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#1484505 - 07/30/10 10:10 AM I don't get Taubman rotation
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
I am frustrated. I just don't get it.

Self-taught as a kid, I finally decided to take serious piano lessons five years ago and signed up with a Taubman teacher. She's a great teacher, one of the best in town, and I feel I have progressed quite a bit under her tutelage. Yet to this day there is one aspect of the Taubman technique she teaches that I can't get my mind around: the notion that in a scalar passage you need to employ foreman rotation on every note. There are "double rotations" when subsequent notes are in the same direction and "single rotations" when there is a change in direction. The video below explains better what I am talking about.


In studying a piece you have to work out all the rotations, which ones are single and which ones are double. That's all well and good at slow speed when you have time to do the prescribed rotations. However, at a fast clip you simply can't do these rotations and as you can tell from the video they are are pretty much invisible. As the demonstrator says, you can neither feel them nor see them when playing at speed. As a physicist/engineer I am always looking for the physical basis underlying things but here I have encountered a stumbling block. How can a willful rotation that I can neither see nor feel be responsible for the way I press the keys at speed? This quandary has been keeping me from fully embracing the technique and diligently doing my rotations.

I would like to hear your views on the subject.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1484524 - 07/30/10 10:48 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13811
Loc: Iowa City, IA
For me, the rotational exercises that Golandsky uses in the video serve to promote good finger-hand-arm alignment. I think you're right when you say double rotation isn't actually used the performance of a scale. What is used is the finger-hand-arm alignment that the double rotation exercise promotes.

The rotation exercises also avoid the problem of using the fingers alone to produce the sound. Fluent passagework depends on the arm playing a role in the production of the sound. It's a nuanced role - not obviously visible and not consciously motorized - but an important role nonetheless.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
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#1484563 - 07/30/10 11:32 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: Kreisler]
jcabraham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 102
Loc: Boston
Man, Edith can sure play a scale.

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#1484568 - 07/30/10 11:38 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3830
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Jazzy--

I'm in a very similar situation to you. I've been taking lessons from a Taubman teacher for 2 months, and we're slowly taking a Mozart sonata (K.283, first movement) up to speed. And I've also found the double rotations to be elusive.

I do think there's something there, though. In the video excerpt you provided, Golandsky doesn't say she can't feel the rotations at speed-- she says she can "hardly" feel them. In the Taubman video lectures (which I recommend), she goes into much more detail, and describes how adding the rotation at speed is invisible to the external eye, but a difference you can definitely feel. The idea (as you probably know) is that, at speed, the large forearm rotations you practiced slowly are replaced by very small, subtle rotations. Taubman found (explains Golandsky in the lectures) that this subtle rotation couldn't be taught directly-- it was too small a motion. So the large motion is taught during slow practice, and this is (apparently) the way to train the arm what to do at speed.

When I told my teacher that, at my beginning stage, it seemed like the double rotation was adding an extra movement, she said something interesting: She reminded me that what comes down must go up; that however I get my finger down to play a note, it has to come up again somehow, and the first half of the double rotation accomplishes just that. If it seems like an extra step, that's just because we're making explicit a raising action that I've been doing unconsciously (and with harmful twisting) so far.

That said, I do basically agree with you, and on several lessons so far I've complained that I can't tell whether I'm doing the double rotations at speed. I plan to talk to her more about this next week. But I do believe there is a tangible difference to be felt. I'll share more with you when I understand more.

-Jason
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#1484694 - 07/30/10 02:46 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: Kreisler]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Kreisler, if I understand you correctly, it's best to think of the massive rotations Golandsky uses in the video as just an exercise, perhaps a tool to free the forearm, improve its alignment and get it more involved in tone production. What has been a stumbling block for me is the notion that in actual playing at speed I will be employing these single and double rotations. The issue has come up especially now that I'm working on the Chopin Prelude op.28 #16 which zips along at 160 bpm. In trying to work up to some reasonable tempo I find that the rotations completely go out of the window as I pass a certain speed. And yet I am told in lessons that the rotations during performance are what will help me attain the desired velocities. They are also supposed to provide more leverage for each finger, yet at speed, the amplitude of the rotation goes to zero which means there is no rotational assistance to the down stroke.

