The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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18
DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.
and wrist which are required to facilitate the turning under and over of the thumb and fingers; both these forms of freedom being imperative, even if you wish to play a simple scale or arpeggio with evenness.1
AS TO MOVEMENTS BEFORE REACHING THE KEYS:
§ 55. As this matter often proves puzzling, a few words must here be devoted to this detail:
Movements required to bring the finger-tips into contact with the key-surface do not. strictly speaking, belong to the Act of Touch itself, since that does not commence until the key is reached. Ample preliminary movements are however helpful, when there is time for them. In making such ample movements with the fingers, we are more likely to learn to use these freely (provided we are not tempted into hitting at the keys), and we shall be better able to learn to distinguish each finger from the others; while in the case of arm-touch, a preliminary movement of it helps to overcome its inertia before the key-surface is reached, which also is an advantage.
Movements towards the keys, whether of the finger, hand or arm, should however be passive rather than active in their nature. Thus:
a)  The Finger, in moving towards a key, should not be more exerted than will neatly bring its tip upon the key without any real hitting of the key-surface. It should almost fall by its own weight, so slight should the exertion be.
b)  The Hand, in Hand-touch (so-called "Wrist-touch"), should fall of its own weight, if previously raised off the key-surface; this suffices in nearly all cases.
c)  The Arm, in Arm-touch, must also be allowed to fall
of its own weight upon the key, it being however not
more relaxed than will permit it to fall upon the keys
comparatively gently, unless a harsh tone is desired.
1 Exercises for these purposes will be found with others in the " Muscular-discrimination studies.""Relaxation studies," Bosworth.
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