Friday, January 3, 2014

Why Did I Come Back to the Piano?

The father of one of my long-term students asked me that yesterday when I described my youthful frustration with the instrument, which led me to quit when I was fifteen.

I would never have told anyone that all I really wanted to achieve was mastery of the piano.  If someone hadn't spotted and identified the particular aspect of my hearing that gave it away I would probably still be languishing among the many drop outs whose musical lives are stuck in an "if only."

The sound of the piano is as fascinating to me as the sound of a cappella singing, but in a totally different way.  Perhaps because I hold them both so dear I can cross the line from one to the other, though after resuming intensive piano playing I became unable to tune the harpsichord as I liked it in some version of mean-tone tuning--i.e., more like vocal tuning than equal temperament can be.