Building an Effective Piano Technique while Avoiding Injury: A Comparison of the Exercises in Alfred Cortot's "Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique" and Carl Tausig's "Daily Studies for the Pianoforte"
Description: It is the teacher's responsibility to guide students in building an effective and injury-free piano technique. Improper technique, poor training and bad posture at the instrument all may cause problems such as lack of muscle control, weakness, or tension in the hands. Many teachers are interested in finding information about specific exercises dealing with finger strengthening, stretching, and warm-up strategies, as well as guidelines for safe practicing. It is therefore important for both teachers and students to understand how to build a technique from the earliest years of instruction. Carl Tausig (1841-1871) and Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) both contributed to the development of piano technique by writing books that include a significant number of exercises and excerpts. Their books incorporate detailed instructions on how to play each exercise effectively and without fatigue. Subsequently, Heinrich Ehrlich (1822-1899) collected and systematically arranged Tausig's notes, complementing them with detailed information on how to play Tausig's exercises without causing injury. This dissertation compares and contrasts the exercises found in Alfred Cortot's book, Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique, and Carl Tausig's book, Daily Studies for the Pianoforte. The latter is based on the practical guidebook, How to Practise on the Piano: Reflections and Suggestions, written by Heinrich Ehrlich. Included in this study are references to the performing arts medical literature dealing with pianists' injuries. By comparing two different historical piano methods and considering their effectiveness in light of modern medical performance research, this dissertation aims to help teachers to determine which methods might be better for students to build a solid piano technique without injuring themselves.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Woo, Lae Hyung