What is controllable and what is not? Transforming the polyphony of a fugue.

May 23,2019

WTC I C p :  (I.E. book one of the Well Tempered Klavier, C Major, the prelude):

What is controllable and what is not?

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Even More Thoughts on How to Play a Bach Fugue

May 17,2019

A.B.’s playing of the first fugue of book one of the Well Tempered has improved by leaps and bounds.  Due to the quality of his mind he can contemplate and wonder at the amazing things, small and large, going on in the piece.

Here is what arose on Thursday, May 16, at our latest lesson.

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For the Medium-Size Hand: More Beautiful Sounding Octaves

May 05,2019

The first finger should move in a plane so that it goes directly towards the body as an extension of the longitude of the key which it is on, and not as the thumb will be wont to do: which is to move sideways so as to execute a more natural motion.  The same for the pinky.  There is a tendency, at least in my-sized hand, to have the pinky and the thumb move towards each other when depressing their keys. But the tip of the pinky as well as the thumb should move in a line perpendicular to the piano keyboard and along the longitude of the key.  Again, this is hard, because the hand is spread for the octave, with the pinkie having moved sideways to the right (if the right hand) when the hand is open for the octave.

The muscles that enable the pinky and thumb to move along the longitude of the keys, which results in their greatest degree of control of the depression of the keys, in other words to be able to move in these constrained directions, requires first, in the case of the (right) pinky an extreme flexion of the third knuckle, down and aimed to the right as it moves in the direction of the body, aided also somewhat by a flexion in the right side of the wrist.  In the case of the (right) thumb it can practice its motion by slowly tracing  over a line on a desk which is drawn perpendicularly to the front right-left side of the desk.  The third knuckle of the thumb, where it attaches to the wrist, is prominent in keeping the thumb congruent with this line.  As the motion is made the thumb is always fighting the desire to move outwards away from the second finger.

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