Author Archives: james boyk

Half-Pedal

From the Curmudgeon’s glossary of piano technique: Half-pedal: An advanced effect in piano playing. Fictitious.

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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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Do Acoustics Matter?

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

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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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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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Short-Circuit

So the adult says that it’s hard to make a living in the performing arts, which is true; and the Young Person Dreaming of a career says the adult doesn’t understand, which

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Chords, Hands and Dynamics

In playing chords, as you know, we can vary the tone-color by bringing out the soprano, or the bass, or the soprano and the bass; or the inner voices. And we can make a “banging” sound by

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Aphorisms, Chapter 2

Music is a dance that provides its own accompaniment.

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Aphorisms, Chapter 1

Talent is the ability to learn despite

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