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A Complete Theoretical & Practical Course of Instructions on the Art of Playing the Pianoforte

Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Complete Theoretical and Practical Course of Instructions

Johan Nepomuk Hummel
Mark Kroll, Editor
December 9, 2019

142 pp.

2 illustrations

ISBN: 978-157647133-5

PB 6' x 9' $58.00

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The piano treatise of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) was written by one of the most renowned and influential pianists and teachers of early the romantic period. This facsimile of Part III of the English edition makes available for the first time in almost two hundred years an important source of information about musical interpretation and performance during the first three decades of the nineteenth century. Hummelís treatise, which was published in German, French, and English between 1828-1829, and subsequently in Italian, Spanish and American editions, consists of three sections. The first and second deal with matters of musical theory and piano technique, but it is Part III that is of greatest interest to todayís performers. In these pages Hummel provides his personal perspective on a wide variety of nineteenth-century practices and techniques. These include the proper execution of trills and other ornaments; rhythmic flexibility and rubato; piano pedaling; the art of improvisation, of which Hummel was a recognized master; and even how to tune the instrument. We also gain an insight into Hummelís aesthetic values and his thoughts on musical interpretation. The facsimile will be enhanced with extensive commentary by Mark Kroll, the author of the definitive biography of Hummel and an authority on historical performance. He places Hummelís comments within the context of the development of keyboard playing between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as other factors that influenced Hummelís approach to interpreting music on the piano. A special feature of this edition is the inclusion of an English translation of Hummelís chapter on ďImprovisation,Ē which he expanded from one to eight pages in Thomas Haslingerís second German edition (ca. 1838). This was never reprinted in those editions published in other languages, making this facsimile edition the first to offer an English translation.


Johan Nepomuk Hummel:
Mark Kroll, Editor:


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