top of page

Group

Public·51 members
Hunter Williams
Hunter Williams

Cortot Rational Principles Of Pianoforte Technique Pdf 22: A Classic and Influential Work on Piano Playing



Cortot Rational Principles Of Pianoforte Technique Pdf 22




If you are a piano student or teacher, you may have heard of a book called Rational Principles of Piano Technique by Alfred Cortot. This book is considered as one of the most influential and comprehensive works on piano technique ever written. It contains five chapters with detailed explanations and exercises on various aspects of piano playing, such as hand position, finger independence, pedaling, expression and interpretation. In this article, we will explore what this book is about, who wrote it, and why it is still relevant for pianists today.




Cortot Rational Principles Of Pianoforte Technique Pdf 22


Download File: https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Furlcod.com%2F2ucBXX&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AOvVaw13rzyR25400gAmOjYiwG9Q



Introduction




Piano technique is the art and science of playing the piano with skill, ease and expressiveness. It involves not only physical aspects such as finger strength, speed and coordination, but also mental aspects such as musical understanding, memory and concentration. Piano technique is not something that can be learned overnight; it requires constant practice, guidance and refinement.


There are many books and methods on piano technique that have been published over the years, but one of the most renowned and respected ones is Rational Principles of Piano Technique by Alfred Cortot. This book was first published in 1928 in French as Principes rationnels de la technique pianistique, and later translated into English, Italian, German and Spanish. It has been used by generations of pianists and teachers as a reference and a source of inspiration.


Who was Alfred Cortot?




Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) was a French pianist, conductor, teacher and writer. He was one of the most prominent and influential musicians of the 20th century. He was known for his brilliant and poetic interpretations of Romantic composers such as Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Brahms. He was also a pioneer in recording technology; he made hundreds of recordings from 1905 to 1959, some of which are still considered as classics today.


Cortot was also a distinguished teacher; he founded the École Normale de Musique de Paris in 1919, where he taught many famous pianists such as Dinu Lipatti, Clara Haskil, Samson François and Vlado Perlemuter. He also wrote several books on piano playing, music history and aesthetics, such as In Search of Chopin, The Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach, and of course, Rational Principles of Piano Technique.


What are the rational principles of piano technique?




Cortot's book is based on the idea that piano technique should be rational, logical and scientific. He believed that there are certain principles and laws that govern the mechanics and physiology of the hand, the acoustics and mechanics of the piano, and the psychology and aesthetics of music. By understanding and applying these principles, pianists can achieve a more efficient, natural and expressive technique.


Cortot's book is divided into five chapters, each covering a different aspect of piano technique. Each chapter contains a theoretical explanation, followed by practical exercises and examples. The exercises are not meant to be played as musical pieces, but rather as technical studies to develop specific skills and habits. Cortot also provides annotations and comments on the exercises, as well as suggestions for further practice.


Why is this book important for pianists?




Cortot's book is important for pianists because it offers a comprehensive and systematic approach to piano technique that is based on sound principles and experience. It covers all the essential topics and problems that pianists encounter, such as hand position, finger independence, evenness of touch, pedaling, expression and interpretation. It also provides a wealth of exercises that can help pianists improve their technique and musicality.


Cortot's book is not only a technical manual, but also a musical guide. It reflects Cortot's deep knowledge and love of music, especially the Romantic repertoire. It shows how technique and expression are inseparable, and how pianists can use technique to serve the music. It also encourages pianists to develop their own personality and style, rather than imitating others.


Cortot's book is still relevant for pianists today because it addresses the timeless and universal challenges of piano playing. It offers a solid foundation and a rich resource for pianists of all levels and backgrounds. It is not a book that can be read once and forgotten; it is a book that can be studied, practiced and revisited throughout one's musical journey.


Chapter 1: The Hand and its Mechanism




The first chapter of Cortot's book deals with the anatomy and physiology of the hand, and how it relates to piano playing. Cortot explains the structure and function of the bones, muscles, tendons and nerves that make up the hand. He also discusses the role of the fingers, wrist and arm in producing sound and movement on the keyboard.


