Small-handedness continues to be overlooked, discounted, or else treated as a stigmatized disability to the present day. Chapter 1 provides the reader with a historical context for understanding the nature of small-handedness and its impact upon piano playing. Topics include the evolving history of the piano and its relationship to small-handedness, the physiological parameters of hand size, the demographics of small-handedness, and pedagogical and gender biases. The innovation of ergonomically scaled piano keyboards (ESPKs) is briefly addressed. Small-handedness is explored as a risk factor for the development of playing-related injury, and the role of the piano teacher in working with small-handed students is discussed.
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