The issue on difficulty in music

So, apparently some people in other forums - and most here (it seems) - are against the concept of debating difficulty in pieces.

While I will admit without a second thought that there will be no serious conclusion to such topics, I still find myself questioning this sort of contradiction.

This is because, of what we can observe, difficulty surely matters in music. I think part of the very essence of musical performance is the human feat of performing something difficult to play, or some stunt-work/acrobatics involved. This is the issue with “virtuosity” and “showmanship” - this is viewed as having little to do with the music’s emotional or intellectual content (which tends to seem why Bach and Beethoven are often contrasted with “display” music like Liszt’s early paraphrases), but as a whole package, the feat achieved by a performer of having mastered and performed LIVE something that is known by mankind as something that requires a lot of dedication and patience does matter.

In short, what I am saying is that I still am struggling to find out the reason why some people stray from discussions on repertoire difficulty, when repertoire difficulty is in the first place on of the main components of why people watch performers. Part of why someone is interested in the Opus Clavicembalisticum is this very reason, and the fact that this occurs despite a lot of people seeming to have a hard time “seeing any music” behind it just proves that it is a very real thing to appreciate something that is simply hard to perform.

So, I’d like to know your thoughts on this. Like I said, I am not going to capitalise on posting difficulty threads because I already see that they are not going to bear much fruit. So I figured to address the core of the issue at hand, to find out your views on the bigger picture.

Mikey & da Canadian’z headz pozzibly juz exploded, rezpec :sunglasses:


The main problem is that discussing the difficulty of a single piece of music doesn’t have much value. The feat of playing a difficult piece depend on the quality of the playing.


I’d be eager to find out why, because I tend to have difficulty in finding out why it’s considered to have no fruitful results putting up these topics.

This is because I believe there is still something to be gained when talking about it. It’s not really the “answer” that is to be found, more of the stuff that comes up when discussing what people find hard, why people find it hard, and how it matters to your audience.



I won’t argue with this for sure.

But just look at what Extreme Mofo did. Are you beginning to tell me that it is pointless what he did? Because I’d be interested to know if anyone thinks playing that version has greater quality than playing the original by Chopin.

Don’t you ever find it entertaining when someone asks you which is the hardest piece you play? I do.

To look at it in another way, consider it from your point of view. Why do you find such a piece a hard, and how do you handle these difficulties? How do famous virtuosi handle such difficulties, and what can you learn from them? How did the audiences of the time find such difficulties - did they appeal to them, or did they miss out on them? For me, it’s just a topic worth some interest to talk about. Because these get taken into consideration - not simply “ok what is harder and if you say it is harder than it is period”.

For what? There just isn’t anything worthwhile to ban me for. Banning someone for a difference in opinion seems like a poor way to do it imo.

Like I said, I’m not going to continue posting difficulty threads since it’s been confirmed that the members here aren’t interested in answering them.

But I still stand by this one, as I think this should be the place where I can find out where the difference in opinion lies.

No I don’t find it interesting anymore. Maybe when I was 14 years old (which I suspect you are?)

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Ahh, I see. I guess that makes sense.

Well, I’m not 14 anymore. But kind of young if 34 is the median.

I’m still awaiting your answer on what you think of Extreme Mofo’s playing. Because THAT is difficulty for difficulty’s sake.

Also this: Hardest piece you've played.

Mikey? The guy who himself admits not liking this sort of thing? What am I missing here?

Sorry for my persistence, I just want to make sure what exactly I am missing out on. Apparently even he finds it fun to talk about it, as that thread shows.

Jesus dude, you on a mission?
Yes, it’s just what’s the hardest piece you have played. What’s personally challenged you the most. It’s not for any research purpose or any public comparison and it’s perfectly acceptable to have a subjective opinion.
Whereas what’s the hardest Liszt piece is never going to have an answer and has been asked 1000 times, like most of your recent posts.

Plus someone has already made a what’s the hardest list…(in their opinion)


@NotAtheIntendedTempo tru, respectfully, these discussions are a bit hypothedical

Yeah that’s enough of 'em.

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