2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
40 members (0day, Christopher90, Alex Hutor, AndrewJCW, Burkhard, Animisha, anotherscott, 7 invisible), 735 guests, and 256 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 4 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
Is this what Hummel means when he says "Extending the fingers flat on the keys, and, as it were, boreing into them, by letting the hands hang downwards, are altogether faulty positions, and give rise to a lame and heavy manner of playing", or is he describing something else? Regardless, I know my hands should not be flat, and neither should my wrists.

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
You've got the poor (but only English) translation of Hummel and yes, he is describing key bedding: Das platte Auflegen der Finger und gleichsam das Einbohren in die Taste- bei herabhängenderhand,
sind ganz fehlerhaft, und verursachen ein mattes, lahmes Spiel.

'Flat putting on of the fingers and as it were poking (boring, drilling) into the keys with hand weight, are completely incorrect, and cause a heavy, lame playing manner. '

Incidentally, elsewhere he states that key bedding is OK on Viennese instruments as the key dip (amount of travel down of the key) is only about 5mm and light whereas on English instruments of the time it was more in excess of 8mm and heavy. He says on English keyboards you must not keybed or the tone will be too rough.


never taught a child who had poor technique, just poor practice
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,413
S
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,413
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Whatever your views on Griepenkal's authenticity (after all he had it from Forkal who had it from the Bach sons - and almost 100 years passing!) he is not referring to use of arm weight technique as we mean it. He states clearly 'This position is impossible without the wrist of the hand remaining immovable...' Arm weight is all about using the wrist. The technique he is describing would be useful on the clavichord but disastrous on piano as you'd be adding weight after the key descends! One of the worst habits to have. It's called key bedding.

The authenticity can be discussed like for any old source. I disagree with you about the content of the text and I interpret it differently. Bach was not playing the piano which did not exist, so his technique is relevant for the instruments he was using, the harpsichord, clavichord and the organ, just like our modern techniques are suited and adjusted as needed for our modern pianos. And in fact most modern harpsichordist dont play like a frozen mummy with rigid hands, any video or a top keyboardist clearly makes the point.

So again, maybe I dont make myself clear, but no one is saying that Bach was playing like a modern pianist, that would make zezo sense, especially on a clavichord. But based on the testimony of Forkel/Griepenkerl, it is clear that he was already using arm weight as an aid to play his instrument and not relying only on the finger mouvement.

The role of the wrist in general differ based on what source you read. Rameau for example is advocating for having the wrist supple and Ms Kobb is using the wrist quite a bit in her vids even though she is not supposed to based on her theory.

Regarding arm weight in modern usage, there are a ton of different variations/interpretations on how to use it in practice. But piano playing is not nuclear physics. The basic mouvements are fairly limited. Using arm weight is self explanatory and again the lady in the video explains it simply and well. Now it is complemented by other more elaborate techniques on the piano, but it remains that at the end the basic idea is rather simple and pretty much the same as what Grienpenkerl describes in his text (which again does not imply Bach was playing like Lang Lang !).

So for the purpose of this discussion, it makes its point that Bach (if one believes Griepenkerl) used a technique that did not rely only on finger mouvements unlike what Clementi and others describe.

So I repeat what I already said, playing the piano using strictly and only the Clementi, Hummel recommendations, with basically no wrist, even more using the chiroplast is like giving up on cars and coming back to carriages tracked by horses (but maybe we will have to do that again sometime ...). But everyone is free to do whatever they like. If MissT wants to play like Hummel, why not !

Cheers.


Blüthner model 6
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,430
I
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 2,430
Originally Posted by Miss T
To Iaroslav Vasiliev: I thank you for sharing your opinion, and while I respect it, and can certainly understand how my blindness relates to things such as reading sheet music, I'm not sure how it relates to using this technique. If I understand correctly, my fingers should not be removed from the keyboard while playing, or at least, not to a great extent, and it is they, rather than my arms, which will be doing all of the work. That seems very tactile to me. As for the chiroplast and/or hand guide, it seems that I will have to have one made for me.

The finger technique allows a briefer tactile contact of a finger with a key, using smaller area of the fingertip, because of finger bent in the middle joint and the type of motion used. When using arm weight you'll have longer contact with a key, and you'll use bigger area of the sensitive pad on the fingertip because of flatter finger shape. In fact, when using arm weight technique, it's even possible to place your fingers on the keys in advance and play without swing, maintaining constant tactile contact with the keys. You will undoubtedly feel the keys much better using the arm weight technique.

