The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Cathryn Antoinette "Toni" Tennille is an American singer-songwriter and keyboardist, best known as one-half of the 1970s duo Captain & Tennille with her former husband Daryl Dragon. Tennille has done musical work independently of her husband, including solo albums and session work. Tennille was born and raised in Montgomery and has three younger sisters, her father Frank owned a furniture store and served in the Alabama Legislature from 1951 to 1954. He had been a singer with Bob Crosby's Bob-Cats, her mother, hosted a local television show. Tennille graduated from Sidney Lanier High School and for two years attended Auburn University in Alabama, where she studied classical piano and sang with the university's big band, the Auburn Knights. In 1959, Tennille's family moved from Montgomery to Balboa, where she worked first as a file clerk and as a statistical analyst for North American Rockwell Corporation. While living in Corona del Mar in Newport Beach, during the late 1960s, Tennille was a member of the South Coast Repertory.
Ron Thronsen, one of the directors of the repertory, asked Tennille in 1969 to write the music for a new rock musical he was working on called Mother Earth. The musical was a success locally, went on the road to San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1971, made it to Broadway for a few dates at the Belasco Theatre in October 1972. Although Tennille was no longer associated with the musical by the time it reached Broadway, she was credited as the composer under her married name, Shearer. In 1971, Tennille met her future husband Daryl Dragon in San Francisco during auditions for Mother Earth. Dragon had toured with The Beach Boys and had recorded with them as a studio musician. After Mother Earth ended, Dragon returned to The Beach Boys and introduced Tennille to the band. Tennille played electric piano with the band during their 1972 tour. In 1973, Tennille and Dragon began performing at local clubs. In September 1973, they released their self-financed debut single, "The Way I Want to Touch You", a local hit and helped them to get a record contract with A&M Records.
The duo recorded a cover version of the Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield song "Love Will Keep Us Together" in 1975 that became a huge success and went on to win the 1975 Grammy Award for Record of the Year. In 1974, Tennille sang background vocals on Elton John's Caribou album. In 1979 she sang backing vocals on Pink Floyd's The Wall. On July 8, 1980, Tennille sang the national anthem at the Major League Baseball All-Star game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. From September 1980 to January 1981, Tennille hosted her own syndicated television talk show, The Toni Tennille Show. From September 1998 to June 1999, Tennille performed as "Victoria Grant/Count Victor Grazinski" in the national tour of the play Victor Victoria. With her husband Daryl Dragon, as Captain & Tennille, she recorded the Christmas song "Saving Up Christmas" included in their DVD box set for 1976-1977's The Captain & Tennille Show. In April 2016, Tennille released her memoir, Toni Tennille: A Memoir, went on a book tour to promote it that summer.
An'audiobook' of the memoir was released on the audiobook service Audible. Tennille married her first husband, Kenneth Shearer, in June 1962 at the age of 22, they divorced in late 1972. She married Daryl Dragon on November 11, 1975; the couple moved from Reno, Nevada, to Prescott, Arizona, in 2007. They divorced in July 2014. In 2015, Tennille moved to Florida at the suggestion of her sister Jane. During the promotion of her autobiography, on The Today Show in the spring of 2016, Tennille said the reason for their divorce was Dragon's "inability to be affectionate". However, she implied that Daryl reacted positively to her memoir and the revelation by saying, "I saw you on The Today Show. I was proud of you."Despite their divorce and Dragon remained friends until his death from renal failure on January 2, 2019. Dragon stated in a February 2017 interview with People that Tennille had returned to Arizona to assist him following a serious health-related incident he had experienced the previous year.
More Than You Know All of Me Do It Again Never Let Me Go Things Are Swingin' Incurably Romantic Tennille, Toni. Toni Tennille: A Memoir. Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-6307-6174-5. Official website Toni Tennille discography at Discogs Toni Tennille at AllMusic
Assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr.
