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Presented to the


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Faculty of Music




Gordon Stanley









m y | 1 Josef ij Hofmann .




1920. Page & Co. Copyright. by The Curtis Publishing Company Copyright. by Doubleday. A. by Theo. 1908. Presser Co.UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FACULTY OF LIBRARY Copyright. 1907. PRINTED IN THE U. . S.





LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Josef Hofmcmn of the to Frontispiece FACING PAQK The Position Incorrect Hand 20 28 28 Way Play an Octave Correct Way to Play an Octave Incorrect Position of the Little Finger 36 36 Correct Position of the Little Finger Incorrect Position of Thumb 38 38 42 42 Correct Position of Thumb Incorrect Position of the Feet Correct Position of the Feet. on the Pedal Anton Rubinstein 57 How Rubinstein Taught Me to Play 60 .

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of course. draws upon and. very subtler part much of piano-playing. hidden between the lines. as well as of the which my public activity has brought me. and spiritual vision. and endeavours to convey to an audience what the composer has. depends upon imagination. That almost entirely psychic side of piano-playing eludes treatment in literary form and must. consciously or unconsciously. only the concrete. vii therefore. The other. indeed. with here that part of it which aims to reproduce in tones what is plainly stated in the printed lines of a composition. the material side of piano-playing that can be dealt It is. refinement of sensibility.A FOREWORD little book purposes to present a artistic THIS and sults of general view of to offer to piano-playing young students the re- such observations as I have made in the years of experiences my own studies. not be .

largely of an analytical nature and requires that intelliis In this field the work and sentiment. to dwell a moment upon how elusive matters of aesthetics and conception. in literature as in music. supported by and aesthetic perception. groups. spirit. however. form a knowledge felicitous union to produce results of value and dignity. the technic. the soul of a viii work of art lies hid- . When he will see a limitless vista opening up before him. disclosing the vast field of artistic interpretation. periods. It may not be these amiss. learn to perceive the invisible something which unifies the seemingly separate notes. has been completely acquired by the piano student. and parts into an organic whole. just between the lines where.A FOREWORD little looked for in this volume. for. It is in this field that the student must gence. be only to show the material part. sections. far apart they are though it from technic. The is spiritual eye for this invisible somein thing what musicians have " mind when " they speak of which is reading between the lines at once the most fascinating and most difficult it is task of the interpretative artist.

In speaking of the products of such periods we have hit upon exactly the right word when we say that the " composer has surpassed himself.A den. designs that lay altogether beyond the reach of his conscious will and control. in say- ing recognise that the act of surpassing one's self precludes the control of the self. sober overseeing of one's work during the period of creation is unthinkable. I should like to reiterate at this point two words which I used in the second paragraph: " the words consciously or unconsciously. for it is the fancy and the imagination that ix carries one . this we A critical. I believe that every composer of talent (not to speak of genius) in his moments of creative fever has given birth to thoughts." For." brief comment upon this alternative may lead A which may throw a light the matter of reading between the lines. FOREWORD notes. ideas. upon especially as I am rather strongly inclining " " toward the belief in the unconscious side of to observations the alternative. even to play To play its them cor- rectly. is still very far from doing justice to artistic the life and soul of an composition.

Now. therefore. intellectually or emotionally. and his rendition may also suffer from a paucity of pianistic experience. neces" correct way" it. provided that he possesses not only the spiritual vision which entitles him to an individual conception. FOREWORD is will-lessly. inasmuch as the composer's conscious will takes little or no part in the creating of the is work. biases. that to do justice to the work of far greater importance than a sla- vish adherence to the composer's conception. The composer's way of rendering his composition may not be free from certain predilections. sarily. to my mind. to discover what it is.A on and on. until the to- tality of the tonal apparition completed and mentally as well as physically absorbed. Now. but also the technical skill to express what this individual conception (aided by . how to conceive and how to interpret it that must ever rest with the reproductive artist. only Pedantic adher- ence to the composer's own conception is. mannerisms. driftingly. It itself is seems. that hides itself between the lines . not an unassailable maxim. it seems to follow that he of rendering an absolute authority as to the not.

temperament. convincing. In some respects the performance of a piece of music resembles the reading of a book aloud to some one. Taking these two conditions for granted. must be a free and individual expresxi . be the speech literary or musical. necessarily. And as personal qualities differ between players. the reading could not seriously engage our attention.A FOREWORD imagination and analysis) has whispered to him. or even credible? Can a dull person. however punctiliously he his interpretations adhere to the text will and must be a reflex of his breeding. education. by reading them to us. disposition in short. their interpretations must. because the reader's want of understanding would be sure to effect a lack of interest in us. differ in the same measure. convey bright thoughts intelligibly? Even if such a person were drilled to read with outward correctness that of which he cannot fathom the meaning. of all the faculties and quali. by would impress us as true. said to Whatever is an audience. If a book should be read to us a person it who does not understand it. ties that these go to make up his personality.

mastery of technic. must be free to be artistic. based upon certain posses- This holds as good in life as in art. and must be individual to have vital force. is very rarely the case and does not speak well for the mental calibre of the easily con- tented treader of the beaten path. But it is in modern times it is it is not only precious. which." unless the individual happens to concur with the traditional conception. so there may be pianists who. but rather by the use he makes of it. to be sure. freedom in art requires a sovereign sions. at best. while money is to a gentleman perhaps no xii . To move comfortably with freedom in life requires money.A sion. And as there are wealthy people that are vulgar. also costly. We do not gauge him by an artist. Tradi" canned tional conceptions of works of art are goods. Still. just as we respect the wealthy ment it as according to the way in which they use their money. know how precious a thing We is freedom. The pianist's artistic bankaccount upon which he can draw at any mois his technic. FOREWORD aesthetic governed only by general it laws it or rules. despite the greatest technic. are not artists.

the following articles were written 3 for The Ladies Home Journal. will bring them the means to make them equally free in their daily life. technic is to the pianist's equipment an indispensable necessity. xni . students in acquiring this necessity. I sincerely hope that they will help my young colleagues to become free as piano-playing musicians first. in its turn and with the help of good fortune in their career. and for this assist To young form I have gone over them and corrected and amplified.A FOREWORD more than a rather agreeable adjunct. JOSEF HOFMANN. and that this.




For there anything so foolish no necessity to attempt and so futile. become a musicianly and artistic pianist is a precise knowledge of the an possibilities and limitations of the piano as instrument. since the of expressions inherent to the piano is extensive enough to vouchsafe artistic requite sults of the very highest order. however.THE PIANO AND first requisite ITS PLAYER who wishes for one THE to both. that this gamut is used in an artistic manner. he must explore it to discover all the resources for tonal expression that are hidden within its pale. He must. 8 . With these resources. never strive to rival the is orchestra. of gamut course. he must be contented. above all. provided. Having properly recognised them having thus staked off a stretch of ground for his activity.

colouristic qualities. for in these qualities it is very limited indeed. to my knowledge. gan. branch of music which. the piano cannot bear comparison with the orchestra. after sonal element of ness of its " touch lacks the intimate. The prudent player will )not go beyond these limits. to be the equal of the orchestra namely. In dynamic and on the other hand. than even the or- greater orchestra. in so far as it is no less than the orchestra the exponent of a complete by its specific itself. been disputed. The great superiority of the literature of the piano over that of any other never single instrument has. in certain respects and very much greater than the all. which. I think it is dom the piano grants to its of expression than equally certain that players a greater free- any other instrument. per" and the immediate- variegated results.PIANO PLAYING THE PIANO AND THE ORCHESTRA From one point of view the piano can claim . The utmost that 4 . reposes upon a literature own and of a type so distinexclusively guished that only the orchestra can claim to possess its peer.

in a lesser degree of sensuousness than to some others." For in reality the piano. or. too. perhaps. due to this chastity that it " wears partly at " best. we have to thank the pianists themselves. and the most intricate contrapun5 . attaches as much to the piano as to other instruments. That melody. though. For this literature. though. Is it because of this lesser sen- suous charm that the art of the piano is considered the chastest of all instruments? I am rather inclined to think that least. longer to a piano than to other instruments. bass.THE PIANO AND ITS PLAYER the pianist can achieve in the way of colour may be likened to what the painters call " monochrome. harmony. it is. polyphony. figuration. has only one colour. we are indebted to the circumstance that the piano is the only single instrument capable of conveying the complete entity of a composition. and that this chastity may that listen we can have had a reflex action upon the character of its unparagoned literature. like any other instrument. The virtue of a specific charm. but the artistic player can subdivide the colour into an infinite number and variety of shades. speaking more precisely.

Beethoven. or chief est. Tschaikowski. It it as their fa- be mentioned at this point that the did not have the effect of impairing the piano orchestration of the great composers as some may musical wiseacres assert from time to time for they have written just as fine works for a variety of other instruments. the most substantial part of the violin literature been contributed by piano-players (Bach. Brahms. medium of musical utterance came from those masters whose was the piano. sometimes. Mozart. Mendelssohn. Bruch. almost exclusively only. Saint. however. at their sterling merit. As to the literature of the orchestra. Thus has. they liked to dress their thoughts. at their 6 .PIANO PLAYING tal devices can by skilful hands be ren- dered simultaneously and (to all intents and purposes) completely on the piano has probably been the inducement which persuaded the great masters of music to choose vourite instrument. and many others) it .Saens. not to speak of their symphonies. for instance. Looking at the depth of their piano works. as they were. Highly organised natures. in the colour splendour of the orchestra.

to be sure. as the name Concerto implies) its limitations are not as bad as those certo the orchestra is . It is both governed and manipulated by one and the same mind and person. I think that a musician may be pretty well satisfied with being a pianist. not so very little that the piano has to offer. it admits of the thor- oughly personal element of touch. the artist keeps within its boundaries and it is. I feel that even a refined musical nature may find lifelong contentment in the piano despite its limitations if. commands its possibilities. it requires no auxiliary instruments (for even in the Connot a mere accompanist " " but an equal partner. but on the other hand the conductor loses many lovely moments 7 . His realm is in more than one respect smaller than that of the conductor. as I said before. For after all. it outweighs these limitations very fairly by the vast wealth of its dynamic and touch varieties. its mechanism is so fine and yet so simple as to make its tone response quite as direct as that of any other stringed instrument.THE PIANO AND ITS PLAYER poetry. Considering all these and many other points of merit. of some other instruments or of the voice.

because they are grounded as musicians than are singers and such players of other instruments as the public places on a par with the pianists I have in mind. these.PIANO PLACING of sweet intimacy which are granted to the pianist when. better usually perhaps. cian of THE PIANO AND THE PLAYER Music makers are. not free from sin. If it were not so. Alas. On the whole. though. while their sins may be less in number and gravity let it be well understood that the pianists are no saints. no! It is rather strange. like the rest of mankind. Consecrated moments. I think that the transgressions of pianists against the canons of art are less grave and less frequent than those of other music makers. that their worst misdeeds are induced by that very virtue of the piano of requiring no auxiliary instruments. if the pianist 8 . of being independent. But. however. which he would exchange with no musi- any other type and which wealth can neither buy nor power compel. world-oblivious and alone with his instrument he can commune with his in- nermost and best self.

as the pianist usually is in his performances. for the sake of both equilibrium and sweet peace. etc. however. Left entirely to himself. try to He produce six forte-s when the piano has not more than three to give. the greatest forte and the finest piano. These given factors the pianist must bear in mind. and their views and wishes should have to be reckoned with. will.THE PIANO AND ITS PLAYER were compelled always to play in company with other musicians. these other players might at times differ with him as to conception. except at a sacrifice of its dignity and its specific charm. he sometimes yields to a tendency to move altogether too freely. and to allow " his much-beloved " individuality to glitter with a false and presumptuous brightness. Such a pianist does not only fail in his mission as an interpreter but he also misjudges the possibilities of the piano. are given factors determined by the individual piano. all told. as well as the limitations of the 9 .. for instance. to forget the deference due to the composition and its creator. and by the acoustic properties of the hall. The extremest contrasts. by the player's skill of touch. tempo.

but since they are fully aware that they can never attain such ends by legitimate. play with " not in the least called for and ing where it is " ff where so much feeling constitutes a decided trespass against the aesthetic boundaries of the apprehension is usually well composition. as preciation to its boundaries and possibilities. they make either the 10 . Now. of dilettanteism if he means to keep clear nice apand charlatanry. What sane pianist would. if not a My vulgar sensationalist or a ranter upon the keyboard. ff so much feelsometimes at least. for the pianist that plays everything " " is an artist in name with so much feeling only. attempt to play a cantilena with the same appealing sensuousness as the most mediocre 'cellist can do with the greatest ease? Yet many pianists attempt it. founded. artistic means.PIANO PLAYING piano as to colour. must be the A supreme endeavour of every sovereign also of every sovereign musician. for instance. but in reality a sentimentalist. I hear it so often said of this hence and that " feeling pianist that " he plays with so much that I cannot help wondering if he does not. of the realm over which he rules.

for they are bound to destroy the organic relation of the melody to its " auxiliaries and to change the musical physi" " ognomy of a piece into a grimace. per sef it is the ripe product of a multitude of aesthetic processes nature of his instrument. if not the phrasing. principally.THE PIANO AND ITS PLAYER accompaniment or the rhythm. Of such illusory endeavours I cannot warn too strongly. As to feeling. knows and feels how far his instrument. They differ. will allow aesthetics. bear the brunt of their palpable dilettanteism. but the flesh of the fingers and their technic too weak. but the artist will keep this product from asserting itself until he has complied with every re- 11 . He which the moment creates and develops. at as follows: the artist piece. any him to go without the responsiveness of particular part of his violating and without stepping outside of the shapes his rendition of the piece accordingly and practises wise economy in the use of force and in the display of feeling." Thte fault reveals that the pianist's spirit of adven- ture too willing. The artistic and the dilettantic manners of is expression must be sharply differentiated.

formless. decorative feeling touches. he simply his piece and. aimless. provided a cleanly covered and " fully set table upon which these matters of " appear as finishing. as flowers. his rhythm goes on a sym- dynamic and other artistic properties become hysterical. does not consume any time by thinking and planning. on the other hand. which causes him to accept and follow advice 12 . His accompaniment drowns the melody. and purely sensuous sentimentality.PIANO PLAYING quirement of artistic workmanship . Very often he strays from the path of musical rectitude because of his misplaced trust in the judgment of others. no matter. without goes for bothering about workmanship or squirming around it as best he may. he pathetic strike. he rambles off into " " " feeling. so to speak. say. until he has. be said in extenuation of such a player that he is not always and seldom wholly to it Let blame for his wrong-doing. " is feels "! He builds a house in which the cellar under the roof and the garret in the basement." which in his case consists of naught but vague. The dilettante.

They expect him to show strength. present himself at " giant or of the piano. sentiment. whether the piano does of does not furnish the opportunities for display- ing all his qualities. the adsource. perhaps. though the piece may call for naught but tenderness. as much the fault of the alternative of a " critic as write. instead of vice of even a connoisseur may be wrong. For. poise. professional and well-equipped critics. repose.< programme. fall into the bad habit of expecting that a pianist should tell all he knows in Many every piece he plays." pubare confronted rather frequently. this. depth. or the lic artists is Nor must roasting.THE PIANO AND ITS PLAYER in duly considering its under certain conditions. With this de- Titan " mand. temperament. passion. and so forth. After such a mere sample they form 13 . of the conditions under which they From my own experience and that of others I that the critics in large cities are so overburdened with work during the sea- know son that they have seldom time to listen to more than one piece out of a whole recital programme. for instance. good faith. He must tell his whole once as a " story. in the first piece on his .

to double. to vio- boundaries of both the composition and the instrument and all this for no other purlate the pose than to show as quickly as possible that " the various qualities are all there. then he ditions simply put down as one of the "littlefellows. to make feeling renown ooze from every pore. who practises the vices of the dilettante without." It is no wonder that such conis tempt many young aspirants to public to resort to aesthetic violence in order " " to make sure of good notices . THE PIANIST AND THE COMPOSITION As its limitations as to the the piano." These conditions tic produce what may be called the pianis- nouveau-riche or parvenu. great why. the mitigating excuse of ignorance or a lack of training.PIANO PLAYING their opinions so momentous and if this for the career of a young pianist one piece hap- to pened to offer no opportunities to the pianist " " show himself as the So-and-so. to use power " " where it is not called for. so has also every composition range of its emotions 14 . treble the tempo or vacillate it out of all rhythm. however.

therefore. Thus we find some of Beethoven's works as romantic and fanciful as any of Schumann's or Chopin's could be. while some of the latter's works show at times a good deal of Beethovenish classicity.THE PIANO AND ITS PLAYER and their artistic expression. ment. for the time being. his personality revealing But equally true that the imagination of all great composers was strong enough to absorb them as completely in their own creation as the late in his Galatea. It the error of inferring the conception of a composition from the name of its composer. direction I threw out before plified The hints in this by discussing a may now be amvery common error which underlies the matter of conception. Pygmalion was absorbed and to lure them. they become the willing servants of the new creature of their own fancy. utterly wrong to approach 15 . every great composer has his style. No error could be greater! True. It is. completely away from their habits of thought and expression. is of thinking that Beethoven has to be played thus and Chopin thus. his habitual own it is mode of thought developlines.

they must not be clumsily dragged into ever.PIANO PLAYING every work of Beethoven with the preconceived " " " and majestic. the foreground for the sake of a traditional rendition of the piece. 40. And 16 this works. and some that are not. non-typical composition." idea that it must be deep or. but f etichism. if the work be Chopin's. op. for the Polonaise op. That sort of "rever" ence is bound to obliterate all the peculiarities of the particular. It is not reverence. to every justice we cannot . academic manner of playing Beethoven suit his Concerto in G that poetic presage of Chopin? Every great master has written some works that are. Justice to the composer means justice to his work in particular. 53. or even for the little 1 ? one in A. self. for instance. No. typical of him- In the latter cases the master's identity reveals itself only to an eye that is experienced enough to detect it in the smaller. Such delicate features. how would the stereotype. On the other hand. how- must be left in their discreet nooks and niches. more minute traits of his style. that it must run over with sensuousness and " feeling." How would such a style of rendition do.

the unquestioning acquiescence in traditional conceptions those are not the principles which will lead an artist to The worship come into his own. though the comwill be helped. with his own eyes. a severe testing of every tradition by the touchstone of self- thinking that will help an artist to find himself and to see. Much more than by his biog- raphy we forming our conception. ary lines are drawn here only to secure the 17 . the form. the man- ner of design. in parison may disclose just as many differences of style as it may show similarities. and the trend of thought.THE PIANO AND ITS PLAYER biography. Thus we meaning is find that in a certain constructive even the reverence for the composer not without boundaries though these bound. but by regarding every one of his works as a separate and complete entity. by comparing the work in hand with others of the same master. the special features. of names. organic learn his from the reading of whole of which we must study the general character. It is rather a close examina- tion of every popular notion. what he does see. as a perfect. the emotional course.

Boundless to inward. 18 . Goethe's great word expresses most tersely what I mean: Outwardly limited.PIANO PLAYING widest possible freedom for their work.

be very much helped by what will seem to some as contributing causes so slight as to be hardly worth nothey are immensely valuable. at least. Just so with the piano you cannot do clean work on an unclean one very prosaic hint : : keyboard. Eating always tastes best from a clean table. piano-playing. or a half hour even. at 19 . I go so far as to say play away for an hour. before breakfast. if it cannot be entirely acquired by some very simple rules. Now. Still. or. can. and I will endeavour to set down a few. as to Practice: practise you never Let me suggest that more than an hour. The Value other time is of the Morning Hour above any not generally appreciated. The mental freshness gained from sleep is a tremendous help.GENERAL RULES SUCCESSFUL tice. But before you touch the piano little let me suggest wash the keyboard as clean as you did your hands.

photographed in the brain. and the whole occupation of the pianist consists in the reproduction of the previously received impressions through the fingers. Five minutes will often be suf- 20 . photographing! For every acoustic or tone picture is. two hours. That which you have newly learned must become affixed to your entire organism. is absolutely necessary in order that the newly acquired results of your work may unconsciously to yourself mature in your mind and get. which. retranslate the pictures into audible tones. with the help of the instrument. This method of mental unhitching. into your flesh and blood. as it were. at a stretch according to your condition and strength.PIANO PLAYING the most. and think no more of music. very much like the picture on a photographic plate is developed and affixed by the silver bath. work the result of vanish and you will through the agency of the ear. After every half hour make a pause until you feel rested. If you al- low Nature no time for this your previous efforts will have to begin all over again with your photographing. so to speak. Yes. Then go out and take a walk.

The Position of the Hand .


who his eyes for a few moments in order to obtain upon reopening them a fresh color im- pression.GENERAL RULES ficient. if you will Watch well that you actually hear every tone you mean to produce. not mentally but physically. Continuous loud playing makes our playing coarse. On the other hand. Every missing tone will mean a blotch upon your photographic plate in the brain. Each note must allow me: be. As to the Theory great energy. sympathetically. Prepare the finger for great force. your hearing just as well. and yet strike imagine tation of moderately. Rather let an in- ward tension take the place of external force. great reI prefer my amended version: great ensults ergy. closes Follow the example of the painter. heard. restrained power and moderate manifesit. It will engage. and to this imperative requirement your speed must ever subordinate itself. contin- uous soft playing will blur the tone picture in 21 . the tone as being strong. It is not at all necessary to practise loudly in order to foster the permanence of impressions. A Valuable Little Hint Here.

And. too. practice But for the greater part of I recommend playing with restrained power. that a systematic exploiting of our emotional nature must blunt With Regard to Finger Exercises: let them be too frequent or too long most a half hour a day. your neighbours will thank you for it. and sponis the very soul of art. it. If you play every day at the same time the same sequence of the same studies and the same pieces. you acquire a certain degree of skill. and it stands to reason lost. but the spontaneity of your rendition will may surely be tional Art belongs to the realm of emomanifestations." as sometimes called.PIANO PLAYING our mind and cause us soon to play insecurely and wrongly. kept for a year. perhaps. Systema- taneousness the death of spontaneousness. Do not at the A half hour daily. practise loudly so as to develop physical endurance. Do Not tism is Practise Systematically. is enough for any one to learn to play one's exercises. And if one can play up them why should one keep everlastingly on 22 . of course. From time to time we should. or it is " me- thodically. incidentally.

Anaplan practical: lyse the form and manner of its texture. without reflecting upon one's sanity.GENERAL RULES playing them? Can anybody explain. for five minutes into hot water you will follow my own method and find it just as efficacious. As Rule for Memory Exercises: If you wish to strengthen the receptivity and retentiveness will find the following Start with a short piece. They can be successfully in. instead. however. If you will dip your hands. if you will. Try to hear the piece inwardly. As soon as the hands have " become warm and elastic. Play A of your memory you the piece a number of times very exactly with the music before you. substituted. parts refill If you have retained some the missing places by repeated read- 23 . why one should them? I suggest to use these " preliminary warmers (as practised in engines). or pliable played exercises as persist in playing " pianists say drop the exercises and them for the same purpose the next repeat morning." as we compositions they are but lukewarm water. Then stop playing for several hours and try to trace the course of ideas mentally in the piece.

but also the colour of its wood. if necessary). By such forcing of the memory you lose the logical development of your piece. tangle up your mem- ory and injure a place here. If you still fail resume your silent reading of the piece circumstances away from the piano. away from the piano. if you have better luck this time with those elusive places. Under no skip the unsafe place for the time being. the pictures on the walls. the angle at which the piano stands 24 . as a test. light or heavy.PIANO PLAYING ing of the piece. and proceed with the rest of the piece. remember try to play the piece. Should you at a certain place take the sheet music. the colour of the wall paper. discoloration of the ivory on some key of the piano. When next you go to the piano after several hours. and then begin the piece still " get stuck " over again. Another obser- vation in connection with memorising may find When we it it. but play only that place (several times. as it may be. consciously of things with relation associate in our study a piece we unmind a multitude " things " I which bear not the slightest upon By these mean not only the action of the piano. its receptivity.

With Regard to Technical Work: Play good compositions and construe out of them your own technical exercises. Then we only too good. dynam25 . in the house of a friend or. and ory for its unreliableness. if we are inexperienced enough to commit such a blunder. too exact. find that our in the con- memory fails we blame our memus most unexpectedly. to make absolutely sure of should try our piece in a number of different places before relying upon our our memory we memory.GENERAL RULES to the architectural lines of the room. Hence. And we remain utterly unconscious of having associated them with the all sorts piece we are studying until we try to play the well-learned piece in a different place. this will dissociate the wonted envi- ronment from the piece in our memory. In nearly every piece you play you will find a place or two of which your conscience tells you that they are not up to your own wishes that they can be improved upon either from a rhythmical. in short. . for the absence of or difference from our accus- memory was tomed surroundings disturbed our too precise memory. But the fact is rather that our cert hall. of things.

being brought into being mounted relation to the machine itself and this proper often requires additional packing or filing. then put two measures on each side. Many stu- dents play certain compositions for years. etc. and yet when they are asked to play them the evi- 26 . This mounting of a repaired part is done best by playing it in conjunction with one preceding and one following measure.PIANO PLAYING ical or precisional point of view. Give these places the preference for a while. You must follow the mechanic in this. as " " the case may be. If a part of a machine is perfected in the must still go through the process of " that is. Not until then your ground have you achieved your purpose of technical practice. " " proper place. until you feel safely under your fingers.. but do not fail to play from time to time again the whole piece in order to put the erstwhile defective and now repaired part into proper relation to its Remember that a difficult part may go pretty well when severed from its context and yet fail utterly when attempted in its context. four. The mere mastering of a difficulty per se is no guarantee of success whatever. shop it " three.

you will find To keep as many pieces as possible in your memory and in good technical condition. for in almost every good composition some traits peculiar to itself only which demand an equally special treatment. Play Always with the Fingers that is. The strong probability is that they never will " " of them. Do not play them. move your arms as little as possible and hold them and the shoulder muscles quite loosely. in consecutive repetitions. The hands should be nearly slight inclination horizontal. because they do finish the study not study right.GENERAL RULES dences of imperfection are so palpable that they cannot have finished the learning of them. This process I have tested and found the first very helpful in maintaining a large repertory. the better grow your opportunities to develop your versatility of style. As the to the Number of Pieces: The number of good compositions you larger are able to play in a finished manner. After the last piece played one will appear fresh again to your mind. is however. play them a few times each week. Take one after the other. with a from the elbows toward the 27 .

Where powerful tinuation it is octaves occur in long conbest to distribute the work over the joints and muscles of the fingers. and shoulders. This will Bend tend toward sure- fingers. Later let the wrist come to your aid. About Using quent and the Pedal: all Beware of too fre- above of long-continued use 28 . Practice of Finger Octaves: Play ocThe taves first as if you were playing single notes ness and give eyes to your with one finger of each hand. tips of the fingers. of course. In places where musical characteristics predominate the player does best to choose whichever of these sources of touch seems most appropriate. though the latter should both be reserved for places requiring arm and great power. wrists. sometimes even fifth finger and the shoulder muscles. so to speak. With a rational distribution each of the joints will avoid over-fatigue and the player will gain in endurance. Lift the thumb rather high and let them fall upon the keys without using the wrist. only to bravura passages.PIANO PLAYING the fingers gently and endeavour to touch the keys in their centre and with the keys. This applies.



GENERAL RULES of the pedal. for if you accustom yourself to play a work without the pedal the habit of non-pedalling will grow upon you. stop the machine at once. Do not delay the use of the pedal as if it were the dessert after a repast. you should use it when you study a new work. positive or negative. thoroughly You should endeavour to reproduce the sumWithin its which a musical thought occuscope. is really musical keeping of absolutely strict time unmusical and deadlike. however. Judiciously. you must vary your beats nificance. in accordance with their musical sig- This constitutes in musical interpretation what I call the individual pulse-beat which imparts life to the dead. total of the time pies. 29 . When you see the result. black notes. however. can be in the way Never Play with a Metronome: You may use a metronome for a little passage as a test of your ability to play the passage in strict time. For according to the metronome a unrhythmical rhythm is on the other hand. the and. It is the mortal enemy of clarity. and you feet will be surprised to find later how your of your fingers.

and then trying the reverse. however. Let your hand you with the arm upon the keyboard when start a phrase. Do not be- you can learn correct vision from the blind. What would you think of a parent who deliberately sent his child into bad company in order that such child should learn how not to behave? 30 . so as to be at any moment ready to to use them.PIANO PLAYING Beware. which means a waste of force and is bound to cause premature fatigue. Do Not lieve that Attend Poor Concerts. Have both feet upon the pedals. All other keep the feet are fall manners bad manners. or else your patient will grow feverish and all aesthetic interpretation goes to the happy hunting grounds The Correct Posture at the Piano: ! Sit straight before the piano but not stiff. The danger of getting accus- tomed to poor playing is very great. Avoid angles and sharp bends. nor that you can really profit by hearing how a piece should not be played. for they pro- duce strong frictions in the joints. of being too " individual " ! Avoid exaggeration. and observe a certain roundness in all the motions of your arms and hands.

If you desire that good concerts should be given in your city the least you can do is to withhold your patronage from bad plice. By attending poor concerts you encourage the bungler to continue in his crimes against good taste and artistic decency. If dren's music teacher. chil- To Those Who Play to say this: Before in Public I should like you have played a composition in public two or three times you must not expect that every detail of it shall go according to your wishes. He will appreciate your confidence and be glad of the opportunity to serve you for once in a musical matter that lies on a higher plane than your own or your dren's music lesson. Consider that Do the acoustic properties of the various halls constitute a serious danger to the musician. at little not be surprised unexpected occurrences.GENERAL RULES Such experiments are dangerous. which may sink so low that good concerts will cease to be patronised. Besides. 31 Bad . and you become his accom- you help to lower the standard of appreciation in your community. you are doubtful as to the merits of a proposed concert ask your own or your chilones.

and then well. what sort of an is archi- tectural stomach your musical feast to fill. I know that a number of books have been written on the use of the pedal. as early as possible. and if they are not a kindly counsellor they turn into a fiendish demon who sneers to death your every effort to produce noble-toned pictures.PIANO PLAYING humor on your part. Puritanically austere or cool from diffidence all these things can be overcome. Therefore. . even a clamlike audience. Approach the picture you hold in your circumstances permit. abstention from pedalling. do the best you can. but the acoustic properties remain the same gramme to from the beginning of your proits end. but they are theories which 32 . It is a fact that we have to treat the pedal differently in almost every hall to insure the same results. try to ascertain. mind as nearly as When I Find Bad Acoustics in a Hall. An important medium of rectifying the acoustic misbehaviour of a hall I have found in the if In some halls my piano has sounded as I had planted my feet on the pedal for good and ever in such cases I practised the greatest pedal. or a slight indisposition.

and unless this argument succeeds in convincing you. but not to believe them unless they support every statement with an argument. then. provided he is sincere. speak in his own way. Music is a language the musical. whatever and wherever be their country. and every succeeding one has done by his precursors as his successors have in their turn done by him. They are: Sincerity! Sincerity! Sincerity!" 83 . About Reading Books on Music. In art we deal far of tener with exceptions than with rules and laws. let me advise you to read them. as he thinks and feels. Every genius in art has demonstrated in his works the forefeeling of new laws. And speaking of books on music. Hence all the- must be problematic and precarious. There you can lean on nothing but experience. Let each one. while dogmatising in art amounts to abthe language of surdity. Tolstoi put the whole thing so well when " he said: There are only three things of real orising in art importance in the world.GENERAL RULES tumble down before the first adverse experience on the legitimate concert stage.

