Thursday, August 8, 2013

Inside of the Piano

This is where the action is: inside the piano.  The strings are the heart of it, where everything happens that is alive and magical.  Another word for magical is perhaps unpredictable.

It doesn't take a genius to notice this, it just takes a listener seated close up, ideally on the piano bench, or within 20 feet of the instrument.  All kinds of things take place that defy categorization or even identification.  For example, the intensification of a sustained tone when an Alberti figure plays into it -- though we are told that once a key is struck nothing can change the tone...clearly wrong.

I once saw a young student recoil in fright when she heard a tone on the piano come alive in just this way.  She couldn't believe her ears!  This is the model for real listening to this amazing instrument.