Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Arm movement is the “largest” of all pianistic movements. It involves the use of more muscles than any other movement in our technique.
It can be used, along with the forearm movement, to enter in the piano at the beginning of our performance.
It can easily be used for expressive accompaniments.
Negative movement The movement starts from the back of our arm, it pushes our wrist until it gives in. Simultaneously, one finger works as an axis stopping the wrist from sliding inside the keyboard. We would normally set the finger in the middle of the chord - in the case of triadic chords for example - as the axis. In the case of the seventh chords we can use even two fingers as an axis.
The difference between axis fingers and peripheric fingers lays in the fact that peripheric fingers will detach from the surface of the keys in the preparation process, while the axis fingers will always stay in contact with the keys.
Positive movement The elbow is allowed to return to its original position. The natural weight of the arm fuels the wrist and the fingers to attack the chord or the note in question. The fingers stiffen up slightly in order to receive the weight and assist the landing of the hand on the keyboard.
Uses The arm movement is primarily used to perform dense and slow chords / or chord progressions.
Nevertheless, It can also be used to land on the keyboard on specific situations. For example, when we have to open with a dense open chord like in the Sonata Pathetique.
We shouldn’t leave aside also the possibility of using arm movement in the case we need to voice chords. The fact that it is a slow motion movement with two very distinguished stages - preparation and performing - makes it the perfect tool to link top notes in a chord progression for example.
It can also be used to set up a silk and round-sounding accompaniment of dual note chords in fairly slow motion for example.