CORRECT TOUCH AND TECHNIC finger technic may be defined GREAT as extreme precision and great speed in the action of the fingers. The process of the non-legato by showing contrary results. and thus allows an increase of speed. touch. because of the lifting of the fingers between In playing legato the fingers are not lifted off the keys. I am convinced that the degree of perfection of finger technic is exactly proportionate to the development of the legato touch. saves glide sideways to the right or the left as the notes may call for it. is the true legato accomplished? the gliding motion just mentioned. This. The lat- ter quality. natu- both time and exertion. will bear me out. To play a rapid run non-legato will consume much more time than to play it legato the tones. can never be developed without the legato touch. but hardly losing contact with the ivory rally. and How By by 34 . however.

To illustrate. four. sixths. in runs of double notes (thirds. Only in this manner is a true legato touch to be attained." In that emergency we should have " to resort to piecing on. While the fingers are in action the hand must not move lest it produce gaps between the succeeding tones. paramount importance for a good In attempting a run without a " good fingering we will soon find ourselves out of fingers. The transfer of the hand should take place only when the finger is already in touch with the key that is to follow not at the time of con- tact.) the number of simultaneously employed fingers is." and this means a jerk at every instance equal to a non-legato.CORRECT TOUCH touching the next following key before the finger which played last has fully abandoned its key. causing not only a breaking of the connection between them but also a lessening of speed. A correct fingering is one which permits the long35 . let me say that in a run of single notes two fingers are simultaneously at " " " " work the played and the playing one. etc. of course. analogously. still less before. of legato touch. The selection of a practical fingering is.

If the ger technic. all the varieties of fingering ought to be based upon the principle of a natural sequel. By earnest thinking every player can contrive the fingering that will prove most convenient to him. if he has the patience to repeat a difficult place in it a hundred times if neces- sary and correctly.PIANO PLAYING est natural sequel of fingers to be used with- out a break. if a good one. admitting that the great diversity of hands prohibits a universal fingering. will gladly help him out. If a player be puzzled by certain configurations of notes and keys as to the best fingering for them. of course he will soon acquire the trait of precision and he will experience the resultant increase in his technical ability. is with the student will but look quite closely at the piece he is learning. who. Mental technic presupposes the ability to form a clear inward conception of a run with86 . As a matplayer's general ter of fact. the other component part of related fin- intimately sense of orderliness. But. he ought to consult a teacher. precision is orderliness in the technical execution of a musical prescription. Precision.



when studying a new work. them according to its own in- and this influence is then transferred to the motoric nerve-centres which are con- cerned in music-making. This acts upon the responsive portions of the brain. In other words. it is imperative that a tonal picture of perfect clarity should be pre- pared in the mind before the mechanical (or In the earlier practicing begins.CORRECT TOUCH out resorting to the fingers at all. of cultivating this trait it will be best stages to ask the teacher to play the piece for us. the student should strive to acquire the ability to form the tonal picture in his mind. Hence. The blurring a temporary of the tonal picture produces paral- (don't get frightened!) 37 . a run should be completely upon by prepared mentally before it is tried on the piano. and technical) thus to help us in forming a correct tonal picture in our mind. influences tensity. The tonal picture dwells in our imagination. Since every action of a finger has first to be determined the mind. is As far as known this the course by which the musician converts his musical concept into a tonal reality. rather than the note picture.

is not the worst feature. It is there that some undesired change has taken place. a change which im- The process is of complicated by quick repetitions figures. because even the momentarily un- concerned fingers participate in it. The nerve contacts which cause the fingers to act become unde38 . and he knows. flaws escape our notice the more quick repetitions we make the pairs the action of the fingers. that this sensation is but a warning that the fingers are going on " " a general and even strike sympathetic sympathetic.PIANO PLAYING ysis of the motoric centres which control the pianist fingers. blurred. This distortion. larger will be the and this number of these tiny blots. Every knows unfortunately the sensation of having his fingers begin to " " stick as if the keys were covered with fly- paper. Now the cause of this sensation lies not in a defective action of the fingers themselves. slight errors. slips. must needs lead finally to a com- pletely distorted tonal picture. however. Inasmuch as we are very likely not to make the same little blunders at every repetition the tonal picture becomes confused. also. like this: . but solely in the mind.



He should play the defective place clearly. I trust practice of this will speak for the technic. the fin- gers must and We laziness obey it. The mind was not keep- main ficer 39 . until they cease gers stick! At such a juncture the student should at once resort to slow practice. This is not to be regarded as mechanical practice. and. The mysterious controlling ofhas been talking with a friend instead of attending to business.CORRECT TOUCH cided first. and persist in this course of correct repetitions proves sufficient to crowd the confused tonal picture until the more and altogether and the finfail number out of the mind." what I will called "mental Make the mental tonal picture sharp. for it is intended for the rehabilitation of a disarranged or disturbed mental concept. slowly. orderly. ing astray well admit to ourselves that the trouble the Whenever we find the fingers goin the piece we play we might as is in office. because it is a good compound for which I can find no better equivalent in English. then they begin to more. above all. " are sometimes affected by thought" I translate this word literally from other languages.

Quick musical thinking. We have on and the mind lagged behind. The musical will has its roots in the natural craving for musical utterance. It is one of the by-products of the general widening of one's musical horizon. 40 > . we allowed the fingers to run PIANO PLAYING with the fingers. cannot be developed by any direct course. Hence I recognise in the purely technical processes of piano-playing no less a manifestation of the musical will it is will. therefore. not necessary. as it should be. ahead of the fingers. preparing their work. and when itself it can never serve art. It is ever proportionate to the growth of one's other musical faculties. never-failing. It is the director-in-chief of all that is musical in us. the importance of which is thus apparent. It elasticity of the is the result of mind acquired or developed by constant. unremitting employment whenever we are at the piano. proce- A dure tending directly toward developing quick musical thinking is. instead of being. But a technic without a musical becomes a purpose in a faculty without a purpose.relied on ing step our automatism.

The foot is merely the servant. full As motion and always immediately after 41 . definite. upon the the judge.THE USE OF THE PEDAL TO pedal is speak in a concrete manner of the pedal is possible only on the basis of a complete understanding of the fundamental principle underlying its use. The reader must agree to the governing theory that the organ which governs the employment of the the ear! when we guide eye guides the fingers read music. is Hence. the executive agent. whatever said here in the following lines with regard to the pedal must be understood as resting upon the basis of this principle. a general rule I recommend pressing the lever or treadle down with a quick. If there is any phase in piano-playing where we should remember particularly that music ear it is is for the in the treatment of the pedal. and the final criterion. so must the ear be the " sole As the and the " guide of the foot pedal. while the ear is the guide.

it is not all that conartistic treatment of the pedal.PIANO PLAYING mark me. allow the the vibrating strings damper to press upon long enough to do its work. jority of cases. and that. the finger-stroke ping. in order to make the stopping of the past tone per- we must If." and "on" " for down. because the we tread down exactly with we simply inhibit this stopdamper in question fall is lifted again before it has had time to down. as so after the striking of the keys. (In speaking of the dampers as moving up and down I have in mind the action of the " " grand piano in the upright piano the word " " " off must be substituted for up. give pedal to the new one. only the basis. simultaneously with the stroke of the fingers. many erroneously assume and To pre- vent a cacophonous mixture of tones we should consider that we must stop the old tone before we can fect. but like every rule especially in art it will be found to admit of many exceptions. Harmonic but it is Clarity in Pedalling is the Basis. never do. however.") This rule will work in a vast ma. In spite of what I have just said above there are 42 stitutes an .


Photograph by Byron Incorrect Position of the Feet .

Photograph by Byron Correct Position of the Feet on the Pedal .


I may illustrate by the French horns another use of the pedal: where the horns do not carry the melody (which they do relatively seldom) they are employed to support sus- 43 . pecially permissible when eign) tones are more from the lowest tone and built the passing (forthan one octave removed from the harmony upon it. great accent effects can be produced by the gradual accumulating of tonevolume through the pedal and its sudden release on the accented point. In this connection it should be remembered that the pedal is not merely a means of tone prolongation but also a means of coland pre-eminently that.THE USE OF THE PEDAL in many pieces moments where a blending of seemingly foreign to one another. What is generally understood by the term piano-charm is to the greatest extent produced by an artistic ouring use of the pedal. as I am mentioning the orchestra. is a means of characterisation. This blending is estones. And. The effect is somewhat like that which we hear in the orchestra when a crescendo is supported by a roll of drum or tympani making the last tap on the the accented point. For instance.

while the horns were active they furnished the harmonic background upon which the thematic develop- ment of the musical picture proceeded. glasslike effects by purposely mixing non-harmonic tones. In the former instance. At times we can produce strange. and when. that finish though this is not exactly the word here which the horns or softly played trombones give to the orchestra. in the orchestra. Hence. a unifying of the various tonecolours of the other instruments. But the Pedal Can Do More Than That. like the 44 . I only need to hint at some of the fine. Just such a produced by the judicious use of the pedal. glazing. the horns glazing is cease and the strings proceed alone there ensues a certain soberness of tone which we pro- duce in the piano by the release and non-use of the pedal.PIANO PLAYING tained harmonies. and their effect is like a glaz- ing. embroidery-like cadenzas in Chopin's works. the pedal gives to the piano tone that unifying. a binding. in the latter case. when the horns cease the background is taken away and the thematic conso to speak figurations stand out against the sky.

force that it can outlast all those briefer ones which. Such blendings are productive of a multitude of effects. In other words. must die of their own weakness. This use of the pedal has its limitations in the evanescent nature of the tone of the piano. though audible. the predominating chord must receive so much it lasts. 45 . especially when we add the agency of dynamic gradation: effects suggestive of winds from Zephyr to Boreas. mode of blending can be extended also to en- of tire harmonies in is many cases where one funda- mental chord cession while while other chords to predominate for some time may pass in quicker suc- In such cases it is by no means imperative to abandon the pedal. etc. of rustling leaves. of the splash and roar of waves. ruling chord was constantly disturbed by the weaker ones it also re-established its supremacy with the death of every weaker one which it outlasted. and 103). we need only to establish various dynamic levels and place the ruling harmony on a higher level than the passing ones. This fountain-play. E-minor Concerto (Andante.THE USE OF THE PEDAL one in his ures 101. meas102. and while the strong.

It were absurd to assume that we can greatly please the ear of others as by our playing so long not completely satisfied. They may. and here we are once more at the point from which this article started. should. to listen to our all own playing the bed-rock basis of music-making and also.PIANO PLAYING That moment when the blending of non-hais monic tones imperils the tonal beauty of the piece in hand can be determined solely and exclusively by the player's own ear. not notice defects in your more difficult to playing. listen carefully. endeavour to train the susof our ear. When 46 you employ the pedal as a prolongation of the fingers (to sus- . Therefore. but at this juncture I wish to say a word of serious warning: Do not confound un- mindfulness with consent! To hear ourselves play is that is. attentively to the tones you produce. of course. alone can decide whether or not is to be any pedal. and we should ever make ceptibility ear is it our own We gain the assent of our own ear than to gain that of our auditors. apparently. therefore. and that there it namely: that the ear is governor. of the technic of the pedal.

and hold. and when the hammers were shifted by 47 ." bung) denoting something " " In a grand piano the treading of the left pedal shifts the hammers so far to one side that instead of striking three strings they will strike only two.THE USE OF THE PEDAL beyond the reach of the fingers) see to it that you catch. Whether You Use the Pedal as a Mere Prolongation ing. To produce a forte is the business of the ringers (with or without the aid of the arm) but not of the pedal. the fundamental tone of your chord. and this holds true also mutatis mutandis of the left pedal. it is apt to be made to cover a multitude of sins. (In the pianos of fifty and more years ago there were only two strings to each tone. for which the Germans use a word like ( Ferschie- " shifting. but. it? Nor should the pedal be used to make up for a deficiency of force. like charity. for this tone must be altain tones . For. again make himself work can prevent who wants to dependent upon it. ways your chief consideration. or as a medium it of of colouras a cloak Means under no circumstances use for imperfection of execution. when honest like charity.

also markedly To Sum Up: Train your both pedals honestly! ear and then use Use them for what they were made. Those who do use them for hiding something must have something which they prefer to hide I 48 . It should not cloak or screen a defective pianissimo. ) In an upright piano the lessening of tone-volume is produced by a lessening of the momentum of the " una corda " hammer stroke. From those days we have retained the term one string. Remember that even screens are not used for hiding things behind them. but for decorative purposes or for protection." For the left pedal does not soften the tone without its changing character.PIANO PLAYING the treading of the left pedal they struck only one string. Now. so should the left pedal not be regarded as a licence to neglect the for- mation of a fine pianissimo touch. but should serve exclusively as a means of colouring where the softness of tone is coupled with " what the jewellers call dull finish. as the right pedal should not be used to cover a lack of force. it lessens the quantity it of tone but at the same time affects the quality.

even though a number of different pieces may be written by one and the same composer. may be the same in all his nevertheless. If you have succeeded in playing one work by Chopin in style. it does not follow. that you can play equally well any other Though on general lines work from his pen.PLAYING 'IN STYLE" " " BY to the playing a piece of music in style is understood a rendition which does absolute justice to its contents in regard manner of expression. by any means. Now. Only by careful study of each work by itself can we find the key to its correct conception 49 . Our first endeav- our should be to search out the peculiarity of the piece in hand rather than that of the composer in general. his manner of writing works. there will. be marked differences between the various pieces. the true manner of expression must be sought and found for each piece individually.

but one can never be substituted for the other. and music is music. Its own contents alone can furnish that knowl- know from frequent experience that edge. but only in the works themselves and per se. Many Students Never Learn to understand a composer's specific language because their 50 . musicologists) We usually read everything in sight. but they never can in each one get that specific knowledge needful for the interpretation of the particular work in hand. nor in such as treat of his works. and yet their playing rises hardly ever above mediocre dilettanteism. not listen to his specific language instead of losing our way in the terms of another art? Literature is literature. as they are now called. as in song.PIANO PLAYING and rendition. book-learned musicians (or. They may combine. We will never find it in books about the composer. Why. Why should we look for a correct conception of a piece anywhere but in the piece itself? Surely the composer has embodied in the piece all he knew and felt when he wrote it. People who study a lot of about a work of art may possibly enrich things their general knowledge. then.

the composer encloses in his work the whole world of his imagination.PLAYING "IN STYLE" sole concern is to make the piece " effective " in the sense of a clever stunt. etc. The duty of the in- terpretative artist is to extract from these material things the spiritual essence and to trans- mit it to his hearers. If a player be scrupulously exact in his mere reading of a piece it will. through special annotations. This tendency is most deplorable. absorbing the purely material matter of a piece: the notes.. Nay. more ! Through is a really correct conning the player enabled to determine upon the points of repose as well as upon the matter of climax. etc. pauses. for there really does exist a specifically musical rial language. But how is this language to he learned? By conning with careful attentiveness and. and thus to cre- 51 . this To achieve this he must understand musical language in general and of each composition in particular. dynamic and other signs. pauses. dynamic indications. By purely mate- means: through notes. time values. lead him to understand a goodly portion of the piece 's specific language. of itself. of course.

temperamental endowments of the individual. Now How Can We Know whether we are or are not approaching the spiritual phase of a piece? By repetition under unremitting attention to the written values. If. its purely material in- He may flatter the ear. nothing remains but to life. sensuously speaking. then. of course. To transform the purely technical and material processes into a thing that lives. own imagcall After that.PIANO PLAYING ate a basis for the operations of his ination. emotional." but this must be presupposed with a player tistic work. forth into tonal his is through the fingers. who aspires to ar- On the other hand. should find how much there is still teif for you you 52 . but he can never play the piece in style. what musical intelligence has grasped which a purely technical task. it rests with those many and complex rised qualities by the term which are usually summa" talent. talent alone cannot lift the veil that hides the spiritual content of a composition if its possessor neglects to examine the latter carefully as to gredients. rests with the natural.

" purely technical task must not be underesti- mated! transmit one's matured conception to one's auditors requires a considerable degree of mechanical skill. and in so doing you will sence of the come nearer and nearer work in hand. to put It is to good use quite another. must be under absolute control of the course after Of foregoing this does not mean that everybody who has a good and well-controlled technic can interpret a piece in style. is the Remember that to it possess wealth is one thing. Have no fear of that! If ity ten players study the same piece with the same high degree of exactness and objectivity de- 53 .PLAYING "IN STYLE" you have proved to yourself that you have understood the piece spiritually and are on the right track to master it. sometimes said that the too objective " of a piece may impair the individualstudy " of its rendition. To and this skill. With every repetition you will discover some hitherto unto do. " it to the spiritual es- As to the remaining (as I said before). Obviate these defects. one by one. noticed defect in your interpretation. will. in its turn.

he has mentally tally and temperamenabsorbed. But just this unconsciously formed feature which constitutes legitimate individuality and which alone will admit of a real fusion of the composer's and the interpreter's thought. Of the distinctive feature which it constitutes the difference in the ten conceptions each one will have been unconscious while formed it is itself. at best " written. who with his own and different intelligence follows the player's per- formance. blatant parading of the player's A through wilful additions of nuances. The stronger this is the more it will colour the performance. though each one one. 54 . the piece will appear in the light of the player's individuality. when unconsciously admixed.PIANO PLAYING pend upon differently it: each one will still play it quite from the nine others. purposed. To the auditor. is tantamount self dear playing to the galleries. shadings." charlatanism. and perhaps also afterward. effects. according to his lights. and what not. The player should always feel convinced that he plays only what is it is to a falsification. may For think his rendition the only correct each one will express what.

I repeat. And this is one of the principal causes of misunderstanding the eso" " teric portion. then. depends solely upon scrupulously exact reading. the inherent of a piece style a misunderstanding which is not always confined to amateurs inexact reading! The true interpretation of a piece of music results this. do so. in from a correct understanding of it. a good deal less than the printed page reveals. Would you satisfy your curiosity as to is what manner of person the author 55 or was at . why. and turn." after Mind well: you have done full justice to what is written! How few are those who fulfil this duty! I venture to prove to any one who will play for me if he be at all worth listening to that he does not play more than is written (as he may think). of Music.PLAYING "IN STYLE" Rubinstein Often Said to first Me: exactly what is written. but. if full justice to it and then still feel like adding Just play you have done " or changing anything. in fact. through exact reading! You will then soon fathom the musical meaning of a compothe Learn Language sition and transmit it intelligibly to your lis- teners.

" for only by studying his work will you be enabled to play it in style. you may do so.PIANO PLAYING the time of writing. But as " " I said in the Foreword your chief interest " should centre in the " composition. ." not in the composer.

Anton Rubinstein .


St. rect instruction sons. In this way he wished to awaken within me the concretely musical as a parallel of his generalisations and thereby preserve my He musical individuality. of the regular students of the Imperial Conservatory of Music at Rubinstein accepted but one pupil. Since that time I have studied only by myself. 57 . He only talked. me like He chose the method of indi- through suggestive compari- He touched upon the strictly musical only upon rare occasions. never played for me. The advantage and privilege to be that one pupil was mine. for to whom could I have gone after Rubinstein? His very manner of teaching was such that it would have made any other teacher appear to a schoolmaster.HOW RUBINSTEIN TAUGHT ME TO PLAY OUTSIDE Petersburg. I came to Rubinstein when I was sixteen years old and left him at eighteen.

but when rains play differently. as a lesson. and he often grew enthusiastic about a certain conception only to prefer a different one the next day. Some- and I." Rubinstein was much given to whims and moods. any composition more once by saying that he might forget in the next lesson what he told me in the previous one. I found him seated at . and though he aimed at hitting the nail from various points of view he always hit it on the head. and by explained this to entirely new picture only confuse Nor did he ever permit me to bring my one <Jf his own works. though he never explained to me his reason for this singular at- than once. He me drawing an mind. he would say: " In fine weather you it may it play it as you did. translated his meaning into music and musical utterances. arriving from Berlin. and played it both times alike (say in a sequence).PIANO PLAYING understanding him. Yet he was always logical in his art. where I lived. Thus he never permitted me to bring to him. when I played the same phrase twice in succession. times. Usually. for instance. when I came 58 to him. titude.

insisting that I should play everything just as it was written my follow every note of playing with his eyes riveted on the printed 1 pages. a Bechstein. what is new in the world? question: " I know nothI remember replying to him: ing new. but had as visitors several elderly ladies. He lived at the Hotel de 1'Europe. smiled. A pedant he certainly was. ing the He would remain at his desk studynotes of the work while I played. After a kindly salute he would always ask me the same " " Well. understanding at once the musical meaning of my words. and some young girls seldom any men. I noticed he was usually not alone when I came. but to this condition of his piano he was always serenely indifferent. He He would always compelled me to bring the pieces along. a stickler for 59 . Rubinstein. sometimes very old ladies (mostly Russians). which was most of the time shockingly out of tune. that's why I came to learn something new from you." his writing-desk. and the les- son thus promised to be a fine one. With a wave of his hand he directed me to the piano in the corner.HOW RUBINSTEIN TAUGHT smoking Russian cigarettes.

the manner of touch* CO . " mean this." Once I played a Liszt Rhapsody pretty bad" The way ly. you must have settled in your mind the tempo. and he an- When Did you start? I thought I hadn't heard right" " reply. I certainly did." Then I would begin all over again. "I notice. After a few moments he said: you played this piece would be all right for auntie or mamma. Yes." he would answer: Before your fingers touch the keys you must begin the piece mentally that is. master." he would say vaguely. especially when one considered the liberties he took when he played the same works! Once I called his attention you are as old as I am now you may do as I do if you can." I would didn't "Oh.PIANO PLAYING the letter incredibly so. but hardly had I played a few measures when he would interrupt and say: swered: " modestly to this " seeming paradox." Then rising and coming " toward me he would say: Now let us see how we play such things." " " How do you mean? " I I would ask.

RH O .


after trying several of his suggested designations I would hit it right. tragic. Then he would say: "Well. humourous." he would reply. then. but usually I said something stupid because of the awe with which he inspired me. why after don't you speak? Generally I would mutter something such a tirade. irregular " meaning? I would answer. what is the character of this piece? Is it dramatic. lyric. When this did not have the effect he was after he would simply press his whole hand upon 61 . mystic " what? Well. there we are at last! Humourous. sublime. And by-thebye. the attack of the first notes. and whenever he wanted a special stress laid upon a certain note his powerful fingers would press upon my left shoulder with such force that I would stab till the keys the piano fairly screamed for me. hey? You rhapunderstand the And "now over prove again.HOW RUBINSTEIN TAUGHT and. " is it? Very well! sodical. before your actual playing begins. Yes. it." And then I would begin at all He would stand my side. heroic." "Very well. Finally. romantic. above all.

especially if I hung by a plain or to had tried to ex- So I generally kept silent.PIANO PLAYING mine. " Thou child. as if the discord had been of my cleaner. oh. creating a frightful cacophony. Then he would " But cleaner. almost with anger. but their turn into the tragical always hair. and when the piece was " ended I would hear his usual comment: You excuses." When I came to the place in the composition where the Erldear. sweet King says to the child. come with me. make an excellent young man!" quickly was all pain then forgotten are And how I I remember on one occasion that I played " Schubert-Liszt's Erl-K6nig. Rubinstein asked me: " at this place? Do you know the text 62 ." and I had played " several false notes besides very poor arpeggios. after some experience. flattening it out and spreading it like butter all over the keys. say. cleaner. black and white ones. Such occurrences did not lack a humourous side. that was the only proper thing for me to do." doing. For just as quickly as he would flare up he would also calm down again. and I found.

HOW RUBINSTEIN TAUGHT a reply I quoted the words. but " make it sound well! This remark puzzled me. and there I wondered what he meant. the Erl-King addresses the child. this done. and the piece was stein himself saved. Rubinstein never played for me the works I had to study. For when I repeated that particular part it went very well. a " As ghost so play this place in a spiritlike way. you will. me to continue without further Once I asked him for the fingering of a rather complex passage. Erl-King is a spirit. then." he said. if ghostly. and he allowed interruption." he replied. " " Play it with your nose. sat and As selves ! I understand yourself! now he meant: Help The Lord helps those who help themit As I said before. but not ghastly with false notes!" I had to laugh at his word-play and Rubinchimed in. analysed. or rather the player. he left me to my . elucidated everything that he wanted me to know. but. " Very well. He explained.

PIANO PLAYING would explain. I can see that he did not so much instruct me as that I learned from him* Now. If such a one succeeded by his own study and 64 . they come and go. I learned from Rubinfor only then. while the selfcreated conception will last and remain our own. but there it. he stein in this own judgment. was my I was to get up affair. when I look back He was not a pedagogue in the usual meaning of that word. way the valuable truth that the conception of tone-pictures obtained through the playing of another gives us only transient impressions. To be sure. this method would not work with but it is all pupils. would my achievement be my own and incontestable property. nevertheless well calculated to develop a student's original thought and bring out whatever acumen he may possess. he did not bother about how "Play with your nose!" Yes but when I bumped it till it fairly bled where would I get the metaphorical handkerchief? In agination! my im- And he was right. upon my study-days with Rubinstein. He indicated to me an altitude offering a fine view.

seated in the greenroom of the Berlin Philharmonic during an intermission in his concert (it was on a Saturday) and telling me: We shall appear together in Hamburg on . as if it were but yes! terday. So I proposed it. he would always find even though he should lose an I recall that Rubinstein once said to me: " Do you know why piano-playing Because it is is so diffi- prone to be either affected or else afflicted with mannerisms.HOW RUBINSTEIN TAUGHT mental force to reach the desired point which the great magician's wizardry had made see." The time was 65 short. but Rubinstein disposed of it I still see him.< Monday. as every one with honest aspiration is liable to do. I thought the time had come at last to study with him one of his own D -minor works. he had gained the reliance in his him own strength he : felt sure that that point again his way once or twice. and when these two pitfalls are luckily avoided then it is cult? liable to be dry! The truth lies between those three mischiefs!" When it was settled that I should his Hamburg debut under make my baton with his own Concerto. but I knew the .

" but he declined is my urgent request. And even in this we understand each other!" critical moment he left me to After the last (and only) rehearsal the great master embraced me before the whole orchestra. and. Brute? " . and I well. ef half- angry and half -laughing: 60 Et tu. saying: It not necessary. I little in Hamburg. I was not in the seventh. went eyes dreaming that for the last time. directly which was on March to see Rubinstein. 1894.PIANO PLAYING Concerto and hoped to go through it with him some time in the remaining two days. After that memorable debut 14. my own resources. but in the "eighth" heaven! all right. He raised both fists and thundered. Everything was lic I said to myself. I brought with me a large photograph of himself. for Rubinstein. Rubinstein was satisfied! The pub- simply had to be! The concert went off splendidly. my desire for the pos- session of his signature overruled my reluc- tance and I made my request. though fully aware of his unconquerable aver- my would then see him sion to autographing. I asked his permission to play the Concerto for him.

entirely The effect that his death had upon me I shall The world appeared suddenly empty to me. that he returned to his villa in Peterhof. and there he died on Novem- ber 19. My grief made me realise how my heart had worshipped not only the artist in him but also the man. near St. 1894. and I reproduce the portrait in this article. Then I asked him when I should play for him again. Soon after it he meant it seriously. how I loved him as if he were my father.HOW RUBINSTEIN TAUGHT But my wish was granted. Petersburg. " me: My dear boy. then said to "Why and I left him. and to my consternation he an" " swered: Never! In my He. I have told you all I know about legitimate piano-playing and music" and then changing his tone somemaking " what he added: And if you don't know it yet. never forget. go to the devil! I saw only too well that while he smiled as he said " not?" despair I asked him: generous soul that he was. why. I learned of his death through the Eng- 67 . I never saw Rubinstein again. devoid of any interest.

PIANO PLAYING lish papers while I was en route from London to Cheltenham. it that that I dream was singwas but a 68 . singular coincidence occurred at A my con- cert on the preceding day this the day of Rubin- stein's death. He had included it in the set Souvenirs de Dresde. and as I struck the first notes of the Funeral March the whole audience rose from their seats as if by command and remained standing with bowed heads during the whole piece in honour of the great departed. Little did I while I was playing day him into his eternal rest. as a novelty. a Polonaise in E-flat minor which Rubinstein seven years' retirement (exHamburg debut). On day I played for the first time in public after cepting my don. where I was booked for a recital on the twentieth. The B-flat minor Sonata by Chopin happened to be on the programme. for it ing few hours later that. It was in Lon- my had but recently written in Dresden and dedicated to me. In this concert I played." This piece has throughout the character of a Funeral March called " in all but the time-division. in the far East of Europe.

Petersburg. as if and private between us two. .HOW RUBINSTEIN TAUGHT great master passed away. Since then I have played this piece only once. were something persona] me feel as if it still it or. of heart failure. at tirely it home and to myself. For. excluding it en- from my was dedicated public repertoire. in St. where in honour of his memory I gave a recital. It was on the an- niversary of his death. though to me. my Two years later I played this same Polonaise for the second and last time. at best. the proceeds of which I devoted to the Rubinstein Fund. suddenly. the time and circum- stances of its initial performance always made belonged to my master.

Indispensables in Pianistic Success
Indispensables in Pianistic Success? Are not the indispensables in all success very


ica, in

the same?

