In the last post I wrote about how the application of force in striking the piano keys down would drastically affect our piano playing. And there are two ideas you must understand. The first idea is: “We apply different level of weights for different dynamics.” Which I have explained in the last post.

In this post I continue to discuss about the second idea, which is “We apply different level of weights for each key – even in the same dynamic level.”

What does that mean?

Even when the whole phrase is marked “f”, it doesn’t mean we play every note as “f” or the same kind of “f”. I know it sounds confusing. Let me elaborate. 

Think about it, if every note sounds equally loud in “f” it or equally soft in “p” there is no variety of volume (and thereby tone) in the same phrase of “f” or “p” that the playing would sound very bland. It is exactly because the variety, however subtle it might be (and must be in the most delicate and deliberate playing), that differentiate a beautiful advanced and professional playing than a child or amateur playing. You only have to think about how terrible a kid’s playing sounds like banging on a piano really loud with no subtlety of dynamic changes (everything is “forte”!), and that is mostly because s/he doesn’t know how to control the weight and that there should be difference in application of the weights for each key. 

It is very similar to our speech. We don’t pronounce and articulate every word and even syllable the same way, otherwise we would sound like a robot! There are words and syllables that are more important and we would emphasis them more (using volume – louder, and time – elongate or pause), while those that are less important (like conjunctions, articles, end of a word etc) we tend to speak them softer and would not linger on them. The same can be applicable in our playing. Some notes are more important in the sense that they “speaks” more of the musical content than others – like the nouns and verbs or any ideas you want to stress in a sentence. So we would put more weight to play those notes for more volume and time to emphasis their musical importance. Just think about those important notes as those people you care about more in your life: your family, your life partner (boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife), your friends, your pet (cat/dog/lizard/parrot), your toys (stuff animal/teddy bear/unicorn ).  You would take more care of and spend more time with those people and those people are the important notes you want to emphasis. I think this is a pretty good and easy to understand example, what do you think?

Until the next post,

Teresa Wong

P.S. using my new exercise book will help you achieve the different weight and dynamics that I talk about in this and the previous post. Check it out down here!

Technique Transformation

My new book, “Technique Transformation Exercise Book”, is now available on Amazon.com

Piano Technique Transformation, 鋼琴技巧改造

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