Discoveries from the Fortepiano: A Manual for Beginners and Seasoned Performers

ISBN : 9780199396641

Donna Louise Gunn
256 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Dec 2015
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Discoveries from the Fortepiano meets the demand for a manual on authentic Classical piano performance practice that is at once accessible to the performer and accurate to the scholarship. Uncovering a wide range of eighteenth-century primary sources, noted keyboard pedagogue Donna Gunn examines contemporary philosophical beliefs and principles surrounding Classical Era performance practices. Gunn introduces the reader to the Viennese fortepiano and compares its sonic and technical capabilities to the modern piano. In doing so, she demonstrates how understanding Classical fortepiano performance aesthetics can influence contemporary pianists, paying particular focus to technique, dynamics, articulation, rhythm, ornamentation, and pedaling. The book is complete with over 100 music examples that illustrate concepts, as well as sample model lessons that demonstrate the application of Gunn's historically informed style on the modern piano. Each example is available on the book's companion website and is given three recordings: the first, a modern interpretation of the passage on a modern piano; the second, a fortepiano interpretation; and the third, a historically informed performance on a modern piano. With its in-depth yet succinct explanations and examples of the Viennese five-octave fortepiano and the nuances of Classical interpretation and ornamentation, Discoveries from the Fortepiano is an indispensable educational aid to any pianist who seeks an academically and artistically sound approach to the performance of Classical works.


About the Companion Website
1. Urgency: Why Bother?
2. Affekt and Good Taste
3. Formal Structure and Harmonic Function
4. Technique-Execution
5. Rhythm
6. Dynamics
7. Accents and Other Expression Marks
8. Articulation and Touch
9. Staccato Dots and the Other Usual Suspects Ornaments
10. Ornaments
11. Repeats
12. Damper Pedal
13. Indicated Tempo
14. Final Words

About the author: 

Donna Louise Gunn, artist-educator and founder of Focus On Piano LLC, is dedicated to actively engaging music lovers of all ages, at all stages. Her life's work is anchored in performance, research, and pedagogy. Gunn's passion and skill as a keyboard artist and pedagogue are endorsed by the Lied Center for Performing Arts and the Nebraska Arts Council, where her impact reaches K-12 students as well as collegiate and adult learners. Her fortepiano and period-performance practices research is global in scope, taking her to Italy, The Netherlands, and Hungary.

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