Nothing can take the place

This is especially true of Amerwhich country I have lived longer than in any other, and which I am glad to call my home. Americans are probably the most traveled people of the world, and it is futile to offer them anything but the best. Some ago a conductor brought to this country years an orchestra of second-class character, with the idea that the people would accept it just because it bore the name of a famous European city which possessed one of the great orchestras of the world. It was a good orchestra, but there were better orchestras in American cities, and it took American audiences just two
of real worth.

concerts to find this out, resulting in a disastrous failure, which the conductor was man

enough to face and personally defray. 70


American people know the


make a

nothing but the best. Therefore, list of the indispensables of pianistic success in this country at this time you must

have you would

put at the head of your list, REAL WORTH. "Naturally, one of the first indispensables would include what many term 'the musical 5 However, this is often greatly misundergift. stood. We are, happily, past the time when music was regarded as a special kind of divine
dispensation, which,

by its very possession, robbed the musician of any claim to possible
In other words, that it was even

excellence in other lines.

music was so special a gift thought by some misguided people to isolate the musician from the world to make him a thing apart and different from other men and


of high aspirations

and attainments.

true that there have been famous

prodigies in mathematics, and in games such as chess, who have given evidence of astonish-

ing prowess in their chosen work, but who, at the same time, seem to have been lamentably

under-developed in many other ways. This is not the case in music at this day at least, for, although a special love for music and a special quickness in mastering musical prob-


lems are indispensable, yet the musicians are usually men and women of broad cultural



they desire


and are

willing to




I concede that a very finely developed sense of hearing is in all cases essential. The possession of what is known as absolute

"Nor can

which so

many seem

to think


a sure

indication of musical genius, is often a nuisSchumann did not possess it, and (unance.
incorrectly informed) Wagner did not have absolute pitch. I have it, and can,



I believe, distinguish differences of an eighth I find it more disturbing than of a tone.

had absolute pitch in remarkable fashion. He seemed to have extremely acute ears. Indeed, it was often impossible for him to identify a well-known combeneficial.



he heard it played in a different key it sounded so different to him. Mozart had absolute pitch, but music, in his day, was

far less complicated. now live in an age of melodic and contrapuntal intricacy, and I


do not believe that the so-called acute sense of
hearing, or highly developed sense of absolute pitch, has very much to do with one's real







nothing; the spiritual hearing if one may say so is what really counts. If, in transposing, for instance, one has associated the contents of

a piece so closely with its corresponding tonality that it is hard to play in any other tonalnot an advanity, this constitutes a difficulty


"Too much cannot be

said about the ad-


vantage of an early drill. The impressions during youth seem to be the most lastI


certain that the pieces

that I

learned before I was ten years of age remain more persistently in my memory than the com-

The positions I studied after I was thirty. child who is destined for a musical career
should receive as
early life as is health and receptivity. To postpone the work too long is just as dangerous to the child's
career as

musical instruction in compatible with the child's


dangerous to overload the pupil with more work than his mind and body can
it is


Children learn far more rapidly than not merely because of the fact that

the work becomes more and more complicated as the student advances, but also because the


mind is so vastly more receptive. The power of absorption in music study between the ages of eight and twelve is simply enormous; it is less between twelve and twenty; still less between twenty and thirty, and often lamentably small between thirty and It might be represented by some such forty.



*4O .years of&*

JUmitid Restate"


Less Accomplishment

Less Accomplishment

"Of course, these lines are only comparative, and there are exceptional cases of astonishing
development late in life, due to enormous ambition and industry. Yet the period of highest achievement is usually early in life. This is especially true in the arts where digital
skill is


"All teachers are aware of the need for the
best possible drill early in life. The idea one so often hears expressed in America: 'Since


only beginning her studies do/ has been the source of any great laxity in American musical education. If the father who has such an idea would only transpose the same thought to the building of a house he would be surprised to find himself saying: 'Since I am only laying a foundation, any kind of trashy material will do. I will use




teacher will


cement, plaster, stone, bricks, decayed wood and cheap hardware, and employ the cheapest labor I can procure. But when I get to the roof I shall engage the finest roofmakers
in the world!'

"The beginning


of such tremendous im-

portance that only the best is good enough. By this I do not mean the most expensive
teacher obtainable, but someone




ough, painstaking,




experienced. the house in which the greatest strength

The foundation

the part of

and must Everything required. thoroughness be solid, substantial, firm and secure, to stand the stress of use and the test of time. Of
course, there
is such a thing as employing a teacher with a big reputation and exceptional skill, who would make an excellent teacher for

an advanced student, but who might be 75


and more drill. some very young players in these games. the secret of the early training of the This is indicated quite as in games such as tennis. Drill. is mind and hand. fretwork. billiards and Think of the remarkable records of golf. firms which make a specialty of laying foundations for immense buildings. so it is often wise to employ a teacher who specializes in instruct- In European music schools always been the case. complications and obstacles seem to multiply "In all arts in complexity until the point of until mastery is reached. drill. this has almost musicianship. liked to picture this to myself in this 76 one round I have often way: . and sciences. and you will see what may be accomplished in the much early years of the young player. then the tendency seems to reverse itself. Just as in great cities one finds carving. but rather sound ing beginners. tion not gold ornaments and marble trim- mings and beautiful decorations. as well as the comprehension of the child psychology.PIANISTIC SUCCESS capable of laying a good foundation for the One wants strength at the foundabeginner. as one advances. It is not virtuosity that is needed in the makeup of the teacher of beginners. a kind of circle carries again to the point of simplicity.

not only to his own but to other occupations and attainments. At the very first ' 77 . This universal line of life. and then passing on to greater and greater simplicity of means. dissolving gradually into the light of a clear understanding day. starting with birth. mounting to its climax in middle life. "The steam engine started with the most primitive kind of apparatus. This is to me a general principle underlying almost all lines of human achieve- seem to solve ment. Perhaps we can make this clearer by studying the evolution of the steam engine. until at death the circle is almost completed.PIANISTIC SUCCESS powt of lat Greatest "It is encouraging for the student to know that he must expect to be confronted with everincreasing difficulties. and it appears to me that the student should learn its application. is a kind of human program which all successful men would appear to follow. until he reaches the point where all the intense and intricate problems themselves.

PIANISTIC SUCCESS it was of the turbine type. and according to others his work was done in the latter half of the first century. little Hero of Alexander (Heron. It is difficult to his show the principle of his engine in an exact drawing. The principle is is "A simplicity itself. and the noteworthy 78 fact is . Heron lived in the second century before Christ. which issues from the tube at B and is caught in the wheel in such a manner that the wheel revolves. which is heated to steam. According which was to some historians. more than a toy. who a retort containing water. in Greek) made the first steam engine. He was an ingenious mathematician often startled the people of this time with mechanical contrivances. but the following indicates in a crude way the application of steam force something after the manner in which Heron first applied it.

and now we have turbine engines. engine construction became more and more simple. in 1876. James Watt made discoveries which paved the way for the modern steam engine. the machinery became more and more complicated and enormous in size. such as the Parsons engines. until. After Heron many others attempted that in 1764. At first there was childlike simplicity. Ill "In the art of piano playing we have much the same line of curve. Then. triple and quadruple expansion types were introduced until. Then. we find the tendency development 79 . a giant engine was exhibited by Corliss a marvelous engine. with the further of the art. to use controlled steam to produce force. which are all far smaller and simpler than their grandfathers of the seventies. having reached the maximum curve of complexity. but at the same time vastly more powerful and efficient. Double. with many elaborate details. at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia.PIANISTIC SUCCESS primitive as it is it has the characteristic principle involved in the turbine engine of to-day. Thereafter. constituting him virtually the inventor of the type.

"Technic represents the material side of art. life. Liszts and Chopins. but the public was dazzled with technic one might better say pyrotechnics. Of course. dream that you will be artistically Thousands millions of people believe that money is the basis of great happiness. Rubinsteins. a chest of tools from which the skilled artisan draws what he needs at the right "Technic is 80 . that but do not happy with money is traneous details which may only one of the exor may not con- tribute to real content in life. The art of piano playing was the art of the musical speedometer the art of playing the greatest number of notes in the shortest possible time. there were a few outstanding giants. adequate technic.PIANISTIC SUCCESS toward enormous technical accomplishment and very great complexity. who made then* technic subordinate to their message. only to find. By means achieve a this alone. as money all represents the material side of fine technic. Fifty years ago technic was everything. Now we find the circle drawing toward the point of simpliGreat beauty. is demanded rather than enormous technic divorced from beauty. combined with city again. when they have accumulated vast fortunes.

Because he had spent all of his time on the mere dry technic of composition. I am a firm believer in having technic go hand in hand with veritable musical development from the start. The teacher who gives a pupil a long course in strict technic 81 . and at the end of cian in Paris who that time he was incapable of using any of his knowledge in practical musical composition. and none He told me that he in actual composition. when and It is like how to use the tools opening the drawer and finding what one needs at the moment.PIANISTIC SUCCESS time for the right purpose. sion of the tools stinct The mere it is posses- means nothing. It is perfectly possible to accumulate a technic that I recall the case of a musiis next to useless. one must balance the other. "There is a technic which liberates and a technic which represses the artistic self. Neither can be studied alone. All technic ought to be a means of expression. the in- the artistic intuition as to that counts. and not merely the reflex of uninspired technical exercises. had been years trying to link his technic to the Why? artistic side of things to write compositions that embodied real music. harmony and fugue for eight years. studied counterpoint.

scales. I do not know. but rather seek to make them "The clever teacher will always find some piece that will illustrate the use of the technical means employed. that I have been grateful for this all my and life. I believe in technic to the fullest extent in its proper place. "Please do not quote me as making a diatribe against technic. tice. scales. however. not an artist. and result There are 82 .PIANISTIC SUCCESS unbroken by the intelligent study of real music. but few people play them well because they do not practice them enough. once said to that the people who claim that technic then that scales are unnecessary in piano pracA well-played scale is a truly beautiful thing. and how the student who aspires to rise above mediocrity can hope to succeed without a thorough and far-reaching drill in all kinds of I do know. is producing a musical mechanic an artisan. that I was drilled unrelentingly in them. Do not despise beautiful. Rosenthai. one hears now and est technicians. who was unquestionably one of the greatme: 'I have found is not an important thing in piano playing simply do not possess it/ For instance. Scales are among the most difficult things in piano playing.

should be part of the regular program of the student from been working so hard to acquire may the very start. The pedal is even more than a medium of coloring. It provides the background so indispensable in artistic playing. It is employed as the veils that fading dowagers adopt to obscure wrinkles. chords. to my mind.PIANISTIC SUCCESS thousands of such pieces that indicate the use of scales. The wind instru- 83 . etc. and the pupil is encouraged to find that what he has be made the source of beautiful expression in a real piece of music. It has always seemed to me that it does in piano playing what the wind instruments do in the tonal mass of the orchestra. arpeggios. IV "The use of the pedal is an art in itself. This. Unfortunately. and it is what I mean when I say that the work of the pupil in technic and in musical appreciation should go hand in hand from the beginning. Imagine a picture painted without any background and you may have an inkling of what the effect of the properly used pedal is in piano playing. thirds.. with many it is an expedient to shield deficiency a cloak to cover up inac- curacy and poor touch.

and then together with the wind instruments. "There should be no hard-and-fast rules governing the use of the pedal. which is played now on music. For instance. One who has attended the rehearsal of a great orchestra and has heard the violins rehearsed alone. to the time when he is taught to use the pedal for the accomplishment of atmospheric effects that are like painting in the most subtle and delicate shades.PIANISTIC SUCCESS ments usually make a sort of background for the music of the other instruments. the keyboard of the originally The Bach modern piano. where the lifetime. It is the branch of pianoforte playing in which there must always be the greatest latitude. was. "How and when to introduce the pedal to provide certain effects is almost the study of a From the very start. will understand exactly what I mean. 84 . student is taught the bad effect of holding down the 'loud' pedal while two unrelated chords are played. for the most part. the study of the pedal is continuously a source of the most interesting experiment and revelation. in the playing of Bach's works on the modern pianoforte there seems to have been a very great deal of confusion as to the propriety of the use of the pedal.

whereas the organ was and is capable of a great volume of sound of sustained quality. but to transform the modern pianoforte. which has distinctly specific tonal attributes. The clavichord had a very short sound. resembling in a way the staccato touch on the present-day piano. "The pedal is just as much a part of the pianoforte as are the stops and the couplers a part of the organ or the brass tangents a part of the clavichord. Due to the contradictory nature of these two instruments and the fact many people do not know whether a composition at hand was written for the clavichord that or for the organ. while others try to imitate the clavichord and refrain from the use The extreme theoof the pedal altogether. are undoubtedly wrong.PIANISTIC SUCCESS written for either the clavier or for the organ. ries. "One may have the clavichord in mind in playing one piece and the organ in mind in playing another. It is artistically impossible 85 . There can be nothing wrong about that. into a clavichord or into an organ must result in a tonal abuse. the organ sound some of them try to imitate by holding the pedal all the time or most of the time. as in the case of all extreme theories.

a good guide. City. I would say: 'First of all. just as its tone was different. Even were this possible. The oldest known specimen of the clavichord (dated 1537) of Art.' By . the clavi- chord is an instrument which is out of date. New York a piano? in endeavoring to do the impossible thing the piano sound like another instrument of a different mechanism? Why not make a piano sound like a piano? Why try to make Must we always endure listening to Wagner's music in a variety show and to Strauss' waltzes in Carnegie Hall? V "If one were to ask me what is the indispensable thing in the education of a pianist. though the music of Bach is still a part and parcel of the musical literature of to-day. in is in the Metropolitan Museum l Should you happen to view this instrument you would realize at once that its action is entirely different from that of the piano.PIANISTlC SUCCESS to so camouflage the tone of the pianoforte as to make it sound like either the organ or the clavichord. why not play the piano as pedals. You cannot possibly make a piano sound like a clavichord through any medium of touch or Therefore.

was von Billow's. but rather a mentor. my though I was. The taciturn. a pilot who can and who will this I oversee the early steps of the career of a young In my own case.PIANISTIC SUCCESS do not mean merely a good teacher. I remember once in the home of Moszkowski that I played for von Billow. in his young life. I was not so conceited as to fail to realize that he was right. Even when it is caustic. I am my father was the author of a great deal of the success that I have enjoyed. the need of a mentor is essential. I was fortunate in person. can have but a slight idea of what is before him in the future. a professional musician. and from the very beginning was intensely interested in my career. not merely as a father. It was he who took me to Moszkowski and sure that Rubinstein. The student should have unrelenting criticism that of Rubinstein as from a master mind. who realized my musical possibilities. The critical advice especially was invaluable to me. student. Therefore. young playing. but as an artist guiding and piloting every day of my early Fate is such a peculiar mystery. cynical conductor-pianist simply crushed me with his criticism of But. I shook hands 87 . and the life. having a father. it may be very beneficial.

" Finally.' "Von Billow's playing. but he often said to me. Moszkowski replied You don't 'Let von Billow alone for that. for doing so/ Von Billow. know him. he is going to do it. 'Why criticism. to the student let me say: 'Always 88 . however. that I asked Moszkowski how in the world it might be possible for von Billow to keep a concert engagement which I knew him to have a few days later in Berlin. There was none of the leonine spontaneity of Rubinstein. although unquestionably scholarly. stiffened fingers. Any method that would lead to fine artistic reto beautiful and effective performancesults was justifiable in his eyes. on that same day played in such a jumbled manner with his old. 'The main object is to make the music sound right. even though you have to play with your nose!' With Rubinstein there was no ignus fatuus of mere method.PIANISTIC SUCCESS with him and thanked him for his advice and Von Billow laughed and said. Rubinstein was a very exacting schoolmaster at the piano when he first undertook to train me. If he sets out to do something. do you thank me ? It is like the chicken thanking the one who had eaten it. was almost : always pedantic.

after all.' .PIANISTIC SUCCESS work hard and strive to do your best. Eustis. who was the daughter of Senator James B. Secure a reliable mentor if you can possibly do so. when I played in Washington as a child of eleven. Little did I dream that this young woman. hard work and intel" ligent guidance. for the biggest factor is. I was introduced to a young lady. Even with the best advice there is always the element of fate the introduction of the unthe strangeness of coincidence which would almost make one believe in astrology known and its dictum that our terrestrial course may be guided by the stars. and depend upon his advice as to your career. Fate plays its r61e but do not be tempted into the fallacious belief that success and everything else depend upon fate. In 1887. would some day be my wife. of all the hundreds and hundreds of girls introduced to me during my tours.




Technique Double Notes .. 4 6 9 4. . . . General Position of the . 3 2... .6 . . Position of the Fingers Action of the Wrist . 12 The Thumb The Other Fingers Y . . . Precision 14... . Piano Touch vs Organ Touch 15. . 11 7. . Fingering 16. . 9. 5. 29 34 35 18. Staccato 12. .. Legato .. Position of the Hand .45 57 V MARKS AND NOMENCLATURE . .22 25 . 6. v 14 16 10. etc 18 21 11. .CONTENTS TECHNIQUE 1.. Body 3. Weak Fingers. . Action of the Stretching Arm . 13. The Glissando . 8. Repetition 19. .. THE INSTRUMENT THE PEDALS PRACTICE 35 39 . ... . Octaves . . 26 27 29 17..


A FOREWORD THIS little book is questions and my 9 compiled from the answers to them. they might form a new and perhaps not unwelcome sort of reference piano. together with their answers. that a book of this character cannot contain more than mere suggestions to stimulate the reader's individual thinking. To I serve as such and to facilitate the reader's search for any particular subject. Vll . it book. which can be found in books on musical history and in kindred works. as Since they have appeared during the past two years in the Ladies Home Journal. It is only natural. have grouped the questions. however. and that. under special headings. gathered into a little volume. the questions came mostly from young piano students and cover a large number of matters important to the study of the was thought that this republication might be of interest to piano students in general. Positive facts.

so modified as to fit one's lar case. a secret trick. does not exist. by this pro- own particu- There are. stated only where they are needful as a basis for the replies. As the world consists of atoms. or a patent method to quickly become a great artist. and as I venture to offer they hardly admit of precise classification. in addition to the questions presented and answered. The opportunity to discuss those here is too favourable to be allowed to pass. them here as a brief foreword. To the hundreds of students who at is various times have asked me: What the quickest way to become a great pianoplayer? I will say that such a thing as a royal road. cess. so does art contain numberless small. as it is the infinitely small things that have forced the microscope into the scientist's hand. one or two points about piano-playing that would naturally not occur to the average student.viii PIANO QUESTIONS are. seemingly insignificant things . therefore. Any or advice given to some particular person cannot fit every other person unless rule it is passed through the sieve of one's own individual intelligence and is.

Leaps. there are none! Unquestionably that pen wide renown. was not into greatness. slowly. Let us not close our eyes to the fact that there have been and probably will be artists that gain a wide always renown without being great. is quite able to mislead the public. it was not the must have been artist. but these will. aided by some personal eccentricity. the greatness him for some time before the public became aware of it. but the public that did it. but with absolute certainty that each problem has been completely solved. If there was any leaping..A FOREWORD which. spirituality. deliberately. genius. and neglecting on their account the material neglected entirely. and . if ix geance prematurely concerning himself with his inspiration. etc. Instead of side of piano study. before he faces the next one. visit dire venupon the student. at best. fancy. do it only for a short time. puffery. the student should be willing to progress from atom to atom. but merely public's an artist does sometimes hapsuddenly acquires a In such a case his leap it into the recognition in of it. each difficulty fully overcome.

in order to in it have it at one's beck and call as any variation of mood. not be satisfied with the its ability of "getting through" some difficult passage "by the skin of the teeth" or "without breaking down. they can have been but sentimental imaginings. we should be careful not to lift one foot before the other one rests quite securely to illustrate upon One should step. one by one. This sovereignty is technique. to toy with it. Details are the summit very steps which. its ability to soar. it would not matter. for they cannot have been genuine. is always sure. One should acquire sovereignty is over it. as collapse there must be. .x PIANO QUESTIONS the collapse of such a reputation. If they should destroyed by attention to detail. and sad to behold. a paver of the path toward not art. so necessary for both creative and interpretative art." but should strive to be able to play with it. so as to play it pleases the mind and not only the fingers. The buoyancy of mind. It is only But a means technique to achieve art. lead to the of art. these are never impaired by be close attention to detail.

To guard against this serious danger the student should. therefore. emotions. to refine his feelings bilities. The ethical value of music depends. be ennobling and refining. As word-thought trans- mitted from man to man by verbal language so are feelings. but they can as easily be degrading and demoralizing. moods crystallized into tone-thought conveyed by music. never lose sight of the fact that music. since any other art. therefore. solely but upon his moral tendencies. above all. and sensi- by transmitting noble musical . not upon the musician's technique. The student should never strive to dazzle his auditor's ear with mere technical brilbut should endeavour to gladden liancy. and this prolonged association with one subject is apt to give it supremacy over all others in one's mind. as does of confounding technique not inconsiderable. xi The danger with art itself is it takes a long time to develop a trustworthy technique. his heart. For the saints and sinners among musicmakers are probably in the same proportion as among the followers of other professions. springs for from our innate craving individual is expression.A FOREWORD it. The effects of music may.

himself. its devotees may congregate. not unlike religion. If all musicians were sincere in this endeavour there could be neither envy nor jealousy among them.xfi PIANO QUESTIONS thoughts to his mind. express his own best self. to the temptations of quick material gain by descending to a lower . a luminous exRubinstein did in St. in hand common they could not help being of mutual assistance to each ideal Art. advancing hand toward their other. for. Petersburg. atmospheres. thanks to the the same Out of these inspiring in- fluences of Liszt's and Rubinstein's won- personalities. in altar in day. consciously or not. and as its high priest he his stood. in being honest to the composition he will also be honest to himself and thus. needs an altar around which Liszt. He should scorn unnecessary. charlatanish externalities and strive ever for the inwardness of the all composition he interprets. there have emerged a large number of highly meritorious and derful That many of them have lacked the power in their later life some eminent withstand artists. before it ample of devotion to art. had erected such an Weimar.

sometimes and a be of a character in which high principles are natively ingrained. therefore. Each to little among of the pianists all keeps nowadays a shop of his himself. What is true of teachers is just as true of compositions. such are is life- Many are but few chosen. talent no longer group themselves around celebrity the man of genius. but rather made art serve their own worldly The artists of is purposes. because they were not serving art. but called.A FOREWORD plane is xiii to be regretted. own and shops Many these are and some of them produce counterfeits. very harmful to the present generation of students. real art altar must counterfeit mints. cleverly masked. It might help him somewhat to remember that when there is no good to choose we can always reject the bad. The student should not . As a matter or course. Since those days several of these "many" have attempted to create similar centres in Europe. They failed. this "mints. The honest student who will of artistic discriminate between these." separative system precludes all unification principles and is. Perhaps he not to be found just now.

xiv listen PIANO QUESTIONS to should not. morphine. it is much modern music as It is with with opium. they may And he can. These musical opiates are sometimes manufactured by persons of considerable renown. repeat the hearing of bad compositions. this is When wish cacophonous music we are apt to lose our aversion to it. for habit is a strong factor. which is tantamount to a loss of of good. We should shun their very touch. and other deadly drugs. He may not and probably will not fully fathom the depths of a new symphony at its first hearing. a possibility for which the venal portion of the public press must bear part of the blame. though be called symphonies or operas. it were far wiser to avoid another hearing. in a considerable measure. The student . but he must have received general impressions of sufficient power and clearness to make him wish for another absent he should not hear the work again from a mere sense of duty. and if we accustom our ear to hear hearing. rely upon his own instincts in this matter. natural taste. of such quickly gained renown as may be acquired nowadays by the employment of commercialistic methods. at least.

it speculates upon. our lowest instincts for no better purpose than to fill ." aye. instead of serving this divine mission. When. of the present have never stooped to died but recently those methods of self-aggrandisement at which I hinted. Music should always elevate.A FOREWORD xv should not be deceived by names of which the general familiarity is of too recent a date. some of whom for the true masters some . by right of their artistic power. My advice to the students and all to all lovers of music is: Hold on with saner and. according to the demands of time and place. is best in us. and arouses. and nerve-racking "modernists. their genius and the purity of their art. safer than the entire pack of our present nerve-tickling. sult his I repeat that he should rather con- feelings and by fpllowing them contribute his modest share toward sending own "moderns" back into their deserved obscurity and insignificance. Their places of honour were accorded to them by the world because they were theirs. your might to the school of sincerity It is and chastity in music! morally and aesthetically. I use the term "moderns" advisedly. it should always call forth what.

receiving the highest fees that were ever paid for instruction. but those to be regarded who failed how these men to ought keep them here? The wrong is irre- parable in so far as these men do not think of returning to America except as visitors. I personally can name five American teachers who have struggled here for many a year without gaining that high recognition which they deserve. it is the curious and out-of-date supersti- music can be studied abroad While their number better than here.xvi PIANO QUESTIONS the pockets of its perpetrator. That the indifference of their compatriots drove practically out of their country proved to be of advantage to them. The matter of abstention from a certain type of music recalls to my mind another evil from which Americans should abstain. And tion that they are in the various capitals of Europe. it should receive neither the help nor the encouraging attention of any noble -thinking and cleanminded man or woman. is not very large. and they receive now ? Now these high fees from American students that throng their studios. of American students and lovers The duty . Passive resistance can do a good deal on these premises.

At present there is an astonishingly large number of clever and capable musicians to . But musically speaking. of chestras Excepting the excellent orEurope and speaking of the general music-making there.A FOREWORD of xvii it good music is to see to still that such capable teachers as are here should remain here. Americans should take advancing step in its development. man of equal standing cognizance of the fact that their country has not stood still in music any more than in any other Each year has recorded an direction. he will be sure to find that most of the enchantment of Europe was due to its distance. The change of views he and customs will. tour may make a reconnoitring Europe. The mass of emigration to Europe of our music students should cease! If a student has what is understood by "finished" his studies here and his teacher sets him in free. no doubt. it is at present not quite as good as it is here: neither is the average music teacher in Europe a whit better than the here. We must cease compare the Europe of to-day with the America of fifty years ago. broaden his mind in certain directions.

if already started." If I were not convinced that a change on this score is possible. in the field of music. half-done. that. What Uncle Sam has. for whose sake the superstition of "studying abroad" should be foresworn. their ability usually stands in inverse proportion to the amount of their It is these worthy teachers advertising. If his efforts should be disparaged by some. and. he need not feel disheartened." JOSEF HOFMANN. not directly produced he has acquired by the natural law of attraction. instead of seeing him. both native and foreign. are here they should be given a fair opportunity to finish a pupil's development as far as a teacher can do it.xviii PIANO QUESTIONS good physicians in America. now that so many talented and learned instructors. as with and lawyers. rush off "to Europe. Let me hope that each reader of this little book may start this change. . or. he will foster and help it. I should not have devoted so many words to it. It is merely a question of making a start. but remember that he belongs to the "land of limitless possibilities.

do pianists who have more tech. They are all necessary to make up a complete technique. octaves. is What prising scales. chords. arpeggios. and the various staccato touches as well as the dynamic shadings. legato. A pianist's Why ^ technique is the material portion of his artistic possessions. it is his capital. than these others? Practice Why have the Rothschilds more secretaries than I have ? Because the administration of a large fortune entails more work than that of a small one.PIANO QUESTIONS TECHNIQUE 1. GENERAL Doe* which one is and What most generally used? What the difference between them ? Technique is a generic term. double notes.* . comare the different techniques. * .The More C than many others r nique practise more ^?M the More . To keep a great technique in fine working ..

Howtolm- Should I endeavour to improve my techni q ue b 7 tying difficult pieces ? You should not confine yourself to pieces that come easy to you. besides. because this ini ." POSITION OF THE BODY Are Do Not. Play pieces that are always a trifle harder than those you have completely mastered. upon the "how. But beware of pieces that are so difficult that you could not play them with absolute cortempo For this would lead to the ruin of your technique and kill the joy in your in a slower rectness. This trait is not only human. it is also absorbing task.4 trim is PIANO QUESTIONS in itself a considerable and time- you know that the more we have the more we want. Raise the ta . Do not emulate those who say: "I play already this or that." without asking themselves "how" they play. ne d Piano-Stool the best results at the piano atby sitting high or low? i j j I As a general rule. pianistic. And. for that would prevent all further technical progress. studies. Artistry depends ever 2. i do not recommend Too High a high seat at the piano.

you can play longest with the least fatigue. which. To let the feet stray . seat at the piano to be at the The Height same height when I practise as when I f the n & Piano Seat play for people ? Is my Height and distance (from the which should keyboard) of your chair never have arms you should decide for yourself and once for all time. If they stray away and you must grope for the pedals when you need them it will lead to a break in your concentration. very As to the nique. is. is a Yes! condition sine qua non for the develop- your technique. and this will cause you to play less well than you really can. in its turn.PIANO QUESTIONS 5 duces the employment of the arm and shoulders rather than of the fingers. for only then can you acquire a normal hand position. and of course. See also to it that both feet are in touch with their respective pedals so as to be in place of ment when their action is required. harmful to the techexact height of the you will have to experiment for yourself and find out at which height seat.

as soon as you feel is to lean your fingers act evenly. and as soon as you have passed the stage of preliminary training. Alas. I think the natural tendency of the hands toward the little finger. and extend it also to the scales without black keys.6 PIANO QUESTIONS easily affects from the pedals position. POSITION OF it THE FINGERS difference if The Resuit* Does fi make any my Count. for speed does not suffer tension. while force craves it. bad habits are so much than good ones! 8. It is your entire a bad habit. that easier acquired POSITION OP THE HAND The Tilt of in'pfa"^ Should my hand in playing scales be tilted toward tne thumb or toward the finger? I find that in the scales it is Scales Httle with black keys much easier to play the latter way. Method* ngers are ne id very much curved or n ty a little? I was told that Rubenused his fingers almost flat. stein . you may yield especially when you strive more for fairly certain that speed than force. I quite share your opinion. 4. to their natural tendency.

and elasticity is the chief point. whether you play If you should this way or that way. but produce euphony (Wohlklang) and I will recognize you as a master of your instrument. leisurely Should a cantabile passage be played CantaUle with a high finger-stroke or by using Passa 9 es the weight of the arm? Certain characteristic moments in some pieces require the high finger- . for it is only in a position of greatest freedom that their elasticity can be preserved. change the curving little by little until you find out what degree of curvature suits your hand best. Experiment for yourself. By a free that natural position of fingers into which they fall mean and easy position I hand and when you upon drop your hand somewhat the keyboard. pieced. play with very much curved fingers and the result should sound uneven and if you will.PIANO QUESTIONS 7 Since you mention Rubinstein I may quote his saying: "Play with your nose. Generally speaking." It is ever a question of the result. I recommend a free and easy position of hand and fingers.

assisted by a strong exertion of your own will power and strictest attenThis bending tion whenever you play. the strength of sufficient the fingers of to is to obtain the climacteric re- sult it by pressure. I believe the stroke. pianistic ailments to cure. but it Do not be discouraged if the cure is slow. arm and re- commend playing. PIANO QUESTIONS It may be up a climax. however.. out of the first joint is one of the hardest is curable. use pres- in the free-hanging.8 stroke. in used also in working which case the raising of the fingers should increase proportionately to the rise of the climax. The habit of years cannot be thrown off in a day. instead is sure. always preferable As a general principle. which nothing will correct but the constant supervision by a good teacher. limp .. . Where. using its weight in cantabile Anlncorred PosiFingers Pray how can I correct the fault of bending out the first joints of the fingers when their cushions are pressed down of upon the keys? Your trouble comes under the head faulty touch.

not bent. and by concentrated thinking you should endeavour to transfer the display of force to the finger-tips instead of holding the . of scales or arpeggios easily induce a The hands Hence. as most players do. indeed. besides. upward and downward.PIANO QUESTIONS 5. an occastiffening of the wrist. still Should the hands be kept perfectly in playing scales and arpeggios ? Or. good test of the looseness of the wrist. is an occasional rise playing and fall of the wrist permissible in a long Scales passage of scale or arpeggio? . be tendency. be kept Protracted passages still. but not stiff. The that arm should be on a line held so that the wrist is with it. to it You should only see you do not stiffen the wrist unconsciously. . 9 ACTION OF THE WRIST Don't Shy- */K lessen fatigue. this will do much It to counteract will. a Is it not impossible looseness of to preserve wrist complete the of Loose Wrist in a The piano-playing that connect because the the forearm muscles with the hand? By no means. sional motion of the wrist. . r r &? ? n to % (f . //ancfc tn should.

