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METODO-New Pathways to Piano Technique

METODO-New Pathways to Piano Technique

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NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

A Study of the Rela1ions Rdween Mind and

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flody with Sllccial Ildcrcnec to Piano Playing

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LUIGI D()!'iI'EN:-;rEHE

Forrwor.; Ry ALDOUS Iluxr.xv

I'HILOSOPlfICAL LIBRARY

NEW YOIUi:

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NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE Copyright, 1953, by Maria Bonpensiere Printed in the United States of America.

All rights in this hook are reserved.

No Dart of the book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoev~r without permission. in urriting from the l~older 0/ t~ese r~ghts except by ~ Tev~fewe~ w{!~ wishes to quote brief passages In con~ectwn untli a re~ww wn~ten dd me u sian in magazine or newspaper or radio broadcast. For injormution a ress

The Philosophicul Library, Inc.

15 East 40th Street, New York 16, N. Y.

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FOREWORD

By ALDOUS HUXLEY

THE WORLD is a continuum; but in order to act upon it successfully, we have to analyse it into easily comprehensible elements. The cake of experience can be cut in many different ways, and none of the systems of slicing can express the molar fact completely; each, however, may be useful for some particular purpose.

There have been literally hundreds of analyses of human nature, some excellent, others less good, others again positively misleading. What fellows is a very rough and perfunctory kind of analysis which, while obviously inadequate to the total fact, may yet be of some value in the present context. For our present purposes, then, we may say that every self is associated, below the level of consciousness, with a not-self-or, to be more accurate, with a merging and inseparable trinity of not-selves. There is first of all the personal and partly home-made not-self, the not-self of conditioned reflexes, of impulses repressed but still obscurely active, of buried-alive reactions to remote events and forgotten words, of fossil infancy and the festering remains of a past that refuses to die. Next comes the not-self of bodily functioning-the vegetative not-self of muscular activity, of digestion and respiration, of heart action, body chemistry, glandular and nervous interactions. And finally there is the not-self whose manifestations are primarily mentalthe not-self which is responsible for hunches, inspirations, sudden accessions of insight and power, the not-self which Socrates described as his Daimon, which Christians call their Good Angel or even the Holy Spirit, which the Hindus equate with Atman-Brahman and the Mahayanists with Mind, Suchness, Buddha Nature.

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NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

A self can affect and be affected by its associated notselves in many different ways. Here, for example, is a self which, like all too many of its fellows, reacts inappropriately to circumstances. Such a self is apt to people the personal not-self with all kinds of chr~nic fears,. greeds, hates, wrong judgments, undesirable habits. Thus distorted, the personal not-self reacts upon the conscious self, forcing it to think feel and act even more inappropriately than before. And so the game goes on, each party contributing to the delinquency of the other in a pattern which ~s, at the best a vicious circle, at the worst a descending spiral. Self and' personal not-self have set up a mutual deterioration

IV~

society. . J

For the vegetative not-self of bodily function, their activities are disastrous. Crazed by aversion and concupiscence haunted by the bogeys with which it has stocked the personal not-self, the ego starts to trespass upon the territory which rightfully belongs to the vegetative soul. The result is that everything goes wrong. Left to itself, the physiological intelli aence is almost incapable of making a mistake. Interfered with by the craving and abhorring self, it loses its native infallibility. Bodily functioning is impaired and the ezo finds itself saddled with yet another grievance against th~ Order of Things-an acute or chronic illness, none the less distressing and none the less dangerous for having been produced by its own unrealistic thoughts and inappropriate emotions. The ego and its personal not-self play their game of mutual deterioration, and the bod~ ~esponds now with heart trouble, now with a defect of VISIOn, now with gastric ulcer, now with pulmonary tuberculosis.

d I hoicc."

"Y ou pays your money, an you ta (CS your c OICC.

And what, meanwhile, of the third not-self+-the Daimon, the Good Angel, the divine Paramatman with whom, in essence, the personal Jiva is identical? The ego has power to ruin the body, but can do no hurt to the spirit, which reo mains in all circumstances impassible. What it can do,

VI

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FOREWORD

however, and what it actually does do for almost everybody, almost all the time, is to eclipse the spirit. The self sets up a screen between the inner light and the waking consciousness-a screen not, indeed, perfectly opaque, but so nearly light-proof as to render the visitations of the third not-self rare, fleeting and ineffective.

A fully integrated person is one who is at peace within his own being and at peace, in consequence, with his environment. He accepts what happens and makes the best of it; and he knows how to make the hest of it because his self and his personal sub-conscious are not insane and therefore do not interfere with the working of the vegetative soul and the spirit. Such fully integrated persons are very uncommon. To a greater or less degree, most of us are the victims of the ego and its personal not-self. We make ourselves ill and stop up the source of all wisdom. And being sick, uninspired and pathologically self-centered, we get on badly with our fellows and live in a state, not of creative harmony with our fate, but of futile and destructive rebellion against it.

All the world's great cultures and religions have developed their special disciplines of integration-integration with persons and integration of persons with their subhuman, human and spiritual environment. Thus, in the Far East, we find the disciplines of Taoism and Zen; in India, the various yogas of Hinduism, J ainism and Buddhism; in the Near East, Sufism and its derivatives; and, in the West, the 'ways of perfection' laid down by the masters of Christian spirituality. For the last twenty-five centuries, at least, all the world's seers, all its saints and wise men have agreed that the ultimate purpose of human existence is complete integration; and for the last twenty-five centuries the great majority of their fellow men have been content to say, "Amen", and go about their business and pleasures as usual. Their attitude is all too comprehensible. Distant goods tend to shrink into insi~nificance when compared

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NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

with immediate pseudo-goods. Common enough in times of crisis, persistent heroism is rare when things are going even tolerably well. For the average sensual man, the ideal of complete integration seems unachievable and the way to it, forbiddingly arduous. What is needed, if more people are to be led in the right direction, is the setting up of preliminary objectives, easily attained and, when attained, immediately rewarding. From the experience of such limited but very real goods men and women may perhaps be tempted to advance a stage further towards their ultimate goal and consummation.

The present volume treats of one of these preliminary objectives. That its remarkably gifted author should not be alive to demonstrate his discoveries, and to pass on to others the methods he developed for his own benefit, is greatly to be lamented. We must be content with his legacy-this curious, interesting and, as I believe, very valuable book.

Let us consider a few familiar and yet astounding facts.

Here, for example, is a parrot. It listens to a phrase spoken by its master and experiences a desire to reproduce it. Something associated with the conscious parrot-self-some amazingly intelligent not-self-then proceeds to make the bird use its beak, tongue and throat in such a way that from these organs-organs, let us remember, radically unlike thr organs of human speech-there issues a copy of the phrase good enough to deceive dogs, cats, children and even wary adults into believing that it was spoken by the person whom the parrot has chosen to imitate.

And here is a baby. We make a funny face at him, and the child is sufficiently amused to wish to do likewise. His second not-self responds to this wish and the remembered image of what he has seen by manipulating the muscles of cheeks, jaws, mouth and forehead in such a way that the face as a whole reflects our original grimace.

Feats such as these cannot bc attributed to 'instinct'; for 'instinct' is a built-in tendency to perform some specific act

VllI

FOREWORD

(such as nest-building in birds, or sucking and clinging in infants); whereas these activities of the parrot's not-self and the baby's vegetative soul are ad hoc manifestations of some kind of intelligence capable of adapting means to ends in the solution of unique and unforeseeable problems.

In experimenting with himself at the piano Mr. Bonpensiere found that the not-self, which can do these things for the bird and the baby, is able to perform feats even more remarkable. Distinguishing V (the conscious ego's will to perform an action) from V2 (the vegetative soul, which sees to it that the body does all the hundreds of things that have to be done, if the action is to be carried out), he formulated the relationship between self and not-self as follows: "V proposes, V2 disposes." The infallibility of V2 in regard to such involuntary activities as digestion and respiration has always been recognized. So long as we leave it in peace, the second not-self does everything as it ought to be done. Interfered with by the anxious or greedy self, it does less well or even fails altogether, leaving the body a prey to psycho-somatic disease. Bonpensiere's experiments led him to the conclusion that, even in the field of voluntary action, it is better to leave V2 to its own devices. He discovered "the paradoxical truth that, if instead of transmitting the performing volition, we withdraw it (another phase of specific volition) from any possible combination with the physiomotor apparatus, the act is inexorably bound to be performed in the most ideal realization-that is, immediately and without the slow building up of progressive conditioned reflexes; for, thereafter, the physiological guidance of the act is entirely assumed by V2, V having relinquished its interference." In the physical life, precisely as in the spiro itual life, the proper attitude can he summed up in such phrases as, "Not my will, but Thine" or, "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." The hi?;hest, the most useful function of the self's conscious will· is to will itself out of the way, so that the beneficent and infallible not-self can work

ix

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

through the psycho-physical organism in the best possible manner. "So far as our conscious volitional life is concerned, the physiological has become a negation. It is minus to the self of the individual. It is plus to life as whole." The language resembles that which has been used by all the great masters of the spiritual life. Its novelty resides in the fact that it refers, not to "union with God" or "Liberation", but to every day bodily skill. Even in this field the function of V, the will of the conscious self, is to refrain from interfering with the not-self. Its positive action should be confined to proposing the end to be attained, either in the form of an image of the desired achievement, or of a symbol standing for that image. The difference between ordinary willing and what Bonpcnsicre calls Ideo-Kinetics can be summed up as follows. The unreflecting and untrained ego says, "I want to perform such and such an act." The more enlightened ego inhibits its first impulse and says instead, "I want such and such an act (represented by an image or the symbol of an image) to be performed by the not-self in charge of my body."

Among the teachers of every kind of skill there is a constant insistence on the need for letting go, for somehow combining activity with relaxation, not-doing with the most strenuous doing. The great merit of Bonpensiere consists in the fact that he has clarified and systematized notions that were previously obscure and even mutually inconsistent, and that he has devised and described in detail a praxis based upon his theory.

It is interesting to compare this theory and its related practices with the theories and practices developed by two earlier workers in fields less highly specialized than that of piano playing. 1 refer to Dr. W. H. Bates and F. M. Alexander. Bates, an oculist, was concerned with seeing. Could defects of vision, he asked himself, be corrected by other than mechanical means ? Were spectacles the only or suffi. cient solution to the problem? In the course of years he

FOREWORD

worked out a method for the functional re-education of sensing eyes and seeing mind. The basic principle underlying his theory and practice was the same as that which underlies Bonpensiere's: namely, that V must be prevented from interfering with V2. Perfect seeing is the work of the not-self; the self merely gets in the way. The harder you, the ego, try to see, the greater the strain and nervous tension and the worse the vision. The various drills and procedures devised by Bates and his followers are the practical corollaries of this proposition.

With F. M. Alexander's work on 'the use of the self', 'creative conscious control' and 'the fundamental constant of living', we pass beyond the field of specific actions or single functions. The problem here is fundamental and general. What are the intra-organic circumstances in which the physiological not-self can perform its multifarious labours with the highest possible efficiency? Alexander established the fact that there is a certain relationship between the trunk and the neck and head, which is normal (in the absolute rather than in the merely statistical sense of the word). Given this relationship, functioning of the autonomic nervous system becomes perfect and the body as a whole works [Io put it anthropornorphicall.y ] "as it was meant to work." The circumstances of civilized life are such that most of us have come to adopt a wrong, unnatural 'use of the self'. The head-neck-trunk relationship is abnormal; consequently the functioning of the entire organism is abnormal. But abnormal habits, if persisted in long enough, come to seem normal. If normal functioning is to be restored, the debauched and deluded self must be taught to inhibit its tendency to unreflecting action along the accustomed lines. (In Bonpensiere's terminology V must be prevented from interfering with V2). The fatal habit of what Alexander calls 'end-gaining' must be broken and the conscious self taught to consider 'means-whereby'. In the lucid interval created by voluntary inhibition of debauched im-

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NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

pulse, the self can be taught to use the right means of doing what it wants to do; and when this has been learned, general bodily functioning will be normalized. When the self is used wrongly, no act can be performed gratuitously: there are always psycho-somatic costs, more or less high according to the nature of the act. For this reason nobody can obtain the fullest possible benefit from a system of specialized training, unless he has first undertaken a basic training in the use of the self. Because they are based on fundamentally sound principles, both Ideo-Kinetics and the Bates Method can do a great deal of good even in persons untrained in the techniques developed by Alexander. On those who have mastered the proper use of the self, the beneficent effects of these specialized trainings are likely to be still greater. When, however, specialized physical training is based upon wrong principles and given to persons unacquainted with the proper use of the self, somata-psychic costs are unduly high and the net result is apt, in the long run, to be more harmful than beneficial.

Vast sums are spent on education (nearly as much, if I remember rightly, as is spent on alcohol) and, along with money, prodigious quantities of time and devotion. Are the results commensurate with the outlay? Many people are inclined to doubt it. Then how is the educational system to be improved? The Progressives have offered one solution; the advocates of Science mitigated by a year or two of the Humanities, another; the Hundred Great Books people, a third. All the prescriptions strike one as being curiously naive, inasmuch as they tacitly assume that fundamental improvements in human beings can be brought about by doing something 011 the surf ace of experience. Consider , for example, an education based upon the reading of a hundred, or even two hundred, of the West's Great Books. What can this do for twentieth-century pupils? No more, surely, than it did for those who actually wrote the Great Books, for those who used to read them as a matter of course be-

FOREWORD

cause (poor wretches!) they had no alternatives in the way of comic strips and television. That it did something for these people is obvious; but no less evident is the fact that it did not do nearly enough. Half the chapters in the history of man are the chronicle of enormous follies and the most horrible atrocities. If we are content with behaving as people behaved in the thirteenth centurv A. D. or the fourth century B. c., then by all means let us pin our educational hopes on the reading of Aristotle and Aquinas and Dante. But we would like to have something a little better than the old conglomerate of slums and cathedrals, the immemorial amalgam of self-satisfied reason and systematic senselessness, of brutal squalor and the occasional sublimities of art. We would like something better, and our only hope of getting it lies in devising a system of education, in which surface training in science, arts, handicrafts and Great Books shall be combined with a training in the means whereby such surface learning can best be accomplished. And this deep-level training in the use of the self and Ideo-Kinetics would serve, so to speak, as an opening wedge for an even profounder training in docility to the second and third notselves-an education in the art of getting out of the way, of dis-eclipsing the vegetative soul and the Spirit, in removing the barriers of ego-centricity and permitting Life to flow, unrestricted, through the organism. Of the procedures which will have to be employed in this higher and deeper education of the human person I cannot write in this place. Suffice it to say that, between them, modern psychology and ancient autology (as Coomaraswamy called the traditional science of the Self) can be relied upon to provide the means whereby some real improvement in individual and (at one remove) social behavior might be achieved. Meanwhile let us be thankful for any contribution to the methods of this more effective education of the future. Among these contributions Bonpensiere's will surely find a place.

xii

xiii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS PART I

THE DISCOVEHY 01,' I[)EO-KINETICS

Foreword by Aldous l!uxley , "."....... v

Acknowledgments " XIV

Introduction " .. , , .. " ", XIX

CHAPTER I

I AM DEEPLY indebted to Mr. Aldous Huxley for his Foreword and also for his invaluable suggestions and encouragement.

Also I am most grateful to Mr. Denver Lindley for his sincere, untiring interest in my husband's work and for his friendly advice.

To Mr. Georg Hoy, my co-worker in the selection and arrangement of these excerpts from my husband's Notebooks; lowe a great debt of gratitude for his profound, steadfast interest and assistance in putting these excerpts into book form.

Of Mr. Hoy I can say unreservedly that he is an enlightened exponent of my husband's work; that he has a thorough comprehension of the science of Ideo-Kinetics and is fully conversant with its principles and its application to the technique of piano playing.

Mr. Hoy first met my husband, Luigi Donpcnsicrc, in 1926 and a true friendship ensued between them. In 1939 Mr. Hoy returned to New York after an absence of several years, and it was during this visit that Luigi Bonpensiere spoke to him about his discovery of Ideo-Kinetics and cornrnunicated to him his findings us of that period. J\L this time he instructed him in the actual application of Ideo-Kinetics to piano playing, and he is the only person, besides the present writer, who learned by word of mouth from the author himself the facts about his discoveries.

Maria Bonpcns£erc

3 3 4 4 4 5 6 7

Pre-Ideation 8

Symbols .. ,.......... 8

Self 10

Release 12

Will " " 14

CHAPTER II

TOWARDS IDEO.KINETIC CONSCIOUSNESS " 16

CHAPTER III

ANALYSIS FOIl FIRST Im:o·KINETIC EXPERlMENTS............ 19 CHAPTER IV

HITTING A MARK IN PHYSIO-KINETICS " , 22

CHAPTER V

HITTING A MARK IN IDEO·KINETICS " 25

CHAPTER VI

BASIC EXPERIMENTS IN SYM130UZATION AND HITTING

TIlE MARK , ,................ 29

CHAPTER VII

ANALYSIS OF A FIRST EXPERIMENT ON THE PIANO 36

DEFINITIONS , .

Mechanics .

Drna:nics , .

Kinetic " .

Volition " " ..

V and V2 Defined " .

Physic-Kinetics , " ..

Volitional Ideation , ..

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I !I

PART II

TIlE SCIENCE OF Im;o·KINETTCS ApPLIED TO THE ART OF PIAl'lO PLAYING

CHAPTER I , , , .. , " "." " " " " .. , 41

CHAPTER II

"HITTING TIlE MARK" ApPl.TEO TO TIlE PrANo" ... " ..... ,,' 44 CHAPTER III

RHYTHM AND INTENSITIES ." .. ", ... " ... "."""""""."."" .. """ ... ,,,, ....... 51 CHAPTER IV

SY1IBOLS ""'"''''''""""""",,,,,.,,,,,.,,,,'''''''''''''''''""'"'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' 55

CllAPTER V

SYSTE:'IIS OF POINTS IN SPACE,." .... "" ...... ,.""" .. "."" .... "" ...... ,,",, .. 76 CIlAPTER VI

RELEASE ,., .. " ...... ,",.,.""",.,""', ... ,", ... ,,',, .... , ... , ".,""', ... ,"', ... ,,', .... ,,""'''''',.,'' 81

CHAPTER VII

IDEATION AND VOLITION " .. " .. , ".,." "" " "" .. " , 85

CIrA PT.El{ VIII

PRACTICING WITH ONE HAND ALONE BENEFITS THE

OTHER " " " , , " " " " ,,'"'' ' , " .. " , "" .. " 89

CHAPTER IX

PRACTICE " " .. " "" , .. "'" "', ,, """ " "" 91

CHAPTER X

F'INGEHIN G "" ...... " .... ", ........ , .. " .. ,,'" """'''" ...... ", ........ , .. " .... "'"., .... ,," """"'" 95

CHAPTER Xl

STUDIES IN SIGHTLESS PLAYING ,,, ,,.,, ,, , ,",,,,,,.,,.103

CHAPTER XII

READIN G "" .. "" ....... " , .... " " .. " ... "" .. "." ..... "" .. , " ........ "" ..... """" ..... , ...... ".,, .. "'.112

CHAPTEll XIII

IMPROVISING, MEI'IIORY AND HABIT '''''''''''" .. " .. " " 116

CHAPTER XIV

CON eLUSIONS "'''''''''''''' "", .. ".,' ".".,"", .... ,",.".,","" .... , .. ', .. ,'",."",."",,,.121

INDEX ., ''' " " " .. , .. ,,, .. ,, '"'''' " , .. ,," " , ",,"," " .. " .. " .. " """",, .1 25

xvi

Excerpts from the Notebooks of Luigi Bonpensiere, selected and arranged by Maria Bonpensiere and Georg Hoy.

xvii

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xix

INTRODUCTION

II

,

I

III

II:

CRl!:AT PRINCIPLES are not discovered for the glorification of the individual man. He who would cherish this thought would be, indeed, a poor servant to the Power of Life. In. stead of launching a c1wllengc to his fellow men and declaring his primacy ill the field, it would be much wiser and more practical for him to say, "Here is this new thing. What can we do with it? I feel that if a new bit of know]edge is to be of extended use and benefit, it must be pre. sented with utmost simplicity. Come. Help me." Therefore, nothing in this treatise is presented with u claim of finality as to definite theories or unassailable hypotheses. On the contrary, all of the experiences and, at times, astonishing statements of facts are offered only as a contribution to fur. ther study and investigation.

Even the terminology of plwl\omclla had to he improvised for the convenience of discussion and any appropriate revisian of the temporary terminology will be welcome. We have been obliged to study the unknown in terms of things knowll~in terms whose symbols recall other established mean ings, M ucli to our dis! ike, we have had to use and to ubuso such terms as mind, consciousness, volition, will, thinking and intelligence. All of these terms might be taken as synonymous of the same psychic activity, only differing among themselves in their functional aspect.

These discussions are also full of assertions which seem to he taken for granted and in cOnJplde ddi,l!1CI~ ur igno' ranee of the latest vcrdicb of biological observation and of scientific and philosophical inquiry in general. The truth is that they have been compiled in the spirit of deepest humility and of reverence for everyone's effort towards the ad. vancement of knowledge. The absolute and direet possibility

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECIINIQUE

of demonstrating the postulates of this study experimentally is indeed a grace, Otherwise they might be deemed fantastic or impossible and refuted a priori.

This study implies three different steps in intimate sequence: the discovery of a new aspect of the forces of Nature the f'oundntion of a new hrancu or suh-branch of science' and the invention of a method by which both the new principles and the new science are applied to a widely extended activity of man.

We have discovered, in our human physiology, special

aspects of energy which are the immediate pwjection of our thoughts. By thinking alone, our hands, with utmost faithfulness and without the least conscious effort, can reproduce the most elusive and complicated products of our musical volition.

Wl~ designuto this system of dynl1mics by the name of Ideo-Kinetics. It wns discovered during an exploraLion of volitional acts and motions, especially motions requiring long training and leading to the attainment of great skill. Ideo-Kinetics, in itself, would amount to vcry little if it were limited to the few experiments available (a peculiar hehaviour of vol ilion [IS applicli to muscular motions). It is because it call be applied to one of the greatest skills attainable by man (and because of the fortuitous coincidence that that skill is exercised on a man-made instrument, the piano, singularly adapted as a laboratory of the highest endowment) that Ideu·Kinetics can reveal some of the deepest se· crots and unsuspected capacities of Ihe nervous systemthat it can, in other words, ofT er such an immense field of investigation to both psychology and physiology, apart from its sublime contribution to the art of music.

