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These considerations should be sufficient to show that music is not just sound or even significant sound. Pianists do not devote their lives to their instrument simply because they like music: that would not be enough to justify a dreary existence of stuffy airplanes, uncomfortable hotel rooms, and the hours spent trying to get the local piano technician to adjust the soft pedal. There has to be a genuine love simply of the mechanics ad difficulties of playing, a physical need for the contact with the keyboard, a love and a need which may be connected with a love of music but are not by any means totally coincident with it. This inexplicable and almost fetishistic need for physical contact with the combination of metal, wood, and ivory (now more often plastic) that mace up the dinosaur that the concert piano has become is, indeed, conveyed to the audience and becomes necessarily part of the music, just as the audience imagines that the graceful and passionate gyrations of the conductor are an essential component of musical significance. This aspect has be abused, we may think: the pianist who looks soulfully at the ceiling to indicate the more spiritual moments of lyricism is a comic figure, and so is the performer who throws his hands into the air to indicate a daredevil recklessness. Both the outdone in unintentional comedy by the pianist who gesture wildly only with his right hand, while his left remains securely planted on the ivories as if he were afraid that he will not easily find its place again. But these are only excesses. For all of us, music is bodily gesture as well as sound, and its primitive connection with dance is never entirely distilled away.
Charles Rosen Piano notes. The Hidden World of the Pianist, Allen Lane 2002



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