I should recommend studies in wrist octaves. Do Not Allow the Wrist (o . I recommend an average position. upward or downward. while the way I suggest will lead you to develop considerable force through the hand and arm fingers alone and leave the It takes practically limp and loose. For this produces fatigue. but you must watch your wrist while playing and rest at the slightest indication of its stiffening. ln g a * reer movement? any special It to acquir- method of exercise? depends on whether your wrist is stiff from non-use or from wrong use. Changes. months of study under closest attention. . Assuming the latter. The Pomtion of the Do you favour a low or high position of fae wrist for average type of work? For average work. to acquire this looseness of the arm. . must be made to meet the requirements of special occasions. however. If one's wrist is stiff is there . any set Qet Stiff of exercises especially adapted JL ^ _ Or is there .10 PIANO QUESTIONS tension in your arm. neither high nor low.

the and the quiet hand.duly fatigue. but should better proceed from a feeling as if the whole arm was subjected to an electric current while tremolo. the wrists and fingers thereby ^r the tone volume. so I turn to you for advice. difficulty be overcome by slow practice? The tremolo cannot be practised slowly. wrist. and may the motion. tion of the sidewise What is hand from high to low. or should the i 003e increasing arms be loose? My teachers differ in their methods.PIANO QUESTIONS 6. underarm and. The action must be distributed over the hand. nor with a stiff or quiet hand. the correct method. . The division of labour cannot be done consciously. engaged in playing a Should octave chords be played with Play rigid arms. 11 ACTION OF THE ARM I cannot play tremolo in the left hand When for any length of time without great I have tried changing the posi. if necessary. the elbow. The shoulder forms the pivot whence a vibratory motion must proceed and engage all the points on the road to the fingers.

. least fatiguing. It has helped me. you feel benefited by stretching exercises you may con- you them. but shall I be doing wrong to continue? If.12 PIANO QUESTIONS With few exceptions. preparing the fingers for their appropriate notes while still in the air and not. STRETCHING fingers taking third. for while the hand may show an improvement in its practising these exercises. dictated by certain characterizations. for instance. after falling down. how many as your tinue say. as many is This mode do. after-effects. and will have no bad 7. if it is fatigued it will afterward contract so that its stretch is liable stretch while you are to become narrower than it was before. Let the arm pull the let and then both fall hand above the keys heavily upon them. and Fatiguing the I stretch beween Hand tne seconci an(j trying to see my Stretching keys I can get between them. of touch produces greater tone-volume. But in your place I should beware of fatigue. chords should always be played with a loose arm.

PIANO QUESTIONS Is there 13 of my i teacher. however. on the piano or A Safe would tend to stretch Wa y f. i stretching I* bound. that before playing you soak your hands in rather hot water for several minutes . Hand anything My teacher has not given this score. acquainted with can devise certain exercises your hand. perhaps permanently. but Any modern any way to increase the stretch Do Not u the very small hand ? Hand by . It was by just such attempts that Schumann rendered his hand useless for piano- The best I can recommend is playing. otherwise. since the wrong kind of exercise is not only apt. my hand so ? as to enable me to play oc. to injure Is there it. that will be applicable to your particular hand. As the lack of Small taves My fingers on attempts are short and stubby. any that exercise. me definite The to widen the natural artificial stretch of the hand by means lead easily to disastrous results. may be due to a number of different causes I should advise you to desist from any stretch exercise that might be recommended to you without a close examination of your hand.

until the very The thumb waits usually moment when it is needed and then quickly jumps upon the proper key. hand's unrest in The the in cause passing of of the the thumb thumb lies usually transferring the too late. By doing this daily you will gain in stretch.14 PIANO QUESTIONS while still and then in the water stretch the fingers of one hand with the other. provided you refrain from forcing matters. overcome the unevenness ? I * cannot P' av In answering this question I am in the position of a physician who is expected to prescribe a treatment for a patient he has neither examined nor even seen. instead of moving toward it as soon . and provided also that you are still young. I can therefore advise as I have only in a very general way done with many questions to avoid the eventuality of being confronted by an whom exceptional case. and your hands are flexible. THE THUMB "What is What is the matter with t^ my scales? lem wtthout a perceptible ^ifhlT How can Scales?" jerk when I use my thumb. 8.

Another cause lies in a fault no less grave than the first. It must remain the same until the thumb has struck its new key. hand in relation to the keyboard must not change. great speed. provided one can follow this precept punctiliously this which cially is not an easy matter. Not until then must the In shifting of the hand take place. This belatedness causes a jerky motion of the arm and imparts it to the hand. Alas. the player must replenish his the fingers by passing the thumb under hand so as to form a conjunction between the notes played and those to be played. This passing of the thumb conditions a change or shifting of the hand toward the keys to follow. . Since the hand has only five fingers while the scale numbers many notes (according to its length).PIANO QUESTIONS 15 as the last key it touched can be released. the way the jumpiness or jerkiness of the scale can be avoided. but the shifting of the hand must not coincide with the passing of the thumb or the The position of result will be a jerk. those pesky scales so difficult. in espewhy are in fact.

your you must greatest see to attention. 9. cannot. in touching the keys with these fingers. still less the arm. this position of the thumb of course. always be observed. you do not move the whole hand. They Above crave all.16 PIANO QUESTIONS the ? the most difficult thing to do on piano H How to What is the correct position for the Thumb thumb ? Should {i be CUrved wel1 under the hand while playing? In scale-playing the thumb should be slightly curved and finger in order to be kept near the index ready when needed. In pieces Which Should one pay special attention to the training of the thumb ? i t It may be said that the thumb mand Most Attention? ^ e' and the middle finger are the two arch-conspirators against a precise finger technique. it that. THE OTHER FINGERS exercise The andFiftk What for would you recommend the training of the fourth and the collection Finger* fifth fingers ? Any of Etudes is sure to .

adapted In all matters faith to the print! your find Nos.Finger ments. 19. but bear your weak points in mind while you play. This is the real remedy. normally curved and straighten at the stroke only on such occasions when its own force proves insufficient of the wrist and requires the assistance and arm muscles. 14. for Action e f^ instance. 10. to more consePlay what quence than the "what. should one strike on the end of little finger or on its side. 9. and little In making wide skips in which the The O finger strikes a single note. as. Keep hand and arm as loose of art the is "how" of far as you can while training the fourth fifth fingers. in left-hand waltz accompani. 11.PIANO QUESTIONS 17 contain some that are devoted to the In the training of those two fingers." you will. . Cramer Etudes (Bulow's will selection) you 20 but do not pin your case. and should the finger be curved or held more or less the flat? The with in its little finger its side. should never strike It should always be held condition.

WEAK FINGERS. with Weak exercise What highly lifted fingers producing strength through their of the fingers fall and with a lesser lift combined with pressure watching closely that the little strikes with the tip and not with finger the side. . touch. To of Finger How can I strengthen the little finger mv risnt hand ? l avoid u in P Iaving' BV employing your little using the next finger instead. Rhythmic evenness should also be punctiliously observed. When the F Seem What kind of technical work would ou adv * se me to ta^e to make mv fingers ^ consistent Weak strong in the shortest time with good work ? If may your fingers are unusually weak it be assumed that your muscular in constitution general is not strong. ETC. finger Use It as much as possible and at once quitting the habit of substituting another finger for it.18 PIANO QUESTIONS 10. The Fin9 would you recommend f the fourtn and fiftn fOF the trainin S theLelt of the left hand ? Hand fingers Slow trill with various touches.

will have to of strive strengthening this your a general muscular fibre. Extreme cleanliness and care in cutting the nails the proper length are necessary to keep your hands in condition for playing or the the piano. lead to no decisive results. that time judiciously used. for province If point. there the eye on them. You At ends. is no need of keeping Is biting the finger-nails injurious to Biting the the piano touch? r %"?"Nails the nails Certainly. in that case. however. four work is at the piano will hours' daily develop the if necessary digital force. biting any Spoils other injury to the finger-tips and hand Touch will spoil your touch. Is it always necessary to watch the No Necessit y to with the eye ? fingers L IM J Watch the the nngers slide. begins of your physician and the mine you consider your or five constitu- tion normal. .PIANO QUESTIONS The 19 training of the fingers alone will. and In places where *1 4 Fingers do not jump from one note to another i at a distance.

as in many others.20 To Prevent Sore PIANO QUESTIONS How Tips After Playing can I prevent my finger-tips. BroadFingers Are broad-tipped fingers considered a Tipped detriment to a Not a Dis. and then rub them well with either cold cream or some similar fatty In the development of speed on the piano. for * the finger grazes the black man keys on each side when playing between them ? Unless broad-tipped fingers are of an unusual thickness I do not consider them an obstacle in the way of good pianoplaying. but only in the midst of the open Altogether. from feeling sore tne next day ? Experience teaches that in such cases. the less so. advantage if student of piano. with soap and brush. After playing wash your fingers at once in warm water. as the white keys whatever shape the fingers may have 1 should never be struck between the black ones.instance. the fingers. the rigidity of the skin on the fingers is a great hindrance. after prolonged playing. cleanliness is the best remedy. I hold that the shape space. it makes us feel as if we played with gloves on substance. .

STACCATO What can thearm? I do to enable me wrist staccato very fast without fatiguing to play Wrist Stuecato at a Tempo wrist Change your staccato for a . however. in its turn. while their hands are usually broad and muscular. 11. When of a playing a piece in which a rest What lth measure and a half or two measures to do the occurs should I drop my hand in or keep it on the keyboard ? is my lap pi oye d Hand If the temporarily unemployed hand tired it will rest better in the lap. not put it away from the keyboard too often.PIANO QUESTIONS of the 21 of far greater importance than the shape of his fingers. I should. because this position favours the blood circulation. for this might easily be taken for a mannerism. of besides holding the entire control over Studying the hands and fingers celebrated pianists you will find a great variety of finger shapes. is hand to the pianist them. which. for it furnishes the fingers with a base of operations and with a source of strength. tends to renew the strength.

but rather let them make a motion as if you were wiping a spot off the keys with the finger-tips. for produces the genuine piano tone. and a finger staccato. The latter is produced . thus giving the wrist muscles a chance to rest and regain their strength. without the use of the arm.* i . . 12. to the rapid repetition by not allowing the fingers to fall perpendicularly upon the keys. The Differ- What js ence between Staccato" ana Other does "finger staccato" mean? not staccato always done with the * "Finger fingers? Kinds By no means! There is a well-dene d arm staccato. . a wrist staccato. The arm should take no part in it whatever.22 little PIANO QUESTIONS while to a finger or arm staccato. If you play . and it develops the technique of the fingers. while the staccato touch always tends to draw the arm into action. LEGATO The Advanta Is it better for me to practise ? more it ll l to Over Staccato staccato or more legato Give the preference to legato. fr by a touch similar touch that is. and rapidly pulling them toward the inner hand.

tion of a legitimate legato Chopin's works cannot be highly enough recommended. and his legato that it may well be taken so as a model by anybody. out is perfect own hand. The most beautiful tone in legato style is ever produced by a "clinging and singing" gliding of the Of course." and that your "gliding" may . even in the transcriptions by Godowsky. and will not lead to a good legato. This playing "in the air" is lost energy. Should you advise a high finger-stroke ? me to make use of To Proe me my use it exclusively. almost humpy. have to watch your touch in order that your "clinging" does not deteriorate into "blurring. which become impossible when tried with any touch other than legato.PIANO QUESTIONS 23 from the arm you cannot expect any For the acquisibenefit for the fingers. so to speak. Your manner of putting the question expressed your own and correct judgment in the matter. of his He wrote them. you fingers over the keys. but I notice that My teacher makes d cea food ^ Q It is playing is neither legato nor quiet.

This there much are in general. Under constant self- observation and keen listening you may. The Firm Legato I leS at am confused by the terms "firm " " touch and Cris P leg at touch." If you apprehend any such calamity you must for a while increase the raising of your fingers and use more force in their falling upon the keys." lies Touch Wherein the difference? Legato means "bound together. return to the gliding manner. course. a product of non-musical hyper-analysis. but still I think that the where high finger-stroke should rather be employed for some special characteristic effects than as a general principle. The idea of various Two kinds of legato is purely a sophism. "legato" I understand the connecting of tones with each other through the By agency of the fingers (on the piano)." for " which we substitute the word connected. after a while." tones are either connected or they are not connected. The finger that evoked a tone should not .24 PIANO QUESTIONS not turn into "smearing. of places and passages the opposite of my advice just could be said.

but should. own playing. This rule governs the playing In rapid of melodies and slow passages." as it is called. it stating your probably miswhen you say that you do not listening keenest to You are . There is only one way to rid yourself of this habit.PIANO QUESTIONS leave its 25 key until the tone generated by the next finger has been perceived by the ear. the legato strictly by more there is produced mechanical means. and you are fortunate in having a teacher right. It is at persists in his efforts to combat it. is the worst habit you can have in piano playing. namely. not take the over-smart differentiations of legato seriously. by constant attention who and closest. Do There is no plural to the word "legato. Once How can I cure it? This "limping. PRECISION teachers have always scolded me Not Play16 for playing my left hand a little before My ^J^ my probably a very bad Hands habit. where the control through the passages. always be two fingers simultaneously occupied. ear is lessened. nevertheless. but I do not hear it when I do it." 13.

and Touch (j oeg tne g j j e s t u( iy O f pipe-organ. 14.26 PIANO QUESTIONS "hear" it when you "limp". impair ( the piano touch ? It is only natural that a child can get better tone out of an organ than on a piano. Organ- true that a child beginning music much better kc lessons on an organ gets js ft Piano tone than one beginning on a piano. it seems more likely to me that you do not listen. Hearing is a purely physical function which you cannot prevent while awake. after two years of extensive piano work. PIANO TOUCH VS. while listening is an act of your will- power it means to give direction to your hearing. How Pianist various gradations are entirely irrelevant on the organ. because it is not the child but the . Playing Inasmuch as the force 01 touch and its the Affects r9 a n . naturally. the pianist who plays much on the organ is more than liable to lose the delicacy of feeling for tone-production through the fingers. ORGAN TOUCH Is alternate organ and piano playing detrimental to the "pianistic touch"? A . and this must. lessen his power of expression.

Fingering . because this the would leave the essential element art of touch entirely undeveloped. . and in the circum- stance that it is universally adopted. and indicates the latter by a plus mark: +) was adopted by a few of the less prominent publishers in America.The Univ * r * al ing differ from foreign fingering. but it was soon abandoned. and System of which oners the greater advantages ? Marking There is no "American" fingering.PIANO QUESTIONS 27 organ that produces the tone. is to learn piano-playing it would not be wise to let him begin on an organ. If you have a piece of sheet music with English fingering you may be certain that it is not of a recent edition. And if his piano touch has been formed it can easily be undone again by letting him play on the organ. however. i Many years ago the "English" fingering (which counts only four fingers and a thumb. If the child's purpose. The advantage of the universal fingering lies in its greater simplicity. and I would advise you to obtain a more modern one. 15. FINGERING In what respect does American finger.

_ ^ ne selection or the nngers for the f . the . At the beginning of a long chromatic scale select such fingers as will most naturally bring you to one of the stations just mentioned. i i * times use three or four consecutive fingers as often as convenient. Fingering the is Which most ^1 Ine Chromatic Sca l e fingering of the chromatic scale conducive to speed and accuracy ? i right left B. a mordent depends always upon the preceding notes or keys which lead up to it.. is not three fingers r preferable to two ? . Since we cannot lift the hand just before a mordent for the pur- pose of changing fingers (for this would mean a rude interruption) we have to use whatever fingers happen to be "on .28 The Fingering PIANO QUESTIONS Do you advise the use of the C-scale fi n erin g g f r all the scales ? Is it prac- ? for All ticable Scales? The C-scale fingering is not applicable to scales reposing on black keys because it creates unnecessary difficulties.-. Between . The Fingers When Needed ^e use o to Play a Mordent execution of executing the mordent. the mastering of which would be a matter rather of mere sport than of art.1 thumb always upon -n and E one upon F and C.

" 29 exchange of fingers in a mordent is seldom of any advantage. if you should find it easier. the index finger downward. literature. the thumb or the forefinger? In playing glissando in the right hand use the index finger when going upward. The production of so great a volume of tone. since. An THE GLISSANDO Will you describe the best method of To Play a holding the hand when playing glissando ? Which is preferable to use. OCTAVES octaves Should ' hinge" using the using the stroke from the wrist or by play I How l he Best Play Octaves arm? I find I can get more .PIANO QUESTIONS hand. for it hampers precision and evenness. as is possible on our modern piano. and this deeper dip has banished the glissando almost entirely from modern piano 17. the thumb when going downward. . In where it hardly ever the left hand occurs use the middle finger in either direction. each finger has its own tone-characteristics 16. or. has necessitated a deeper fall of the keys than former pianos possessed. after all.

Rapid Octave* Please suggest some method of playing oc t a ves rapidly to one who finds this the most difficult part of piano-playing. . The character the octaves must govern the selection of means to produce them. for arm octaves the high one. For wrist octaves I recommend the low posifor heavier ones arm. change to the other. and in doing this change also the position of the hand from high to low.30 PIANO QUESTIONS arm of tone by using the stroke. If rapid octaves difficult also for naming that could be used to seem be "the most part of piano-playing" to you. but cannot play so rapidly. Would be grateful some octave etudes in the repertoire. take suit it as an indication that they do not "method" will your nature. it is only . draw more upon the Rapidity requires that you avoid If you feel fatigue fatigue. and vice versa. tion of the hand. approaching from too constant use of one joint. however. For light octaves use the wrist. A never change your nature. This need not discourage you.

Study the first book of Kullak's Octave School. but their wrist is nevertheless not so inactive as it seems to have appeared to you. Most concert players play their octaves more from the arm than from the wrist. later on. should not be too low. and shoulder To make this distribution . should I use the arm to play When octaves as I have seen some concert players do? As I was watching them there did not seem to be the slightest When motion from the wrist.PIANO QUESTIONS 31 to prevent you from trying to make a specialty of something for which you are not especially qualified and to save you a needless disappointment. and the shoulder in such a way that each had to do only a part of it. Hold arms and hands in but a slight tension. the elbow. while heavier ones put the elbow into action. the second book. Light octaves can come only from the wrist. and. and at the slightest fatigue change the position of the hand from high to low and Your seat at the piano vice versa. They have probably distributed the work over the wrist.

. graceful places. The low position brings the the whole wrist is forearm into action. From the wrist alone such pieces as "The Erlking" cannot be played. Besides." The wrist alone is to be used only in light. when all played from the wrist. or well to relieve the strain (a ? by an occasional impulse vibration) from the forearm the wrist? sort Is of there of any advantage in varying the height In extended octave playing it is well to vary the position of the wrist. would sound "cottony.32 PIANO QUESTIONS is consciously for hardly possible. the octaves." should the endeavour ja a U from to is it stroke. When sages Long Octave playing extended octave passucn as tne Liszt arrangement of "The fa Passages Erlking. now high and then low. while arm cooperates when the held high. because the wrist alone gives us neither the power nor the speed that such pieces require. economy will of force and the this striving least possible A fatigue labour Wrist r " produce "division of unconsciously.

limber condition. How free can I avoid ? so that they will feel and easy Premature fatigue is usually caused by undue muscular contraction. and when you feel fatigued do not fail to stop until the muscular contraction is relieved. For your sensation of fatigue may be due. not to exhaustion of muscular power. but to a stoppage of circulation caused by an unconscious stiffening of the wrist.PIANO QUESTIONS 33 stiff Wrists in P lavin9 Octaves In playing octaves or other double How notes my wrist seems to stiffen. When practising octaves or double notes think always of holding the arm and its joints in a loose. while you will see conscientious Why octaves does it tire my arms when I play Prematur* and a continuation of little runs ? Fatl9 u* it.a can I remedy this ? Stiffness in the wrist results from an unmindful use of it. In a little your rewarded by acquiring an practising elasticity commensurate with your general physical status. Keep your arms and wrists loose and you will find that the fatigue disappears. T j XT. Change the position of the wrist from .

the fault does not lie in the instrument. Is Kullak's "Method of Octaves 99 Still Oood One ^ ^ *n recommend something better ? you Since the days when Kullak's "School of Octaves" was printed. it must lie in a certain stiffness of the fingers. but fail in the results because of an inert or lazy piano action. so far as I know. If. examine the action of your piano. contradict but nothing that would Nor. To eliminate . REPETITION TECHNIQUE The Diffi- culty of Please help me about my repetition notes. has anything better appeared in print than the first volume of that work especially. it. 18. It occurs not infrequently that the fingers do their work well. however.34 PIANO QUESTIONS feel the high to low and vice versa whenever you "fatigue" coming on. When I wish to play them rapidly Repetition that the key does not always Notes produce a sound? Is it because of my ^ seems touch ? First. experience has taught us some things which might be st ^" e ^ est ^ Octaves" ^ ne ? or can " added to it.

19. . . first of all. in repetition technique. also. As the playing of passages in single notes requires a close single legato. me . but with a motion as if you were wiping the keys with the finger-tips and then pull them quickly toward the palm of the hand.PIANO QUESTIONS this 35 you need. a loose wrist. to do double thirds requires an equally close double legato. bending every joint of them rapidly. first movement of the Grieg Concerto. As to the exact details you to my book. Practise . of Double and chromatic. you should not. I or practice you should never use any which iij The Kind f piano Upon to ^ but the very best available instrument. both diatonic ." where you will of legato playing I may refer find the matter discussed at length in the chapter on "Touch and Technic. "Piano Playing. DOUBLE NOTES something about the The general practice of thirds." THE INSTRUMENT Is it a good 1 irrelevant whether I practise or a bad piano ? upon Vi A. let the fingers fall perpen- dicularly upon the keys. about those in the Thirds Please tell ' . Furthermore.

to practise on "Action" a in order to pi ano w ith a heavy action . bad instrument you cannot develop any good qualities. good piano. clean keyboard aesthetic for your should be dea correct seat and around veloped concentration of mind. bad when play for people. much less can you Hence. I recommend a acquire them. rather. But these recommendations presuppose on the part of the student some talent and a good perceptions all teacher. and which is Such conditions possibly out of tune. impair the development of your musical ear as well as of your fingers. This will not hurt you nearly so much as will the constant and habitual use of a piano with you a mechanism in which every key demands a different kind of touch. even if you should possess them by nature.36 PIANO QUESTIONS may the piano be Far. learning means the acquiring of habits: With a habits of thinking and of doing. It cannot be otherwise. who is prein paring for concert work. As I said once before. Do Not Use Extreme Is it not better for a student in the advanced stage of study.

in Chopin's music ? All extremes are harmful in their upon study and practice. for instance. it may you think it wise for a beginner to The Action practise on a piano that has a heavy Beginner't action ? Do Piano . while too light an action tends effects to impair your control. Should I keep the action of tight? my piano HOW Tight to tight enough to preserve the of the keys under the "feeling" fingers. in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.PIANO QUESTIONS 37 develop the finger and hand muscles. Try to obtain for your practice a piano the action of which approximates as nearly as possible that of the piano on which you have to play in the concert. such as premature fatigue or a running away of the fingers. A too heavy action stiffens and overtires the fingers. and to use an instrument with a light action for obtaining an artistic finish to the lighter passages occurring so often. Action but to make it more so would Keep it $%* endanger injure your finger action and your hand.

therefore. and may permanently in- jure the hand. or very little. too heavy action leads necessarily to feel an employment (which should special uses) of the shoulder muscles be reserved for brief. if we aim at a " musical" that is. the dumb Schumann we cannot learn talk!" The totally dumb not or mute piano should.38 PIANO QUESTIONS development of That depends upon ical the age the and beginnei "Heavy" and "light" action are not absolute but relative terms. be used. technique multicoloured technique qualified to exmusical thought and feeling. press . of advantage to the student of the piano? Should its use be restricted to a particular stage in the course of study ? Music said: is a "From to language. Playing On a Dumb Are mechanical appliances. a live. action should be so adjusted that the even in the softest touch player can always A the key under his finger. which comprise in their meaning the power of The resistance in the player's hand. such as a dumb keyboard.

for some special effect. serves to cannot prolong such hold with the Colouring means it also one of the greatest for colouring. HOW to I find that in pieces there to is no any mark under the measures when it should be used. but they occur only in certain moments when a mingling of tones is purposed rule. The employment of it is But should always be governed by the ear. rule show me Use he f Pedal Is there which you can give me ? . to use the pedal. of course. 39 dumb THE PEDALS Should I use the pedal with each A General R le melody note ? Should like a general rule. is What the use of the it damper pedal ? The Use the Pedal of Primarily tones as we fingers. About A treading upon the pedal should follow immediately after the strikalways ing of the note for which it is intended. Please tell me how some . or else there will be discords arising The 111111 the Pedal from the mingling of that note with the one preceding it. This is the general Exceptions there are.PIANO QUESTIONS Personally I have never used a piano.

I regret to say that there is no more a rule for this than artistic for the mixing of colours upon the palette of a painter who strives for some particular shade or tint. He knows that blue and yellow make green.40 PIANO QUESTIONS Assuming that you have in mind the use of the pedal. We must refrain from its use whenever there the slightest danger of unintentional mingling of tones. eye and his judgment. that red and blue purple. It may be at once taken again. The relation between the pedal and the player's ear is exactly similar to that of to consult his the palette and the painter's eye. and this alternation is either a must be kept up where there change of harmony or a sucThis is cession of "passing notes. Gener- ally speaking (from sad experience) it is far more important to know when not to use the pedal than when to use it." the . but those are ground make colours which he can rarely use. For the finer shades he has to experiment. This is best avoided is by taking the pedal after striking the tone upon which it is to act. and to release it promptly and simultaneously with the striking of the next tone.

is the "sole" Bach's music ever played with the Use Pedal ? is pedal With There the use of the pedal. no piano-music that forbids in Even where the Bach . the pedal must now be used with Ihe I utmost caution. even by name. Pedalling Without knowing this piece. say again guide of the foot upon the pedal. To teach action of your the use of the pedal independent of the own ear is impossible. and listen closely. I may say that the pianos of Weber's time had a tone of such short duration and volume that the discords resulting from a continuous use of the pedal were not so noticeable. In Weber's "Storm" should the pedal Let Your Guide be held down throughout the entire piece. but even Let your ear be this is often violated. Accustom your ear to harmonic and melodic clarity. as they are now upon the modern piano with its magnificent volume and duration of tone. Hence. as directed ? It produces quite a discord. f^.PIANO QUESTIONS 41 only positive rule I can give. the guardian of your right foot. Is that the ear Generally speaking.

by judicious use as. for. They need discipline. for instance.42 PIANO QUESTIONS texture of a piece does not require the which happens very rarely the player might employ it as an aid where the reach of his hand proves inpedal sufficient to hold all the parts of a har- mony together. Qualitatively speaking. the pedal is as necessary in Bach's music as in any other. You "want" of Is she right ? to use the pedal ? In the to your teacher's advice the contrary? a teacher? Then why did you apply for People who consider their while engaged in any kind of study need no teacher. for the tone face first. Learn obedience! If pleasure own . quantitatively. so as not to blur the fine texture of his polyphony. I always want to use the pedal as soon as j ta ^ e a new pj ece b u t y teacher i T i i i i insists that I should get a good singing Fondness The Student with a m . With Bach the pedal is often very important. I recommend the utmost caution in its use. in the cases of it accumulates harmonic organ-point holds the fundamental tone and tones. thus produces effects not dissimilar to the organ.

not the quantity. Should the expresson "p" be executed To Pro d e " by the aid of the soft pedal or through <^te the fingers ? Tone The soft pedal serves to change the It tone. Hence. . even then you have no right to do anything else than go to another teacher.PIANO QUESTIONS should 43 by following your teacher's advice you fail to progress. provided that the character of a particular place in your piece justifies it. or would this be detrimental to the piano? Since the mechanisms of the two pedals are entirely separate and independent of W Q ncl s each other you may use them simultaneously. quality should therefore never be used to hide a faulty piano (or soft) touch. The soft pedal should be employed only . But he will in all probability not be very different from the first one in his precepts. I say again: You should learn obedience! soft Using the at May the damper pedal and the pedal be used simultaneously. Mere of softness of tone should always be produced by a decrease of finger-force and a lessening of the raising of the fingers.


softness of

coupled with a change of colouring, such as lies within its range of action.




Do Not
e ft


Should the Gavotte in A, of GluckBrahms, be played without the soft pedal ? Does a liberal use of the soft pedal tend to make the student lazy in using a light

too general, as there is no piece of music that should be played entirely with or without the soft







used only when a certain

too change of colouring is proposed. frequent use of the soft pedal does tend
to a neglect of the pianissimo touch, and it should, therefore, be discouraged.
Once More


Q n ff


piano has a rather loud tone to


people object, and urge me to play with the soft pedal. I use it most of the time, but am afraid now to play without it. What would you advise?

w hich mv



touch and sound are liked,


your piano changed at the factory. I found myself in the bad condition at one time that I
not play certain passages independently of the position of my foot on







the soft pedal. Such is the strength of association that very soon a constant use of the soft pedal produces physical infoot is pressing ability to play unless the
the pedal.

In resuming my studies in the morning The what should I play first? Begin with your technical work. Scales Q H in all tonalities, each at least twice well rendered. First slowly, one after another, then somewhat quicker, but never very quickly as long as you are not absolutely sure that both hands are


and that neither


To wrong fingerings play the scales wrong is just as much a matter of habit as to play them right
notes nor

only easier. You can get very firmly settled in the habit of striking a certain note wrong every time it occurs unless

you take the trouble of counteracting the formation of such a habit. After these scales play them in octaves from the wrist, slowly and without tiring it by lifting the hand to a needless height.
After this play either Czerny or Cramer,



then Bach, and

Mozart, Beethoven,

Chopin, and so on. If you have the time to do it, play one hour in the morning on technical studies and use one hour for the difficult places in the works you

In the afternoon play studying. another hour, and this hour you devote I mean by this that to interpretation.

you should now apply aesthetically what you have technically gained in the morning by uniting your mechanical advantages with the ideal conception which you have formed in your mind of the work you are studying.

e fo



time should I spend on I am practising c ' ear' v technical study ? three hours a day; how long should I
practise at a time ? Purely technical

How much





of the fingers without the participation of mind and heart you should do

or none, for it kills your musical If, as you say, you practise three spirit.

hours a day I should recommend two hours in succession in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. The morning is always the best time for work. Make



no long pauses in your work, for they would break your contact with the piano and ti would take considerable time to
In the afternoon, after it. the major portion of your daily task is

with greater freeeven this freedom should dom, though be kept within proper bounds.
done, you

may move

Should I practise studies in general


to to






confine Devote


strictly to


technical exercises


strictly technical exercises

occupy one-quarter you can give to your work. Two quarters you should use for the technical preparation of the difficult passages you encounter in the pieces you are studying, and during the last quarter these passages which have been thus prepared should be ranged
into their proper places in the pieces, in order that you may not lose your view

of the


should time

of the totality of the pieces while studying

or practising details.

