The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

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at the Wrist, it will seem as if the weight disappears of itself when you reach sound, and it will seem as if weight and wrist both "fall through" the sound. Also, after the completion of the act of tone-production, the arm will be found to be re-supported by itself, either completely so, in Staccato, or almost completely so in Legato-Resting.
§ 51. This timing of the cessation of Weight and Exertion, is one of the most important things you have to learn, and to keep in practice when learned. This you can easily achieve, by practising the second of the Three chief Muscular Tests every day, before practising anything else.1 In this way you can learn (and remind yourself) accurately to aim the required muscular-operation against the key, and at the same time learn at once to recognise the key-weight and depth of any instrument you are playing upon—and any key of it.
§ 52. Another great muscular difficulty, always more or less in our way, is, that in trying to use our fingers and hands alone, we are very likely also to force the arm downwards—an exertion we should always shun so far as possible.
To perfect yourself here, you should every day practise the third of "Three Muscular-Tests"; this will greatly help to remind you of this necessary separation of arm-down-exertion from that of the finger and hand, as required in Species II.
For, until you are able to provide this particular " muscular-discrimination" you will be unable to obtain either a good Staccato, or good Agility.
§ 53. Finally, it is difficult to use one's ringers and hands as freely as one should, and here again we can be greatly helped by daily practice of another of these "Three Tests"—the first one; for this will teach you to make the necessary exertions without these being impaired by contrary exertions of the oppo­site muscles.
§ 54. Besides these three chief Tests, you should also prac­tise others, such as for Rotary-freedom of the fore-arm, and for freedom in those lateral (side-to-side) movements of the hand
1 Vide Recapitulatory of Chapter XVIII., " The three muscular-tests."
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