The Technique of Playing the Piano

Heinrich Schenker

in The Art of Performance

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151510
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871582 | DOI:
The Technique of Playing the Piano

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This chapter shows the inherent difficulties in understanding the piano, as it has the dual role of remaining in the proximity of the orchestra as well as of string instruments and the voice. Not understanding that composers wrote as expressively for the piano as for all other instruments, pianists compensated by developing a special pianistic technique which however prevented truly expressive playing. Pure “virtuoso” writing is fundamentally different from the writing of the great masters. The chapter describes technical means which can aid the pianist to produce expressive effects similar to those of singer and instrumentalist: “piano singing”, various pedal and pedal-like effects, voicing of octaves, and special treatment of the bass.

Keywords: pianistic music; pianistic technique; piano singing; pedal; bass; octaves

Chapter.  2341 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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