In purely technical, i. e. mechanical, practice may I have a book or a magazine on the music-stand and read ? This question will appear grotesque to

The Only Kind ?t
Worth While



any one who has not thought









upon themselves has been committed by many. I cannot warn students too strongly against this






practise only concentrated attention.






Even purely me-

chanical matter

must be transmitted

the motor-centres of the brain through the agencies of the ear and eye in order
to bring beneficial technical results.

the brain


otherwise occupied



comes insensible to the impression of the work in hand, and practise thus done is a complete waste of time. Not
only should we not read, but also not think of anything else but the work
before us,

we expect




first letter

in the alphabet

of success.


j? f


Will I advance quicker by practising eight hours instead of four, as I do now ?


Playing too much in one day has often Four a deteriorating effect upon one's studies, because work is profitable, after all,

done with


mental concentra-



which can be sustained only for a



Some exhaust

power of concentration quicker than others; but, however long it may have lasted, once it is exhausted all further work is like unrolling a scroll which we have laboriously rolled up.

self-examination, notice that your interest


you waning



that in studying the

matter of quantity is of moment only when coupled with quality. Attention,

devotion, will necessary any inquiries as to
to practise.

make unhow much

you ought

when my hands

are cold and Playing

Wiih stiff, play at once difficult and fatiguing things in order to limber them up ?

In forcing things with cold hands you always run the danger of overstraining, while with a gradual limbering you may safely try the same tasks with impunity. Handle the piano lightly while the hands are cold, and increase both force and speed only when the hands have gained their normal temperature and elasticity. This may take half or even three-

It may be accelerated by putting the hands in hot water before playing. because it is apt to weaken the nerves of the hands. Is counting aloud injurious to a pupil's ayj ng th a t is. The Study of Scales Must all study of the piano absolutely of scales ? Is very b e crm with the study Important Scales should not be attempted until a good finger-touch has been formed and the very important action of the thumb in the scale has been fully prepared. does not the sound of pi the voice confuse the pupil in getting the correct tone of the note struck? Counting Out Loud Loud counting can hardly ever be injurious especially not while the pupil is dealing with time and rhythm. develops and strengthens rhymthic better it feeling than anything else will. and.50 PIANO QUESTIONS quarters of an hour. is an infallible guide to find the points of stress in a phrase. . but this should not be done too often. is loud counting for it of During practice inestimable value. the part audible counting may be lessened and finally abandoned. This mastered or fully understood. besides.

a mental picture if of it. but also for the discipline of the ear with regard to the feeling of tonality (key) . approximately. When which is studying preferable: a new composition. which the occasion calls Study or practise all scales as they are written. sixths. insufficient If the player's technique is too for this the deciphering . understanding of intervals. and octaves. f the practice of the enharmonic ones unnecessary ? One should learn everything in that line in order to select from one's store of learning that for. not only for the fingers. and later also in thirds. however. Do or is fifteen you approve of the study of all the The Study *** major scales by piano students. for this is necessary to obtain. I consider the practising of scales important. When eadm9 to practise first with ^ Piece 2VW separate hands or together ? When first looking over a new composition both hands -should be employed.PIANO QUESTIONS 51 After that. and the comprehension of the total compass of the piano. at least. possible.

of course. ___ There are four ways to study a com. because you can. be done for each hand separately. 3. Practising When s ^ ou I am Parts Separately ^ the learning a new h an ds practise their piece parts separately? Provided you have formed a general idea of the piece. On the piano without the music. as each hand knows its work the hands should play together in order now to pursue the musical purpose for which the separate practice was only a technical preparation. 2. it is well to practise the hands separately. concentrate your attention upon the work of each hand. no doubt.52 PIANO QUESTIONS must. in this way. : the piano with the music. 4. Four Ways to Study a Piano Piece Should a composition be studied away from the p{ ano p A . 2 and 4 are mentally the most taxing and fatiguing ways. position 1. however. but they . Away from the piano with the music. On Away from the piano without the music. As soon.

for this aids you in forming the mental concept of it. New York. because it will always depend upon the state of your technique and the quality of your tone. Schirmer. For modern parlour pieces I suggest the two volumes of Russian piano music published by G.The Condem Wasser zu singen" be ^f^ parlour pieces after Bendel's Dictate believe in metronomes." which a faculty of great importance.PIANO QUESTIONS also serve best to develop the is 53 memory and what we mean by "scope. How Liszt's fast or "Auf played? What modern would you recommend "Zephyr"? Even if I did as I for slow should Schubert. do you not. Which fast the best way to work up a To Work tempo ? is Fa* The best help to hear the piece or part which you have in mind played quickly by another person. I could not indicate speed or for anybody. which is the principal condition to . You will find pieces of various degrees of difficulty there from which you may select what is suits you best.

but quick playing is . Which of these two or any other ways is best for you no one can tell. even though some notes should drop under the piano and then be picked up in subsequent repetitions.54 PIANO QUESTIONS all ability is which subject. but have been told that one gets "stale. and gradually working up a tempo. There are. ever a waste of time to practise a piece over and over again for months * Work Up a as slowly as a beginner and with utmost Quick Tempo concentration? After having done so The Best y to . I then find I cannot play so fast as I want to. if your musical instinct it will guide you you follow Is it cautiously. Is it not wise to begin all over again as slowly as possible? this I prefer to work way. however. . w . Do you advise practising with or with? out the pedal Slow practice is undoubtedly the basis for quick playing. other ways which each one of us must find for himself: either by a increase of speed until you reach gradual your individual maximum or by starting at once at full tilt." studying the same music for a long time.

though never in finger exercises. As Regarding the pedal. purpose of associating Watch our breathing with piano playing." a variety of pieces is necessary to preserve the freshness of each one. with increasing frequency and heightened speed.PIANO QUESTIONS Quick playing must be tried 55 not an immediate result of slow practice. too. and more so when we speak of pieces that entail the use of great muscular force. for this causes a quickening in the action of the heart. to think quickly through the course of a piece before we can play it quickly. quicker tempo. and this mental endeavour. respiration naturally keeps . and to ^ th what extent should it be practised? is What the > Breathing is as important in piano playing as in all physical exertion. I suggest tha' you use it judiciously from the very beginning of the study of a new piece. we must first learn practice. regained by subsequent returns to slow After all. will be greatly aided by occasional trials in a for getting "stale. even at a temporary This loss is easily loss of clearness. from time to time.

more wholesome than mouth-breathing. If. I It is recommend breath- ing through the nose as long as possible. at the last spurt of a bicycle race. Must velopment during the spring. need not be learned. and autumn it will be to your advantage to stop your practising entirely for a month. Take a Month's Rest mv Every Year I keep up my practice during Christmas holidays of a month ? J _ . and it refreshes the head more. "Breathe through the nose!" we could not wonder if our advice remains unheeded._ If you have worked well on your de_ . your nature will find its own line of least resistance. and . summer. however. This open-mouth breathing.56 PIANO QUESTIONS it. step with forcible and the result is often a breathing through the mouth. we should call to the wheel- men. Such a pause renews your forces as well as the love for your work. When physical exertion becomes too great then you will neither need nor heed my advice or anybody's . it is the self-help of nature. %. Players resort to open-mouth breathing in such cases because they cannot help themselves.



you will, upon resuming it, not only catch up quickly with what you may think to have missed, but you will also make
a quick leap forward because the quality of your work will be better than it could

you had persisted in it with a In a tired condition of fatigued mind. mind and body we are very apt not to notice the formation of bad habits, and since "to learn means to form correct habits of thinking and doing" we must beware of anything that might impair our watchfulness as to bad habits. The greatest persistence cannot turn a bad habit into a virtue.

the meaning of M. M. = 72 The Metroprinted over a piece of music ? stands for "metronome," the The




name of its inventor, Maelzl. indicate the number of beats figures a minute and the note shows what each
other for the


beat represents

in this case a quarter

The whole annotation says that the average speed of the piece should admit of seventy-two quarter notes being
played in a minute.
I advise you,



feeling for

ever, rather to consult the state of

technique and your own


musically right in deciding upon the speed of the piece.

The PerS

Chopin's Prelude No.




ment and

movement * n C-sharp minor to be played in the same tempo as the opening movementS)
the 6-8








and 9-8 movements of Liszt's Gnomes be metronomized ? The C-sharp minor movement should
of the

not increase in speed, or only very little, because it rises to a considerable height
dynamically, and this seems to counteract an increase of speed. As to the metronoming, I would not bother about



of your technique

must ever regulate the speed question
in a large degree. Tempo is so intirelated with touch and dynamics mately

measure an individual This does not mean that one may play andante where an allegro is prescribed, but that one person's allegro differs slightly from that of another
it is

in a large


person. Touch, tone, influence the tempo.

and conception The metronome



indications are to be accepted only with the utmost caution.

by metronome, should the minuetto of Beethoven's Sonatina, opus 49, Number 2, be played ? If you possess an edition of Beethoven that has no metronome marks you have been singularly fortunate, and I would


Metronome Markings



not for the world interfere with such



Consult your technique,

your feelings, your good sense.

and have confidence




practising? .... as

should one use the metronome There are I have been warned Dan9 ers



liable to

become very

one is a Metroand mechanical nome



in Using

by the

persistent use of


eminently right. You should not play with the metronome for any length of time, for it lames the musical pulse and kills the vital expres-

Your teacher

sion in your playing. The metronome may well be used as a controlling device first, to find the approximate average

speed of a piece, and, second, to convince yourself that, after playing for a



while without

it, your feelings have not caused you to drift too far away from the average tempo.

The Real




meaning of the words Andante, and Allegro? Are

Terms they just indications of speed ? They serve as such; though our


probably selected these because of their indefiniteness, which leaves a certain margin to our





(ad Literally, Adagio "at leisure." Andante

means "going"

contradistinction to

"running," going apace, also walking.


contraction of al leg-gie-ro) with "lightness, cheerful." Pri-

marily these terms are, as you see, indications of mood; but they have come to be regarded as speed annotations.


Rule For



the words "largo," "allegro," etc., are su PP ose d to indicate a certain rate


can you give a rule so that a student who cannot have the aid of a teacher will be able to understand in what time he should play a composition ?
of speed,
If the



not indicated you



have to consult your own good taste. Take the most rapid notes of your piece,
play them rapidly as the general trend of the piece will aesthetically permit,

and adjust the general tempo accordingly.
are the grace notes played in How these measures from Chopin's Valse, ^" 8 opus 42, and when are grace notes not Are Played struck simultaneously with the base ?


that is, Grace notes and their chiefs those notes to which the grace notes are should ever be played with attached one and the same muscular impulse.


time occupied by the grace notes should be so minimal that it should not be discernible whether they appear simultaneously with the base note or slightly before it. In modern music it is usually meant to precede the bass note, though
the good taste of the player sionally prefer it otherwise.







of a rest


or below the notes of the treble clef
Over Notes

The rests you speak of can occur only when more than one voice (or part) is written in the same staff, and they indicate how long the entrance of the other


be delayed.

What a



mean when a



Dot double-dotted, like

I thought



^ wag a



se ems


occur too frequently for that. As the first dot prolongs the note by one-half of its own value, so does the second dot add one-half of the value of
first dot.


half -note with one dot

lasts three-quarters,

with two dots



seven-eighths. Should I accent the
slur thus 5*
at the

note under a

or should I

my hand


of the slur thus






and accents have nothing


each other, because accents relate Notes t rhythm, while slurs concern the touch. The last note under a slur will usually

wft n

slightly curtailed in order to create

indicate either a legato touch or the grouping of the notes. The strong and weak beat (or positive and negative beat) govern the accent always. unless there is an annotation to . but much in continues the sound of the its note struck at beginning as long as its the note-value at end indicates.PIANO QUESTIONS that 63 small pause which separates one phrase from another. Which one of the notes thus grouped is to be accented depends upon its rhythmical position in the measure. Generally speaking. As soon as another note intervenes the tie becomes a slur and indicates a legato touch. It can be placed only upon two notes of similar name in the same octave which follow each other. How _. should the beginning of slurs be ? accented blurs i? ReNot to Slurs and cen* s and accents have nothing Slurs do i a ted with each other. the slur in piano music represents the breathing periods of the vocalist. What and a effect. difference is there between a slur How a Tie tie ? None in A tie appearance.

the proper tonality signature of a note that was changed is very frequently restated when the same note recurs beyond the bar. Aflects a note resume in a . I maintain that the flat The sign is superfluous. denial Where last / c there is an accidental on the beat of a measure does not that . theoretically. marking practical is not necessary theoretiexperience has shown that it is not an unwise precaution. How on Long f". Though this special cally. the contrary. but orthoYou confound the note C graphical. was key of two common time.64 PIANO QUESTIONS must be ness. is "E-Sharp What B-Sharp^ and the Double the and Are they merely E the meaning of the sharps on B line and of a double-flat ? ' theoretical ? They are not theoretical. and such an annotation carried out with great judicious- seldom literally. was naturalized and the first note of the next measure was E with the flat sign. Nevertheless. if and I should like to know this is right ? You are quite right. its Note bar unless tied? signature beyond the The case I speak of flats. . fourth beat^ E.

The same (and doubleapplies to double-flats with a double-flat is played sharps) for upon the key called C. but it has no re.PIANO QUESTIONS 65 with the key on the keyboard by that name. misprint after all. but its musical bearing is very remote from the note C. should occur repeatedly I advise you sign may be a to quite sure. B-sharp is played upon the key called C. This corresponds language: precisely with the "sow" alike. before taking the for granted. g^ yjT I The of ats Effect be played Double the single-flat lowers a note by a half-tone. . that the sign is not. In playing an operetta recently I Double found the double-sharp sign ( x ) used s rP. How to is an octave. meant for a make double-sharp. ^? i 11 n 11 for double-flats as well. T i Misprinted Is this correct ? for Double Flat The it But if misprint. D lation to the note C. _ " S homonym in "so" ew" sound but are spelled in various ways according to the meaning they are to convey. written ? thus. so a double-flat lowers As it by two half-tones or a full tone.

in parentheses are mere warnings given by some composers wherever there is a possibility of doubt as to the correct reading caused by a momenI have found tary harmonic ambiguity. in the right Does an accidental influence the left? hand pendent 1} Each Oiher as piano music is written in score form. provided that they are justified by the prevailing harmony. the two staffs are as inde- Inasmuch pendent of each other as are the staffs We may. Which of the two meanings is intended by a serpentine you will Accidentals easily infer from the context. the two . in in an orchestral score. As a rule. if marked unless the sign denotes a linking with the other hand. in What paren- Parentheses does theses an acci- M/n dental \*\* as mean? Chords marked as above are rolled in the slightly same manner line. these accidentals in of parentheses so far only in the The Staffs works French composers. cases of suspected misprints. draw certain inferences from one staff to the inter- V al marked thus executed.66 When an Actidental PIANO QUESTIONS Please tell me how t a chord or an .

indeed. I am is. often asked why there must be Why Two Names instead "Same" fifteen keys in music instead of twelve that why not always write inB of C-flat. D-flat would of spelling a tone be. in the G-flat. or vice versa? I can only say that the circle of fifths would not be complete without the seven scales in sharps and the seven in flats: but Bach does not use all the fifteen and and. in Key? D-flat instead of C-sharp. But in the latter case you must admit the necessity of a musical . in and C-flat. A-sharp and A-flat. In the former case the mode C-sharp or irrelevant. omitting entirely. major keys. in F-sharp instead of G-flat. keys in his Forty-eight Preludes Fugues. sidered flats? Are compositions in sharps conmore brilliant than those in Do composers consider modu- lation in selecting their key? The answer to your question hinges upon whether you recognize in music mere tone-play or whether you concede a mental and psychic side to it.PIANO QUESTIONS staffs 67 are independent of each other in regard to accidental chromatic signs. D-flat. the minor keys.

in the tempered scale and Though no differ- ence between C-sharp and D-flat. it may also combine both modes of procedure. a child of ten ? A motif is the germ of a theme.68 PIANO QUESTIONS orthography qualified to convey distinct tonal meanings and musical thoughts to the reader there is to the player. In the script of human language you will find an analogy than which none could be more perfect." and "two". The Meaning and the different is the meaning of a "motif"? ^ oes a d asn me an over a note ? What is the best book of instruction for a beginner. partly because of their connection with other related harmonies. meanings of the words. These determine usually the composer's selection in cases of enharmonic identities. or by grouping several motifs together. In English there are. and not the sound of conveys pronunciation." "too. words in which the spelling alone. The most glorious What wkat . the musical reader will conceive them as different from one another. A theme may be composed of reiterations of a motif. for instance. "to.

The from the arm. but imparts his knowledge to the child from out of his own inner consciousness. In playing notes written thus is it s*?*> Tied Stao* f permissible from the keys or should there be fingers only a clinging touch ? Notes marked as above are to be such a manner that each note to slide the ff *>***" played in is slightly separated best touch for this that the fingers joints. but that the the finger arm pulls upward from the key. so are not lifted from their is nor from the wrist. What do note or chord it short lines below or above a The mean in contradistinction "Tcnvto" to a staccato or affect the an accent? whole chord ? And does audits Effect . from the next. A dash over a note enjoins the player to hold that note with the finger The until it has received its full value. best "instruction book" for a child is a good teacher who uses no instruction book.PIANO QUESTIONS iteration of 69 exemplification of construction by rea motif you will find in the opening theme of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

a Mordent Sonata How should one mO rdent occurring Opus 13 ? play and accent the in the forty-seventh measure of the first movement allegro of Beethoven's Sonata Padi molto thetique.").70 PIANO QUESTIONS The dash under or above a note is a substitute for the word "tenuto" (usually abbreviated into "ten. What is meaning ? of small notes printed under large ones Usually Largl Ones cation that players the small notes are an indi- they may be not the omitted stretch by of who have hand necessary Accenting to play them. ." in all Roll the chord as evenly as possible its parts." or. No. t should I execute a chord that also i is Chord AlClTKcd written with a spread and . . be particular about giving this note its full soundduration. which means "held. _ f*-. marked CCA* "Secco" secco ? as in Cnammade s . Air de i Ballet. This substitute the is usually ema ployed when holding single note or a single chord. . in other words.. not hold Small Notes but play the it briskly and short. 1. concerns A Rolled How . but use no pedal and do it.

but you should not make a triplet of it by occupying the whole quarter with its execution. follows. begins with its When it stands directly this when is more to the right the turn. Note how would played ? the two turns have to be The turn always uppermost note. The turn c> stands sometimes directly The L PosiJ over the note and sometimes farther to the right of it. over a note it takes the place of note. note struck first and the judiciously its distributed at the time of disposal.Over a executions and. to be played between the beats. when syncopated. dicate different Does ^^ rr this difference in. The mordent must be played fast enough to preserve the rhythmic integrity of the melody-note. How are syncopated notes to be How Are S played ? pated XT Notes occurring an entire beat of the Notes prescribed time are. If the syncopated notes occupy only a fraction V- to be . if so.PIANO QUESTIONS The 71 accent ought to lie upon the first note of the mordent.

. . Change fingers when those employed get tired. presuming there is no appoggiatura before Note the note? Is the alternation of the thumb and the second finger desirable in the playing of a trill ? Where not (by expressly otherwise stated appoggiatura) trills usually begin upon the melodic tone (the note which is written). A Trill In t rj]j s Begins on the Melodic modern compositions should all begin upon the note which is written.72 of the PIANO QUESTIONS beats they are played between the fractional beats. For extended trills the use of three fingers is advantageous. . while in shorter trills two fingers will preserve Position of more clarity. Auxiliary Note in a Trill In the accompanying example of the tr in should the auxiliary note be a tone IIor a nalf-tone above the principal note ? If the half-tone. what would be the name of the auxiliary note? . .

in majority of cases. namely C. but they are. The trill in the tonality of G stands on B-flat. . in this case. their in is rhythmic succession. there a no way to learn trilling. Hence. sluggish muscles may be assisted. The main thing is. Will you kindly suggest a good method of Speed gaining speed and smoothness in trilling ? While there are no "methods" for trilling a d ness i n there are certain means by which Trilling Yet. even these means cannot be suggested without knowing the seat and cause of your trouble. of a trill is As the auxiliary note ever the diatonic sequel of a it stated note whole tone above must. The causes differ with individual. and finish cramped direct condition. Since the piece is written in major there should have been a "natural" D marked under the sign of the trill.PIANO QUESTIONS The 73 episode you quote moves evidently minor. purely mental. the the not manual. of course. quickly. fingers To for trill quickly trill we must think only with the lose if we they will soon stick. be a B-flat. it will develop with your general mental-musical advancement.

while that of the trills in is purely rhythmic.74 PIANO QUESTIONS listen always to actually to your own playing. Opus 53? The 25 is measures 37 and 38 significance of the trill in measure melodic. you do not expect to play anything more quickly than your own ear can follow. while in the other two you may throw your hand. . so to speak. properly is What called solfeggio." And. somewhat effect. of the What is the difference in the Chopin Polonaise. in the nature of a first trill snare-drum greater The requires stress on the melodic note. and physically. of course. on both notes and roll the trill until it lands upon the next eighth-note. The Meaning feggio meant by "spelling" in music ? Unless it means the variety of ways in which most chords can be written it refers to an oral reciting of notes. to perceive every tone you play. and those in measures 37 and 38. for only then can you form an estimate as to how quickly you can "hear. Difference U ^Trills manner of P lay in S the tri11 in measure 25.

because of their greater intrinsic merit.a Sonata I have heard serve the repeat marks. though it may be desirable. At any rate. Any good selecting teacher to fit will assist you in them your daughter's case. If your daughter as you and has is fourteen years old say it much is talent but little technique.PIANO QUESTIONS Please classics tell 75 ABOUT CERTAIN PIECES AND COMPOSERS me some which pieces of the Some are not too difficult for daughter of fourteen to play. In playing sonatas my teacher tells In Playing me it is a great fault if I neglect to ob. it by others that the repetition is not necessary. The Kuhlau Sonatinas ^g**^ Fourteen my can play very well. think of developing her technique. Will you please give me your opinion ? In a sonata it is of serious importance said to repeat the first first the movement part (exposition) of in order that the . She has a great deal of talent but not much she technique. for a a pianist without technique is like pleasure traveller without high time to money. I should prefer the easier sonatas by Haydn and Mozart to those of Kuhlau.

outgrown the stage of being learned. That the exposition part is not the only one to be repeated you will in find frequently indicated. which serve aesthetic purposes following the that until you will later. but for the sake of formal balance or proportion. also. but as a background. so to speak.ata" be so blended into each other that light Soy OU jo no t hear them in separate notes. he cannot possibly understand and follow their development in the For. unless this is next part.76 PIANO QUESTIONS their two principal themes. as well as tributaries. for Point fi A the notes in the melody? . the last movement of the "Appas- sionata. well impress themselves and memory of your accomplished. for instance. I am in favour of composer's indications hence. Generally speaking." where the repetition is needful. may upon the mind auditor. perhaps not understand when the sonata has. inPlayi Should not the notes of the triplet g ure in Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonthe " Moon. his repeat punctiliously. marks. not for the reason stated before. in your hands.

The accumulation be of each chord should produced through the pedal. the seventh measure of Chopin's What a What is Polonaise. through an excessive legato touch. a harmonic background. as While accompaniment should be sufficiently subdued to form.PIANO QUESTIONS The truth lies 77 midway between two the extremes. 1. Opus 26. it nevertheless. No. or I should it have thought . in grazioso. The latter English) too Fast precludes a too-quick movement. not Should Mendelssohn's "Spring Song" be played in slow or fast time ? It is Playing marked "Allegretto term (graceful. you ought. say. the meaning of the dot placed after the is This D is in the bass ? Whenever a misprint. not to be blended to such a degree as to obliterate entirely the undercurrent of a triplet motion. this measure repeated the dot occurs.

tion. j.. ' tne mordent receive the l ast note accent ? I have heard the mordent sound Is this the correct accent ? like a triplet ? The last note of the mordent should be . should the right hand in the fifth measure play this melody? . I would Where the Accent Should be Placed Chopin's Impromptu in A-flat. .. . In playing accented in this case.78 PIANO QUESTIONS The left-hand notes follow each other as eighth-notes. and counting five turning measures. It is intended here that a complete chord should be built up by accumulation. Opus 29. . as in illustra- ward stems and the tion a: and also hold the fifth eighth as in illustration b. however. Chopin's Nocturne in F-sharp.- Chopin Reading Doqqio Movement. when re** T j ^ to Tempo I. A Dis~ puted In a ter . is Their respective duraindicated by the up- dot. should the first or the r .

too. which commends naturalness. Peters's edition. In Schumann's " Blumenstiick." third When Two number. the uppermost notes of the left #^7fo hand are identical with the lowest of the Same Should the thumbs of both Notc right hand. has the second version. hands strike the same keys at the same .PIANO QUESTIONS The 79 various editions differ from one another in this measure. Any other execution would ruin this purposed design. itself by its greater In Rubinstein's "Melody in F" should the melody be played in the left hand or be divided between the two hands ? Playing in F Where doing there is it no valid reason is for otherwise always best to follow the composer's prescription. meant to say. I advise you to adhere to this principle. generally considered the best edition of Chopin's works. since it is written with a in all cases the author view to teach the division of the melody between the right and left hand. for. and with great composers in most cases knows what he In the aforesaid piece.

Take one part of the right hand. . toward the end of each section where the left left-hand notes differ right." as the Continentals say). one part of the left. sure to follow out the line of each separate part (or "voice. Do i . add a all you have and so on until the parts together. But be third part.80 time all PIANO QUESTIONS the way through or should the omit them? hand The left hand should omit them. that Do not lose patience. BACH The Be9 mner a few helpful suggestions in a preliminary study of Bach ? give Can you me Music A totality consists of many parts. If you cannot master the totality of a work by Bach try each part by itself. Back's Music Necessary to Good Technique you think the study of Bach is necessary to the development of one's 111 i technique. or should one let ms music alone until a later day when one's tech. from those in the In those cases you must be careful to play all the notes that are written. but be careful to omit only those that are There are a few places really duplicates. Remember Rome was not built in a day.

You may start with never-dreamed-of enjoyment. you think that the playing of Always e Bach's works will keep one's hands T c And with in good technical condition ? which is the best edition of Bach's Bach piano works ? Do ^^ Bach is as for the body. That some of his music seems dry to you may be due to your mental attitude by which you possibly expect from ecclesiastical music what only the opera can give you. Think yourself into his style and you will find a mine of tion.PIANO QUESTIONS nique his 81 Some of is in good condition ? music seems so dry. but you ought soon to turn to Bach. But Bach's music is particularly qualified to develop the fingers in conjunction with musical expression and thematic characteriza- Czerny and Clementi. for instance. good for the soul as well and I recommend that touch with him. Which would be hard to you never is lose the best edition . Bach's music is not the only music There is. that develops the technique. the music of Czerny and Clementi to be considered.

the . musical Prelude the fits perfectly. A Fugue (fuga. namely. flight) is the flight of one musical thought through of true many voices or parts." and what is the purpose of studying the pieces so named by Bach? explanation of the plan of a Fugue would exceed by far the limits of the The space at my disposal. subject to strict rules. It would require a text-book. as something which intentionally precedes and fittingly introduces a main action. Its difference from an Invention is expressed in the two names. The especially of all these forms is that of purpose all good music-making.82 PIANO QUESTIONS say. The definition of Prelude. in the case of Bach. The Fugue tion is the most legitimate representa- polyphony. of which there are many to be found in every good music store. while an Invention is an accumu- lation of thoughts moving with absolute freedom. Fugues What is the plan of a "Fugue. but I have found the Peters edition to be very good." how d eS ^ differ fr m an " Invention " and "Prelude.

BEETHOVEN just beginning to reach an intel. sion Possibly this more accessible vermay aid you optically or visually in your work of memorizing. in what order should the Sonatas ven s I am > be studied ? If you should really have the laudable intention to study all the Sonatas of Beethoven for your repertory I should think that you Sonatas may safely take them up .PIANO QUESTIONS purification and taste in music. ^ach the the though never explained many people it comes easier to read music in .D flat than in that to flat Hence. Now. if you prefer the sharp.Order of Study in9 ligent interpretation of Beethoven's music. edition it will reduce the difficulty for been frequently observed C D you. 83 development of good Of the you advise the use of the D flat arrangement instead ? Such little differences have never bothered me. and I can therefore hardly answer your question definitely. It has or do Bach fugues do you consider As to C sharp major difficult to memorize.

by Beethoven. of however. is of a tranquillity which. be traced to an arbitrary invention. perhaps of some over-smart pubI lisher endeavouring to heighten the attractiveness of the Sonata to the general public by the addition of a suggestive title. really. with the exception of Opus 53 and the Appassionata. Is it because My m ' do not understand it. there are many episodes which by their nai'vetc . the "Pastoral" Sonata. The teacher calls the Sonata opus 28. does not suggest the life of a metropolis. The Steingraber edition. no doubt. Yet it seems to fit the its Sonata main pretty well. which spiritrank with ually as well as technically the last five. because. characteristic is a rural sort of peaceful Especially the first movement repose. Bui in the other movements. with a I have not found anything "pastoral" Pastoral any of the movements. surely. or is the name a mere amateurish invention ? The name "Pastoral Sonata" could. too. furnishes a very fair order difficulty in the index to the Sonatas.84 PIANO QUESTIONS very much in the order in which they are printed.

but rather as musical revelations.A Few. Nor should Beethoven's Sonatas be regarded as a musical drillingground. I think it is better to play one Sonata well than to play many of them badly. if so. at least. should be mastered. though that number. TJ7 become a good player. I play all the Sonatas of yen's in order to Beetho. Are and. MENDELSSOHN In a complete course for a piano The Study A ~ student should the sti udent of Mendelssohn / Men study 5 be included ? Which of his compositions JL are the most useful ? . it is not necessary to play them all. p^ d or is a certain number of them sufficient.PIANO QUESTIONS the life 85 and good-natured boisterousness indicate of the village. To familiarize yourself with Beethoven's the style and grandeur of thought it is sufficient to have mastered six or eight of his Sonatas. how many would you advise? Enough Must 77 Since the playing of all the Sonatas does not necessarily prove that they were all well played. As they are not all on precisely same high plane of thought.

entitles him to be included. of Chopin a pianist should The know everything. Waltzes. hence. Mazurkas. What kind of touch did Charm f Chopin s Touch require too Since a description of Chopin have ? his touch would space I refer you to the book from which I gathered the most It is explicit information on this point. G minor and F minor. The the Berceuse and the Barcarolle. I mention the aforesaid other works. To develop a cantilena his grow fine "Songs Without Words" of slower motion. His melody alone. Ballades in A flat. for instance. besides other virtues. are just the thing. the All the Etudes. and Polonaises you are probably familiar with. CHOPIN Which of are the best compositions of Chopin? Chopin to to study by one who all really desires know him ? the Preludes.86 PIANO QUESTIONS Mendelssohn is surely a composer who is not to be omitted. for melody seems to scarce nowadays. Generally speaking. Nocturnes." by Frederick . much "The Life of Chopin.

from page 94 to about 104. Your tempo the state will largely depend upon your technique. as far as possible to convey the charm of one art through the medium of another. Ewer & Co. and in the second volume. you will find what you wish to know. etc. The humour of this Impromptu is mainly an amiable. To the second question my reply is that Chopin has composed "music" which as you of know represents thoughts only in a musical sense. choly. otherwise it deals with purely psychic processes. What is the tempo (by metronome) Mood in A-flat. it is New you seem interested in Chopin I would recommend that you closely study both volumes of this masterly Since biographical work. Novello. moods. for it easily loses this latter attribute .).PIANO QUESTIONS Niecks (London and 87 York. ingratiating one. here and there slightly tinged with a sweet melanIt should not be played too fast. of Chopin's Impromptu and what idea did the composer embody in it ? the A-Flat The editions vary in their metronome Impromptu markings and I believe none of them.

