The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.
13
can start it (a) by milling the hand-and-finger exertion, but allow­ing the arm-release to occur in answer to the re-action felt at the wrist; or you can cause the combination to arise (b) by willing the Arm-release itself, and allowing the finger and hand to act purely in response to the weight felt to be set free—the finger and hand acting only sufficiently to insure the weight reaching the key.1
a)  If you want bright, incisive, "brilliant" tone, you must start the combination in the first way;—the third Species may then be said to be "muscularly-initiated"; in short, it is "Muscular-touch."
b)  If you want thick, singing, carrying tone, you must start the combination in the second way;—and the touch is then "weight-initiated," or "Weight-touch."
There is only one way of starting the First and Second Species;—these touches are necessarily muscularly-started since there is no Weight-release in their case; and the tone-quality must therefore also tend towards the brilliant type rather than towards the sympathetic.
Study the above directions most carefully, and remember, if you want beauty of tone, you must not allow yourself to think of action or exertion. If you properly employ the Weight-touch, it feels as if the keys "go down of themselves"—for you must not become conscious of the exertion of the finger and hand, and you cannot feel Weight-release, since it arises owing to your ceasing to act with the arm-sustaining muscles,— the more completely so, the greater the tone required.
§ 45. While these two different ways of starting the muscular act form the chief difference between thick and thin qualities of tone, you still have to learn one more distinction, and that is: the difference between bent and flat finger—or thrusting and clinging methods of touch.
For you can reach the key either:—
a)  With the finger well bent beforehand; or
b)  With the finger much flatter or straighter beforehand.
1 In short:—In the one case you start at the Fiuger-and-hand end, levering the released Arm-weight on to the key; while in the other, you start with Arm-lapse, using the hand and finger in response.
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