300 Years at the Keyboard
by Patricia Fallows-Hammond
This is the first reference book to include the historical background on all major piano composers, their individual styles, analysis of their compositions, and listings of their major keyboard works. Essential reading for all piano lovers, Three Hundred Years at the Keyboard will provide readers with a continuing source of pleasure, convenience, and motivation.
Teachers invest a great deal of time and money in encouraging and training a student. There is a very critical moment in a students life that comes just after they learn how to read and play music. At that point, in order to keep the student enthusiastic about keyboard music, the student needs to be introduced to the great works that are available to them. If their interest is not developed, they will wander off to another hobby and the time and money invested in them will be lost.
In short, the student needs to be presented with an overview of the great composers and the beauty of their legacy. I have found by trial and error that a book that tries to be all-inclusive does not work. A huge work of all the composers that have ever lived simply overwhelms the student. They dont know where to begin, it looks like too much work, and they quickly lose interest in what you have presented.
After many years of study and experimentation, I have found the right mixture and it is Three Hundred Years at the Keyboard. This title presents sketches of seventeen of the greatest composers spanning the three centuries that the keyboard has been around. For each composer my title gives a brief historical sketch, discussion of some of his greatest works, sample sheet music, and then a list of the major works so the student can instantly find more material if they like the composer. For a new to intermediate student, this is the perfect work for getting to know the great composers and for the seasoned professional, this is a very delightful and enjoyable review of what is available.