The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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6                               DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.
§ 22. Notice that in thus learning to weigh keys until they as it were "slide down" under you, you have also learned to produce one of the most valuable effects available from the instrument, and that is the true pianissimo, for in thus over­balancing the keys you are producing the very softest sound possible from them.
This most delicate of all "Weight" touches is important for several reasons:—
a)  It enables you to play Legato with ease and certainty.
b)  It enables you to play really ppp.
c)  It teaches you to judge Key-resistance, and thus enables you also to judge how much more effort will be required for any greater tone.
§ 23. Notice also, that in thus weighing a key down at its softest, you are doing only one kind of thing before, during, and after Key-depression; and that this is therefore the only kind of "simple" Touch. All other touches are "compound," as we have seen in §§ 17 and 18; for in them you find that the something you continue to do after the key is down is quite different from the something you do to make it go down.
THE STACCATO-RESTING: §24. The weight employed for the Staccato "Resting," should be the weight of the Hand alone, left loosely resting on the keys.1 This, though insufficient to compel the fingers to retain their keys depressed, does serve to tell you where they are; and you can in this way rest continuously on the key­board at its surface level, nevertheless obtaining a perfect Stac­cato,—always provided that you carefully "aim" and cease each tone-making impulse.2
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