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TOY PIANOS, POOR TOOLS: VIRTUOSITY AND IMAGINATION IN A LIMITED CONTEXT

Abstract
Abstract

The toy piano is fast becoming a concert instrument in its own right, with its own (growing) body of repertoire that has moved well beyond John Cage's 1948 classic Suite for Toy Piano. There are dedicated musicians specialising in toy piano performance all over the world, and numerous composers producing new works written specifically for the toy piano. This unusual miniature instrument provides a respite from the traditional implications of the grand piano, breaks the ice with audiences and allows pianists to perform in locations that would otherwise be inaccessible. In this article the author introduces the history and mechanism of the instrument, performance considerations, extended techniques and approaches to working with electronics, recent repertoire and suggestions for performers and composers. Discussion is supplemented with musical examples.

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Tempo
  • ISSN: 0040-2982
  • EISSN: 1478-2286
  • URL: /core/journals/tempo
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