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physical pleasure of playing
#3051670 12/01/20 01:52 PM
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Hi again, here's another subject I haven't seen addressed ANYWHERE.

Does anyone here experience physical pleasure in their hands as they play? Or maybe more accurately, realize after finishing how good it felt?

I admit, I may not mean physical pleasure, but I can't think of another word--maybe psychic well-being stemming from the hands' physicality?

Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051673 12/01/20 01:56 PM
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Yes - Psychic well-being when my brain successfully connects to my hands and everything clicks.


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Re: physical pleasure of playing
Carey #3051680 12/01/20 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Yes - Psychic well-being when my brain successfully connects to my hands and everything clicks.
thumb


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051693 12/01/20 03:06 PM
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There are definitely pieces, but more usually phrases, I enjoy playing more than others because of the hand/finger movements and the connection to the resulting sound.

Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051731 12/01/20 05:34 PM
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Yes!

I've always thought this, actually known it, because I feel it all the time. And there's most definitely a physical (right word) component to what you're talking about IMO. In fact, I would go as far as to describe the feeling of the keys under my hands in certain pieces as a sensual experience, inseparable from the pleasure involved in creating and hearing the musical sounds. Chopin is a composer who stands out in this respect; I get a profound feeling of physical feedback when I play music such as the double note passages in his F minor Fantasy. I hesitate to use the term stimulation, for fear that it will be taken the wrong way, but that word does go some way towards capturing the sensation. And Chopin is by no means unique in this respect. I believe it's entirely appropriate to speak, as some do, of pianists "caressing the keys" (Debussy!!) and it's a kind of reciprocal effect, as if the keys somehow caress you back, as ridiculous as that sounds when you say it out loud.

I'm so glad someone has drawn attention to the specifically tactile aspect of piano performance because I think it is integral to the whole experience of being a pianist, whatever one's level of accomplishment. It's what makes piano playing almost the perfect experience, being both intellectually/spiritually and physically gratifying all at the same time.


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Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051733 12/01/20 05:41 PM
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Yes. On the (occasional !) times when I play really well. It is sort of thrill at being able to accomplish something so physically complex, to such artistic effect.

Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051734 12/01/20 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rogerzell
Does anyone here experience physical pleasure in their hands as they play? Or maybe more accurately, realize after finishing how good it felt?

I admit, I may not mean physical pleasure, but I can't think of another word--maybe psychic well-being stemming from the hands' physicality?
Now you're talking my language! thumb

Yes, every single piece in my (memorized) rep today - numbering about thirty, lasting about three hours - gives me physical as well as mental/psychological pleasure: when playing them, and afterwards. Many of them are also something of an enjoyable workout. (You might guess that there're very few slow pieces among them, and you'd be right.) OK, I also play lots of other pieces (without actually practicing them) - from the score - out of interest, maybe just to see what it 'sounds like' (if I haven't heard them before), or 'how it goes', or to find out what I can do with them (in case anyone still doesn't know, I have no interest in Urtext - my exam years are in the dim & distant past -, and I don't take my cue from Landowska wink ) which don't give me that kind of pleasure, but I have no interest in learning them properly, let alone performing them in my recitals.

The physical joy in piano playing is what gets me out of bed in the mornings when I don't have to go to work, or when I don't have a mountain to climb.....which also gives me physical pleasure, of course.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051753 12/01/20 06:33 PM
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yeah! Nice!

I feel the pleasure, but tbh I'm not even sure that it's purely physical. It feels like it OUGHT to be physical, but I can't tell for sure.

One thing I do know is, that the rougher or less well-made the keyboard action is, the less pleasure I feel, sometimes to the point where, I'm playing well, but no physical kick.

Oops-another thing is, it doesn't happen all the time.

Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051757 12/01/20 06:40 PM
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I would describe it more as a tactile pleasure mostly in the fingers. Whether that's any different from what others have said I don't really know.

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rogerzell #3051764 12/01/20 06:48 PM
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Yes, of course. I feel both the physical pleasure in my hands and some kind of neurological pleasure all over my body. The latter is difficult to describe, it's a feeling of energy, excitement and good connection between mind and body.
Still it's not what I mainly search for in music.

