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ABF Quarterly Recital

Dedicated to the memory of Monica K.

There is currently no open recital, so we are not accepting submissions right now.

New recitals will be announced on the Adult Beginners Forum about a month in advance. See you then!

Background and Purpose of the Recitals

The quarterly ABF recitals are dedicated to the memory of Monica J. Kern, our long-time recital moderator. 'Monica K.' served as the administrator for 53 quarterly recitals. She also performed in every one of the first 55 recitals, many of those performances dedicated to her favorite composer Ludovico Einaudi. In addition, she was an active and beloved contributor to the Piano World forum. We owe Monica a debt of gratitude for her instrumental role in getting the recitals started and keeping them running for so many years.

The AB forum quarterly recitals were the brainstorm of mr_super-hunky, who back in 2006 started a thread in which he proposed, "What if we picked a future date that we could all practice a song or two for, and then have kind of a compilation posting of member recordings?"

With the computing help of Bob Muir, the first recital was launched with 32 participants performing pieces in a wide range of styles and expertise, ranging from those who had been playing only a few weeks to those with a decade or more of piano experience.

Few on AB forum could have imagined just how wildly popular the recitals quickly became. A regular quarterly schedule was established, with calls for submissions going out on the first of February, May, August, and November, with the recital itself going live on the 15th.

A major advance was made starting with the 8th recital, when forum member mahlzeit wrote a program that allow people to submit recordings online that would then be normalized and given standardized mp3 tags to facilitate creating playlists or CDs.

The primary purpose of the recitals is to allow AB forum members to provide a snapshot of where they are in their piano journey at that particular point in time. The goal is not perfection but rather to share with one another our current projects. If you are fairly new to the piano, please do not be intimidated by some of the talent here in the ABF. We all consider ourselves to be beginners even though we may have been playing for some time. And, we LOVE to hear recordings from folks new to the keyboard. So even if you're on your first Alfred's method book, we would really enjoy hearing from you and you should not hesitate to participate.

After the recital goes live, a "Discussion Room" thread is started in which listeners offer their constructive feedback and thoughts about the various pieces. Some people comment individually on all submissions; others comment on a subset; and still others offer general appreciation for the recital as a group. Any of these approaches is acceptable and welcomed.

For those curious to see what the recitals are like, forum member Sam S. has created an extremely helpful ABF Recital Index that provides links to all the past recitals, in addition to allowing people to browse by performer or composer.

Themed Recitals

In addition to the quarterly recitals, occasionally a themed recital is announced in the forums. Usually these involve a sign-up period and a longer time to prepare the recital pieces. Watch the Adult Beginner's Forum for announcements and discussion.

A Tip of the Hat

Credit needs to be given to a number of individuals who, over the years, have volunteered time and resources to getting the recitals up and running smoothly.

In particular, thanks are due to:

How the Recital Works

For the Quarterly Recitals, four times a year a "Call for submissions" thread will be started by the administrator of the recitals, operating under the forum name of ABForumRecital. Any and all styles of music are welcome; the only requirement is that it be piano related. Only one recording may be submitted per forum member (although that recording may consist of a medley of two or more very short related pieces).

For the Themed Recitals, usually there is a sign-up period followed by a "Call for submissions" thread from the recital organizer. Rules for submitting vary from recital to recital. The one recording per forum member rule may be waived for the Themed Recitals.

Recital submissions must be in MP3 format. The maximum size of the file is 20 MB. We recommend encoding the recording at 192 kbs with a constant bitrate, as that works best with the online streaming player. At that bitrate, a 20 MB file works out to be about 7 minutes in length. Submitted recordings are normalized when placed in the consolidated zip files, but the original link will still be available for those who want it.

For those who are new to recording their music, there are several threads in the forum archives that address the ways and means. See the Important Topics on AB Forum thread for links to various threads giving advice on recording equipment and methods.

Once the recital is opened for submissions, and your mp3 file is ready, the content at the top of this page will change to allow recording uploads (ONLY during the two week interval that the recital is open to submissions). Once you have uploaded your info to the automated recital software, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. You will have the opportunity to revise your submission any time up until the deadline. If you have any problems at all using the new website, or if you do not receive a confirmation e-mail within a few hours, just contact the administrator or post your question in the "Call for Submissions" thread. If you have not participated in past recitals using this software, you may want to submit your recital piece at least a day in advance in case you run into any problems with it.

The recital software uses the following submission template to be filled out along with your attached music file. You may want to have your responses to these fields prepared in advance so all you have to do is cut and paste:

Again, the recital will be presented in the order the pieces were received, so the sooner you send in your piece, the higher you will be on the list! You can revise your entries on the template (e.g., thoughts about your piece, adding YouTube links, and the like) any time and not lose your place in the recital queue, but if you resubmit your recording at any time, for any reason, you will be bumped to the end of the list.