The Development of Piano

The Harpsichord had sparkling clarity but it lacked expressive power. Keyboard manufacturers had pathed a way to make the instrument more capable of greater nuances. In 1709, Bartolomeo Cristofori, the Florentine instrument maker, began to manufacture realised the pianoforte – a harpsichord with hammers. The Italian gave his instrument the shape of large harpsichord called... Continue Reading →

Italian Cembalo (Harpsichord) Music

Domenica Scarlatti (1685 – 1757) pathed a way for the future school of piano composition. A Neapolitan composer, his harpsichord work was largely composed in Madrid or other Spanish cities. He lived in Spain under the patronage of Queen Mariá Bárbara. He composed more than five hundred of pieces in Spain for the Harpsichord. He... Continue Reading →

Precision Matters

For more complex music repertoires, students are often puzzled with the complexity of accuracy. No matter how many technical drills and how much repetition a student practices the student still has trouble in achieving the desired precision. Here are some thoughts to ponder upon that a student may contemplate: 1. Mental Responsiveness and ability to... Continue Reading →

Ornamentation

Historically Baroque Ornamentation was without notation but of improvisatory tradition. Ornamentation was increasingly popular later but never completely replaced by notation. The notation was commonly completed but was not always capable of sounding complete in performance; the composer, mainly obligatorily supplied the figuration. The more or less improvised ornamentation was chiefly through the influence of... Continue Reading →

5 Things that Help Memorisation

Have you ever experienced that for most of the repertoires that you learnt during your youth to your adolescence, you are still able to play them from memory well into adulthood? Yet, it takes twice or thrice as much to learn and memorise a repertoire in your adulthood. This is because during our youth, we... Continue Reading →

Dances of the Suite for the Baroque Era

Dances of the Suite for the Baroque Era Choosing and playing the appropriate tempos for the Dances of the Suite in the Baroque Era is crucially important; however, performers need to be aware of the differences between French and Italian Baroque music. French music was much more conservative than Italian music, having preserved Renaissance musical... Continue Reading →

I Can’t Gain Speed

This frustration is all too familiar to many pianists, beginners and experienced alike. Perhaps Many believe that, as long as they persist with repetitions, the ability to play faster will eventually develop. Others become disheartened and consider giving up their lessons, convinced that they will never sufficiently improve! Those who persevere begin to understand that... Continue Reading →

Articulation and Touch – Part 2

1. Leggeiro This is the direct opposite of legatissimo.  Instead of the ‘heavy hand’ the hand is particularly light. The note appears to sound slightly ‘detached’. Raise the hand in a fixed shape, lift the wrist about 1 centimeter than its usual position Fingertips are to remain on the surface of the key without dropping... Continue Reading →

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