Scientific investigations based on individual feelings and experiences arc possible only because a degree of mutual agreeml'll\ has been reached ahuut lllf' specific meanings of psycho. physiological values. A reciprocal he! p, through a reference to standard values, is not possible until individual

u

INTRODUCTION

experiences are studied and correlated. The addition of a convenient vocabulary, grown out of a common understanding, becomes of immense value. Until such a stage of knowledge about Ideo·Kinetics is reached, the scholar must become his OWI1 psychologist and physiologist and huild his system diligently out of the basic and positive data, which are, unequivocally, sufficient to illumine him about the new categories and dynamics. Man will get in Ideo-Kinetics whatever dynamic possibilities he may happen to know; and whatever marvels he ignores will be lO~L to him.

A spark of the very fire which Prometheus hrought cannot l}(~ handled with a ton ostentatious simplioity-e-not without a reminder of what that fire was and is. If a new Dispensation is looming on the horizon, which will del-iver to man a great many graces, he must make himself ready for it. This principle is clearly illustrated in all of the functioning of Ideo-Kinetics in relation to the mind of man. Ideo-Kinetics gives an unlimited amount of help in attaining what would, normally, be considered impossible; but, in order to get all of the benefits, man must think of them. When the Scriptures say "God is no respecter of persons", besides many other things, they convey the thought that man does not deserve more than he makes himself worthy of; and he shall get no more. There is no rubbing of talismans in the regions of Life.

Here is announced the beginning of an era when man can be, spontaneously, what he thinks he is. Encouraged by the first findings, we should explore the fields where man has only to think and Li [e will realize his thoughts. Here the Eternal Poet, the One whom beauty feeds in light and in darkness alike! in dearth and in plenty, sings an appeal to all mystics, men of good-will, men who have surrendered their ego and who are ready to work for the glory of God and Life alone.

Luigi Bonpensiere

xxi

INDEX

Ab aeternam-5 Acoustic-58 Activator-6

Activity-xix, xx 3, 4, 5, 21, 27 Acts-xx, 16

Anachronous-8

Anatomy-122 Anthropomorphic-37 t 120 Appoggiatura-64

Arm, arms-12, 44, 73, 112

Arpeggio, arpeggios=-Sfi, 61, 75, 76,

91, 92

Art, artist=-xx, 11, 69, 83; 86 Aspect, aspects-xix, xx Attainment-12, 123 Attitude-19, 20 Automatic-I? Aulomutism-1lS

Au tonomi c placement-107 Autonomy-14, 103 Awareness-4. 17, 112

Ball-22, 25, 27 Beauty-xxi, 20, 54

Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata-82, 97 Ilehavlour=-S, 119

Behu viourist~1l9

Biology-IS, no

Body and mind-IO

Bondage-49, 53

Born.-18,83, 123

Bow-76

Capacity, functional-54 Causation-27,43

Cause and effect~3 Cause, dynamic--4

Chord, chords-S3, 36, 47, 48, 49. 57,

91

Chromatic saries-70

Circumf erence-35

Competence-7, 16,95

Complex, psychic-7

Composcr-99

Comprehension, perfect-48 Concept-20. 29

Conditions, mental-19 Consciousness-22, 23, 75, 76, 79, 88,

89

Con tai ner-22

Con trnction--42 Control-15,76 Cooperator-6 Coordination-16,48 Cross-33

C ul tu re-------16 CUTiosity-52

Datu, sensory=-d Determinati on-22

Di agra m-1l5

Difficulty, obstinate-53 DiI fraction-7 Discovery-xx

Dispensa tion-xxi Divide, great-14 Dominion-12 Dynamics-c-d, 5, 19, 47~ 89 Dynamism-4

Effort-xx, 4. 13, 17 t 35 Ego-xxi,23

Electric lamp switch-27 Electro-map;net-48

E1 em en ts, una tomir:aJ.-4S Ern cr gcncy-20

En masse-23

En cumbrances-ll End-results-7, 8, 24, 26, 74 Endeavour-20

Energy-51

Entity, empirical-IO Entrails-ll Epiphenumenu-8

Eq uati OIl, p crsonal-1l2 Execution-64

Exercise, exercises--48, 49, 71, 74, 91 Expectation-73

Expedient-IO

Experlence=-S, 17, 19, 121 Experiment-19, 72

Idco-Kinetically-25 on a cirde-35

with a moving object-3S Experjments on the piano-33 Experimenter-19 Expression-77 Eye--23,32,61~63, 70

[125J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

Eyes--25,29,31,34,44,46,57,73 Eyesight-4

Factor, factors-3, 13

Faith-I7, 18,22,42,86, 104,121 Fatigue-14

Fear-42, 85, 91, 95

Feel-20 Fiat-22,23,25,26,28,76

Field, physical-4

Finger, fingers-22, 52, 69, 71 Fingering-44, 49, 52, 56, 75, 81, 82,

95, 96

choice of-98 difficulties-17

p reoccupation-lO 1 well-pianned-IOO

Fingertips-48 Fire-xxi

Fixing, mental-33

Flower, f1owers-33, 34 Force, Iorces=xx, 6, 8 Fortissimo performance-B7 Foundation-xx, 79 Freedom-20, 54 Functionalism-5 Functions, involuntary-I6

Getting a habit-I17

God, glory of=-xxi

Good playing, conception of-54 Good-will-xxi

Grace, graces-xx, xxi, 18 Grail, Holy, Grail, The-12, 83 Gtouping-99

Gruppetto-111

Guidance-4, 5, 6. 12, 25, 2B, 44, 56, 57, 103

Habit-20, 24, 117, 119

Hand-ZO, 23, 30, 46, 52, 55, 56, 66, 70

16ft-76, 86, 90 right-76, 89, 90,113

Handicaps, physical elimination of- 77

Hands-xx, 9, 11, 12, 13, 21, 27, 43, 54, 55, 56, 62, 63, 67, 68, 75, 87, 112

Harmony-60

Hearing, sense of-123

Humility-19

I-ego-Z6

Ideation, acoustical-I03 dynanllc,powerof-73

flowing-93, 94 incorrect--42 pure-26

volitional-5, 7, 25, 2B, lIS volitional, principles of--45, 52

Ideo-Kinetic-

concept, concepts-21,25,30 consciousness-i.B, 48 dynamics, perfect-l0 education--42 end-results-lOB fjngering-96

guidunce-46 integration-Il3 integrations, process of-1l4 mastery-IO

proccss-74

orientation-S2 reading-1I2

releast7-lO, 13 tcchnique-28

units-32

Ideo-Kinetlos-c-xx, xxi, 3, 12, 16, 19, 85

Tdcology-85

Image, graphic-29, 58 mental-25, 45, 47 ocular-72,73 Images, phonetic-75

Impedimenta, spatial-Sl Improvising-1l6 Infiltration-123 Inheriluncc-14,38

Ini ti awr--17 Inquiry-xix

Instrument, man-rnede-=xx Integration-9, 16,17,47,53 IntelJigence-xix, 16, 88 Invention-c-xx Involuntary--13, 16

Keyhoard-9, 44, 45, 56, 70, 72, 76, 77

pattern-57,58

Kinetic, Kinetics-4, 13, 26 Knowledge-xix, xxi, 17, 23, 41, nz, 121, 122, 123

Laboratory-xx Law,laws-4, 11,21,23,78 Lcgato-96

Legatura-83 Legature-99

Life-xxi, 12, 15, 23, 86 regions of-xxi

[126J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

Light-S,27

Limb, limbs-e-Ll, 108 Location-9,77

Look at-113, 114 Loops-2S,26

Machine-3

Man-xx, xxi, 19,23 Mankind-23, 42 Mark-23,25,27,30,31,33,54 Mathematician-123 Mechanics=S, 4 Memory-32,116

Metabolical new needs-I6 Method-xx, 8, 9,55

Mmd=odx, xxi, 10, 27,33, 34, 43, 47, 50, 53, 79

Moonlight Sonata, The, Beethoven-

82,97

Motion, motions=-xx, 4, 13, 52, 95 Motor energy-6

Music, art of-xx

Music, Musician-50, 69, 74 Muscles-16,24,42

Mystic, mystics-xxi, 18, 23

~ature--5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17,

22, 23, 23, 38

Neck-76

Negation-14,15 Negativity, principle of-20

Note, notes, musical-25, 32, 58 Norm-5,7

Pivot-I3 Poct-21

Points in space-76

Power, powers-xix, 3, 4, 22, 24, 4B,

85,93

Practice-6, 16, 48, 70, 71, 91 Prayer-llB

Precept-21

Precision--83, 92 Pre-ideation+-B, 9, 93,94, 96 Prestissimo-77

Primacy=-xix

Principle, prineiples=-xix, xxi, 54 Process, proeesses-3, 6, 7, 12, 96 Progression-pattern-67 Projection-20,26 Prometheus-xxi Psychologist-xxi, B8 Psychology-xx, 110

PI111--48, 49, 79, 108

Push-I3

Reading-ll2, 113, lIS Realization~26

Reflex, reflcxes~23, 4!l Rcfutation-9

Life, regions of-xxi

Release-13, 25, 27, 42, 56, 74, 81, B5 Rendering, interpretative-69 Resonance-86,87

Reverence-xix

Rhythm-51,81

Observation, biological-xix Obstacle-I7,82 Octaves-57, 71, 91 Orientation-6, 52 Organism-c-lti

Organs-24

Paint-34

Passivity-20

Pathways, new-5 Perfume-32 Philistiues-123 Physio-dynamics-6, 8,

23,81,B2,109 Physiolog1st-89 Physiology-xx, 12, 36 Piano-xx, 3,9, 41,57

playing-32, 50, 77 Pianissim0-86, 87

Pianist, pianists-B, 74, B6 Pitch-32. 60

Scale, chromatic-57 Schclur=-xxi

Science, sciences-xx, 110 Scriptures-xxi Self-lO,l1 conscious-21

-control-85 inner-25, 26 -1e88-12, B3

-reliant-22

volitional-ll

Sensation, kinaesthetic-73 Sequence-9,99

10, 12, 13, 19. Shifting, mentul-46, 47 Shyness-42 Sight-123 reading-112. 113 Sightless mastery-l04 playing--105 Skill-xx, 4, 95 superlative--6

Skips, exercises of-70

[127}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

Sound-49, III

Sound, integration of-74 Sources-32 Space-location-s-l Sd

perception of-26 Staff, left hand-1l4

right hand~1l3 Stimulus-IO Stratagcn, mentaI-92 Stretch,rnuscular--99 Strength-s-Ifi, 87

String instrument players-86 Structure-44, 52 Student-57

Stunt-74

Sub-complex=-?

Substratum, musicaI-1l7 Sug-system-77

Sunrise-97

Sunset--97

Supremacy, man's-24

Symbol-9, 10, 25, 30, 55, 57, 73, 103 Symbols-44

arhitrary-9

cum pulsory-8 Exchangeability of-29 exchangeability o£-29 expedient--l0 rnental--28,32,46 numerical--29 systematic-8,9

Symboliza tioh~12 Synchronous=-B System, nervous=-xx, 7

dichotorn ous-71 inner-123

Systems, A, AI-3I, 32

Tahle-29 Talismuns=-xxl TllU-9,10

Teach, teachcrs--16. 50 Technical data--lH Technician-75 'I'echnique--w, 16 Terminals--42, 112 Terminology-xix Testament-14 Thinking=-xix

rn usi cal-69

Thought, thoughts=-xx, BJ 20,48 Thumb-52

Time~8, 83

Tools-36

Topography-79

Touch-4, 25, 35, 61, 110, 123 Training systernutio-v Ifi, 119

period of--17 Transcendence-IOO,123 Translation--U3 Treatise-xix

Truth-23, 38

-building-e-Iz Tunein--I21 Twice horn-B3 Typewritcr-79

Ultima thule-12 Ultra-physiological-e-Zd, 104 Unit. units-16, 22, 26, 76 Universe-12

"V", "V2" ----S, 6

IiV~1 PHOPOSES, "V2" DTSPOSES----

7

Values-xx Vigilance--55 Violin-76, 86 Virtuoso--B6 Visualization-25 Visualize-58 Vision~33

V ocahu lary-v xxi Volition=-xix

musical-xx activity of-lO conscious-5 evolving-II indivldual's=-Zd initial-20 natun~'s-28 physieal--6 pure-e-S, 26

Voluntary-13,16

Wards-21

Will-xix, II, 13, 14, 17, 21, 23~ 37 Wisdom~16, 46, 47 WitJulrawl-6

World-19, 26, 33, 122

[128]

CHAPTER I

DEFINITIONS

IN ANALYZING the activities under study, we feel obliged to state our definition of terms. We feel obliged to do it even at the cost of making our definitions arbitrary.

Mechanics

We designate by mechanics the study of an activity independent of its generative power. For instance, if a machine is put inlo motion by electricity, we would not consider the source of motion but we would be interested solely in the reciprocal action of every part of the machine and in problems of pressure and the relation of time to the length of motion and to stress. Then, if we analyze the problems of the piano, which afford an interesting field of observation for physiological mechanics, we find that all training and technique is reduced to the application of principles of strict mechanics. In other words, in a mechanistic process we study the sequence and interrelation of cause and effect. Both cause and effect are always considered as quantitative factors related to and depending upon distance, velocity and variations in the amount and angular direction of stress.

We may state definitely that all preoccupation with such problems is totally absent from the field of Ideo-Kinetics. Not that the machine is, by a miracle, suppressed but hecause a process of transmission from part to part of the machine is disregarded. The machinery is excluded from all volitional activity. It is this paradoxical exclusion from anything mechanically active that makes the explanation of terms especially necessary. What we are accustomed to conceive as mechanistic, being extraneous to all Ideo-Kinetics,

[3]

NEW PATIIWArS TO PlANO TECHNlQUE

creates the necessity of giving a new definition of what dynamism and kinetics can mean in Ideo-Kinetics, In a simple statement we can assert the truism that there can be no talk of mechanics in a field where effort is entirely exeluded. Then, there being no mechanics of transmitted ~ff art in Ideo·Kinetics, we must now analyze how the concept of kinetics is affected. If we arrive at this concept through our awareness of motion in general, we must see what this concept can become in it system of activity where there is motion but no computation nor awareness of transmitted effort.

Dynamics

We shall call dynamics any activity which expresses laws and principles awl which brings motion and change. In this guise, dynamism is interpreted as a cause of motive power which brings motion and change as its eff eet.

Kinetic

We shall call kinetic any actual motion as expressed in the physical field. Kinetics, then, are interpreted as the reo sults of a dynamic cause.

Volition

In the course or analyzing the chain of processes leading towards the development of skill in voluntary motions, it is clearly shown that volition behaves like guidance during the realization of ideated end-results, To determine what volition is or when its specific function starts or ceases is, for the moment, beyond the scnpf' of our analysis. The only specific meaning of volition; in our case, is its particular aspect as guidance. However, all through the process of acquiring skill in various voluntary motions, we become aware that the management of our conscious guidance is limited to the control of our sensory data-eyesight, touch, kinesthetic sensation and intensity of effort-but that the actual processes of physiological activity-e-neural impulse,

[4]

DF.prN1TfONS

muscular innervation, selective neuro-muscular connections and coordination-are beyond the reach of our volition and, consequently; beyond our conscious guidance. This latter group of phenomena is only a response to our initial volition.

If we designate our conscious volition by the symbol "V'\ we can conveniently designate by "V2" the complex of activities responsive to the stimulus of ··V". We are then faced with the interplay of two guidances.

"V2" is the governing activity of each living creature. It is the guidance perennially bestowed by Nature under the aspect of an individualized being and somatic functionalism.

Ideo-Kinetics, not only in its advanced stage but in its immediate manifestations, rushes to e]a im that a new status be acknowledged for both "V" and "V2". We have assigned to "V" and "V2" the symbolic role of guidances. Guidance, in objective analysis, would designate their compliance with immutable biological and physiological necessity. In an assertive flash HV" shows I hut it can transcend from its ab aetertuim. assigned role and arouse an equally transcending response in "V2". This statement implies an unexpected revelation of physiological (somatic) behaviour; new neurological dynamics giving rise to systemic neuro-activity ; new pathways to action.

The concept of '"V2" as guidance, so elusive when pro, jected from the taken-for-granted source of normal psychophysiological functionalism, is vividly asserted when the norm is transcended at the mere bidding of "V's" new status: that of pure volition, or volitional ideation. Psychophysiological functionalism is at once upset by the assertiveness of in-rushing new physiological behaviour. The undisputed permanence of a norm fades as the delusion of a cosmic dream, and the reality of a far wider norm emerges.

Now for the prnclical purpose of establishing the relation of "V" to "V2'1 in the analysis of voluntary, physiological motor acts, we shall neglect all of "V's" aspects offered by

[5}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

the psychic complex and utilize only its aspect of volition as activator and cooperator to "V2". Before we had a knowledge of [deo-Kinetics we were jllstifi,~d in assuming that "V" was merely a by-product oJ "V2's" own activity and functionalism. Now, confronted with the new facts, "V" emerges as an independent force, entitled to impose alterations along the whole course of "V2's" activity. Accordingly:

A. "V" can choose to alter the motor encrgy.

B. "VH can cause radical innovations in the work of the terminal perf arming organs.

The ascent of pure volition, though possible in every volitional motion, is to bG gloriflCJ in the special practice of arts requiring superlative skill. As to '"V" selecting the ap' proach to "V2" rather than to the habitual normal activity (PHYSIO.KINETICS). there is a developed technique whose first step is the witlulraioal of "V" from the paths of pliysical volition, The response is immediate, once the basic pr inciple is grasped. The diJTercncr: hctwr-en the two volitional approaches is fairly summarized hy the following irleological orientation:

In habitual Physio·Kinetics, "I want to perform this act." (I shall usc V2's machinery which is at my disposal.]

In Ideo-Kinetics, HI want this act to lie performed" (By V2 entirely).

If we try to analyze the process of a volitional motor act, especially an act tending towards the development and realization of high skill, we discern at once two distinguish. ablt: activations:

A. The conscious guidance of the individual's volition, 'which 'we have symbolized as "VH•

B. The guidance of the complex of involuntary processes, which we. have symbolized as "V2".

All motor ads and skilled motor activity is, then, a co-

. b I 'J "V" d

opcratrve process etwcen L Ie two gUJ anccs, an

"V2". "V" is characterized by the striving towards or pro-

[6]

DEFINITIONS

posing the realization of some ideated, p4ys.ical .(moto.r) end-result. "V2" is characterized by the physiological hidden processes of N ature off ercd towards the realization of those ideated end-results. It might be formulaled that !IV" PROPOSES, HV2" DISPOSES.

V olitional. Ideation

In the case of Ideo-Kinetics, the transcending of the norm is brought about at the bid ding of "V". Yet the initiator of all those innovations is not, cannot he, the "V" we know empirically in the habitual performance of volitional acts.

Volition is a complex (or if we prefer, a suh-cornplex of the wider psychic complex) not a specifically isolable activity. We are, or course, adhering strictly to the concept of volition which relates lo motor acts, barring all other psychological issues. Should we try to find a single, irreducible element in this volitional suh-complex, there would be but one: the idea of expected end-results, which we shall call volitional ideation. This ideation is the sole contribution of "V" to the motor act. The rest of the unfathomable proc· essee of transmission, transmutation and neuro-physiological mechanics are the work of "V2". Yet the action of "V" does not stop at the issuing of the volitional ideation. It continues to follow closely the doingg of "V2" (V continuing its guidance over V2; V2 careful ly oheying V's guidance) within the limits of possible physiological mechanics.

Ideo-Kinetics is a transmutative process of the volitional motor acts through the diffraction of volition itself. Accordingly, the sale aspect of volition which ff~mains. val~d and active is the volitional ideation. The aspect which 111 Physic-Kinetics follows the physiological processes (the processes of performing volition) is withdrawn altogether. This leads inevitahlv to the discovery that, owing to this diffraction of "V" (the volition); the behaviour of "V2" is altered and its competence extended; while the entire nervous system reveals transcending facts hitherto unnoticed.

[7}

NEW PATHWAYS TO NANO TECHNIQUE

In spite of its simplicity, the basic principles of IdeoKinetics would have remained obscure had they not been verified through actual experience. Volitional ideation, by its own sovereign power, determines the extent of its Held of action. The nature, power, capacity and extent of concepts held to be active, therefore, determine the extent of IdeoKinetics. What the volitional ideation knows of IdeoKinetics and what it accepts and believes and wants to reo alize is automatically selected within the acting dynamics. What it ignores or dismisses or fails to include will be excluded.

Pre-Ideation.

The dynamic action or power of ideation is not necessarily utilized at the moment of its origin. It is not like the radiation of Iight that can east shadows only in its nascent slate. I can ideate an act not [or immediate performance and keep it in storage for any amount of time; then the mo~ent I release it for action the whole act is performed, while my thoughts can either wander elsewhere or be kept attentive in watching the release of the pre-ideation, This is not figurative speech. It can be reproduced at will, with all the accuracy of method adopted in any dynamic experiment. The extreme significance of these facts not only shows that ideas are no longer to be considered as mere epiphenomena but that they are, in the strictest sense of the word, dynamic forces. Also that their dynamic value can he extended heyond their origination in time. They can he both synchronous and anachronous with their end-results-e-a fact entirely foreign to Physio-Kinetics,

Symbols

The adoption of symbols, in lieu of abstract concepts of reality. is also an ad of volition. In Ideo-Kinetics we use two kinds of symbols, We use systematic symbols, or compulsory symbols, as we find them already established in the

DEFINITIONS

very subject-matter of our activity. For instance, we have musical notes (their names and graphic representations are either written or visualized in our memory) and the visualization in our memory of their co rrcspom! ing keys on the keyboard; and we have, from Nalurr. Herself, their sound values. These all serve the purpose of finding in space the loci which they represent.

We use .a s~c.ond kind of symbols: the arbitrary symbols.

These the individual chooses at will, in order to assemble a group of systematic symho ls ami for th<~ purpose of increasing the efficiency of his chosen symbol, For example, the use of TAU* to represent our refutation of willful contribution to physical effort.