The anatomy of the hand




The hand consists of 27 bones: 8 in the wrist (carpals), 5 in the palm (metacarpals), and 14 in the fingers (phalanges). The bones are connected by joints, which allow for various degrees of motion. The hand also has several muscles, which are attached to the bones by tendons. The muscles contract or relax to move the bones and joints. The hand also has many nerves, which transmit signals from the brain to the muscles, and from the skin to the brain.


The hand is divided into three parts: the palm (the inner side), the back (the outer side), and the edge (the side opposite to the thumb). The palm is convex, while the back is concave. The edge is slightly curved inward. The palm has four creases: one at the base of each finger, one across the middle of the palm, and one at the wrist. The back has three creases: one at each knuckle of the fingers, and one at the wrist.


The fingers are numbered from 1 to 5, starting from the thumb. Each finger has three phalanges, except for the thumb, which has two. Each phalanx has a name: proximal (closest to the palm), middle (in between), and distal (farthest from the palm). Each finger also has three joints: metacarpophalangeal (MCP), proximal interphalangeal (PIP), and distal interphalangeal (DIP). The thumb has two joints: carpometacarpal (CMC) and interphalangeal (IP).


The role of the fingers, wrist and arm




The fingers are the main agents of piano playing; they produce sound by striking or releasing the keys. The fingers have different lengths, shapes and strengths; therefore, they need to be trained individually and collectively to achieve evenness of touch. The fingers also need to be flexible and agile; they should be able to move freely in all directions without stiffness or tension.


The exercises for developing flexibility and strength




Cortot provides several exercises for developing flexibility and strength in the fingers, wrist and arm. These exercises are based on the principle of opposition: the movement of one finger or joint is counterbalanced by the movement of another finger or joint. This creates a dynamic equilibrium that prevents stiffness and tension. The exercises also involve different types of touch: legato (smooth), staccato (detached), portato (slurred), martellato (hammered), tenuto (held), etc.


Some examples of these exercises are:


  • Exercise 1: Play a five-finger scale in C major with the right hand, starting from the thumb. Play each note with a different type of touch: legato, staccato, portato, martellato and tenuto. Repeat the same exercise with the left hand, starting from the fifth finger.



  • Exercise 2: Play a chromatic scale in octaves with both hands, starting from C. Play each octave with a different type of touch: legato, staccato, portato, martellato and tenuto.



  • Exercise 3: Play a chord progression in C major with both hands, using the following chords: I (C-E-G), IV (F-A-C), V7 (G-B-D-F) and I (C-E-G). Play each chord with a different type of touch: legato, staccato, portato, martellato and tenuto.



  • Exercise 4: Play a melody in C major with the right hand, using any notes from the scale. Play each note with a different type of touch: legato, staccato, portato, martellato and tenuto. Accompany the melody with simple chords in the left hand, using the same type of touch as the right hand.



Cortot advises to practice these exercises slowly and carefully, paying attention to the quality and clarity of the sound. He also suggests to vary the tempo, dynamics and articulation of the exercises, as well as to transpose them to different keys.


Chapter 2: The Position of the Hand on the Keyboard




The second chapter of Cortot's book deals with the position of the hand on the keyboard, and how it affects the sound and movement of the fingers. Cortot explains what is the natural position of the hand, and what are the different types of touch that can be produced by varying the position of the hand. He also provides exercises for mastering various touches and positions.


