05 March 2012

Two-fingered piano playing

(Ready to play the piano for Dad?)

With the ever-increasing popularity of computers and our dependency on these machines, more and more people can touch-type, i.e. to type with all fingers and at least one of the thumbs without looking at the keyboard. Nevertheless, some would prefer two-fingered typing to touch typing and they still type proficiently.

Two-fingered typing is one thing; two-fingered piano playing is quite another, although both activities are carried out on a keyboard. Whereas we don't usually press several keys of a computer keyboard at the same time, except when using special keys to modify normal actions of other keys, such as +, most of the time we do have to produce more than two notes simultaneously on a piano.

However, two-fingered piano playing is theoretically workable. The pianist David Rubinstein composed in 1999 Piano Music for Two Fingers. There are actually five pieces: for both thumbs, both index fingers, both middle fingers, both fourth fingers and both pinkies, respectively. Audio previews are available here.

My two-year-old son's palms and fingers are probably still not big and strong enough to play the piano properly, but instead of pounding on the keyboard to produce tone clusters like most young children, he would rather press one key at a time with either of his index fingers.

Well, there is a long way for him to go in the future should he want to make more sounds on the piano in an organised way, but it appears that he is quite happy with his two fingers for the time being.

(Look, how concentrating he is!)

(Right, it's right hand's turn.)

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