The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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128                                 ADVICE TO TEACHERS.
SUMMARY OF MAIN POINTS AS TO TOUCH, TO BE INSISTED UPON WHILST TEACHING.
a): Attention to the fact that tone-amount depends solely on the speed attained by the key during its descent. While—
b): Beauty of tone depends on the gradual attainment of the required swiftness in key-descent.
c): That correctness in expression (correspondence of tonal-result with that intended) depends on applying one's work in answer to the key's resistance, and before it is too late to do so ; while —
d): Agility and Staccato depend greatly on this same law being fulfilled—the avoidance of forcing the key upon its bed. Whence also we derive:—
e): The " two laws of Agility "—and of Staccato:
I): Accuracy in aiming and ceasing all Energy (intended to create sound) the moment that tone is reached in key-descent,—and which does not preclude the application of the Legato-element when required; and
II): Self-support of the arm, to enable this to be done,— the arm supported in a balanced condition, off the fingers and keys, f): The avoidance of all key-hitting or tapping; while never­theless insisting upon ample preliminary movements towards the keys, when the tempo of the passage admits of such, and when this is found helpful in individualising the fingers.
g): The use of Weight, instead of exertion, when singing tone is required; and—
h): The related contrasts in the finger-methods employed respectively in singing-touches and brilliant passage-work.1
i): Attention to the constantly-required rotary adjustments of the Fore-arm and
j): A few obvious points as to Position; such as sufficient dis­tance from the keyboard at all times; the greater curvature of the finger the more pronounced its preliminary raising in thrust-ing-touch; the position of the hand sideways and as to the height of the knuckle, etc.
1 This implies a clear understanding of the three main Special of Touch-formation, or structure.
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