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The Art of Piano Playing Paperback – June 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: Art of
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred Music (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874870682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874870688
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
Personally I recommend it highly to all advanced pianists and students.
Miguel Gonçalves Henriques
I read this one in college and my eyes were further opened to the notion that it is indeed the entire body that plays the piano.
Atticus Finch, Brooklyn
It seems to me that this book needs careful and repeated reading to get the best out of it.
Baz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By frankp93 VINE VOICE on May 20, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read somewhere that if you can take one good idea away from reading a book, consider the experience a success. Call me greedy, but I expected more practical advice from "The Art of Piano Playing". The author's intent is to show how the central nervous system plays a primary role in the learning/performing process. He makes his case with an historical survey of earlier schools of thought concerning piano technique that, according to the author, culminated in an impasse in the early twentieth century. As scientific research into brain functioning progressed, the tools were now in place to make a case for the neurobiological basis of piano technique. What this boils down to is, essentially: 1) the aural image one creates in the mind of a musical composition is paramount and the urge to recreate that image will drive the learning and performing process. 2) practice slowly to establish and engrain neurological connections. 3) be flexible in your technique regarding fingering, arm position, etc. 4) the most effective learning is accompanied by intense concentration.
I've simplified, but this is what I walked away with. Unfortunately, the author spends more time justifying his theoretical argument than describing the practical application of his ideas. The book was written in 1967 when perhaps these thoughts were more radical. If you're intrigued and enjoy a heavy scientific bent, this book might be for you, but if you're looking for detailed practical advice on piano technique, I'm afraid other authors have done it better.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Baz on September 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I agree with the previous reviewer that this book can be heavy going, though after repeated readings none of the writing seems to me to be waffle or redundant. However, this is more than compensated for by the breadth of coverage of the various schools of piano pedagogy and the problems associated with each. The amount of research that Kochevitsky displays both scientifically with relation to piano playing and piano pedagogy itself is simply awesome (the bibiliography will blow your mind!)

It seems to me that this book needs careful and repeated reading to get the best out of it. There are real nuggets to be mined, but they're buried in the rubble of explanation instead of being clearly dug out into a separate chapter.

Even at the beginning of the 21st century, almost all the old books on piano playing can still be easily found and one of this book's great merits is the careful deconstruction of all that's misguided in all of them. It seems that the great pianists have become great through their own analysis and musical genius despite the teaching of any one school.

It's easy to miss this book in looking for the best in learning the piano. I've read almost all of them before finding it. But there's a LOT in here and I highly recommend a careful study of this book if you find your playing has hit a brick wall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel W Smith on January 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With every author pushing their brand of technique it is refreshing to hear someone say there is as many techniques as there is people. Technique is what a person uses to expess his musical idea. GREAT STUFF Buy it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miguel Gonçalves Henriques on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Almost everything is said about Kochevitsky's book. Nevertheless I do not think it as a heavy book (80 pages??). Its bibliography is thouroughly relevant but unfortunately the russian titles are still unkonown in the west. Fortunately we have now one or two works from Grigory Kogan translated. But still, in the piano concertizing profession, people rarely take the time to read about this kind of subject. Unfortunately again many piano teachers come up with their own methods withou prior knowledge of all this body work of research. Many guru-like methods and approaches intoxicate this literature market. I consider Kochevistky's book practical and exhaustive. You just have to take the time to think and to learn what he is talking about, and often this requires some experience and humbleness. Personally I recommend it highly to all advanced pianists and students.
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