Harpsichord – Primary Control in the Alexander Technique (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on April 8, 2014

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Harpsichord Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate harpsichord technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Primary Control is the basis of organized coordinated harpsichord playing in the Alexander Technique. When a harpsichord player is playing the harpsichord with the most organized elegant movement possible, then the head is leading the harpsichord player’s spine into lengthening, as the arms and fingers move from a decompressed, vertically balanced, and aligned spine.

This means that all of the nerves that radiate from the spinal cord have no pressure on them. So, the nerves can send the signals from the brain for movement and/or muscular support, as you play the harpsichord, without being slowed down by the vertebrae and muscles pinching the nerves.

The brain and spinal cord always organize the movement that the body produces, but when the Primary Control is interfered with by muscular tension and compression and poor posture, then that organization is poor organization. THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE IS ALL ABOUT THE QUALITY OF A HARPSICHORD PLAYER’S POSTURE AND TECHNIQUE.

The Alexander Technique recognizes that a huge amount of wear and tear and physical pain at the harpsichord is caused by how you play, not by what you play or how long you play.

The assumption in the Alexander Technique is that we are born with an innate ability to move with beautiful Primary Control, and that babies crawl with the head leading a lengthening spine naturally, given that the baby is healthy in a healthy environment.

If you were to observe a 1,000 harpsichord players playing, you’d be hard put to see one harpsichord player playing with beautiful Primary Control (given that none of them had done any Alexander Technique work). What does playing the harpsichord without a compromised Primary Control look like?

The harpsichord player sits fully upright with a completely mobile body (not trying to sit straight). The harpsichord player’s neck is free and the harpsichord player is aware that the head is leading a lengthening spine upward, which means that the player is able to see the keys and his or her fingers, as the head continues to lead a lengthening spine upward.

This means that the harpsichord player is completely engaged in playing the harpsichord without being pulled downward into the instrument. This fully upward mobile posture balancing on the sit bones, gives the shoulders and arms of the harpsichord player a balanced torso to float on, so that the performer can effortlessly generate the tone and accuracy that he or she wants from the harpsichord.

When the harpsichord player’s shoulders are floating/supported by a fully upright torso, then the shoulder girdle is free to back up the arms and hands as the harpsichord player plays, and the shoulder girdle doesn’t have to tense up to support itself.

When the harpsichord player’s body is organized by the Primary Control, then the performer is free to place all of his or her awareness on a harpsichord technique that isn’t being compromised by a compromised Primary Control. In other words, if the harpsichord player’s body is collapsed or over-tense with poor head/neck/spine organization, then the pure specific harpsichord technique of the harpsichord player can never be what it would be, since it is not backed up by a balanced body.

WHEN THE FOUNDATION OF COORDINATED ELEGANT HUMAN MOVEMENT IS COMPROMISED, THEN THE SECONDARY TECHNIQUE OF A SPECIALIZED ACTIVITY, LIKE PLAYING THE HARPSICHORD, WILL NEVER BE AS EFFORTLESS OR AS CONSISTENT AS IT COULD BE.

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