The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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a): The Pianoforte Key is a machine to facilitate the produc­tion of Speed in the String. It is a compound-lever, akin in prin­ciple to the See-saw.
b): It follows, that Tone-production can only be effected by giving Motion to the Key; since this forms our only means of conveying motion to the String.
c): Energy brought to bear upon the Key ceases to create Tone, the moment that the place in key-descent is reached, where the hammer's motion culminates, and causes Sound to begin.
d): The act itself of Tone-production can hence never take longer than it does in the most extreme Staccatissimo.
e): The Ear apprises us of this moment more quickly than can any other of our senses; hence we must listen for the begin­ning of sound, if we would have Accuracy in tone-production.
f): The greater the total speed we induce during each indi­vidual key-descent, the greater is the Tone-quantity.
g): The more gradually this key-speed is attained, the more beautiful is the Tone-character,—the fuller, more " sympathetic," singing and carrying is its quality.
h): The more sudden the key-depression, the harsher is the resulting Tone-quality; it may be more "brilliant," but it will be less effective in carrying power.
i): The softest possible sound is obtained, when Weight is brought upon the key until a point is reached where the key's opposition (or resistance) to movement is just overcome—and it consequently slips down with the most gentle movement compati­ble with its hammer reaching the string.
j): Such amount of Weight, allowed to remain resting upon
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