Comptine d’un autre été: L’après-midi

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I’ve been playing the piano again recently. Found this song, Comptine d’un autre été: L’après-midi by a French composer, Yann Tiersen. It translates to “Nursery Rhyme of Another Summer: The Afternoon.” I wouldn’t have titled it that, but it’s an appealing melancholy song nonetheless.

The song is famous for appearing in the movie Amélie. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds interesting / thought-provoking.

It just took me two days to learn this, which is faster than normal. As soon as I abandoned the score and played it from memory, I was able to play much better because I could watch my hands instead of guessing or looking back and forth. That’s a step many musicians don’t reach, because they’ve been taught since childhood that you should not look at your hands and just read from the sheets. Phooey. It’s good to know how to read notes to learn new songs, but after practicing for days you should memorize every note. If it doesn’t happen, you’ve got a hard song so change that to weeks. Don’t try to memorize a song; if it doesn’t happen naturally play it more often, and if it still isn’t burned in your mind maybe you can’t memorize songs (!). Keep practicing always, as long as piano holds your interest.

The hard part is the arpeggios in the right hand, mainly because you have to balance them with the accompaniment in the left hand. The accompaniment is eighth notes and the arpeggios are sixteenths, so you have to play them twice as fast, alongside and synchronized. Your mind doesn’t like that and wants both hands to be moving at the same pace, but if you can disconnect your left brain from your fingers by spacing out, it becomes easy. Then polish it by regaining conscious control of your fingers but continuing with the rhythm. You’ll need this skill, particularly in ragtime.

My camera’s audio isn’t great, but you can download a higher-quality MP3 of my performance. Enjoy.

25 thoughts on “Comptine d’un autre été: L’après-midi

  1. That was awesome, I love this piece. I just found out about Yann Tiersen two days ago and I can’t stop listening to him! :smile: great emotion in this piece, you bring it out so well too.

  2. Replace vid then makes sense or people be learning it wrong through bad internation on your behalf. :P which isnt to good if you could change it though with proper one then that would own. Btw I agree that Self taught piano means you get into habits. The only reason for being taught is to remove bad habits and so that you can find out what your doing wrong in your piece. I.e Like the vid where you played it wrongly. Good to here youve have improved now lets see a much nicer vid plox >.<

  3. Yeh doesnt sound right on the 2nd part well the 2nd phrase (Bar 21) (00:53) your pausing to long on the notes at the en dot the bar (b e c e) they should be the same length so its fluent instead your treating them as quavers not semi quavers and you do the same for each bar of that following section till b repeats again. Thought ur a was good and u were playing to fast. Keep up the good work though maybe if you listen to the actual piece more you will get the flow. And i think somwhere a long the line your ment to accent the notes I.e bar 8 the first note you accent and tail of on the 3rd

    • oh and i forgot to add if you check
      or search The Piano on Youtube it has a nice rendition and if you listen to both that and yours in sinc you go from being ahead to behind at the point i mentioned but i think the link will help you get the motion of it better. And Merry christmas

    • Thanks, I’ve watched that video and it’s actually the first place I heard this piece. This video is about two years old now, so I’m a lot better at playing this now… and I go slower.

  4. i couldnt hear it because my school blocks streaming media but i have learnt the piano for all my life as my mums a piano teacher and i dont think you should refer to this music as a song and ‘eights notes’ are actually tiny- and do not appears in this piece- they are just quavers with minims. sorry but i wish people would use the correct terminology. and its always better to get piano lessons rather than teach yourself. everyone i know who has tried to teach themselves have awful technique and get all sorts of bad habits which will take years to get rid off if you do ever set them right.

    • No, there are definintely 8th notes in my sheets. I disagree with the academic definition of the word “song.” Also, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Self-taught pianists who play badly are just bad pianists.

      • The arpeggios part on the sheet music differs slightly from the original music. There seems to be a note or two missing. Can you tell me how to play the original version?

        • Just replace the 4th beat of each of those measures with two 8th notes: the first note of the measure and one note up if the arpeggio is about to repeat, or one note down if it is about to change. Beat 4 of measure 21 becomes B, middle C; beat 4 of measure 22 becomes B, A, etc.

  5. very nice :smile: i’m trying to learn this as well. i don’t play piano, but this is the one song i want to be able to play haha. the only thing that kills me is the eights and sixteenths part haha.

    • Thanks Alec. Practice it really slow… try playing the right hand and the left hand separately. For every note in the left hand you play two in the right. That’s the hardest part of the song. Good luck and keep practicing. You’ll get it after 30 hours of practice I bet. :smile:

  6. You truly have talent in many areas. I too play piano by memory, but no where near as well as you. Keep playing and I hope to hear more soon.

    • Thanks Anqet! It takes a lot of practice… you do have to work on it every day. I think we’re just as capable of learning as adults than as children, but children seem to learn more easily because they spend more time on piano.

  7. That was awesome! :smile2: Good work! I’m going try to learn it =) Wish me luck!

    • Good luck! There is a lot of repetition. Playing the left hand with the right hand is the tough part. You’ll get it if you are dedicated.

  8. That was great dude. I can play the guitar but would be nice to play the piano too.
    And I was looking for this song, now I can have it in mp3, in a sort-of-legal way :)

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