Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music


Piano Pedagogy

First Advisor

Scott Price


Various approaches to the perception and production of tone quality on the piano have been suggested throughout the history of piano pedagogy. Tone quality differences are controversial among physicists, acoustic scientists, pianists, and piano pedagogues. Studies and research began to investigate tone quality with scientific experiments, and physicists and scientists asserted that differences in tone quality are differences in pitch, intensity, duration, and in combinations of tone and noise. They asserted that tone quality does not change with different physical touches and the pianist cannot control the quality of the tone. However, pianists and pedagogues believed that pianists have control over tone quality. They claimed that quality-differences were achievable by the act of touch as well as the mental conception of tone, but that they could not be proved scientifically. Due to differences of thoughts among various music and scientific disciplines, there are widely variant opinions on what constitutes a beautiful and desirable tone, and how it is produced on the piano. This study examines the thoughts and attitudes on tone quality in historical piano teaching treatises.


© 2018, Jeongsun Lim