Improvise Puccini´s "E Lucevan le Stelle" on Piano

Learn Scales, Chords, Progressions, Notations, Composition and Improvisation on the Piano
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Instructed by Peter Janzen Music / Instruments
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  • Lectures 16
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 10/2013 English

Course Description

Harmony is the basis of composition and improvisation, band-playing, songwriting, musical interpretation and understanding the emotions of music.

  1. Analyze, play and Improvise the most famous dramatic Tosca aria "And The Stars Were Shining" (E Lucevan le Stelle) of the great Opera Composer Giacomo Puccini.
  2. Learn scales, chords and notations, progressions and their emotional repercussions, music structure and improvising techniques, all in one.
  3. Derive your own music from classical musical material.

The course shows you step by step the whole compositional process from the harmonic analysis of Puccini´s dramatic aria “And the Stars were Shining" through to your own personal improvised interpretation.

Th aria is well known for its induction of strong emotions. The aria´s chord progression which is shown in full detail during the course explains in depth these parts of high emotional arousal.

To meet the needs also of the advanced beginner there are introductory videos about the concepts of scales and chord-construction.

This course is designed especially for the enthusiast of classical and modern music who wants to improve his harmony knowledge and who wants to learn compositional and improvisational techniques.

What are the requirements?

  • Basic knowledge of piano playing
  • 15 minutes daily practice time
  • A piano (or keyboard), minimum 49 keys, optimum 72 keys to 88 keys
  • A laptop or tablet to put it beside or upon your instrument.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • You learn to use the three different minor scales.
  • You learn to construct chords onto a given scale.
  • You learn concepts of harmonic analysis of music pieces
  • You learn to use the Roman Numeral Notation for the ease of transposing songs.
  • You learn to understand the chord progression of one outstanding classical masterpiece.
  • You learn about the correlation between chord progression and emotions.
  • You learn how to construct musical forms and how to re-compose a musical piece.
  • You learn how to improve your improvisational skills

Who is the target audience?

  • Lovers of classical AND modern popular music who wish to improve their understanding of music
  • Music enthusiasts who want to learn the classic and modern western harmonic framework
  • Musicians who want to compose own and personal songs
  • Piano players who want to to enhance their skills and motivation
  • Intermediate and advanced piano players finding "holes" in their improvisational and songwriting skills
  • Music teachers who want to know new approaches for a motivating music class

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

You get to know:

- How different scholars analyze Puccini´s aria "E Lucevan le Stelle"

- The first Piano Arrangement of the Tosca Opera

- The caracteristic Motive of the aria

- An Overview of th whole course

15 pages

With this handout you can calmly review all subjects and illustrations presented in the video of this section.

Section 2: Analyzing Puccini´s "E Lucevan le Stelle" Harmony

You learn:

- How to analyze the tonality of a given music piece

- The characteristics of natural, harmonic and melodic G-Minor scales

- The differences between the ascendant and descendant melodic minor scale

- Why the harmonic minor scale has an exotic sound


You learn:

- How to construct chords upon every scale tone

- How the chord names are built

- The special dcharacteristic of the dominant seven chord

- Chords with diminished fifth

Chord with non scale tones


You learn:

- the chord progression of the whole aria

- How to read the chord symbols

4 pages

In this lecture you get the score with chord symbols so that you can practice the whole piece at your piano or keyboard


You learn:

- How chords are described in Roman Numeral Notation

- The advantages of the Roman Numeral Notation

- How the Roman Numeral Notation makes a transposition of a given musicpiece easier

- The transposition of our aria from g-minor to a-minor

17 pages

With this handout you can calmly review all subjects and illustrations presented in the videos of this section.

Section 3: From Scales and Chords to Emotions

You learn:

- How the use of scales contribute to the use of certain chord progressions

- How the violation of the expectancy of chord progressions evoke emotions of tension

- How Puccini achieved intense emotions by systematical violations of the expectancy of certain chordprogressions

16 pages

With this handout you can calmly review all subjects and illustrations presented in the video of this section.

Section 4: Re-Composing the Original

You learn:

- How to analyze the time structure of Puccini´s aria

- A step by step process of changing the time structure of the aria

- A time structure that fits better our listening habits

- The meaning of Asymmetry in time structures

- How to construct a music piece out of one chorus


You learn:

- how to analyze a given improvisation


In this lecture you get an acompanying pattern for your own improvisation exercises, based on the new time structure of Puccini´s aria. This means you will here invent your own "derivative composition"

12 pages

With this handout you can calmly review all subjects and illustrations presented in the videos of this section.

Section 5: Epilogue

You will get to know some basics about:

- Copyright

- How to investigate the copyright status of a given work

- Fair use

- Copyright in derivative works

1 page

I hope that you enjoyed the course. Thank you very much for your interest.

Best regards

Dr. Peter Janzen

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Instructor Biography

Peter Janzen, Physicist, Music Pedagogue

Peter Janzen is Doctor in Physics (Univ. of Cologne, Germany) and Music-Pedagogue (Univ. of Siegen Germany).

After years working as university scientist he changed his area of activities and became Physics- and Music-Teacher in Germany and in Spain. He lived eight years in Mexico as principal of a big International School. Later he went to Cairo, Egypt as School Coordinator for the German Schools in Middle East.

The imparting of his knowledge has always been one of his main aims - in physics as well as in music.

The musical philosophy of Dr. Janzen, packed in three sentences, is: "Music forms the essence of life, for everybody – that´s a culture independent reality. But this musical essence of life will emerge and come to real bloom only, when you practice improvisation: Singing, dancing, playing improvised music will really free your mind and will unfold your musicality."

Today many persons in different parts of the world remember how they learned from him, practicing North American Minimal Music, German Folksongs, Indian Ragas, Top Twenty Pop Songs, and many other music styles. They began with him, without having had a previous musical education. Some of them are now successful musicians. Many of them practice music privately.

Now Dr. Janzen is Senior Consultant in Culture and Education and has begun to produce didactical videos about his areas of expertise.

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