We Use arbitrary symbols only in order to bring about a process of integralion ; i. c., when we have to learn or acquire mastery over n heretofore unfamiliar Lit of kinetics Dr technique. When the integration is complete (when we play what we have mastered, or read, or improvised, using only the now-familiar kinetics) we employ only systematic symbols.

It is not because of some particular power of a symbol that we recur to its help. Its use seals om volition against the interference of other volitional thoughts. This is illustrated when we find that the reading of a musical sequence ~wa~ fr?m the piano is far more effective than actually trymg It WIth our hands 011 the keyboard. It is on this principle that the wllole method of Iearning ill Ideo-Kinetics is based.

When- we exton the Ideo-Kinetic virtues of a visual svmbol (an arbitrary symbol, for instance, Tau) and recognize in it the greatest fundamental help in mastering location on the keyboard, we may ask -why we rely on a symbol which requi res a mental eO'ol'l to reproduce (as a mental image) and not have it written hef ore us 10 look at. The answer is

.. The Author used the Greek letter Tau, or sometimes Phi, to represent the whole concept of RELEASE,

[8]

[9]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

that the psychological operations involved in the two cases are not the same. During the holding of a mental image, if you hold it at fill, the volitional activity of intruding thoughts is deviated [rum our consciousness. Whereas, ir the symbol is read, it acts as anything coming from the outside, so to speak, .and does not cliff er from any other sensory stimulus. In one case it is a perceived image from the outsirle ; in the other, it is crenterl (rt-produced ) from within and belongs, consequently, II_) thl"' activity of volition. III the prompt resort to Tau, we suspend, at once, any cooperation with physiological effort. We refuse to act. We play dead. We remember that for the display of perfect Ideo-Kinetic dynamics we must not contrilrulc even the least effort.

While looking hopefully towards the attainment of final Ideo-Kinetic mastery, let us take every advantage that the system, 50 providentially, has to offer and let us, by all means, he helped by expedient symbols. Consequently; let us each devise a symbol that can bring, as immediate result, the Ideo-Kinetic concept of a shi rUnp; self.

Self

In order to grasp the concept of physic-release, we must borrow the concept {If self as R prop for the full understanding of the leading principle of Ideo-Kinetic release. We avoid the philosophical entanglement inlo which the subject of self would inevitably lead us. We merely adopt this concept as an expedient. Even when we use it as a convenient distinction between one individual and all the rest of individuals, we are apt \0 gi ... ·e the term gradation in meaning, according to the number of activities or traits we mean to include. We speak of the self as the empirical entity cornprising the whole of man-body and mind. Or, from a subjective point of view, we limit the self to the activities of thinking and redin~, We consider, in such It ease, thnt the physical organism belongs to the objective collectivity of N ature. Weare not attempting to exhaust a classification of

[10]

DEFINITIONS

the many ways to interpret the self; we are just glvmg a few examples in order to illustrate OUl' point.

We are struck by the possihilities uf UIl!' will, as against the seemingly ev idcut Iatal ism til' I hines wi til i u and wit hout the individual. 'Vhatever can hI! willed we consider as appertaining to the domain of self ~ whatever remains independent of our will is outside the self. Consequently, all the voluntary motions belong to the self. Even the physical limbs and members Ilre considr-rcrl as part of the self ill so far as they respond Lo the will; exclusion is made of their subordination to laws and conditions of Nature. This last conceived self we should call the 'volitional self. All the involu?tary organs, which do not function at our bidding, 'we considor as helonging In another collective ."clf--Naturc~s. Thus, while our entrails (of whose existence, when all is well with us, we are not even a-ware) can in no way belona to the volitional self, we consider our hands (over which w~ are so concerned and which we train to excess in order that they may raithfully express our will) as the grcatc5t exponents of our volition.

Now we are talking to the pianist-to the man who so earnestly wants to express himself through his hands. No matter what his philosophy is, he will throw overboard all eschatological encumbrances so long as he is playing. What he knows is that his playing is going to portray the most intimate features of his inner self. He has translated all of the recondite resources of the self into his own hands. His hands are his very self. But, should -we Ill" curious to know the secret of this su cornph~lp. extension of tlw sdf, hom mind to limbs, ally great art ist would relate a long tale of tribulations and of toil. It is the tale of an evolving volition which has to be physiologically and gradually manifested.

The initiated in Ideo-Kinetics knows that his ideation can foHow lwo courses:

A. Either he entrusts the ideation to his physiological

[11]

[12J

DEFINITIONS

lated to biological experience, Every time we need a change or correction or improvement in our organism and we either entrust ourselves entirely to the redeeming forces of Nature, or we try artfully to bring about marc favorable conditions in order to receive her hel j1, we are committing an ad anal" ogous to Ideo-Kinetic release, For example, this is true when impedimenta to physiological welf are are removed and we commit ourselves to the working out of universal principles.

, We call an act of release any prohlem o[ biology (havmg chosen Ih(~ prohlr-m to lw f;olvr·d, with !lain of our own free choice) the solution of which we entrust to the cares of Nature. The word, release, can be used until another word is found to indicate the dynamic factor of perfect physiorelease,

To make one jump from Physio-Kinel icsitiLo IdeoKinetic consciousness is asking Loo much; unless the individual is especially illumined: So it is expedient to reach the unknown through the few means available from the already known. WhaL everyone already knows is PhysioKinetics Lased on elTort. It is, then, expedient to evolve so gradually the idea and experience of e!Tort towards a new direction that in following this new direction we must, perforce, find our goaL If the concept of absolute release seems, in the beginning, beyond our grasp, let us reach it through gradual steps-by departing from the idea of phys-

ical effort. '

We have interpreted release from t.he beginning [IS a detaching of the will from physiological preoccupation. Here is the pivot of the whole system. In procuring release, we are simply transforming a voluntary motion into an involuntary one.

One can speak with authority ahout release only when the free flow of his ideation finds immediate kinetic realization, without the least preoccupation; when his hands, without the least mental push, go about their business of scru-

[I3)

NEW PATllW AYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

will and, in so doing, he makes his hands work+Physio-Kinetics.

B. 01' he must entirely disconnect his hands from physiovolition of his own and limit his activity 10 his ideation-loco-Kinetin;.

In A, he must be conscious that his self is extended to the

physiology of his hands.

In B, he must be thoroughly convinced that the physiology of his hands is entirely beyond the rlorninion of self.

It is through the reulizntion that his hands aru aeting under the influence of SUIlW other guidance that he must consider them self-less, It is the surest way of neatly cutting any possible tie linking them to his physio-volition; i. e., the surest way to realize complete physio-release. So, let us find a symbol able to convince us that the dynamics of our hands arc already heyond 1111-~ reach or sol], We know very well how, through competent symbolization, we can render any concept dynamically active; i. e., capable of generating Ideo-Kinetics. Of course, the recurring to expedient symbols must alwavs he evaluated as a means to an end: as a means to csLahli~h permanent conrl itions. The: ideal to cultivate is the attainment of' a p"ychology built entirely upon IdeoKinetic convictions. For, as we must repeal, the mastery of Ideo-Kinetics depends on a truth-building process, with truths derived from direct experimentation and aimed at an nlrogethcr novel outlook on life and Nature.

Evidently consciousIless 1S )101 Ihe ultima thule of the self, So long HS we insist in :'Jhaping the Universe according to what we believe we arc handling, without making reverent reservations for the greater possibilities of incognitae, our work of packing and unpacking our intellectual lug" gage will always interrupt om quest [or The Crail.

Release

There is an analogy between an act of Ideo-Kinetic release and certain other common instances of behaviour re-

NEW PATIfW AYS TO PIANO TEClINIQUE

pulous translation, just as though they were not his own hands (when they do not give him the least hint that they are any of his concern); 'when he feels sure that nothing can possibly go against this rcalization ; when he feels not the slightest sense of fatigue; when he feels sure that Gnally he is at home in a world of sublimated laws; and when he is surprised at the past awkwardness of toil and its scope. Then he can speak with authority of having grasped the full meaning of release. Then. when his physiological practicing seems to be at the end of its resources, he can, by a deliberate act of ideation, declare his mental autonomy.

A whole library can be filled with books on the principles of Ideo-Kinetics, but it will be just as useless as a Iibrary on how to become an artist, a poet, a mystic or a saint, We are reminded that: "To those who have, it shall be added, and to those who have nut, it shall be taken away." Even if we are not among the chosen, it is a great blessing to be in the midst of the called ; for we have he. come acquainted with an inheritance which, by some strange turn of life, has been overlooked in the reading of God's testament to man.

DEFINITIONS

linquish our control on the physiological. We release it to the forces of Nature. So far as our conscious volitional life is concerned, the phy_siological has become a negation. It is minus to the self of the individual, It is plus to life as a whole.

Will

A little reflection will make us realize that in the very act of negation (plunging into a physic-volitional nothing) we are summoning the sudden services of an integral will. There is nothing ahsurd or snvnring of a caprice of Nature in the fact that we must not will in order to will.

When we make a plunge into release, into negation, we actually subtract our will and its hold on the physiological. But, as a matter of fact, our volition is always flowing in the milder aspect of ideation, We ideate ou r end-results in a process of flow; but, at the same lime, we ideate our abo solute unconcern with the ways and means to obtain them. We gather the whole of our cognizant and conscient self on this side of the psycho-physiological great divide and re-

[14]

(15]

CHAPTER II

TOWARDS IDEO-KINETIC CONSCIOUSNESS

But after doing many tentative motions, and with the help of some motions with which we were previously acquainted in our past heterogeneous experience, we begin to feel the incoming coordination. The process is clumsy.

What is wrong then? Have we any authority to suspect that something must be wrong? If so, have we any reason to believe that there must be a remedy'? What should we rationally select as a guidance to find the cause of the error?

First, of course, we should make an analysis of the per· fection of functional involuntary motions.

Second, a comparative analysis of both skilled motions and involuntary functional motions.

Third, a comparison of the three classes of motionvoluntary, skilled voluntary and functional involuntary.

Nature offers the highest service of involuntary functions with ready-made integrations, but she seems to follow an ideation of her own, In the voluntary motions, she leaves the choice of ideation to man's mind. Nonetheless, in man's progress towards skill, it is Nature who selects his psycho" physiological integrations. Furthermore, once the skill is acquired, we see how the voluntary motion comes close to resembling an involuntary motion. The physiological index of effort disappears almost completely. The will need not assert itself with great intensity, which, in turn, diminishes the effort-the motion becomes largely automatic, without care and awareness of the means employed. So, we sec here clearly, if we sharpen our insight, a great shifting from the status of the ordinary voluntary motion towards the privileged status of the involuntary.

Your period of training in Ideo-Kinetics has only one meaning-you must develop an intimate, experimental knowledge of the dynamics involved, and upon this knowledge build your faith. Remember that if we are trying to overcome an obstacle (deciphering a score, correcting fingering difficulties, etc.,) and we acknowledge the obstacle, it is tantamount to ideating it volitionally, Your ideation

[17]

TOWARDS IDEO-KINETIC CONSCIOUSNESS

IDEO-KINETICS is a technique which grants to voluntary acts the wisdom and competence displayed in the involuntary functions of the organism. We find it easy to explain that competence as being mechanistic in the involuntary, but we regard it as disquietingly abnormal in the voluntary. Is it possible that the same Nature who has planned the most miraculous functional coordinations within our own bodies; who always modifies them and reconditions them in any emergency and accident; who knows our _ real needs and tries to overcome all the obstacles that, through accident or neglect, are put in the path of her wisdom-is it possible or credible that she be so tardy in preparing an integration of our voluntary motions? It is not a matter of metabolical new needs that causes the delay and slowness. What is needed is only an activity of integration, for which we depend entirely on Nature's secret bounty. Intelligence and culture may simplify matters a great deal, physically, but, in the main, we rely on Nature's good grace.

Many competent teachers will insist upon reminding us that we have no strength-we must develop our muscleseven when we possess muscles capable of doing twenty times the amount of work implied in that skilled task. After long training and practice, the sense of effort is gone and we rejoice in our developed strength and muscles. It is the coordination of a rightly selected group of units, adequate to the chosen task, that brings success. We could never select those units. We do not even know what they are nor where they are. We only know that some muscles are used; and often, in the attempt to use them, we choose the wrong ones.

[16}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

must be an act of Faith, rather than an objective outlook on technical data. As for this faith, do not mistake it for a severe test of your intellectual makeup. It it; not like the Faith of the mystic that falls on the elect, discarding the lumen of his proud reasoning. It is not the expectation of Grace that is required of you. It is not based on a psychological mystery co involving being born again. You simply have to know what it is you want and to know that the dynamics do respond to your ideation.

CHAPTER III

ANALYSIS FOR FIRST IDEO-KINETIC EXPERIMENTS

[IS}

IN IDEO-KINETICS, because of the very fact that we are not concerned with physiological implications, we live in a world where ideas are realized into acts and we have every chance to examine all of the most subtle nuances of those same ideas projected faithfully into the realm of facts. The more we insist on this analysis, the more we find that our facts are our ideas.

If we put so much stress on the practical way to render our ideas dynamic, it is because there is no precedent, in the complex experience of our external and mental world, which would serve as an example. The only experience of kinetics known to man is the physic-dynamics of effort-ethe very thing we are striving to forget.

If you want to succeed at your very first experiment-any simple volitional experiment-you must try to avoid certain mental conditions which are always present in the attitude of a first experimenter. In an objective experiment nothing of your mental attitude would matter; but in a subjective experiment there should be nothing present to conflict with the very nature and purpose of your mental dynamics. In all probability, you will wonder or doubt whether the act will be performed. Or, even jf predisposed to believe, or even willing to believe, you might be watchful to see when the act is going to start. This latter attitude would be greatly contradictory to your purpose, for in watching when it is going to start you have entirely changed the problem. It is you, your will, that must deliberate on the act; consequently, nothing is ever going to happen if you wait for a something to get busy. Keep entirely relaxed and decide to

[19J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PlANO TECHNIQUE

will th.e act down to the end. Then, supposing that you start wll.h the cor~ect state of mind, at the very beginning of the motion surp,nse. will get the best of you and you may turn your attention mto, a sudden attitude of watching. You sho~ld prepare yo~rself beforehand for this emergency, and decide that you WIll keep your volition active to the end; for you know that everything is going to happen according to schedule.

Give a gre~t deal of attention to securing the passivity of the hand until the phase when you will the act to be per· formed. Here your attention is focussed on the willed act and your hand will jump without your being conscious of it:

I~ is on this, I?rinc.iple of negativity on the part of your Iimbs-e-remaining inert as if refusing to move-that the whole training to develop consciousness of release is based. When it becomes a habit or a permanent attitude, you do not e~en need to remind yourself of it, let alone recur to expedients in order to secure it. From a state of conscious endeavour to ~e released, in the beginning, you proceed towards a desire for gentle neutrality, where you greet your ~ands as a counterpart of your ideation-as organs deservmg to be entrusted with your hopes, but needing compl~te freedom even from your own thoughts. So, just as yon. WIsh for great agility and efficiency of ideation, you cultivate the feel of your hands as ethereal agents which can carry out the beauty of your ideation, even if you forget that there is anything physical in them.

The age-long c~nscious~ess of a physical volition is grad. ually undone, until there IS scarcely a trace of feeling about the physical nature of your hands. There are two concepts concerning them:

One is the physiological concept. It is the oldest of all the concepts which man has been accustomed to hold since he developed a consciousness. By this concept you, and only you, feel responsible for every motion of the hands and that it depends on you and on your willingness, awake or

[20}

ANALYSIS FOR FIRST IDEO-KINETIC EXPERIMENTS

in a condition of reflex, to make the effort causing the motion.

The other is the concept that your hands can move by a will different from your physiological will. You refuse to make the effort. As we shall see, this is the Ideo-Kinetic concept. By this concept, you consider your hands as outsiders to your integrated, conscious self-they are your wards. You may wish for a certain behaviour of their power, but you relinquish any right of physical hold over them. They are simply appended to you, although they partake of your own biological activity. Thinking of your hands is not incompatible with Ideo-Kinetics, for there is no semblance of magic in Ideo-Kinetics. You can look, watch and even think of the special motion of your hands. The precept or law is to consider and to govern your will so as to avoid Physio-Kinetic effort in connection with your hands.

[21}

CHAPTER IV

lIITTING A MARK IN PIIYSIO·KINETICS

I have inherited from life, which are limited by my capacity to discern them, value them and deliver them in the right amount to my fiat. Most of the latter proceedings do not loom in my consciousness. I only perceive them en masse under the aspect of effort. Here is the thinking individual, who summons Nature to bring about his will, engaged in the contradictory task of demanding, on the one hand, and checking and selecting the goods on the other. Upon his capacity for checking and using will his success depend. The less he wastes of Nature's offerings, and the more he submerges his individual ego, the more his chances for success. All the experimental knowledge of mankind seems to have taught this immutable law. The truth is that, in principle, the will of man identifies him with the will of Nature while the volitional act lasts. And the root of this truth is exhibited in the labours of N at.ure to develop reflex actions, where consciousness of will is obliterated and the individual is identified with Nature.

What happens, in Physic-Kinetics after the fiat has summoned Nature to work? My arm moves to help the hand to help my finger. I rely on the eye to supply me with a sense of direction and spatial valuation. But I am not sure. The conflict between the various elements is evident. I may reach beyond my Mark. I may reach short of my Mark; more on one side than on the other. My aim can be too high or too low. Is my eye deceiving me about the valuation of disstances? or is my hand incompetent in translating my concept of straight motion? However, all of these units are doing their best to second one purpose; but in a kinetic action the more factors involved, the more the need for coordination. Here we are at last, the exigencies of coordination are manifest. If I repeat my trial many times, the only help Nature can give me, since I insist on asserting myself, is to transform, gradually, the kinetic ad into a conditioned rcflex.

How are the different energies acting during our Physio-

[23]

HITTING A MARK IN PHYSIO.KINETICS

I !-IAVE ~efore me a common ohject-c-a dome-shaped con. tamer with a small ball on its top. I place the container on the table at some distance from me but within my reach and I decide t? hit its. top ball witl~ the tip of one of m; finge:s. } d? It first in the usual manner: according to Phvsio- Kinetics. 1. look at the ball with the determination to hit ~t with my middle finger. In the meantime, I summon (that IS what .my attention implies) all the physical units that, should brmg success. My feeling is indefinite and com. posite. I know that I am trying. I know that there are chances of success or failure. I hope T shall be successful. If ~ have had experience in the exercise (done or tried to ?O It before), my sense of trying will lessen; my hope will mcrease. If I am self-reliant, and I remember that self. reliance will help, I begin to stimulate this feeling. But the very fact that I am relying on something adventitious rcasserts in my consciousness that, after all, I am depending 011 chance an~ no~ o~ principle. It is possibility versus f~ith.

In Physio- Kinenes, all of this process of thinking will accompany the various phases of the intended action and will be di~lributcd to all or its concurring factor8-' -my arms, my flI1~e:s, my eyes, my sense of general well-being. Even a bad srttmg posture or a fold in my clothing will be held, responsible in case of failure. What happens when 1 mamfest the determination to accomplish the act? There is an assembling of forces and principles at my fiat. Two sets of those forces are at play. One is composed of the eternal ?rinciplcs. of Nature, always ready and automatically drawn into the [iat; the other consists of the individualized powers

[22}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

Kinetic experiment? They come from our eyes, from our nerves and muscles and from other faculties of perception. They make their appearance and try to agree upon the course to follow. The process is not one of pre-established infallibility, as one would expect from the Majesty of Nature, but one of experiment by trial and error on the part of the individual. When they are more under the jurisdiction of Nature (reflex actions and conditioned reflexes), we become responsible not only for the physical end-results but for the failings of the organs themselves. So, I have blamed my eye for its deception, little knowing that my eye is blameless; my hands for being incompetent and for getting tired, unaware that they can neither err nor get tired. Are they the same eyes, the same organs-those that err and those that are without blame? Apparently, in a physical sense, they are. Physiologically they arc either governed by the individual or by Nature. EiLher they remain physiological or become ultra-physiological. It is like having the most perfect apparatus of precision, planned and built for a highly efficient operator to use, and then relinquishing it to a poorly trained engineer, who, in the end, will complain of its lirni rations.

Reiterated action, habit and training for skilled motion seem to be the necessary consequences of faulty or incompetent volitional ideation-a kind of remedy offered by Nature to compensate for the loss entailed in the wrong use of a power which alone should prove man's supremacy in the world.

CHAPTER V

HITTING A MARK IN IDEO-KINETICS

[24}

WE RESUME our experiment Ideo-Kinetically. I have before me the ball. I look at the ball. Then I close my eyes. After this, someone may be calling me, asking questions which I answer; I may fumble in my pocket for an object of which I have just been reminded. I may perform scores of acts entirely foreign to the unity of the proposed experiment. Now, I decide to go on, having kept my eyes shut all this time. Accordingly, I recreate the mental image of the ball or of any symbol I choose to assign to it. It may be a visual symbol, or an object, or a numeral, or the most unspatial symbol possible-a musical note. Of course my symbol comprises, in addition to the Mark and its position in space, all of my Ideo-Kinetic concepts-concepts of volition, volitional ideation and of my release from physiological effort. My physiological connection with the Mark, so far as I know, is severed. I do not know where in geometrical space the spot is. My choice of a symbol, substituting the object, has taken away even the chance of conscious visualization. I only know that at a certain moment I shall sing "C", for instance, (if I have chosen a musical note for my fiat) and that my hand will proceed with accuracy.

Before hitting, I may agree that my hand make one or two loops in the air. Or, for greater caution, I may refuse to see the Mark at all, being satisfied to just touch it before symbolizing it. Thus, the chances of subconscious visualization (if that means anything) are eliminated. So, I have had only one element of Physiological connection-a touch of the Mark, shielded from any chance of other sensory guidance. It is the least possible connection between my in-

[25]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

ner self and the outer world. From the beginning right to the end-results, nothing has happened in the pr.ocess, of apprehension that I could call of a sensory-physIOloglcal ?ature, as experience defines it. Only volition i~ ~n unspecl~e way is expecting the hitting-a hitting, any hitting. But this activity of volition has no contribution to the ~ata of the problem. My perception of space is non-g~omet~lc~1. Indeed all points of reference are past. I am moving Wlth~n a space where some determined points are to be located mfalhbly; but without sensory help in the geometry of distances or angles or curvature. If I have to find my way b~ck to the only elements which solve the problem of r~tracmg a lost point, I should conclude that the mar,e physical data I abjure, the nearer I come to the solution. !h~ only ,data I know is pure volition. The more I succeed m mtegratmg my will to the stage of pure ideation, the more the latter ~nds realization. So complete is the resemblance between Idea and action that it comes quite natural to identify the two as one and the same thing, just as if nothing had passed between ideation and performance.