The assassination of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. a former Philippine senator, took place on Sunday, August 21, 1983 at the Manila International Airport. A longtime political opponent of President Ferdinand Marcos, he had just landed in his home country after three years of self-imposed exile in the United States when he was shot in the head while being escorted from an aircraft to a vehicle, waiting to transport him to prison. Killed was Rolando Galman, implicated in Aquino's murder. Aquino was elected to the Philippine Senate in 1967 and shortly thereafter began speaking out against Marcos's authoritarian rule, he was imprisoned on trumped up charges shortly after Marcos's 1972 declaration of martial law. In 1980, he suffered a heart attack in prison and was allowed to leave the country two months by Marcos's wife, Imelda, he spent the next three years in exile near Boston before deciding to return to the Philippines. Aquino's assassination is credited with transforming the opposition to the Marcos regime from a small, isolated movement into a national crusade.
It is credited with thrusting Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino, into the public spotlight and her running for president in the snap election of 1986. Although Marcos was declared the winner of the election, widespread allegations of fraud and illegal tampering on Marcos's behalf are credited with sparking the People Power Revolution, which resulted in Marcos fleeing the country and conceding the presidency to Corazon Aquino. Although many, including the Aquino family, maintain that Marcos ordered Aquino's assassination, this was never definitively proven. An official government investigation ordered by Marcos shortly after the assassination led to murder charges against 25 military personnel and one civilian. After Marcos was ousted, another government investigation under Corazon Aquino's administration led to a retrial and the conviction of 16 military personnel, all of whom were sentenced to life imprisonment. Since their conviction, one of the convicts was pardoned, three died in prison, the remainder had their sentences commuted at various times.
Benigno Aquino Jr. was elected to the Philippine Senate in 1967. During his first year as senator, Aquino began speaking out against the authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos. On September 23, 1972, Marcos declared martial law and ordered Aquino and others arrested and imprisoned on trumped up charges of murder and subversion. Aquino went on a hunger strike to protest the injustice of his military tribunal but ended the strike after 40 days; the tribunal lasted several years, all while Aquino was still imprisoned, on November 25, 1977, he was convicted on all charges and sentenced to death. However and others believed that Marcos would not allow him to be executed, as Aquino had gained a great deal of support while imprisoned, such a fate would make him a martyr for his supporters. In 1978, while still in prison, Aquino founded his political party, Lakas ng Bayan, to run for office in the Interim Batasang Pambansa. All LABAN candidates lost to candidates of Marcos's party, amid allegations of election fraud.
In March 1980, Aquino suffered a heart attack in prison. He was transported to the Philippine Heart Center. Doctors determined. On May 8, 1980, First Lady Imelda Marcos arranged for Aquino and his family to leave for the U. S, he underwent the coronary bypass surgery in Dallas and met with Muslim leaders in Damascus, before settling with his family in Newton, Massachusetts. Aquino spent the next three years in exile in the U. S. wherein he worked on manuscripts for two books and delivered several lectures and speeches critical of the Marcos government. By 1983, news of the political situation in the Philippines led Aquino to return to his homeland aware of the danger that awaited him. Former Lanao del Sur Congressman Rashid Lucman helped Aquino circumvent Malacañang Palace's order not to issue passports to the Aquino family, providing him with a passport under the alias "Marciál Bonifacio" - a reference to martial law as well as Aquino's detention at Fort Bonifacio. Aquino, after flying in a circuitous route from the United States to several Asian cities such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to meet Malaysian leaders, to Hong Kong, boarded a China Airlines plane in Taipei and landed in Manila on August 21, 1983.
Prior to his departure from Taipei, Aquino gave an interview from his room at the Grand Hotel in which he indicated that he would be wearing a bulletproof vest. He advised the journalists that would be accompanying him on the flight: "You have to be ready with your hand camera because this action can become fast. In a matter of 3 or 4 minutes it could be all over, I may not be able to talk to you again after this." His last few moments in the flight while being interviewed by the journalist Jim Laurie, just prior to disembarking from the flight at Manila airport, were recorded on camera. On the morning of August 21, 1983, accompanied by his brother-in-law, ABC News correspondent Ken Kashiwahara, along with other members of the press, Aquino boarded China Airlines Flight 811 that departed Taiwan
Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to women students, she was a member of the National Woman's Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life and disappearance continues to this day. Earhart was the daughter of Samuel "Edwin" Stanton Earhart and Amelia "Amy".
