The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.
9
those of the finger and hand are the ones you should mostly use—between the keyboard and the arm, at the wrist.
In walking, standing, or running, you have a similar effect: It is true that your feet press upon the ground, but the exertion is upwards.          And the moment you feel at the Piano as
if you were acting downwards, you may be sure you are employ­ing the wrong exertions.
§ 30. The more weight you let loose, at the moment of sounding the note, the more can the finger and hand thus act against the key, and the louder will the sound be.
§ 31. You will now have realised, that it is three different things you have been applying against the key to make it move; viz.:
a)  The weight of the arm.
b)  The exertion of the hand, and
c)  The exertion of the finger.
Now, when you thus make the key move by using all these three things together, we call this muscular combination:—
THE THIRD SPECIES OF TOUCH.
§ 32. But you must not always use this Third Species. In place of this third Species, you can do without Arm-weight, while producing the sound by only using the exertions of the finger in conjunction with those of the hand.
That is: you can prevent the arm from lying on the keys through the fingers, by keeping it supported by its own muscles; and can still cause the keys to move by a greater or lesser exertion of the fingers and hand alone— the arm meanwhile as it were floating over the keyboard. In thus making sound by exerting the finger and hand, but without the assistance of relaxed arm-weight, we obtain:—
THE SECOND SPECIES OF TOUCH.
§ 33. Again, in place of this Second Species, we can even do without the exertion of the hand, and can produce the sound by finger-exertion only.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III