My fiat is proceeded only by an infor~ati~e process.

Any other concurring work to perform, u:y fL~t h:s ~eyon~ the insight of my conscious I-ego, WIthm this kmet1~ unit is included the element which must take care of the information that my thought has given. Whatever the information is, it is carried out with scrupulous precision. Any lack of clearness or accuracy, on the part of my thoughts is

faithfully reproduced. ,,' .

What is this faculty in the link of coordmatlOTI which IS

capable of externalizing itself in the outer ,world a~d of takina' account of dimensions; not in a rolling, straight tapemeasure but in making the most astonishing lumps and loops, without ever failing by a fraction of a centi~eter? Before my fiat I can decide upon such extrav~gancles as loops or arches, on any curvature, but the horizontal projection of the motion will always be respected.

[26]

HITTING A MARK IN IDEO·KINETICS

Put down as an absolute principle: The precision in hitting the Mark is strictly proportional to your stage of release. Translate as release your absolute unconcern about the hands and what they are going to do. Let them go with unshaken assurance that they are realizing your volitional ideation. Do not guide them, even mentally. Let your mind function only as ideative (creative) causation. The moment you are even unwillingly helping the hands-thinking of where they ought to go-you are reviving, unconsciously, physiological processes which are subtracting from the freedom of Ideo-Kinetics. Let the hands go by themselves and be willing to risk wrong hitting, When you sincerely do not care whether they hit wrongly, but you have a greater regard for your ideation, you save yourself, automatically, from the danger of doing wrong hilling.

I hold my symbol mentally. I decide to strike (:fiat).

There it goes unmistakably. Yet, one of the elements of the kinetic action-the initial looking at the ball-had heen superseded by many other actions entirely unrelated to it; but the link between the first and the subsequent elements of the Ideo-Kinetic motion has been resumed as if nothing of a heterogeneous nature had happened.

This simple experiment is just an elementary example of the unconditioned, self-creating activity found in Ideo· Kinetics. What is the point of departure of all this activity? We have not been able to find a cause for it other than the special orientation of the activity of thinking; the acknowledgement of an absolute autonomy of motion dynamically synchronous with an integrated volition. I know that my hand is going to move accurately (just as I know that light will follow my turning an electric lamp switch), but T think only of the effect brought about by the hands without participating in their motion.

What, then, establishes the shifting from Physic-Kinetics to Ideo-Kinetics? Evidently a simple difference in the conception of the volitional act, which difference suggests a

[27}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE distinction between a volition long since adopted by man and the volition Nature expected man to use, especially when his actions need to rely on virtuosity. We call the one Nature's volition (V2), the other, the individual's volition (V). When I use "V2" in Ideo-Kinetics there is only one fiat which suffices to cause the initial movement, and the very quality of my volition (V) is extended to all and each of the elements concurring to the consummation of the act.

So, with Ideo-Kinetics, Nature has delivered us from the obligation of supervising our voluntary acts. She has delivered us from effort and fatigue. She has emancipated us from the need to supply ourselves with sensory guidance. She only expects us to provide a few mental symbols, around which she will build the fulfillment of our volition.

We start our study of Ideo-Kinetic technique with the assumption that ideation, being a cerebrative process, is entirely furnished by psycho-physiological activities as we already know them. How ideation reaches such a state, before becoming a leading factor in Ideo-Kinetics, belongs to other fields of investigation already occupied by scientific and philosophical endeavour. What behooves liS now is to follow ideation under the new state of volitional ideation, where she acts as sovereign upon a vast field of activities closely :responding to her bidding. Since ideation up to and with her entrance into the Ideo-Kinetic field has shown the Iimitations of a cerehrative psycho-physiological process, there is no reason to suspect her of having been sublimated, suddenly, with the capacity for activities far beyond the range of psycho-physiological structure. Consequently, we are at once led to the conclusion that hitherto hidden sources of Nature, which still remain hidden during all Ideo-Kinetic activity, have restored a long-lost allegiance to ideation the moment she becomes volitional-the moment she relinquishes physical effort.

[28]

CHAPTER VI

BASIC EXPEl~Ill1ENTS fLY SYMBOLIZATION and

HITTING THE MARK

1.

To DEMONSTRATE the exchangeability of symbols, let us try an Ideo-Kinetic experiment on the table. Let us take four or five objects, even varying their level on the horizontal plane, if we wish to make the experiment more interesting. We have found objects with closed eyes, after holding their mental image. Now let us deliberately covenant with ourselves that each object is to be designated by numerical symbols. So, the five objects become 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, respec .. tively.

Repeat here to yourself the previous recommendations regarding Ideo-Kinetir: concepts. Close your eyes and start counting, predisposed to hit. Be careful to remember that it is not the ordinal concept of one, two, etc., that you want to follow mentally. You must see the graphic image of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, in succession. So long as you realize the image of each sign, you will be completely successful. If you allow a distraction, and the counting of the numeral is not accorn .. panied by the visualization of the cipher, you are bound to fail.

After you have succeeded in the ahuve experiment, which gives you confidence in the truth of the principle, should you want to experiment as to whether the image of the individual ciphers is indispensable, after all, covenant with yourself that each one of the five objects shall be desig .. nated as 5 (the 5 being chosen as a reminder of the quan-

[29J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

tity of objects to be hit) . Accordingly, you start on yoU! quest (remind yourself of the same Ideo-Kinetics concepts, as usual). After having visualized the image of the cipher, 5, you will hit the five objects, one after the other, so long as the image, "5", is vivid in your mind. Repeat: five, five, five, five, five, accompanying the word by the mental image of 5, 5, 5, 5, 5. It is not the symbol in itself that counts, but the act of thinking of the symbol, which is equivalent to keeping on thinking of your intentional covenant. In other words you are simply confirming, endorsing, your original intention.

2.

Neither a straight line nor even the shortest curvilinear line is necessary for the location of points in Ideo-Kinetics, Indeed, if, without looking, I place an obstacle between me and the Mark-a sheet of cardboard, etc.,-my hand goes over or under the obstacle in order to reach the Mark. You will also notice the loops, at will, even in piano playing when placing the notes in a wide stretch.

3.

Here we have two objects, one at the right and one at the left.

If the Mark, not yet seen but known to be there, is at your right, look at the object at your left, turning your head to the left and so avoid looking to the right.

Then:

1. Either consider the two objects, right and left, as if they were related, abstractly, and, looking steadily at the object to the left, say to yourself "I am hitting the other end." You will hit the mark at the right while looking at the object at the left.

2. Or, if you look at the object on the left, with the pur·

pose, in advance, that the Mark at the right be hit, while your left hand hits deliberately the Mark at the left, your right hand will also hit the Mark at the right. You will hit

[30]

BASIC EXPERIMENTS IN SYMBOLIZATION

the seen Mark at the left and the unseen one at the right.

3. Or, you need not hold an image. Looking first at the two objects, right and left, you propose to hit the two. After closing your eyes, both Marks will be hit, using, of course, both hands.

4.

Divide the distance from starting point to the Mark into sevel~al stretches, represented by numbers, assigning a determined number to the Mark. Assign, for instance, 5 to the Mark. Count 1, 2, 3, 4, and hit on 5. Then, extend to a second Mark, etc. The image need he held only before the Mark numbers-5, 7, etc.

E:ra.mpte 1.

start O.

Mark

.0

5

2nd MaJ-'}: o

.,

,.0.

'0" 2t

1

.0'

. 4

5.

A B C D E F G H
1 0
:4- 0
3
4 0 A B C D E F G H
1 0
2 0
3
4 0 A

A-l

If I establish in my consciousness the System A where I can hit all the Marks with closed eyes, and, if i a~ led to place one Mark of the System, AI, I shall then hit its Marks with closed eyes. The necessary condition is that Sys-

[31}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

BASIC EXPERIMENTS IN SYMBOLIZATION everyday life, tends to show in this case that it is not the vision of the vision of the object that determines the motion, but the mental fixing of a point in space where the end-results of the motion must take place. So, while my physical eye sees, passively, the objects of the outer world, my mind is interested only in a certain point of space symbolized by a mental image. Indeed, if by prearranged understanding with myself I substitute the symbol of a small cross

terns A and Al be parallel and analogous in structure and orientation.

Principle. Two or more systems of points that are analogous and equally orientated to an established system can be retraced in space, provided one point in each system is sensorily apprehended.

It is well here to formulate other principles of symbols. 1st Principle. In all Ideo-Kinetic units, the contributional value of all sensory elements can be reduced to that of mental symbols.

2nd Principle. All of the various mental symbols of the kinetic element, originated by different sensory sources, are interchangeable among themselves. For instance, in piano playing musical notes can be rendered on the instrument without sensory guidance:

1. by the mental Image of the topic place.

2. by the mental image of the written note,

3. by the mental image of the name of the note,

4. by the mental auditory pitch of the note.

Probably any other symbol, artificially established, would substitute for the above mentioned ones. If any of the 12 sounds could be related to as many perfumes, and if a memory of the different perfumes could be developed, one might render music by thinking Ideo-Kinetically of perfumes.

3rd Principle. All of Ideo-Kinetic act can be sensory symbol.

Bxample 3.

+

to the Mark, so that there is no doubt as to what I mean by thinking of the cross, I shall then hit the Mark just the same, even having lost its mental image in the fog of consciousness. Again, for the cross I may substitute the graphic sign

@ h;mpz.4

and the right result will always be secured. This reinforces the demonstration of the principle of the interchangeability of mental symbols.

the mental images involved in an substituted, at will, by any other

7.

I tried similar experiments on the piano. I decided to substitute for the C Major Chord

6.

E:X:Ctmple 5

:@ §

When I want to hit the Mark without looking at it. I need not close my eyes. I can look elsew here, provided I keep its mental image. So, I may be looking at something with my physical eye, while I see another object in my memory. This fact, of very common occurrence in our

[32}

the images of a flower for each note-e-n rose for C, a lily for E and a violet for C. Then, I forgot about musical notes and their corresponding plano keys, which was an easy

[33}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

thin~ to ~o, .since the keeping of three, new mental images requires III Itself a good deal of attention. When I saw a rose in my mind and I wanted to touch it, my hand was br?ugl~t from a resting position to C; seeing a lily would bring It to an E, and seeing a violet to G. When I saw a lily and a violet together in front of me, the hand would play

44o~?;6

If the violet was on the left side, or as seen opposite me, the chord would be

BASIC EXPERIMENTS IN SYMBOLIZATION

of choice between one rose and two violets, or two roses and one violet etc.

Exa.mple 7

,~ .

8.

I then experimented with a moving object.

1. First seen while at rest, then hit while in motion and looking at it.

2. First seen while at rest, then hit while in motion and not looking at it.

3. Not seen but touched while at rest, then hit while in motion and not looking at it.

4. Seen while in motion, then hit when still in motion, not looking.

5. Seen and touched while in motion, then hit while looking.

6. Seen and touched while in motion, then hit without looking.

7. Not seen but touched while in motion, then hit without looking.

A rose and a violet would bring

Previous to an exact rendering of the rose between two violets, I would also obtain

-& £"ampZ.l0

~ l

9.

Experiment on a circle with the center established in advance.

I look at the center and touch it. I touch a point on the circumference and look. Then I close my eyes and hit both the center and any spot on the circumference.

I close my eyes, touch the center and one point of the circumference, then hit the center and any point of the circumf erence.

I close my eyes, remove the disk into an unknown position (spatial location broken in consciousness}, Neither center nor circumference can now be hit. But if circumference is refound and I am conscious of it, I shall continue to hit any point I imagine on the circumference.

If I touch the center and circumference (closed eyes), I hit any spot of the circumference and hit the center.

Then, I would see a rose between two violets, but not until I could paint in my mind distinctly the three flowers would I obtain

There was then the thought of any three flowers, with liberty [34}

[35}

CHAPTER VII

ANALYSIS OF A FIRST EXPERIMENT ON THE PIANO B-my willingness that the act be perf armed by me, physiologically, but without effort.

C-my willingness that the act be performed physiologically, with effort, by me.

Still physiology will call me to order and remind me that a voluntary act is an integration, having for its conclusion the willer's effort in the performance; and that any attempt to separate pure will (at a stage which is called, begrudgingly, mental) from physiological will (engaged in making the effort) is vain sophistry.

We must turn, then, to our experiments. I get set for the act, keeping on up to stage B above. Then, 1 do as described -1 imagine the act as if already performed-and lot it is done. My hand did it, but I did not make any effort. I did not make the connection. So, here begins the parting of the ways.

A. There is the will to effort with end-results always proportionate to the capacity for effort-physiological will.

B. There is the will without effort, with end-results proportionate to its idealogical content.

"A" corresponds to the typical will of man who, being conscious of his effort, adopts his efforts as a measure and guidance for all his willful acts, and who does not hesitate to attribute his own lot to everything which in Nature exhibits a semblance to an act of will; and so he conceives an anthropomorphic conditioning to the facts of life.

What is it that has, in the first experiments, taken the place of both the effort and my capacity for directing it to the consummation of the act? It was my actual willingness that the act be performed. This very definition (my actual willingness) might remain ineffective for all eternity; and if it were used as guide to end-results would help no more than a quintessence of all the stacks of volumes written about the will. We need no girding of the loins to face the combat. We have a chance to find the only pin in the world that can open the mysterious lock. We have just imagined

[37]

ANALYSIS OF A FIRST EXPERIMENT ON THE PIANO

I LOOK at a chord and I will it to be struck. And I will and I will and will, but my will is powerless. Of course I have refused beforehand to lend my physiological help. The course of my will is then two-fold:

1. Intentional (willing the act to be performed)

2. Willing to lend the tools.

Notwithstanding 2 (my willingness to lend the tools) I remain powerless. What is it that is lacking? It is my willingness to take hold of the tools; i.e., my willingness to make the effort.

Physiology would deny a priori that I am still willing to perform the act when I behave as in stage 2. The premise of physiology, in this case, maintains that there can be no willingness to use my hands unless I deliberately consent that it be so-that I make the effort. Yet 1 having, from the beginning, repudiated all dignified reasoning, still maintain that if my hands do not move it is because I must see what will happen if 1 do not make the effort. I know that I want the act to be performed. I know that I want my hand to perform it. Thus far the case is not different from one in which my hands were paralyzed and my will, consequently powerless; but with one difference: the paralyzed man might be willing to make the effort if he were able to. Yet I am still willing-I insist upon claiming that, and that my willingness to make the effort (to make the physiological connection) is a fact apart.

We can state the problem in another way. A-my willingness that the act be performed.

[36]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

that the act be performed. We have ideated the act. Butand there is a formidable but-we had prepared in advance the conditions which could meet favorable a will reduced to mere ideation.

At the beginning of these discoveries, we used to be so nonplussed and astonished at the marvels of Ideo-Kinetics that we felt we would have to remit to our descendants the possibility of explaining how a modification in the volitional act could bring to action an array of skill of the highest type. Hypothesis after hypothesis, nothing could explain how; at the faintest mental image of a series of sounds, the hands, having lain inert, would bring to action with a competence that the most attentive will could not have imparted. What we may discover some day is the existence of another aspect of our sense organs-~an aspect of their functions not reacting to external stimuli as we know them, but as intimate links of connection between the activity of the individual and the intentions of Nature. Just in the same way that we are now beginning to distinguish between an individualized mothnd of using our will and another method which entitles us to enter into a greater share of the inheritance of Nature.

[38]

PART II

THE SCIENCE OF IDEO-KINETICS APPLIED TO THE ART OF PIANO PLAYING

CHAPTER I

THE )VI-IOLE book of piuno experiments can he read in an afternoon, so that all the precepts and guidance may seem to be the resume of a knowledge to be acquired all at once. As a matter of fact, between the instruction given on two consecutive pages, days, weeks or months may pass before one is ablr. to apply them fully. The student should he: conscicntious and apply himself to only one step at a t irne and should review the concepts until he recognizes that be has attained a certain stage of advancement. Then, he should apply himself to progress and to mature on that stage and, hence, work hopefully towards the nrxt step.

\Vc must always remember one of the Iundamental prin .. ciples of Ideo-Kinetics: As soon as u:e acknowledge a truth about Ideo-Kinetics, this very truth asserts its dynarnic capacity and becomes an active factor in the system.

Suppose, while YOll are pructicing Irlco-Kinetically, that some enliahtenrnent ahout tIw new dyoarnics goes straight to your understanding, you will , at once, notice a great jUIT1P Irorn one stage of development to the next. In the beginning, it will surprise you, possibly shock you; then, you will be expecting a repetition of the astonishing experience, Even if you have had onl y llH.' most elementary understanding of Ideo-Kinetics, you will SOOll arlmit that the above fact and principle is in perfecL consonance with the basic knovYledge. For, since ideation has proven to be the very deciding factor of all subsequent dynamics, it is clear that a sudden flash of clpeper understanding l11USt hring, at once, a new integration of dynamic fact()r~. Therefore, since you feel, all at once, illumined by the light of some truth, it is logical that your first ideational act should bring within itself all the strength, freedom and clarity that an unimpeded

[41}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PlANO TECHNIQUE conviction always carries. These enlightened moments are the mile-stones along the path of our Ideo-Kinetic education.

IL is when you play a composition that you must watch yourself not to allow emotional impulses and the aesthetic urge to color to get the best of your nerves and muscles and return you to the old delusion 'hat an occasional increase in strength can be obtained through physio-volition. In time you will be so Ideo-Kinetically trained that, instead of summoning strength as pianistic mankind has done, you will evoke release and rejoice in the management of your volition. Should you feel the least sign of neuro-muscular contraction, it would mean that something has been wrong in your initial ideation. You must at once reassert your release. No feeling of fear, shyness or other psychic preoccupation should affect the condition of the terminals when they are Ideo-Kinetically engaged. But it is necessary for one to know all of these implications.

The realization of release is always most important to you. Give no importance to your mistakes and false keys while you are seeking release, Recognition of your mistakes is identical to having corrected them immediately. Remember that there are only two causes for your mistakes:

l st., Incorrect ideation,

2nd., Incomplete release (interference of physiologically volitional effort.)

The instant you acknowledge mistakes, they are automatically eliminated in the very next trial. Trying to correct your errors through physical effort is in complete contradiction to the principles of Ideo-Kinetics. Do renounce the satisfaction of hitting the right keys at the expense of a conscientiously achieved release. The moment you feel that you arc failing, summon your faith and withdraw, at once, your physical willful self. It is like riding a bicycle: you lean on the side you are f alling.

Remember the principle: T he precision in hitting the right keys is strictly in proportion to your stage of release.

{42]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE Translate as release, your complete unconcern about what the hands are going to do-let them go with unshaken assurance that they are realizing your ideation. Do not guide them even mentally. Let your mind function only as ideative, creative causation. The moment you are even unwillingly helping .tl~c hands (thi?king of how they ought to move) you are reviving, unconsciously, physiological processes which subtract from the freedom of Ideo-Kinetics. Let the hands go by themselves and be willing to risk wrong hitting. When you sincerely do not care whether they hit wrongly, hut have a greater regard for your ideation, you save yourself, automatically, from thc danger of doing wrong hilling. Do not commit the beginner's error of waiting for something to happen to the hands, as if you were in a spiritualistic seance. The hands are waiting for your decision.

[43]

CHAPTER II

"HITTING THE MARK" APPLIED TO TIlE PIANO

WE HAVE seen how we can hit the Mark with closed eyes. Thus right from the very beginning on the piano, we can reali~e the remarkable functioning of Ideo-Kinetics without sensory guidance. We may consider notes a~ the syn:bols of points in space; 80, it is convenient to consider playing:

s· _ .. -:

Erample 11 t;:'

~ .~U.m~ ===--t§ :5--

as an adaptation of the Hitting The Mark experiments mtraducing Ideo-Kinetics.

Start by placing your hand on:

ExampleZ:?,

~ § -

Leave it there with the whole arm relaxed, as if to give it full rest. Choose any fingering that comes spont~neously-, 4. - 2 - 1 or 5 " 3 - l-,rIepending upon the build and (11- mens ion of your hand. Now, concerning the skip. Look at:

Exa"8J!!€! 1:3

two octaves above on the keyboard. Be certain that you are

perceiving the structu,re of the ?hord. It is three ,note,s-G, C, E-that you are interested in, You are looking at the three corresponding keys and you foresee that they are go-

[44]

"HITTING THE MARK" APPLIED TO THE PIANO

ing to be struck. Now-close your eyes, prepare yourself as usual for Ideo-Kinetics and give the hand permission to go. Did it move? Perhaps it did. Perhaps not. If not, it means that you have not yet grasped the principles of volitional ideation and release. You must will only for the endresults-the striking of the chord-, but you must not will the dynamics of your hane!. This is not your concern. If you still patronize your hands, you are still in the domain of Physic-Kinetics. If your hand has not moved, or tried to move, it means that you have neglected the simple act of volition for end-results and have, instead, been preoccupied with the way the dynamics were being displaycd. Well, you must forget about your hands,

Again leave your hand on:

f",td4

entirely relaxed. Look at the chord:

Example.l5

4di: c

surveying its topic pattern:

Example 16

I'

£; 8 [;
E:: r:: ~
E: t:: f::
E;: [; f:::
t> v t
~ « rt
c '/ Now, close your eyes. Keep the mental image of that portion of the keyboard and define, mentally, the position of G. C. E. If the image fades, open your eyes and look at the

[45J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

pattern again. Repeat the test until you are able to retain the mental image. While the image is clear, decide that the chord be struck. Most probably, this time your hand will jump bound to destination. Do not intercept the motion by surprise or a desire to watch. If you allow the mental image to fade or become blurred, do not blame anyone for the false chord you get. The unquestionable condition for success is that the symbols (no matter what specificationwritten, topographic, acoustic, etc.,) be kept very clear at the moment of action. If you have failed, try and try again, until you are familiar with the experience of letting the hand be free and pot guided by you physiologically. Do not try to help your hand. Let it go limp, even if it has to play false notes. Keep the mental image clear. Ten volumes of explanation about the whole theory of Ideo-Kinetics could not be more elucidating than tbe unique precept: Whatever you attempt to do- depends on the clearness 0/ your mental symbols. Anything you willfully do with your limbs serves only to interfere with the wisdom of Ideo-Kinetics.

