Essay on the true art of playing keyboard instruments

True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments BachMusicology com

Essay on the true art of playing keyboard instruments

We are used to hearing the keyboard music of the great harpsichord masters Bach, Scarlatti, even Handel, played on the piano, but why not that of their contemporary, François Couperin ‘le Grand’? Putting this question to Angela Hewitt initiated appropriate investigation, with the result that she has now taken the jewelled miniatures of the French maîtreinto her repertoire in addition to her celebrated Bach.

|…8 Dec 2015 You develop a new skill, open up the opportunity to write and But there is so much more to learning an instrument than the visible payoffs.18 Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument - Effective…28 Aug 2011 Playing a musical instrument has many benefits and can bring joy to you and to everyone around you.

- All of the above recordings were made on modern concert grand pianos. Also intriguing are any of several recordings on fortepianos, including those by Melvin Tan (EMI), Anthony Newman (Newport), Paul Badura-Skoda (Astree), John Khouri (Music and Arts) and Lambert Orkis (Bridge) - the last featuring on each of three period instruments. Regardless of whether Beethoven wrote his keyboard works for idealized instruments he could only imagine, the fact remains that these were the only models of instruments that he had available for his own use and on which he heard his works performed. Compared to the sound image to which we are accustomed, they have a distinctive woody timbre and a far richer display of overtones at the expense of vibrant bass and sustained tones. Their sheer delicacy and restricted dynamics add a mortal quality to the , as the instruments are pushed well beyond their design and natural emotional range and even seem to balk at the composer'­s demands. Above all else, hearing the on Beethoven'­s own instruments emphasizes the extraordinary gap between his creative impulses and the limitations of his time, and fosters renewed appreciation for the unbounded genius of his bold vision.

They bring to life again the sonorities of the historical instruments, which in some cases have not been played for decades.

The number of workswhich can be played with cello accompaniment is extremelygreat as it covers the majority of accompanied instrumentalsolo, duo, and trio works from the end of the 17th centuryto the beginning of the 19th, thus opening up a vast area ofrepertoire for the cellist who wishes to explore thiswonderful literature.

True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments - Bach …

A further challenge to modern performance lies in Czerny'­s suggestion that the scores themselves are only an incomplete indication of Beethoven'­s realization of his works, as he never had the time or patience to practice, so the result of playing his compositions depended upon "accident or his mood [plus he] made much more frequent use of pedals than is indicated in his works." (Yet, Ries wrote that Beethoven "seldom introduced notes or ornaments not set down in the composition.") Newman points out that even the autograph scores present vast difficulties to interpreters, since Beethoven used signs for articulation - the primary means by which a pianist creates expression from an instrument having no means to vary timbre but only control over duration and intensity - such as irregular slurs and beams are used inconsistently and even illogically, and several different staccato and accent signs can look confusingly similar in Beethoven'­s slapdash penmanship.

Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments

Illuminating coverage of organ, harpsichord, piano-forte, other keyboard instruments; works of Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons, Tomkins, others.

The question of posture has concerned keyboardists as far back as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-88), whose "Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments" (Versuch uber die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen) advocated sitting in the middle of the keyboard with forearms suspended slightly above the keyboard. Fingers were to be arched and muscles relaxed, and flexibility was recommended for crossing fingers, stretches and passing of the thumb. Muzio Clementi (1752-1832), who suffered defeat at the hands of Mozart in a competition staged by Emperor Joseph in 1781, ushered in a new physical approach to a recently developed instrument, the pianoforte, in his "Introduction to the Art of Playing the Pianoforte", remarkable for its allegiance to legato and its directions to keep the hand level with the forearm, to curve the fingers as appropriate and to allow little arm movement. This was followed by a three volume work by Mozart's pupil, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, entitled "A Complete Theoretical and Practical Course of Instructions on the Art of Playing the Piano Forte Commencing with the Simplest Elementary Principles and Including Every Requisite to the Most Finished Style of Performance". His instructions for sitting at the instrument require an upright torso with elbows turned toward the body, forearms level with the keyboard, rounded hands turned slightly outward, and rounded fingers close to the keys. Beethoven's student Carl Czerny (1791-1857) wrote a four-volume pedagogical work, "The Complete Theoretical and Practical Piano Forte School, from the First Rudiments of Playing to the Highest and Most Refined State of Cultivation; With the Requisite Numerous Examples, Newly and Expressly Composed for the Occasion". This espoused sitting with the upper arm slightly extended, so that the elbows are four inches closer to the keyboard than the shoulders, and the elbows about an inch higher than the upper surface of the keys, so that the forearm and hand are horizontal.

whose "Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard ..

Two early sets of keyboard sonatas, the "Prussian" Sonatas (1740) and the "Württemberg" Sonatas (1743), show that by the age of 30 Bach had achieved a fully mature style of composition, less rigorous in its contrapuntal organization than that of his father but with considerable power of invention and formal design and with evident stress on bringing to keyboard composition some of the intense expressivity associated mainly with vocal music; for example, the first of the 1740 Sonatas has an instrumental "recitative" as the slow movement.


Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, in his well-known Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments, ..

The publication of his (1753) made Bach the most renowned authority of the 18th century on keyboard pedagogy and composition; along with the treatises by Johann Joachim Quantz on the flute and by Leopold Mozart on the violin, it remains one of the principal monuments of 18th-century musical thought and practice. The essay also reflects Bach's preeminence as a keyboard performer, for which he was acclaimed throughout his life. When Charles Burney visited him in Hamburg in 1773, he wrote vividly of Bach's performance on his "Silbermann clavichord, his favorite instrument, upon which he played three or four of his choicest and most difficult compositions, with the delicacy, precision, and spirit for which he is so justly celebrated. … "

(Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard ..

Ludwig Deppe (1828-90), the father of weight technique, recommended sitting low enough to bring the forearm to an incline from the elbow to the wrist, thereby allowing the fingers to produce tone solely by the weight of the hand. Rudolph Maria Breithaupt (1873-1945) followed with a book, "The Natural Piano Technique" (Die Naturlische Klaviertechnik), which represents the high-water mark of arm weight technique, which suggests that the player sit low in the initial stage of training, with the wrist and elbow somewhat lower than the level of the keyboard, a position conducive to suppleness in the joints and relaxation through passive suspension of arm weight. Joszef Gat's (b. 1913) major work, "The Technique of Piano Playing", recommends a sitting position at the keyboard in which forearm and upper arm are free and the body moves forward and backward easily, which movements can raise the elbow somewhat higher than the keyboard for octave and chord playing, or lower the elbow and forearm somewhat lower than the keyboard for velocity and dynamic control in finger passages. He acknowledges that sitting height depends upon the length of the upper arm, and the distance away from the keyboard will depend on the length of the forearm.