No. are likely In Chopin's Barcarolle there is a preceded by grace notes. No. Polonais (in Liszt's transcription).88 PIANO QUESTIONS like and then sounds out the A moderate tempo will also tend to be lost. Chopin's Barcarolle a Czerny exercise. 1. Opus 26. Opus 57. but do not confound a rule with a law. Chants Berceuse. 2. Scherzo. you must feel that your individual taste will not lead you too far astray even if it should prompt you occasionally to depart from the Chopin's rule. so that the grace notes take their time from the trills numDer of Are they to note that follows them ? rule is a Philipp safe one to follow. If you have reached that plane on which an attempt at the Emmanuel Bach's Barcarolle by Chopin is rational. What works of Chopin would you Works SU gges t for a popular concert programme ? Nocturne. Opus 64. Opus 31. be executed according to Philipp Emmanuel Bach's rule. Opus 66. Polonaise. . 2. Valse. in too quick a tempo. Fantasy Popular Concert Impromptu. No. Opus 27. to bring many charming harmonic turns which.

consult it always before taking a liberty with the tempo. without.PIANO QUESTIONS In 89 playing Chopin may one take Taking Ll les liberties with the tempo and play different . mits of an affirmative reply. There is such a thing as "artistic conscience". parts or the same mazurka or in various degrees of tempo ? i **** th ^ nocturne Tempo Undoubtedly. In the beginn minor by Chopii play this chord of times. . I can any three but not of the all four. however. ceasing altogether to follow the promptings of your good taste here and there. I recommend that you be very cautious about "taking liberties". but a specific answer is impossible without an acquaintance with your musical status. But the extent of such liberties depends upon your aesthetic In principle your question adtraining.

without specitheir works. its by omitting this note you do alter the tone colour of the chord as well as As soon as you have acquired sonority. Chopin evidently meant to have that note played. and anybody who the requisite stretch I would advise that the does possess it note^be not unnecessarily omitted. For. it is the same Beethoven that wrote both works. Which composition does your stage of mental and technical development call for? If you will defer the study of any other com- . Matters Cannot be Will you give me your views as to the which the masters of piano orcj er Studied in Order composition snould be studied r m To fying classify composers. is never advisable. first and last sonatas differ so fundamentally from each other in Beethoven's every particular that one may play the first one very well and yet be for many years (perhaps forever) unable to play the last one. hardly speak of an "order So long as we are dealing of composers.90 for PIANO QUESTIONS you to strike all the four notes. We can." with masters the question should not be: Which master ? but. therefore. And still.

composers have been pianists * by pianists you mean musicians sole Composers as pianist* whose medium of audible musical utterance was the piano. The reason for this is. perhaps. . but none who belongs to the truly great ones. written before him in that line . study of Thalberg's operatic The Study 6*"* transcriptions of any value to the piano f O? <\ j Trantcripstudent? tion9 Is the What was Operatic transcriptions begin with Liszt. there were. your question admits of no other than an affirmative The only exception I can think reply. at that you will need a life of more length than the Bible allots to the average man. the circumstance that the pianist throughout his education is brought into touch with greater poly- phony than the players of other instruments. Is T* It it true that nearly all ? the great The Oreatest . others. of just now was Berlioz.PIANO QUESTIONS works of Beethoven 91 poser until you have fully mastered the only the principal ones. and that polyphony is a basic principle in music. no doubt.

12. Most of these compositions are rather difficult to play. .92 PIANO QUESTIONS (and in some degree contemporary with him. a special inclination of If you feel toward the tran- Thalberg you may play them." by Liadow. hence it includes Thalberg) is hardly of any significance. but there are some ones to be found among them. Speaking very generally. for the piano just at By far the best comes from Russia. Fairy easy by Pachulski. "Fantastic Tales. so that the names are merely a screen to hide the paucity of thoughts and ideas. and others. But if you ask me whether they are of any musical value I must frankly scriptions say. they will not harm you so very much. such as the "Music Box. there seems to be not very much good music written present. no. Modem Heaven" taste ? Are such pieces as "Beautiful Star of or "Falling Waters" in good What contemporary composers names are write good piano music ? Pieces with pretentious usually devoid of such contents as their names imply." No.

They have appeared in two editions. or which one is abridged. they are very good. Indications as to touch. best Good Finger studies for plain finger work? Exercises 99 rni_ e << TV iThe exercises ot Pischna are x i to be What would you say are the recommended. upon the way you play them." You may obtain them through any large music house. What kind of exercises your case demands Exercises f r the . in the Steingraber Edition. etc. are usually given in such books.. of course. They are known as the "large" and the "small Pischna. Beginner to Practise cannot be determined without a personal examination by an expert. I think.PIANO QUESTIONS EXERCISES AND STUDIES Is there 93 any special book of practice exercises that you think best for a beginner and that you would care to recommend ? Any reliable music publisher will tell you which book of exercises is most in demand. provided the . The effect of the exercises depends. Are Heller's studies practical for a The Value mng student lacking in rhythm and / Heller s ' * Studies pression? Yes.

What vou ** regular technical for work would advanced Advanced Piayers to prescribe ." by Hans Seeling (Peters Edition)." what Etudes I ought to Books of for telling Etudes I have finished those by Cramer study." for Technique and Neupert. 154. fairly . and Moscheles. by Carl Baermann (two books).94 PIANO QUESTIONS teacher insists that the pupil plays exactly what is indicated and does not merely Good ll "come near it. published in Germany. Well. I suggest: ^ T" Living in the country. and can play them well." tion)." by Ruthardt (Peters Edi"Etudes. plays pretty well such HI . but find those by Chopin too difficult. I would thank you me "Twelve Etudes Expression. by Edmund "Concert Etudes. Work at pianist one who . Are there no intermediate works ? You seem to be fond of playing Etudes. But why not select an easy Etude by Chopin and make a start? The best preparation selves Etudes For is if not the Etudes them- Heller's Opus a . "Etudes. where there is no teacher available. then.

"Gradus" while my new teacher. and the B flat minor prelude ? My advice to advanced players is always that they should construct their technical exercises out of such material as the different places in the pieces at hand furnish.PIANO QUESTIONS things as the 95 Chopin Etudes in C minor. It serves this purpose . cult passages I suggest that than the latter. he employed the "Gradus" pure and simple. says that it is "outlived. superannuated. one as a peda- gogue." or my new teacher right ? Was my old They were both right. I you first must assume that as exercises." and . 12. dementi's "Gradus ad Parnassum. the other as a musician. and in D flat. As do not mention the reason of your teacher's insistence. mcnti ?f" s insisted upon taking every study in it. No. Opus 10. 8. If you should feel the need of Etudes for increasing your endurance and control of protracted diffi- you take up the Etudes by Baermann and those by The former are a little easier Kessler. No. My i first teacher laid great store by The Value of i . with whom I recently started lessons. Opus 25.

" as your new teacher correctly says.96 PIANO QUESTIONS quite well. the two hands together in a sort of semiautomatic way. the place of the aforesaid the first second sixteenth is to be filled by the second note of the couplet. POLYRHYTHMS Playing How must I execute ? - Duple Apimi against two-eighths atina P US 37 > No find such bars. "outlived. note of their respective groups simultaneously. Frequent correct repe- . though even as studies for the applying of technical disciplines they are. Modern writers have produced studies which on account combine with their technical usefulness greater musical value and attractiveness. triplets played In dementi's Son3 > first P a e y u > Triple will In a slow tempo it may serve you to think of the second eighth-note of the into two triplet as being subdivided After both hands have played sixteenths. In faster motion it is far better to practise at first each hand alone and with somewhat exaggerated accents of each group until the two relative speeds are well estabThen try to play lished in the mind. of their dryness.

study each hand separately until you can depend upon it. by frequent hearing. Think of the points where the two hands have two motions.The Two promptu. the "dead points" of the . you have learned to listen to two rhythms at once. the four notes of the right be How played to the three of the left? Is an exact division possible? Rhythms An exact division would lead to such fractions as the musician has of no means measuring and no terms for expressing. There is but one way to play unequal rhythms simultaneously in both hands. and rely on your automatism until. should. in Chopin's Fantasy Im. listen to and thus train your ear to and control two different rhythms or groupings at the same time. and put them together without thinking of either rhythm. to meet.PIANO QUESTIONS tition of the 97 your figure will soon change semi-automatic state into a con- same scious one.

The last-named . PHRASING The Value an and Can you give an amateur a concise definition o f phrasing and a few helpful Practice suggestions as to clear phrasing ? . the only. of and It make them corresponds closely with punctuation in literature and its recitation. way to do is to the hands separately with practise an exaggerated accent on each beat until the points where the hands meet are well conceived and the relative speed ratios are well understood. Find out the start. and do not be discouraged if the first attempts fail. intelligible. the end. the Then try to play together. in fact. and the culminating point of your phrase. npe The best.98 The Old PIANO QUESTIONS How should the above-quoted notes be brou gllt in with the lower tri P lets ? of ZHH It would be futile to attempt a Time precise Against and conscious division in such cases. Repeat the trial often and you will hands finally the separate practice has been sufficient to produce a semiif succeed automatic action of the hands./ mgr Phrasing subdivision serves to is a rational division and musical sentences.

have to be from a similar- In observing a rest should the hand be Do Not raised from the wrist? Never! Such a motion . is to lift the arm from the keyboard wrist perfectly limp. while the former are usually indicated by phrasing slurs. the rendition of every detail A phrase occurring in an agitated for instance. . Gen- of the melody erally speaking. where. for this must. keeping with the note design. as you say. rendered very differently looking phrase in a slow.PIANO QUESTIONS is 99 usually to be found upon the highest note of the phrase. Marking a made only in rapid wrist octaves or other Rett double notes when a staccato is prescribed. The regular way to conclude a phrase. the decrease of strength sets in. influence in it. 111 5?* should be i . naturally. the rising an increase of strength is combined with up in to the point of culmination. dreamy movement. For artistic phrasing it is of the utmost importance mood properly to recognize the principal of the piece. so carries the loosely and keep the that the arm hanging hand upward. will movement. or observe a pause.

The principle balance. is very misleading. for it can find application only in a very 14 The few isolated cases. How to V Passages I find an explanation of tempo rubato which says that the hand which plays the J Marked "Rvbato" melody may move with all possible freedom. hence. while not absolutely wrong. the rubato can only have sway within the limits of such time as would be consumed if the piece were played in the strictest time. How can this be done ? explanation you found. while the accompanying hand must keep strict time. What you physical shorten of the time in one phrase or part of a phrase you must add at the first opportunity to another in order that the time "stolen" (rubato) in one place may be restituted The aesthetic law demands in another. only inside of one . that the total time-value of a music piece shall not be affected by any rubato.100 PIANO QUESTIONS RUBATO P Will you please tell me what is the best method of P la7 in g ru kato ? Rubato The artistic principles ruling rubato playing are good taste and keeping As to within artistic is bounds.

and the question whether this is to extend over both hands or over only one must be decided by the player's good taste. but a mere assertion or. retain this freedom of each hand when you unite them. a vacillating of time values. allegation. only a few very impulse. and still less do I see the advantage thereof. the perfect ru" is momentary however. I can see only very In playing rubato do you follow a Perfect Ruba tthe preconceived notion or the impulse of the moment? . it also depends upon whether the occupation of the two hands can be thought of as separate and musically independent. bato must be the result of It is. Momentary possible only under Impulse Hence. Tempo ru- means a wavering. are not an explanation.PIANO QUESTIONS 101 short phrase and then hardly satisfacBesides. I assume that you are able to play each hand alone with perfect freedom. bato rather. and I doubt not that you can. the words you quote torily. but few cases to which you could apply such skill. with some practice. Result of Perfect expression perfect freedom. eminent players that have such command .

among which rubato plays a somewhat prominent part. however. so to speak.. as sion The Difference would impair the naturalness of expresand lead to a stereotyped mannerism. i it ^^ ually Correct be individually correct in each ? stance whatever Provided that Certainly! it the conception be preserves the . will do well carefully to consider the shifting of time values and to prepare their execution to a certain degree... function and latter. be carried too it far. its of the Being subordinate to conception. Is there Between Conception and Rubato any difference between conand rubato? Conception is a generic term and comprises the service of each and all means of expression. manner must be governed by the CONCEPTION Different Can one and the Conceptions ce i ve(j differently same phrase be conby different artists and in- Individ. the musical pulse-beat player.102 PIANO QUESTIONS feel over this means of expression as to safe in trusting their momentary im- average player pulses altogether. For ce ption >>. This The should not.

to come. and their respective times value have been read correctly. and that it 103 the parts in building logical relations of is carried through the whole course of the piece Whether a cerin a consistent manner. and that the technical difficulties have. must matters a new piece Which Should be observed Come at once or only after the piece has been First Conception technically mastered? Unless one is a very experienced reader Technique ? it will be hardly possible to think of In the first attempts at of conception i'ii matters of conception until the technical means to express them and the necessary perspective of the piece have been It is always safer first to make gained.PIANO QUESTIONS up the phrase. settled a fair degree. sure that the notes as such. it will be for the aesthetic training and the good taste of the player to determine for each and every case separately. the question must be as to whether the general character . been overThis done. tain conception of a phrase is or is not compatible with the general character of the piece and how far the freedom of conception may extend.

104 of PIANO QUESTIONS the piece is dramatic.. rhapsodic. or changeable. however. FORCE OF EXAMPLE Hearing "Before Studying li Should a pupil hear a piece played before studying it? If the pupil's imagination needs stimu- hear the piece well before studying it. tragic or conciliatory. melody. melancholy. and rather relies upon his purely imitative faculty. is Only when our mind on this made up with the utmost definite- can we approach the details that are conditioned by the conception. e. lyric. and so forth. point ness. played he is merely too lazy to find out the lation he should rhythm. but be compelled to do his own reading and thinking. With- . and so forth. he should not hear it. THEORY Why the Do you recommend the study of harmony -D Pianist an(j Should Study counterpoint to the piano student? 11 rr i To gam a musical *ty *" means! i Harmony insight into the pieces you play you must be able to follow the course of their harmonies and understand the contrapuntal treatment of their themes. i. If. humorous.

so supposed to be necessary to Why have fifteen keys to complete the circle D ^/ rent would not twelve suffice. Keys ? of fifths ? Why Why and thus avoid duplicate keys ? Not fifteen. and they are all necessary because of the many harmonic turns that occur in modern music and which could not be intelligently demonstrated unless we use the tonalities with seven.PIANO QUESTIONS 105 out the knowledge gained through a serious study of harmony and counter-point your conceptions will be pure guesswork and will lack in outline is it and definiteness. yet the scale of tive) its dominant (its next rela- has eight sharps. For otherwise we might have to change the signature so frequently as to become utterly confusing to even the most musicianly reader. but twenty-five tonalities complete the circle of fifths. theoretically. it Is absolutely necessary for me to The Re- study harmony in connection with my piano ? My teacher wants me to do it. C-sharp minor has but four sharps. ^^ to ' v Piano- but I don't see the use! is Of what benefit harmony ? . nine or more sharps and flats. eight.

therefore. though no longer modern. This means. of or dealer. requires a general musical education. Richter and Bussler wrote works of recognized merit. add the study of counterpoint and Your teacher is absolutely right. For this reason I feel a certain hesitation in recommending at this time the text-books which I studied many years ago.106 PIANO QUESTIONS is Of what benefit work a child has the general school- to go through? To play the piano well a good hand and so many hours of practice are not sufficient. Would you Qr of e ^^ Q f ^k care to est recommend two books on the study is harmony ? i_ a The doctrine of harmony ever the same. to inquire of some good teacher of harmony or. F. at least. to which you may it later forms. . I trust. but the modes of teaching it are constantly changing and. a reliable music publisher E. especially as I am not certain that they have been translated into English. I advise you. a knowledge of harmony. improving. which. first and foremost. may be safely studied.

certain never to for this study. so as to connect two pieces of different Modu ' \ late tonality ? Possible. Generally speaking. for since in your written exercises you are likely to err at times. will furnish you with a of . ^ provided you are misunderstand your text-book and never to commit any errors. is always better than It is quite possible. Is it possible to study counterpoint Studying Co te without a teacher. yes. you will need some one to point out your errors and so show you the way to correct them. and.PIANO QUESTIONS 107 Learning Is it possible to learn modulating from a book without the aid of a teacher. but not probable. Of text-books there are a great many. what book ^_ pmnt by can you recommend lor its study ? One's Self 9 ' . if so. Otherwise you will need the advice of an experienced musician in A good teacher. I do not think much of studying the rudiments of anything without the aid of an experienced adviser. Any reliable music list house them. howcorrecting them. a book ever.

which practically. con- dition of a musical work means. there may be little places in the in your mind more quickly when you have come in touch with the technical act of putting down on paper what your mind has Sonata that will clear up created. Copying . Students Try compose if I feel the inclination r T and believe 1 have some talent for it ? . however. as an encouragement to write two-steps! The ^ Please advise l me as to the best way Wants to Compose cou \^ earnm g composition.108 Should PIANO QUESTIONS my study of the piano shall I P> to Besides try to J . practice of constructing will alfacilitate your work of reconstructis. and you will altogether lose the attitude of the absolute stranger when facing a new composition. I advise every one struct even his who feels able to little a modest it. still.. piece to try if hand at Of course. Do not construe this. Compose? The ways ing. what the renHence. you can write only a two-step it will not enable you to reconstruct a Beethoven Sonata. Which is the best work of that kind from which I l ea m ? First learn to write notes.

you every one of these stages there are many. third. all the books is a good What is the difference scale ? between the The major and minor Does it lie in the arrangement of semitones or in the Major an ? character. and. in the character. upon the true minor scale. in the circumstance that the minor scale admits of a number of modifications for melodic purposes which cannot be made major scale. Take up until but better than teacher. Then study forms the fugue. but it sounds Scale is My . mony. the harmonic. second. in scales the arrangement of the semitones. ugly to me. in the Which insists is melodic or the harmonic . Will you please it ? tell me something about . the There ? teacher Of* Mino m . or in both ? There are three differences: First. Follow it up by a study of the various forms of counterpoint.PIANO QUESTIONS all sorts of 109 the best practice for Then study the doctrine of harthat. Proceed is music to canon in its many kinds and intervals. Books for learn to feel them.

110 PIANO QUESTIONS There is but one minor scale. raising a natural note by a sharp. it is the one upon which the chords of its tonality are built. scale. while the minor scale has a . nor is it the only one in use. upon its you obtain the minor however. and a flat note by a natural.. in which. it is the one upon which your teacher wisely insists. because the socalled melodic minor scale offers no new intervals to your fingers.. raise the seventh. many modifications are adfor missible for melodic (though not harmonic) purposes. counting it as the first of the minor. If you begin your major scale sixth degree and. . Scales? minor third and sixth and raises its seventh to a major seventh by an accidental elevating sign. What is What is the i difference scales ? between the the Difference Be- ma*L j or an(j m nOr tween the I he major scale has a major third sixth. and because the term melodic minor scale is applied to that form of deviation from the real scale which is most frequently used. but which is by no means the only deviation that is possible.

To make the matter quite plain let me say. that "Cantata" (from . mazurka only four measures. naise are all mazurka. its The into subdivides quarters eighths. first. the full needs sixteen a menuet needs only eight. In a mazurka a motive occupies only one measure. and polonaise in the waltz four. menuet. usually into two sixteenths therefore. by its rhythm. The difference between them lies in the structure. in the expression of a theme menuet two. None of their definitions seems to apply to the i Toccata by Chaminade. from the other three dances . and polo- in three-fourth time and are not confined to a definite tempo. and the second eighth it differs. A waltz period that is. a measures. and ^^ differences Waltz. in is it 111 are both in How which they ? only the tempo or are there other Mazurka. is The meaning of the word "Toccata"? I do not find it in the Italian lexicon and the English musical What the dictionaries differ widely in their definitions.PIANO QUESTIONS As a waltz and a menuet three-fourth time. differ.

at present. and "Toccato" meant a piece for keyboard instruments like the organ or piano its and precursors.PIANO QUESTIONS to sing) meant in olden times a music piece to be sung. written with the intention of providing special opportunities for the display of the skill of touch (from toccare to touch) or. finger technique. is written on similar lines. like the modern Cantata and Sonata. while "Sonata" to play) designated a (from suonare cantare piece to be played on an instrument. Playing Is j- ^ ." of which Weber's "Perpetuum mobile" is a good example. very much like those that are called "moto perpetuo" or "perpetual motion. which I do not know. we would The original meanings have changed so that these terms now imply definite forms. I have no doubt that the Toccata by Chaminade. as now say. THE MEMORY memorization absolutely essential Mem y to a good player ? Is Indi*Playing from memory is indispensable pensable o You have f ree dom of rendition. The Toccata is. understood to be a piece in constant and regular motion.

of of memory a species tell me which is the The memorize a piano piece? Easiest easiest way * Way to Begin by playing it a few times very Memorize carefully and slowly until you can play Will you please to . They take the music with who them only to heighten their feeling security and to counteract a lack confidence in their of nervousness. nevertheless. you you let Now the piece rest to trace in for a whole day and try your mind the train of thoughts Should you come to a dead in the piece. . with a fair degree of exactitude (you need not mind an occasional stopping). Your mind will keep on working. take the printed sheets before them on the stage play. If you find that the memory is a blank . subconsciously. as over a puzzle. always trying to find the continuation. Then go over such places as appeared it to especially complex until understand their construction. from memory.PIANO QUESTIONS to bear in 113 your mind and memory the whole piece in order to attend properly Some renowned players to its details. . stop be satisfied with what you have achieved.

this does not mean that you can now play it from memory. The development of the acoustic picture (the tone-picture) The tentative playing is like the bath. end. Of course. a piece of music mentally resembles that of photographing. last. You have only arrived at the point of transition from the imagined to the real. and look into the printed sheets (which should not be on the music-rack but away from it) only when your memory absolutely refuses The real work with the printed to go.114 take PIANO QUESTIONS the music in hand. but in large outlines. look at the but only at this particular place and. continue the work of mental At the next stop repeat this procedure until you have reached the tracing. of study: and now begins a new kind to transfer to the instrument have this mentally absorbed.on. since you have now found the connection. it music should be reserved to the and you should regard in the light of a proof-reading of your mental impresThe whole process of absorbing sions. not in every detail. is like the process of "fixing" against . what you Try to do piece by piece.

Special studies for the memory have not come to my knowledge because I never had any need of them.PIANO QUESTIONS 115 sensitiveness to lights. One phrase toanother to-morrow. before TV my 1 have pieces 11 from can Memorizmemory IH 9 Q ulck j Ai and For ' fully mastered as their getting as technical difficulties. and the final work with the printed music is the retouching. until day. that Can you suggest any method would make it easier? retain in one's Mem - Easily To memory what not interest one is difficult while that which easy. it may be said that nothing will assist a naturally reluctant memory so much as a general musical education. does interest us comes In your case the first requirement seems to be that your interest in the pieces you are to play be awakened. rize is the memory grows by memorize very play its own force through being exercised. so that I often . to everybody. the best way to memoto memorize. I find it very hard to memorize my does In Order to . music. easily. my teacher Readily . and so on. After all. This interest usually comes with a deeper understanding of music. hence. I .

To Keep Errors I can always J can pj ay ft f ast memorize a piece before J) Q y QU a(J v i se p ra c- Creeping tising in it with notes when I already know heart ? by The occasional playing of a memorized piece from the notes will keep errors from creeping in. the other is more cumbrous in its action A it acquires slowly. but retains forever. I never heard of such a case. not remember enough of them to play them clear through. advise. playing your memorized pieces over (carefully) every four or five days. Other remedies I know not and I see no necessity for them. provided you read the music correctly and carefully. PIANO QUESTIONS But I forget them just as so that in a few weeks I canquickly.116 says. to retentive ? make What would you my memory more of There are two fundamental types memory : One is very mobile it ac- quires quickly and loses just as quickly. . A remedy against in forgetting you in will find refreshing your memory regular periods. combination of the two is very rare. indeed.

What is a good plan to pursue to im." and this. 117 there assist . for the more complete this is the better you will be able to surmise A the logical sequel of a phrase once started. . even though at first some slight inaccuracies may creep quick reading you develop that faculty of the eye which is meant by in. Reading By "grasp.To Gain ? prove the facility in sight-reading Facility in Much reading and playing at sight and as fast as possible. The upon rapidity of your progress depends the state of your general musical education. .. ACCOMPANYING How sight ? can one learn to accompany at Learning to Accom* Develop your sight-reading by playing . as you will find upon analyz- ing your book-reading. facilitates your reading of details. any practical method that The Best one to greater rapidity in ^^ to * ? a Improve sight-reading The best way to become a quick Reading reader is to read as much as possible. large part of sight-reading consists of surmising. in turn.PIANO QUESTIONS SIGHT READING Is will .

one must have what is called in musical slang a that is. while of The Art AccomSoloist panying a should one manage the accomp an i ment for a soloist inclined to play x r * rubato? Since you cannot make a contract of artistically How binding force with a soloist you must take refuge in "following. sense. one must musigood "nose" cally "scent" whither the soloist is going. to ment a good accompanist. rather endeavour to divine the intentions of your soloist from mo- moment. but we cannot acquire a nose by learning. then. Learning the Art o] Wishing to become an accompanist I anticipate completing lin. the nose is one of the things we are born with. But. for this divining is the To be. my studies in Ber- panying What salary might I expect and what would be the best "course" to pursue? .118 PIANO QUESTIONS playing to many accompaniments. in this soul of accompanying. We may develop it. as to its sensitiveness." But do not take this word in its literal meaning. and endeavour also your part read and inwardly hear the solo part. but not everything. Experience will do much in these premises.

for instance. Then transfer the sound picture to another tonality in your mind. some may may be possibly courses in which experience special be fostered. o T u ui / otner ? 1 have trouble. please. I The mean by until this that you must study the piece printed groups. What. violin. If you come to Berlin though there to find you will find it easy seem to be seeking. in 0t at p ing Sight playing for singing if the piece is in major and the singer wants it in P major. panists.PIANO QUESTIONS An 119 experienced and very clever accompanist may possibly earn as much as fifty dollars a week if associated with a vocal. is j? A question of transposing hinges on the process of hearing through the eye. accompanare expected to be able to play solos. what you TRANSPOSING the quickest and safest The way of transposing from one key to anf Trans *i. There are no special schools for accomists renown. not as key pictures. however. very much as if when you learn to conceive the music as sounds and sound moving from one floor to another with . or 'cello artist of great Usually.

Transposition on somewhat different at sight based principles. and that transposing at sight is. of course. it also . still more difficult than to trans- pose after studying the piece beforehand. Practice will. difficult If you you may transposition derive consolation from it is find the thought that difficult for every- body. To play for people is not only a good incentive for further aspirations. but take good care to go over them From time to time you may the difficult places slowly afterward in order to eliminate any slight errors or unevenness that may have crept in. Here you have to get mentally settled in the new tonality. PLAYING FOR PEOPLE When < to p T" may ^ P^ ^ or P60?' 6 outside world? study (fronds or strangers) or should I keep entirely away from the During the period of serious play for people the pieces you have mastered. of course. facilitate this process is very much.120 all PIANO QUESTIONS your household goods you were to place them on the new floor as they were placed on the old. and then follow the course of intervals.

obsolete idea which probably originated in the endeavour to curb the vanity of such students as would neglect their studies in hunting. can I overcome it? I can never do myself to my How People you are absolutely certain that your trouble is due to "nervousness" you should improve the condition of your nerves by proper exercise in the open air and by consulting your physician. at home. prematurely. or. justice when "Afraid nerfor people. and ment. indicates thereby the road to improveTo retire from the outside world during the period of study is an outlived. because of playing jj^ 9' vousness. slowly will and keep This carefully. the piece intact and bring you many other unexpected advantages. worse yet. But are you quite sure that your "nervousIf ness" is not merely another name for self-consciousness.PIANO QUESTIONS of 121 furnishes you with a fairly exact estimate your abilities and shortcomings. for for applause. for a . I recommend playing people moderately and on the condition that for every such "performance" of a piece you play it afterward twice.

When . effect that it originally possible for a player by his art and technical resources so to colour his tones that he can stimulate and produce in his audience an emotional condition which he himself does not at the time feel ? In music emotion can be conveyed only through the means and modes of expression that are peculiar to music. vacillations of tempo. and concentrate your thinking upon the work you are to do. This you can well achieve by will-power and persistent self-training. such as dynamic changes. After a piece been played several hundred times can hardly produce on the player the Is it same emotional did. while in the former you must learn to discard all thought of your dear self.PIANO QUESTIONS *'bad conscience" on the score of technical security? In the latter case you ought to perfect your technique. Effect of I have heard artists play the same h^Same Piece P^ ece vear a^ ter vear an(l eacn ^me as expressively Often k^ it as before. differences of touch and kindred a piece is played in public very often on consecutive occadevices. as well as of your hearers in relation to you.

as if rearrangements. return from time to time to slow practice in which he also refrains almost entirely from expression. often without having a number of errors.PIANO QUESTIONS sions 123 which artists avoid as much as these expressions gradually can they assume a distinct form which is quite capable of preservation. in order to eliminate them and to cleanse the piece. slight changes creeping into it. but I feel wh to Fai i s Express Herself they that do not care for my playing. I love music dearly and my teacher is The st always satisfied with my lessons. he must. even my mother says that my playing is "mechanical. Though it will in time lose its life-breath. but when I play for my friends I never make a success. one great advanSince he cannot play a piece very tage. In this parallel the artist has. When in the next public performance the tempo and expression are added again they tend strongly to renew the freshright ness of the piece in the player's mind. however." How can I change it? . They compliment me. it can still produce a deception just as (to draw a drastic parallel) a dead person may look he were only asleep.

