Author Archives: james boyk

Boyk’s Converse

“Work expands to fill the time allotted to it.” This bit of wit

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STOP!

So simple it sounds silly: At a random time during practice, STOP! Ask yourself

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22nd Century Conservatory

INTEGRATING mind & heart, science & art, intention & performance, technique & musicality, town & gown, rich & poor, culture high & popular. MUSICKING a town: Making music at home and in homeless shelters, in prisons and legislatures, outdoors and indoors, in schools and theaters, classrooms and labs, on the Web and on the air. […]

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Half-Pedal

From the Curmudgeon’s glossary of piano technique: Half-pedal: An advanced effect in piano playing. Fictitious. Used to intimidate students and feed performers’ narcissism.

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The Piano As a Tool

Why is it not fussiness or affectation for a pianist to try to assure that he or she has the finest piano in the finest condition for each performance? Because the piano is, with regard to the performance, simply a tool. If the tool is faulty

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Crooked Piano Competitions

“Of course you were first prize, my dear. But the jury were instructed not to award the prizes because we don’t have the money.” This is what one harpsichordist was told by the business manager of a European competition after they didn’t

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Two Views of a Tuning

Practicing on the concert-grand in the empty recital hall one afternoon, I became more and more distracted by

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Home in the Range

Fascinating, yes, to hear two interpretations side by side. But don’t you think each had something to learn from the other? Did you notice how she played the soprano melodies more convincingly, and he played

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Do Acoustics Matter?

Or should it be, “Does acoustics matter?” This is just one of the many

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Of Time and the Pizza Baking

When I started performing, I noticed that I played too fast; because of the adrenalin, I guess. So I learned to take tempos that

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