Joe's Blog

IMAGINATION AND THE PRINCIPLE OF SPRINGS

February 17, 2017

previously:

Part one:   IMAGINATION AND THE PHYSICAL PLAYING MECHANISM.    Feb. 15, 2017

Part two:   SPRINGS: STORING UP POWER FOR A SUDDEN RELEASE      Feb. 16, 2017

today:

Part three: THE COMBINATION OF IMAGINATION AND SPRINGS        Feb. 17, 2017

If we combine the notion of imagined motions with the idea of a ‘spring’ there is a powerful combination.

No matter what is needed by the pianist in terms of speed, agility, suddenness, strength, and in no matter in what direction it needs to be applied relative to the keyboard, there is a spring sufficient to the task.

ANY POINT OF ARTICULATION IN THE BODY CAN ACT AS A SPRING

Any point of articulation in the body can behave as a spring.  All that is needed is for the pianist to define for themselves 1) the most effective plane in space in which the spring is compressed or stretched, 2) what muscular motions are designed to do that, and 3) the desired nature of the sudden motion that results from releasing the stored up energy in the spring.

A SPRING CAN ARISE IN THE IMAGINATION BASED AN IMAGINED ARTICULATION OCCURRING AT ANY POINT ON THE BODY

Even points on the body that don’t articulate anatomically, can feel, with the use of the imagination, as if that they articulate at that point.  One can sense internally what the neighboring parts of the body would feel like if they flexed at that point.  Therefore that point can act as a spring.  What is required is that 1) the pianist analyze the current technical demand of the piece, and 2) to hypothesize the ideal point in the body, which if it did articulate, would most efficiently achieve the movements necessary for the body to make to effect.

ENERGY

With sufficient ‘energy’ anything technical or musical can be accomplished at the piano whether it require speed, finesse, agility or musical conception.  Any difficulty that can be stated or measured in terms of speed in time or motion in space can be overcome. The question for the pianist is how to generate the required amount of energy, and the spring presents us with one of the principal ways of generating the required degree of energy.  Its purpose is to concentrate or dissipate energy as needed.   The force of a spring unwinding if compressed, or contracting if stretched, can be as small or large as one wishes. 

SUMMARY

Often the key to activating a spring lies in the imagination, though obviously it can occur also as the result of voluntary muscle movements.   The energy generated by the spring is then applied in real space to the real keyboard.

The energy the release of the stored energy in a spring can be far more (or far less) than if one were in a static state and then suddenly tried to exert energy. 

The distance a body part moves as a result of a spring releasing can be as short or long as one wishes, and thus can be tailor made to fit the actual topography of the keyboard.

FUTURE BLOGS

In future entries I will be describing various specific springs (both of the ‘actual’ and of the ‘internally imagined’ type).  There are springs that can be envisioned in the knuckles, fingers in the palms, the wrists, the forearms, the elbows, etc., virtually in any body part.   Some of the directions in which an action is performed to create and set a spring are vertically, horizontally, rotationally, and longitudinally.

🙂 Comments, questions, disagreements, all welcome.

 

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