We have suggested that you close your eyes, thus taking advantage of this feature of insight peculiar to IdeoKinetics; because, by the effort necessary to keep the mental image clear, you cannot possibly think of your hand. And we suggest that you recur to the help of mental images, with closed eyes, every time you feel in need of improving your release.

Now, if you have succeeded, or arc beginning to succeed, in abandoning the hand to the natural Ideo-Kinetic guidance, you can open your eyes and practice jn the first realization of Ideo-Kinetics.

Continue to let the hand go from the experiment of G.

C. E., to G. C. E., in alt, and from the latter to the former, either looking at the chord on the keyboard or imagining its topic pattern, either with closed eyes or looking elsewhere and keeping the mental image vivid. Do it slowly and then quicken the action, but let the speed depend on your mental

[46J

"'HITTING THE MARK" APPLIED TO TIlE PIANO shifting from the first symbol to the second, and from the second symbol to the first, and not on your anxiety to move the arm and hand. Leave them entirely alone. When you become accustomed to their quickness of response, you will pay no marc attention to them. By then, you will know that your mental dynamics are responsible for the physiological ones. So, do not decide to shift unless you are sure of having the image well under control. It is on the perfect control of symbolic thinking that your playing will depend. Fortunately, you are not always going t.o depend on topographic mental images-Lhe most difficult to have at one's command.

We have insisted upon the fundamental necessity of leaving the hand and arm limp. Here you will ask "What will happen when the hand shifts from one chord to the other? How are the fingers to be managed?" Leave the hand limp. Keep your mental image of the three notes: G. C. E., vivid. The hand will shift, finding the most precise position for three of its fingers. G. C. E. is a spatial system of three points and the integration is exerted on three fingers. If, in holding your mental image, you happened to think of the chord as executed by three determined fingers, suy, 5, 3, I, these will be the fingers summoned to action. The same thing would take place if, for one instant, you had thought of 4, 2, 1. If you did not happen to think of any fingering, the phenomena would be realized with just the same preciSIOn.

You will see, .later on, when you try the most absurd single-note passages (which you have never seen nor tried before) with what uncanny wisdom the hand finds its own fingering. It is premature to say with what recesses of the subconscious mind or with what accumulated experience of motion this is connected. However, it is timely to mention that if you happen to show preference for a special fingering, it will recur spontaneously without insisting upon it.

_In Physio-Kinetics, going from the chord-G. C. E.-to

[47}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

the same chord two octaves above, you say to the hands, "There", as if you were driving them. In Ideo-Kinetics, you do not drive them; you are concerned only with the chord of C, and it is to the chord that you say, "There". The hand will jump with a velocity exactly corresponding to the dynamics of your thoughts. If you have realized perfect comprehension, you will realize perfect coordination; and the concept will not be a figure of speech but an actual driving power (which will make you feel as if your fingertips were coated with iron and attracted to the other end of the chord by a powerful electro-magnet}. Should you enjoy experimenting and wish for a stronger pull, you have only to think of greater relaxation. Think of the sharp sonority of the chord, of a softer one, of a quick drive, of a normal one, etc., and you will soon be acquainted with the marvels of the new order, where your mind alone is master of the government.

Insist on continuing the shifting exercise of chords, two octaves apart. Probably it will be the one which will make you entirely Ideo-Kinetic conscious, and one of the few exercises which you will continue to use in order to keep yourself orientated to Ideo-Kinetics. As the theory of IdeoKinetics makes us understand and as experience indicates to us, we have no reason to practice with physiological and anatomical benefits in mind. The very way our hands react to thought, their independence of motion from any previous training or conditioned reflexes, is, so far, ample proof that our practicing has no influence on the anatomical elements, as we knew them and as we were accustomed to use them.

If our practice can influence the unknown elements responsible for the new phenomenology, it has yet to be demonstrated. What we know for certain is that practice is necessary for establishing Ideo-Kinetic consciousness, which seems, so far, the _sole aim to be pursued and attained.

However, we must have a restricted group of well[48}

"HITTING TIlE MARK" APPLIED TO THE PIANO

planned exercises to keep our Ideo-Kinetic consciousness alive. One of the best-one which keeps the mind alert in apprehending systems of points in space-is the shifting of chords in all positions and all tonalities.

~ Eramp~'I~ '-;-: '!-: s---, .-~-;

~ i § I S rr I § I~! b§' I ~$ bH

s-~#-: s----; 8 ~-: 8~-:

@"§ Ty.~ ""~§t§ "~

In the beginning, it is better to insist on a very few chords, just to practice the shifting and in order to develop relaxation and to become conscious of the pull, until the shifting becomes second nature. Afterwards, when one gets entirely Ideo-Kinetic conscious, it is sufficient to play each chord once.

Exercises of very loose succeeding chords are excellent for the release from mental bondage and from fingering.

Ex-ample 18 ~ ~ etc, etc.

V m ~2Ek-=-'--~ttf:g

~ OO! .Ie_

etc.

Use any possible fingering on each chord that comes spontaneously, without prearranging the fingering. If you want to produce an effect in coloring or touch, all you have to do is to imagine those very effects. In staccato, for instance, you do not have to think of the physical process of producing staccato-jumping, jerking of the fmger-you only think of the quality of the sound-staccato soundyou wish. Ideo-Kinetics does the work of translation.

We are not yet in a position to know whether an advanced

[49}

I J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

stage of development in normal playing is a necessary requirement f or obtaining, at once, great results with IdeoKinetics. We take for granted that the great advantages of Ideo-Kinetics are proportional to the musical development reached hef ore the adoption of the new system, so far as the instrument is concerned. The future only, full of experience, will tell us whether a method can be found to teach piano playing directly through Ideo-Kinetics. We can state a priori that a perfect physical predisposition to piano playing can he acquired Ideo-Kinetically hefore one has ever touched an instrument. We might say that it is not only possible to start [rom the beginning to learn the piano with Ideo-Kinetic methods but that it would be enormously economical in time and patience. We know that many things which were irnpossible to execute before, because of structural, physical handicaps, become, at once, possible with Ideo-Kinetics, Taking for granted thaL one has to he mentally an accomplished musician before being able to take full advantage of Ideo-Kinetics, we suppose that the benefits derived from previous training are conspicuous so far as they are mental assets. For, paradoxical as it may sound, we are actually playing with our mind in Ideo-Kinetics.

[50]

CHAPTER I II

RHYTHM AND INTENSITIES

AFTER success with the first experiments, try the execution of some rhythmic figures, for instance:

ExctmpZc 19

n 8 rn " ITJ )// rnrnp h

........ ._.-

nnmJ>

v..., .;!;"

(A)

Continue until you begin to develop a consciousness of ideating rhythm Ideo-Kinetically.

Example 20

Il n n etc. nnnn

The practice of rhythmic heating is very important. Bx~mple .U

lI:n n J]l /I ~n nm J:II

J:JJ I/. J:

) J J J

J 1/

Start largo-accelerando all the time, then rallentando a poco a poco.

Take care of intensity of energy from P to PP, Crescendo! Forte, Diminuendo, back to PP: Marcato, Staccato, molto Staccato, Legato, Leggcro-thc whole cycle,

[51]

I:

,

._-._--==.....,....-. -.--- .. ,----. -- - ~ - --

-_._ .... ---_

Remembering the principle of volitional ideation, you start every exercise by concei v ing the whole structure and then planning the successive steps from beginning to end. So, although you ideate the expectation of the motion, 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 fingering, you do not as yet expect to determine the time interval between the motions, 1 to 2- 2 to 3-3 to 4, etc. You just expect the whole passage to be perf armed according to the. progress of your Ideo-Kinetic release. While your hand is lying inert, you establish your orientation-your ideation, your symbols of data and your release-and you ideate 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1. The hand should roll from thumb to little finger and back, possibly with a rapid motion suggcstinf!: a cumulative 123454321, quicker than you had planned. If the motion does not seem to have assumed a definite order, probably, in your experimental curiosity or surprise, you have forgotten all about your original purpose. Call it to a stop. Start again. Will the motion, 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1, etc,

Alternate the ideation between

A. letting the hand follow its spontaneous motion, according to conditions met, or,

B. letting the hand follow the timing you want to assign to it.

If condition E, is unfavorable, return to A, then back to E, and thus, repeatedly, until the expression of your volition becomes certain.

Stop and start again, at will.

When the hand shows a tendency to develop a new regular motion, never interrupt it. Allow Nature to build the

[52J

RHYTHM AND INTENSITIES

right integrations and they will be established forever. Once the integrations are made, they will give you the first crude hint of one of the most beautiful features of your future piano playing.

The five note application of Ideo-Kinetics is useful as a demonstration of the passage [rom Physic-Kinetics to r deoKinetics: it does away with the need of sensory guidance. There is no effort to accomplish an integration and no need to look for spatial location nor to supervise through touch.

Forget about acquired notions of the position of the hand,

lifting of fingers, etc.

First, try five fingers, one hand only. Then, 5 4 2 1,

Then,S 3 2 1,

Then, 5 4 2 1 2_

Always keep this principle in your mind: Direct the volilion only to your thought, never convey it to your hands. If you find yourself moving your hands with willful intention (does it not sound paradoxical?), do remind yourself that you do not intend to incur into the same error again.

All exercises should be for the training of the mind alone to realize liberation from physical bondage.

You must decide the duration of your exercises. Do not set before you the task of performing a definite series of exercises as a dutiful obligation. Practice with an aim in view. When it is realized, it will be enough of your practicmg.

If, in studying a certain passage, you find that your fingers show unevenness and that repeating it does not bring improvement, stop at once. With the suspension of your physical action you will induce a change in your mind also.

You may put down as a rule: At every obstinate difficulty, stop playing and start thinking aneui. If the bad playing is obstinate, it means that your thinking needs a change. Remember that you arc incurring the old principle that your hands must be altered according to your conception of

[53J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

After the usual preliminaries and the first experiments,

try the following:

Example 2-2

II: 1 J J ) ~-J ~J J J J J J :\1

1::Z_3'1-S-r3;l..~234

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

what a hand should be and h01V it should perform and that you have forgotten the truth that Ideo-Kinetics will readapt the functional capacity of your hands to your conception of good playing. So, after interrupting your practicing, try to forget about your hands and to think only of how that passage should sound if perfectly played (according to your personal conception of beauty). Study it mentally and think of an imaginary player _ who is rehearsing it according to your instructions.

When you feel that your ideal has been realized, go back to the keyboard and forget entirely about your hands. The concept of release must always be your guiding principle. If the difference between the new and the previous performance does not startle you, it means that your work of rep" aration has not carried much conviction with it. So, you stop again and start thinking anew.

We might devise special experiments for the passage from Physio-Kinetics to Ideo-Kinetics as a graded series, from the most simple, which imply the least number of features common to both Physio- Kinetics and Ideo-Kinetics, to the most complex, but we would have to devise them according to every required dcmonstrution. In this way we have tried the Hitting the Mark method as a search for freedom from sensory guidance.

[54}

CHAPTER IV

SYMBOLS

YOUR exercises or practice of any chosen passage always should start with a structural method, asserting your symbol of release at each note. Then, you proceed to connect the notes, two by two under the same symbol, or three by three according to rhythm, and then four by four, etc. Then comes the shifting of accents and stops, assembling the notes in various groups within the exercises, or the division into de .. termined groups of notes in the practicing of a score. When perf eel coordination is established, you can aff ard to hold the idea of a symbol and forg~t about the action of your hands, Of course, you cannot help hearing the sounds you are producing, even while you think of the symbol or of anything else. After all, a symbol serves only to shun our vigilance over physical activity. This is one of the basic principles of Ideo-Kinetics.

Try first a very simple passage as:

-Example ~3 .2.

!(! E':;:¥i j 14 1M ~

or:

• 1 2 fa gJ~1 ~ dc :

Read it at leisure. Play it very slowly, even without measure. Then, close your eyes and endow it with a symbol, for instance, the mental image of the ci pher, 2. While the image is vivid, play it with the hand entirely relaxed. Start from the beginning to analyze your conditions of relaxation and volition, so that, by always gIvIng account of the phe ..

[55]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

nomena to yourself, you know what is to be expected in order to make rapid progress.

Do not confound the two notions: knowing what the hands are going to do and helping the hands to do something. There is an enormous difference.

You may occasionally, and often you cannot help it, look at the keyboard and anticipate the moment when your hands are going to touch certain keys. But, if your release is complete or nearly so, you may look at your hands and their action objectively, without in any way pushing them, even ideologically, towards the accomplishment of that action. Your ideology is concerned with results only, not with means or ways to obtain the results.

Example:;""'! f IT E
f: J t J J r Test the degree of your release by playing the above in octaves.

Try a fragment of a scale with standard fingering. Play it first ideating it with standard fingering, Then, play it again -this time ideating it without special thought of fingering. Instead, add the ideation of subtracted reflexes. Sec how perfect (clear from joints) it sounds, especially in the thumb passages.

Example 2S8- - - -,

t if

(A) (B)

Try the above skips, or any others, or groups of different chords. Play chord A-then, either before starting to play B, or at the very instant of leaving A, look at B on the keyboard, and, during the interval between A and B, close your eyes; holding the vision of E, your hand will land on B without visual guidance.

[56}

SYMBOLS

If you look at a key, chord, or octave on the piano in order to strike it, do not consider the looking as a sensory guidance in the same light as in a physiological motion. You are not finding direction for your hand; you are just confirming a symbol. To convince yourself of this, let your hand lie on your knee; close your eyes before asserting your symbol of release, and see how the hand will jump to destin ati on.

Do the chromatic scale in octaves, with closed eyes, and let your hand rest on your knee before each note, and assert your symbol of release at each note.

Visualization is at times a slow process and you need, instead, very rapid moving of your symbols. It is here again, in piano playing, that we find a marvelous field for the demonstration of Ideo-Kinetics; for who could think of symhols realized at a speed of .iO or 50 per second? This is what happens when you play the following

Example 2,7

"runs" in a fast movement. And what are your symbols then? Written notes, if you are reading, or sound notes, or seen keys on the keyboard, if you play from memory or are

. . .

rmprovismg.

Responsiveness to the various types of symbols may not develop at the same time. For instance, response to keyboard-pattern may be the first to develop completely. While the student may graduall y develop each of them through practice, he will do well to try to put more stress on the

[57}

i

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

symbol which brings most response until he has mastered them all:

A. Keyboard pattern.

B. Graphic mental image.

C. Name of the notes-mental image of their spelling.

D. Acoustic. This is always mixed, more or less with either pattern: graphic or denominational.

E. Repetition (chord and octave) on different octaves by the simple visualization of the cipher representing the interval in octaves-I, 2, 3, 4, etc.

When this latter symbolization has reached ready responsibility, it is not even necessary to be conscious of the nature of the chord which the hand is holding on the keyboard. It is sufficient to visualize the numeral-I, 2, 3, etc. The same thing happens exactly when a group of notes is to be reo peated either on the same or a different octave.

The key may be symbolized by the seen symbol (men. tally). or the seen symbol (physically).

Notes may be symbolized by the written symbol or the sound symbol.

Octaves may be symbolized with any sign, but it is easier for the mind if we use numerals-I, 2, 3, 4, etc.-for both hands, upward and downward.

Chords may be symbolized by seeing one chord and then symbolizing the different octaves with 1, 2, 3, 4.

3

3 do,

Example ~8 ~ 1

Arpeggios derived in the same way.

[58}

SYMBOLS

Inversions Symbolized: etc.

~~mJ!_ ; .~ "C~ " ! f

~ j !=t~:~~~~ ~ : ~

1 1 :l. '

~ ~

~~!E

2. 3, 1 :l. 3

1

The same downward with the order I 2 3 -1 2 3 not

'I ' " "t

necessan y 3, 2, 1-3, 2, 1.

Symbolization of a periodic passage:

Example 30 z etc,

.J_lltl 2.2-

-@ fJ J#J ~ f Ed i:ttti ~ !

8 - - - -1- - - - - - - - - - - - -

~ ~:3 etc.

;:;-ltJ9E! tip

The numerals nrc symbols, not digits.

Symbolization of a non-periodin passage.

Ex-czmple 31 1 ~.:t.

rI ~ ~.._ .... ~

'J ~ <, .. ~ =!= v f- f'- t7 ofL

+

+

[59)

NEW PATHWAYS 1'0 PIANO TECHNIQUE

E:cample 32 1

n ~

( cJ

!(~~~bb~~::~~~~~~~~~~~~~&~~~

+

+

The difference claiming another symbol is only the notes signed with a cross.

The best symbolization of intervals is:

Example 33 S 7

8 " ., etc. & & etc. 5 S et c.

W--t'J'-l ::-1~-f=:-n---

____:-'-1-- -=------=-- u -:-:~r:--- --:t~' :j_d .... __

This, of course, does not refer to tonality. The dynamics are connected with harmony problems. The symbols establish a space interval measured by the position of the keys.

If instead of a major sixth I want a minor one, the additional musical symbol must be thought of also, and it can be either a natural sizn or a flat or the white sixth or the black sixth or the mental pitch reinforced with the image: 6,

E;f!ampZe 3JA 6

1

[60}

II'

SYMBOLS

In any form of arpeggio which develops in a constant pattern:

we need only to strike the chord: C, in our mind, in any position, and keep it in mind, after having conceived the stretch of the run.

or t

i

The hand will perform very diligently the arpeggio, according to order, including change of touch and nuances. Indeed, if the passage is to be played too fast and we are in doubt whether we can think and follow all the included notes in time, it is far more sure to see the design of the passage-the number of heats up to the last-and its extension and to leave it to the fulfillment of its destiny. We all know that the mind can decide all of these things in less time than the winking of an eye.

Scales can be considered as a group unit and symbolized at will by simply visualizing the fundamental (tonic), for example, C

:frmPle 36

{61}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

or the octave span:

J1F

and determining forever a denoting sign, for instance, EXQ.7npZ" 38

pZ2 ....

or thinking SCALE, etc.

In time, you will reach the privileged state ~f not following each note during the execution of a symbolIze;! ~assa~e; the only things you will be aware of are that It 1S being taken care of and that your hands are working as tr~s:ed caretakers, sparing you even the mental f ~tigue of gmdmg them through the execution of the symbohzed passage .. ~ccordingly, you will master these intervals in all tonajities and with each hand separately:

t~miJ9 f ~ 8~1:iE:a Fa! a '-~-1:11

~ II: "j-: i i l i' ~ ~

[lJ 2, 3

[62}

,

~ •

I

t [

I

I

~ \

"

The above passages will adjust the gauge of your hands to all possible intervals.

Keep your eye on the first note while you think simply of the symbols-I, 2, 3, or according to your progress either close your eyes and think of fa 1, la 2, La 3, etc., or look elsewhere. For instance, these chords or any other passage:

s- ••• , .s- - -. 8" -., 8- • i.

~:'P;':., t' {f ::1:##';) ,~, " • :1

iii 1 Z 3 z #f

J

I

I 1

!

\

[63J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

Examplo ~3 # . ~ . # •

41* tT ph- f f pit f f F~E:

The help that the discovery of this principle of symbolizing the octaves can bring is something miraculous. If, for instance, in these passages:

Example 41 eta.

UPi gn gifi U U ~

~ f ({, r r-[-r f # ~-t r~ dc.

we realize that the sequence actually is:

-Example 4.5 _ i

~ frJ Er4$tr81

[64J

,

SYMBOLS

to our volitional ideation, which will take care of the whole sequence while we have only to follow the tempo and the coloring of the passage without one single thought of the notes.

So, to symbolize any standard pattern of sounds-scales, arpeggios, etc.,-wc start by playing slowly, 01' with the rhythm assigned within our volitional ideation, and we develop the pattern consciously: conscious of the name of each note.

ExCtmple '16

j i Ittj a ~:iiftg

do bre do re do bmi do "1i do (etc)

4 FDa a If IT r 1~r=U If

'Iirrtfil~ @ r , ~ p*J: ttft1=EftF

[65J

I

11

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

With each hand separately. Name of the notes to be called mentally, with eyes closed. Afterwards. confident that the symbol of the chromatic scale has been registered, we may try:

Ertlmpl~ -1'1 l1 • .~

:@ $11:·· p~F p jkr. ¥~r f If de V I W

where we will find that the volitional ideation has taken our intentions and we need not follow closely each note, nor need we name them. A vague consciousness of executing a chromatic scale is all that is necessary. The hands perform automatically so far as the consciousness is concerned.

The same with diatonic scales:

Example 18 .

HI): ffllF; jjdl~ file

# f ¥ ftf . W J. etc.

~ ~ IF W If·' w= I~.

In all tonalities, for each hand separately.

SYMBOLS

~ fJ ft lJJ9 a r1 a trio.

Once the selection is made of a progression-pattern, the sequence of notes in a given tonality acts automatically as a riverbed into which a stream can freely flow. Consciousness is freed of attention and the volitional ideation takes charge of the hands.

£':'!:ample 51

etc.

[67}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

We must trust the volitional ideation with the managing of work. For instance, in rapid change of chords, like these:

Example S:J

)OJ. !to :1 -i-. 3 _~

t~~~~~~.~~~.~.j~.~ .. ~.~.~~.~~~~.~~~~~~~

..!

Where a great deal of attention would bring mental strain, it would be sufficient to follow only the action of the bass part, after having assigned to its notes the chords of the treble part.

In all tonalities, for each hand alone. [68}

"

I

SYMBOLS

Sometimes in playing a sequence like a progressive, for instance:

you will find that the hand will run away faster than you expected it to. The explanation 1S that you are not playing mentally; i. c., you arc not keeping lime within your mind but, inadvertently, you have conceived, in a flash, the whole stretch of the sequence, forgetting all about keeping time and beat.

Sometimes while reading a new piece, especially if you are a very good reader, you will find that you arc starting a run faster than you intended to. You become accustomed to have your arms and fingers move synchronously with your musical thinking. Indeed, it will seem to you that it is the only and proper way; but you will experience a kind of scare when, for the first time, your hands move faster than you had planned. just as though you were a kind of medium possessed by a guest spirit that pushed you ahead of time. The explanation is that after starting to play you became absent minded and your eyes read ahead of your intended time-beat. Yom hands follow the symbols presented to your mind in its only concern of the moment. All these and other irregularities will cease as soon as Ideo-Kinetics becomes permanent in your consciousness.

