to look at the mess that is the rating system for scans/typesets/performances. People will give perfect scans a rating of 1, garbage typesets a rating of 5, etc. It seems impossible to enforce any type of standards on a rating system that relies on user input.

Notenschreiber
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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby Notenschreiber » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:13 pm

Why don´t we stop these ratings then?

debussymuir
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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby debussymuir » Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:55 pm

You’re overthinking this.

Look at yelp, trip advisor, and amazon. Users give a star rating and include their reasoning. Other users read these ratings for guidance on reaching their own decision. There’s no “correct” rating because of course they’re subjective. And the trolls will be quickly outed by responsible users.

I’d like to mention an activity rather more dangerous than music performance that lets users rate difficulty. This is rock climbing. The first person to climb a route assigns a difficulty rating to it. Later climbers base their decision to climb and their choice of equipment -- all potential life-and-death decisions -- based on this rating. These later climbers either ratify or modify the rating. Over time a consensus emerges.

Give it a try.

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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby KGill » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:56 pm

debussymuir wrote:There’s no “correct” rating because of course they’re subjective.

So you're saying you'd like a useful listing of works by difficulty, but you're also fine with it being of no real use because difficulty is "subjective"? Even players of similar caliber will have widely diffuse views of what makes a piece really challenging. I happen to think that Bach's C major violin sonata is much harder than anything Ysaye ever wrote, but that doesn't make it true--more to the point, it isn't very helpful.
I’d like to mention an activity rather more dangerous than music performance that lets users rate difficulty. This is rock climbing. The first person to climb a route assigns a difficulty rating to it.

This is a rather nonsensical comparison: in order to rate the difficulty of a climbing route you must actually climb it. In order to give a difficulty rating for a piece on IMSLP, if such a system were set up, you would have to click something on a webpage. You might not have opened the file or even heard of the piece before.
You’re overthinking this.

What can I say?--that's how we roll.

Melodia
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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby Melodia » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:50 am

debussymuir wrote:You’re overthinking this.

Look at yelp, trip advisor, and amazon. Users give a star rating and include their reasoning. Other users read these ratings for guidance on reaching their own decision. There’s no “correct” rating because of course they’re subjective. And the trolls will be quickly outed by responsible users.


The difference is, those are also backed by reviews.

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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby steltz » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:43 am

For some reason, people have been using the scan rating system to rate typesets, even though they aren't scans, and clarity should not be an issue. One piece of music, which people have requested to remove because of the number of mistakes, missing bars, and bad typesetting errors, has average ratings of between 3+ and 5. I'm not sure why, because they are unusable, and the typesetter has not replied to requests to fix them (I probably will remove them this weekend). Some of the parts have been downloaded only a handful of times, the most frequent download was the flute part at 43x.

Another typeset, which was thoroughly proofread by 2 people, and was well laid out for page turns, has orchestral parts that have been rated only 1-6x, and the average rating is 1-2, with three of them getting up to 3. These parts have been downloaded hundreds of times, up to 929x for Violin I. They are clearly more usable than a rating of 1-2 would imply.

If someone says a hotel had bed bugs, there is no way of knowing whether it is a troll or a legitimate comment. Not all trolls use obnoxious language that give their "trollishness" away. And unlike physical sheet music that has to be purchased first, people can download and open files quickly, easily, and for free, in order to assess suitability according to their own criteria. Just my humble opinion.
bsteltz

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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby lekro » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:20 am

Perhaps lists of works included in popular method book series can be put on IMSLP provided that would be legal. Then people could just follow those if they wanted to. Or someone could make their own "method" by just compiling scores from IMSLP. These ratings all just depend on how much you trust the rater.

Melodia
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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby Melodia » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:01 am

Lists of facts are always legal, though sometimes the exact method of listing could be considered 'creative'.

I could, though, see categories like "Grade 2 in XXXX" or something? Though granted it'd likely mean popular pieces would get way too many, but it's a thought.

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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby lekro » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:15 am

Many pieces already have tons of categories, but perhaps can those be cleaned up/made smaller? (for example, see Mozart's Die Zauberflöte)

Since so many people have requested this, it is probably a good idea to add even a rudimentary system.

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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby heatherreichgott » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:59 am

There are already several good indexes out there. The boards that do examinations often publish their syllabi online. If you want a very, very long list, you could buy Jane Magrath's excellent book on teaching repertoire.
But for what you're looking for, the simplest solution is probably to just look at a list online like this one
http://www.musicdevelopmentprogram.org/sites/default/files/files/TAP_syllabus_piano_2012.pdf
and then search IMSLP for those titles that look interesting and were written long ago enough to be in the public domain.

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Re: Are any piano scores listed by difficulty?

Postby steltz » Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:37 am

I have looked at the Carnegie lists Heather has given the link to, and they are roughly equivalent to ABRSM, Trinity, and Unisa.

I would suggest manual lists rather than having to maintain the information on individual work pages, which will be too much work and inevitably will be only scantily maintained. (Another category for the work pages will have to turn into several, because Grade 6 ABRSM is not always Grade 6 in any of the others; there would have to be one category for each examining syllabus.)

One could do it in column format with each column being an examining board. I would also suggest giving the year in which a piece is on the lists; I have syllabi from years back that I use, just because in teaching generally, it is useful to know that a piece is on a particular grade level even though it isn't on a current list. We can still use that piece in teaching for general development, just not a specific current exam.

And, as usual, since this is a volunteer site, someone has to volunteer to do it, or at least the basic structure of it, so that others can add to the lists.
bsteltz


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