The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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§ 12. The two chief rules of Technique (as regards the Key) are therefore:
(a) Always feel how much the Key resists you—feel how much the key "wants" for every note; and (b) always listen for the moment each sound begins, so that you may learn to direct your effort to the sound only, and not to the key-bed.
If you have succeeded in these two respects, you will have successfully judged each note both musically and instrumentally, and you will have made considerable progress towards playing musically.
§ 13. You will now understand the following General Direc­tions :
You must never hit a key down, nor hit at it.            The finger-
tip may fall upon the key—and in gently reaching the key, you may follow up such fall, by acting against the key. This action against the key must be for the sole purpose of making it move— in one of those many ways which each give us quite a different kind of sound. And you must always therefore direct such action to the point in key-descent where sound begins.
In short: (a) If you hit the key, you cannot feel it, and cannot then tell how much it requires doing to; and (b), if your action is too late during key-descent, you cannot then obtain the exact sound you intend, nor any ease in playing.
§ 14. The following little Summary of the Chief Facts as to the Key will now prove useful. Fix these facts well in your mind, otherwise subsequent study of the Muscular-facts will prove useless.
a): It is only by making the hammer-end of the key
move, that you can make sound. b): The swifter that movement, the louder the sound. c): The more gradually this swiftness is obtained, the
more beautiful is the quality of the sound. d): For brilliant tone, you may hit the String by means of
the Key, but do not by mistake hit at the key instead. e): You must "aim" the key to the beginning of each
sound, because the hammer falls off the string as you
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