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Clavichord for Beginners


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Table of Contents

1. Clavichord for all Keyboardists
What is a Clavichord?
Clavichord for Keyboard Beginners
For Harpsichordists
For Players of Early Piano
For Modern Pianists
For Organists
For Singing Clavichordists
A Personal Note for Aspiring Clavichordists
2. Preparing to Play
Ways of Relaxing
Touch Awareness
Finger Awareness, Seated
Finger Interaction, Seated
Exercise For Finger Independence
Exercise For Flexible Wrists
Getting to Know Your Clavichord
Position at the Keyboard
Control of Tone and Pitch
3. Clavichord Lessons Series I
Lesson One: Lowering a Key Soundlessly
Lesson Two: Making a Sound
Lesson Three: Playing Two Notes in a Row
Lesson Four: Including a Raised Key
Lesson Five: Bach's Cantabile Touch
Lesson Six: Producing a Cantabile (Singing) Sound
Lesson Seven: Cantabile with Fingers 4 and 5
Lesson Eight: Cantabile With the Thumb
Lesson Nine: Cantabile on two Successive Notes
Lesson Ten: Playing Five Notes in a Row
Lesson Eleven: Timing
Lesson Twelve: Five Finger Exercise
4. Clavichord Lessons, Series II
Lesson One: Degrees of Softness
Lesson Two: Degrees of Loudness
Lesson Three: Crescendo and Diminuendo on Five Notes
Lesson Four: Contrast in Dynamics, Two Hands
Lesson Five: Articulation on Single Notes
Lesson Six: Articulation on Two Notes
Lesson Seven: Leaping with one Finger
Lesson Eight: Playing Intervals
Lesson Nine: For a Flexible Thumb
Lesson Ten: The Makings of a Scale
5. Preparing for Pieces
6. Eleven Easy Pieces
7. Exploring the Past: 15th Through 17th Centuries
8. Exploring the Past: Eighteenth-Century Germany
9. Exploring the Present and Future
Selected Bibliography
Extended bibliography
About the Author

About the Author

Joan Benson has performed throughout the world, garnering respect of classical music enthusiasts and major contemporary composers. Her advocacy of modern Western music led her to Olivier Messiaen's class at the Paris Conservatoire, to the University of Utrecht Institute of Sonology, and to Stanford's Center for computer Research in Music and Acoustics. She has taught on the faculty at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Aston Magna Academy in Massachusetts.


"Ms. Benson provides an extremely methodical primer for beginning clavichordists, starting with the easiest fingerings and progressing to the most difficult. She invites us to delight ourselves with the tactile elements of playing and truly makes the touches come to life on the printed page." - Carole Terry, performer and pedagogue "If pianists learned to play on the clavichord, they would be much more careful with the kind of sound they produce on the modern piano. The clavichord is my best teacher because it makes me listen very carefully. The sound is so delicate and the touch so sensitive, it shows all my shortcomings immediately. The clavichord also helps me play Bach without the sustaining pedal of the modern piano. I would make clavichord practice compulsory for all pianists." - Andras Schiff, Grammy award-winning classical pianist and recipient of the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize

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