The Continuity Rule

Suppose that you want to play the (LH) "do-so-mi-so" quadruplet (“Alberti accompaniment”) many times in succession, very fast (as in the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata). The sequence you practice is CGEGC. The inclusion of the last C is an application of the continuity rule: while practicing one segment, always include the beginning of the following segment. This ensures that when you have learned two adjacent segments, you can also play them together. The continuity rule applies to any segment you isolate for practice, such as a bar, an entire movement, or even to segments smaller than a bar. A generalization of the continuity rule is that any passage may be broken up into short segments for practice, but these segments must overlap. The overlapping note or group of notes is called the conjunction. If you are practicing the end of the first movement, then include a few bars of the beginning of the second movement; don't immediately jump back. During a recital, you will be glad that you had practiced in this way; otherwise, you might suddenly find yourself stumped on how to start the 2nd movement! We can now apply the continuity rule to those difficult interruptions in Fur Elise. For the first interruption, the 8th bar (of this interruption) can be practiced by itself. Play the last note with finger 1. The conjunction is the first note of bar 9 (finger 2), which is the same as the first note of bar 8, so by using this C as the conjunction, you can cycle bar 8 continually for a good workout without any wasted time. This bar is said to be self-cycling -- see "Cycling", section III.2, for more details on cycling. Bars 9 and 10 as a unit are also self-cycling. Since all the difficult sections are for the RH, find some LH material to practice, even from a different piece of music, in order to give the RH periodic rests by switching hands.