3.1 About creating the exercises

In this chapter of the research I will give an overview of the choices that had to be made in creating the exercises. The exercises are constructed from the skeleton of opus 110. I chose the following categories for constructing the exercises. These categories were largely determined by the data gathered in the analytical approaches. The categories are:1

  1. Preparatory exercises: general material like scales and arpeggio’s

  2. Exercises with material from the score

    1. Harmonic exercises

    2. Melodic exercises

    3. Combined exercises

    4. Exercises with abstracts of the actual score


I will now define the framework of the exercises. What do I want to achieve with them and what are the criteria they have to meet?


  1. Preparatory exercises: these exercises concern standard patterns2in the keys of the first movement. They are not new by any means but create a basis for the second type of exercise.

  2. Exercises with material from the score should:

    • be directly linked to the score or reconstruction (bass line, harmony or


    • engage the player in an activity involving more then playing through (copy

      by ear, find the chords, add texture, improvise a melody, play in a certain

      mood, fill in the blank spots,...),

    • be completed mainly by playing and/or singing and occasionally writing,

    • have an average length of about four measures.3



What will the exercises look like?

From the beginning it was quite clear to me that figured bass and chord symbols would play an important role in the exercises to be created. Working form the bass is important. Strobbe (2014) argues that anyone wanting to acquire skills within tonal music should learn to focus on the bass and derive the other voices from the bass.4 Chord symbols have the advantage of being a hands-on approach, but have the disadvantage of not being an aid in transposition. That’s where figured bass can play an important role, making transposing easier.



Preparatory exercises
The preparatory exercises can be done every day as a warm up before the other exercises.

a) Linear scale approach:

    • Scales in thirds, sixths, tenths.

    • Scales in double thirds

    • Playing the scales with leaps of thirds and fifths

    • Improvising short phrases with the scale

b) Vertical scale approach:

    • Triads: parallel triads in root, first and second inversions

    • Seventh chords: parallel seventh chords in all inversions

    • Improvise with parallel chords in both hands, switching between inversions

    • Playing cadences


    • Playing chord progressions from a figured bass or from chord symbols,

    • Reproducing chords by ear (bass line given),

    • Improvising figurations within a harmonic framework,

    • Transposing the chord progression,

    • Transposing the figurations.


    • Improvising a melody above a bass line

    • Improvising a melody above a chord progression

    • Filling in/improvising blank spots in a given melody and bass line

    • Playing outer voice reductions

Combined exercises

    • Combination of the exercises mentioned above

Abstracts of the actual score

    • Filling in (by playing) blank spots of score examples

    • Playing different versions of score examples: changing figurations, harmony, adapting melody’s, altering cadences.

The exercises will be organized according to formal components of the first movement e.g. main theme group, transition, subordinate theme group, development and closing group. Within each formal component exercises of the different categories will be used.