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Listening To One's Own Playing.

The habit of listening to his own playing, of studying musical effect, should be formed by the student as soon as possible. Of course, this is natural to a certain extent to all players of a musical nature; but, like a naturally good ear, or flexible hands, it is a thing capable of extensive cultivation.

For this kind of work much depends on the make of one’s pianoforte. But given one of good quality, fine results may be obtained by playing single notes and chords very slowly; making the endeavor to produce a pure, round, and long tone, without striking the keys heavily. If one becomes interested in this form of tone production, slow exercises will never seem tedious nor useless. Slow movements of sonatas, like the adagios of the “Moonlight” and the “Appassionata,” and pieces like Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words, Nos. 18 and 22, and Godard’s “Reverie Pastorale” and “Au Matin,” may also be practiced advantageously in this manner. Studies in pedaling may be combined with this kind of work.

Musical effect should also be kept in mind when applying the finishing touches to rapid passages. After the first part of Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu, for example, each passage should be studied with the purpose in view of making “waves” of tone, instead of resting content with simply playing the notes rapidly. This latter style of playing such passages exhibits one’s dexterity of finger, but does not produce the best effects that the pianoforte is capable of.—T. Currier, in The Boston Musical Herald.


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