The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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f): The string is set into motion by the felt-covered end of the Pianoforte mechanism—the hammer.
g): The hammer, upon being brought into contact with the string, shares its speed with the latter whilst deflecting it. Both thereupon rebound; and the hammer, falling away from the string, leaves the latter free to continue in vibration, gradually expending the energy communicated to it, unless stopped by the Damper.1
h): The hammer can therefore only communicate movement to the string during the latter's first vibration ; and can only do so, during the first quarter of such first to-and-fro movement of the string.
i) : As the hammer ceases to influence the string the very mo­ment that Sound begins, it follows, that this moment forms the conclusion and cessation of the Act of Tone-production; for the string cannot move quicker than it does at that moment, since it has ceased to be under the influence either of Key or Finger.
j): Tone-production at the Pianoforte is therefore a discontin­uousAct; an act separate for each note ; and one that ceases with the moment when Silence changes into Sound.
k): Beauty in the Quality of a sound, depends on the string's vibrations tending rather toward the simple types of movement than toward the compound forms;—the resulting tone is thus less embarrassed with the harsher harmonics.
I): This simplicity in the string's vibration that furthers beauty of tone (vibration of the string rather as a whole than in sections) depends on the manner in which movement is communi­cated to it.
m): The harsher effects arise, when the string is suddenly set in motion ; whereas the more sympathetic effects arise only when the string is set in motion as gradually as possible,
1 We see therefore, that to obtain a legato effect by means of the Pedal, we must let the pedal rise as we depress the keys forming the next chord ; both the depression of the key and the asceut of the pedal being completed at the same moment.                  Since the dampers cannot reach their strings until the
Pedal is nearly quite up, and as the dampers also act in the same way in con­nection with the rising key, it also follows that it becomes an inexorable rule in legato playing, not to depress the pedal at the same moment as a key the sound of which we wish to sustain, but instead to do so immediately after the completion of the descent of such key.                   Correct Pedalling during
Legato—the putting down of the Pedal, thus forms a close syncopation follow­ing the sounding of the notes.
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