MUSICAL MEMORY - online book

A System To Cultivate The Musical Memory For Musicians.

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over the finger-movements, to see that they occur exactly as we would desire, but our musical and our intellectual memory would supply all the information respecting the passage. It is not remembered by the eye, but the eye controls the performance of it.
The practice which many who play from memory adopt, of carefully watching the keyboard throughout their performance of a piece, even in passages where visual control would be quite unnecessary, is doubtless adopted to assist in securing a continuous and complete concentration upon the work in hand. Later on we shall see that this is an essential point to consider in memory-playing.
43. Although the employment of visual control does not necessarily imply a simultaneous exercise of visual memory, yet the employment of the former tends to force into employment the latter; and it is therefore within the scope of this investigation to draw attention to the types of passage, during the performance of which we often prefer to look at the keyboard, and which therefore may eventually become memorized by the eye. Numerous extended brilliant passages of this kind must occur to the mind of every pianist, and a quotation is unnecessary. Of passages which include wide skips and extensions, and in which the assistance of the eye would probably be sought to secure a correct performance, Chopin's 19th Prelude, beginning as follows, is a fair type:
Of passages founded on chords in different positions, the sixth variation of Mendelssohn's " Variations Serieuses" may be mentioned,
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