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rogerzell #3051779 12/01/20 07:57 PM
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Whether it's physical or emotional or some combination of the two with possible other elements, there is a certain "satisfaction" of getting the right tone out of a given note or phrase. Knowing (hoping?) that if I activate this key just a certain way I will get the sound I want, the effect I am striving for. It also gives me a "connection" to the piano that is certainly physically satisfying because it seems to be more than just the sum of the parts: the mechanics of the piano and the intellectual and physical approach that I make.

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Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051806 12/01/20 10:06 PM
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Hi again--some nice thoughts here.

But again, I thought I was being pretty specific, but apparently not.

I meant very specifically the feeling in your hands alone (and perhaps wrists), not the feeling of touching the keys. Or the satisfaction of hearing a great sound emerging exactly as you want it to. Even though, in my experience, that's when the greatest physical pleasure happens.

Iaroslav branched out nicely to the whole-body neurological pleasure though. I think that's right too.

Maybe it's an impossible distinction--the music and the physical pleasure can't be unlinked.

Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051876 12/02/20 05:21 AM
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No, I don’t think so because I do not consciously think about the physical aspect, only the sound it produces. The only time I concentrate on the haptic part exclusively is at the Virgil Practice Clavier but it does not give me pleasure per se. There is, of course, satisfaction in being able to execute ideas with ease but that is not quite what the question implies. Strangely, I at first thought I was going to answer yes but upon thinking about it realised that would have been false.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051914 12/02/20 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rogerzell
But again, I thought I was being pretty specific, but apparently not.

I meant very specifically the feeling in your hands alone (and perhaps wrists), not the feeling of touching the keys. Or the satisfaction of hearing a great sound emerging exactly as you want it to. Even though, in my experience, that's when the greatest physical pleasure happens.
I thought you meant the whole physicality of piano playing - which, unless you're playing dainty Bach or Couperin on the harpsichord, involves a lot, lot more than the hands and their appendages. Even Scarlatti, with his frequent hand crossings (on the piano, at least), requires a lot more than finger & hand movements.

I meant the whole body in my previous post - which you need for rapid movements up & down the whole 88-key keyboard, as well as the whole of the upper limbs (not forgetting your core muscles so that you don't topple over when you lean to one side) in coordination with your feet and legs, when you play stuff like fast double octaves and alternating octaves & chords.

The physicality involved is pleasurable indeed, as well as sweaty and heart-pumping - which in turn releases endorphins yippie.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051936 12/02/20 09:10 AM
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My theory? The need/wish to play the piano has its roots grooming (as in nitpicking).

Re: physical pleasure of playing
rogerzell #3051965 12/02/20 10:15 AM
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I totally get this.
When I was younger I couldn’t listen to music for very long before I would need to turn the music off and sit at the piano to experience the feeling of making music for myself. It was as if listening to the music was the “appetizer” and playing it for myself was the “meal”.

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rogerzell #3051996 12/02/20 11:17 AM
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ABSOLUTELY!!!! When the house is dark, and the only light on is illuminating my music, and I’m playing my favorites.....it’s MAGICAL! Spiritually, emotionally, physically......

Re: physical pleasure of playing
bennevis #3052194 12/02/20 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I thought you meant the whole physicality of piano playing - which . . . involves a lot, lot more than the hands and their appendages. Even Scarlatti, with his frequent hand crossings (on the piano, at least), requires a lot more than finger & hand movements. . . .

The physicality involved is pleasurable indeed, as well as sweaty and heart-pumping - which in turn releases endorphins yippie.

I thought the same thing, which is obviously why bennevis and I had similar responses. And bennevis makes a very good additional point about endorphins, which helps to explain much of what I was talking about, particularly the part about performance being "a sensual experience, inseparable from the pleasure involved in creating and hearing the musical sounds. . . . I get a profound feeling of physical feedback when I play music such as the double note passages in [Chopin's] F minor Fantasy. I hesitate to use the term stimulation, for fear that it will be taken the wrong way, but that word does go some way towards capturing the sensation." Of course, it's not all about the endorphins though!


SRF
Re: physical pleasure of playing
SiFi #3052302 12/03/20 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
And bennevis makes a very good additional point about endorphins,
The reward for grooming others is endrphins (not to mention you get to eat the nits!).

Re: physical pleasure of playing
chopin_r_us #3052307 12/03/20 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
My theory? The need/wish to play the piano has its roots grooming (as in nitpicking).


Is that what you tell your piano students? I’m sure your students’ parents would be really impressed by the references to head lice

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