The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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Part I. is devoted to that purpose ; and the reader is referred to the Summary of this Part, on page 40.
A performer can indeed prove himself to be musical only to the extent of his command over touch variety. It is the constant flow of note to note touch-inflections that forces one to realize that a performer is a sentient being. And it is just this Art of Touch, that will for ever defy mechanical imitation ; and will for ever render the simplest performance, coloured by human fingers, immeasurably superior to the most com­plex one obtained by mechanical agency, however perfect the machine.
Although it is only thus, by perfecting himself in the Art of Touch, that the player can obtain the means of expressing his musical sensibilities, yet until within quite recent years the paramount necessity of studying this problem had not be­gun to dawn upon teachers, artists, and students.
As the true fundamentals of this Art remained practically unrecognized, no serious attempt could be made to give direct instruction in it.               True, it was recognised that the
musically endowed evinced a " finer touch " than did others less endowed; but this, it was assumed, was owing solely to some occult influence over the keyboard, the possession of which enabled the favoured ones to produce tone of a better quality and of finer gradations ;—and there is some half-truth in this, for it is certain that the possession of a musical ear, and a strong wish for musical expression, will undoubtedly compel the player to experiment at the keyboard, until he does sooner or later discover for himself at least some of the mechanical Means that will conduce to success.              True, also, that
the more serious teachers have insisted upon the necessity of good quality and variety of Touch. But even the greatest, so far, have relied almost exclusively upon empirical methods,
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