I find the notion that these are simply "exercises" done at slow tempo more palatable. As an analogy, we often practice passages using different rhythms yet we don't actually perform them that way.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1484743 - 07/30/10 04:16 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3830
Loc: Bay Area, CA
jazzyprof--

Any response or thoughts to my response? This is something I'm thinking about, a lot, on a daily basis. Curious what you think.

As for what you just wrote, I think the idea is that the amplitude of the rotation does not go do zero at speed; it goes to some small epsilon, which is a very different thing.

-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#1484788 - 07/30/10 05:15 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: beet31425]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
You make the point that “at speed, the large forearm rotations you practiced slowly are replaced by very small, subtle rotations.” That also seems to support the point of view posted by Kreisler above that the big rotational movements are exercises done at slow speeds to enliven the forearm. I feel that unless one was in a habit of playing with arms rigidly held at one’s sides and only using finger motion, unless one played with coins on the back of the hands, then one has always been employing the free arm in all its degrees of freedom, from translational to rotational. I think it takes conscious effort to prevent the forearm from making small rotations in the process of getting to a key, depressing it, getting off it, moving to the next, and producing another tone. That’s why it’s so hard (as Gyro might testify!) to play with coins on the back of the hands.

The way it’s taught in lessons though, it feels if I am being asked to add an extra motion to what happens naturally, especially when my teacher grabs my arm and begins rotating it back and forth from note to note! I feel my body resisting because it no longer feels natural.

You recommend watching the full videos so I’m going to check them out at our library and see if I can gain further enlightenment.

As to the amplitude of the rotation going to some epsilon instead of zero, can we say that we are willfully producing that epsilon or it is just an unavoidable fluctuation of a forearm that is not rigidly held in place?

I’m bringing all this up because I feel I’m being a bad Taubman student! I have a friend, a student of the same teacher, who will take a 6-page piece we’re both studying and tell me how he first works out all his single and double rotations throughout the entire piece. My problem is that unless I am convinced that it is beneficial I can’t bring myself to become obsessive about it!
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1484793 - 07/30/10 05:18 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13811
Loc: Iowa City, IA
In performance, some of the big rotations remain - those that cover groups of notes; but I don't believe every note of a fast passage should be accompanied by rotational motions. (That seems rather silly to me, in fact!)

Even in Golandsky's scale demonstration at the beginning of the video - I don't see any evidence of double rotations.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1484849 - 07/30/10 07:17 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: Kreisler]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6423
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Per Jazzyprof - "I feel that unless one was in a habit of playing with arms rigidly held at one’s sides and only using finger motion, unless one played with coins on the back of the hands, then one has always been employing the free arm in all its degrees of freedom, from translational to rotational. I think it takes conscious effort to prevent the forearm from making small rotations in the process of getting to a key, depressing it, getting off it, moving to the next, and producing another tone. That’s why it’s so hard (as Gyro might testify!) to play with coins on the back of the hands."
________________________________________________________

I agree. Obviously some folks become excellent pianists without knowing anything about the Taubman Technique. Much of what I see Golandsky espousing on these videos is simply "common sense" when it comes to playing the piano (i.e., maintaining a natural hand position, keeping one's arms relaxed and parallel to the keyboard, position of thumb, etc.). I can see how the rotational motion exercises actually might create more problems than they solve. However, the approach may work for some students.
_________________________
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#1484903 - 07/30/10 09:23 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2416
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
I think it takes conscious effort to prevent the forearm from making small rotations in the process of getting to a key, depressing it, getting off it, moving to the next, and producing another tone. That’s why it’s so hard (as Gyro might testify!) to play with coins on the back of the hands.


And yet, being self-taught for over 25 years, that's exactly how my hands and arms ended out - stiff planks and, yes, I could easily balance coins on the back of my hands. Because if you are tense, that's what your hands will do. A couple of months and getting better.

