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date: 22 February 2020


  • Sarah Maria Sargent


As applied to keyboard instruments, a term used to refer to the manner of depressing and releasing the keys. Touch is produced by the motion of the finger, the speed and position of the hand and the use or omission of arm weight. Kullak (1855) stated that touch is the art of producing sound on a keyboard instrument, not just beautifully but correctly according to context, including the demands of the particular instrument.

The clavichord is the only keyboard instrument where the player’s fingers have direct control over tone quality because the tangents remain in contact with the strings while they are sounding; the player is accountable for the note not only at the outset but for its entire duration (Troeger, 1987). After the key is struck, the performer can increase or decrease the pressure on the key to alter the pitch or to add portamento or vibrato (...

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