John Greig.

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JOHN GREIG, M.A,, Mus. Doc,







Music Music

Library Library






SNEDDON, Mus. Bac. (To be continued) . . . . . . 23

THE VIOLIN. By W, DALY. (To be continued) . . . . .43


F.E.I.S. (To be continued) . ....... 62

THE ORGAN. By JAMES S. ANDERSON, Mus. Bac. (To be continued} , . 72
THE ORCHESTRA. By F. LAUBACH. (To be continued) .... 82

HARMONY. By JOHN ROBERTSON, Mus. Bac. (To be continued} . , . 107
COUNTERPOINT. By JOHN ROBERTSON, Mus. Bac. (To be continued} 131

MUSICAL FORMS. By J. C. GRIEVE, F.E.I.S. (To be continued} . . .143
COMPOSITION. By J. C. GRIEVE, F.E.I.S. (To be continued) . . .155
MUSICAL ANALYSIS. By J. C. GRIEVE, F.E.I.S. (To be continued} . .170


HARTLEY. (To be continued} ......... 185

HISTORY OF MUSIC. By W. DALY, Junr. (To be continued) . . 200



BEER Facingpage '64






,, MADAME ALBANI .... 32





WE are all so familiar with the modern pianoforte that the fact of its being
an entirely modern instrument is apt to be overlooked. Yet, whereas musical
instruments of one kind or another have existed from the very earliest times,
the inventions that gradually led up to the piano as we know it to-day were
not made until about 1720, and no very material advance was made till con-
siderably later than that date. Although it is true to say of the piano that its
advance has called into the world the great virtuosi of present times, it is
equally true to say that these virtuosi have called into the world the present-
day piano, for the improvements in the instrument and in the technique of
its players have advanced side by side until it is impossible to say which owes
the other the more.

The most familiar forms of early stringed instruments played with keys
like the piano were the spinet and the harpsichord. The spinet was known in
England as long ago as 1668 ; but it was not till about 1740 that the first
hammer harpsichord made its appearance in this country. This instrument
was made by one Father Wood, an English monk at Rome, for a certain
Mr. Samuel Crisp of Chessington, and, in writing about it, the contemporary
chronicler says: "The tone of this instrument was superior to that produced
by quills, with the added power of the shades of piano and forte, so that
although the touch and mechanism were so imperfect that nothing quick
could be executed upon it, yet in a slow movement, such as 'The Dead
March in Saul/ it excited wonder and delight."

The world's first pianoforte was invented and produced by Bartolomeo
Cristofori, a Paduan harpsichord maker. His invention of the escapement
and check action early in the eighteenth century opened up such wonderful
possibilities for the instrument that from that day harpsichord makers and
inventors everywhere brought their attention to bear on the subject, and
pianos of various kinds were manufactured with varying success by a number
of different makers. Of the names known in the pianoforte world to-day the
two earliest to attract notice were Broadwood and Erard ; but for a long
time the attention of these and other firms was directed entirely to the manu-
facture of grand pianos, and it was not till about the year 1800 that John
Isaac Hawkins, an English civil engineer living in Philadelphia, invented
and produced the cottage piano, or upright grand. In his original instrument
he anticipated almost every discovery that has since been introduced as
"''novel," and the whole history of pianoforte manufacture began to undergo

a complete change from that time.

ii v a


Without its being necessary to enlarge beyond this upon the development
of the instrument, it will at once be apparent to all readers how enormously
the possibilities of execution have altered during the last century, and upon
what an entirely different instrument than that for which they were written
do we now play the works of such men as Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and the
rest of the old masters. What, I wonder, would they say if they could see
and play on the piano as it is to-day ?

Having spoken of the development of the instrument, it may now be as
well to speak shortly of the development of its players and the music that
was written for it. From the time of Palestrina to that of Bach and Handel
instrumental music was written chiefly for the organ. From then till the time
of Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart, instrumental music quickly developed ;
the piano took a predominant place, and there rapidly grew up a romantic
school of musicians, among whom may be mentioned Schubert, Weber,
Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Chopin. The last named, I venture to say, re-
presents the climax of the development of pianoforte literature ; for while, it is
true, all the great musicians from Bach up to Chopin contributed their best
ideas and creative power, yet Chopin was undoubtedly the bard, the tone-poet,
the soul of the instrument. In his music we find all that is best and most
full of meaning, his works containing all those varying contrasts that make
piano music so fascinating. Tragedy and romance, heroism and fanaticism,
lyricism and dramaticism, grandness and simplicity, brilliancy and restfulness,
all are there, and his changing moods follow each other in such quick succes-
sion that his music exercises a peculiar charm upon every one who listens
to it.

