Do all Taubman pianists sound the same?

It is unfortunate that this misconception still exists.  Categorically, NO, Taubman pianists do not all sound the same. I can only wish my playing was as wonderful as Ilya Itin’s, with his kaleidoscopic colour palette, or that I had Edna Golandsky’s gorgeous tone. 

Taubman pianists only sound the same in that they will not have a hard tone (unless required), as they know how to slow down the key to produce a rich, singing tone. There may be similarities in the look of the hands – but the fact that a Taubman-trained pianist will not play with a low wrist, curling or stretching does not mean that she will sound the same as another Taubman-trained pianist. Tone colour is all about how fast or slow that key goes down. Studying this way of playing the piano offers the understanding of how to time the key, so that you can reliably create the sound that you want from the infinite choices and possibilities available.

Learning physical shaping can help you create a long line. Within that framework, one has to choose how to colour the phrase, which note to make the peak, how to time key notes of rhythmic and harmonic importance.  While improving one’s technique can open new possibilities which in turn inspire musical decisions, technique is indivisible from art. Apart from technique, each pianist’s “sound palette” is determined (or limited) by one’s artistry, musical understanding, ears, imagination, temperament, and the fierce discipline required to realise one’s musical vision.  Anyone who has attended the evening concerts at the Golandsky Institute will attest that the same piano sounds like a different instrument each night, as each artist conjures his or her own tonal palette. The Taubman Approach is an enormous toolbox, which offers the concrete means of expressing the music to the best of our ability.  To what extent we develop that ability, and what we create with those tools, is up to each individual.

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