The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

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78                    THE THREE CHIEF MUSCULAR TESTS.
2): Roll and unroll the fingers by means of a for­ward and backward movement of the arm and hand, while the finger-tips remain unaffected thereby, both as to position and as to the Resting-weight, as before.1
Test II. To ensure proper " aiming " of the Added-impetus ; accuracy in
Play an easy chord (preferably by " weight" or cling-ing-toucha), and accurately cease all action of the finger and hand the moment that Sound is reached, so as to allow the Wrist to drop in consequence. The weight used, must also disappear in consequence of the cessation of its sup­port at the wrist. The keys will thus be able to rebound of their own accord, in spite of the finger-tips resting on their surfaces, and in spite of the descending wrist and arm.8 See to it, that the resulting staccato is absolute, both when practised pp and when practised ff.
Test III. To ensure elimination of Down-arm-exertion, and independence of the finger-and-hand exertions, even from arm-weight:—
Play a short run or arpeggio, and drive the arm off the keys, in accenting the last note; using a kind of kick against the key-bed, delivered for the purpose by the fin­ger and hand. The key to rebound (forming staccatissimo) and to seem to drive the arm into the air.4 This, also to be practised pianissimo, without the final accent. The arm, in this case seems to float upwards, instead of being driven off.
» Any alteration in the degree of "Weight forms presumptive proof that contrary-exertions have been permitted ; so does any forward or backward sliding of the finger-tips on the key-surfaces. No alteration occurs in either of these respects, if the contrary-muscles of both Hand and Finger are left as re­laxed as they should be.
* N. B.—The weight required for " Clinging-touch " must be obtained by release of the upper arm.
J If practised instead with "forward" or thrusting-touch, the wrist will not fall, but will rebound uppwards—but the fingers must nevertheless remain on their respective keys, with the rising keys under them.
*  This test should be practised in two ways : (a) with the whole arm rising in the air, and (b) with the fore-arm alone, thus responding to the rebound of the keys.
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