As regards performers, the old school, up to Clementi, gave their entire
attention to precise and correct execution. If they played the notes and the
time correctly, and were able to execute the work in hand more or less
smoothly, that quite satisfied them and the public. Clementi was the first
of a school of virtuosi, among whom may be mentioned Steibelt, Dussek,
Hummel, Field, Kalkbrenner, Hertz, and, more recently, Dreyschock, Schulhoff,
&c., who were virtuosi of the dry order. Although some of them used their
virtuosity in a powerful way and others in a delicate way, they all used it as
an end instead of as a means to an end, and all of them played, as a general
rule, compositions that gave them an opportunity to show off their brilliant
technique and their ability to conquer the greatest difficulties. Liszt and
Anton Rubinstein were the giants who combined great virtuosity with intellect,
feeling, and imagination, and it is through them and their followers that
pianoforte playing has reached the highest standard.

It will be obvious to every reader of this article that although brilliant
technique may be very interesting as a display pure and simple, yet by its aid
alone it is not possible to bring out all that is best in any given work. It is safe
to say that until Liszt's day the works of such composers as Bach, Beethoven,
Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Chopin were never properly understood ; nay, it is


even possible that these writers themselves failed to appreciate the meaning and
the beauties of many of the passages they penned, the full significance of which
was first brought out by Liszt and Rubinstein, who used their virtuosity as a
means which enabled them to emphasise the chief beauties of every work, and
to drag out from every phrase the fulness of its meaning. Since their day it has
been made clear to all but mediocre musicians that the very essence of interpre-
tation is to render all works attempted in such a way that their beauties are at
once apparent.

In just the same way that almost every one has a different voice, so has
almost every one who plays the piano a different touch; and just as the voice
can be improved by training and practice, so can the touch be altered. It
is towards the matter of touch that the earliest lessons of the pianist should
be directed ; for the piano is such a sensitive instrument that the improper use
of a single finger may alter the tone-colour of a whole passage, and since tone-
colour is such an important factor in musical expression, it is of the utmost
importance that the student should have perfect command of the keyboard in
this respect.

Of course, the first thing a student has to do is to acquire precision, equality,
dexterity, and power. The capacity to modulate the tone will follow. The very
name of " piano-forte " indicates that it is an instrument of contrasts, and contrasts
are of just as much importance in music as they are in speech. Listen to
the great public speaker and you will note how sometimes he emphasises
certain passages by uttering them loudly, others by voicing them softly ; how
he introduces dramatic effect by sudden pauses, and how he accentuates certain
words in order to drive home to his hearers the meaning of a whole sentence.
The pianist may well take a leaf from his book ; for it must be remembered that
music at the hands of a capable player is a language of sounds, the meaning of
which can be brought home to his listeners every whit as clearly as the speech
of a great politician. Indeed, in order to express himself most clearly and to
make himself best understood, the pianist must not rely upon his own art alone,
but must borrow all that is best from the kindred arts of the speaker, the
actor, and the singer, gleaning declamation from the first, dramatism from
the second, and resonance from the third. Without these qualities a player's
rendering of any composition is bound to be tame and monotonous, and will
appear only a lifeless and uninteresting skeleton. Professor Leschetitzky once
said : "To make a beautiful composition sound dull and uninteresting is no hard
matter, but to make a composition that is itself dull and uninteresting appear
beautiful and full of meaning that is the consummation of the pianist's art ! "

Now it will be obvious that, in addition to the ordinary study and practice
that are necessary for the acquisition of technical facility, study and practice of
an entirely different kind are essential for the cultivation of what may be termed
the musical ear, the possession of which is absolutely indispensable. The student
must be able to distinguish intervals and chords with discrimination, as well as
pitch and all the shades and qualities of sounds, and must train his ear until he



can unhesitatingly distinguish every degree of power, beauty, metre, and rhythm.
In very many cases it will be found that, while the ear can easily be trained to
distinguish intervals and chords, it cannot be so easily trained in other ways;
indeed those who have a perfect ear for pitch are frequently quite deaf to
qualities of tone, and vice versd. The fact is that the ear is a delicate organ
which has to be very carefully treated if it is to do its work to perfection. It is
an interesting fact, for instance, that in cases where the ear has to constantly
convey certain sounds to the brain, its use is liable to become impaired. It is
no very rare thing for the player, say, of a piccolo to eventually become quite
insensible, so far as the particular register of his own instrument is concerned,
as to when he is playing in tune. He can readily appreciate any mistake made
by the player of a double bass or some instrument with a lower register than his
own, but, so far as his own register is concerned, his ear may become worn out,
so to speak. In the same way the double bass player may be able to distinguish
every difference of tone in the piccolo and be quite insensible to differences of
tone in the register of his own instrument. It is thus with the ear just as it is
with the palate, which frequently becomes so familiar with certain tastes as to
grow, after long and constant use, insensible to certain subtle differences once
easily distinguishable. I have diverged to this extent simply to impress upon
students the importance of carefully cultivating the ear in all departments equally,
and I will now proceed to speak of various technical points which require
special study.

