Piano Playing: A Little Book of Simple Suggestions

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McClure Company, 1907 - Piano - 69 pages
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Page 54 - If ten players study the same piece with the same high degree of exactness and objectivity — depend upon it: each one will still play it quite differently from the nine others, though each one may think his rendition the only correct one.
Page 15 - ... follows the player's performance, the piece will appear in the light of the player's individuality. Would that composers as well as pianists might profit by this wise advice! There is a perceptive paragraph on the error of " inferring the conception of a composition from the name of its composer." We find some of Beethoven's works as romantic and fanciful as any of Schumann's or Chopin's could be, while some of the latter's works show at times a good deal of Beethovenish classicity [sic]. Every...
Page 53 - ... Correct Touch and Technic," "The Use of the Pedal," "Playing 'in Style'" and "How Rubinstein Taught Me to Play"— all enlightening in matter, and pleasantly, often wittily, expressed. Mr. Hofmann is keen at discovering and exposing popular fallacies. Take, for example, the following on interpretation : It is sometimes said that the too objective study of a piece may impair the "individuality
Page 22 - ... heard, and to this imperative requirement your speed must ever subordinate itself. It is not at all necessary to practice loudly in order to foster the permanence of impressions. Rather let an inward tension take the place of external force. It will engage, sympathetically, your hearing just as well. With regard to finger exercises. Do not let them be too frequent or too long — at the most a half hour a day. A half hour daily, kept up for a year, is enough for any one to learn to play one's...
Page 25 - ... fail, resume your silent reading of the piece away from the piano. Under no circumstances skip the unsafe place for the time being and proceed with the rest of the piece. By such forcing of the memory you lose the logical development of your piece, tangle up your memory, and injure its receptivity. With regard to technical work: Play good compositions and construe out of them your own technical exercises. In nearly every piece you play you will find a place or two of which your conscience tells...
Page 65 - To be sure, this method would not work with all pupils, but it is nevertheless well calculated to develop a student's original thought and bring out whatever acumen he may possess. If such a one succeeded by his own study and mental force to reach the desired point which the great magician's wizardry had made him see, he had gained the reliance in his own strength : he felt sure that he would always find that point again — even though he should lose his way once or twice, as every one with an honest...
Page 26 - ... technical work: Play good compositions and construe out of them your own technical exercises. In nearly every piece you play you will find a place or two of which your conscience tells you that they are not up to your own wishes — that they can be improved upon either from the rhythmical, dynamical, or precisional point of view. Give these places the preference for a while, but do not fail to play from time to time again the whole piece, in order to put the erstwhile defective and now repaired...
Page 52 - ... but this must be presupposed with a player who aspires to artistic work. On the other hand, talent alone cannot lift the veil that hides the spiritual content of a composition if its possessor neglects to examine the latter carefully as to its purely material ingredients. He may flatter the ear, sensuously speaking, but he can never play the piece in style.
Page 21 - After every half hour make a pause until you feel rested. Five minutes will often be sufficient. A valuable little hint here, if you will allow me : Watch well that you actually hear every tone you mean to produce. Every missing tone will mean a blotch upon your photographic plate in the brain. Each note must be not mentally but physically heard, and to this imperative requirement your speed must ever subordinate itself. It is not at all necessary to practice loudly in order to foster the permanence...
Page 23 - A half hour daily, kept up for a year, is enough for anyone to learn to play one's exercises. A rule for memory exercises. If you wish to strengthen the receptivity and retentiveness of your memory, you will find the following plan practical: Start with a short piece. Analyze the form and manner of its texture. Play the piece a number of times very exactly, with the music before you. Then stop playing for several hours and try to trace the course of ideas mentally in the piece. Try to hear the piece...

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