The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

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ADVICE TO TEACHERS.                              123
itself—referring first to the "Contents" and then to the text of its chapters.
It is also well, at every lesson, to set the pupil a few questions on the difficulties under treatment, and to require him to answer these from the material thus provided.
As regards Finger-exercises, etc., selections may be made from any well-planned set; such as the old-fashioned "Plaidy," the elaborate "Le Rhythm des Doigts" of Camille Stamaty, or Oscar Beringer's very sensible "Daily Practice."
Whichever set adopted should always be practised rhyth­mically, as recommended by Stamaty.—The performance of Music always implies the placing of the notes in some kind of Rhythmical relationship to each other, and it is therefore sheer folly to spend hours in practising supposed "Exercises" while all the while losing sight of this, the most important element in performance—and thus unlearning to attend properly. To practise such Exercises, Scales, and Arpeggi "in rhythm," does not mean that they should be practised with accents,—that might even prove harmful under certain conditions; on the con­trary, they should be practised perfectly evenly, but consciously divided into rhythmical groups of two, three, four, six, or eight notes; changing, from time to time, from one kind of division to another, while keeping the main pulse unchanged as to Tempo. It is also useful, in addition, to practise Techniques in uneven rhythmical figurations, such as:—
doing this with sufficient but not exaggerated accentuation.
Such training in Time, and in its subdivision, is absolutely essential if we would learn to play musically. Accuracy of perception in this respect also plays a strong part in the acquisi­tion of individualisation of finger.
Too much time must however not be devoted to such exer­cise-practice. The interminable strumming of finger-exercises, etc., formerly considered necessary, was for a widely different purpose. As there was no knowledge then available of the
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