Do you hear the famous pianist Vladimir Horowitz's play here? Do you like the sonorous singing tone? Do you like the nuance, the dynamic shading?
Why the play is different? Why the same piano sounds different in different pianist's hands?
Why some people feel playing piano easy and some feel difficult? Because the way they play is different!
If the talented pianists can play in the nature's way, the less talented can do too.
The difference is that perhaps the talent can do it instinctively and the less talented has to do it
I am not a highly talented pianist but I found the piano playing a lot easier, the technical difficulties disappeared
and the music sounds much more beautiful after I applied the physics and anatomy to piano playing consciously.
I would like to share this with you.
This article grew from my exploration of the application of
physics and anatomy to piano playing. It is not a
or step1, step 2.... piano instructions. It is not for the kids, it is intended
for the serious adult piano players who like to think and for the parents
of young piano students - even the parents do not know how to play, but they can
judge if their children's play
agrees with the nature's way or not
after learning the facts presented in this article.
Tradition Piano Teaching only teach you
"How To" play:
When someone starts playing piano, the teacher usually tell
you "How to" play: this way or that way. In every lesson, you mimic the teacher, after the
lesson you practice at home like the teacher did. And next lesson, you repeat
the same process again. This way
of teaching, maybe is good for the small kids. But not for the adult or even the
young adult. Because, nothing is creative there.
Sometimes, the "How To" is wrong and anti-scientific:
exercises are anti-human anatomy, it could cause injury of our hands if not used
properly. A few
authorities had mention it, including famous pianist Vladimir Horowitz, famous
Russian piano pedagogue Heinrich Heuhaus and American piano pedagogue Abby
Whiteside etc. Technical drills should be in the context of music, not the dry
Relaxation technique is only one aspect of piano playing. Our
goal is to use minimum motion and energy to achieve maximum result. Our
mind, our body and our whole arm ( including upper arm, forearm, wrist, hand and
finger) must stay alert all the time, not just relaxation. The distinguished
pianist Gyorgy Sander and piano pedagogue Abby Whiteside had mention it.
Knowing "Why and "What" then you know "How":
With a scientific background, I tend to learn things by
reasoning and by the facts.
just by experiences alone. In other words. I want to know why and what,
then I will know how to. If you learn playing piano by just experiences
alone. You will end up with endless practicing hours, aimless routine
repetition, fatigue caused by the wrong use of your muscles, not being able to
produce the beautiful music, no fun, or maybe you would eventually give up. In
order to play piano musically and naturally, You must know what to play and
why you should play in the nature's way.
to play? Techniques serve the music. You must have a clear artistic, aural image in your
mind. You must know
structures, forms, rhythms, phrases, dynamics, basic harmonics , etc. In other
words, you must know what you want to hear from the piano.
was played, it must be played musically. Further still, it had to be played
orchestrally. Moreover, I had to find out for myself how to make the effects. In
other words, we first played not the piano but music. Then we played
music as it is rendered by special instruments."
-- Quote from Vladimir Horowitz
Why should you play in the nature's way not the other way? This will be explained in the topics:
The Piano, The
With the knowledge of the sound of the piano, the anatomic
fact of our body (especially our upper limb), you know why you should
play in the nature's way.
How to Play?
After you study the above topics, you
understand how to play. Some famous pianist's techniques are mentioned in the topic
The Technique. In order to master the
technique you have to practice a lot, and practice consciously. The most
important thing to remember: you must use your brain to play all the time!
Technique is basically mental, the conscious mind must train the sub-conscious
mind. The brain must guide the fingers, not the fingers the brain.
In this discussion, every conclusion is directed from the
analysis of the facts. That means, every how to is validated by the
why not just my personal experiences or some other pianists' experiences.
The topics are as following:
- factual presentation of the piano actions. An intelligent pianist
should know the fundamental physics of his/her instrument.
The Tone - theoretical analysis of the sound and the tone of the piano.
The importance of a beautiful tone, the fine tonal balance, can never be
overlooked. "A good sound is created by the brain not by the hands."
Pianist - factual presentation of the anatomy of our upper
limb. An intelligent pianist should know the fundamental physiology directly
influence his/ her piano technique.
- technique serves the music. A feeling for rhythm, phrase, nuance
and direction is desirable.
The Technique - develop
technique based on the above facts and analysis. A sound technique should be
a natural one and can never be divorced from music.