|Posted by Jo Hiestand on April 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM|
Just watched an old episode of "Perry Mason" on TV. There's a scene of a woman playing a piano. She's seated in a chair with arms. Now, any pianist or harpsichordist (or probably other keyboard player) sits on a bench or low stool -- something without arms. The arms of the chair prohibit the player's own arm and hand movements. If you've ever been to a symphony concert and seen a pianist perform, you'll understand it. Now, the average TV viewer might not know, care or catch the goof. But those of us who know about proper piano playing find it annoying and stupid. This sort of goof could so easily have been prevented and would've given the story authenticity.
I find the same type of thing annoying with string players. I don't know how many times I've seen guitarists and violinists "playing" their instruments on TV or in movies and either they don't move the fingers that are supposed to be forming chords or notes, or they move the hand and not the fingers. Again, how long does a simple bit of coaching take? The person's an actor, so why doesn't he know how to act when playing an instrument? It irritates me. What else is wrong with the story?
A little bit of research with this, as well as in writing a book, saves embarrassment and continues the reader's or viewer's suspension of disbelief. It may be a little thing, but it destroys the story when you see or read it. You wonder what else the writer got wrong and you start looking for more goofs. I know there will be mistakes in books, and I'm not immune, but in this instance -- asking about a pianist's requirements -- would've take a few seconds. I find it odd that no one on the set seemed to care.