Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tuning and Touch

Having the piano tuned is a cause for celebration. And what better way to celebrate than playing the darn thing. This is a practical as well as an artistic matter. It doesn't stay in tune long, my poor old spinet.

So I sat down last night and started with what I last played — "The Messiah." Picked out the tenor part for "Every Valley," but found it a bit passe. So I dug deeper for some Bach, pounded out the first prelude, then the second fugue.

Emboldened that I could still read the notes (long-term memory is a wonderful thing!), I pressed on, ending the session with a few tunes from the Gershwin songbook.

By this point, the feeling had entered my fingers again, that proprioception that tells me my index finger is about to strike F sharp and my pinkie is hovering over E natural — and if I want the melody to sing out, I'd better work that pinkie.

They used to call it "touch." Maybe they still do. It's what turns notes into music. I got a bit of it back  last night.
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