The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.                               7
difference between natural Staccato and Legato (or any inflec­tion of Tenuto) depends on tliis slight difference in the Weight applied during the "Resting";—in the first case allowing the fingers to rebound with the key, and in the second case com­pelling them to retain their keys depressed.
§ 26. To obtain the effect of Legato, you must learn neatly to transfer the heavier Resting-weight from key to key. This transfer of weight from finger to finger is exactly like walking:— You must cause the weight to pass on to each next finger, not by trying to do something with that "next" finger, but by carefully timing the last-used finger to stop the slight work it is doing in supporting the continuously-resting weight. That is: you must carefully stop using the last finger at the very moment that you want the weight to "pass on" to the next finger. The transfer of weight will then seem to do itself, and the Legato will then seem "natural"—because semi-automatic.1
The slighter weight allowed to rest on the surface of the keyboard in Staccato is transferred from key to key in the same way.
§ 27. You have perceived how necessary it is constantly to weigh and judge the resistance of the keys, and how the pianissimo requires that same process. You must now at once learn to do this at the keyboard:—
Place several finger-tips upon the keys—upon the notes forming a triad is best, first of all. Now relax
1 Here re-read §§ 16, 17 and 18; also 21.
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