The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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4                                DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.
hear that beginning, and it in too late then to influ-ence the sound, except as regards its mere continua­tion.
f): It is wrong to squeeze the key-beds, because it pre­vents tone, impairs musical-result, impedes Agility, and is besides fatiguing.
g): You must feel the "giving-way point" of the key, so that you may be able to tell how much force is re­quired for each note. Never therefore really hit the keys.                  __________________
§ 15. To obtain Staccato, you must allow the key to re­bound; otherwise the damper will not descend sharply enough to prevent the prolongation of the sound.           It is not enough
merely to allow the key to rise soon after the sound is reached; on the contrary, you must so carefully time the cessation of your action against the key, that the key jumps back like a ball, and brings your finger up with it, in its rebound.
§ 16. If you want the sound to continue (Tenuto or Legato) , then you must allow sufficient Weight to continue resting on the key to keep it down. But you should not use more Weight continuously on the key than will just suffice to sound the key softly. The weight left on the keyboard between the suc­cessive notes in Legato, should therefore be quite light, even when you have to use much energy and weight during key-descent to obtain a forte.
§ 17. Realise now, that in playing a loud note either Tenuto or Legato, you have really to do two different things:—(1) you must use sufficient energy to make the key move down swiftly enough to obtain that forte, and while you must stop using most of this energy the moment the hammer reaches the string, you must nevertheless (2) continue using some little remnant of energy (just sufficient Weight) to keep the key depressed.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III