The natural position of the hand




The natural position of the hand is the one that allows for the most freedom and ease of movement for the fingers. It is also the one that produces the most beautiful and expressive sound on the piano. Cortot describes the natural position of the hand as follows:


"The natural position of the hand is that in which it rests on a table or on one's knee without any effort or constraint. The fingers are slightly curved; their tips form an arc whose centre is approximately at the level of the second finger; they are equally spaced from each other; they touch lightly but firmly their support. The thumb is slightly bent inward; its tip is at about the same level as that of the index finger; it forms with it an angle of about 45 degrees. The wrist is slightly raised above the level of the hand; it is neither bent nor twisted; it forms a straight line with the forearm."


the hand, by spreading or squeezing the fingers, by raising or lowering the wrist, or by twisting or tilting the hand. These deviations can cause tension, fatigue, injury and loss of control and quality of sound.


The different types of touch




Cortot distinguishes between four types of touch that can be produced by varying the position of the hand on the keyboard: vertical, horizontal, oblique and rotary. Each type of touch has a different effect on the sound and expression of the music. Cortot describes each type of touch as follows:


  • Vertical touch: This is the touch that results from dropping the finger vertically on the key, without any lateral or circular movement. It produces a clear and precise sound, suitable for staccato, leggiero and brilliant passages.



  • Horizontal touch: This is the touch that results from sliding the finger horizontally on the key, without any vertical or circular movement. It produces a soft and smooth sound, suitable for legato, cantabile and expressive passages.



  • Oblique touch: This is the touch that results from combining vertical and horizontal movements of the finger on the key. It produces a varied and nuanced sound, suitable for portato, martellato and accentuated passages.



  • Rotary touch: This is the touch that results from rotating the hand around the wrist or the forearm, using the thumb or the fifth finger as a pivot. It produces a round and full sound, suitable for chords, octaves and arpeggios.



Cortot advises to practice each type of touch separately and in combination, paying attention to the sound quality and expression. He also suggests to vary the position of the hand according to the musical context and character.


The exercises for mastering various touches




Cortot provides several exercises for mastering various touches and positions of the hand on the keyboard. These exercises are based on simple patterns and scales that can be played with different types of touch. The exercises also involve changing the position of the hand according to the direction and shape of the melodic line. Cortot also provides annotations and comments on the exercises, as well as suggestions for further practice.


Some examples of these exercises are:


  • Exercise 5: Play a five-finger scale in C major with both hands, starting from C. Play each note with a different type of touch: vertical, horizontal, oblique and rotary. Repeat the same exercise in different keys.



  • Exercise 6: Play a major scale in C major with both hands, starting from C. Play each note with a different type of touch: vertical, horizontal, oblique and rotary. Repeat the same exercise in different keys.



  • Exercise 7: Play a chromatic scale in C major with both hands, starting from C. Play each note with a different type of touch: vertical, horizontal, oblique and rotary. Repeat the same exercise in different keys.



the melody with simple chords in the opposite hand, using the same type of touch as the melody hand.


Cortot advises to practice these exercises slowly and carefully, paying attention to the sound quality and expression. He also suggests to vary the tempo, dynamics and articulation of the exercises, as well as to transpose them to different keys.


Chapter 3: Finger Independence and Evenness of Touch




The third chapter of Cortot's book deals with finger independence and evenness of touch, and how they affect the clarity and accuracy of piano playing. Cortot explains what is finger independence and evenness of touch, and why they are important for pianists. He also provides exercises for improving finger independence and evenness of touch.


The importance of finger independence




Finger independence is the ability to move each finger independently from the others, without affecting their position or movement. Finger independence is essential for piano playing, because it allows pianists to play different notes, rhythms, dynamics and articulations with each finger. Finger independence also enables pianists to play complex passages with ease and precision.


Finger independence is not something that pianists are born with; it is something that needs to be developed through practice and training. Finger independence depends on several factors, such as the anatomy of the hand, the position of the hand on the keyboard, the type of touch, and the musical context. Finger independence can be improved by strengthening the muscles and tendons of the fingers, by increasing their flexibility and agility, and by coordinating their movements with the wrist and arm.


The methods for achieving evenness of touch




Evenness of touch is the ability to produce a consistent and uniform sound with each finger, regardless of their length, shape or strength. Evenness of touch is important for piano playing, because it creates a smooth and balanced musical line. Evenness of touch also enhances the expression and interpretation of the music.