Always keep in your mind this precept and repeat it and repeat it with renewed meaning: Never think of rour music in terms of execution (of what your hands and fingers should or are going to do) but in terms of interpretative rendering (what you would expect it to sound like if a performer from heaven were executing it for you). This is the reason why you should never play for the sake of executing a passage. You play it only to see if your mental handling, refin-

[69]

NEW PATIIWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

ing, polishing and vitalizing has reshaped the passage to suit your taste. If not, take your hands off the keyboard and retouch it mentally with the carving and painting and repolishing tools of your mind until you are satisfied.

In all exercises of skips, octaves, chords, etc., it is better to repeat the same group of notes over and over until they come out with great clarity and precision than to pass on to the next hoping to do better. In repeating the same group, be it chords or octaves, you are permanently establishing your freedom from spatial distance and measurement. So, at the cost of doing with very low frequency, be very accurate. Forget about the old concept of developing muscular motion and remember that the overcoming of spatial distances is now the main problem of your practice. You have heen liberated from the virtues and duties of reflex motion.

To establish measurements unsatisfactorily and then pass on to the next measurement would be f oolish. You should go over it again. In Ideo-Kinetics, of course, the measuring is done automatically without your calculation. The only thing you do is to establish the ends of the distance to be measured. So far as establishing a certain distance is concerned, for instance, the interval between two octaves, the repetition of one group of notes would he sufficient. However, going over the whole chromatic series is fine practice for the quick change of your mental symbols.

In Ideo-Kinetics, looking at the keyboard only places the spot of landing-you just glimpse at the spot where the hand must go, but your eye does not need to accompany the hand all along the motion, nor along the final portion of it. This glimpse at the spot evidently only serves to revive your symbol-ideological help, not mechanical. Indeed, should you play in a distracted way, wanting only to strike the seen spot, you might experience some lack of clarity or precision in the actual slriking; whereas, if the symbol of the note occurs to your mind, as is always the case when you are intent on your playing, the result will be

[70}

'"

i

SYMBOLS

one of absolute precision. The moment you deliberately recur to extended sensory guidance, automatically and unwittingly, you are surrendering to a dichotomous system and falling back into the limitations of Physio-Kmetres.

EJCClmpie S5

~ jIJ'J lilffFl' il'll~

Only one symbol helps in this exercise. Each :finger is trained and orientated through the practice of octaves, It is especially felt during certain octave exercises, and the benefit derived is evidenced immediately after (the :fingers become deft and independent and this f acuIty is increased in proportion to the ease with which octaves can be played).

Example S6

@ j 'e i -r--g--C-- j- -i~ -~-

8 - - _. -- - ~---. ----

<.lith 8u~

(71]

r.

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

fj r j J J t r p=f4%g:@ r J~: fl' J F We J ~ J

Holding a visual symbol (ocular image) of an object actually seen may sometimes come much easier than to create an imaginary one on the spot. The mental effort to produce it is eliminated, and besides the original image of the ohject seen can be held (prolonged in duration) much longer. An experiment can be done this way:

Look at a small object easily accessible to your sight while sitting at the piano. A letter from the name of the piano maker will do. First assip;n the pattern to be performed, for instance:

£:camp'" sr ~ ,--, ,---, OJ'

:~lf14.?±flil

It is sufficient to go over one unit of the sequence mentally (the top notes within the range of one octave). Since every octave is symbolically repeated spatially, acoustically, nominally, etc., you have only to assert the extent of the sequence, in this case to the upper limit of the keyboard. This holds true for every similar case of repeats. You can either ideate the pattern with whatever symbol you choose as a lead; for instance, you may ideate the sounds (to which you find yourself almost unavoidably adding their corresponding denomination-d()-do~ do-rni, do-sol, dodo, etc.) or you may add their topic visual appearance on

[72J

SYMBOLS

the keyboard. But the best and most sure thing, especially in the beginning, is to look frankly at the keys while you review their sound values. Then you agree with yoursclfyou deliberate-that your symhol shall include all data connected with this experiment and shall represent your volitional ideation. Then look at the object or letter near you and close your eyes when you are ready for the start. Take care to keep the ocular image clear while the test is going on. Forget entirely about the details of the experiment. However, the holding of the symbol will prevent you from thinking about anything else. The only accompanying mental activity (and it will not interfere with the holding of the symbol) is the perception and recognition of sounds produced by your hand and the kinaesthetic sensation of the arms moving automatically. Let the tempo of the performance take care of itself (after your original ideation). You must in no way regulate it, help it, or delay it with doubt. Your attitude must be one of tranquil expectation, for which you should prepare beforehand. When you want the pattern performed in a special rhythm or speed, you must state this requirement at the time of your deliberation and pre-ideation.

The expectation of an event is, dynamically, more powerful than the building-up, planning or carrying-out of the same event. Expectation has possibly reached the dynamics of end-results and it thus becomes an assured event. Building-up makes ideation go pari passu with the succeeding stages of the event's development. Expectation is a creative process extended into the future and surpassing the boundaries of present conditions. Building. up, planning or carrying-out is a mechanistic process of cause-effect and adheres to conditions as they are met. While in the act of expecting, the dynamic power of ideation has created the whole event in the future. No thought is really dynamic if it is not contemplating fulfillment: if it does not potentially belong to the future. In the mechanistic building-up, ideation is de-

[73J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

void of the impetus which gives integral unity to the act and it is reduced to a collection of separated parcels of kinetics. Look at the trajectory of a discharged projectile or at a line drawn with free impetus and then confront them with the traclnl\; of a motion deliberately followed step by step. There are dynamics, undoubtedly, displayed in the last mentioned process, but they are subalternate processes which find posthumous unity: it is not the unity of an event already created and seeking its completion in the future.

So it is when we read some sufficiently known music and pay too much attention to the written notes, rather than to pay as little attention as possible to them and to attend, instead, the ideation of the end- results. In other words, to expect the integration of sounds (the music with its aesthetic significance), just as an outside listener would do.

Each exercise for practicing is not the embryo of notepatterns that must grow; they are exercises of deliverance from physiological restrictions; they build reliance on the predeterminism of the Ideo-Kinetic process; they emancipate from the prejudice of energy stimulation and drivedirecting. When we become familiar enough with the practice of release, we can realize how quickly coordination is established between our ideas and the physiological apparatus which we have now learned to ignore. It is so quick that we wonder if rather than being a case of extraordinary adaptation it is not a case of pre-established syn-kinetics. You may experience this every time you try a new exercise or, if you are already a pianist, every time you attempt something you have never dared to attempt before. You just ideate your stunt, withdraw your will and hold a symbol to cover your idea. It is just as if you had practiced that particular thing for years.

[74]

"

c

SYMBOLS

~hen . you are free enough to send your hands at will, wh:ch w~ll not take long, try this exercise with minor and major thirds, Notice the fingering.

Exampl~ 58 __ . _ ...

6 b :Vf-' .f:\~ 8~r=: i::: etc.

~ l ~ I ~ ,

Example 00 ~ etc. hl

liWgci1= @frIp9lF

G a E E o C

I~ the .above pas~age and in similar ones where we may consider lt~ phonetic value reduced to the C major chord we can easily get hold of a tertiary image in the form of C; G, E,-E, G, C, etc.; an arpeggio within another arpeggIO of the same chord.

& Example 61

! r4-=r- -

etc.

r

[75]

CHAPTER V

SYSTEMS OF POINTS IN SPACE

IF I DECIDE in my consciousness that several points in space shall constitute a system, to be used as such, and if, after having established an individual symbol for each of them, I keep holding in my mind only. one. of the symbo.ls, my close relation to each of the points ill space remams unchanged, even if their individual symbols have faded froI_TI my consciousness. Their individual symbol in such a case IS reduced to the notion of an abstract unit in the system.

PRINCIPLE: Any system of points in space already established in consciousness can be at once resumed after the relocation in space of a minimum (X) amount of its points. This means that to give a quick glance at one portion of the keyboard, or to touch a single, silent chord, rebuilds, at once the inter-relationship of the multiplication of points composing the system. A number can be appointed by one's consciousness to all elements of one single system and the whole system can be kept active provided one symbol of at

least one point is kept active. .

The repetition of a series of symbols along the extension of the system (as repeating one chord or any other group of notes in various subsequent octaves) consciously establishes a temporary sub- system within the various periodic partitions of the larger system. This is the reason why a mentally well-assorted chord can generate the most fluent arpeggio, which will take care of itself without further control other than the initial fiat.

In the case of the violin where the instrument is always changing position in space, the system is constantly renewed by a single touch of the left hand on the neck. The same can be said of the bow held in the right hand.

[76]

SYSTEMS OF POINTS IN SPACE

This principle is applied very often in piano playing when the rapid reiteration of two notes or a group of notes

I can b~ accomplished and prolonged after the initial representation of the symbol-trills, arpeggios, repeated groups, etc, On the piano where the keyboard represents a permanent system of points, the above mentioned groupings of notes should be considered as a sub.system.

This principle can be expressed also in this way: If I have a system of two or more points to which I assign a ~ommon symbol, it is sufficient to keep one single mental Image of the symbol (the ordinative symbol of them a11- ?ne, two, th:--ee, or first, second, third. etc., or the spatial indefinite onentaLion: here, there, further, nearer, first, last, etc.): O~ this principle, the finding of symbols in piano playmg IS very often effected, especially when there is rapid reiteration and where it would be a disadvantage to follow in a prestissimo all of the notes of the passage.

Example (J:1_

~1llll~

After the first symbolic grasp of location, we substitute for the notes the symbol of quantitative (eight to the beat) order, together with the scheme of relative position suggested by the very diagram of the note- heads :

EXClmple63

__...,_ ............... -

??:;;~, :

Through the principles of the sub-systems, with their Ideo-Kinetic efficiency, the elimination of physical handicaps reaches superhuman expression. Any passage, no matter how difficult (provided it is consistent with piano physiology) can be assimilated after a few moments of analysis. We first subdivide the passage into clean-cut portions,

[77J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

if the structure allows it; otherwise, we divide it into dovetailing units. Then, after having taken, successively, the mental impression of each portion, we proceed by coupling two portions. We would, thus, consider each portion as a separate sub-system. Then, two of them joined together as another sub-system, until the entire passage would compose a complete sub-system. Once we possess it as such, it is ours for the glories of recreation.

Unless we have, as by now we should have, a clear conception of the organized functional properties of a system of points, acting in itself as a temporary physiological unit, it would be impossible to understand the magic behaviour of a group of notes once we apprehend them (as groups of easy grasp, possibly no more than six at a time).

In the past, while exploring t.his dark sea, we would get bewildered at the cliff erence in trying a passage twice with a few seconds in between. It seemed that at the first reading all of the stiffness or awkwardness of our physiological nature was at play to discourage us; then, inadvertently, subdividing the passage we would by a ITliracle strike the spot where all the powers presiding in Ideo-Kinetics were appeased in our favor. We had. unwittil1gly, harnessed IdeoKinetics to the use of a sub-system a.nd, by so doing, increased its efficiency to a manifold. Not until new hypotheses had been advanced and new ]Jrinciples established could Ideo-Kinetics be applied with ths security of a law.

Not only while we are practicing b11t when we are reading, our performance would be improved by the tenfold if we could develop such an adva-nce in the quick grasp of a sequence of notes that a pre-arranged. system of physiological facilities could be added to those preideations by which we are permanently blessed.

[78]

SYSTEMS OF POINTS IN SPACE

We can show the efficiency of a pre-arranged system by first preparing a passage this way:

Eoscunple 6'1

~ Lerrto dJ

Of course, when we build a system it must stand well defined in our consciousness. In the piano, we know what all of the spatial points stand for and what their symbols are. So when we recall a symbol we feel the pull of its corresponding point. If we tried to do the same with an apparatus which we do not know well, as a typewriter, for instance, every time we were uncertain of the schematic location of a letter we would then be altering the system and would establish a new one, with a resulting error in typing. We do not need to visualize the point, we only need to use its symbol, provided our acquaintance with the system is such that when not at work we know the schematic disposition of its points; i.e., we are able to name the symbols of

I. eaeh key.

The system is the foundation of a correct and rapid placernent. A single isolated note at great distance (say L wo octaves or more) is very difficult to symbolize, even when imagining its written symbol. The finding of its topography in the mind requires a great deal of imagination. The most

.i'·

[79]

,

~

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

simple and quick way is to consider the note as a point of a system, for instance: if I want

Example 60

~

I need only imagine the chord: £Xample67

or any other suitable one La the passing harmony, where the E;cample68

~

is the last point.

[80]

CHAPTER VI

RELEASE

IN ADDITION to release from preoccupation with functional organs (from physiological cause-effect sequences which are the chief factors of Physio-Kinetics and which are the main obstacles in Ideo-Kinetics) we must consider other hindrances to Ideo-Kinetics which might escape the most thorough vigilance of an investigator. These are the hindrances which we might call of a pure1y geometrical or spatial nature. They may occur at any point of musical phrasing, but they are most likely to he noticed in passages of great velocity, especially when they run in a progression-like patlernwhen the pattern is repeated.

Notice that when we speak of release it is always in connection with something remaining from our Physic-Kinetic experience. So it is that these spatial impedimenta (to all appearances implying nothing of the functional) do escape our notice, although we are caught in the trouble they cause and are left at a loss to know what is wrong and what to do. First of all, the trouble-the physio-spectrum-is only of a mental consistence. That is, the method of analyzing the musical pattern is suggested by the method of PhysioKinetics. In Physio-Kinetics, when we subdivide a long passage into many short ones, it is not merely with organic musical rhythm in mind: most of the time it is with the idea of rhythm as related to our mechanics. For the rliythm of the pattern implies either a clever or clumsy change of fingering or a shifting of the whole hand and arm over a long stretch. Until we know the music by memory and know all the difficulties and have solved them, we cannot help associating the musico-analytical periods with their corresponding physical

[81]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE difficulties. A pattern becomes difficult because of an overtaxing fingering, or because of an insecure and unwelcome rapidity of shifting. We realize here that we have a responsihlity lo meet. The physio-spectrum of such a PhysicKinetic difficulty might arise in our Ideo-Kinetic reading of a score. Unwittingly, we go on mentally breaking up the rapid sequence, not with a special taste for musical analysis, but because we are reminded of the geometrical problems that need attention-the problems of spatial intervals. And at this breaking point, a corresponding interval or suspension is registered in our ideation, with a consequent suspension in the smooth flow of our end-results. The first impression we receive is of a suspension of dynamics between the periods, as if some obstacle had wedged itself between the terminals. To this we react with a mental effort of overcoming the obstacle-a very wrong thing to do for it inevitably causes the intrusion of physic-effort,

As soon as we realize the above truth, we are able to overcome all of these difficulties. In our Ideo-Kinetic orientation, we establish the independence of the dynamics from every sort of physical problem. If problems of spacing are lurking within our memory, we can at once assert our freedom and supremacy. Let us recur to the symbol we have used for release, or do anything possible to enlarge our comprehension and view of Ideo-Kinetics that will enable us to perfect its application to our use. All of this, of course, until our beliefs are so well established that we need not recur to expedients.

If the accent at every beat implies a certain physiological output of effort (see the concluding bars of The Moonlight Sonata, for instance), in Ideo-Kinetics the accent remains merely a musical or aesthetical value; while, dynamically speaking, the end-results are emanated from a principle of a continuity of the flow of ideation and release, at least for the span where an interruption in the clarity of our symbols might cause an interruption of rhythmic activity. In such

[82}

RELEASE

,

cases the .symbol shou~d be treated as a legatura assembling many units of a musical phrase. With the difference that whil~ in physiological playing the embracing dynamism i~ furnished by conscious physical effort, in Ideo-Kinetics it is assured by the sustained activity of symbolized release.

The more complete your release, the more powerful and p~rfect your playing. Even the reading of the score is done with greater precision. Your attention is enhanced by the very act of release and a great stimulation takes place in all of the f acuities of the mind.

SOI?etim~s we wonder why we encounter some short passage in which we feel obliged to force our volition, because our fingers, on some occasional notes, do not fall into the ce~ter of the key. This_ may happen in spite of our good faith that our release IS complete. You may occasionally play a false note, because your mind has been reading falsely, or you may conceive an error in division, but your ~and can never fail the bidding of your mind. One's inlennon can be foiled in spatial manifestation, but not in time. You can think incompletely of a note or a run and play wrong notes, but whatever you have thought about time will be fulfilled with chronometric precision. Even if an error occurs, it must be traced to the coneeptions of one's mind. Ideo-Kinetics is as infallihle in rendering man's conceived timing as it is in rendering his thought of notes.

.In reaching the state of full-fledged Ideo-Kinetic consciousness, you must have vanquished both your occasional fears a_nd your relapses into the deceiving lures of selfexpression. In relinquishing Physic-Kinetics you become selfless. (accept the word at its illustrative value, just as we would Justly say that a great artist and the mystic are selfless) and ra~her than show off a virtuosity gained through sweat ~nd toil, you feel like ministering to the Holy Grail, by which you are blessed but of which you are a subject, nevertheless.

He who achieves physio-release is twice born, although

[83J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

th~ ta~e of his second birth is not entirely told in his Ideo!<l~e~!CS a~one. When we say, '~Oh, I have put my whole self III It, we Intend to convey the Idea of our rich emotions but we are actually confessing the pathos of our physiological bondage. We have struggled and suffered and we now ask for sympathy. Were we such great masters that we could afford to forget about ourselves and the overcoming of difficulties, we would not feel as though we had put ourselves anywhere, but as though we had absented ourselves because the gods were calling.

[84]

J

'I

.,

CHAPTER VII

IDEATION AND VOLITION

I

J

IT WILL NOT be long before you realize full release in your practicing; hut that is the release related to the mechanical, physio-organic side of your dynamics. The importance and extension of Ideo-Kinetics is dependent upon your ideology which, in turn, is greatly influenced by a great many mental factors. For instance, the desire to show off, or the fear of not playing up to the expectation of your audience, will make you forfeit the gift of the gods and bring you back to earth where you are physiologically bound. Then, after a period of testing your new f recdom, from the origin of ideation to the end-results, your great work of controlling the output of your ideation begins. This is a kind of postgraduate scholarship related to the psycho-aesthetical aspects of Ideo-Kinetics. Once fully competent in all the variations and delicateness of Ideo-Kinetics, the time then comes for their application to problems of artistic value. This is only an extension of the basic principle of Ideo·Kinetics: the nearer you get to release, the greater your efficiency and mastery. Artistic expression must be ideated smly.

Try not to be excited at the first success. Self-control is essential for the mastery of any discipline, even more for the mastery of Ideo-KTnetics. Accept Ideo-Kinetics in a reverent spirit as a self-revealing power from which you expect much benefit and guidance. Absolute serenity is essential to the attainment of complete release. The old order has passed: consider yourself initiated into the mystery of a newly-revealed power. It has been l!;iven to you, now you must yourself be worthy of it. It is a reminder that Ideo-

, •

[8S}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

Kinetics is a principle of life and that it is the only principle, so far known, that acts on the line of Faith.

If all pianists and string instrument players had been so wise as to have worked in this way, how many hours a day of useless toil would they have spared! They could have limited their practicing to the perfecting of their interpretation, rather than to keeping their strength in condition. We can also state a priori that a pianist who has mastered Ideo-Kinetics can, by the same method, start learning any string instrument, and vanquish, in so doing, the justifiable theory that only in one's early teens can one learn the violin properly. As for all the string instrument players of this world, they could, right away, turn to Ideo-Kinetics to their great advantage. It is the left hand that makes the virtuoso and the right hand the artist. But if among them there is one artist, great because destined by N ature to be great, and if he has not yet had an opportunity to develop his power, Ideo-Kinetics will bestow on him all the singing glory that he has kept freezing in his bow.

Pre-ideate and keep ideating all the time, or at least before starting to play, that no intensity values shall be rendered through pressure or tension or contraction of the limbs and fingers. If pressure or tension of the muscles happens to occur, it: means that we are ideating it and possibly producing it Ideo-Kinetically. The process then becomes contradictory: we do Ideo-Kinetically just what we refuse to do physiologically. All the possible nuances and gradations of intensity can be rendered Ideo-Kinetically by different coefficients of acceleration, angles of pressure, etc. Consequently, we must always ideate (let us say imagine, in this instance) the absolute release of every joint.

You will find that sonori ty and resonance do not depend upon the fall of fingers from a great height. It can be achieved quite close to the keys and depends only upon what you wish the cffect to he. You can obtain the softest pian-

[86]

r

~ ,

J

IDEATION AND VOLITION

issimo or the most resounding vibrating tone. Resonance does not depend on brute strength but upon the wise use of any amount of strength.

Let us try to convey the above ideas in the plainest language. Suppose one has this passage to play:

£'xample69

@ D rr rF la , 9

and that it occurs several times, once piano, then mezzoiorte, and finally forte, etc. Let us see what, in Physio-Kinetics,

our behaviour would be.

In playing piano, one knows that he has to convey little

power to his fingers. Then, when the turn comes for Mezzoforte, he knows that he has to add a little more power. For a fortissimo performance, he summon~ more pow~r: Had he to play P?P, he would realize the (~Ifficult~ III gIVmg an infinitesimal portion of power-he mIght _fall .to produ~e even the slightest amount of sound. So, he IS obliged t.o dISpose of sufficient power which he can check at a point of action very close to the keys (very difficult). Am ateurs and had performers can never produce a perfect PPP. During ~ll of these processes of ideation, he is not o~ly concerne~ WIth the ideas of P, PPP, MF, F, FF, but with Ideas of physiolog-

ical implications also. j _

In Ideo-Kinetics, only the ideas of the different gradatlOns

in sound intensity need be held.

When we say that the hands arc identified with thoug~t in Ideo-Kinetics, it may seem too strong a ~tatement, but It is actually short of the mark. We are conscious of ~hat we intend or wish LO perform, but back of our consclOus~ess resides a conception far more competent than the conscious one. It is revealed only after volition has given sanction for the act to be performed. For instance, before intrusting

(87)

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

our conception to the fiat, we might have seen a passage of:

Example 70

~ ~ b b f

in rapid tempo, and assigned to it a fair amount of evenness or incisiveness-just what our artistic consciousness is capable of determining. Thus, we enjoy".in advance, the faithfulness of Ideo-Kinetics; yet, it is always with a thrill of surprise that we find the passage executed with a greater skill than our consciousness had assigned to it.

