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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2804065 01/19/19 04:40 PM
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My favorites are already on the list, but I did want to say that "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" was the book that brought me back to piano after 35 years of sort of fussing about, but not really committing. Even though the author had been more advanced (far more advanced) than I was before quitting as a teenager, his description of why and how he came back to music pretty much said it all for me. "If he can do it, maybe I can too."


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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
Medved1 #2804081 01/19/19 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Medved1
My favorites are already on the list, but I did want to say that "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" was the book that brought me back to piano after 35 years of sort of fussing about, but not really committing. Even though the author had been more advanced (far more advanced) than I was before quitting as a teenager, his description of why and how he came back to music pretty much said it all for me. "If he can do it, maybe I can too."

That was an interesting book for sure.



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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2804127 01/19/19 07:01 PM
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Oh, I loved that book, great story!


Lisa

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"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
Medved1 #2804511 01/20/19 08:52 PM
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MedVed: Thank you so much. I just bought the iBook for my iPad after reading it's excellent free 37 page preview.....

Steve


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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2835498 04/05/19 12:55 AM
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New book that will release in October: Girls at the Piano. Amazon.com blurb:
Quote
Virginia Lloyd spent much of her childhood and adolescence learning and playing the piano and thought she would make a career as a pianist. When that didn't happen, she spent a long time wondering about those years of study: had they been wasted? What was their purpose? This intriguing memoir explores those questions and investigates the mystery of the author's very musical and deeply unhappy grandmother Alice, and how their lives—both at and away from the piano—intersected and diverged. Girls at the Piano also explores the changing relationship between women and the piano over the course of the instrument's history, taking us from the salons of 18th-century Europe to an amateur jazz workshop in Manhattan in the early 21st century. Funny, tender, and fascinating, Girls at the Piano is an elegant and multi-layered meditation on identity, ambition and doubt, and on how learning the piano had a profound effect on two women worlds and generations apart. It is essential reading for music lovers everywhere, and for anyone who has undertaken their own voyage around a piano.


New book already out: Play piano as if you perform brain surgery: 2nd edition. Amazon.com blurb:
Quote
"Play piano as if you perform brain surgery" is dedicated to ambitious students, teachers and masters seeking to further advance their artistic skills towards perfection either in regards to piano playing or brain surgery. The author is a Duke Professor of neurosurgery and advanced pianist, who is presenting a new analysis of piano playing from a neuro-anatomical and physiological perspective. The many parallels between playing piano and neurosurgery are what inspired the creation of this book. The ideas presented aim to help eager students of neurosurgery and the piano, piano teachers and concert pianists alike to become aware of their own physical "play apparatus". The author Erik Hauck is taking the reader on a journey through his/her own body. Through heightened awareness, pianists as well as surgeons will be able to identify and overcome physical and mental blocks, possibly so far limiting their full potential, even if they are already far advanced in their careers. So what is the secret to the ideal or virtuous piano technique? Is it in the wrist, or is it that you need to have practiced more than 10.000 hours early in life? Is it the elbow? Is it imagination of sound and music, or just finger play? Is it speed? Is it in your well-trained ear? Naturally, the secret to a perfect piano technique lies in the mindful orchestration, rhythmical coordination and skilled balance of all the moving parts in us, to create an effortless and pearling play, the kind of play that everybody recognizes as ideal. This ideal piano playing feels like meditating deeply to where nothing can shake your inner calm and focus. Ideal playing just happens as you imagine it. You are one with it in the very moment. All obstacles between you and the music down to it is physical creation through the keys have been eliminated. No tight or rigid spots hinder, tether or slow you down. Identifying and removing those obstacles to literally set you free, is what this book is about – to make you a much better pianist, or neurosurgeon if you happen to be in that profession, or person in general.Instead of struggling, you will enjoy challenges, which become simply play. That is why it is called “piano playing” after all. Naturally, this experience is truly “transcendental”, to borrow the term from List’s infamous etudes – the musical inspiration to write this book. Together with the author, you develop a detailed checklist that holds all key elements to the ideal piano play. Mastering the "self-check" in a fraction of a second, even while performing, you will be able to ensure that your play or surgical technique flows freely, unrestrained by any physical or mental blocks. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get to it, enjoy, experiment and find out for yourself!


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2835511 04/05/19 04:06 AM
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If you can read books on difficult subjects, I recommend:

Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music by James Rhodes

As a child, James sufferered horrible sexual abuse. The after effects of this abuse, physical and mental, are described in the book. Each chapter is titled with one of James’s favorite piano pieces. It is fair to say that music helped save James from suicide. This book showed me the incredible power that music has to provide solace. Against all odds, James now tours as a concert pianist, where he works to break down the stereotypical way classical concerts are presented.

