Touchweight, speed of depressing piano and dynamics

Do you find that some pianos seem easier to play and use less force to depress the keys? I find a article discuss about this phenomenon. The writer says it is all about touchweight and piano action.   He gives a very detailed explanation about this topic. Please have a look:

http://www.pianofinders.com/educational/touchweight.htm

And this is further study of touchweight. We usually have the myth that we use different degree of force on pressing the piano keys to give dynamic change. However, from Thomas Mak’s Alexander Technique book What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body, he says  “The very important thing that the pianist needs to know is that it is not the pressure applied to the keys that determines the volume of the sound, but the speed with which they are depressed. This may be surprising to some pianists, but it is the truth.”

This idea is odd and abstract. So at first I would ask my students just use their hands knocking  at the piano cover or any wooden surface. Knock slowly and accelerate the speed gradually. Let them listen to the change of volume of knocking sound with the change of knocking speed. Only after they can manage it we move to piano playing. This time we play only on one piano key, also starting from very slow finger action and accelerate.

 

Reference

Mark, Thomas C, Roberta Gary, Thom Miles, and Barbara Conable. What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body: A Manual for Players of Keyboard Instruments : Piano, Organ, Digital Keyboard, Harpsichord, Clavichord. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2003.

 

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Quotes: The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

― Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic, quoted by Sorkin, Too Big to Fail

Quotes: infinity

Take a piano. The keys begin, the keys end. You know there are 88 of them and no-one can tell you differently. They are not infinite, you are infinite. And on those 88 keys the music that you can make is infinite. I like that. That I can live by. But you get me up on that gangway and roll out a keyboard with millions of keys, and that’s the truth, there’s no end to them, that keyboard is infinite. But if that keyboard is infinite there’s no music you can play. You’re sitting on the wrong bench. That’s God’s piano.

「拿鋼琴來說,
鍵盤有始有終,你知道有88個鍵,錯不了。
並不是無限的,音樂是無限的。
在琴鍵上,你可以奏出無限的音樂。我喜歡,我能應付得來。
下了船後,前面的鍵盤有無數的琴鍵。事實如此,無窮無盡!
鍵盤是無限的,無限大的鍵盤,你要怎麼彈出音樂?
這不是給凡人彈的,那是上帝的鋼琴。」

―from movie La Leggenda del Pianista sull’Oceano (The Legend of 1900/海上鋼琴師)

Quotes: experiences as purposes

No experience is a cause of success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences, so-called trauma – but we make out of them just what suits our purposes.

―Alfred Adler

(無論任何經驗,它本身並不是成功也不是失敗的原因。我們不要因自身經驗所產生的衝擊(也就是心理創傷)而痛苦,而要由經驗中找出能夠達成目的的東西。不要由經驗來決定自我,而是由我們賦予經驗的意義來決定。

―阿德勒,節錄自岸見一郞、古賀史健著 《被討厭的勇氣》 )