Piano keys are an iconic image for music throughout the world, but they represent much more than sound. While their distinct arrangement of white and black have been featured in paintings, sung about by pop singers, and reproduced on everything from napkins to neckties—these keys are not only visual reminders of a piano.
Since beginning adult piano lessons a decade ago, I have tried to ignore my left hand. Fixated on the treble clef and my right hand, I viewed the bass clef as a nuisance, a mere accompaniment to the more seductive melody.
The Music Animation Machine helps pianists visualize the counterpoint in Bach with videos showing each of the voices.
Almost everyone has struggled with at least one subject in high school. Mine was language.
My piano teacher said something useful (she often does). She said, “I don’t pay any attention to black or white notes, because they are all the same.”
The intelligent listener—not to mention the intelligent student of adult piano lessons—”must hear the melodies, the rhythms, the harmonies, the tone colors in a more conscious fashion. But above all, [s]he must, in order to follow the line of the composer’s thought, know something of the principles of musical form.”