By looking well and listening you can learn their modes of expression and employ them first by imitation until the habit of "saying something'* when you play has grown upon you. that you need an inward change before there can be any outward change. if this is the lack of expression in your playing should emanate from a lack of feeling in yourself. however. though. then your case would be incurable. although there are no remedies that would act directly. you play "me- chanically" because you do not know how to express your emotions in your I suspect it to be so playing then you are curable. I think. The Art Pla of I n the musical manifestations of feeling $ith how does the artist ctiefly differ from Feeling the amateur? .124 It is PIANO QUESTIONS just possible that your friends and your mother may not be amenable to the high class of music which you play. If. I and suggest that you form close associations with good musicians and with lovers of good music. but not the case your If affliction cannot be cured offhand.

before were well to make . Not so the amateur. etc. touch. but both are gence in all manner worthless without ability. He delivers the composer's message truthfully. contrasts. that he is endowed with an "indivi- duality" so strong as to justify an indulof "liberties." that is. changes. it Hence. concerning speed. playing with feeling. licence. Without unduly repressing or suppressing individuality he respects the com- poser's intentions by punctiliously obeying every hint or suggestion he finds in the annotations. to Long before he is able play the piece correctly he begins to twist and turn things in it to suit himself.PIANO QUESTIONS The Above artist expresses his feelings 125 with due deference to the canons of art. under the belief. I suppose. Feeling is a great thing. so is the will to express it. all. he plays correctly without his playing allowing this ever-present correctness to make his seem lacking in feeling. His personality or individuality reveals itself solely in the way he understands the composition and in the manner in which he executes the composer's prescriptions. force.

they betray the pianist's effort to deflect the auditors' attention from the composition to himself. and so forth. But he very seldom does. . feeling probably unable to satisfy his auditors with the result of his playing and. strength. too? All such actions as you describe reveal a lack of the player's proper self-control when in. Affected upon with Piano any justification for the swaynS of the bodv the nodding of the head.126 PIANO QUESTIONS sure that everything in the piece is in the right place. and ' Is there grotesque actions in general while playing the piano. and not only of the notes per se is a matter that every good teacher insists even in the earliest grades of advancement. which is not infrequently the case. Correct reading touch. so frequently exhibited not only by amateurs but by all concert players. in the right time. The amateur should make sure of that before he allows his "feelings" to run riot. the exaggerated motion of the arms. therefore. his pupils. they are unconsciously indulged When they are consciously com- mitted.

their difficulties lie in an entirely stop. but to become an exponent of musical art on the piano requires deeper different field. ABOUT THE PIANO PER SE Do you believe that the piano is the Is the most difficult of all instruments to master p no more so than the organ or the violin ? Hardest If SO. because the pianist must present . is more difficult to master than the organ. and this fact precludes with the piano.PIANO QUESTIONS resorting to illustration 127 less by more or exaggerated gesture. has a good deal to do with the matter. because the tone-production on the piano is not so purely mechan- why ? The piano to Master ical as it is touch is whatever variety or colour of tone the moment requires. General well-manneredness. Technically. As to string instruments. whereas the organist is on the organ. The pianist's the immediate producer of powerless to produce any change of tone colour except by pulling a different His fingers do not and cannot produce the change. comparison the string instrument may be more difficult. study. or its absence.

With no other means of musically expressing yourself than a cornet it is highly improbable that you will be able to write or conduct a symphony. If musical aims are serious by all your means take Why the to the piano. difficult. and wishing to become a conductor and composer.128 PIANO QUESTIONS to his hearers the totality of a composition while the string instruments depend for the most part upon the accompaniments of some other instruments. Piano than Popular do more people play the piano any other instrument ? Because the rudimentary stages of music study are easier on the piano than on any other instrument. Piano Study ductor and Being a cornet player. theoretical studies and a the study of the in addition to my if common college course. The higher Why stages. however. It depends upon what you wish to conduct and what to compose. to write a march or dance piece. But you may be able to lead a brass band and. I should like to is know Composer piano necessary broad. perhaps. are is so much more and it then that the piano .

all the more at handy violin. perhaps. perhaps. when the discrimination begins between the various parts speaking simultaneously. for If instance. proaches polyphony. he must have trained his right arm. then the real work begins It not to speak of is. nerve-consuming difficulties await them later and beset the path to that mastery which so few . smaller. violinist or 'cellist 129 A who can play a melody and with good tone is considered simply a fairly good amateur. aye. for this reason velocity. for he must have mastered the difficulty of tone-production. that in reality there are a great many more violinists than pianists. beginners the piano realized what exasperating. A pianist who can play a melody equally When he apwell is the merest tyro. but the reason for this is to be found in the small range of 'cello is literature and also. harassing.PIANO QUESTIONS gets even with the bold aggressor. in the com- parative unwieldiness of the instrument. which does not admit of technical de- velopment as. if by either we mean persons who really master The number of 'cellists their instrument. discouraging.

Nearly all the great technicians had or best piano The have proportioned hands. because they are to be considered only in matters orchestral and not seriously as solo instruments.130 PIANO QUESTIONS would be far fewer piano more people would study 'cello. ^ The What shape the best f r of Piano P ian hand do you consider P lay inS ? Mine k fingers. The Com- the Player Would you advise players with small hands to SiiiemPi the heavier class of compositions by Liszt? Never! Whether the hands are too . The genuine piano hand must be broad. there students and the violin or the Of I and the wind instruments the harp need not speak. pretty. Hand very broad. The length of the fingers must be in proportion to the width of the hand. in order to give each finger a strong base for the action of of phalanges and to give this base space enough for the development its the various sets of muscles. but it is the width which I consider most important. achieve. narrow hand with long fingers. with rather long hand is not the popular.

What .jw ^ e ' physical exercises are most ad. Do likewise. you always run the serious risk of overstraining. Be guided by the nature and the type of your hand rather than by its rapidity of execution. for all exertion of . should be most carefully avoided. This. Best ing clubs to strengthen wrists and arms. leave it alone and remember that singers choose their songs If not because they lie within their compass. Can you not imaginary replace the real clubs by ones? Since club-swinging tends to develop the agility of the arms and wrists rather than their strength you can easily make the same motions without the clubs. be taken in connection r hy s lcal vantageous Exercise with piano practice ? 1 have been swing.The to . am inclined to think that what you imagined was not far from the truth. you cannot play a certain piece without undue physical strain.PIANO QUESTIONS 131 small or the stretch between the fingers if too narrow you attempt a piece which for these or other physical reasons you cannot fully master. Pianist but have imagined I it stiffened my fingers. but because they suit their voice. however.

for it engages every part general compelling deep health through increased of the body.132 PIANO QUESTIONS force that keeps the hands in a closed condition is bound to have a bad effect on piano playing. therefore. and when I take no interest in it ? Most emphatically. the pressure of the reins upon the fingers. to my riding horse- ac ]. Every in Fingers Yes. but he says I overdo the it and i /v f* it stiffens is. allow the effect of one ride upon your fingers to disappear completely before dulge in another. Horseback . Undoubtedly the best is however. no altogether. and by breathing it fosters the oxy- genation. You should. as constant as it is the case in horseback riding. you in- When to ep Do ybu think I should play and j^a from the Piano study the piano just because it is asked of me. my nngers. is surely not advantageous for the elasticity of the fingers. The closed position of the hand. he T i i Is he right ? abuse carries its own punishment its train. My teacher objects f. no! It would be . exercise of in the all. brisk walking open and every organ air.



crime against yourself and against music. What little interest in music you may have left would be killed by a study that is distasteful to you, and


would be, therefore, bound to lead failure. Leave this study to people

who are sincerely interested
heaven, there are



of those,

sure, always however, that you are really not interested, and discriminate well between a lack of


be some!


and a mere opposition to a too strenuous urging on the part perhaps of your relatives. advice would be


to quit the study for a time entirely; if, after a while, you feel a craving for

music you


way to your This advice, of course, holds



good also for violin students or any type of music student.


Must I persist in playing classical pieces when I prefer to play dance music ? r


That One . i i i-j. i in yo.ur daily life, you wish to be Keeps in regarded as a lady or a gentleman you

are obliged to be careful as to the company you keep. It is the same in musical life.



you associate with the noble thoughts that constitute good or, as you call it, classical music, you will be counted
with a higher class in the world of music. that you cannot go through a flour-mill without getting dusty. Of course, not all pieces of dance music are bad; but the general run of them are such poor, if not vulgar, stuff as hardly to deserve the name of "compositions."


Usually they are mere "expositions" of bad taste. Of these I w arn you for

your own sake, and if you wish to avoid the danger of confounding the good and the bad in that line it is best to abstain from it entirely. If dance music it must be, why, have you never heard of the waltzes and mazurkas by Chopin ?




Do you believe the playing of the modern rag-time piece to be actually hurtful to the student?
I do, indeed, unless for a frolic;

done merely such a mood though even
it is

might vent itself in better taste. The touch with vulgarity can never be but hurtful, whatever form vulgarity may whether it be literature, a assume

person, or a piece of music. the musical food of those





breeding or circumstance, debarred from anything better? The vulgar impulse

which generated rag-time cannot arouse a noble impulse in response any more than "dime novels" can awaken the
instincts of gentlemanliness or ladyship. If we watch the street-sweeper we are

But remember that the dust on the mind and soul is not so easily removed as the dust on our clothes.
liable to get dusty.

can we know that our talent is What the great enough to warrant us in bestowing Object of year after year of work upon its develop- should


ment ?


Pleasure and interest should be such it is in the actual working that one

is Do not think so much of repaid. the end of your work. Do not force your work with the one view of becoming

a great


Let Providence and the

Go on

decide your standing in music. studying with earnestness and

find your pleasure in the not in the accomplishment. endeavour,






national tional ano Pitch pj

as regards tuning ? People say that a certain piano is pitched lower than another.


meant by "pitch"



F on


on one piano actually sound another? would if the pianos were not

only recently that an international pitch has been estab-

pitched alike.

which was adopted everywhere except in England. In the international
pitch the
treble staff


in the second space of the

makes 435

vibrations a second.



Which piano pitch is preferable, "concert" or "international"?



means the "international," bewill

your piano to be used in conjunction with any other instrument, no matter whence it may come. Besides,
the international pitch was decided upon far back as 1859, in Paris, by

a government commission, numbering among its members such men as Auber,
Halevy, Berlioz, Meyerbeer, Rossini,


Thomas, and many
this that, in



You can

determining that the



second space of the treble staff should have 435 vibrations a second, all phases of music vocal, instrumental, have been string, brass, wood, wind
in the


duly considered.
Is there really eighths of a tone

a difference of three- The Wellbetween A-sharp and p^o

on the piano ? There is no difference on the piano. But acoustically there is a difference, over which, however, I would waste no time, since the evenly-tempered scale has been generally adopted, and every composition from Bach's time to the present day has been thought and

written in



one particular key is more or less rich J r , , ,. or melodious than another ? The effect of a tonality upon our hearing lies not in its signature (as even Beethoven seemed to believe) but in the vibration

not a mistaken idea that any The "


" cmr fr Various




therefore, irrelevant

whether we play a piece upon a highpitched piano in C, or upon a low-pitched There are certain keys piano in D flat.



preferable to others for certain colours, but I fear that the preference is based not upon acoustic qualities but rather

upon a


for the

hand or



apply the word "colour" as


to tone as the painters apply "tone" to colour, but I hardly think that anybody

would speak of C major as representing black, or F major green.

Starting a

At what age should a

child begin the






daughter (six years old) violin should she first spend a few years with the piano, or vice versa ? The usual age for a child to begin the study of music is between six

to study the

and seven




needs to learn another become a well-rounded

hardly instrument to



musician, but the players of and also instruments,



much hampered













the piano.

gift and and the opportunity intelligence. . age need not stand in your way. Age cannot take more than one hour's lesson a week. and your hour's lesson a week is with a good teacher. Do you is think that mastery of the piano Twentyot fa e unlikely or impossible when the begin- ^ ner twenty-five years of age ? It is neither unlikely nor impossible. If your three hours of study are properly used. If. Your age the elasticity of the fingers and wrists could be developed much more quickly if you were ten years younger. to study. how- you are endowed with strong musical gifts in the abstract you will achieve results superior to those attained by with less talent.PIANO QUESTIONS I 139 of the not longer in my first youth. and cannot practise more than three am hours a to day. In younger people overcoming the difficulties due to a late ever. is to Begin will to some degree handicap because from purely physical causes you. Would you the still advise me begin is study of the piano ? Provided there the will. you should not become discouraged.

find great inward and your attainments are bound to be a source of joy to you. and have I should advise best to send your city where there is you your boy to some near-by an excellent teacher. to try . Many have tried all their lives to rid people themselves of the bad habits acquired from an ignorant teacher in the rudi- mentary stages of failed. For nothing is more possibly dangerous for the development of a talent than a bad foundation. seriousness of your question is the statement that you aggravated by live in a small town. And yet it is only such a one that I can recommend for your son. and that there is The no teacher of ability to be be found in your town.140 PIANO QUESTIONS will beginning you satisfaction. their studies. have been Right Teacher advised that an ordinarily good teacher js g OO d enough to begin with. LESSONS AND METHODS The ImI have a son P a7 learninS to P lay who tlie is very desirous of I ^ the piano. Others tell me teacher possible. vise ? a beginner should get the best Which would you adI live in a small town. TEACHERS.

any way." is one of most harmful fallacies. is it $ necessary to go to an expensive teacher at once or would a cheaper teacher do for the beginning? If music is to be merely a pastime. we put a sandstone house over it. the cheaper teacher do. knowing not even the notes. the sake of and my great love for music. that the road a cheaper teacher has led you to take must usually be retraced when your aspiration* rise toward the better in music. and you content yourself with a mini- mum will of knowledge. just for But the . by all means. The maxim: "For this or that is the beginning good enough." Remember also.PIANO QUESTIONS 141 Wishing to begin the study of the piano Nothing now.private quiring a general musical education. why. the Shall I take my lessons in a music Music Schools school or from a private teacher? a Music schools are very good for ac. Teachers . but if you aspire to become musical in a better sense. apply to a teacher of the better class. What would you think of an architect who says: "For the foundation loam is good enough. in my twenty-fourth year.

would you with the individual arCor* a dvise a continuance or attendance at a college of tervatory? teacher music or conservatory? For a general musical education I always recommend a good music school or conservatory. For the study of the piano I think it best to take private lessons from an artist who is experienced . but by the majority of music schools.) I should naturally prefer private instruction from a specialist. the voice. counterpoint. What I should advise would be a combination: General matters harmony. such a man at their head. violin. etc. After taking lessons for five years and ?d> a half from a good teacher. forms. and private lessons for . because he can give 1 more attention to each individual pupil than is possible under the wholesa ^ system followed.142 PIANO QUESTIONS of For the higher study an executive specialty (piano. and in these you Individ- find the best combination. not by all. history. your specialty from a teacher who has an established name as an executive The best music schools have artist. and aesthetics in a music school.

however. and /. advise you to obtain an experienced of pianist's is criticism in order to assure yourself that your idea "mastering" right. opus 47. I am justified in continuing my lessons ? you have really "masAssuming tered" the works you mention I can only that encourage you to continue your lessons. at their head. Some music schools have such men on their staff. and a man teacher alization for a man ? of gener- Your question does not admit view. Smith's Octave Studies. by Heller. \ Berens. indeed. f ihe . is a woman teacher Teach* preferable for any reason for a girl and ' . opus 61.PIANO QUESTIONS 143 both as an executant and as a teacher. if not. from a purely musical point of It must be on this premise decided by the quality. Having had twenty months' lessons Where u de and having now mastered Etudes by Criticism ^ ^ __. not by the sex. do you think . A good feminine teacher is better than a bad masculine one. Is there any preference as to sex in The Se* the question of choosing a piano teacher. of the teacher. I would. and . Piano in other words.

Most of the methods in vogue contain some good points about a grain of truth to a ton of mere ballast. and that you have excellent reason to trust in her guidance.144 PIANO QUESTIONS The vice versa. is not wrong. Your the most method-ridden country in the world. Kindly advise me whether a method if is not the best thing for a novice. Since you do not specify with what "other" methods you wish to compare that of arts: . so. question of sex does not enter into the matter. What Le the lizk~ How does the Leschetizky rank w itb otner methods. and. which one ? teacher. Your teacher's utterance makes me think that you were lucky in finding her. Of course. greater of Too number Muck 61 My the word "method" recently engaged teacher says that jars on her nerves. the eminent teachers are found on the masculine side. while possibly a little America is over-sensitive. and in method what Method Is respect does it differ from them ? There are but two methods in all the a good one and a bad one.

so many But the majority of them deliberate disregard upon a for that reverence which to the compositions and rendition to great example of their is due given by great interpreters. 145 Leschetizky I cannot answer you with "methods"! are based There are. have not studied with Leschetizky. of the tendons Has a young piano fairly pupil. alas. but I think that he believes in a very low position of the hand and a sort of I super-energetic tension of the arms and hands. teacher's ability. cases of irregularly attended or poorly prepared lessons the lack of sympathy means nothing more than that the pupil is a trifler and the teacher's honesty taste. but even matter he In most apt to judge prematurely. of purpose is not to his . tested Trial a teacher's ability? course not! Of like Altogether I do not the idea of a pupil's testing his the reverse. after studying the Give irregularly for two months. rather He may is possibly find his this teacher un- sympathetic.PIANO QUESTIONS definiteness.

you must apply to another teacher. cost- little. to the development of and hands. or retard such with my should I de- development so as to keep pace with the expansion of the mind ? Your question is interesting. any using I do not know what to do such book. and a few pages of it. I am disposed to think that he is better than the first one." with left I have a f over rom lessons my first Teacher or Get a New One was very expensive. plays no part in the what you say of the new teacher. But if . By A book. if not. The Commencing piano seven-year-old lessons For a vote Little my fi efforts t ne ngers daughter.146 Either Trust PIANO QUESTIONS "Piano Method. We moved teacher. it. t eac j ier about advice. you you are advised to or him you must do do. as she says. ing much matter. first of all. it I learned only to a differ- objects to the book. or. decide in your own mind whether you have or When you have as not If absolute trust confidence in his ability. and would thank you for your apply to a teacher for instruction you must. however.

young student one hour lesson or two half-hour a week? Is it better for a to take Frequent lessons a ^ orw Shorter Since young students are liable to form bad habits it is essential that they should come under the teacher's eye as frequently as possible. status.PIANO QUESTIONS 147 and your mind is clear on that point it seems to be that a one-sided development (in this case technical) is dangerous to the "musical" talent of your little daughter. why. Hence. then. Which plan is better for a child of Number : Le9S eleven or twelve years to take a one-hour ^ ^ lesson or two half -hour lessons a week ? on Pr 9 res* The child's age is not the determining factor in this matter. In the Is ." Your very question is a credit to your insight. indeed. it is preferable to divide the hour into two equidistant parts. "out of danger. your little girl is. it is his musical one lesson a week inadequate for On* a piano student ? It will be sufficient in the more advanced stages of piano study.

why not ? You will see much. you will have "studied but abroad. mentally ripe works as they are written. however. United begun to understand that the States affords just as good instruction in . where the of forming bad habits is greatest. also hear and some of it not quite so much to If and. Better Not What s *x little classics are best for a child nV a^ ter Child ' months' lessons ? "Modified Classics There are collections without number Q f facilitated or simplified arrangements of classic pieces. but I do not altogether approve of them." While this slogan still exercises a certain charm upon some people in America.148 PIANO QUESTIONS it earlier stages. is best to bring the pupil under his teacher's eye twice a week at the very least. above to approach such all. Let the classics wait until the child is technically and. Can Studied^n America? Is it necessary for me to go to Europe con ^ nue my Eausic studies? you have very much money to spare. their number is growing less because the public has year by year. last sublime as you anticipated not least.

let me say that in Berlin I found Godowsky's pupils to be almost exclusively Americans. resident Americans and foreigners. They came from various sections of America to study with him and with no one else. Many a young student who went abroad as a lamb returned as a mutton-head. And why should there not be excellent teachers in America by this time ? Even if you should insist upon a European teacher you can find many of the best Is it not simpler that one in America. Perhaps he was too near by! Why this self-deception ? Without mentioning any names I assure you that . But during the eighteen years he spent in Chicago they did not seem to want him. To quote a case in point. or Boston. teacher from Europe go to America to teach a hundred students than that a hundred students should make the trip for the sake of one teacher? I should advise you to stay where you are or go to Philadelphia. native. It has also been found out that to "study abroad" is by no means a guarantee of a triumphant return. where you can find excellent teachers. New York.PIANO QUESTIONS 149 music as Europe does.

Make your pupils feel that it is their club and act. and also give Published . please. Ask the secretaries of a number of musical clubs for their constitutions and by-laws and then adapt these to your locality and circumstances. yourself." a serviceable book. f .150 PIANO QUESTIONS many teachers in America there are now they should go to Europe. or that of a great composer. to Get Music .. It to the superstitious belief in "studying high time to put an end abroad. How Please explain how to go about publisting a piece of music. i . You by will find the Baltzell. Also give me a name. As a name for your club I suggest that of Saint Cethe patron saint of music cilia perhaps... as secretary. . would draw a host of students after them. the name of some good publishing houses. if possible." MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS Organiz- 9 cal Please give me the name of a good on musical history and advise me Club book how to organize and conduct a musical club among my pupils. if some of these is excellent men I know personally. "History of Music. and who.

Every teacher I had prom. and he will then decide and negotiate with you. try some other house.The Student thing that goes quick. If he should not care for it he will return your manuscript and you may I advise you. What is the difference between playing "in time" and playing "in rhythm"? life in Time " Playing in rhythm refers to the inner pi aying of a composition to its musical in Rhythm " pulsation.Fast Mu8ic ised to develop my speed. though in a more moderate tempo I can play my pieces noi pi ay faultlessly. to obtain the opinion of a good musician before you send your piece to a publisher. however. but they all . The readers or advisers of the house will report to their chief as to the merit of your piece.PIANO QUESTIONS It is very easy to publish 151 a piece of music if the publisher sees any merit in Send your piece to any publishing it. if his decision is favourable. house whose name you find on the title pages of your sheet music. I find great difficulty in playing any. Playing in time means the prompt arrival upon those points of repose which are conditioned by the rhythm.

of motion. That "wonder-children" never amount to anything in later life is not borne out by it is history. you will see the ability keep step with the exertions of your "WonderChildren" will. even resolution. child of five years of age shows He has s jg ns of g re at talent for music. because they astonished by instead of mere executive . My hoping that something out of the ordinary will become of him? They say that so-called "wonder-children" never amount to anything in later life.152 failed. PIANO QUESTIONS Can you give me a hint how to overcome of my Quickness difficulty? of action. I assume that your piano-playing is one phase of a general slowness. true ear. cannot be it acquired by must partly be inborn. but one remedy for that. There to is You have develop relied upon your you should your speed own will-power. and plays rather well Pianists Does this justify me in for his age. either If some are disappointments precocity. training alone. upon your it relied teachers have Try to will and to will it often. a keen.

Rubinstein. for instance. Besides. Liszt. The biographies 'cellists. or what not. great were "wonder-children. Schumann. Chopin. violinists. musicians aside from these few. of the greatest importance to the student. pianists. If your child shows more than mere if. Shall I attend orchestra concerts or The Value shall I give preference to soloists ? 1 Goin9 means attend orchestra and chamber-music concerts! For these will By all Concerts acquaint you with those works which are. all became composers. or because they were ruined by unscrupulous parents or managers who confounded the promise of But. will bear me out in this statement." whether they its a future with realization. you will usually . but shows qualities of musical superiority then you may fifth with a fair degree of certainty feel hopeful of a fine musical future for him. Wagner. of our great masters of the past centuries as well as those of more recent times (Mendelssohn. and all the others). he does not precocity merely play in his year what others play in their tenth. after all.PIANO QUESTIONS 153 charming by their talent.

mood. a soloist who is capable of sinking his individuality in the thought. The latter. therefore. overestimate their authority and take such unseemly liberties that in many cases you hear more Smith. conductor imaginable cannot do as much harm to a composition as can a mediocre soloist. or Levy than Beetho- own or Chopin. with some luminous exceptions. Individa soloist is certainly a great quality. not so easily moved and shifted from the path of musical rectitude . Schumann. uality in and this is given to only the very you do far better to prefer greatest to the "individual" renditions of a soloist the "collective" renditions of the orchestra or string quartette. generally speaking. a The very worst truthful interpretation. and style of the composer he is interpreting ven.154 PIANO QUESTIONS hear more correct interpretations than from soloists. for an orchestra is a large body and. Jones. but only if it is tempered by a proper deference to the composer of If you cannot hear the work in hand. The synthetic nature of the orchestra forestalls the extravagances of so-called individ- uality and insures.

That servatory. I think it safe to recommend Still. the finest flower of the garden of applied music. cuitous route original fervour beginner or already somewhat advanced. Mason's "Touch and Technique. A really great soloist is. for his touch with the instrument is immediate and he needs no middleman to express the finest shades of his conceptions." Sternberg's Etudes. and hence you are safe in attending orchestra and chamber-music concerts. of course. while the conductor the and even expression. what method should I study student for my technique and what pieces ? Working Alon* You fail to say whether you are a for much of the and ardour may be lost.PIANO QUESTIONS as is 155 a single voice or an instrument. opus 66. the best has to impart his conception baton. and on this cir- But there are more good orchestras than great soloists. and select your pieces from the graded catalogues which any publisher will be glad to send you. Compelled to study without a teacher two years before I can go to a con. facial (through and gesture) to other people before it can become audible. .

if your natural endowments are not of a very unusually high order. . man with a g OO(j foundation to choose music Would you * tion as a career. It is less risky and will. time. one who attains to a general reputation and fortune. Of a thousand capable musicians there is.156 Music as a Profes- PIANO QUESTIONS advise a young . and with an embittered disposition take not so simple as up some other occupation. concertizing plishment and avocation? distinguishing between music and concertizing gives direction to my reply. The rest of them. give you much greater satisfaction. give up in despair. perhaps. and toil. is The artist's it career nowa- days appears to be. I mean music in the circle of your friends. after spending money. or should he keep his music as an accomthat is. If you do not depend upon public musicmaking for a living. . that the question was not answered by Your your own heart before you asked it prompts me to advise music for you as an avocation. in all probability. and if your entire personality does not imply the exercise of authority over assemblages of people spiritual authorit were better to enjoy your ity.

PIANO QUESTIONS When to tl . want How Much You Can get more from his playing than Get From J 6 f Can you give Music aesthetic ear enjoyment. why do Read Flats Than all pupils prefer flats to sharps? I am rps not at all sure that I do not. look that may help me in my piano study ? There is no pleasure or enjoyment from which we can derive more than we way of receptiveAs you deepen your study of music and gain insight into its forms. measure of your own grasp Art is a medium connecting. You would confer a favour upon a "It is So teacher by solving a problem for her that ^f MCA Easier to . contrapuntal work and harmonic beauties you will derive more and more pleasure ness. me a little outline of points for which to . two stations: the sender of a message and the receiver. upon like a telegraph. 157 I hear a concert pianist I . Both must be pitched equally high to make the communication perfect. in some iji . What their playing reflects of emotional life you will perceive in the exact life. i 11 iM? i i has puzzled her all her life. bring with us in the from listening to a good pianist the deeper your studies go.

do vou consider the greater? Rubinstein I knew very well (I was his pupil). Liszt. due to a mental association of the note-picture with the respective sounds. and this leads me to think that the whole matter belongs rather to ophthalmology than to either acoustics or music. and have heard him play a As w ^ om great I many times. not to the playing. personal belief is that the My aversion to the reading of sharps is caused by the comparative complexity of the sign itself. who died when was sixteen years old and had not .158 degree. If one should find it harder to play in any sharps. But note it well it is that the aversion to sharps refers only to the reading. after knowing the notes would be a purely subjective deception. or has it any other cause well ? Your question justified is both original and for by frequent observation. PIANO QUESTIONS share this preference. Greater? between Liszt and Rubinstein. Is it a fault of training. well. it say. true that people prefer to quite read flats to sharps.

of the word. a man of the world. for his playing must have possessed amazing. . Rubinstein excelled by his sinby his demoniacal. ities. with a soveI mean that He reign disregard for conventionality for Mrs. Still.PIANO QUESTIONS appeared in 15* public previously. As a virtuoso I think Liszt stood above Rubinstein. cerity. years never heard. qualities which with Liszt had passed through the sieve of a superior if education and you understand how term gentlemanly elewas. As musicians. The principal differ- ence lay in the characters of the two. I have been able to form a fair idea of his playing and his personality. Rubinstein. dazzling qual- me of him. and Grundy. they were probably of the same gigantic calibre. tions some twenty I never met and from the descripfor which many of my friends gave and from the study of his works. Heaven- storming power of great impassionedness. such as we would seek in vain at the present time. with regard to their natural endowments and ability. a world-stormer. in the highest meaning gance.

you may look upon all composers (except Beethoven) with a patronizing. you are to be complimented upon your good But that gives you no right to taste. If I Composer Exclud- mus j c can is in# vlW m . contest. safe from all attacks. and if. Life too experience. the wonders of Mozart's art. however great. nor the many and temporary one can be charged with who finds the whole of life expressed in any various merits of your concomposers. the aesthetic charm of Chopin. One . the profoundness of Bach. condescending gravely in festations. for this reason. in both sense ? Others technical n him a u that there an aesthetic and a Is any one's music j more profound ? You imagine yourself in an impene- trable stronghold whence. too many-sided in to mani- permit any one master. for instance. The least that . satisfies his music you better than that of any other composer. music.160 As to PIANO QUESTIONS am deeply interested in Beethoven's j not fin(j . But is you rich its are in error. your preference for Beethoven upon your sympathies. to exhaust its interIf you base pretation through his art. smile.

not to speak of the fact that the understanding cannot be very deep for one master if it is closed to all others. comfortable fingering the difficult and practise places slowly venture until you feel separately that you and can to play them in their appro- priate speed.s he e I fifty-six i am road. Since your love of music is strong enough to cause you to resume your playing you should take as pleasure in it much as technically only that is. in play offer possible and work in the pieces you those places which. my former ability what would you advise do ? Refrain from all especially technical work. years old. One of the chief requirements for true connoisseurship is catholicity of taste. i T * f Playing / or Pleasure Do me you think "Pischna" would help to If me to much play? to regain not. you difficulties.PIANO QUESTIONS 161 one composer is one-sidedness. . live in the A Sensible mountains sixty-five miles from any rail. and 1 have not taken lessons in thirty-five years. Decide upon a first. alone with my husband. 111 .

" Traumerei. pieces of lesser A-flat does not opus 27. 2. No. Try Chopin's Nocturne. No. I have good health and am determined not Is there a place to grow self-satisfied. even if only as on the concert stage for a woman thus an accompanist equipped ? . Schumann's Romanza. but must be sought in the interpretation. technique Concert P Career is adequate for Brahms's Rhapsody in My G minor and McDowell's Sonatas.162 First PIANO QUESTIONS pieces after What would you advise me to Learn Simple Things e memo rize Rachmaninoff's Prelude C-sharp minor and Chopin's A-flat Ballade ? These pieces do not appeal to the majority of people. About Starting I am twenty-four. or his some of the more pretentious "Songs Without Words" by Mendelssohn. but I enjoy them. If such a work as Chopin's Ballade in m "appeal to the majority" the fault cannot lie in as you say the composition. 2. have had four years' rigorous work in a conservatory and a ar ti a ' college training. Why not try a few complexity and play them so perfectly that they do appeal to the majority." or opus 28.

