The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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20                              DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNERS.
legato and sub-legato ("semi-staccato") effects by means of increased Resting-weight; but for quick passages it is usually more convenient to employ this "pressure" element.1
Staccato can be rendered slightly more sharp in certain touches by the help of a "kick-off"—a jumping-like action against the key-beds.           You will learn the nature of this
staccatissimo when practising the third of the " Three Muscular Tests."2
More Resting-weight than usual (in Staccato or Agility) can also be carried by the fingers (without its reaching the key-beds) in certain running passages of this nature, provided they are beyond a considerable degree of speed and tone.3
§ 57. A short summary of the Muscular Facts will here be convenient. The following are among the most important points to be kept in mind:—
a): The distinction between the two muscular acts (i) the Resting, and (2) the Added-impetus. That is: (1) the Something which we provide continuously, and which tells us the key's place and its resistance, and (2) the Something we have to do only while the key goes down, and by means of which we produce all tone except the ppp. :—
b): In fact, realising: that the momentary muscular action of depressing the key may be vigorous (as in forte), while the continuous " Resting " nevertheless remains quite light between the separate tone-makings.
c): The distinction between the two kinds of " Resting," the first so light as not to compel the down-retention of the keys— required for Staccato; and the second a little heavier—sufficiently so to compel the retention of the keys in Tenuto and Legato.
1 The greatest caution is imperative when learning to apply this slight tension or " pressure " element, lest you exceed in degree the extremely deli­cate—almost gossamer-like—pressure required; otherwise it will destroy all Agility, and delicacy of expression.
* Vide Recapitulatory of Chapter XVIII.
8 Vide " Extract'': Note on exceptional forms of Legato and Staccato, p. 97.
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