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Piano Technique - Glossary

7. Shaking the Arm

Also called vertical vibrations or motor impulses*. This term corresponds to an alternating between placing and removing the motor apparatus on the keyboard - see bridge / crane The frequency of this movement is extremely rapid, but the vertical distances traveled by the arm are only several millimeters.
*Czesław Sielużycki - “The pianist’s hand” p. 261 and 305-306, Polish Music Edition, Cracow, 1982

Of course I do not mean that one must merely “shake the shoulder” to play correctly. The truth is closer to the opposite: it is correct playing that brings the impression of shaking the arms when performing certain very well defined technical movements. At the most, this shaking can be gradually stimulated principally by practicing staccato exercises or by doing gymnastics away from the piano (cf. exercise n° 2).

For more information, please refer to Chapter 10.


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