By David Rowland
David Rowland lines the historical past of piano pedaling from its beginnings within the eighteenth century to its first adulthood in the midst of the 19th century and past. Pedaling strategy was once an enormous function of nineteenth-century piano functionality and, coupled with new advancements in piano constitution, encouraged many composers to write down leading edge works for the literature. Rowland examines this during the method and tune of composer-pianists reminiscent of Beethoven, Liszt, and Chopin and follows the transition from harpsichord and clavichord to piano. The e-book additionally comprises an appendix of translated extracts from 3 famous piano-pedaling tutors.
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Additional resources for A History of Pianoforte Pedalling
The resonance problem was not the only one to be overcome by stops, levers and pedals on the early piano. 19 Documentary accounts of early pedalling 33 Why should a touch-sensitive instrument require additional means to create dynamic contrast? The reason is a technical one, neatly summarised by Closson: In order to prevent the jack, by its swift action, from breaking the shank of the hammer and also to prevent the hammer from rebounding from the jack and hitting the string a second time ('blocking'), it is necessary to keep the hammer at some distance from the string.
40 Twentieth-century opinion has remained divided over the sostenuto. Bosendorfer's began to use it after the second world war41 and the major Japanese makers include it as a matter of course; but many European makers are no more convinced of its worth today than they were a hundred years ago. PART II Pedalling and the early pianists Documentary accounts of early pedalling As far as the mutations of the piano are concerned, we cannot praise instrument makers sufficiently for their unstinting efforts in recent years to introduce a large number of mutations into the instrument.
It is this controversy and process of change which forms the study of the next three chapters. 1790 Keyboard tutors prior to the 1790s make no more than passing references to stops, levers and pedals. Our knowledge of their use in this period is therefore largely dependent on other sources, which unfortunately offer only the sketchiest 30 Pedalling and the early pianists of information. It is therefore almost impossible to be sure exactly how pianists of that era used these devices. But from the information that does exist we can tentatively identify three factors which seem to have been important in the use to which tone-modifying devices were put to begin with: first, the ability which they gave performers to imitate other instruments; secondly, the way in which they helped the performer to overcome some of the shortcomings of the early piano (such as its dryness of tone); and thirdly, their potential for novelty, or particular effects at strategic moments in the music.