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Educational technology is part of the greater process of instructional design. . In my thesis, decades ago, and in a number of articles I used "educational reform.

And sales of the individual volumes were even smaller. The Jena Litteratur Zeitung, a very popular and widely read journal of the time, achieved its success on issues of copies, according to a letter written by Goschen to Wieland. For a work like the Essay , designed for a very limited public, to reach our suggested, conservatively estimated number of copies, is indeed impressive, when compared with these other figures. It must also be remembered that the copying and borrowing of books were widespread practices at this time.

Hence to copies served many more than the equivalent number of readers. Dated January 11, , it runs in part: I have observed with greatest satisfaction the change that has come over the world of keyboard playing since the publication of my Essay. I can assert without boasting that since its appearance, teaching and playing have improved.

And yet I must regret that my high motives have innocently given rise to old and even worse barbarisms. Vain and selfish addlepates are no longer satisfied with playing their own fabrications creditably and forcing them on their students. This content downloaded from They must seek immortality through authorship. As a result so many school and text books have appeared since my Essay that no end of them can be seen. I have been injured most by those that contain stolen passages both with and without acknowledgment.

Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments : Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach :

Plagiarizing is free to all and I have nothing to say against it. But it is most harmful to strip plagiarizations of their proper contexts, and explain or apply them incorrectly. Everyone knows the damage that can be done by an incorrect fingering, a wrong explanation and application of embellishments, a thoroughly bad chord. I can assert without anger, and in truth, that every instruction book that I have seen since the publication of my Essay and I believe I have seen them all is filled with errors.


What I say can be proved if necessary. However, the Essay in its uncorrupted form reached all parts of the Continent. But it also made its way southward. Czerny, for one, procured his copy in Vienna. Thus the seed of the Bach influence was widely scattered. Those of us who do anything right, learned it from him. Whoever does not own to this is a scoundrel. Rochlitz, the source of this as well as the preceding statement, is not always dependable; but in this case he can be trusted, simply because he lacked the insight necessary for the formulation of so penetrating an observation.

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It is not pointless to inquire after the teachers of this teacher. Re- peatedly in the Essay he mentions his indebtedness to his father. But a large part of the practical wisdom contained in it must have been gathered during the years that he spent at the court in Berlin.

These chamber concerts were held from 7 to 9 P. Precisely at 7 he would appear and sound the pitch. Earlier, the waiting musicians could hear him rehearsing the more challenging passages of the evening. There was not much variety over the years. Usually the main fare consisted of about six concertos played by the monarch. Later this number was reduced to three or four. Frederick had received flute lessons from Quantz regularly since , and the teacher wrote approximately concertos for the exclusive use of the king.

Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments

Occasionally, Frederick played one of his own works. Quantz and other instrumentalists played too, their performances being varied with arias sung by the court singers. Quantz are now become old and common; but this does not prove their deficiency in novelty, when they were first composed, as some of them have been made more than forty years. Quantz bore no other part in the performance of the concertos tonight, than to give the time with the motion of his hand, at the beginning of each movement, except now and then to cry out bravo!

The cadences which his majesty made were good, but very long and studied. It is easy to discover that these concertos were composed at a time when he did not so frequently require an opportunity of breathing as at present; for in some of the divisions, which were very long and difficult, as well as in the closes, he was obliged to take his breath, contrary to rule, before the passages were finished.

Fasch asserted that the king, along with Bach and Franz Benda, was a great artist in adagio playing, but that his rhythmic sense was not always dependable, especially in rapid passages. As monarch he retained and exercised the right to bring the ensemble into agreement with his wayward tempos by beating time forcefully.

They can be found in the many details of practical advice that Bach gives to his reader.

At the court were two of the brothers Graun: Carl Heinrich, music director and celebrated composer of The Death of Jesus, and Johann Gottlieb, conductor of the royal orchestra, composer, and eminent violinist. Quantz, already men- tioned, was present as chamber musician. Five members of the Benda family played at the court, in- cluding Franz and, for a shorter time, Georg.

Engaged as vio- linist in the court from , he left to become musical director to the Princess Amalie in He wrote several important theoret- ical works and contributed many of the musical articles to J. On adding the name of Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg to this roster we have reassembled the group of writers who made Berlin the hub of musical theory. Burney in the Present State of Music writes of Berlin: I was impatient to begin my musical inquiries in a place.

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But traffic in ideas ran in two directions; Bach met his associates frequently and ex- changed opinions with them. This lack.

Most easy to discover are those points on which he and his contemporaries disagreed. Although he rarely mentions anyone by name, it is clear that he and Quantz were divided on several matters. A great deal of his music was written for teaching purposes. The title of his best-known keyboard works, the collections for Connoisseurs and Amateurs, indicates the spread of his interests. In addition the Sonatas with varied reprises This content downloaded from It is true that the Essay was written for the student whose aim was complete mastery of the keyboard. But the Introductions to both parts show clearly that Bach was well aware of the general state of musical instruction, indeed that he wrote with it in mind.

Especially is this true of the Introduction to Part One, where he writes caustically of the pretentiousness of the average teacher, his abysmal ignorance and unmusicality. A few contemporary documents give us information on keyboard instruction at the time. I divide all keyboard performers into two groups. In the first are those for whom music is a goal, and in the second, all amateurs who seek thorough instruction. My Essay is intended for the first group; no paragraph is superfluous. In fact it will be seen from the supplements soon to appear that far from having said too much, I have not yet said enough.


Essay on the true art of playing keyboard instruments

Teachers must know everything that appears in my Essay and be clever enough to select the manner and order of instruction best adapted to the students that they teach. Niceties come last, as expressed in one of my Introductions. Nothing fundamental can be learned without time and patience. Study of keyboard performance is not a compendious affair, and dare not be if it is to be learned thoroughly. What is there to say about those false instruction books which in their alleged brevity are almost as long as mine? For the second group, the amateurs, there is indeed no instruction book, if this could once be impressed upon their teachers.

Instead, one should proceed as I used to, unwillingly but out of necessity. Before each period, I wrote out the lesson that I intended to give and concerned myself only with the most essential principles. Niceties of, and proper contexts for, embellishments, refinements of accompaniment, the divided accompaniment, etc. Throughout, the student was not allowed to commit a single error like those that are accepted as postulates in many books.

If the student was prepared, it turned out that the entire transcribed lesson without examples and the rudiments, which were presupposed since they can be taught as well by a village schoolmaster as by the greatest artist filled about a half sheet of paper. Hence, for purposes of thorough instruction the abridging of a keyboard handbook, even when it is done without errors, clearly does more harm than good.

All of the compendium writers that I know have written, in certain respects, too little, in others, too much, but in all respects, masses of errors. What miserable nonsense can be found in some! And this is the reason: to judge from their books, the authors have never studied composition, which they must by all means know in order to construct an accompaniment.

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This study is not merely of the rules of composition; it bears directly on an understanding of composition. In a word no one can put his trust in a keyboard instruction book, if the author has not previously made himself known and proved himself worthy to be considered an accomplished composer through his good compositions. These give us more information than is revealed in many textbooks of the time.