I've not trying Taubman but I am doing rotation exercises as part of various Czerny exercises. It's helping ... slowly ...
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebestrume No. 3, S541
  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#1484981 - 07/31/10 12:25 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: Andy Platt]
Crit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 88
Loc: North Carolina, US
Has anyone taped a pianist using this technique at a fast tempo and then closely studied the tape at super slow motion to observe and measure the degree of rotation? It would be informative to view such tapes if they exist.

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#1485022 - 07/31/10 04:06 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: Crit]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5550
Loc: Orange County, CA
Rotation is just one aspect of Taubman. It's used in conjunction with shaping and in/out motion. I don't intentionally think about single/double rotation unless I hit a problem spot in the music.

For me, scale passages use more shaping than rotation.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1485054 - 07/31/10 06:03 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: AZNpiano]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
This could be of interest: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1454931/1.html
Interesting Matthay quote:
Originally Posted By: Matthay (well, written anyway)

Not Movements, but hidden actions*
3. Let us be quite dear then, to begin with, that my discoveries
on this point do not refer merely to the actual rotatory movements
before-mentioned, but, on the contrary, deal particularly with
those invisible changes of state rotationally (momentary reversals
or repetitions of stress and relaxation rotationally) which, although
unseen, are needed for every note we play, whether we
know of them or not, and ever have been needed, and ever will
be so long as keyboards are used. The fact is, that no player
ever has been successful, nor could be, without the cosest conscious
or unconscious obedience to these very laws of Forearm rotation,
which although mostly unseen in their incidence, are
nevertheless aurally and physically only too patent and inexorable.
4. As these all-important alternations and repetitions of rotational
stress are comparatively rarely cisdosed to the eye (being
usually unaccompanied by any rotational movement whatsoever)
and, being thus hidden, they have totally escaped attention or
recognition, alike by players and teachers during all these
past centuries of keyboard use.
NOTE. The trouble all along has been, that since these exertions were not
disclosed by movements, they completely escaped notice; and teachers of the past,
unaware of these facts, were therefore unable to help their pupils easily to achieve
technical mastery.
Correct Doing was therefore only achieved in rare cases by the musically and
physically supersensitive, who were able to sense the physical needs through their
own musical insistence, and through repeated experimental failure to ultimate
success. But what a pitiable waste of time!
Successful players have always obeyed.


Matthay says that rotation is always there because you rotate the second you place your hands on the keyboard (I don't though) - because you are pulling your hand toward the thumb to make your knuckles horizontal. You release that pull as you play with the 'weaker' side of the hand (fingers 4 and 5) and pull back toward the thumb for 1 and 2. Because you are always holding this tension the double rotation is quite natural. Golandsky is fishy, she makes loads of claims which fail to check out when looked closely into. Taubman sounds like she understood her Matthay.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1485056 - 07/31/10 06:12 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: Crit]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Crit
Has anyone taped a pianist using this technique at a fast tempo and then closely studied the tape at super slow motion to observe and measure the degree of rotation? It would be informative to view such tapes if they exist.
As it's mostly invisible that would be difficult. I did take apart and post one of Golandsky's videos to show that she did use her wrist for octaves though she vowed she didn't.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1485063 - 07/31/10 06:22 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: beet31425]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: beet31425
I'm in a very similar situation to you. I've been taking lessons from a Taubman teacher for 2 months, and we're slowly taking a Mozart sonata (K.283, first movement) up to speed. And I've also found the double rotations to be elusive.
Trying to learn rotation through Mozart is so unwise. Yes, as Matthay says Mozart must have used it, but 18th century technique is so different. Chopin is your man for learning rotation.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1485574 - 07/31/10 11:47 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: keyboardklutz]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5550
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Trying to learn rotation through Mozart is so unwise.


Actually, classical sonatinas are the best for learning rotation because of the thin texture, Alberti bass, and mostly single notes in the R.H.