Something is thinking back of my conscious self from which I have much to learn. 1\1y sense of apportionment of ratios, my arithmetic, or sense of rhythm, well-trained as it seems to me, shows that my consciousness is just a reflection of a keener intelligence behind the screen of my canf used ideas. What the psychologist tries to fathom is the inventory of this confusion. What is presented to him is a succession of images-an inventorial sample of the goods assembled pele-mele in the storehouse. He little suspects the arehitectural interior where those same wares may be found disposed in perfect coordination. \Vhat may our aesthetic sense be hut a small opening through which a glimpse of that superior order can be stolen?

[SB}

, .

, , .

,

(.

~,

~

t_

I

~

I,

~

~:

II

CHAPTER VIII

PRACTICING WITH ONE HAND ALONE BENE'FITS THE OT1JER

I ~

HERE IS another very remarkable fact ahout Ideo-Kinetics, revealed through experimentation in piano playing-a fact which must arouse the interest of the physiologist. In Ideo .. Kinetics, you do not need to pI acticc your exercises with both hands. Whatever benefit one hand derives from practice the other hand also receives, not only in an equal share hut in a considerably greater proportion. This is no figure of speech. Later on, when you feel that you are entering permanently into the new order of things, try this experiment: try a new passage, preferably a run of moderate velocity, with your right hand. Then, try it slowly with your left. If you think you have its note structure independent of tempo, try it again with your right hand. We do not know whether this great improvement is due to special processes of the physiological structure (the physiologist will discover this someday). We venture to advance the opinion that, in accordance with the established principles already exposed, the systems of points have been already assigned and doubly acknowledged in our consciousness.

When pure thinking steps into the field of kinetics and mere conception suddenly becomes art, when, in other words, we receive such a surprise in our physio-psychic dynamics, we wonder and ask what is in st.ore for us in the mystery of the mind.

An example of the sharing of experiences between the two hands shows that it is accomplished spatially rather than anatomically. We explain in the following:

[89]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

Example 71

D

ete.

R.H.

-

,

(~~~~1~~~~~~5~~~~~~~~~tt~~~.~~~~~~~~

L. H. 1:!-=J.:t::::::l:I~1 '- I I...L.. j_ I

- - - -

After playing the same notes with the right hand, the advantages derived by the left hand are derived by the same spatial disposition of the notes and not through the use of the same anatomical members. For example, where the same digits and the same order is employed when the two hands play the following:

E:vcHtzple :>"2

R.H.

54 :t"l

L,H.

The principle of the reciprocal influence on the hands according to spatial arrangement (organization) is of immense value in the quick mastery of a passage by one hand, previously played by the other, even at a much slower tempo or without strict tempo. The practicing of one hand serves the purpose of the other. It amounts to pre-ideation,

[90}

CHAPTER IX

PRACTICE

FROM ALL THIS, it would seem that Ideo-Kinetics is not concerned with any of the units of the physiological structure, although it makes use of them. It does not depend upon special training of muscle or nerve for the marvellous results. Ideo-Kinetic training is necessary only to train the musician's mind, or in order to maintain the functioning of some special condition. Indeed, and here 1 think the experience has been sufficient, there are only three kinds of very simple exercises necessary not only to keep but to develop continually one's capacity for playing.

1. Octaves-any kind.

2. Three-note chords, repeated at intervals of two or three octaves.

3. Broken chords, arpeggios, within the range of an octave.

If the player feels uncomfortable and fears back-sliding in his ability, he might add arpeggios of every kind and, occasionally, some scales. But the practice of scales seems a loss of time in Ideo-Kinetic playing. Since the mechanics of Ideo-Kinetic playing are based on an entirely different order, and since not this nor that specific organ is trained but the whole invisible structure, it has been demonstrated again and again by experience that the capacity for extremely rapid motion and evenness and richness can be amply supplied by the running of one-octave arpeggios. Scales may be studied, not for the sake of agility hut only because the recalling of their structure may be useful in practice.

As fear is the great obstacle to a beautiful performance

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NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

(having granted artistic capacity), the scholar should not refrain from practicing anything of which he wants to reassure himself.

You may have the concept of a trill, a scale contained within two extreme notes, an arpeggio, etc.; so, when you have to play that trill, scale, etc., you simply ideate the two notes of the trill, or the two extreme notes of the scale run (holding the concept of a trill or of a scale-which means the alternating accent, first on one note, then on the other in the triolets of the trill, and the filling-in of the note series of the scale). It is plain to see that in this case of conceptual ideation, you are recurring confessedly to the half use of symbols. You are not symbolizing the complete idea of a trill or scale but you are symbolizing the complexities of their dynamics. This mental stratagem is helpful when the rapidity of execution is such as to make impossible the ideation of every single note in. the trill or scale (analytical ideation). It can be purposely cultivated for practical use. This is, indeed, the purpose of the exercises you practice.

tj'i .",tl,;M=

A

In passages like these, once the mind has grasped the pattern and imposed it, the hands proceed with automatic precision-the mind only d irecting the rhythm. In A, the mind thinks simply of the chord in F; in Band C only of the notes with downward stem.

In Physio-Kinetic playing, one has to think of every note, because each requires a physiological effort. Whereas, in Ideo-Kinetic playing, effort having been eliminated, the mind can simply indicate a movement of definite periodic

[92}

PRACTICE

or constant pattern, being, at the same time, relieved of the trouble of thinking of the notes.

Example 74 etc.

§g1 j1 iJJb15±

This also in complicated chromatic progressions.

The exercises given are not to be strictly adhered to so far as the intervals are concerned, Use whatever intervals serve the purpose. Indeed, it is the ideational power which, in Ideo-Kinetics, is fOl'cver seeking its freedom in realizatiou-e-cnd-results. So it is the ideation that must be cultivated (its dynamics, of course, as well as its aesthetic aspects), and you judge from the end-results whether your ideation requires revision. Accordingly, you can ideate your exercise, or the whole series YOll intend to practice, before putting them lo a test-aetna]] y play ing them. Or, while you are already engaged in the execution, you may decide (ideate) how to continue or conclude the exercise. Your anticipating volition is accomplishing its task while you are planning subsequent modifications which are awaiting your amen.

This diagram shows approximately the relation in Lime between a flowing ideation, which identifies itself with the performance, and pre-ideation.

Example 75

Pre - ideation

etc.

~----

lia:!

lied

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NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

. The same results may be obtained through other variants ~n the management of ideation. You may confirm your preIdeation on several items:

A. If you want the complete trill, ideate:

Example 76

~~nHU

B. If you want the last note two octaves lower:

Era lnple 77

tW#b--

C. You may want the whole series: C, D, E, etc., although you may trust this to your flowing ideation.

If you confirm only the pre-ideation of A and B, you may proce~d along the whole series or on any variant, leading the test with a continuing or flowing ideation.

If you .confirm C also, you may assign a symbol to the whole series ( the numeral 2, for instance); but within the middle area of consciousness, you follow the sounds of your performance and your attention will be shifted to the focus of consciousness at the least mishap.

[94]

CHAPTER X

FINGERING

IF WE WANT to secure our release from fingering, we must convince ourselves that fingering is not an imperative. Although it is of the utmost importance in Physio-Kinetics, it is not in Ideo-Kinetics. What will help us is a preliminary knowledge of every possible intricacy of fingering. What would be much against us is the lurking fear that we would face disaster without a pre-knowledge of fingering in an intricate passage. Once we have experienced the incredible expediency of Ideo-Kinetics, this fear is banished forever and our attitude will be forever one of certainty as to the felicitous outcome of every fingering situation. Any possible fear will be eliminated if we base our reliance on an advance trial of all fingering possibilities. It is true that the problem of an improvised fingering is met most competently by good musicians and first-sight readers with Physio-Kinetics; so, with the adoption of Ideo-Kinetics, the g_roblem is met with still greater skill and competence.

The issue of this discussion is not the choice of one fingering in preference to another (an Ideo-Kinetic player is at liberty to choose a prearranged fingering, which, in all probability, he will follow unconsciously), the issue is rather the necessity of discarding preoccupation about fingering, if one wants to develop release on that score. Since we are entrusting ourselves to the workings of Ideo-Kinetics and since we are convinced of the equivalence of motions, we must then welcome any conclusive fingering that brings exact end. results, whether it be improvised or excavated from the depth of the subconscious or patched up in the last fraction of a second.

[95J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

In Physio-Kinetics, We may be afraid of missing one or more notes, but, in Iden- Kinetics, we know that 1 here will always be some finger, any finger, coming to the task. A great many surprises are in store for us if we are quick in detecting some unforeseen play of the fingers. However, the most severe scrutiny and analysis of Ideo-Kinetic fingering would bring the verdict that, g-iven the transcendental kinelics of Ideo-Kinetics, no fingering whatsoever could he judged equal to it in wisdom and economy. The more exhaustive the analysis, the greater will IJe our -attitude or reliance. We know that all the knowledge acquired in experimentation can not have been in vain, It has been stored up in our prekinetic field (subconscious or what-not) and it will be handed forth when needed.

A strict legato can always be obtained without preoccupation about fingering. Do not spoil your release in an attempt to induce a f1l1gering mort' conducive to legato. Tho moment our attention j" din'eLed towards the solution of physiological problems, we are unpleasantly surprised by difficulties, which should never exist in Ideo-Kinetics. It is quite clear that physic-attention behaves with the same intrusiveness as physio-vol ition would, Our attention while practicing must he revisory (according- to our conception of end-results) but not preparative of anything physiological. Just because we cannot always be unaware of physiological difficulties, we are sometimes compelled, especially while stud ying, to face the invnl ved penalty of com mi lting errors.

At times, in analysing the dynamics of a pa"sa~e and its physiological difficulties, we feel inclined to think that [I change in fingering woulrl help matters run smoothly. In that case, we use the corrective process of pre-ideation. We deliberate that at such a point fillgering should ho corrected, a trill improved, a certain speer! improved, ctc.: hut we arc going to do it by observing scrupulously all Ideo-Kinetic precepts and principles. If 'we do not succeed completely

[96]

FINGERING

the second or third time, we will try again to find out whether there are other 1 deo- Kinetic resources r rom which to expect help. Every time wr try, it must be with the conviction that we will not be bafllcd. If we do, we know that it 'will be only a matter of mental sluggishness or of memory. We are then certain that mere mental repetition of the passage, even away from the piano, is what we really need.

It will probably he some time hr-Iore you realize what an im~edimel!t to the smoothness and f acil ity of yuur playing r~hance on a previously arranged fingering is. It may be all nght when you feel quite self-confident and the passage is easy for you; but, if y<IU are self-conscious because the passage does rrqu ire oxcepti unal allenti VCfl('SS on your part, calling to memory of u prearranged fing;ering may prove to he your defeat. The less you have to remember, the greaLer the perfection of your execution. If you could extend the release even to your memory (especially if your gazc is on the score) and forget that you have to remember anything rcqu iring speci a] attention, you would notice that your reading becomes autonomous and all the habitual difficulties disappear as if by enchantment.

In 11 passage with alternate notes repeated as in:

~ (t1oonlight Sonata) etc

~~flF O"'@rY~~

~.~-~~=-

get rid, from the beginning, of the notion derived from old practice that each note must be articulated by certain individual finger". Of course, if that is in your mind, you will get only that and be unpleasantly surprised that IdeoKinetics will sometimes rail you. Ideo-Kinetics should never fail you, anymore than sunrise or sunset. You will always

[97}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

find the reason for any possible failure in your physiological train of thoughts.

Even when we believe sincerely in our passivity, we might be upset about a choice of fingering. This is already interference. We do not mean to say that attention to fingering is objectionable. It may happen that in some exceptionally complicated passages a choice of fingering (generally the difficulty shrinks to one or two notes) may be of great help. But choosing a fingering while not playing does not imply physiological preoccupation. It is worrying over fingering while you are playing that might carry physical effort. This must be avoided absolutely. Indeed, you may have developed such self-reliance and feel so at home in Ideo-Kinetics that you may think of individual fingers as symbols without interfering with their perfect release.

When you consider the great wisdom exhibited by the inner integrations in the choice of fingering and in every other possible motion, to insist on a set standard of finger· ing seems like gilding the lily. After all, anything you ideate about what you believe helpful to end-results is readily grasped and rendered to your satisfaction, without need of reiterated practicing. If we limit our contribution to deciding the span of grouping, we are simply supervising the aesthetic end of the problem and in no way the physiological. Physiologically, Ideo-Kinetics will solve the grablems for us, so that our attention in deciding the groupings and phrasing will be all sufficient-just as the beat of the conductor is the all-sufficient requirement to lead the orchestra (although there is a difference in metrics: our metrics are variable as the occasion arises, the beat of the conductor is manometric). Our attention Lo grouping is sufficient to save us from physical preoccupation. In this sense it stands at par with any other kinetic symbol. It brings per· feet end-results, and the end-results, in turn, renew our confidence and wise enthusiasm. Groupings, of course, should be decided by the consideration of aesthetic values, accord-

[98]

FINGERING

ing to musical meaning. It more or less corresponds to the legature indicated by the composer, with the difference that, in most cases, the original graph must be subdivided into shorter periods, because the kinetics, in so doing, obtain more freedom and, consequently, more expression and variety. Should the subdivision produce a stress, as if in undue accentuation, we can conceal the extra accents through ideation to that purpose. Grouping is the most helpful and perfected kind of kinetic symbol, because besides delivering us from ideo-physical entanglements it adds the advantage of keeping our attention on the aesthetic side of our music.

Under the Physio-Kinetic regime fingering must assume a capital imporLance, inasmuch as we admit the inequality of individual fingers in power and general capacity. We try to develop each one of them, hoping to he able to employ them indiscriminately; hut, in spite of this, we are always reminded that one finger serves a certain purpose better than another, and that we must take great pains to assign a finger to each note and to memorize it.

In Ideo-Kinetics, such need for deliberate fingering disappears automatically, because we lose track of their physiological efficiency and we can rely on each one as being capable to do the work of any other. If any special fingering occurs (and when we leave the choice to the spontaneous guidance of inner dynamics, we find that it is ideally efficient) it is determined by sequence and not by neuromuscular efficiency. This means that, given the natural span of the hand, such fingers would be employed as would fall easily on the keys nearest to them; and, if the passage is diatonic or chromatic, the fingers will succeed in ordinal sequence until the characteristic shift of the hand occurs, which then establishes a new ordinal sequence and placement.

We must not forget that one of the greatest delights of Ideo-Kinetic playing is the abolition of muscular stretch,

[99]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECIINlQUE

which is substituted hy a shift of the whole hand-s-a motion which gives to the player a sense of eerie trunsecndence and conveys to his playing a great clclicacy. The shift is also rcspu.l1sible for the elimination of the thumb passage, which c~nstIt utes the very hoy and justif ca tion of the special or?mal fingering of Physio-Kinetic playing. So, even accordmg to an ordinal point of view, the fingering must difTer under Ihe two regimes.

We are not saying that the thumb passage is not to be used. In watching our IdC'u·Kinetic playing, we might find that we are using it now and then; but there is a difference in ~sing a process ?eliberately, as a helping drvice, and an accidental use of It due to anatomical conditions. If my fingers are running ill succession down to the thumb and must proceed to run further, it is nalu ral that the thumb bend inward and under the momentum of the rnovinz hand. All of this does not mean, in the least, that spontaneous fingering is employed at random. [n.leed, a well·planTied fin?ering (we mean the unimpeded fingering dictated by the mner dynamics) will always be reproduced ut ('Vt'ry repetition of the same piece, without our awareness. Of course, "'ie have no awareness of the fact if we have become such masters in Ideo·Kinetics that we forget and forego the preoccupation of fingering. It may be that in a long cliatunic run there may be some inconsequent c1irr(~rellcc in a l to 3 -1 to 4~or 1 to 5 change. But, how could we notice it if everything proceeds so smoothly?

Let us not be haffled about Lhe wisdom of a spontaneous fmgering. We must remember that our period of training was for the purpo!'e of developing nul' basic integration of all of the psychic and physical element" concurring in Ideo-Kinetic dynamics, and that all the shifts, iII the different positions of arpeggios etc., were aimed at transmitting to the inner dynamics ull of the data of keyboard distances, of symbolic intervals of notes and <:ol'l'e~pondil\g anatomic finger arrangements neoessary lo estuhlish rhut same psycho.

[IOO}

FINGERING

physiological integration. We can, then, consider fingering, or rather the dismissal of it in our ideations, as one of the helpful concomitants towards release. The emancipation from fingering preoccupation is a progressive process that matures automatically and we do not have to worry about it; although, the quicker we understand that form of deliverance, the better for our progress. We will notice that it occurs much earlier in relation Lo playing diatonic or quasidiatonic passages, where, for obvious anatomic reasons, our attention is less driven towards choice. We are reminded of the problem in fingering though when there is a wide skip to a single note. We feel, then, thai we have to decide what finger to direct to that note. This, of course, when we do not want to look at the note.

After all, the painstaking labor nf the masters of the past, who left to us a tradition of fingering, was done because of the physical necessity to secure the smoothest, the most efficient and most rapid motions with the least effort and in the least time. But all of this seems love's I abor lust when applied to a regime where there is complete emancipation from effort or any other physiological problem.

We find that what would seem to be absurd in ordinary playing is a matter of indifferent choice in Ideo-Kinetics, where fingering like the following would Dring results in evenness and smoothness, just as if a standard fingering were adopted.

However, you need not repudiate your hard-earned knowledge. You can continue to regard the standard fingering of your scales as respectable and as useful as ever. After your motions have become entirely Ideo-Kinetic, you

noij

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

will surprise yourself in adopting to great advantage some new fingering, which for utilitarian purposes would have been anathema to you before.

The hands may belong to your body, hut your real self will prove to he only your mind and you will get incredible delights out of this partnership between you, the thinker, and Nature, the performer.

(102)

CHAPTER XI

STUDIES IN SIGHTLESS PLAYING

DOWN to the end of our study we are looking for the unique achievement of autonomic motion, without the least help of direct sensory guidance. It means that, when we have reached that state of complete detachment from means to achieve and we are concerned only with end-results, our victory over matter and the physical is complete and we are under the aegis of Ideo-Kinetics. By emancipation from direct sensory guidance we mean, also, that we do not have to rely on any symbol (even mental image or written notes nor keyboard images) in order to obtain absolute autonomy. We reach this stage by degrees of development. And, many a time it will occur to us that were it not for the fear of failure we would be masters. Indeed we are bound to conquer that fear through gradual exercise and the reliance which follows success.

Our aim of success is to play any wide interval with the greatest obedience (almost unawareness) to our acoustical (sound) ideation of it. But, when we reach the stage where many times we succeed and many we fail, we wonder how we shall ever be free. If we would analyze our ideation ac .. curately, we would discover that when there is no problem in our consciousness we succeed; the moment we make an issue of it, we fail, It is for this reason that chances of success are greater in playing freely than in exercising. As we can remember from aU the experiments in Ideo-Kinetics, we suoceed in overcoming fear, bondage, and effort through the help of symbols which monopolize our attention. And so, if

[I03}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PlANO TECHNIQUE

we want to play, with closed eyes, any passage, like this, for instance:

Example 80

fi I;~'d!* f'§l1J ~ j @JiLt

by following mentally (mental singing) the natural diatonic sequence between two distant notes, the hand will automatically follow the boundaries of those very intervals. What happens is this: when our ideation is occupied with the mental tracing of the diatonic fill-in, extraneous thoughts, amenable to fear, have no chance to intrude. The conditions favorable to Ideo-Kinetics are fulfilled and, as a consequence, end-rosul Is are satisfactoryv This kind of exercise must be pursued until it has served the purpose of establishing confidence in this added facility. Once you are certain of having reached the hoped-for stage of progress, you will enjoy perfecting your sightless mastery of the keyboard. Of course, it is clear that this sightless surveying is a means to an end, nul. an end in itself. The aim is to develop reliance and faith in Ideo-Kinetics and the comprehension of the laws of Ideo-Kinetics to such an extent that you derive the full benefit of their marvelous ultra-physiological extensions, When certain basic conditions are satisfied, the end-results an; ill r aIliblc. And, if for exceptional reasons those very conditions are satisfied at the very first trial, the end-results will prove to be infallible, For example, when you try, for the first time, the almost unbelievable experiment of seeing the mental image of a chord, with dosed eyes, and you succeed in hitting it,

We know a priori that trial and error, as wel] as other physiological limitations, have no place in Ideo-Kinetics. The only thing we have to overcome with a kind of trial and error method is the bondage to physiological law with its array of fears and inveterate habits of effort and differ-

[104]

STUDIES IN SIGHTLESS PLAYING

entiated volition. In this case, we are using the reverse ~lethod: w~ are undoing what physiological habit and physical education has done. Even if during the whole period of development you never experiment with sightless playing, it will surprise you to find yourself endowed with this new faculty. Yet you have not developed it through trial and error: it is your released ideation which has brought it about.

In our practical psychology, we do not know of any effort of the mind exerted in pure thinking, except when it tries to dig out the elements of a complex problem, or when it tries to find the correlat ion between some elements, Trying to remember something is one of the cases in question. But when you arc play ing, unless you arc trying to subdue the stubborn resistance of hands and fingers (which 15 completely out of the question in Ideo-Kinetics}, there is nothing in your thinking which calls for effort. The following passage, for instance, which would require an incredible amount of effort for action and control in ordinary playing, becomes one of great simplicity in Ideo-Kinetic playing:

What your mind sees is the background of the reiterated chord:

J"~e8:

on which the passage, delineated by the notes with downward staff, is spun.

[lOS}

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

This f acuity of giving prominence to any note or group of notes, by mental indication only, is an advantage in Ideo-Kinetic playing which can never be over estimated.

ExampleBJ

It·~, f JJ j id Bird fj fJ jj

+ +

,~ fJ JJ rq-1lp J, r--\ r r r

+

In the above example (83), the correlation between arpeggio and melody seems so confusing, especially in_ the places marked with a cross; yet the real effort to make IS to forget about previous standards of execution,

Before trying the passage, you should assign yourself the task of playing the arpeggio with no other consideration than that of time measure (and you should see to it that there are no mental objections) ; then, you should sing mentally, or play, the melody alone; then, repeat it slowly, imagining clearly the interplay of the arpeggio with what really happens in the finger dynamics at the critical moment. Finally, you should try it to eliminate all difficulties by mental indication alone. Always remember: leave the hands to themselves-criticise their action as if they were the hands of your pupil to whom you can convey your thoughts but not your motions.