She was born in Atchison, Kansas, in the home of her maternal grandfather, Alfred Gideon Otis, a former federal judge, the president of the Atchison Savings Bank and a leading citizen in the town. Amelia was the second child of the marriage, after an infant was stillborn in August 1896, she was of part German descent. Alfred Otis had not favored the marriage and was not satisfied with Edwin's progress as a lawyer. According to family custom, Earhart was named after her two grandmothers, Amelia Josephine Harres and Mary Wells Patton. From an early age, Amelia was the ringleader while her sister Grace Muriel Earhart, two years her junior, acted as the dutiful follower. Amelia was nicknamed "Meeley" and Grace was nicknamed "Pidge", their upbringing was unconventional since Amy Earhart did not believe in molding her children into "nice little girls". Meanwhile their maternal grandmother disapproved of the "bloomers" worn by Amy's children and although Earhart liked the freedom they provided, she was aware other girls in the neighborhood did not wear them.
A spirit of adventure seemed to abide in the Earhart children, with the pair setting off daily to explore their neighborhood. As a child, Earhart spent long hours playing with sister Pidge, climbing trees, hunting rats with a rifle and "belly-slamming" her sled downhill. Although the love of the outdoors and "rough-and-tumble" play was common to many youngsters, some biographers have characterized the young Earhart as a tomboy; the girls kept "worms, katydids and a tree toad" in a growing collection gathered in their outings. In 1904, with the help of her uncle, she cobbled together a home-made ramp fashioned after a roller coaster she had seen on a trip to St. Louis and secured the ramp to the roof of the family toolshed. Earhart's well-documented first flight ended dramatically, she emerged from the broken wooden box that had served as a sled with a bruised lip, torn dress and a "sensation of exhilaration". She exclaimed, "Oh, Pidge, it's just like flying!"Although there had been some missteps in Edwin Earhart's career up to that point, in 1907 his job as a claims officer for the Rock Island Railroad led to a transfer to Des Moines, Iowa.
The next year, at the age of 10, Earhart saw her first aircraft at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Her father tried to interest her sister in taking a flight. One look at the rickety "flivver" was enough for Earhart, who promptly asked if they could go back to the merry-go-round, she described the biplane as "a thing of rusty wire and wood and not at all interesting". The two sisters and Muriel, remained with their grandparents in Atchison, while their parents moved into new, smaller quarters in Des Moines. During this period, Earhart received a form of home-schooling together with her sister, from her mother and a governess, she recounted that she was "exceedingly fond of reading" and spent countless hours in the large family library. In 1909, when the family was reunited in Des Moines, the Earhart children were enrolled in public school for the first time with Amelia Earhart entering the seventh grade at the age of 12 years. While the family's finances improved with the acquisition of a new house and the hiring of two servants, it soon became apparent that Edwin was an alcoholic.
Five years in 1914, he was forced to retire and although he attempted to rehabilitate himself through treatment, he was never reinstated at the Rock Island Railroad. At about this time, Earhart's grandmother Amelia Otis died leaving a substantial estate that placed her daughter's share in a trust, fearing that Edwin's drinking would drain the funds; the Otis house was auctioned along with all of its contents. In 1915, after a long search, Earhart's father found work as a clerk at the Great Northern Railway in St. Paul, where Earhart entered Central High School as a junior. Edwin applied for a transfer to Springfield, Missouri, in 1915 but the current claims officer reconsidered his retirement and demanded his job back, leaving the elder Earhart with nowhere to go. Facing another calamitous move, Amy Earhart took her children to Chicago, where they lived with friends. Earhart made an unusual condition in the choice of her next schooling, she rejected the high school nearest her home when she complained that the chemistry lab was "just like a kitchen sink".
She enrolled in Hyde Park High School but
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, buildings and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property; the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually; the remainder are contributing resources within historic districts. For most of its history the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate and protect historic sites in the United States.
