The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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12                           DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.
b) Arm-weight lapsed behind the finger and hand (Third Species)—but the hand alone moving.
§ 41. Arm-touch—when you move the arm itself, either the fore-arm only, or the whole arm; this must consist of Third Species, for the arm must be relaxed to cause the movement, and the fingers and hand must also act so as to convey this weight upon the keys, and this in spite of the fact that neither finger nor hand change their position relatively to the descending arm during key-descent.
§ 42. Note particularly, that you must allow the Ann to fall of its own weight, rather than exert it downwards.
§ 43. The choice is determined by the speed of the passage:—
a)  For slow passages and for the beginnings of phrases, it is best to employ arm-movement—"Arm-touch."
b)  For quicker passages, choose hand-movement—Hand Touch (so-called "Wrist-touch"), since that is less clumsy than moving the arm at great speed.
c)  For the quickest passages, you must use finger-movement only—"Finger-touch." But you may also use finger-touch for slower passages; and you must of course do so for Legato passages.
Again be warned not to confuse these distinctions of Touch (derived merely from movement) with those far more important distinctions you have recognised as the three main touch-formations, or Species of Touch.
§ 44. Differences in Tone-quality depend chiefly upon the fact that you can start the act of touch either by willing Muscu­lar-exertion or by willing Weight-release. Thus:—
When you employ the Third Species, you can start that triple muscular-combination * in either of two distinct ways: You
1 The triple combination, of Arm-weight release and the supporting exer­tions of the finger and hand.
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