Become a fine. People of there ability That room is the concert stage the great array of meriproved by for women on torious women is. pianists. One's own opinion. to however advice just. and you are. is is never a criterion. But start out with the idea of accompanying. It seems like going to a commercial school to study be to an assistant bookkeeper. in every well-accredited They Play for them. a fine pianist. are usually not connoisseurs by actual knowledge.PIANO QUESTIONS Any 163 public career must begin by earning the good opinion of others. all-round musician. My that some of the prominent you speak concert agents. that we must be of use to others before we can be of use to ourto selves. whose names and addresses you find music paper. and 4 ' ' ' see what the tide of affairs will bring . If the right "stuff" is in you is you will make your way. of course. always do. but they have developed a fine instinct for that which is of use aware them. accompanying women that I Especially for are in demand would not for good accompanying.

perhaps. during which time the soloist salutes the audience. AccomUsually Precedes Soloist at an fM w tne soloist on the stage in a concert or recital.164 you. and should sex be considered j n the mat ter ? If the soloist accompanist precede or Entering be a man the accompanist should precede him on the stage in order to arrange his music. but as women are of the feminine peror suasion it will. is PIANO QUESTIONS The proper level for your ability bound Should to disclose itself to you. . For these reasons it should be the same when the soloist is a woman. the height of his seat whatever may be necessary. look better if the accompanist yields precedence to her.

. . . . 82 84 80 131 1 17 Beethoven Sonata with a Pastoral Character. . .' 83 80 Bach's Music Necessary to Good Technique Bach's Preludes and Fugues > . . The . .. . . The Action of the Little Finger.'. . .. . ... . 160 100 As to Playing Rubato As to the Bach Fugues . 124 As to one Composer Excluding All Others . . The Best Way to Improve Sight-Reading. . . 162 70 164 37 17 The . 22 126 121 Movements at the Piano . .. . Accenting a Mordent in a Sonata Accompanist Usually Precedes Soloist at Entering Action of a Beginner's Piano. . Affected . '. .. The Way " " Better Not Give the Child Modified Classics Best to Work Up 54 148 165 . . . .ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF QUESTIONS PAGE About Starting On a Concert Career. The a Quick Tempo. .. The Advantage of Legato over Staccato. V .. . The Art of Playing With Feeling. Best Physical Exercise for the Pianist. ... . 139 81 118 Touch With Bach Always Keep Art of Accompanying a Soloist. The Beginner in Bach Music. .. . The in .-. "Afraid to Play Before People" Age of the Student is Immaterial . .

Biting the Finger-Nails Spoils the Touch Books that Aid the Student Working Alone 19 . . . 53 50 102 Difference Between Conception and Rubato.78 10 . 155 Broad-Tipped Fingers Not a Disadrantage C-Scale Fingering for All Scales. . A Do not Allow the Wrist to Get . . . 44 .The Difference Between "Finger Staccato" and Other Kinds.. The Composition Must Fit the Player. . . . 28 148 Can Music be Studied Cantabile Passages in America ? . The . The . Different Conceptions May be Individually Cor. 20 The . 4 99 9 . Difference in Playing Trills. 7 86 88 Chopin's Barcarolle Chopin's Works for a Popular Concert "Colour" of Various Keys.. Charm of Chopin's Touch. 74 rect . The 88 133 130 .13 .. . 22 Scales. .. 36 .. . Difference Between The 109 . 102 Difficulty of Playing Repetition Notes. . Stiff Do not Injure the Hand by Stretching It Do not Over-Use the Soft Pedal Do not Raise the Piano-Stool too High Do not Raise Wrist in Marking a Rest Do not Stiffen the Hands in Playing Scales Do not Use a Piano Extreme in " Action " . The Counting Out Loud . . . . . Company that One Keeps in Music. 34 Disputed Chopin Reading.. . .. The .166 PIANO QUESTIONS PACK .137 . The Conditions Which Dictate Speed in Playing. The Major and Minor : . . .

. . . Etudes for Advanced Players to Work At .. .. Firm and Crisp Legato Touch. Effect of Playing the .. The . The Frequent Lessons and Shorter General Rule About the Pedal. 52 . .. ... 93 94 91 . The Double Flats.16 .1. The Either Trust Your Teacher or Get a New One Effect of ... .. .130 ... The First Learn to Play Simple Things Well Four Ways to Study a Piano Piece Fourth and Fifth Fingers. Are Enough. . .113 65 122 146 . Well Played.104 5 132 . 147 A . . Hearing a Piece Before Studying Height of the Piano Seat.145 . . The . . Good Finger Exercises Good Intermediate Books of Etudes Greatest Composers as Pianists. . . A Fingering the Chromatic Scale Fingers Needed to Play a Mordent.. .162 The . . 167 SAGE . . 63 71 How Are Syncopated Notes to be Played ? . . .. ... .. It .. The Horseback Riding Stiffens the Fingers How a Tie and a Slur Differ . Way to Memorize.. . . 39 .. . Give Your Teacher a Fair Trial .. 65 64 E Sharp and B Sharp and the Double Flat Easiest .. The Same Piece Often. . Fatiguing the Hand by Stretching Few Sonatas of Beethoven. . 94 93 Exercises for the Beginner to Practise . 12 85 28 28 24 . . . .. Genuine Piano Hand.ALPHABETICAL INDEX Double Sharp Misprinted for Double Flat . > fc .. .

Is the . .150 How to Hold the Thumb 16 How to Improve the Technique 4 How to Play Passages Marked " Rubato " 100 How to Use the Pedal 39 How Waltz. .. . .. Learning to Accompany at Sight Learning to Modulate . . Mi .. . . . . . An . V . In Order to Memorize Easily In Playing a Sonata International Pitch. .. . Individual Teacher or Conservatory ? . The ..118 ... Mazurka and Polonaise ... .. 34 Learning the Art of Accompanying .. ..127 Than 157 "It is So Much Easier to Sharps!" .. The . .136 . Read Flats Kind of Piano . The . . Practise. "International "Piano Pitch. Differ Ill Importance of Studying With the Right Teacher. ... . . . . .. .117 107 .35 . . . . 140 8 142 Incorrect Position of the Fingers.. ... Menuet.. . . Upon Which to .61 How Long an Accidental Affects a Note 64 How Much You Can Get from Music 157 How Organ Playing Affects the Pianist 26 How Tight to Keep the Piano's Action 37 How to Get Music Published . The .. . Kullak's" Method of Octaves "Still Good . .168 PIANO QUESTIONS How Best to Play the Octaves 89 How Grace Notes Are Played . .115 75 136 . . . Piano the Hardest to Master ? ..

The Metronome Markings May Better be Ignored Modern Piano Music Mood and Tempo in the A Flat Impromptu . Morning is the Best Time to Practise Morning Practice on the Piano. . . . . 46 45 . 68 74 . The Old Problem of . . of Studying Beethoven's Sonatas 83 Organ Playing and the Piano Touch Organizing a Musical Club .. 147 Duple Time against Triple. Nothing But the Best Will Do . The . .ALPHABETICAL INDEX Let Your Ear Guide Your Pedalling Loose Wrist... . . . . The . . * 89 147 ..... 141 No Necessity to Watch the Fingers Not Playing the Two Hands at Once. . 41 Masters Cannot be Studied In Order . . ' ... ..9 .150 . . The Omitting One Note in a Chord Once More the "Soft "Pedal One Lesson a Week . The Music as a Profession or as an Avocation Music Schools and Private Teachers . .111 .. . .' . . The .44 . 169 PAGE . Only Kind of Order Practice Worth While. 47 . . 98 ." The Meaning of Solfeggio. 25 141 . .. ." The Memorizing Quickly and Forgetting as Readily Metronome Markings. . 115 57 59 92 . 26 . 90 Meaning and Use of "Motif. Number of Lessons Depends on Progress. . .156 . 87 3 More Technique the More Practice.. 19 V . The Meaning of "Toccata.

... A . .33 . A . 112 151 35 62 Playing On Dumb Piano a Playing the "Melody in F" Playing the "Spring Song "too Fast Playing with Cold Hands Point in Playing the "Moonlight Sonata.128 96 Playing Duple Playing from Time Against Triple is Indispensable " " " "Playing in Time and Playing in Rhythm . 119 Proper Course for a Little Girl. .. The .30 . ." Position of Auxiliary Note in a Trill Position of the Turn orer a Note...." Which is the Greater ? Rubinstein or Liszt . Playing. . 58 Piano Study for Conductor and Composer Play Chords With a Loose Arm .. The Playing of Slurred Notes. .. The .. .123 . .. .. 10.. 72 71 . 158 60 . ..170 Perfect PIANO QUESTIONS 1MB Rubato the Result of Momentary Im101 . Memory Playing of Double Thirds.. pulse Personal Element and the Metronome.146 Rapid Octaves Real Meaning of Speed Terms... ... The . The . The Relation of Harmony to Piano Rests Used under or OTer Notes Results Count. . . The The . ... . 10 Practising Eight Hours Instead of Four Practising the Two Parts Separately Premature Fatigue in tne Anns Problem of Transposing at Sight. The Position of the Wrist. 38 79 77 49 76 . . ..5 62 6 . . . 70 .. .. . .. Rule for Selecting the Speed. .11 .. The Rolled Chord Marked "Secco. .. 48 52 . .... Not the Methods. 60 The . A . . . Pianist Who Fails to Express Herself ...

66 . . Study of Mendelssohn. .. The . . The . 42 85 91 51 Study of Operatic Transcriptions. The . . The Text-books on Harmony .. 33 The . . . . . . .. . . Starting a Child's Musical Training Stiff Wrists in Playing Octaves Student Who Cannot Play Fast Music..116 29 20 .. . 13 Sensible .47 . . 108 Student with a Fondness for the Pedal.. .. .. .. 69 Hand in Playing Scales. . .138 ? . To Keep Errors from Creeping in To Play a Glissando Passage To Prevent Sore Finger-tips After Playing .. . The . Study of the Scales. . Tied Staccato Notes Tilt of the . The Study of the Scales is The . . A Scheme of Playing for Pleasure. . The Should Piano Students Try to Compose . . . . The .. 59 109 .... 151 Student Who Wants to Compose.143 . 50 107 Studying Counterpoint by One's Self Take a Month's Rest Every Year Taking Liberties With the Tempo " Tenuto" Dash and Its Effect. Way of Stretching the Small Hand. . 70 73 . very Important. There Are Dangers in Using a Metronome There Is Only One Minor Scale . . . . [ 56 89 69 106 V . .. . .ALPHABETICAL INDEX Safe 171 PAGE ... . . The . . A . 161 Sex of the Piano Teacher. . 75 .117 . . . Slurs and Accents Not Related Small Notes under Large Ones Some Pieces for a Girl of Fourteen Speed and Smoothness Staffs are in Trilling Independent of Each Other. . 6 Time to Devote to Technical Exercises To Ga n Facility in Sight-Reading . 108 63 .

98 153 .. .144 . 135 . . .. Too Much" Method " Trill Begins . The Universal System of Marking Fingering.. . Use It To Work up a Fast Tempo . Two Hands Playing Difficult Rhythms.. . . The Value and Correct Practice of Phrasing... The Value of Going to Concerts. . Well-Tempered Piano The The .. ..62 86 Minor Scales? " . Twenty-five 72 97 . 43 95 Value of dementi's "Gradus" To-day.. . 43 .137 77 3 What a Dot May Mean What a Double Dot Means What Does "Technique "Mean? What Is the Best of Chopin ? What Is the Difference Between the Major and . . 93 Watch Your Breathing ... 66 . . A Not Too Late to Begin . . The . .. 21 When an Accidental Is in Parentheses . .. .14 . .55 18 Weak Fingers of the Left Hand... .. . . on the Melodic Note. The Use Pedal With Caution In Playing Bach Using the Two Pedals at Once . . . The Value of Heller's Studies.. .. . Scale.172 PIANO QUESTIONS To Produce a Softer Tone To Produce Good Legato To Strengthen the Weak Finger. 18 53 144 . . 27 39 41 .110 What Is the Matter with My Scales ? " What the Leschetizky Method Is What the Object of Study Should Be What to Do with an Unemployed Hand .. . Use of the Pedal for Colouring. . . PAGE . .23 . The .139 . . . .

. .132 . . 104 . 79 143 Where Outside Criticism Is Desirable Where the Accent Should Be Placed Which Fingers Demand Most Attention ? Which Should Come First Conception . .. . . .16 . 78 or Technique? 103 .106 . . Why Ragtime Is Injurious Why So Many Different Keys ? Why the Pianist Should Study Harmony Why the Piano Is So Popular Why Two Names for the "Same "Key? . . .152 Wrist Staccato at a High Tempo . 173 PAGE 31 . .51 . . . 11 . . .ALPHABETICAL INDEX When Playing Octaves When Reading Over a New Piece When the Fingers Seem Weak When to Keep Away from the Piano When to Play for People When Tremolo Proves Unduly Fatiguing When Two Fingers Have the Same Note .120 . . .21 . 67 "Wonder Children "as Pianists . . .. . Wrist Stroke In Long Octave Passages .. .134 . .128 . 32 . . .18 .


118. 63. 60. hand waltz. a beginner's piano. demand most. books that. music as a profession or as an. flat. Andante. 60. 77. 59. 36. Accompanying. key of. the art of. 126. 136. 87. B flat. 118. of the arm. Impromptu A Chopin's Ballade in. 9. 78. 64. affects how is long an. of the little finger. note in a trill. 138. "American" fingering. and physical develop- ment of the beginner. 38. in touch with. 9. 70. 139. 65. 81. 125. of accompanying. Appassionata. position of. and of the student. 148. 175 . Affected movements at the piano. of legato over staccato. Pre- B sharp. a too heavy. 95. 64. 3. a piano extreme in. not related. 16. in. Arpeggio. Action. 119. Allegretto grazioso. 164. left- Arms. Auxiliary. a soloist. immaterial. where the. can music be be placed. 38. studied in. of the. 41. Accompaniments. slurs and. key of. sharp. 78. 17. 137. 162. Age Accent. 72. speed.INDEX A. 72. 155. Accenting a mordent. Bach. B flat minor. Accents. 17. which fingers Attention. Accompanist. 67. difference between. in 11. 156. 67. the. the beginner in. 11. tion in playing. paren- Appoggiatura. 139. Auber. 22. of too light an. at sight. 11. 37. how tight to keep the piano's. use pedal with cau- Age. 60. 80. Art. 76. Aid. 118. when an. the student working alone. premature fatigue in the. Avocation. Allegro. in movement Arm. Bach. a note. the canons of. tempo. Average. 118. Accompaniment. should America. 27. music. 37. 27. of the wrist. the last Accidental. action of the. Adagio. Philipp Emanuel. play chords with a loose. Advantage. Chopin's lude in. 88. 60. of universal fingering. 33. 118.

order of studying. 78. book of instruction for a beginner. Cantata. opus 57. Cnopin's. 69. 94. Nocturne in F Impromptu sharp. sonatas. the.86. 79. 20. Polonaise. Fifth Symphony. 59. 136. 86. 1. 88. opus 29. 141. 78. opus 53. Beethoven's Sonatina. opus 26. time to practise. 162. the. 95. Berceuse. 88. ." by. 74. of what tempo. Berlioz. the best of . 58. 91. that aid the student working alone. 46. 150. 67. 17. 87. Brahms. flat.85. 79. No. 7. the. the action of a. 84. A reading. Chopin's works. Broad-tipped fingers. 1. sharp minor movement. will do.176 PIANO QUESTIONS Blumenstuck. Chopin. physical exercise for the pianist. Barcarolle. No. Toccata Chaminade's Ballet. 55. 77. key of. a disputed. charm of. 93. 70. Chaminade. Barcarolle. C C C 67. 82. general position of the. morning is the. 15. the. way to improve sight1* b * ' piano hand. 37. 8. C sharp major. 67. de Bendel's "Zephyr. opus 42. 83. 76. Berens.6. of Etudes. Mu- Books. 117. Polonaise." 74. Polonaise. sharp. nothing but the. 131. Biissler. 83. style. Breathing. 54. touch. Bulow. Prelude. "Air No. 155. 2. 118. opus 53. in 162. Nocturne. Beethoven. A flat. 86. Best. music. 4. Etude by. 67. opus 27. the. 88. Berlin. Biting the finder-nails. 130. "Blurring. . 95. the sonatas of. Bad music. first and last sonatas. fugues. Beginner's. preludes. "Moonlight Sonata. Body. Cantabile passages. 86. 106. 88. 81. Sonata Pathetique. Schumann's. 143. reading. 58. way to is work up a quick the. Carl. Baermann. Chopin's. 83. 19. Ballade. 82. Life of. 162. in flat. "History of sic." 53. how to play the octaves. 94. Sonata. 23. Chopin. opus 49. piano." sonatas. Fantasy Impromptu." 23. 78. 111. 90. No. Bach's fugue in. Chants Polonais. 88. 133. Etudes in C minor. 83. 83. by. 97. Baltzell. 112. 85. opus 28. 70. 94. 29. 93. 61. 80. Bach's. Valse. Chopin's.

62. 102. the. D accidental. marked rolled. etudes. 137. Concerto. 102. in playing trills. Correct practice of phrasing. arrangement of Bach's Fugues. Concert. tween. 45. career. 35. flat. conceptions. Counting. 35. work. . a metro- Dangers in using nome. 88. Damper 58. Colouring. 62. Dot. the." 148. 98. 65. signs. 81. key of. 17. Sonatina. Concerts. 143. 94. between major and minor scales. piano-study 128. 77. proper. 91. 134. for Chopin's works a popular. "secco. of the Gnomes. 67. 107. 35. dementi. 69. Difference. Czerny. Different. C-scale fingering. 74. 105. in the Waltz in E minor. 96. Doppio movement. piano-study for. double. 35. 39. Cramer Etudes. 34. with a loose arm. Composition. 162. Counterpoint. 73. 160. 81." of various keys. and rubato. "modified. between "finstaccato" and ger other kinds. Conductor. Course. for a girl. Conception. "tenuto. rhythms. 6. 59. Chromatic. 35. dementi's "Gradus and Parnassum. Dash. the Grieg. Conceptions. Counterpoint. 108. ISO. Chord. 142. 158. 156. Classics. 11. Dance. sharp." 95. and its as to one. play."70. 107. the. studying. 109. pedal. keys. Criticism. the value of going to. scale 28. 177 ular concert. sequel.INDEX Chopin's works for a popBallade in A flat. flats. 142. may mean. Difficulty of playing repetition notes. little Chords. 102. 89. is desirable. different. thirds. 78. between conception and rubato. difference be- Diatonic. Composer. studying. as pianists. 45. individual Conservatory. 28. 22. 43. what a. 97. opus 37. 137. Curved fingers. 65. thirds. Liszt's. 102. thirds. 66. pin's in ChoNocturne in F sharp. 146. dot. "Colour. flat." effect. 44. 64. 7. where outside. 65. Composers. by one s self. 128. 88. 162. 83. 50. 67. the greatest. music. for. teacher or. Double notes.

95. of Chopin. Steinberg's. 19. 116. 35. 143. Fingers. 135. Fugue. 18. good intermediate books of. 94. good finger. 6. flat. exercises. Fingering. 82. Finger-stroke. 94. Ear. English. position of . 24. 32. high. Liszt arrangement of the. touch. Bach's. Chopin's Bal' Duple time. 65. Fantastic Fairy Tales. 27. Faulty touch. Edition. 98. Chopin's Ballade in. "wiping" the keys with the. 141. G key of. lades in. Etudes. Finger. Errors. from creeping in. E sharp. F major. 24. for the beginner. fourth and fifth. force of. . Cramer. 8. 86. Firm stretching. Melody in. Exercises. 97. the middle. 84. 143. key of. Example. biting the.Peters's. guide your pedalling. 113. Steingraber. 58. 79. 88. 27. double. let Chopin's Nocturne 78. 95. 104. 162. in the arms.178 PIANO QUESTIONS playing on a Dumb piano. legato touch. technical. by Baermann. F F minor. 22. Easiest way to memorize. F. 79. sore. 93. by Ruthardt. for advanced players. 93. the other. Ethical. 96. Fifth Bee* Symphony. 28. to keep. by Berens. Flat. Finger-tips. needed to play a mordent. 92. Element. concert. Fatigue. 86. key of. Chopin's. Waltz in. 69. by Heller. 82. 27. 23. 28. 94. by Kessler. the chromatic scale. broad-tipped. definition of a. Edition. twelve. 19. personal. 17. 155. 28. 94. 12. Flats. American. 41. 20. 33. 94. 45. premature. sharp. 80. 18. double. Erlking. weak. 43. universal. technique. E minor. general musical. Education. Finger-nails. the weak. vpur. staccato. 16. 95. G minor. octave. 16. 27. 131. 93. 38. Exercise. 16. 20. "English" fingering. 47. Fugues. 65. 89. 94. 16. Brahms's Rhapsody in. 13. Fantasy Impromptu. the little. 67. in. C-scale. and the metronome. 17. thoven's. 64. for technique and expression. 67. best physical. of Beethoven. of Chopin. 7.

49. advantage of. 25. Kuhlau Sonatinas. General. 140. 187. to piano-playing. 155. 75. 136. number of. 140. Impromptu. 24. good. 28. 117. Little finger. passage. etudes by. playing with cold. Marks and Nomenclature. frequent. and minor 110. Liadow. and methods. Hand. 61. 31. 143. depends on progress. International pitch. 93. rule about the pedal. Harmonic. MacDowell. value of. 153. Sonatas. to Leschetizlop 144. turns. unemployed. and shorter. 44. 158. 92. musical education. 85. 3. 179 Key. 88. opus 66. 141. "History of Music. Keys. 88. 147. of the transcription of Chants Polonais. Marking a rest. Hadyn. Mason's Touch and Technique. 97. action of the. method. position of. opus 154. 94.INDEX Gavotte in A. stretching the. 78. 147. 22. study of. to play a. "Gradus ad Parnassum. the. 86. Gluck-Brahms. Glissando. 41. 95. 162. Dance Gnomes. Major. Going to concerts. 105. "Limping. Octave School. 29. two names for the same. Chopin's Fantasy. International piano pitch. Heller's studies. 130." Liszt's. to modulate. 57. small. the art of accompanying. 67. 104. Legato. 12. Grace notes. clarity. 105. touch. the. 100. 22. Importance of the teacher. Liszt. 75. in. " . 94. books of etudes. the. teachers. Instrument. 6. two at once. Hands. Halvey. "Life of Chopin. meaning of. why so many different. value of. Godowsky. 44. 89. 23. A flat. technique. 35. "colour" of various. Godowsky's pupils. 29. 106. Heller. accompany at sight. the. 130."84. 13. 24. 107. "Method of Octaves." dementi's. difference between. Kullak's. Harmony. 50. 17. right in Loud counting. 149." 150. 58. relation of. textbooks on. genuine piano. 21. the. Grieg Concerto. scales. 105. 118. Lessons. 136. transcriptions by. Chopin's." 25. the. "Music Box" by. the. 99. Learning. Intermediate. 136.

" the Music schools and teachers. chords. A syncopated. 31. 80. bad. wrist. marks and. rapid. Other fingers. Nocturnes. Etudes by. when two fingers have the same. Mendelssohn. No. 78. "Spring "Music Box. 160. can. 70. how much you can from. meaning and use of. Chopin's. 135. Object of study. Nocturne."112. 30. Notes repetition. the. 156. 90. personal element and the. easily* 115. 58. 140. 150. 150. 46. 88. in order to. playing. scale. private Method. 31. Chopin's. be studied in America. 68. in Master's cannot be studied in order. Melody in F. the. 2. under large ones. 79. that one keeps in. the company 92. Minor. 59. 162. on the when Moscheles. 75.180 PIANO QUESTIONS Music. Octave. 70. easiest way to. in sharp. 57. Mood and tempo 76. Memorize." the. 109." 77. . 112. 109. 34. Mozart's art. in the flat Impromptu. opus 27. playing from. 28. 79. arm. Mozart. Memory. 31. 71. small. 32. 107. Order of studying Beethoven's Sonatas. tied staccato. 92. Note. 69. 113. in extended. stiff wrists in playing. learning to. Nomenclature. 16. 111. 59. 94. teachers. passages. double. dangers in using a. F Methods. 133. 83. Motif. "Modified Glassies. get Mendelssohn's Song. Kullak's. 86. Menuet. School. auxiliary. the beginner Bach. 72. how to get. Chopin's. too much. Meyerbeer. Metronome. fingers needed to play a. 144. 32. markings. 87. 111. 29. accenting a. 33. Modulate. Mordent. 57. 45. 157. slurred. Miscellaneous questions. 136. in a sonata. the study 85. difference between major and. Leschetizky. only one. 31. 112. "Moonlight Sonata. lessons and. 86. 32. 144. modern piano. 35. the. Operatic transcriptions. "Motoperpetuo. 148. Mazurka. Octaves. 141. published. 133. playing. as a profession. scales. Morning practice piano. Mazurkas. 91. 62. 11." 148. of.

96. comas. 126. 82. of the hand. why. 6. "wonder-children" 152. opus 26. 44. hand. 16. for the pianist. Peters's Edition. playing on a dumb. 41. 86. in C sharp minor. 74. Precision. 53. on the Pianists. 162. 35. 43. extreme in action. action of a beginner's. Playing for pleasure. 98. the greatest posers as.71. how to use the. 181 Pitch and kindred matters. the 95. of the wrist. Chopin's. using the two. a general rule about the. international piano." exercises of. No. 161. of auxiliary note in a trill. 108. 44. 79. 26. 72. Pachulski. the. kind of a piano Pianissimo touch. 112. playing. 36. seat. use. of the fingers. 132. hours Practising. Chopin's 45. opus 1. 134. genuine. exercises for the beginner to. piano. let your ear guide your. a constant use of the soft. 41. 82. Piano. of constructing. Pedals. 93. 35. Position. 5. with caution in play- Polonaise. Practice. per se. "Perpetuum Mobile. Popular concert. Polyrythms." 43. 162 B about when to keep the. 39. Pitch. 37. Rag-time. Pedal. 161. 26. Profession. 86. 47. 127. 6. Phrasing. of phrasing. 10. 8. for colouring. 25. 77. 38. Chopin. upon which to. "Pischna." 35. 156. . the "soft. 4.INDEX Organ. international. Play for people. Pedalling. Private teachers. eight instead of four. 141. 'Piano Playing. 92. 136. best. works fora. the. . Bach's. 98. music as a. morning. value and correct practice of. away from Preludes. 26. affected movements at the. 130. 39. kind of. worth while. the. touch. upon which to practise. 48. 45. Physical exercise. Polonaises. 120. Chopin's. 39. 88. use of the. 131. at once. flat minor. 39. of the thumb. 136. touch. Prelude. the only kind of. of the body. Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C sharp minor. is injurious. when to. the two parts separately* 52. height of the. ing Bach. 93. 136." Weber's. . Chopin. of the turn over a note. Practise. 91.

Staccato. No. 34. tilt of the hand in "Spring Song." Starting. 93. difference between conception and. 112. how a tie and a." a rolled marked. the. 136. the. meaning Sonatina. in G Octave Studies. "Secco. 75. 162. 100. in. 94. Students. 117. the playing of. 60." 86. as to playing. in " 83. . 162." 162. Rubinstein. Schumann's. of. on a concert career. opus 2. gradual increase 54. 155. Mendelssohn's. " Rubinstein's Melody 84. 22. 164. Slurred notes." 79. "Auf dem "Blumen28. fingering the chromatic. 53. notes. only one minor. meaning rule for 60. 76. Rubato. age of. 108. 162. Scale. Solfeggio. wrist. object of.85. 66. in playing a. 6. 94. 13. of. notes. Schubert-Liszt's 53. 158. 135. dent in a. Rests used under or over Smith's Rhapsody." 79. Soloist. Rhythm. Ruthardt. Russian piano music. 51. playing Richter. 88. arm. (the practising of. Slurs. 74. 51. Staffs." tempo. 155. 28. F. terms. Chopin's. the. Beethoven. 143. work- Sex of the teacher. about. ing alone. piano. Scale playing. Scales. 151. Repetition. 50. the. Sonata. 14. without Words. 137. technique. 100. Studies. accenting a mor. minor. Study. trill- selecting the well-tempered piano.182 PIANO QUESTIONS 84. 70. F. "Etudes" by. Seeling. playing the. Songs 162. 70. 12. Schumann's stuck. Sonatas of Beethoven. 21. 143. Student. 139.. 62. passages marked. Edition of Steingraber Beethoven's Sonatas. average. with a pastoral character. of. opus 31. Speed. 63. 118. 62. 162. Moonlight. opus "Traumerei. at a high Scherzo. Steinberg's Etudes. Heller's. chord Stretching. 66. 73. 77. finger. Romanza. differ. immaterial. Brahms's. meaning of. E. 59. 109. Slur. 22. accents relate to 62. 106. Rossini. in. and smoothness in ing. Romanza. 84. Beethoven's. the study of the. 59. 102. Hans. Sight-reading. Wasser zu singern. 16. books that aid the.

exercises. 34. opus 42. 10. 98. 101. Time. stiffness in the. to work up a fast. 19." Tie. 8. 91. Thalberg. . 34. 9. 24. 18. Mobile. 138. 72. double. 72. extended. 45. Thumb. 27. 18. universal. position of the. System. in the flat "Twelve Etudes for Technique and Expression. Touch. 119. repetition. fingers. study of operatic. opus*64. 50. the loose. 140. methods. 86. faulty. Thomas. Transcriptions. 19. finger. Trills. and Technique. in playing. 24. on the melodic note. 43. Ambroise. 96. Wrist. a. 152. average. a high. " 112. A Impromptu. No. studies. 27. a generic term. 111. 32. 4. Tempo. duple. 46. 14. Training." 94. ^Perpetuum 16. the. pianos time. 88. taking liberties with the. octaves. 85. charm of Chopin's. fin- and lessons. 32. 60. with the right teacher. a precise finger. 26. Valse. 183 Syncopated notes. repetition. 9. results. 46. 98. Waltz. importance of. of gering. 21. 86. of. "Tenuto" dash. 11. 68. Toccata. 89. 92. Transposing at sight. Tremolo. 54. of the fingers. 2. 87. against triple." 88. Teachers. wrist staccato at Triple time. 140. 100. Weber's "Storm. of. the biting finger-nails spoils the. legato. Trill. difference 74. a chord in the. 8. Technical. 96. chromatic. 69. Chopin's. how to improve the. 10. Theory. 16. 104. 41. in minor. the. organ. 35. 89. 91. 72. Textbooks 106. crisp legato. 53. how to hold the. 151. Waltzes. meaning ists." 41. Universal system of marking fingering. piano. 26. on harmony. action of the. Chopin's. 47. 31. work. E Weak 136. 22. rubato. Wonder-children" as pian- playing in. 63. position of auxiliary note in a.INDEX Studying. 155. 35. 71. stroke in long octave passages. Thirds. Technique. diatonic. a musical. 48. a child's musical.