Advanced Piano Coaching Online

Locking and attaching

1. Locking the joint
This is about a temporary immobilization a member’s joint (example: the forearm and the arm or the finger’s neighboring phalanges) that is connected in a precise position. This locking of the joints can be muscular or ligamental.

Muscular locking creates a resistance in the heart of the joint through an increase in muscle tension. This is a dynamic occurrence and thus requires a lot of the pianist’s energy. It is possible to dose the level of this locking to produce different dynamics and tone qualities.

For more information, click on the images marked “Wikipedia

Contrary to muscular attaching, ligamental locking is static, and consequently requires much less effort. It means finding a position for the hand through which each preceding bone pushes the following one. By doing this, one forms a chain of lockings, which goes from the shoulder all the way to the bottom of the key (The Neuhaus’ bridge). The major portion of the force needed to strike a key comes then primarily from the force of gravity (i.e. from the falling weight of the Motor Apparatus) and from the shoulder muscles and from the hips (whose muscles push the mass of the torso into movement). The unique role of the weaker muscles of the hands and fingers is to manage this force when striking the keys.

2. Attaching the joint
Simply put, this is about a very weak locking . I have borrowed this very appropriate term from Cz. Sielużycki (►Bibliography) who uses it to refer to...

[...] slight static tension, i.e. only to maintain a member in its position and to create a contrast with stronger tensions. The level of an attachment type locking of the mobile members while playing is so weak that it can be qualified - according to professor Jan Ekier - as insignificant instrumental tension.
Czesław Sielużycki - “The pianist’s hand” p. 111, Polish Music Edition, Cracow, 1982

Attaching is used regularly in advanced pianistic technique, and most particularly in throwing movements, as a support for locking and to prevent the negative effects of inertia.


This site uses cookies
I use cookies on my website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (Tracking Cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.