When you’re creating your sound at the piano, one of the most important concepts is foreground vs. background. Melody vs. accompaniment. However, many pianists erroneously equate the idea of balance at the keyboard as the need to play all voices at the same level. As you play multiple voices, sameness of tone between the hands can often result in a bland sound with a melody that is much too soft and an overbearing accompaniment.
As pianists, we need to think like recording engineers. What is most important in a musical texture? What do you want the audience to hear? What technical decisions do you need to make in order to be able to bring out these differences? More often than not, performances that we dislike tend to be ones that all sound the same.
Here is some terminology that I’ve been developing over the last while in order to better explain this concept in lessons and classes:
|Depth of tone||Lightness of tone|
|$2.3 million star forward||$500,000 rookie defenseman|
|Chocolate cake||Ice cream|
|Gwen Stefani||The rest of No Doubt|
|Sting||Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland|
|Bianca Castafiore||Igor Wagner|
|Bruce Springsteen||E Street Band|
|Business class||Economy class|
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