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Piano Technique (Dover Books on Music)

Piano Technique (Dover Books on Music) [Kindle Edition]

Walter Gieseking , Karl Leimer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Two books bound together, by one of greatest pianists of all time and his famed teacher: The Shortest Way to Pianistic Perfection, and Rhythmics, Dynamics, Pedal and Other Problems of Piano Playing.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2106 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (15 Mar 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,329 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of interesting suggestions 3 Mar 2010
I bought this book because of the Walter Gieseking name, but actually the great pianist wrote only an introduction to the book, which is written by his piano teacher. Anyway, I wasn't disappointed at all: the book describes the approach to piano study used by this teacher with Gieseking and all his other pupils and, for me, has been a really interesting reading.
The book is not very long, but still it is effective in letting you understand what, practically, the teacher means with his suggestions: it is based on practical examples, some of which are described in great detail.
The two things that struck me most are:
- the strong stressing of the importance to study the music deeply, to the point of knowing it by heart, before putting your hands on the piano;
- the fact that the author repeats that for developing technique you don't need to study more and more exercises and etudes, but to study with great attention and discipline the music of great composers: it is full of technical aspects that, studied correctly, will improve your ability without "wasting time" playing less beautiful music just for the sake of learning tecnical passages.
But there are comments and suggestions on many practical aspects of playing the piano.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 21 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gieseking was an absolutely superb pianist, so it is invaluable to have this little book of insights. In Gieseking's opinion, real technique comes primarily from the head and not from the fingers. The player who cannot achieve the correct state of mind will never learn to caress the keys like a master, no matter how much time is devoted to technical exercises. His primary concern is for the player to aspire to greater artistic goals. As Gieseking says, "unless a player can sincerely convince himself (or herself) that each and every finger possesses the arcane potency of a phallus, the highest level of musical expression will never be attained".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book contains two books. The first book is excellent. The author described using our ears to listen, using our arms and elbows to lighten the strain on the fingers, and intense study of the score to build our understanding and memory of the music before we even start putting our fingers on the piano keys ... all in clarity. One more useful technique under the belt even for an amateur pianist. The techniques bring results to me, and to my preteen students.

The second book, published as part two of this book, reads like a teacher's notes instead of a standalone book. It tried to cover other topics not mentioned in the first book. One would find that a piano teacher, a very proficient one, is needed to explain the book to the reader line by line. If a topic is understood by the reader, there is not much additional information can be gleaned; on the contrary, if a new topic to the reader is presented, there is a slim chance that the reader would gain new knowledge.

The published did a very low-effort job in publishing the second book. The first part is printed in 42 lines per page, while the second part is printed in 63 lines per page. It is just like printing the original page on the paper half of the original size. I would like to make an analogy of this publishing effort to piano playing as written by the author. I quote "one should first of all concern himself with the impression of notation." Unquote. One would strain one's eyes reading the small print (notation in analogy), after which would need to study the words (musical notes in analogy) to understand the meaning of the words (music in analogy).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piano Technique 5 Aug 2010
By Clive
This book has been very helpful to me with regard to how to memorise music visually. The technique used for this is good because first Leimer gives a detailed analysis of the music itself and how it is constructed, which in turn makes remembering easier. Also he recommends memorising in very short sections at a time rather than trying to take in too much at once.

As well as memorising there is much useful advice about piano playing in general. Including not using any uneccessary arm movements, and practicing in intense short half hour sessions at a time to help avoid mistakes.

However I have found there are rather too many mistakes in the text with regard to Leimer's analysis of Allemande of the French Suite in E Major by Bach. But despite this it is still an excellent book for any pianist to own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A must" for piano pedagogues 21 Nov 2002
By Poshik S. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are only a few books that can be hailed as "a must for a piano pedagogue."
Heinrich Neuhaus, "On the art of piano playing"
Gieseking, "Piano Technique..."
Josef Lhevinne, "Piano..." (sorry, I don't remember the title, but it is the only one he wrote)
All three differ in style, but they have one in common: the authours were the three greatest pianists of the last century. Neuhaus, on top of that, was a terrific literary talent, and his book is the place where great subject meets great writing. Has it been translated? This book has been the Holy Writ of all Russian pianists.
Lhevinne's book is the shortest and the most comprehensive. It is uncanny that everthing a pianist must know about the mechanics of piano playing is given in a concentrated form in this book. Its English is not idiomatic; yet, it goes well with the whole "Russian school" thing.
The Leimer-Gieseking book is an attempt at presenting a philosophy behind their science. It is written in a heavy German style, which means you can read every other page and still get the point. The whole book can be formulated in a few short sentences, but a German-born and bred writer would never commit such a sacrilegious act ("leave it to the Russian barbarians..."). Namely, "practice with your head, not fingers; develop your inner hearing; study your scores mentally, not at the piano; cultivate your imagination of the sound-picture; visualize the physical act of playing, complementing the mental picture with a full-blooded image of the sound."
Still, READ THE BOOK, there is no excuse for being under-educated.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, Very articulate 12 Jun 2001
By A Customer - Published on
I have read other books written on this topic by Josef Hofmann, Josef Lhevinne and William Newman. All of these were informative in their own way and I therefore recommend them. However, none of these was as articulate as this book by Walter Gieseking and Karl Leimer. All of the previously mentioned books contained information, but none of them were able to state the information in such direct, simple, and honest terms. Most importantly, this book gives reference to the absolutely essential variety of touches required in piano technique and also speaks extensively on visualization.I give this book my greatest recommendation.
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Moderately interesting 11 Dec 2000
By Claus Hetting - Published on
This book is useful for piano students, but not one of the best in the category. The content relates much to the method of analyzing scores for the purposes of understand structures, and aiding memorization. There are other sections as well, which are mildly more interesting. To get true and solid advice, go for Art of Piano Playing by Henrich Neuhaus.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piano Technique, Gieseking/Leimer 13 April 2000
By Miguel Campinho - Published on
I'm a piano student, I have this book for 3 years now, and it is just amazing how basic principles explained can change one's aproach to the complete process of piano playing at a professional level. Indispensable for piano students.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable 11 May 2010
By Debra Mervant - Published on
I discovered this book (actually 2 books in the same volume) last year, after reading Neuhaus's Art of Piano Playing.
While I love the Neuhaus book, and found it very helpful on a general level, these books are indispensable TECHNICAL ones that do not have the pretention of going into the areas that Neuhaus treats in a much longer book, by the way.
Indeed Gieseking ? Leimar ? put great emphasis on analytic score reading as an aid to memorization and understanding music.
They are right to do so, I think.
They give important advice that EVERY PIANIST, amateur or professional, should know and understand in order to get the most out of practice time.
This advice is NOT EASY to put into practice as it necessitates great concentration, but it can be done, with great effect.
The books are both extremely technical, so you will have to use your neurons to get everything you can out of this little treasure.
They are for people who are very serious about playing the piano (as an amateur CAN be... and a professional SHOULD be...).
Although advanced students will make the most progress with them, possibly, a dedicated AND VERY MOTIVATED intermediate piano student CAN get something out of them too.
I know... I've put the advice in this book into practice and it DEFINITELY WORKS.
Like any technical instrument book, you really HAVE to read it while referring back to your own experience and sensations constantly.
One last point : a great part of this book, particularly the suggestions on analytic score reading and the organization/structure of practice time are INVALUABLE ADVICE for any person who plays a musical instrument.
Not just for pianists...even if pianists will get the most out of it.
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