From Brain to Keyboard: A System of Hand and Finger Control for Pianists and Students

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Oliver Ditson Company, 1917 - Piano - 63 pages
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Page 41 - Unexpected as the assertion may be, it is nevertheless true, that the highest Art of every kind is based upon Science — that without Science there can be neither perfect production nor full appreciation.
Page 2 - For if it may be said that music is a language, which seems reasonable, since it is addressed to the sense of hearing, and follows its own rules of grammar, then technique is the utterance of that language, and no player whose technique is deficient can express properly his own musical feelings or the ideas of the composer, just as no speaker can speak or recite impressively and convincingly if he is forced to stumble over the pronunciation of every other word.
Page 44 - Another attribute of good cantabile playing" he says "equally important with quality of tone, is the production of legato. It is one of the chief weaknesses of the pianoforte as a musical instrument, that owing to its mechanical construction a perfect legato is an impossibility. The singer can vocalize a succession of sounds on one vowel, without the slightest break in the continuity of sound, but the pianist has to deal with separate strings and separate hammers and therefore each sound sings as...
Page 37 - Smith (3) gives this simple experiment which illustrates the importance of fixation in vibrato: Take an ordinary penknife; .. .open the longest blade firmly between the finger and the thumb, and try by jerking the other end to start the body of the penknife vibrating. It will not. Now fix the same point of the blade really firmly by sticking it in a heavy piece of wood, or by holding it in a vise, or even by pressing a hard substance on it at the edge of a table, it will now vibrate readily if touched...
Page 53 - Some persons play stickily, as if they had glue between the fingers. Their touch may be called too long, for they let the notes last beyond their time. Others play too shortly, as if the keys were red hot. That is also bad, the medium is the best All sorts of touch are good when in the right place.
Page 44 - To minimize the evil and so to approach as closely as possible to a perfect legato, it is important to observe that a succession of notes of equal strength, however perfect the mechanical connection may be, will never sound smooth. The recurring percussion, particularly if the notes are of equal length, seems to attract the ear, and to destroy all sense of continuity. But if the same notes are played with...
Page 54 - Unbroken chords of a very light character and rapid repetition or succession require the same technique as wrist-octaves, but powerful chords or octaves necessitate some action of the forearm, moving from the elbow to give them force. Very rarely however, and only when a metallic, and even hard tone is required, should the arm move from the elbow only; in most cases, the movement must consist of a combined action of both elbow and wrist, that the blow may be elastic; and not stiff.
Page 54 - Expression," page 10) we read for instance : " to produce the most musical and singing quality, it is necessary that the finger, however firm the pressure, should be in an elastic condition, and it is therefore important that every joint of the finger and hand, and even the wrist, should be kept loose, and should yield slightly with each pressure of the finger-tip.
Page 46 - The main object of fingering is the connection of tones. Were it otherwise it would be quite possible to play all passages of single notes with a single finger, and the extraordinary expertness and facility of players on the dulcimer proves that such a mode of execution would be perfectly feasible given sufficient practice.
Page 54 - The arms must be kept perfectly motionless while the fingers are in action; the movements of the hand must proceed solely from the wrist, and those of the fingers from that joint only which connects them with the hand; these are the most essential points in the mechanism of playing.

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