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Toy pianos, poor tools: virtuosity and imagination in a limited context

Pestova, Xenia


Xenia Pestova


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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 31, 2017
Journal Tempo
Print ISSN 0040-2982
Electronic ISSN 1478-2286
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Issue 281
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information © Cambridge University Press 2017


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