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Rock Hanon: 70 Exercises for the Beginning to Professional Pianist.

Rock Hanon: 70 Exercises for the Beginning to Professional Pianist, by Peter Deneff. Hal Leonard Corporation (7777 W. Bluemound Rd., P.O. Box 13819, Milwaukee, WI 53213), 2003. 136pp. $12.95.

Peter Deneff's Rock Hanon presents a set of seventy graded exercises in rock style. Deneff exploits rock idioms, such as rapidly repeated chords, ostinato bass lines and syncopated rhythms, but with little variation of content.

The set begins with repeated root-position chords as triplets, ascending stepwise in C major (No. 1), and provides the basis for most of the book. No. 4 presents the same series of triads but includes both inversions. The pattern is repeated in No. 6 as first-inversion shapes exclusively and as second-inversion shapes in No. 7. The root-position chords return in No. 11 but move chromatically through all twelve major keys. No. 13 presents the pattern again through all twelve minor keys. Likewise, the inverted pattern in No. 4 repeats itself in Nos. 15 and 16 in all twelve major and minor keys, respectively.

Eighth-note pairs replace the triplets for the first time in No. 20. The material is that from No. 2 (in C major) but set in twelve keys with a new bass line. This repeats in No. 21 with a first-inversion starting shape and again in No. 22 with a second-inversion starting shape. Nos. 23, 24 and 25 repeat the examples in minor. The inverted triads found in No. 4 become eighth-note pairs in No. 26 and are varied in Nos. 27 (C minor), 28 (all major keys) and 29 (all minor keys).

Some new ideas appear later in the set. The chords are broken for the first time and presented as single tones alternating with thirds (No. 31), and both hands play sixteenth notes simultaneously beginning at No. 50. The right hand plays some useful intervallic patterns on the fourth (beginning at No. 39) and the fifth (beginning at No. 60).

Although some bass line variations exist, the frequent repetition of few patterns makes the set redundant. The group could be complete as fifteen to twenty pieces with added instructions to vary bass lines, chord shapes and key signatures. Deneff might consider composing rock-style etudes as performance pieces and leave the exercises to Hanon. Reviewed by Kevin Richmond, San Antonio, Texas.
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Author:Richmond, Kevin
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 2004
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