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(Scarecrow Press 2011, 525 pp.)


“astoundingly profound knowledge of body movement and structure…”


THE CRAFT OF PIANO PLAYING presents an original approach to piano technique with a fascinating series of exercises designed to help the reader put this approach into practice. Alan Fraser has combined his years of study with pioneer piano pedagogue Phil Cohen, his extensive concert and teaching experience, his long-standing collaboration with the virtuoso Kemal Gekić, and his professional training in the Feldenkrais Method to create this innovative technique.


“a formidable and insightful volume on piano technique…”


Drawing on examples from the classical repertoire, the movement exercises presented serve to enrich the pianist’s kinesthetic self-image and educate the “pianistic reflexes”, activating as-yet untapped functions of the human piano playing mechanism.


The exercises provide a new way of perceiving and manipulating the skeleton of the pianist’s hand to produce improved digital dexterity and tonal variety, greater power without harshness, heightened sensitivity and discrimination without weakness. They show how many of our common movement habits at the keyboard can become counterproductive, and provide a new way of manipulating the skeletal frame of the hand to produce astonishing sonic results from the instrument. Later on, further exercises integrate this physical approach with musical and performance issues.


“delivered with wit and charm, openness and a strong clarity of intention and thought…“


Designed to help both students who need remedial work in basic strength at the keyboard and those seeking a new dimension of musical and pianistic understanding, The Craft of Piano Playing suggests that improved physical ability can free musical individuality to express itself more fully. This approach to piano technique can also serve as an effective antidote for debilitating performance anxiety, increasing one’s emotional security by providing the physical and musical basis for it. By filling in a missing link between intention and physical execution, this book truly aims to advance the “craft of piano playing”.


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