An opening short cadenza-like passage sets “Broken Chords” apart from the other pieces in the third volume of Mikrokosmos. Many aspects can make this piece a bit of a challenge for students. First, keeping a steady pulse amid the varied triplet figurations is difficult. Following the tenuto markings carefully helps maintain a strong 6/8 pulse. The beat needs to be steady even in measures with duplets and with three-beat phrase markings. Another challenge is the ending, where the hands are in close proximity and overlap each other at some points. This awkward hand position makes it harder to keep the tempo the same.
Caroline Krause, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates Fellow