This past week I posted a video to help students navigate the arm weight transfer cosmos, by examining how to alter dynamics from left hand to right and in reverse. One can think of a wrap-around weight on one arm, while the other is load free, lifting up the dynamic to piano (soft). This will apply to a singing tone legato that springboards to finger staccato-Big (Forte) and on to contrasting soft (p), keeping consistent snappy releases. (Remember, energy is delivered down relaxed arms, supple wrists into the hands.) The fingers cannot carry the burden of altered dynamics. Bigger energies must be funneled down the arms.
In a practicing phase that explored weight transfers, I used a parallel A Major scale as a point of departure followed by an excursion to Parallel 10ths.
Naturally, the application of these weight leveraged dynamic forays is directly applicable to the piano repertoire. In Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Op. 15, for example, the opening tableau, “Of Foreign Lands and Peoples,” invites a prominent soprano line requiring an awareness of inner voice textures that are balanced accordingly. The second section, in particular, contains a cello range bass line that begs to be fleshed out on its REPEAT, before the voicing is redirected to a “solo” line in the upper treble. (The pianist must sculpt phrases along the way without a flat dynamic and respond to harmonic rhythm, among other variables.)
Naturally J.S. Bach’s body of works, including the Well-Tempered Clavier, conspicuously demands an understanding of voices, drawing out individual lines, etc., most notably in the Fugues but far beyond.
For all intents and purposes, the scale model exploration that was introduced at the outset of this posting, should not be shelved as an autonomous escapade with no relevance to growing technique bonded to phrasing/musicality. To the contrary, voicing in any context is a vital, integrated aspect of piano study!