Part 9 – Busoni’s Three C

Czerny, Cramer, Clementi

About point 3, in Part 8, under the five concepts of development for a young pianist, I am certain that you have played some etudes before. However, I think that from your earlier studies, other etudes might be missing, and they could also be beneficial being more accessible than Chopin’s, for instance. So, I would like to add a few etudes by Cramer, the learning speed of which will depend on your ability to read: 

I suggest learning Nos. 1, 2, 12, 13, 16, and 24. 

The purpose is also that of improving your sightreading, by the way. The learning of these specific etudes will be temporary, and you should not work on that as you would typically do with a Chopin etude. 

Heller, which is easier in many ways and perhaps should be used along with Cramer, could be thought of as your daily sight-reading and warm-up AFTER PURE EXERCISES (or in alternation with those exercises). You should be able to learn one new etude nearly every day (better during the summer). They don’t need to be perfect. When you learn a few etudes together, keep them only for a week, then move on and drop them. However, do not fully drop them but attempt to recollect what their difficulty and purpose are. In September, you can quickly play through a few of them already and I’d be happy to hear them.

Work on etudes op. 45*

No. 1, 9, 19

Heller Etude op. 46*

No. 1, 3, 5, 10, 11, 18

Heller Etude op. 47* (Sight-reading/fingers)

No. 1, 8 

— For Heller, start with Op. 47 first, then Opus 46, and Opus 45. 

What? Do you think that these etudes will be enough? 😊

Who leads the piano writing up to Chopin?

The father of a new world that leads the piano writing’s challenges up to Chopin is Muzio Clementi. It is not an accident that Chopin recommended his Preludes and Exercises (etudes) to all his younger students. Select and learn from these as needed. These are wonderful for scales especially, but the Preludes also offer an understanding of the improvisatory sense one finds in recitatives too; hence they are useful in a very different way.

Yet, Clementi did not stop here. He wrote the Gradus ad Parnassus (steps up to Mt. Parnassum as a metaphor for a young pianist’s growth). Out of the 100 etudes (of which I played 24 when I was 16!), let me recommend the following etudes, from Vol. 1 Nos. 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 26. Perhaps there are other fingerings in the Italian edition I also have at U of T in my studio at this link.

Also from Vol 2, at or for another edition, try Nos. 30, 32,  (trill), 36, 37, 44 (Lazar Berman used to play the left hand in octaves!! Try that too).

From Clementi’s Vol. 3, I recommend Nos. 58, 63, 65, 78, 86, 87, 88, 95 at or

Piano Technique: Reflections, Videos, Exercises, and Scores. 

Reflections on Technique