The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

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48          key-treatment; instrumental aspect.
speed of the Key—and String—is reached before our end of the tool is brought into contact with its underlying pad, and we shall thus have succeeded in obtaining the exact tone-shading which our musical conscience prompted us to desire. \Vide Figs. 3 and 4.]
\ Fi4 A                          I Fvg.B.
\c\                             A
Fig. 4.—The difference between "sudden" and "gradual" key-depression.
g): Of the two horizontally converging thick lines in Fig. 4 (both the above diagrams), the upper line (aa) illustrates the position of our end of the key when at rest—at "surface-level"; while the lower of these lines represents the position of the key's surface when fully depressed.
The vertical (dotted) lines in both diagrams are meant to ex­hibit the degree in the key's motion during descent, respectively in brilliant and in sympathetic tone-production.
In diagram A, we have Energy applied suddenly—" avec at-taque." Here the dotted lines c (supposed to represent the degree of speed) are seen to start at once some distance apart, but they remain only thus far apart to the end of the key's descent; for the key-descent is so sudden that it is practically impossible to attain any increase in speed during it.
In diagram B, the key has on the contrary been reached prac­tically without percussion, without suddenness,— " sans attaque." The dotted lines d therefore here commence together, and they widen out to represent the Speed-crescendo that can now be in­duced during descent; for the key is in this case started on its journey almost imperceptibly, but has energy applied to it in increasing ratio during its short-lived descent, thus giving that almost unpercussive attack of the string whence arises Beauty of tone.1
1 It seems well-nigh incredible that we should thus be able to grade the motion of a key (as demanded for sympathetic tone) during the minute inter­val of time expended during key-descent. Many of the muscular acts of our
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