But I agree--Chopin is great for rotation. It's like Chopin innately understood rotation. Can't get the same feel from his contemporaries Schumann, Liszt, and Mendelssohn.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1485688 - 08/01/10 06:30 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: AZNpiano]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
The thing with Mozart is the rotation is so subtle yet there's quite a lot more tension in the flexors (fingers curled). This combination is difficult to put across to students. Chopin on the other hand requires a beautifully relaxed hand. To teach rotation we need to exaggerate - that'd be a tragedy for M's crisp music.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1486158 - 08/01/10 08:40 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
kbk: Thanks for directing me to the source! I've spent a Sunday afternoon reading Matthay's "The Visible and Invisible in Pianoforte Technique" and I think I'm beginning to understand what this is all about.

In this book Matthay spends a fair amount of time distinguishing between rotatory MOVEMENTS and rotatory STRESSES (or exertions). Rotatory movements are those you can actually see, as in turning a door knob. Rotatory stresses on the other hand, are (according to Matthay) largely invisible and represent an internal muscular state. For example, in some cars if you try to turn the key in the ignition while the steering wheel is locked, you apply a rotational "stress" or force but the key doesn't move and your forearm doesn't turn.

Matthay asserts that his ideas concerning rotation have been largely misunderstood: “Thus, it is falsely alleged that I advocate rotatory MOVEMENTS from note to note in quick passages…” That is not his intent. He starts by saying that the horizontal position of the hands on the keyboard already represents a rotated state (towards the thumb) before we've even played a note. Playing a note with the thumb requires an additional rotatory impulse towards the thumb. To play a next note, say with the little finger, requires that we undo (relax) this internal rotatory state (towards the thumb) and provide support for the little finger. Merely relaxing this thumb-ward twist would allow the forearm to naturally untwist toward the little finger and would provide enough support for a soft tone. An additional rotatory force (stress) toward the little finger would yield a louder tone.

The way I understand it, since the initial state of the horizontal hand and forearm already represents a rotated state toward the thumb (maintained by the weak muscles) employing the next finger while maintaining this thumb-ward twist deprives the next finger of all the support it could have from the forearm. It's like there's this pull towards the thumb while at the same time you're trying to depress a key with another finger. The muscles would be at cross purposes.

It seems to me that all this is only an issue if one insists on playing stiffly (as with coins on the back of the hand) and not allow the forearm its natural rotational degree of freedom.

Some other passages that I found useful:
Quote:
19. “Taken slowly, you can show these stresses by actual rotatory movements each time, as directed. The hand, in this case, turns back (each time) before each rotatory-movement, and then turns again in the direction of (and along with) the next finger you play.”

20. “In a quick passage, however, such rotatory- movements cannot be attempted – there is not time for them.
Instead, the rotational-stresses are here completely disguised, hidden and replaced by finger movements. Nevertheless, you must supply the necessary help individually for each note by invisible forearm rotative exertions or relaxations, precisely as you do when you allow actual rotative movements to accompany each note.”


I now understand the large rotational movements in the Golandsky video in the following context:
Quote:
39. “Finally, since correct Rotation is so all-important, whenever a passage “goes doubtfully” play it through once or twice so slowly that you can analyse and re-analyse the DIRECTION of the succession of its rotatory-impulses. Do this so slowly that you can actually rock the hand from side to side for each note – a rolling or rocking movement towards each note, after first rocking backwards. Thus you impress upon your mind the direction of the rotational help which eventually you have to provide invisibly and WITHOUT actual rotatory movement, yet correct in the incidence of its rotational stresses for every note.”


There is one little delicate point of physics that Matthay seems to gloss over. If I apply a stress (or exertion) the only way that it will not lead to movement is if there is an equal and opposite stress (or exertion). Does key resistance provide that opposing exertion?

In the end Matthay sums it all up by saying “Finally, always play freely.” Perhaps that's the ultimate take-away message amidst all the verbiage about rotatory movements and rotatory stresses.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1486161 - 08/01/10 08:53 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I really think Matthay discovered his theories as most do - he felt what was going on then found an explanation. If you 'play freely' all of what he says makes sense because you feel it too. You've done well to fathom that thick prose! If only Taubmanites would do the same.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1486225 - 08/01/10 10:33 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: keyboardklutz]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
It seems that to say simply as has been said before. The Talbman technique is taking something that really maximizing something that is a very subconscious process, when really the biggest lesson is to play freely. It reminds me of when I was watching Argerich's Evening Talks and looking at her technique. Everything was naturally done with the greatest of ease and no unnecessary tension. It forced me to examine my own technique and find tension I didn't notice.

