The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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hand when the fingers are depressed with their keys. Also see that the little-finger side of the hand is not lower than the other side; it places the fingers in a helpless position.
§ 62. Keep the thumb well away from the hand; its nail joint should always be in line with its key, except when sound­ing two notes with it.
§ 63. Except in passages with the thumb on the black keys, the middle-finger should reach its white key in line with the face of the black keys.
§ 64. There are slight changes in the height of the wrist, in passages requiring the thumb alternately on white and black keys; the wrist being very slightly lowered for the black keys. The normal position of the wrist should be about level with the hand and forearm.
§ 65. In Staccato, the fingers quit the keys in two different fashions respectively depending on which way they reach the keys—whether in the thrusting or the clinging method.
§ 66. When Hand ("wrist"), or Arm-touches are intended, the fingers should assume their depressed position relatively to the hand before commencing the descent.
§ 67. Above all things: see that each finger is over its note, before commencing the act of tone-production, and that you find the place of each note from the preceding note, or notes, else you will sound wrong notes, or "split" them. See to it, also, that the position in key-descent, where the hammer reaches its string, is listened for, and "aimed" for. For it is by means of your "muscular-sense"—the sense of key-resistance, and by your Ear, that you must guide yourself at the Piano; the Eye is of little use—the required movements are too quick for it, and you are likely to restrain them if you try to use it.
§ 68. Carefully study all the foregoing; and to remind you of its main points, read and re-read the following Summary every day, for its Directions apply to every Exercise, Study or Piece you practise or play. When in doubt, refer to the "Extract" and to the "Advice to Teachers," and if you require still further help, refer to the parent work itself: "The Act of Touch."
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