Piano Technique - Glossary
2. Units = segments = members
These are the elements that make up the motor apparatus*. They can be close or distant.
A Close Unit = proximal, superior
A Distant Unit = distal, inferior
Is a question of the distance of a given unit with relationship to the fixation points (of the hand or the finger) - see examples:
● The arm is a close unit = superior and the
forearm is a distant unit = inferior.
● The close phalange is the one that is closest to the metacarpal bone; it is the superior member of the finger.
...Distal = distal / peripheral members
...Intermediate = peripheral members
...Proximal = basic members
Peripheral joints of the fingers = distant joints, below the metacarpal bones.
*In everyday language, the motor apparatus or locomotor system (Neuhaus: “двигательный аппарат”) of a pianist refers to the hand as the “superior member”, even though it is evident that the basis for every movement of this apparatus is a firm contact between the feet and the floor.
Proof: try to play while slightly raising the feet Raising the feet off the floor immediately modifies the center of gravity and only experienced pianists know how to maintain the balance.