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The craft of piano playing : a new approach to piano technique

Author: Alan Fraser
Publisher: Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2003.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Presenting a new, comprehensive and highly original approach to piano technique with a fascinating series of exercises to help the reader put this approach into practice, this guide uses numerous musical examples and sketches to show how many common movement habits at the keyboard are counterproductive. Fraser provides a new way of manipulating the skeletal frame of the hand to produce astonishing sonic results from  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Fraser, Alan, 1955-
Craft of piano playing.
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2003
(OCoLC)649380300
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alan Fraser
ISBN: 0810845911 9780810845916
OCLC Number: 50645760
Description: xvii, 431 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: section I. The foreground : pianistic problems in musical craft --
pt. I. Getting started --
1. Introduction --
2. How to use this book --
3. Background, middleground and foreground : a plan for work --
4. Where to start? --
pt. II. General principles of movement at the piano --
5. A meditation on some inner workings of movement --
6. Slowing the key down --
7. Form follows function --
8. Arm weight --
9. Matthay, Moshe and movement --
pt. III. Hand strength and function A : perfecting legato --
10. Physical legato is the foundation of piano technique --
11. A capable hand can free your arm --
pt. IV. Hand strength and function B : the special role of the thumb and its relationship to the forefinger --
12. The thumb and grasping --
13. Thumb pushups : the hand as suspension spring --
14. Clarification of the thumb-forefinger relationship --
15. Quality of movement in thumb pushups --
16. Forefinger arc swings for thumb function --
pt. V. Hand strength and function C : octaves to synthesize hand and arm function --
17. From the thumb across to the fifth finger : hand structure and function in octave playing --
18. Fortissimo octaves --
19. Replacing arm swoop with cobra strike --
20. Big sound from a small hand --
21. Tremolando octaves --
22. Teutonic beef --
23. The octave arm-sweep --
pt. VI. Hand strength and function D : maximal articulation of the fingers --
24. On fingertapping --
25. The structure-supported slap --
26. The sound of one hand clapping --
27. Legato vs. finger articulation : the cooperation of two antithetical activities --
pt. VII. Above the hand : the role of the wrist and arm in legato --
28. Active hand, passive arm? --
29. Three aspects of the arm's relationship to hand function --
30. Functionally supported movement : the whole arm as finger --
31. Efficient functionality : the forearm as lever --
32. The underlying musical purpose of arm movement --
33. Minimize auxiliary movements to maximize efficiency --
34. Further musical implications of proper arm-hand cooperation in legato --
pt. VIII. Rotation --
35. Forearm rotation in Liszt --
pt. IX. Natural finger shape --
36. The natural hand in passagework --
37. Using the Yin/Yang finger phenomenon in orchestration --
38. Natural finger shape and tonus in chords --
39. Maintaining natural finger shape in scales --
pt. X. Some other touch strategies and combinations --
40. Synthesis of various strands of thought --
41. Pressing and holding in legato --
42. The hidden problem in double notes : Feux Follets --
43. Chopin's B flat minor Scherzo : two fundamental principles reviewed --
44. Mutual aid between thumb and forefinger in the Scriabin concerto --
45. Articulations --
46. The Feldenkrais-Horowitz connection --
47. Flat fingers --
48. Pedaling --
49. Together! --
50. Questionable contradictions. section II. The middleground : some general aspects of musical craft --
pt. XI. Rhythm --
51. Hierarchy of rhythmic values in a practical reality --
52. A practical exercise in rhythm --
53. Creative work with the metronome : pulse --
pt. XII. Phrasing --
54. Creative work with the metronome : melodic inflection --
55. Plasticity in phrasing : expression without bombast --
56. Gesture in phrasing : a detailed examination --
57. Towards a new mode of awareness in playing --
pt. XIII. Orchestration --
58. Orchestration : the heart of the pianist's art. section III. The background : tell a story --
pt. XIV. Emotional content --
59. Emotional content in counterpoint? : you bet! --
60. You must be willing and able to live emotionally when you play --
61. The masterworks as expressions of objective knowledge --
62. Real piano sound can generate emotional content --
pt. XV. A few last thoughts --
63. Talent and craftsmanship --
64. Professional deformations --
65. Recording --
66. Playing an acoustic --
67. Feeling emotion in performance --
Appendixes --
Appendix I. Excerpts from Awareness through movement : a theoretical framework --
Appendix II. Feldenkrais and the musician --
Appendix III. The pianist's progress : a mini-autobiography.
Responsibility: Alan Fraser ; illustrations by Sonya Ardan.

Abstract:

This work presents a comprehensive approach to piano technique with a series of exercises designed to help the reader put this approach into practice. Using numerous musical examples and sketches it  Read more...

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Alan Fraser has written a formidable and insightful volume on piano technique. Using the Feldenkreis Method as his foundation, he has presented 417 articulate and often eloquent pages...the teacher Read more...

 
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