Monthly Archives: December 2008

Simple Love (JianDan Ai)

I originally tried creating an arrangement of this piece about two years ago at my aunt’s house in the bay area.  The source material is one of Jay Chou’s most famous songs, Simple Love (Jiandan Ai). Most of what I came up back then was the syncopation between the left and right hands.  It ended up sounding a bit too repetitive.

Anyway, this Saturday evening, I decided to take a new approach.  I enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture the syncopation and drums of the original but decided in the end to write the piano in the spirit of the song.  The chords sound a bit more classical.  I also bring out the ballad aspect of the song, and less of the rhythmic hip-hop influence from the drums.  I found if I tried to capture the verse melody too much, it just felt robotic.  You’ll hear that I did recreate the syncopation in the second verse, but less in the melody and more in the chords.  I also smoothed out the verse melody in order to allow the song to flow a bit better.   And yes, some of the tinkly pretty stuff is me emulating the chinese pop ballad style Jay Chou is famous for.

I recorded this on my MotifES6.  I’m interested in playing this on a full grand to see if, when improvising, I’ll add a little bit more to the range of the arrangement.  Only having 61 keys is kind of annoying.  I really need to save up for that baby grand and a couple of AKG 414s.

Simple Love (JianDan Ai) – Arranged by Jared Ong

Favorite Classical Works

So, I spent my Sunday evening trying to catalogue some of my most favorite classical pieces for a random post request I found on the internet. Doing so brought back memories of four semesters of music history. I have fond and not so fond memories of trying to memorize scores and pieces late into the night. So much fun when a piece is 30 minutes long and the professor can ask you to identify any section of the piece using a score or mp3. Once you get into 20th century music, it’s hard to tell between the different pieces because they are not nearly as melodic. I think our teachers were trying to force us to like Schoenberg. Well it didn’t work, but I do have an appreciation for his twelve-tone practices. Oh, the horrors of studying Hexachordal inversional combinatorialism.

Anyway, here are some of my favorites that I’ve collected over the years (either from my classes, or just listening in general). It was fun trying to pull melodies and movement names from the recesses of my mind. Youtube and iTunes were a big help.

Classical Period
Mozart – Symphony No. 41 in C Major K 551 (All movements. Known as the “Jupiter” symphony)
Mozart – Piano Concerto in D Major K107 (especially like the 1st movement, Allegro)
Mozart – Symphony No. 40 in G minor K550 (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, one of his most famous)
Mozart – Piano Concerto in E-flat Major K. 271 (all movements)
Beethoven – Symphony No.3 (Known as “Eroica”. All movements are fabulous, this might be my favorite Beethoven Symphony)
Beethoven – Symphony No. 6 in F Major (known as the “Pastoral” symphony)
Beethoven – Sonata No. 8 Pathetique (all movements. Movement no.2 is one of the most beautiful melodies ever composed, in my opinion)

Romantic Period
Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto in E Minor op. 64 (all movements!)
Brahms – Symphony #3 (especially Movement 3, it’s one of my favorites)
Chopin – Nocturne in C Minor op. 48 no.1
Chopin – Nocturne in E flat Major Op.9 No.2 (one of Chopin’s most famous pieces. I remember hearing it in The Incredible Machine software game)
Chopin – Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No 4.
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 6 in B Minor op.74 Pathetique (all movements)
Dvorak – Symphony No.9 (known as “From the New World” You might be familiar with the 4th movement)
Mahler – Symphony No. 2 (known as the “Resurrection” symphony. The movements are quite transcendental in nature.)

Impressionist Period
Debussy – Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (one of my favorite pieces)
Debussy – Claire de Lune (famous piece. Played at the end of Ocean’s Eleven)

20th Century
Gershwin – Piano Prelude No. 1 (nice and short but so awesome. Even though Gershwin is more of a Jazz composer, who cares, it deserves to be on this list)
Stravinsky – Petrushka (all movements, although I’m partial to movement 1)
Stravinsky – Rite of Spring (all movements, although most people know it for it’s dissonance in the Sacrifice movement)
Copland – Appalchian Spring (One of his most famous works, a ballet score)

Hope you guys enjoy. What are some of your favorite pieces?