Ivory Pulse: Piano Blogs Digest – Aug 08, 2023

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Ivory Pulse!

Every week, we dive into a sea of articles, blog posts, and updates to gather the most interesting and inspiring pieces from the world of piano music. From the latest news on piano technology and trends, to insightful interviews with accomplished pianists, to tips and tricks that will help you become a better player, we’ve got it all!

Bold, direct & brightly-lit Debussy from pianist James Iman

By: The Cross-Eyed Pianist, crosseyedpianist.com

American pianist James Iman presents a bold and direct interpretation of Debussy’s ‘Images’ in his latest album. Alongside works by Jenny Beck and Donald Martino, Iman showcases his appreciation for Debussy’s music, offering fresh interpretations and approaches to the familiar pieces. His playing emphasizes the piquant harmonies and timbres, highlighting interior and bass details that are often overlooked. Iman’s unconventional approach is inspired by Debussy’s own improvisational style and desire to compose music that sounded improvised. This album offers a unique perspective on Debussy’s music, inviting listeners to experience these well-known pieces in a new light. Read more

Peteris Vasks – Sommerabendmusik

By: admin, movingclassics.tv

Discover the intense and beautiful piano music of Peteris Vasks in Anna Heller’s performance of ‘Music for a Summer Evening.’ Vasks, one of Latvia’s most important composers, draws inspiration from nature and the divine. Experience the stillness of a summer evening, the rise of memories, and the silence that follows. This piece is a captivating exploration of emotion and identity. Don’t miss this enchanting performance on Moving Classics TV. Read more


By: Melanie Spanswick, melaniespanswick.com

Learn how to add rubato to your piano playing with these 5 tips. Rubato, which means ‘robbed time’, is a technique used to create moments of rhythmic flexibility and expressive shaping in a musical phrase. This article provides suggestions on how to incorporate rubato into your playing, including starting with a strict pulse, selecting passages to shape, and considering the type of rubato needed. The left-hand accompaniment can also be adjusted to add flexibility. Explore other techniques like tenuto marks and rallentando to enhance your rubato playing. Visit pianistmagazine.com for more information. Read more

Contemplative piano music (by living composers!)

By: Rhonda Rizzo, www.nodeadguys.com

Discover the enchanting world of contemplative piano music by living composers. From ambient piano to neoclassical, these pianist-composers offer a variety of styles and playing levels. Dive into the achingly beautiful melodies and lush harmonies of Garreth Brooke, Joel Lundberg, Elliott Jack Sansom, Simeon Walker, and more. Their music provides solace and warmth on dark days, inviting listeners to explore their own inner worlds. With sheet music available, pianists everywhere can create the magic of this music on their own pianos. Don’t miss out on these extraordinary artists and their captivating compositions. Read more

Why Piano Players Need to Learn Hand Independence

By: Emmanuelle Fonsny, www.pianosightreading.com.au

Discover why hand independence is crucial for piano players in this article. Learn how hand independence allows piano players to bring out certain elements, shape the music using phrasing, play different types of articulation, handle different note values, and play complex patterns. Mastering hand independence is essential for creating beautiful and dynamic music on the piano. Read more

Chord Symbols, Explained

By: Charmaine Li, www.pianote.com

Confused by chord symbols? This blog post provides a quick and easy guide to understanding and decoding chord symbols. Learn about the anatomy of a chord symbol, including the chord name, quality, extension, alterations, and other symbols. Discover what each symbol means and how to interpret them on a chord chart or lead sheet. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pianist, this guide will help demystify chord symbols and enhance your understanding of music theory. Read more

341: Janna Williamson and Nicola Cantan on Integrated Music Teaching

By: topmusic.co: Helping you become a more successful music teacher, topmusic.co

In this episode of the podcast, Tim Topham explores integrated music teaching with Janna Williamson and Nicola Cantan. Janna focuses on teaching intermediate repertoire, emphasizing playing beautifully and expressively while addressing technical demands. Nicola discusses the importance of incorporating ear training in piano lessons to enhance students’ musical listening skills. They provide specific examples and tips for incorporating these elements into lessons. Tune in to learn from these fantastic educators. Read more

Paul Harris’s Purple Piano House

By: Andrew Eales, pianodao.com

Discover Paul Harris’s latest publication, ‘The Purple Piano House’, a story-with-music book that offers pedagogic possibilities for younger piano players. Written by Sam Edenborough and illustrated by Jasper Pye, the book follows the adventures of Zump and Soodi as they explore a purple house that is built like a piano. The story is interspersed with snippets of music that can be played at sight or learned as quick studies, making it suitable for early elementary players. The book provides ample opportunities for developing musical appreciation and understanding of various musical elements. Read more

Free Print Music Available!

By: Jen Crabb, pianoforretirees.com

Discover the pros and cons of downloading free piano music online. Learn how to find reputable websites and avoid copyright infringement. Get tips on searching for specific pieces of music and using selection criteria to narrow down your options. Be selective about which sites you download from and be specific about what music you’re looking for. Don’t take the risk of violating copyright laws. Find out more in this informative blog post. Read more


That brings us to the end of this edition of Ivory Pulse. Don’t forget to join us again next week for another compilation of compelling piano-focused content. Until then, keep playing and enjoying the wonderful world of piano music.

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