The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

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a) : Touch consists of two concepts, and acts :
(a) a " Resting," (b) an " Added-impetus."
b) : The act of Resting is analogous to that of breath-control in Speech, and Song. Phrasing is mainly made evident through the continuance or discontinuance of this element of Resting, or its equivalent.
c) : The act of Resting is continuous during each phrase in all finger-passages, whether these be Legato or Staccato. It is also in a sense continuous even during " wrist " and arm passages.
d): We may "rest" upon the key-board in two distinct ways:—
(i) We may do so with weight no greater than the keys will bear without their being thereby depressed. In this form it is the Basis of staccato.
(2) We may do so, with slightly more weight, suffi­cient just to overbalance the key into descent, and thus to provoke its softest sound. This forms the basis of all Tenuti and Legati.
In the first case we rest at the surface-level of the key­board ; in the second case we rest at the depressed-level of the key-board.
e) : The non-percussive renewal of Contact with the key-board forms an equivalent to the first-named form of the Resting.
f) : The first, or lighter form of the Resting (at the surface-level of the key-board) keeps us informed where the key is in space, and of the degree of resistance it offers to movement; so that we may know whence to commence the stresses needed for tone-production, and their required intensity.
Such Resting, unaided, is incapable of creating tone; the Added-impetus is therefore here required in any case to form the tone.
g) : The second, or heavier form of Resting (at depressed key-level) includes the first. It compels the fingers to retain their
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III