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
Originally Posted by Sidokar
So for the purpose of this discussion, it makes its point that Bach (if one believes Griepenkerl) used a technique that did not rely only on finger mouvements unlike what Clementi and others describe.

So I repeat what I already said, playing the piano using strictly and only the Clementi, Hummel recommendations, with basically no wrist, even more using the chiroplast is like giving up on cars and coming back to carriages tracked by horses (but maybe we will have to do that again sometime ...). But everyone is free to do whatever they like. If MissT wants to play like Hummel, why not !

Cheers.
CPE Bach famously said his father was his only teacher. Here he is from his Versuch discussing what happens when a clavichord player plays the harpsichord:

'The clavichordist grows too much accustomed to caressing the keys: consequently, his wonted touch being insufficient to operate to operate the jacks...In fact, finger strength may be lost eventually, by playing only on the clavichord. ' [my italics]

Remember the Bach sons also said clavichord was Bach's favourite instrument! Does that sound like the son of a father who habitually uses arm weight?

Last edited by chopin_r_us; 09/09/21 04:46 AM.

never taught a child who had poor technique, just poor practice
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
The finger technique allows a briefer tactile contact of a finger with a key, using smaller area of the fingertip, because of finger bent in the middle joint and the type of motion used. When using arm weight you'll have longer contact with a key, and you'll use bigger area of the sensitive pad on the fingertip because of flatter finger shape.
My experience says otherwise. It's the sliding (caressing) from pad to tip that's the most sensitive.


never taught a child who had poor technique, just poor practice
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,413
S
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,413
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
CPE Bach famously said his father was his only teacher. Here he is from his Versuch discussing what happens when a clavichord player plays the harpsichord:

'The clavichordist grows too much accustomed to caressing the keys: consequently, his wonted touch being insufficient to operate to operate the jacks...In fact, finger strength may be lost eventually, by playing only on the clavichord. ' [my italics]

Remember the Bach sons also said clavichord was Bach's favourite instrument! Does that sound like the son of a father who habitually uses arm weight?

The statement that Clavichord was Bach's favourite instrument is by Forkel. Though the exact meaning and relevance of that sentence is actually disputed by experts. What CPE Bach said is that the clavichord was mainly used as a solo instrument, the harpsichord being used in ensemble. All of that is in the Versuch which I have read several times, probably like you did, so we all know what he said there.

But those instruments being very expensive, most people (except rich aristocrats) could not afford to have more than one We are not certain that Bach actually owned a clavichord though it seems rather likely. Also there was a huge variety of instruments used at the time with little standardization.

In any case, it is certain that as a professional, Bach had to play and use a number of different instruments, the organ being likely the most frequent and that he had to adjust his touch and technique to these instruments.

Apart from the very detailled and precise description of Gripenkerl, there is no other similar detailed direct testimony. All other statements are high level and dont go into enough details to draw anything conclusive. One can always use of course indirect assumptions which are most or less relevant and conclusive. Based on what G said, we can accept it (which is my point of view), but others who dont like the idea can dispute it by other indirect factors, just like many other aspects of Bach life and practice.


Blüthner model 6
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
You want to read from page 49: https://archive.org/details/johannsebastianb00forkuoft

It's obvious there's no arm weight there (and from your horse's mouth!).


never taught a child who had poor technique, just poor practice
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
To chopin_r_us: To be honest, I like this English translation of Hummel. I don't speak German, so can't compare the two, but I don't find it difficult to comprehend. However, I also don't know piano terminology well, hence my question. But your answer is fascinating. I wonder, then, which advice I should follow, given both my goals and the actual keyboard that I will be using for now.

To Iaroslav Vasiliev: Thank you for your explanation. However, my guess is that the process will become automatic, like typing on a regular computer keyboard, in which only my fingertips briefly touch the keys. To chopin_r_us: Yes, I heard that this technique is more of a caress as well, and from that point of view, it makes more sense to use it.

