The Craft of Piano Playing: A New Approach to Piano Technique

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9780810845916: The Craft of Piano Playing: A New Approach to Piano Technique

The Craft of Piano Playing presents a new, comprehensive and highly 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 extensive concert and pedagogical experience, his long-standing collaboration with the virtuoso Kemal Gekich, and his professional training in Feldenkrais Method to create this innovative technique. Using numerous musical examples and sketches he shows how many common movement habits at the keyboard can be counterproductive, and provides a new way of manipulating the skeletal frame of the hand to produce astonishing sonic results from the instrument.

This book suggests that in the light of new insights into the physics of human movement, a further development of piano technique is now possible, and that improved physical ability can free musical individuality to express itself more fully. The series of movement exercises presented activates the physical functions necessary to the pianist, helping both students who need remedial work in basic strength at the keyboard, and those who seek a new dimension of musical understanding and a new path for the development of pianist skills - thus synthesizing musical and physical issues. This approach can also serve as an effective antidote to debilitating performance anxiety, increasing one's emotional security by improving 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."

Visit Alan Fraser's web site at http://alanfraser.faithweb.com/

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About the Author:

Canadian pianist Alan Fraser presents master classes and recitals worldwide. He developed Craft of Piano Method through his studies with pioneer pianist and psychologist Phil Cohen (assistant to Yvonne Hubert who had herself been Cortot's assistant) and Croatian pianist Kemal Gekic. In addition to The Craft of Piano Playing he is author of Honing the Pianistic Self-Image: Skeletal-Based Piano Technique, a DVD version of Craft, and a Study Guide linking all these together. Fraser makes his home in Serbia where he is Professor of Piano and Feldenkrais Method at the Art Academy of the University of Novi Sad.

Review:

The most detailed and intensive study of the subject since Otto Ortmann's seminal work, The Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique (1929). --PIANO Magazine UK (Nov-Dec 2004)

Astoundingly profound knowledge of body movement and structure... avoids the dryness of many pedagogical manuals... delivered with wit, charm, and a strong clarity of intention and thought... incredibly user friendly. --ISSTIP UK Journal (Jan 2004)

A formidable and insightful volume on piano tech­nique. A course based on these 417 articulate and often eloquent pages alone strikes me as a possibility for a pedagogy teacher. --American Music Teacher (Oct-Nov 2003)

All teachers and piano students should acquire this book... well-devised, carefully structured, laced with humour and resonates with Fraser's thinking: we need more exuberance, colour and life in our playing. --Piano Professional (EPTA UK) Jan 2004

Alan Fraser has written a formidable and insightful volume on piano technique. Using the Feldenkreis Method as his foundation, he has presented 417 articulate and often eloquent pages....the teacher working with younger students might find his book of great interest...I am pleased to recommend Fraser's book... (Louis Nagel American Music Teacher)

This study is the result of years of searching and thinking about piano performance and pedagogy; Fraser brings to it his astoundingly profound knowledge of body movement and structure, acquired through his training as a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, and his study of Eastern martial arts such as T'ai chi, in addition to extensive experience as a concert performer and pedagogue...Fraser challenges many common pedagogical beliefs and ideas of movement, with detailed discussions of such areas as arm weight and the role of the arm, legato playing and natural finger shape among others. Although this study is devoted primarily to the physical aspect of playing the piano...fascinating insights and ideas are also provided into the middleground and background, namely rhythm and phrasing, and the emotional content of music. (Manus Carey Journal Of The Isstip)

There are many useful ideas here, not just in the technical exercises, but also in the shorter sections on communication and interpretation. (Classical Music)

The most detailed and intensive study of the subject since Otto Ortmann's seminal work, The Physiological Mechanics of Pianoforte Technique (1929). (Daniel Stearns Piano Magazine)

All serious piano students should acquire this book, which is well-devised, carefully structured, and always laced with humour on this very serious topic...... (Nadia Lasserson Journal Of The European Piano Teachers' Association Uk)

Fraser fills his book with interesting observations, procedures, and thought-provoking personal concepts. Recommended. (Choice)

...there are topics in this text not really addressed elsewhere. It would make a good 'alternative' pedagogy text for courses about piano technique and a thought-provoking read for the advanced pianist. (Michael I. Goode American Music Teacher)

...a valuable addition to performance studies, communicating some of the passion (rarely found in this and other areas of study) that the author feels for the music under discussion. (Music And Letters)

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Fraser, Alan
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ISBN 10: 0810845911 ISBN 13: 9780810845916
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