I have already referred to the importance of touch. In no branch of piano
playing is this more emphasised than in staccato and legato passages. Good
staccato and legato is very difficult to attain, and it therefore requires a great
deal of study and attention on the part of the student. In legato playing the
wrist must be kept steady to such a degree that a coin balanced upon it remains
in position throughout the playing of the passage. One finger must not be raised
until the next descends. For practising it may be found useful to play scales and
exercises in the following manner :

In staccato playing, the best is what is known as " finger staccato," the fingers
being made to spring up from the keys as quickly as possible, as though they
were touching molten metal, or, in other words, "like a cat walking on hot
bricks." There are various kinds of staccato playing (wrist staccato, wrist and
finger staccato, &c.), but special attention and work should be devoted to finger
staccato, since this is the kind most used, besides that it develops and strengthens
the muscles of the hands and fingers to a very remarkable degree. In staccato as
well as in legato playing precision and equality are most important, and the
equality must be not only in touch but also in time.

Speaking of equality in touch and time, I may here mention the great im-


portance of devoting plenty of practice to the playing of chords. To obtain proper
effect from a chord, all the notes of each chord must be struck with equality of
touch, force, and pressure. When practising, in order to make sure that the
best effect is being got, the notes of each chord may be divided up between the
two hands. After striking a chord several times in this manner and listening
carefully to the effect, it is easy to compare the result with the effect produced
when the same chord is struck with one hand only. By practising in this way,
a fulness and grandeur will be imparted to chord passages which is very

Before I leave the technical side of piano playing I should like to call the
attention of my readers to the enormous importance of the proper use of the
pedals. Anton Rubinstein once explained to his pupils that pedal in pianoforte
playing was the soul and life of sound, since it beautified the tone of the instru-
ment and created many effects which would otherwise be quite impossible.
Artistic pedalling is in itself a very difficult art, and requires considerable know-
ledge of harmony and musical form as well as a highly developed musical taste.
It would be easy to write at considerable length upon the subject, but for
our present purpose it will suffice if I mention the following essential rules :

(1) Never use the same pedal for different harmonies.

(2) Never use the same pedal for two different phrases.

(3) Do not use the pedal at the end of a phrase unless there is some special reason for it.

(4) Use the pedal for long, melodic notes. In such cases I always use what is known

as the " retired pedal," that is to say, depressing the pedal after striking the note.

(5) All foundation notes of chords require separate pedalling.

(6) The use of the pedal is very important in climaxes.

In an article like this it is quite out of the question attempting to deal fully
with the various points about technique which must be studied before anything
like perfection can be attained. I will not, therefore, add to the few hints
I have already given, but will take for granted that the necessary technical
facility has been acquired and will devote my further marks to the question
of interpretation.

And, in the first place, let' me say that, just as a knowledge of grammar is
necessary to enable a language to be properly spoken and understood, so
is a knowledge of harmony, counterpoint, and theory necessary to all who
aspire to advanced piano playing. Harmony, counterpoint, and theory are
the grammar of music, upon a knowledge of which interpretation and phrasing
largely depend. The connection between music and language is very much
closer than people usually imagine ; music being the expression of thought
in sound of one kind, language the expression of thought in sound of another
kind. For this reason it is very necessary that all musicians should study
declamation. The great actor, when undertaking a new role, strains every
nerve to make his interpretation of it impressive and attractive, taking ad-
vantage of contrasts, climaxes, pauses, emphasis, and so on, in order to


play upon the emotions of his audience. The pianist's is an exactly parallel
case. He, too, must observe his contrasts, his climaxes, his pauses, and his
emphases in short, every movement must be rendered with the emotion
that it calls up in him.

This explains the difference which is usually noticeable in the interpre-
tation by different players of the same works. It accounts also for a pianist
so seldom playing the same piece in exactly the same way. Pianists are
not all equally emotional, consequently their interpretations vary in some
degree ; while no player is often swayed by his emotion to exactly the same
extent every time he plays a particular piece, and as his performance is but
an expression of his mood at the moment, it follows that his interpretations
must always vary in some degree.

