Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Piano Insight

I have been practicing scales on the piano for a week now, and it has made a world of difference in the way I think about playing the piano. After my scales, to which I have now added scales in thirds, I treat myself to a new look at Mozart and Haydn sonatas. I can't help but notice that they are filled with scales, and since I have been practicing my scales, I can play the scale passages. I actually look forward to playing the scale passages, and feel very proud that I can play them fluidly.

It occurred to me this morning that perhaps Mozart wrote some of his piano sonatas to reward pianists who practiced their scales. It also occurred to me that the mid-18th-century piano sonata was not unlike an application or a game for a particular type of computer-based machine. Perhaps Haydn was kind of like a really clever software developer, thinking of ways to amuse and entertain his solitary users.

2 comments:

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

Just before reading this post was practicing flute, working up a couple of Handel bourrées. Getting the rhythms and flourishes to flow naturally and feel danceably "right" is a sort of physical game play. When you play the flippers right on a pin ball machine, it lights up. Get a bourrée right and it jumps off the page and comes alive. Not exactly software, but your post reminded me of the feeling.

Elaine Fine said...

Handel, I guess, was going for fireworks!