Micro-managing the motions of the fingers by micro-managing time

September 17,2018

When playing we are lulled into a sense that we make one physical motion for every note we play.  That, however, leaves out many subtle motions we make before we play a note and while we hold a note (even if the note is brief).

I wanted to call Irving’s attention to motions that take place so rapidly that we are unaware of them, but at the same time are motions that are critical to the successful execution of the connection from the current note to the next note.

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Speed – evenness – relaxation: “tapping” and  “clicking”

A basic procedure that fosters rapidity in playing is to keep the physical involvement of the body to an absolute minimum.  The more tension there is in the muscles, and the further in space the fingers must move, the more inhibited is the onward flow of the notes through time.  Speed requires relaxation.  So does evenness.

We are looking for the least amount of weight and force that will cause to make the notes audible, and put that together with the least distance of motion by the fingers.  The necessary amount of motion and muscular contraction to create a sound is so little that many of us cannot make the distinction between that amount and no amount at all.  That even if we try intentionally to do the least effort possible, it will prove to be too much.

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“The three faces of Irving? (sic)”

Three pronouns that refer to the same pianist: I, you and s’he”

The reference is to the movie “The three faces of Eve” in which a woman with multiple personalities gradually learns how to integrate the first personalities with a newly arisen third personality.

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