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Is Hanon Necessary?

Is Hanon Necessary?

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Is Hanon Necessary?

4.5/5 (10 valutazioni)
85 pagine
1 ora
Sep 21, 2011


"Is Hanon Necessary?" is a collection of actual transcripts of some rare interviews of world-class pianists regarding their views on the relevance of separate technical exercises for the piano, such as the popular Hanon exercises which most piano teachers assign to their students. Some of the opinions expressed in this book shatter conventional wisdom regarding the effectiveness of separate technical exercises. This volume features the opinions and advice of the following artists: Abbey Simon, Richard Dowling, and Jon Nakamatsu. Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit the Pasadena City College Piano Department, in support of their faculty's outstanding contributions in the molding of future piano virtuosos and music educators.

Sep 21, 2011

Informazioni sull'autore

I am a prodigal daughter of music, in search of the most effective ways to improve my musicianship and pianistic skills on my own, and in the process share my findings with fellow pianists.

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Anteprima del libro

Is Hanon Necessary? - Cecilia Roesler

Is Hanon Necessary?

Interviews with Concert Pianists on the Importance (or not) of Technical Exercises

By Cecilia Roesler

Published by Cecilia Roesler at Smashwords

Copyright 2011 Cecilia Roesler

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal use only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

* * * * *

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: Interview with Abbey Simon

CHAPTER 2: Interview with Richard Dowling

CHAPTER 3: Interview with Jon Nakamatsu

* * * * *

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Abbey Simon

I had no expectations. After all, this was going to be my very first interview, among many, of such pianists (I had hoped) as I conducted my research into how world-class pianists viewed finger exercises and how finger exercises—the Hanon variety—had played a role in their musical development.

At the time of the interview, Abbey Simon was 88 years old. On the morning of the interview, he was sitting on a bench at the top of stairs on the second floor of the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music in early October of 2009. He was dressed in a cream-colored suit, looking very dapper, with legs crossed. I sat next to him after introducing myself, as he explained why he wasn’t in his studio. As it happened, he had lent his studio to a colleague and was waiting for the lesson to be over.

So we waited.

And in the meantime, he had some questions regarding how my iPod, which was to record our entire interview, worked exactly. Apparently he had never seen one and was completely floored by it. To see Abbey Simon hold an iPod in his hand—and watch intently as it played a segment of a home improvement show I had recorded on it—is a sight I will never forget.

In fact, the entire interview itself was hardly forgettable.

* * * * *

Abbey Simon: …I was free most of the morning.

Cecilia Roesler: Oh, you were? I should’ve come by earlier.

AS: Yes…yes (laughing)

CR: But that’s how it goes.

AS: And you see, I was in here by, I don’t know, a quarter-to-nine or something. Anyway, what do you want to know?

CR: As I was doing my little research for, you know, getting myself back in shape and…

AS: Yes…

CR: …reconditioning my fingers, I started reading books—biographies, autobiographies of great pianists. And I came across this book—it’s about Daniel Barenboim. I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing that properly. Is it French?

AS: What?

CR: His name…his last name. But anyway, there’s a line here that says—and I’m sure you’ve heard of Daniel…

AS: Yes! Yes! I know him personally! Very well! In fact, I’ve known him for many years…

CR: Well, he was talking about…when he was younger, he… (reading from book) …was never made to practice scales or arpeggios. What was needed to develop my abilities as a pianist was done exclusively through playing the pieces themselves. A principle that was hammered into me early, and which I still adhere to, is never to play any note mechanically. My father’s teaching was based on the belief that there are enough scales in Mozart’s concertos.* So I started thinking, do I really need to go through scales and arpeggios or is it…is it…

AS: Well, it doesn’t hurt. I personally did…(pauses to think)…but that was when I was very young…but, well, he’s talking about when he was very young…

CR: When he was developing the strength in his fingers is what he was talking about…

AS: Yes…

CR: …because his father taught him…

AS: Oh, I know! I know his father as well…I know him…but—I don’t know—with Daniel you can’t believe everything… everything he says. I mean, he’s extraordinary, there’s no question about it… I firmly believe, absolutely, that Mozart sonatas—playing repertoire—is more…depending on your abilities… I mean, he was an unusual child. He had a father who hammered everything into him, you see…

CR: Well, it was just hard for me to imagine [him] not playing any scales or arpeggios…or not going through the Hanon…

AS: I’m sure he did when he was a kid. What age is he talking about in there?

CR: When he was little, when his father was teaching him. He was talking about his childhood.

AS: When he was little meant what?

CR: He was talking about when he studied with his father until he was about seventeen (referring back to book and turning a few pages).

AS: Yes, now we’re talking about seventeen. And well, he may be talking about when he was twelve. But I don’t know what he did when he was six!

CR: Ok—well he wasn’t really specific about…

AS: That’s what I mean. In my own case…because I had a weird upbringing in that, when I entered the Curtis Institute I didn’t know anything…

CR: How old were you?

AS: Oh, I was accepted there when I was about

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  • (5/5)
    I'm so grateful and is so great to have this master's perspective about technic!
  • (1/5)
    trash trash trash trash trash trash trash trash trash trash trash
  • (5/5)
    This was a fantastic book with jewels from masters of the piano. I found many ideas that resonated with my own playing. Thank you!
  • (5/5)
    muito bom!!!