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
It's a little complicated. Before the advent of the piano there were two basic techniques. Clavichord, which meant bending the finger to 'caress' the key and harpsichord, which meant poking the key (preserving the finger shape). All of this was done with a still hand. As the action on the piano got heavier (steel strings, thick felt hammers) the wrist could no longer remain still as the weight of the arm had to be utilized. In my opinion Bach, Mozart, Hummel and Chopin caress (and their school kind of died out) whilst Scarlatti, Clementi and Beethoven poked (and is today's piano school). You need to decide which you want to do.


never taught a child who had poor technique, just poor practice
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
I want to follow the first school, provided there is a way I can be sure I am doing so correctly. To that end, I researched the costs of fortepianos, clavichords, and harpsichords. The cheapest clavichord I found was three thousand dollars. However, these were all new reproductions. I once saw a fortepiano for nine hundred, which was absolutely amazing, but it was a local pickup and not in my area. Most fortepianos I've seen cost tens of thousands of dollars, though I saw one for eight thousand. Would it be possible to find any sort of old, small, keyboard instrument for under two thousand dollars, preferably under five hundred? I am not seeking anything in great condition, just something playable. I asked earlier about spinet pianos, which can be very cheap in price. Are they a viable option, or do they still utilise the modern weights in the keys? I hesitate to ask about electronic keyboards, as many of them are complicated, and they may not meet my needs with regard to touch. If I were to buy another one, I would prefer something which has no menus, and a numberpad for selecting instruments rather than a dial. Since I am just starting out, though, I don't want to get ahead of myself.

Last edited by Miss T; 09/09/21 11:37 AM.
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
I would contact your local piano technicians with your requirements. Many of them also deal and usually are cheaper than a conventional piano shop. There may be old square pianos knocking about but you must take a technicians advice. You want a shallow keydip and light action and you have to like the sound!


never taught a child who had poor technique, just poor practice
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
That sounds like excellent advice. I will definitely keep it in mind for the future, so that I can make the best choice.

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,413
S
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,413
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
You want to read from page 49: https://archive.org/details/johannsebastianb00forkuoft

It's obvious there's no arm weight there (and from your horse's mouth!).

Yes I have read a well as most bios of Bach. In fact what he says supports pretty well what Griepenkerl explains in more detail (which he learnt from Forkel) about the weight of the arm passing naturally from one finger to the next in page 52. At least I dont see any contradiction.

Now most treatise of the baroque period, including CPE Bach and Rameau spend very little if any on the actual subject of the touch. CPE B has a very small section on it and Rameau and others just give very high level indications but dont get into any details as to how actually execute it. Most details talk mainly about hand and finger position. Forkel being more detailed than most.

You will also notice if you have read Forkel thar he does no make any difference in his description of the touch between clavichord, organ and harpsichord.

Unlike for the violin, where there are different schools extremely well documented, for the keyboard we dont know what were the various practices as the topic of touch is rarely treated or extremely briefly. Fingering on the other hand is thorougly described which seemed to be the primary importance. And for those who want to play in the baroque style, they should also look at the fingering which is quite different from modern practice.

So instead of trying to figure out or pretend like we know how baroque musicians played, it is better to take some courses from modern players. Now here is a video by WW (though I dont like his current trend, he is graduated and studied specifically baroque practice). Now he explains how to use to play the clavichord. This is not common practice, but he is certainly not using the still hand and poking fingers !



Blüthner model 6
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,865
If you mean:

'In the second place, the sliding finger-tip, and the consequently rapid transmission of regulated force from one finger to another, tend to bring out each note clearly and to make every passage sound uniformly brilliant and distinct to the hearer without exertion.'

I see no evidence here of use of the arm in any way.


never taught a child who had poor technique, just poor practice
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
I have seen several people play them on Youtube, and a few names kept repeating, including Viviana Sofronitsky, Ronald Brautigam, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Petra Somlai, Els Biesemans, and Sir András Schiff, who, since we are on the topic of Bach, wrote an excellent article about playing his music. I haven't heard the playing of Sylvia Berry, but I am posting this here because she describes what it is like to play on these pianos. She also briefly mentions techniques. Perhaps, one of these players uses the Viennese technique in his playing. If so, it would be interesting to read more about it from someone who uses it daily.

https://www.lesdelices.org/getting-to-know-fortepianist-sylvia-berry/

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 206
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 206
Originally Posted by Miss T
I just found a book entitled Introduction to the Art of playing on the pianoforte. Containing the elements of music, preliminary notions on fingering with examples, and fifty fingered lessons in the major and minor key, by Muzio Clementi. I had no idea that he wrote such a text. This will be an excellent companion to my current texts, assuming I can make it at least somewhat readable.

Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
It's called Gradus ad Parnassum.
That is incorrect, chopin_r_us. The two publications are not one and the same. The Gradus is Clementi's 3 volume set of technical studies, published in stages as Op.44 between 1817 and 1826 The Introduction to the Art of playing on the pianoforte is his pedagogical "Method", published as Op.42 in 1802 (Vienna) and 1803 (London). Subsequently, in 1811 Clementi appended a set of [i]Preludes and Exercises[i/], Op. 43, to accompany the [i]Introduction[i/]; he revised these in 1820, now divided into two parts. Op.43 (1820 version) can be had from here: mslp.org/wiki/Preludes_and_Exercises,_Op.43_(Clementi,_Muzio)


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

https://understanding-piano-technique.com/ocportal
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 30
To Scordatura: I sincerely thank you for that wonderful explanation. Is Op. 43 just the exercises or is it the entire book of Op. 42, with more exercises added? Either way, I was truly excited to see them on a Wiki page, as I assumed that this would be regular html, not a pdf, and would therefore be completely readable, minus the musical notation. But the link didn't work, even though I tried it with http://www. and http://, respectively. It just said "page not found". I then did a Google search for "site:mslp.org Clementi", minus the quotation marks, and received no results.

Last edited by Miss T; 09/09/21 11:36 PM.
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 206
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 206
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
I doubt you'll find Turk in English. Try this instead: https://imslp.org/wiki/Instructions_for_the_Piano_Forte_(Cramer%2C_Johann_Baptist)
A modern-day English translation of Türk (1789 edn.) was made by Raymond H. Haggh and published in 1982 as School of Clavier Playing, or, Instructions in playing the clavier for teachers and students by the University of Nebraska Press.

It can be viewed and downloaded via this page (scroll down to the end!):
https://www.scribd.com/search?content_type=tops&page=1&query=School%20of%20clavier%20playing&content_types=tops,books,audiobooks,articles,documents,sheet_music&language=1


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

https://understanding-piano-technique.com/ocportal
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 206
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 206
Originally Posted by Miss T
To Scordatura: I sincerely thank you for that wonderful explanation. Is Op. 43 just the exercises or is it the entire book of Op. 42, with more exercises added? Either way, I was truly excited to see them on a Wiki page, as I assumed that this would be regular html, not a pdf, and would therefore be completely readable, minus the musical notation. But the link didn't work, even though I tried it with http://www. and http://, respectively. It just said "page not found". I then did a Google search for "site:mslp.org Clementi", minus the quotation marks, and received no results.

Glad to assist!

Op 42 and Op. 43 were never published together as a single tome, at least to my knowledge, and on IMSLP each has its own page.

My apologies vis-à-vis the faulty URL for Op. 43 and for the time and effort wasted consequently! I see now that I copy-pasted it without realizing it was missing its first character. here it is again in full:

https://imslp.org/wiki/Preludes_and_Exercises,_Op.43_(Clementi,_Muzio)

(If I may offer a comment regarding the faulty URL - if a supposedly working URL returns "page not found" it's not a good idea to search Google for a correct link by appending "site:" as you did, because it will restrict the search to that site's pages only- and if that returns no result, you know the URL's domain name must be incorrectly typed. Leaving out "site" allows Google to do an unrestricted web-wide search which can interpret your query characters as keywords (rather than the characters of a literal URL) and return whatever results approximate any of those. I did your own query without "site:" just now and got plenty of IMSLP Clementi pages. If you don't at once see the exact page you're seeking, you'll likely find a link to the site's homepage (as I did), from where you can navigate downwards to the list of Clementi pages via the top menu Scores > Composers > )

Well worth bookmarking IMSLP's home page (https://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page) for hunting like material (and for scores, of course) - these category pages may be of help:

https://imslp.org/index.php?title=Category:Music_theory&transclude=Template:Catintro

https://imslp.org/index.php?title=Category:Writings&transclude=Template:Catintro

https://imslp.org/index.php?title=Category:Methods&transclude=Template:Catintro

https://imslp.org/index.php?title=Category:Lessons&transclude=Template:Catintro

https://imslp.org/index.php?title=Category:Studies&transclude=Template:Catintro

https://imslp.org/index.php?title=Category:Preludes&transclude


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

https://understanding-piano-technique.com/ocportal
Page 4 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Boston UP-118S opinions
by skern49 - 08/08/22 10:22 PM
OT-ish: what kind of Yamaha is this?
by ShiroKuro - 08/08/22 06:53 PM
Crack on soundboard
by phucahwa - 08/08/22 05:43 PM
Cage:Sonatas and Interludes
by pianoloverus - 08/08/22 05:31 PM
Bluetooth Pedal - page turner
by danno858 - 08/08/22 04:00 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,303
Posts3,214,910
Members106,036
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5