Evenness of touch is not something that pianists can achieve automatically; it is something that requires attention and control. Evenness of touch depends on several factors, such as the anatomy of the hand, the position of the hand on the keyboard, the type of touch, and the musical context. Evenness of touch can be improved by adjusting the pressure and speed of each finger on the key, by equalizing their distance and angle from the key, and by synchronizing their movement with the wrist and arm.


The exercises for improving finger independence and evenness of touch




the exercises, as well as suggestions for further practice.


Some examples of these exercises are:


  • Exercise 9: Play a five-finger scale in C major with both hands, starting from C. Play each note with a different finger: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Repeat the same exercise with different fingers: 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 5, 4, 3, 2; 3, 4, 5, 1, 2, 1, 5, 4, 3; etc. Repeat the same exercise in different keys.



  • Exercise 10: Play a major scale in C major with both hands, starting from C. Play each note with a different finger: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Repeat the same exercise with different fingers: 2, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1; 3, 4, 5, 3, 4, 5 ,1 ,2; etc. Repeat the same exercise in different keys.



  • Exercise 11: Play a chromatic scale in C major with both hands, starting from C. Play each note with a different finger: 1 ,3 ,1 ,3 ,2 ,4 ,1 ,3 ,etc. Repeat the same exercise with different fingers: 2 ,4 ,2 ,4 ,3 ,5 ,2 ,4 ,etc; etc. Repeat the same exercise in different keys.



  • Exercise 12: Play a melody in C major with both hands, using any notes from the scale. Play each note with a different finger: any combination of fingers. Accompany the melody with simple chords in the opposite hand, using any combination of fingers.



Cortot advises to practice these exercises slowly and carefully, paying attention to the sound quality and accuracy. He also suggests to vary the tempo, dynamics and articulation of the exercises, as well as to transpose them to different keys.


Chapter 4: The Pedal




The fourth chapter of Cortot's book deals with the pedal and its use in piano playing. Cortot explains what is the function of the pedal and what are the different types of pedaling. He also provides exercises for practicing pedaling and applying it to musical pieces.


The function of the pedal




The pedal is a device that modifies the sound of the piano by lifting or lowering the dampers that mute the strings. The pedal has two main functions: to sustain or prolong the sound of the notes that are played (sustaining pedal), and to change or modify the tone or color of the sound (una corda pedal).


The sustaining pedal is located on the right side of the pedal board. It lifts all the dampers from the strings when pressed down and lowers them back when released. This allows the sound of the notes that are played to continue even after the keys are released. It also allows other strings that are not played to vibrate sympathetically with the played notes. This creates a richer and fuller sound.


the whole keyboard slightly to the right when pressed down and back to the center when released. This causes the hammers to strike only one or two strings instead of three for each note. This creates a softer and thinner sound.


The different types of pedaling




Cortot distinguishes between four types of pedaling that can be used in piano playing: direct, syncopated, legato and half. Each type of pedaling has a different effect on the sound and expression of the music. Cortot describes each type of pedaling as follows:


  • Direct pedaling: This is the pedaling that coincides with the attack of the notes. It is used to sustain or prolong the sound of the notes that are played. It is suitable for passages that require clarity and precision.



  • Syncopated pedaling: This is the pedaling that alternates with the attack of the notes. It is used to blur or blend the sound of the notes that are played. It is suitable for passages that require smoothness and continuity.



  • Legato pedaling: This is the pedaling that overlaps with the attack of the notes. It is used to connect or link the sound of the notes that are played. It is suitable for passages that require fluidity and expressiveness.



  • Half pedaling: This is the pedaling that varies in degree or duration according to the musical context. It is used to modify or adjust the sound of the notes that are played. It is suitable for passages that require nuance and subtlety.



Cortot advises to practice each type of pedaling separat


About

Welcome to the group! You can connect with other members, ge...

Members

bottom of page