As to the question of phrasing in music, this forms a particularly important
branch of study to which special attention should be given. If you have ever
listened to a great speaker, you will have noticed that if he has occasion to
make use of the same or similar phrases or sets of words more than once he
uses a different tone of voice on each occasion. Were he to use the same
tone of voice for each of similar phrases his speech would become monotonous,
for although the words he utters are of the first initial importance, it is his
tone of voice that brings out their full meaning and makes his delivery

With this end in view each new work that the student attempts should be
carefully studied little by little, mastering its general division in the phrases and
then obtaining a different effect for each. A musical illustration that I fre-
quently refer to when writing or talking on this subject in Chopin's 2oth
Prelude. The theme of this prelude may split up into three phrases. In the
first phrase, a loud effect may be used ; in the second the melody may be
brought out by accentuating the top note of the chord, the whole phrase being
played piano; in the third, which may be played^), the alto part can be brought
out by accentuating the middle note of the chord. Many other differences
may be employed in the rendering of these three phrases, each of which may
itself be divided into two or four sub-phrases, so that there are literally scores
of different ways of playing the Prelude, each of which may be equally correct
musically, even though some arrangements may not be so attractive as others.
The pianist with originality and imagination will discover for himself methods
of phrasing each work he attempts without necessarily binding himself down to
any hackneyed rendering.

In giving the above advice I do not wish it to be understood that I would
recommend students to fly in the face of existing traditions regarding the in-
terpretation of certain works. In a general way traditions should be accepted,
since they are the result of the experience of the greatest virtuosi. But the
student should be influenced and not enslaved by them, and when his mind
and musical knowledge are properly developed they may receive the impress
of his own individuality.


When once he has mastered the art of phrasing, the student will be in a
position to introduce into his playkig that "tone-colour" without which music
is cold and unconvincing. If one studies the works of the great composers
one cannot help remarking upon the largely different methods that each
employs for the introduction of colour into his music. The student cannot
do better than examine the works of Schumann if he wishes to acquire a know-
ledge of beautiful colour schemes. Indeed, I regard the study of that master's
work as a very important factor in musical education, since the pupil will
thenceforward be able to compare the colour scheme of other composers with
those of one who was in this respect master of them all.

Unfortunately, the English as a nation possess one characteristic reserve
which must be overcome before any great interpretation can be attained. Music
being, as I have already explained, a language of sounds that are unintelligible
in themselves, its meaning can only be brought out by directly appealing to
the emotions ; and no pianist can convey this meaning, or stir the emotions
of his hearers, unless he is himself stirred by them. The Englishman, almost
from his very birth, is trained to hide all his emotions and keep his feelings
well in hand. No Englishman has ever, or will ever become a really great
pianist, capable of attracting large audiences, whether he plays at home or
abroad, until this lesson is unlearned, so far as music is concerned.

As regards what musical literature should be studied, while, of course, it
is impossible for me in this article to deal with such a question fully, I may
yet perhaps outline a rough course of work.

For beginners, I recommend the Etudes of Czerny, known as the Etudes
de Velocity, 40 Daily Studies, and the Etudes, op. 740 (4 books) ; also the
Cramer Etudes, Hans von Biilow edition. For the higher development of
technique, I recommend dementi's " Gradus ad Parnassum," Tausig's edition ;
Chopin's Etudes, op. 10 and 25 ; the Schumann-Paganini Studies, and all the
Liszt and Rubinstein Studies.

The compositions to be worked upon should be selected from the Sonatas
of Haydn, Mozart, two and three voice Inventions and Preludes and Fugues
of Bach, Scarlatti, Dussek, Clementi, Reinecke, Hummel, Weber, and Beethoven ;
the Nocturnes of John Field, various compositions of Hiller, Moscheles, Thai-
berg, &c.

Of the romantic school careful study should be given to selected works
from Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Rubinstein, Liszt, and, among
quite modern composers, Brahms, Greig, Tschaikowsky, Caesar Cui, Rachmaninoff,
Arenski, Saint-Saens, and Caesar Franck.

The various composers I have mentioned have between them written an
immense literature for the piano from which the real education of a musician
may be developed. There is no room, even if this were the place, to classify
all their compositions in their different grades, and I must leave it to the
student himself to make a fitting selection.

I also strongly recommend all students to play, if possible^ ensemble music,


that is to say, with a trio or quartette of stringed instruments, or even with another
piano part, since this helps to develop a knowledge of rhythm and the power
to quickly interpret the meaning of a composer.

In conclusion, I would emphasise the great need there is for emotionalism
and originality in music. Here, as nearly as I can remember, is something that
Rubinstein, who was perhaps the greatest of all executants, once said: "The
musician who only plays the music of a composer correctly will never move
from the ranks of the mediocracy. Only when he learns to express the inmost
thoughts of the composer and the breadth and greatness of a composition will
he himself have a chance to become great. To be able to execute a musical
composition one has to work hard to master the technique, but to interpret it
well much more than technique is required. What is wanted is the capacity

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