Valentina Lisitsa is also an example of this taken to an extreme. Between every phrase is a check for tension.

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#1486345 - 08/02/10 04:13 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: MikeN]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: MikeN
It seems that to say simply as has been said before. The Talbman technique is taking something that really maximizing something that is a very subconscious process, when really the biggest lesson is to play freely. It reminds me of when I was watching Argerich's Evening Talks and looking at her technique. Everything was naturally done with the greatest of ease and no unnecessary tension. It forced me to examine my own technique and find tension I didn't notice.

Valentina Lisitsa is also an example of this taken to an extreme. Between every phrase is a check for tension.


I've gotta tell ya...I have no idea what the heck you were trying to say for the first two sentences.
Lisitsa, is an example of what taken to an extreme? Do you mean she's an example of a good pianist with strong technique who's overrated to the extreme because of that technique?
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1486361 - 08/02/10 05:34 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: MikeN]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: MikeN
It seems that to say simply as has been said before. The Talbman technique is taking something that really maximizing something that is a very subconscious process, when really the biggest lesson is to play freely.
Yes, but be a reflective practitioner (as we say in the trade).
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1486559 - 08/02/10 12:19 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: keyboardklutz]
ocd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/06
Posts: 201
Loc: North East
I have also struggled with the concept of double rotations (I take lessons from a teacher in the Golansky faculty). My best understanding so far is as follows.

Say you just played a white key with the index finger, and now you are going to play the next highest note with the middle finger. Lift together (small lift) middle and small finger, drop them together (only the middle plays). When lifting, lift not just up but also very slightly to the left. If you do this you will have a double rotation, unless you are clenching your forearm very tightly. To play the ring finger on the next highest white key, lift both ring and small fingers. Same approach is used when playing from small finger to thumb: lift all fingers available in the direction of play, the fingers lift and drop together, there is no isolation.

Double rotation training emphasizes that fingers that are not actually going to play the next note do participate in the playing motion. It is actually less effort, I believe, to allow this movement than to try to keep non-playing fingers still. I get better control of each note's timing and loudness, and, as a result, crispier passage-work.

ocd
_________________________
"Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen."

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#1486571 - 08/02/10 12:31 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
As I walked to work this morning I happened to think about surfing for some strange reason. Strange, because I'm nowhere near an ocean. Anyway it allowed me to come up with an analogy to help me better understand all this double rotation stuff.

How does a surfer maintain his balance on the surfboard? By making small, barely perceptible shifts in his center of gravity. After much practice he develops an intuition for which direction he needs to transfer his weight in order to maintain balance and to effect a turn.

I think a similar thing is going on with what Matthay calls rotatory stresses when playing at speed. Those rotatory stresses are simply small weight transfer motions that allow the forearm the freedom to fully support the particular finger that is depressing a key at that instant. It's all about balancing the forearm weight on the playing finger.

As in surfing you need to know the direction and timing of weight transfer in order to achieve the desired result. The large scale rotatory movements (single and double rotations) done at slow speed in the Taubman technique are best seen as (i) an exercise to free the forearm rotationally, and (ii) an exercise to develop an intuition for the direction and timing of the imperceptible weight transfer movements that occur at speed.
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#1486681 - 08/02/10 02:49 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: stores]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: MikeN
It seems that to say simply as has been said before. The Talbman technique is taking something that really maximizing something that is a very subconscious process, when really the biggest lesson is to play freely. It reminds me of when I was watching Argerich's Evening Talks and looking at her technique. Everything was naturally done with the greatest of ease and no unnecessary tension. It forced me to examine my own technique and find tension I didn't notice.

Valentina Lisitsa is also an example of this taken to an extreme. Between every phrase is a check for tension.


I've gotta tell ya...I have no idea what the heck you were trying to say for the first two sentences.
Lisitsa, is an example of what taken to an extreme? Do you mean she's an example of a good pianist with strong technique who's overrated to the extreme because of that technique?

