A pedagogical compilation for pianists dealing with five technical problems in performance
Throughout Leopold Godowsky's teaching career he emphasized to students that the technic of piano playing is not synonymous with the mechanics of piano playing.' Mechanics encompass specific problems such as 1) octaves, 2) pedalling, 3) articulation, 4) velocity, and 5) weight and relaxation. Technic involves not only the practical execution, but basic understanding in the application of such problemmatical areas.This study will deal with the mastery and understanding of five specific areas that form a basis for one's individual technical approach to performance. It is important pedagogically to confine oneself to a single problem while discussing such areas in order that each item be thoroughly understood.2 For example, the first chapter involves preparation needed to encounter confidently octave passages found in the actual piano repertory. The second chapter deals with application of the damper pedal in selected piano excerpts, while the chapter on articulation is limited to the ambiguities of printed staccato markings. The final two chapters encompass progressive steps toward controlled velocity in passage work and a study of two terms, weight and relaxation.The author hopes that with use of this manual these items can be handled with less difficulty and put into proper perspective. Careful thought has been given by the writer in selecting representative exercises and piano literature excerpts as illustrations for the reader and/or performer. These examples cannot only be studied, but used as preparation for any other related work. The purpose of this study is to supply teachers, students, and performers with a ready-reference guide dealing with five common, yet confusing areas in piano performance, pedagogy, and study.1Ruth Slenczynska, Music At Your Fingertips (New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1968), p. 35.2Karl Leimer, Rhythmics, Dynamics, Pedal, and Other Problems of Piano Playing (New York: Dover, Inc., 1972), p. 83.