Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 1

Preface

elcome

to The Piano Handbook, a new kind of book that aims

to introduce

you to all aspects of the piano, and piano

playing, in a single volume. The piano has emerged as the

most exciting and important

medium

for creative music-making

in Our

Bartok. Meanwhile, experimental

free improvisation

think about new ways of connecting


with

other

movement

disciplines
studies.

like

will require that you

up musical gesture and performance

physical

theatre

And if you're interested

and

performance

culture. As a result, it has a uniquely rich musical heritage. I've tried to

groove, you'll want co see how sequenced drum-machine

reflect that richness in this book, on several levels.

Afro-American

Firstly, although

The Piano Handbook is primarily

a tutor, to be used

either for self-study or with a teacher, it gives you the world of the piano
as a whole. It guides you through the process of learning to play in a wide
range of traditional
repertoire,

and modern styles. It introduces the piano's enormous

and the vast choice of recordings

available by great players.

drumming

techniques

That doesn't

mean that the book is just a pick'ri'rnix of different

styles, crammed into a single volume. It's nor. It has become fashionable
co assume that differem

cultures

have nothing

interactions.

This view has dominated

impact On western

world

the

for your own personal exploration

of this

wonderful instrument.
learning

the piano,

over

intended

takes a completely

new approach

music education
bur

in the western

its limitarions

have become

concrete

to challenge

historical

that

connecrions

The

languages,

but also by focusing

sirnilariries

between

different

approach,

between

not just by looking

different

musical

cultures

at
and

on che deeper organic and structural

kinds of music. All music reflects basic

within the grasp of the individual player - has made it central, not JUStfor

human resources and concerns: nor just how we think and feel, but also

performers

how we hear, how our bodies gec involved in playing and responding,

but for composers.

That's why playing and composing

have

repeatedly come together on the piano to produce exciting approaches that


treat playing itself as creative, in live performance as improvisation

and in

the privacy of the composer's studio. In this book, you'll learn to play,
compose and improvise

side by side, and you'll see how closely related

and

how our own playing and the music we relate co unfold in time itself.
One consequence

of this

is chat in The Piano

Handbook

you're

encouraged to develop musical auiareness by thinking about issues critically


for yourself. The aim is not just

CO

see how different styles of music reflect

the same deeper forces, but ro grasp what chat might mean for your own

these aspects really are.


Thirdly, this approach means you'll be able to compare and contrast
techniques

used by classical masters like Bach and Mozart with those of

jazz and rock greats like Bill Evans or Jerry Lee Lewis. You'll also discover
that those techniques are there for you to use in your own way, to help you
unlock your own creative and musical potential.

involvement

as a player

recommended

a wide range of books in the reference section, designed co

and

creacive

deepen your critical understanding


There's a full-length

individual.

To

help,

I've

of music.

tutorial section, intended for older children and

In other words, you'll

adults who want to move rapidly through the earlier stages of learning the

learn about each different style in a way that take it on its own terms,

piano to a level where they can cake advantage of the rich repertoire of the

giving it the respect it deserves as a culture or genre. That leaves you free

instrument.

to choose the elements

book combines

you wish to take further, as you discover more

about your own strengths

Focusing on laying the foundations

instrumental

and interests.

The approach I've taken in this book reflects my experience over many

designed

learn is generally

interpretation.

to begin with things

you want

reachers force young people ro srruggle

to learn. Too many

with music they can't

relate to, and which offers few obvious opportunities


and realising one's creative potential.
active

involvement

with

their

for self-expression

It's one reason young people reject

own

musical

heritage,

in favour

of

established

methods

with

of a sound technique,

the latest

thinking

to illustrate

and tackle the major points

There are often pointers

to additional

learning, and exercises to practise, if you want


pace.

As you progress,

improvisation,
music

the

about

learning. You'll find quite a few of the best-loved classics of

the piano repertoire, alongside newly composed study-pieces

years as a player, composer and teacher. I've found rhat the best way ro
modern

you'll

come

CO

and exercises

of technique

and

reiared pieces for

proceed at a more relaxed

across

sections

dealing

with

jazz and other non-classical styles, and the fundamentals

theory and composition.

These

harmony

outcome is a graded course that I hope will be enjoyable and challenging

of popular musical styles that are actually

less creative than the classical music that drove them away in the first
place. Perhaps you have experienced something

The piano as an instrument

every style of music seriously: that is, in its own way. In other words, if

types of music.

The

in new and exciting ways.

like this.

By concrast, The Piano Handbook encourages you to approach each and

in various

of

how and why melody,

with watered-down

imitations

and form work differently

explain

Walkmans and computer games. Teachers are left trying to lure them back

finding

uniquely

has always been about individuals

rich ways to realise their potential

could even say that's why the instrument

as musicians.

You

was invented and developed in

you're going to play jazz, you've got to learn about scales, voicings, and

the first place. Ir's certainly

soloing, so you can improvise alongside teal jazz musicians. If you're going

prepare you for. But it also means that the really important

to play classical, you need to master classical technique

experience of piano playing aren't going ro come from this or any book.

and phrasing and

understand
created.

increasingly apparent to those who work in the field.

- its ability to bring complex music

to reflect its special characteristics.

amazing versatility of the instrument

to

in common:

one another in the

society, with only chaotic and random

last few decades,

I've decided

Secondly, The Piano Handbook

substantial

that the best rhey can hope for is to exist alongside


isolated ghettos of our multicultural

broadest possible foundations

or

into exciting

piano textures. It's all here between the covers of The Piano Handbook.

And it directs you to the many books written On more specialised aspects
In short, it aims to give you the

break-beats

can be transformed

of the subject. Ir also tells the story of the evolution of the piano and its
musical culture.

and

in the latest dance-house

the culture in which great masterpieces of the past were


If 20th century music interests you, there's no substitute for

learning to analyse and play challenging

composers such as Schoenberg or

whar I've designed

They will come directly from you.

CARL HUMPHRIES

2002

The Piano Handbook

co

things in your