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The Craft of Piano Playing

In The Craft of Piano Playing, master pianist Alan Fraser offers readers an original and comprehensive approach to piano technique, offering over 100 illustrations and a series of unique exercises to guide the reader. Drawing on his many years as a performer and teacher, his long-standing collaborations with pedagogue Phil Cohen and virtuoso Kemal Gekich, and his professional training in the Feldenkrais Method, Fraser introduces his truly innovative piano technique by * Teaching how to move your hands with greater sensitivity, power, and accuracy, and honing the skeletal alignments to help you access your innate, structural potency; * Linking your physical technique to musical expression, creating an "absolutely natural way of moving at the piano that is powerful, flexible, and musical" (Piano News, Germany); and * Keeping your hands healthy while avoiding the threats of tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, focal dystonia, and RSI. This revised second edition joins the DVD of the same name, his study guide, and his latest book, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, in Alan Fraser's growing line of piano pedagogical materials. This edition includes new chapters, such as "Arm Rhythm" and "The Body's Support of Natural Finger Shape," updated material reflecting evolutions in Fraser's technical and pedagogical thinking, a "cleaner and leaner" literary style, and more extensive, better-organized tables of contents, with cross-references to corresponding chapters in the DVD. For more information please visit,, or
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Table of Contents

Part I - The Foreground: Physical Craftsmanship at The Piano I Getting Started II General Principles Of Movement At The Piano III Hand Strength and Function A: Perfecting Legato IV Hand Strength and Function B: The Special Role of the Thumb and its Relation to the Forefinger V Hand Strength and Function C: 8ves to Synthesize Hand and Arm Function VI Hand Strength and Function D: Maximal Articulation of the Fingers VII Above The Hand: The Role Of The Wrist And Arm In Legato VIII Rotation IX Natural Finger Shape X Some Other Touch Strategies and Combinations Part II - The Middleground: Some Aspects of Musical Craft XI Rhythm XII Phrasing XIII Orchestration Part III - The Background: Tell A Story: How Craft Becomes Art XIV Emotional Content XV A Few Last Thoughts

About the Author

After studying piano with Phil Cohen and Tom Plaunt in Montreal, Canadian pianist Alan Fraser completed his professional training in the Feldenkrais Method before moving to Yugoslavia in 1990 to collaborate with Kemal Gekic in the development of a new approach to piano technique. Author of several books and a DVD on the subject, Fraser maintains an active Feldenkrais practice and piano teaching position in Novi Sad, Serbia, as well as continuing to concertize and lead workshops worldwide.


Fraser supplements this second edition of his book (1st ed., CH, Dec'03, 41-2081) with a companion DVD (which must be purchased separately, from Maple Grove Music Productions). Not simply a minor expansion, this work shows Fraser's continued progress in perfecting and illustrating the physical skills necessary to play the piano with ease and comfort. The basic layout of the volume is the same: 3 large parts, 15 sections, 72 chapters, plus various appendixes--all to be used as a whole or in part. The author expands the book by including more illustrations, by providing the musical examples that are demonstrated on the DVD, and by adding some additional subchapters. It is obvious that Fraser is continually exploring the mysteries of piano performance, applying the new realizations to his own playing and teaching, and sharing these refinements with his readers. The DVD (produced in 2006) is made up of small illustrative chapters of each idea, with Fraser demonstrating and talking to the viewer as if he or she is in a lesson with him. The DVD is necessary to understand the written instructions and must be viewed as the reader progresses through each part. Inclusive music collections supporting study of the piano will want this book. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. CHOICE

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