Historical Harpsichord Technique: Developing La douceur du toucher

Historical Harpsichord Technique: Developing La douceur du toucher

by Yonit Lea Kosovske


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Yonit Lea Kosovske surveys early music and writing about keyboard performance with the aim of facilitating the development of an expressive tone in the modern player. Reviewing the work of the pedagogues and performers of the late Renaissance through the late Baroque, she gives special emphasis to la douceur du toucher or a gentle touch. Other topics addressed include posture, early pedagogy, exercises, articulation, and fingering patterns. Illustrated with musical examples as well as photos of the author at the keyboard, Historical Harpsichord Technique can be used for individual or group lessons and for amateurs and professionals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253356475
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 07/11/2011
Series: Publications of the Early Music Institute Series
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Yonit Kosovske performs on both modern and historical keyboard instruments as a soloist and chamber artist. She has produced several solo CDs, the most recent of which include La Gracieuse, French chaconnes, passacailles, & preludes (La Douceur, 2010) and Keyboard Music of Girolamo Frescobaldi (Focus, 2010). Kosovske lives in Ireland, where she performs as a freelance artist and teaches at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

Table of Contents


Introduction: La douceur du toucher
1. Preparing to Play
Beginning Lessons
Selecting an Instrument
Position at the Keyboard
Arms and Elbows
Curvature of the Hands and Fingers
2. Touching the Instrument
Warm-up Exercises
Touching the Keys
Stroking the Keys
Motion of the Hands and Wrists
Playing Different Keyboard Instruments
3. Articulation
What Is Articulation?
"Ordinary Manner"
Staggered Playing
Grace Notes and Trills
Detached Playing
Agogic Accents
4. Fingering
Comfort and Context
Strong and Weak Notes
Use of the Thumb
Contraction of the Hand
Artistic Freedom

Appendix: Brief Biographical Notes on People Mentioned in the Text

What People are Saying About This

Oberlin College and Conservatory - William Wiggins

"Well-conceived and well-written, Historical Harpsichord Technique offers valuable information for all who have an interest in developing good harpsichord touch."

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