Letters to a Young Lady (Czerny)

Letters to a Young Lady  (1840) 
by Carl Czerny, translated by James Alexander Hamilton

LETTERS

TO

A YOUNG LADY,

ON THE

ART OF PLAYING

THE PIANOFORTE,

FROM THE

EARLIEST RUDIMENTS TO THE HIGHEST STAGE OF
CULTIVATION
:

WRITTEN AS AN APPENDIX

TO EVERY SCHOOL FOR THAT INSTRUMENT,

BY

CHARLES CZERNY.


TRANSLATED BY J. A. HAMILTON,
AUTHOR OF THE MUSICAL CATECHISMS, DICTIONARY, GRAMMAR,
&c. &c.


LONDON:
R. COCKS AND CO., 20, PRINCES STREET,
HANOVER SQUARE.

IN PARIS, BY S. RISHAULT; AND AT VIENNA, BY DIABELLI.

PREFACE.


The Publishers of my Pianoforte School[1] have expressed to me a wish that I would explain, under the epistolary form, and in a concise, clear, and familiar manner, the peculiar mode of proceeding in the instruction of my pupils, and of leading them forwards step by step, which I have employed during my long career as a teacher of the pianoforte; and that, in so doing, I would fully detail all those minute particulars which, from their nature, could not well find a place in a pianoforte school.

By means of the present work, I have endeavoured to satisfy their request; and I have done so the more willingly, because the form of Letters approximates the nearest to verbal instruction.

The reader must suppose, therefore, that, by means of short, friendly, and cheerful letters, I have undertaken to draw the attention of a talented and well-educated girl of about twelve years old, residing at a distance in the country, progressively to every thing which might assist her in the better comprehension and application of the rules which are contained in almost every pianoforte school.

It is further assumed that each letter follows that which immediately preceded it, after a lapse of about eight or ten weeks; so that the pupil may have sufficient intermediate time to learn all the rules which are laid down, and to avail herself of them in her subsequent practice.

And thus the instructions here given proceed gradually and naturally from the earliest rudiments to the highest degree of cultivation; for the last letters contain as much explanation relative to the principles of Harmony or Thorough-bass as the limits of this little work would allow, in order to facilitate and render intelligible to the pupil any future study of the theory of music.

I hope, therefore, that a frequent and attentive perusal of this little work, and an intelligent application of the rules given therein, will prove of utility to pupils of every age, and in every stage of their progress; since I have endeavoured, in them, to avoid as far as possible the dryness so generally complained of in works of instruction, and to place every subject within the comprehension of a pupil of whatever age.

Though these Letters are written as a kind of Appendix to my own Pianoforte School, still they may be used with equal advantage along with any other Method; and may therefore, perhaps, be considered as a not unwelcome assistance to pupils in general.

C. CZERNY.

  1. The work here alluded to is Czerny’s celebrated School for the Pianoforte, which is now in course of publication by Messrs. Cocks and Co. and which is, beyond all comparison, the most extensive and complete method for that instrument ever published.

CONTENTS.


PAGE
First Rudiments of the Piano
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1
On Touch, Tone, and the Mode of Treating the Pianoforte
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10
On Time, Subdivision of the Notes, and Fingering
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18
On Expression, and Graces or Embellishments
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
27
On the Keys, on Studying a Piece, and on Playing in the presence of others
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35
On the Selection of Compositions most suitable for each Pianist
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
43
Rudiments of Thorough-bass
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51
On the Formation of Chords
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62
Continuation of Thorough-bass
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70
On Extemporaneous Performance
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72

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.