Famous Pianists and Their Technique, New Edition

Famous Pianists and Their Technique, New Edition

Reginald R. Gerig
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 04/26/2007
Format: Paperback 24 b&w illus., 63 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-34855-5
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Famous Pianists and Their Technique has been a standard in the field since its first publication in 1974. This widely used and acclaimed history of piano technical thought includes insights into the techniques of masters such as C.P.E. Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Clementi, Czerny, Debussy, Godowsky, Horowitz, Levinskaya, Leschetizky, the Lhevinnes, Liszt, Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel, Rubinstein, and Schubert, among others.

Called "the bible of piano technique" by Maurice Hinson, this book is a comprehensive resource for the student, teacher, and professional pianist who seek to discover the secrets of how the immortal professional pianists developed and polished their mechanical and musical technique. This expanded edition contains a foreword by Alan Walker, a new preface, and multiple new appendices.

Author Bio

Reginald R. Gerig is Professor of Piano Emeritus at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, where he taught from 1952 to 1987, having served as Chair of the Piano Department for fourteen of those years. He was previously also on faculty at the Eastman School of Music and received several degrees from The Juilliard School of Music.


“There is no book like [Famous Pianists and Their Technique] in the English or any other language; it covers the gamut of technical development from Diruta or John Cage. Every important pedagogue is discussed in detail so it is easy to understand their unique contribution to the development of piano technique.”
 —  Maurice Hinson, Senior Professor of Piano, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Professor Gerig's amassing in one volume of such a gigantic overview of various schools and approaches to piano technique is awesome. His book has value not only for the scholar as an extremely fascinating historical tracing of various major performers, composers, and pedagogues, but an equally vital use as a reference work for the performer involved in the art of playing the piano.”
 — Joseph Banowetz, Professor of Piano, University of North Texas

“This book is a wonderful and comprehensive resource for those who seek to discover the secrets of how the immortal professional pianists of our century and the last developed and polished their mechanical and musical technique.”

“This book was eye-opening when the first edition . . . appeared, and it remains so today. . . . The new edition is somewhat enhanced with the addition of a short foreword by Alan Walker and a number of appendixes that refer the reader to specific discussion areas such as 'the aesthetic imperative, mental and psychological control, isolated movements, coordinated movements, posture,' and so on. . . . Recommended. . . . ”
 — Choice

“. . . the expanded part of Gerig's book [is] so impressive that this section by itself is worth more than the price of the book. Just one of the cross-referenced ideas would be enough to spur a thesis, dissertation, or lecture-recital. . . . Scholars will not be disappointed at the array of obscure facts and hard-to-locate bibliography. Pedagogues will relish this text as an indispensable reference for their courses and daily work. Pianists will be able to constantly refer and return to their historical heritage. Gerig's book has not only withstood the test of time, but will continue to do so.”
 — Piano Journal

“For both amateurs and professionals, Professor Gerig's book is entertaining and informative reading. Serious students of the instrument should place a high priority on owning this revision and reading it from cover to cover. From Mr. Gerig's enlightening narrative we learn as much about the lives of legendary pianists and pedagogues, their performing, and their teaching as we do about piano technique. Lastly, the paperback cover keeps the cost of the volume reasonable.Vol.25.1 Winter/Spring 2009”
 — Reid Alexander, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“. . . [a] classic study of keyboard technique . . . .Vol. 22.2 Winter 2007”
 — Patricia Stroh, Beethoven Journal

“Called 'the bible of piano technique' by Maurice Hinson, this book is a comprehnsive resource for the student, teacher and professional pianist. January 7, 2011”
 — The Washington Times

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Alan Walker
Preface and Acknowledgments

1. The Meaning of Technique
2. The Early Clavier Methods
3. The Beginnings of the Piano
4. Mozart and the Early Piano Technique
5. Hummel: The Culmination of the Viennese Era
6. The Dynamic Beethoven Technique
7. Czerny: Technique Personified
8. The Early Methodology
9. The Lyricism of Chopin
10. Liszt and Virtuoso Technique
11. The Schumann Circle
12. The Beginnings of Modern Technical Methods
13. The Leschetizky Influence
14. Russian Nationalism
15. The French School
16. Breithaupt and Weight Technique
17. The English School: Matthay; His Pupils and Colleagues
18. Ortmann: Piano Technique Comes of Age
19. Contemporary Technical Thought
20. The Perspectives of an Enlightened Piano Technique

1. The Aesthetic Imperative
2. Mental and Psychological Control
3. An Intellectual Grasp of Basic Technical Knowledge
4. Isolated Movements
5. Coordinated Movements
6. Muscular Coordination
7. The Kinesthetic Sense
8. Posture
9. Means for Specific Technical Development
10. Historical Concepts and Perspectives of Piano Technical Thought
11. Supplementary Bibliography