Publication day for ‘The Piano – a History in 100 Pieces’

13th July 2021 | Books, Inspirations | 2 comments

My new book comes out today. Perhaps there’s no real significance to the formal publication date, especially as pre-ordered copies have been landing on people’s doormats for a week or two now – but still, it feels like a day to be happy.

I made a YouTube playlist to go with the book, featuring twenty favourite pieces in excellent recorded performances. You can read my comments about them here, on the Yale books blog.

My goodness, there’s some fabulous piano playing to listen to! For example, if you don’t know it, have a listen to Track 16, the blind African-American jazz pianist Art Tatum leading Dvorak’s Humoresque a merry dance in 1940.

Quite apart from admiring his piano technique, any pianist can learn from the way Tatum keeps his jaw relaxed while he plays – something that one doesn’t see very often in performance! I’ve never fully understood why, but keeping the jaw relaxed helps to relax the whole person.


  1. E Carol Dales

    As your book isn’t being released in Canada and the US until Aug.31, I am ordering from Amazon UK, and should have it by late July! Meanwhile, thank you for including links to the Yale blog and the YouTube video 🙂

  2. Kartikeya

    Thank you Susan for the wonderful playlist. It’s indeed a great collection.


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