Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Arm movement is by far the most controllable of all Scaramuzza motions. We use it mainly when having to produce massive and full rounded chords. One of the best examples of its use could be the beginning Beethoven’s Sonata Patetique.
To summarize it applications, we can say that it basically allows us to:
Easily voice chords
Deliver chords with a prominent yet rounded sound
Guarantee the effectivity of the attack by placing the hand close to the targeted keys with enough time
We will always prefer to use arm to forearm movement for very slow and/or isolated chords, even if they are followed by faster octaves in forearm movement. It is important to be conscious that each movement produces also a specific timbre, even when the difference is very subtle and even subjective. For that reason, we will not choose any movement based on our mechanical convenience; expression will always be the main inspiration for our choice of movements.
The mechanics that define arm movement involve the forward positioning of the elbow. This action creates potential energy mainly expressed in the upward flexion of the wrist. When studying the action for the first time, we will try and make the movement as evident as possible to make sure we understand its dynamics.
Even when the tension is released in a downward vector, the motion vector is perpendicular to it. In other words, we need to ensure we release all tension on the keyboard leaving our fingers in stand-by position; nevertheless, the action is happening when we develop a negative movement (a motion that doesn’t produce any sound) by pushing the elbow forward, and a positive movement by allowing the elbow to recover its downward position.
It is fundamental that the movement is fully developed in all cases. We will obviously reduce the size of the action in the real performance situation.