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Fundamentals of Piano Practice (Read 3593 times)

Offline CC

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Fundamentals of Piano Practice
« on: February 07, 2006, 03:59:11 AM »
Sorry, I haven't kept up with you guys because I have been spending a lot of my time adding stuff to my book.  I have now printed an updated book, Feb/06; the last printing was Aug/04, which is now way out of date.  The book now has quite a bit on "mental playing" which was the last really major missing concept.  This concept is so basic and affects practically everything (memory, performance, nervousness, perfect pitch, etc), that I had to modify almost half the book. The Piano Tuning section has also been cleaned up.  For those not familiar with my book, go to:

http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm

Of course, there will be more additions, but the basic framework seems complete.
C.C.Chang; my home page:

 http://www.pianopractice.org/

Offline jazzyprof

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #1 on: February 07, 2006, 04:34:23 AM »
Thank you CC!!!  I just downloaded it.  Awesome book!
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy, next to my wife; it is my most absorbing interest, next to my work." ...Charles Cooke

Offline emmdoubleew

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #2 on: February 07, 2006, 07:13:42 AM »
I have to say, with no offense meant, but rather as constructive criticism, that the preface is fairly pretentious considering the four method you mention have already been taught to me by my teacher. You make use of math but the math is only true if the conclusion you come to using the math is correct (In other words, you are begging the question). And usually, the author doesn't present his own work as revolutionary.

But pretentious doesn't have to be bad if you don't let us down. Like Famous literary figures like Ralph Waldo Emerson: cocky but smart. I will read the whole book and probably learn some new stuff, so I'm looking forward to it  :).

Oh and this: "Nobody is born with perfect pitch, because it is a 100% learned skill (the exact frequencies of the musical scales are arbitrary human concoctions -- there is no natural law that says that middle A should be 440 Hz)."

Isn't that like saying "Everybody is born color-blind, because seeing colors is a 100% learned skill (color names are human concoctions - there is no natural law that says blue is that color)"

Perfect pitch is the ability to reckognize frequencies, not notes. Later in life you learn that certain frequencies correspond to notes, but the ability to discern the frequencies is something you are born with. You can only acquire relative pitch, which maybe was what you were reffering to.


Offline casparma

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #3 on: February 07, 2006, 09:54:16 AM »
CC, I think probably your last edition is nov/2004 istead of feb/2004. ;)

Any way, I have started reading your book of the previous edition (nov.2004), and read for about 60 pages since a week ago.

Offline steve jones

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #4 on: February 07, 2006, 06:23:08 PM »

I have found this book to be most useful in my self tuition. Thank you CC!


Offline g_s_223

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #5 on: February 07, 2006, 09:24:33 PM »
Good work, thanks for sharing.  :D

Offline emmdoubleew

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #6 on: February 08, 2006, 01:52:15 AM »
I don't retract my negative comments, but I do say this: Thank you! Very helpful guide! There are still some thing sI have a beef with but the majority is very helpful.  :)

Offline CC

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #7 on: February 08, 2006, 04:08:09 PM »
I

Oh and this: "Nobody is born with perfect pitch, because it is a 100% learned skill (the exact frequencies of the musical scales are arbitrary human concoctions -- there is no natural law that says that middle A should be 440 Hz)."

Isn't that like saying "Everybody is born color-blind, because seeing colors is a 100% learned skill (color names are human concoctions - there is no natural law that says blue is that color)"

Perfect pitch is the ability to reckognize frequencies, not notes. Later in life you learn that certain frequencies correspond to notes, but the ability to discern the frequencies is something you are born with. You can only acquire relative pitch, which maybe was what you were reffering to.



Color and pitch are very different from the physiological detection point of view.  You are right that we define 440 as 440 and red as red.  However, if you don't have PP, and someone tells you "this is 440"; a few months later, if you hear a note, you won't know if it is 440 or not.  But if someone tells you that "this color is red" you will always recognize it as red every  time you see it, because color is referenced to a specific photo-chemical reaction in the retina, whereas frequency is not -- it has to be memorized in your brain, just as you would memorize a poem; absolute frequency is not detected in the ear.  That's why, when you practice PP, try to remember everything about the note, and always use the same piano, etc., for that practice, at least until you "get it", and try to memorize everything about the note -its timber, special characteristics, harmonics, and even any noise associated with it (you will hear this noise if you turn off the sound on an electronic piano).

Thx for all your comments -- they've helped me improve the book a lot -- even, or maybe especially, the negative ones.
C.C.Chang; my home page:

 http://www.pianopractice.org/

Offline zheer

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #8 on: February 08, 2006, 04:52:18 PM »
Haw cool, CC posts on this foruum :D. Anyway i have read various bits on your book, the one that is of intrest to me at the moment is the concept of TO and TU.
Contrary to your thoughts on TO, and TU, i find that super super super fast passages actually end up being TU only, the hands hover over the keyboard and the thumd moves under the hand to play a note. However TO is still very important if you incorporate it with teh cartwheel motion, it creats a round sound.
    I disagree with what you said about recording yourself is the best way to overcome stage fright, it does not help. However its a great way of learning haw to improve the music you are playing by critically examinning your self.
   Finally it is probably a good idea to mention that if one only thought in music, the hands should follow, the hands being the slave and the mind being the master,
      Good luck.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #9 on: February 09, 2006, 05:40:17 PM »
thanks for the update.

Offline shoshin

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #10 on: April 29, 2006, 05:42:27 PM »
CC Chang, thanks for this monumental instruction guide. Have you ever thought about publishing it commercially (yet keep a free pdf version around?)

The parallel sets and thumb NOT under sections have helped me out a lot.  I haven't read the whole thing yet but I plan to.

Offline gruffalo

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Re: Fundamentals of Piano Practice
«Reply #11 on: April 29, 2006, 07:46:03 PM »
oh, this guy is chang. excellent, i look forward to reading it. i will give you feed back when i have read a substantial amount to give an opinion on.

Gruff