The Piano and Its Ancestors
Co-taught by specialists in modern and historical keyboard instruments, this class will introduce students to the multi-faceted world of harpsichords and pianos. We will discuss case-studies in keyboard music and performance from 1600 to the present day, incorporating live demonstrations and performances. We will explore the differences between the instrument technologies and sounds, and discuss how those differences are reflected in composed music and manners of performance. We will discuss some music that can be played by both the modern piano and its ancestors (for example, Bach's Italian Concerto, Mozart's Rondo in A minor, and Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata), as well as some music that is usually the sole domain of harpsichordists (including Bach's predecessors Froberger and Couperin) and some music that requires the modern piano (works from Ravel to the present day). Students will gain a new perspective on the history of the piano and its ancestors over 400 years. Class culminates with a field trip to a keyboard recital at Lincoln Center, NYC.