It is not in the competent spacing of fingers and in all around increased virtuosity that we rejoice, it is in the abo solute command and control of our power of expression, the subtle variety of coloring and touch, which now come into being and significance. Now, it is mind alone that has to create them; whereas, previously, they depended entirely upon the obedience of the fingers.

[l06}

,

l

STUDIES IN SIGHTLESS PLAYING

Do not try to stretch the fingers in wide intervals. Describe:

;1111!111 1

Always insist in describing autonomic placement, in can. tradistinction to automatic-autonomic inasmuch as the mind realizes its images and volitions unconditionally, without the intermediary of conditioned physical effort. In Physio-Kinetics, we mayor may not succeed in usins an established number of conscious means. In Ideo-Kin:tics

,

new means are always found, entirely unknown to us.

The placing of notes may be entrusted solely to primary and secondary images. We are, of course, talking about the way to secure infallibility in our mechanics of execution. For it is obvious that the phonetic image is always spontaneously evoked by the musician.

[107]

I

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

Example 8S primary

secondary

l"e.sult

D 1:1 ... (f'-
\'L -""/"'. ,.
I - 1
r'3 :t
< lb. ~ - l \1,e.. ~
I
j .
l1. "... :I. 1 --:-::1. 1 Thi5 arpeggio can eas'ily be played with a veloC'iflj equal to

l:"e.ntlt

tiii = Iljijd€ l¥Jim_

1~li.Sl"i~5

The willed permanence of reiterated m?vement. Choice of fingering may be voluntary or subconscious.

The perfection of Ideo-Kinetic end-reflult~ is final~y manifested by complete limb automatis~. The kmae.sthetlc sensation of limb motion must become lighter and lIghter al~ the time, as if the limbs were beco~in? ethereal, figuratively

speaking and immune from gravitational pull. .

Make ~experiments in ideating the. touch o! the fin~er, l~stead of the object image to he hit. Appl~ed to I)l~no It means training to reject all symbols, spatial and, If not

[108]

STUDIES IN SIGHTLESS PLAYING

reading but playing from memory, all notation symbols and emphasizing only the acoustic ones-sounds considered as end-results.

The ideation should always he filtered of all matter unnecessary for Ideo-Kinetics. Ideating ways and means to achieve end-results is always an impediment to clear IdeoKinetics. When we hold the concept of the automatic closing of physio-pathways, the riddance of physio-spectra should come automatically also. lIenee, when we ahsorh this concept we will be persuaded that no other physiological intrusion, nor psychological complication-misreading~ for example-can be possible. For, whatever our end-results are, they are the live counterpart of our ideation.

Possibly when we want a very neat, sharp rendering of our ideation-sharp in rhythm, tempo accentuation, etc.-, the ideation must be extemporaneous-synchronized between idea and kinetics-, not necessarily ideating each in. dividual note, the rhythmical value of the ideation being sufficient.

Example 86

UN1C@f{2Ef .I~

A

(B) (A)

FJ amI] HEld ~ mm

~ .__.. --

B

Sometimes it will he found convenient (spontaneously convenient, not deliberately) that a passage be progressively pre-ideated, passively read all through our playing, and, at the same time, synchronously ideated as in B.

The preceding goes for improvising and tentative reading. A systematic pre-ideational rehearsing would, of course, eliminate the need of using the will as in B during

[109]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

regular execution. Even if, as a general principle, the use of the will (Ideo-Kinetic though it be) should be eliminated altogether, yet it is always handy to recur to it in some cases where a sudden laxity of Ideo-Kinetic orientation might oblige us to ideate a physical effort before an unexpected passage.

All of the preceding finds a still more intensified application in the synchro-ideation of touch of the performing finger-tip. If instead of ideating the ahstract percussion of musical symbols in lheir tempo value, without keyboard name, as in B, we do ideate this percussion (figurative, of course) on our finger-tips, the touch will correspond to the beating of the musical configuration. We do not ideate the finger-tips as beating on the key-board, but we do expect the finger-tips to receive the beating. In other words, we do expect the sensation of touch.

Since we are ideating the very constant background of Ideo-Kinetic phenomena, which would always he present anyway, we have struck the most perfect method for release. It is easy to handle because it is ever present and does not need re-evocation. We have only 10 ideate, to acknowledge, that it is actively there. \Vhal makes touch-acknowledgment an extraordinaril y dynam ic symbol is the fact that it represenls the very threshold between Ideo-Kinetic dynamics and the physical end-results.

In spite of all the mystery surrounding the phenomenon of Ideo-Kinetics (and the mystery of yesterday becomes the positive knowledge of toelay), the new science is the most mechanistic of all the hiological sciences. It is, indeed, the mechanistic science par excellence, inasmuch as every fact can be studied with an accuracy unattainable in any other branch of biology. Experimental psychology may show uncertainty because of its dependence upon individual differences of the suhjccts ; but the end-results in Ideo-Kinetics do not admit discrepancies nor divergences of opinion. Of

[no}

t

STUDIES IN SIGHTLESS PLAYING

~ours.e, we are talking about end-results as the realization 0:£ ideation, not of artistic perf orrnanee,

A little reflection may lead us to consider how almost impossible it wou~~ b~ to supervise an experiment implying all the complexities inherent in lhe execution of a few bars of music outside the piano (think of chronometers, dynamometers, etc.) ; " v hereas, anyone with a normal musical training can detect, immediately, the least difference in the timeinterval bc~ween two. notes in a gruppetto or scale or trill, correspondmg to a fraction of one-tenth of a second, The same is true about the intensity of sound. Then, without the need of a recording apparatus to supervise the precision of motion, the ear can perceive the accuracy of space-finding and .detect, at. once, the faulty ideation when a slip occur~ for mstance, 111 such a passage:

ExampZe8'1

b

"

[HI}

CHAPTER XII

READING

PERFECT READING in Physio-Kinetics implies exceptional physiological capacities. One must be aware of ~ll t~e .material perceived. Without awareness of all matenal, It IS not possible to integrate neuro-muscular jl_lncti?ns. The personal equation-perception-neuro-muscular junotron-e-must be supremely short.

In Ideo-Kinetics, we become able to utilize the sub-conscious perception-the involunta? registration .of ~he reading material falling within the vl~ual field, It IS d~ffi.cult to eret rid of the physical habit of bemg aware (recognizing the ~erceived symbols) of the material ~f perception. It requires training to realize that jhe material or c~ntent of pe.fception is immediately transmitted to the termma~s; for, in Ideo-Kinetics, all the labors of symbol translation, space location of keys, neuro-muscular _junctions, et?, are. no longer our physiological preoccupatIOn. All tha~ IS required is simply our knowledge that the symbols ~hlCh we have looked at, even if we have not fully recognized them, are transformed into dynamics. This means that the moment we look at reading symbols, volitionally (that is, ~hen ~e ~re orientated for performance), their corresponding kinetics are already evolved. It all depends on the degree of sensitivity we confer to our terminals. In other words, our arms and hands must be kept so released that they respond to the

least suggestion of ideation. ...

Once release is attained, we can apply It to sight-reading,

We know by experience that 1deo-Kinet.ic reading .can dispense with the mental effort of translatmg the optI_?al perceptions. In other words, we need not see the reading sub-

{ll~}

READING

jeet matt?r. What ~e need is to look at the readable subject matter without havmg to be fully aware of its content. This would ~e i~possible physiologically, since the physiological translatIOn into the kinetic act depends entirely upon our awar~ness of the content. In Physio-Kinetics, we must be conscious of t!le :-eading content (which is nothing but the w.hol~ symbo!lza~lOn of the kinetics to come) prior to the kmetIcs. WhIle in Ideo-Kinetics, the consciousness of the subject mattcr can be experienced synchronouslv with the kinetic act (we refer here to the case of sirrht-read>iner and its

. b b

automatIc translation). Then, since the subject matter is

nothing but the ideation, of which we remain unaware until t~e a~t is ac~ually per~ormed, we are apprehending a queer situation qurte at varrance with many an established fact Instead of acknowledging an ideation as a sine qua non of conscious activity (without which kinetics are not possible) we find that we are producing Ideo-Kinetics throuah ideations of which we are partially unconscious. We \eeome conscious of the ideations only through the accomplished kinetics.

.W~en we read at. sig~t, in accordance with the accepted principles of Ideo-Kmetlcs, we keep our sight on one staff only; for instance, the left-hand one. We cannot honestly say that we remain unconscious of this left-hand reading. We not only look at but we see and comprehend its contents. We could not help it. Besides our seeing its coordinated development (continuity in reading) is the only guaranty that all is proceeding in good order for the realization of the Ideo-Kinetic integrations connected witl: the right-hand staff. Although we may remain unaware of the reading of the latter's content, it is our coordinated reading of the left hand that can extend coordination 10 the unconscious reading of the right hand. The visual field is always followiner the conscious reading below (left hand), but it always kcep~ including the area above, of whose content we remain unaware, consciously. Exception must be made, as experience

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NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

will prove, when the notes written on the left-hand staff are far below the pentagram and those of the treble far above; the whole making a too extended visual field for the eye to

comprIse. .

While a close printing of notes (allowmg a greater nun:"ber of notes to fall within the grasp of the visual field) IS highly objectionable in normal, physiological playing and reading, because it brings pl~ysiologi(',al. effort (the e~ort consists mainly in the translation of the mvolur,.ta:y optical perception into aware.ness of v~lue~), such a printing would be highly valuable m Ideo-Kmet.lCs, b~cause the suhconscious dynamics of reading [looking-at Instead of actua,lly seeing and perceiving) contains a larger extent of reading

material. .

In Ideo-Kinetics, you must look at but not, try to decipher the music. By looking at, you allow the VIsual content to fall within the visual field. In this way, the whole c~nte~t perceived will be utilized in the p:ocess of Ideo.KIll~tlc integrations. But, if you try to .declRher, you are ~allmg back on a volitional psycho-physiological process ooinvolving effort. In this case, only what you have clearly seen and deciphered will be utilized. In other words, your IdeoKinetic ideation will be measured by the extent of the deciphered content-your ideation has lost all that had passively fallen into the visual field. Cons~quently, the endresults must necessarily be greatly eurtalle~. On ~he. other hand, the optical perception of mere look:n_g-at I~ instantaneous and can, instantaneously, be utlhze~ m Ide~Kinetics. The deciphering process is very slow III compan-

son to this and it is highly conditioned and variable. .

With every new factor, well analyzed and .tested to sansfaction, the Ideo-Kinetic orientation or consclOusne~s .grows to full capacity to bring about cnd-result:,' And so It IS that when we know all of the factors generatmg a perfect IdeoKinetics, we can always be in a position to overco~e every impediment that might arise unexpectedly. Knowmg how

[U4}

READING

the pre-ideation principle acts in reading, we can develop that full faith in the greater facts of Ideo-Kinetics; for instance, the absolute automatism of first-sight reading, which could never be explained unless the progressive steps leading to it were previously known.

Let us remember that our convictions, beliefs, etc., are tantamount to volitional ideation. For, believing that a fact, X, is a certainty and bound to happen or to be realized, is equivalent to ideating or expecting X; no more, no less. Consequently, if X is a certain fear or a certain difficulty, we are ideating and expecting X. In other words, we are willing X (according to our Tdeo- Kinetic concept of volitional iii cation) and we are going lo realize X. Hence, the great importance to revise and to purify our beliefs.

When you gaze at the score, you are not gazing at anything steady in space; you are looking at something movingevolving in time. You are not waiting for the unfolding, you are causing it. So, according 10 the dictates of your wish, expressed in your gaze, all of the variations of speed, tone, quality and aesthetics must be evolved. It is not a gaze for recognition of established signs; for instance, notes. You do not even look at them to decipher them. You do not need them to play, even if the music you are playing is almost new to you. You are just creating music out of a diagram of dynamics.

IllS}

CHAPTER XIII

IMPROVISING, MEMORY AND HABIT

ONE OF THE REASONS why we find improvising the most perfect application of Ideo-Kinetics (for those who have the gift of improvising) is because the music we are improvising is brought out as a direct ideation. Being direct, it must have the whole substance of complete ideation. It is a through and through ideation: it is born to be a musical ideation without the least expenditure of adaptation or translation.

Consider, instead the process of reading at first sight.

Unless the first-sight reader is favored with a profound Ideo-Kinetic consciousness while playing (so that the mere looking at the score is auto-kinetically converted into kinetics), he is apt to fall into the fallacy of dividing the process of read ing into two phases: one, of looking aL the music, the other, of transmuting the reading into a musical concept (ideation). This implies effort which, to a certain extent, will be washed ashore on the end-results.

If we play from memory the integration between musical value and corresponding executive kinetics has been established, so the more quickly we forget about the relation, the more free and more efficient our volition. What we need is to allow the free How of memory to unfold, as when we listen to the performance of another person_ Our· previous technical knowledge of that piece of music and its translation in terms of piano keys should not be considered as part of our physiological Iif e; i. e., it will function without our awareness, just as we are unaware of the process of organic function. We know that it is going to function, but we do not know how, and we do not care either. We have already

[1l6}

I,

IMPROVISING, MEMORY AND HABI1

lea:-ned th~ piece by memory, or we are learning it now while reading-s-the process is the same. W e follow the unf~lding of the musical meaning, without being preoccupied WIth any ~roce~s of in~egration or with any physical problem (physiological or mst rumental ). We are in a state of activity, so far as expectation goes, but of passivity, so far as problen:s are implied. There are no physical problems. We. are going to produce our music by sheer ideation, just as If the other fellow were playing under our direction, Paradoxical as it sounds, we are lending our hands to the other fellow who, in turn, will playas we direct. What we ?eed, only, is the musical substratum of what we play. That IS, :"'? must know the musical clements comprising the composition-s-the notes, their time value and their aesthetic v~~iants in co~or and quality. These we get either by memonzm~, according t~ several rnethods-e-lry study away from the ~Iano,. at the plano, or by repeated hearing, etc., or by reading, either at first sight or reminder sight.

In the end, whatever we ideate will be performed even if ou.r ideation has not yet loomed on the surf ace of 'the perceivablc world; provided it is real within the core of our feelings, just as a creative artist is aware of his conception before the process of delivering it to the light.

If get~ing a habit is considered a strictly physiological feature, It does not mean that physiological features have to cease their functioning when other transcending processes are added to our nature. We should feel gratified that it must he so. We should feel happy that when our inner nature is regenerated (whatever that rna y mean to the skeptic) the change should be reflected on our physiological f eatures. By building a hridge between terra-firma and a cloudy world above, we have not destroyed the terra-firma. If our stay on the other world depends on restricted conditions, we have to return to the mainland until we are completely conditioned to the other land. So it is that we go to

[117J

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE

prayer and to ecstasy, not as a consequence of having formed the habit (rather we arc allowed to take advantage of the formation of a habit), but in order that the transition from the normal to the ultra may be rendered physiologically easy-that the physiological foundation may be a help rather than an impediment.

It would be r oolislmess to try to prevent the ideation (visualization) of static groupings in music. We might even state that without the help of static presentation we would have no material to produce the dynamic sequence. The truth is that we first perceive the static grouping as a' projection on a flat surface (in other words, no more nor less than what we see printed on the score at the moment). We accept this passively as a gift from the involuntary inner coordination, just as anything we see or hear or feel which we cannot help perceiving (which is forced on us); :-vhcrcas, the translation from static into dynamic expression IS the outcome of our willful activity. And this very volitional translation is to be considered and interpreted as the unfolding of the grouping of notes contained in our field of vision into something expressed in duration-the notes in succession of time. But here we must grasp a very subtle truth, upon which the finality of complete success depends; it is not the mental determining of a note that secures the perfection of end- results, it is, rather, the ideating of its value in durational time.

At the cost of being considered prolix, we must push the analysis of the concept to the utmost, for it is of capital irnportance, Suppose we have a group of notes we are reading from a score:

E:x:ample 88

he•lo (l) (~ (3) ~ (')

~!1 J till W I IUfjUfHi=

[llB}

IMPROVISING, MEMORY AND IlABIT

According to our old method of physiological performing, what would be the mental activity implied? The analysis would be somewhat different in each of the following three cases:

A. Playing it from memory, or even reading it from a score, although we know the piece very well.

B. Reading it at first sight; also reading not for the first time, hut with a partial knowledge of the piece,

e. Improvising it.

A habit is not truly and entirely formed until a complete coordination has been established, not only of the physiological units concurring to its establishment but of the whole being; which means, principally, our mental activities. The habit (be it of motion or attitude) is expressed as something involuntary, or spontaneous, or automatic, as the hehaviourist would say. It means that it becomes activated without preparation or deliberation of the will. In the case of autokinesis and Ideo-Kinetics we cannot claim to have attained full development so long as we, prior to performance, must still recur to preparation and to summing up of rules and principles and their application in a self-reminding way. We must, through systematic training and experimenting, reach the stage where all of the otherwise incredible phenomena (or should we rather call them noumena?) of IdeoKinetics are brought about with the same expectation, on our part, that we have in any othcr fact of life which is considered natural-so natural that we do not have to watch our behaviour in order to avoid entanglements with past physiological habits. All of that must have gone into the discard and not concern us any more.

Probably we often experience a condition of pure volition when we are sure of succeeding in a skilled act, physiologically; but, hecause our volition is primarily directed to the effort to perform, it is unavoidably identified with the effort itself. On the other hand, we are not sure, in advance, of our capacity to make the effort or that the conditions

[119]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PIANO TECHNIQUE conducive to volition would emerge. Since all of our knowledge of volition is anthropomorphic; i. e., always based on the knowledge of effort and overcoming, there is no use to renew here our attempts to explain what a- pure act of volition (as experienced only in Ideo-Kinetics) is and can be. It is impossible to explain a pure will to be, not as a longing or wish to be but as a certitude of becoming, separated from the efT ort to become.

[120J

CHAPTER XIV

CONCLUSIONS

THE SCARCITY or the great riches in end-results are entirely dependent upon the concept we have of the several IdeoKinetic principles involved. For this reason, the greater our knowledge of thc doctrine, the greater the results. On the other hand, nothing better serves the purpose of knowledge, understanding, conviction, faith, and the expectation of incoming greater things than actual experience. Hence, we train ourselves and practice in order to get that experience, But this new kind of experience has nothing to develop nor to build in a physiological sense. So we must, from the beginning, capitalize, to the last farthing, every bit of understanding and conviction we can get.

The moment you get the first, startling results, get a sure hold of your capacity to believe and to trust. Encouraged by the first realization of truth, try to make a soaring sweep and take for granted, with honest and humble reservations if you wish, the final conclusions of the doctrine.

If you consider that the advent of the new knowledge brings in new categories which must slowly tune in with a world affording no cue nor relationship to them, you will agree that only a century of steady pioneering could profit by a sound knowledge of fundamental principles-admitting that the principles were at one's disposal.

When you have full maturity of the knowledge at your disposal, take full advantage of it and encourage your own faith, if you wish to greatly shorten your apprenticeship. You have a unique advantage in Ideo- Kinetics: aU the principles are immediately and empirically demonstrable, There has never been an instance where faith proves to be so inex-

pensive.

[121]

NEW PATHWAYS TO PlANO TECHNIQUE

In summing up all that we have gone th~ough and. surveyed, we recognize that this is a study of .Ideas and Ideation. We have dealt with purely physiulogical end- results, but they have proven to be the outcome of strictly id.eological dynamics. Far more than this, w~ have d~alt .wIth an art where ordinarily the nrst premise IS one which includes strict adherence to empirical physiological knowledge. The study of the intricate structure of nerves and muscl.e (upon which depends the successful utilization of physiological equipment in order to produce skill, smoothness, evenness, etc.] has been the preoccupation of a great many ma.sters (witness the immense literature .in methods. for pianoplaying). Yet, if we have been obliged to .mentI?n any part of our anatomy, it has been only to e~tabllsh pomts of ~omparison with the general knowledge of the art and te?hmque of piano-playing, so that the student may become onentat.ed in finding the difference between the old and the new point of view. But, in fact, if our anatomy has had to be mentioned, it has been morc in a negative than a positive sense. 1£ we think carefully, we realize that we have made efforts not to think of how to use our hands or fingers. The direction of our success has been towards the field where ideation would point the way. As for the rest, arm and finger would take care of themselves; or rather, our ideating quid would take care of them. So, a physiological system has spontaneously evolved, in which physical organs were considered catalytically, so to speak-a system where the complexities of dynamics were displayed only through pure ideas.

Even the organs of sight and touch, those fundamentally concerned with our knowledge of the external world, have contributed to the evolving of the system, but only insofar as they have provided data for our subsequent problems: they have furnished the spatial symbols (~e~board data etc.) upon which to work. p:ut, onc_e take~l _wlthm the working field of our ideas, their spatial origin has been put

[122J

CONCLUSIONS

aside, and the course of their dynamics has become entirely ideological. Indeed, it has been our care to unfold the inner system to a point where we could relinquish both sight and touch in the attainment of space-location.

As for the sense of hearing, we used the physical sounds produced by our motions only as a concluding register of our inner dynamics, like an outside instrument on which we could read what the working machinery was doing. For, so far as sounds are concerned in our Ideo-Kinetics, only those comprised in our ideation as motive end-results do actually belong to the dynamics of our system.

From the extreme perfection and integration of practical end-results, we have realized that a system hased solely on the dynamics of ideation can be entirely emancipated from all concern about organs and detailed physiology. Physiological knowledge has proven to be rather in our way, and the supremacy of Ideo·Kinetics could only be demonstrated in inverse ratio to our leaning towards physiology. Not only would physical implication be useless, it would actually stand in our way: it would bring infiltration of physical volition-the very thing that must be avoided at all times in Ideo-Kinetics. Even in the use of our hands (the most conspicuous example of immediate reality of which we are conscious) we have had to forget the innumerable intricacies of their Physio-Kinetics and only pay them the attention that a mathematician would pay to a symbolic concept.

We must realize that Lhe moment knowledge begins to set in over-imbibed principles, it becomes too thick to flow and to grow. The danger of transcendence, which so terrifies the Philistines, becomes, unbeknown to them, the danger of growth. Even science itself has to soften and melt to the heat of new suggestions and hypotheses if it chooses to run a little farther. We have to die in order to be born again.

[123J

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