Download e-book for iPad: A Pianist's Dictionary: Reflections on a Life by Alan Hersh

By Alan Hersh

This publication explores the area of the classical pianist and piano professor, deconstructing many favourite phrases that describe this surroundings. established upon the author's event as a live performance artist and faculty professor, this ebook resonates with either prior and present scholars of the piano in addition to song fanatics.

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Extra info for A Pianist's Dictionary: Reflections on a Life

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There are different goals. Sight-reading strives for continuity, clarity of expression, sketching in the ideas. Performance asks for note and rhythm accuracy, thoughtfulness, contemplation: all qualities which are not possible as notes and pages go flying past in those first impressions while reading at sight for the first or second time. Pianists today are generally not taught sight-reading as a skill to the same extent as other musicians. Instrumentalists and singers are expected to develop excellent sight reading skills as part of their professional training, but because of the very geography of the keyboard, I believe sight-reading skills are often ignored in favor of skills that can be more easily practiced and perfected.

Thus the hammer striking the string causes the string to vibrate freely and creates the sound of that pitch. If the damper remained on the string, there would be little or no sound because the string could not vibrate. You can sample this effect for yourself. In almost all pianos, the top two octaves have no dampers. Place your finger on one of these damper-less strings and play the note. You get a “thud”, but no resonating sound. The string can’t vibrate with your finger on it. When the damper is off the string(s), the string(s) are free to vibrate.

The music exists in the unconscious and frequently, the semi-conscious part of the pianist’s brain. Its utterance into new combinations is a seemingly spontaneous act, although all improvisers follow some structural plan, however indefinite. BLUES IN Eb may seem pretty vague to the uninitiated, but to an improviser, it’s an invitation to summon forth a wealth of previously imagined musical combinations. There are other ways of playing the piano than the written page. Historically, keyboard players have always been improvisers.

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