How to Create a Beautiful Sound
30 Apr 2022 @ 12:00 UTC
From the softest whisper to the most sonorous roar, the great pianists play with a huge variety of colours and layers of sound. Achieving this variety presents us with many challenges. How do we create an intimate pianissimo without those annoying ghost notes that lose focus, or fail to sound at all? What is the secret behind a fortissimo that retains character and quality of sound, avoiding the ugly banging that causes the listener to grimace and cover their ears?
In this two-part online workshop, Graham Fitch shows how to make use of the vast tonal palette the piano has to offer to create beautiful sounds, magical textures and an array of colours evoked by different music which captivate the listener.
Part 1 – Producing a Quality Sound at All Dynamic Levels
In the first part of this two part workshop, Graham explores the various ways and means of controlling the instrument to produce quality sound at all dynamic levels, including:
- How to add colour and dynamic variety to music where composers’ markings are absent or sparse e.g. Baroque and Classical periods
- A simple way to map intensity levels within a phrase and dynamic levels for an entire a piece
- Some neat exercises to develop a true pianissimo and principles for playing forte and fortissimo with a rounded tone, while avoiding tension and banging
- Tips for managing extreme markings such as pppp and ffff
- Suggestions on where to use the soft pedal and some thoughts on how to wean yourself off it if you have got into the habit of abusing it
- Ideas for awakening the imagination and inner ear by thinking in terms of other instruments such as the voice, the orchestra, string quartet, and so on
Part 2 – Voicing and Tonal Balance
Do you ever feel that your sound lacks definition or dimension? Beautiful piano playing relies on the pianist’s ability to produce multiple layers of sound, creating a stereophonic or 3D effect enhanced by sensitivity of touch and virtuoso footwork. In the second part of this workshop, Graham Fitch shares some ideas for developing voicing skills from the very earliest stages of our piano journey so that the importance of listening critically and attending to tone quality can be refined as we progress, including:
- Developing independence between the hands and within the one hand
- Voicing chords, double notes and octaves
- Texturising our sound for that magical 3D effect
- Creating the illusion of a vocal or instrumental line on our percussion instrument, where each sound we make decays relatively quickly
The workshop will be divided up into two sessions with a short break in-between and there will be opportunities for questions and answers throughout. The sessions will be recorded and all participants will receive a link to download the video. Therefore, if you are unable to attend the session on the day or can't attend the full workshop, you will still be able to watch the videos at your convenience shortly after the event.
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