Last edited by LarryK; 04/05/19 04:10 AM.

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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2836413 04/07/19 11:32 AM
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I recently finished The Piano Shop on The Left Bank, and enjoyed it quite a lot. It was a nice story, intertwined with details of life in Paris and a spattering of information on piano construction, formulated in an interesting way. The quote in my sig if the last line of that novel! Highly recommend.

Chopin In Paris, so far, is slower.


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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2836493 04/07/19 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
I recently finished The Piano Shop on The Left Bank, and enjoyed it quite a lot. It was a nice story, intertwined with details of life in Paris and a spattering of information on piano construction, formulated in an interesting way. The quote in my sig if the last line of that novel! Highly recommend.

Chopin In Paris, so far, is slower.


I really enjoyed reading The Piano Shop on The Left Bank. It was a fun, interesting read!



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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2836500 04/07/19 03:52 PM
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I love The Piano Shop on the Left Bank; I've read it seven times, and it inspired a trip to Paris in 2001 to look for, though I did not find, Luc, Mathilde and Thad. I know of course that I would not have recognized them, nor they me, but who can fault me for the search based on a beloved book?

When life gives you a lemonwood Gaveau, find a place to put it!


"When life gives you a lemonwood Gaveau [piano], make a place for it (or, what is the same thing, find a wealthy foreign collector/enthusiast to sell it to)." --adapted from and inspired by _The Piano Shop on the Left Bank_ by Thad Carhart
Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2841716 04/23/19 03:27 PM
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I also enjoy children's literature; two exceptional piano-themed nonfiction books for children are Strange Mr. Satie by M.T. Anderson and Petra Mathews, and The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Christofori & the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch and Marjorie Priceman. They are very short, scholarly yet accessible, and thoroughly delighful. They would make great gifts for young relatives and friends who may have a budding piano passion, themselves.

Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2842071 04/24/19 09:12 PM
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Reading the recommended The Piano shop on the left bank...LOVE IT. thanks for a great recommendation.


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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2842107 04/24/19 11:10 PM
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Has anyone else read Jonathan Biss’ “A Pianist Under the Influence”?

It’s about a Concert Pianists obsession with Robert Schumann. It’s, a bit odd but I LOVED it.


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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2842185 04/25/19 05:18 AM
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Agraffe, I also imagined the Piano Shop on the Left Bank when I was in Paris last August. I felt a bit like I'd been there before after reading the book. Would love to find another good read like that one.


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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2842194 04/25/19 06:06 AM
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I wonder in which Arrondissement the book took place? (Grammar lol)


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Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2842286 04/25/19 10:48 AM
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WiseBuff, I have not, in the 19 years since it was first published, found another book quite like The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, so I find myself rereading it, thankful that I forget so much of it in between readings. It is like stepping into that world every time! cmb13, there may be clues in the text as to the identity of the Arrondissement where the action takes place, though I have not been able to deduce it. You might write to Carhart through the publisher; some authors enjoy hearing from readers, and some do not.


"When life gives you a lemonwood Gaveau [piano], make a place for it (or, what is the same thing, find a wealthy foreign collector/enthusiast to sell it to)." --adapted from and inspired by _The Piano Shop on the Left Bank_ by Thad Carhart
Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
agraffe #2842287 04/25/19 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by agraffe
WiseBuff, I have not, in the 19 years since it was first published, found another book quite like The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, so I find myself rereading it, thankful that I forget so much of it in between readings. It is like stepping into that world every time! cmb13, there may be clues in the text as to the identity of the Arrondissement where the action takes place, though I have not been able to deduce it. You might write to Carhart through the publisher; some authors enjoy hearing from readers, and some do not.

I've read that this is based on real life and Carhart just changed the names. So it may very well be the arrondissement that Carhart himself has been living in for a long time since in the book, the shop was in the quartier he lives in.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2842563 04/26/19 07:24 AM
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Just adding a non-fiction book discussed in another PW thread, for future reference: Pianists at Play.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2842775 04/26/19 10:06 PM
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This was a fascinating read;

Piano: The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand
James Barron

Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
spartan928 #2842780 04/26/19 10:19 PM
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And I just started this;

Practicing Perfection: Memory and Piano Performance
Chaffin, Imreh & Crawford

Re: Nonfiction Piano Books
cmb13 #2843060 04/27/19 07:07 PM
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Will add these when I have a few minutes!

Chopin In Paris is rather slow. Interesting topic (could have been at least) but way to detailed, I’m not sure I’m going to finish it. It’s a little boring.


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