The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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Now if you reach the key in the first way (from a well-bent position), your finger will thrust against the key, and this will greatly help to induce the sharper or more brilliant kind of tone.
Whereas, if you reach the key from a flatter (or more opened-out) position of the finger, your ringer will act upon the key in a clinging way, and this kind of key-attack will greatly help you towards the singing kind of tone.
§ 46. Before going to the Piano with this information, you must however notice that this difference between the "thrust­ing" and "clinging" finger demands two quite opposite states of the upper-arm—and Elbow, therefore:—
a)  For the Bent-finger attitude, you must be careful not to suffer the Upper-arm (Elbow) to lapse, as this would spoil the thrusting action of the finger. Although the fore-arm may in some cases be allowed to help slightly.
b)  For the Flat-finger attitude, the relaxation of the Upper-arm must correspond to the force the finger exerts in clinging upon the key during its descent.
In fact, it is this difference in the state of the Upper-arm (whether relaxed or not) which should be the real cause of the difference between the two finger-methods.          The antici-
pated fall of the upper-arm causes one to use the finger in the clinging or "grabbing" way; while the consciousness of the forward-sustained Elbow causes one to direct the fingers in a kind of stamping or thrusting action.
§ 47. Singing-tone, you will now see, is obtained when yor employ the Third Species in its Weight-started form in con­junction with the Clinging-finger (and Arm) attitude.
When trying to apply this to the keyboard, do not forget the rules you learned in §§ 7, 9, and 10, etc.; viz.: that key-speed must be gradually obtained when you want beauty of tone, and that all the energy meant for the sound must be applied before you really reach the sound in key-descent. Realise, therefore, that the weight must increase during key-descent, while it must disappear the moment you hear the sound,—except-
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