Sorry, terrible way of phrasing my thoughts. Not to mention the mistakes. Let me try this again.

In conclusion, it seems that the Talbman technique is taking a subconscious process and bringing it to the forefront of the conscious mind creating something that feels unnatural to someone who already plays freely.

Martha Argerich and Valentina Lisitsa are two prime examples of playing freely with Lisitsa's technique almost taking thing to an extreme level with the lifting of the hands and wrist after every phrase serving as a check for tension.

I have no idea how Lisitsa's ratings came into this picture. If anything Lisitsa's Underated if you ask me.

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#1971557 - 10/10/12 09:38 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
simson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/10/12
Posts: 4
Hi ,

I have watched the taubman videos for a while and came to this webpage when started having questions about how double rotation works at speed.

Watched the taubman video volume 2 on rotation again today and found that when Edna plays C major scale fast, her 3rd,4th,5th fingers are in air even after she has played D by index finger. This means two things for me:
1) because finger 3 is already in air , she is not doing the double rotation in the video. The whole point of double rotation is to avoid isolated finger lifting as she explains if I understand correctly. Here when playing fast if 3 is already in the air, no need to lift it and she appears to just play it down. I do not see any double rotation.

2) after playing the note D, her 3,4,5 fingers should not be in the air in the first place because it causes dual muscular pull as she has explained and this is not like the natural hand position. This is when she is playing the scale fast. When she plays the scale at slow speed, 3,4,5 are touching keys when D is played which necessitates finger lifting hence double rotation.

of course, at fast speed, the fingers should be closer to the keys as they are in slow playing and should use double rotation for avoding tension.

I watched the volume 2 and also the above video in slow and these are my observations .;) so far. If anyone has any opinion, comment would appreciate them!



Just a question, when playing by 3,4 or 5, can we just play the key down by a downward action of forearm without any finger lifting. I think this is what I maybe doing when playing the scale fast and I haven't practiced the double rotation much.

-Sim

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#1971565 - 10/10/12 09:49 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19579
Loc: New York City
I don't know anything about Taubman but I am curious to know:

1. Is this method popular or used by teachers at the most important conservatories?

2. Would Taubman disciples/teachers say that the great pianists generally used Taubman's approach in their playing even if they weren't specifically trained that way? Would non Taubman teachers agree about this?




Edited by pianoloverus (10/11/12 08:15 AM)

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#1971692 - 10/11/12 07:02 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1016
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I don't know a lot about what goes on at the conservatories, but my impression is that they are generally not all that focused on teaching technique. That said, I know that Kaplinsky at Juilliard studied with Taubman.

Something seems to be missing from question 2? But certainly Taubman's idea was to develop a systematic way of teaching what the best pianists were already doing naturally.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
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Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#1971883 - 10/11/12 03:21 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5344
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I don't know anything about Taubman but I am curious to know:

1. Is this method popular or used by teachers at the most important conservatories?

2. Would Taubman disciples/teachers say that the great pianists generally used Taubman's approach in their playing even if they weren't specifically trained that way? Would non Taubman teachers agree about this?



I think, for your second question, I would be averse to using the term "disciple" (makes the Taubman approach sound like a religion). But if you were to look at any athletic endeavor, there are two ways to learn it:
1. Intuition
2. Be taught how to do it

I would think that any program designed to teach the motions that are not being learned through intuition would be a good program that is beneficial to the student.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1971898 - 10/11/12 03:53 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19579
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux

I think, for your second question, I would be averse to using the term "disciple" (makes the Taubman approach sound like a religion). But if you were to look at any athletic endeavor, there are two ways to learn it:
1. Intuition
2. Be taught how to do it

I would think that any program designed to teach the motions that are not being learned through intuition would be a good program that is beneficial to the student.
But if most excellent pianists use these motions without specifically being taught Taubman technique, it seems like Taubman should only be used if there is a problem that needs correction.

Of course, it's possible that other teachers teach essentially the same thing as Taubman and just explain it with different terminology. For example, I wonder if the Russian piano school, which is known for its technical prowess, teaches any thing related to Taubman's approach?


Edited by pianoloverus (10/11/12 03:56 PM)

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