By Alan Hersh
This booklet explores the realm of the classical pianist and piano professor, deconstructing many everyday phrases that describe this setting. established upon the author's adventure as a live performance artist and faculty professor, this e-book resonates with either prior and present scholars of the piano in addition to song enthusiasts.
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Extra info for A Pianist's Dictionary: Reflections on a Life
Even the Italian language, by its structure and sound, seems particularly suited to lend itself to beauty of expression. DYNAMIC VARIETY is at the heart of all musical expressiveness in our tradition, the rise and fall of melody, the constant interplay of loud and soft sounds that beguiles or sometimes overwhelms the mind as it leads it now here, now there. The human voice is often characterized as the most perfect instrument for expression but the human voice has some built in limitations. Singers have a range of about fifteen notes, they get tired, they run out of breath, sometimes in the middle of an idea.
The majority of piano students today want to learn to read music and to play some of the contemporary repertoire they hear on recordings or see on TV. The piano teacher will try to find some compromise between what the teacher is accustomed to teaching and what the student wants to study. Sometimes this is not possible, and in these circumstances, there is an inevitable falling out. Many piano lessons include studies in music theory. Some teachers also teach the physicality of piano playing–technique.
Our ideas of expressiveness change over the years, and one of the unexpected pleasures of growing older with the instrument and its music is the subtle nuance that one begins to understand as “expressiveness” in piano playing. However, one unfortunate consequence of strongly held beliefs about expressiveness is the varying degrees of intolerance for another pianist’s playing that we perceive as lacking in our expressive concepts or sophistication. This intolerance seems to increase with age and perhaps helps explain why so many senior piano teachers are so crotchety and opinionated: they grow exasperated at not hearing the expressive playing they anticipate and know to be correct.
A Pianist's Dictionary: Reflections on a Life by Alan Hersh