While National Register listings are symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; the application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians. Historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States are listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts, multiple property submissions; the Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, structure, building, or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties; some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service.
These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials, some National Monuments. On October 15, 1966, the Historic Preservation Act created the National Register of Historic Places and the corresponding State Historic Preservation Offices; the National Register consisted of the National Historic Landmarks designated before the Register's creation, as well as any other historic sites in the National Park system. Approval of the act, amended in 1980 and 1992, represented the first time the United States had a broad-based historic preservation policy; the 1966 act required those agencies to work in conjunction with the SHPO and an independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to confront adverse effects of federal activities on historic preservation. To administer the newly created National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior, with director George B.
Hartzog Jr. established an administrative division named the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Hartzog charged OAHP with creating the National Register program mandated by the 1966 law. Ernest Connally was the Office's first director. Within OAHP new divisions were created to deal with the National Register; the division administered several existing programs, including the Historic Sites Survey and the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as the new National Register and Historic Preservation Fund. The first official Keeper of the Register was an architectural historian. During the Register's earliest years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organization was lax and SHPOs were small and underfunded. However, funds were still being supplied for the Historic Preservation Fund to provide matching grants-in-aid to listed property owners, first for house museums and institutional buildings, but for commercial structures as well. A few years in 1979, the NPS history programs affiliated with both the U.
S. National Parks system and the National Register were categorized formally into two "Assistant Directorates." Established were the Assistant Directorate for Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Assistant Directorate for Park Historic Preservation. From 1978 until 1981, the main agency for the National Register was the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior. In February 1983, the two assistant directorates were merged to promote efficiency and recognize the interdependency of their programs. Jerry L. Rogers was selected to direct this newly merged associate directorate, he was described as a skilled administrator, sensitive to the need for the NPS to work with SHPOs, local governments. Although not described in detail in the 1966 act, SHPOs became integral to the process of listing properties on the National Register; the 1980 amendments of the 1966 law further defined the responsibilities of SHPOs concerning the National Register.
Several 1992 amendments of the NHPA added a category to the National Register, known as Traditional Cultural Properties: those properties associated with Native American or Hawaiian groups
Glenn Herbert Gould was a Canadian pianist who became one of the best-known and most-celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century. He was renowned as an interpreter of the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Gould's playing was distinguished by a remarkable technical proficiency and a capacity to articulate the polyphonic texture of Bach's music. Gould rejected most of the standard Romantic piano literature by Chopin and others, in favor of Baroque, late-Romantic, modernist composers. Although his recordings were dominated by Bach and Beethoven, Gould's repertoire was diverse, including works by Mozart, Brahms, pre-Baroque composers such as Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Orlando Gibbons and William Byrd, such 20th-century composers as Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, Richard Strauss. Gould was known for his eccentricities, from his unorthodox musical interpretations and mannerisms at the keyboard, to aspects of his lifestyle and behaviour, he stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 to concentrate on other projects.
Gould was a writer and conductor. He was a prolific contributor to musical journals, in which he discussed music theory and outlined his musical philosophy, he performed on television and radio, produced three musique concrète radio documentaries called the Solitude Trilogy, about isolated areas of Canada. Glenn Herbert Gould was born at home in Toronto, on 25 September 1932, to Russell Herbert Gold and Florence Emma Gold, Presbyterians of Scottish and English ancestry, his maternal grandfather was a cousin of the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. The family's surname was changed to Gould informally around 1939 in order to avoid being mistaken for Jewish, given the prevailing anti-Semitism of pre-war Toronto and the Jewish associations of the Gold surname. Gould had no Jewish ancestry, though he sometimes made jokes on the subject, such as "When people ask me if I'm Jewish, I always tell them that I was Jewish during the war." His childhood home has been named a historic site by the City of Toronto.
Gould's interest in music and his talent as a pianist were evident early. Both his parents were musical, his mother encouraged the infant Gould's early musical development, his mother, hoping for him to become a successful musician, had exposed him to music during her pregnancy. She would teach him the piano; as a baby, he hummed instead of crying and wiggled his fingers as if playing chords, leading his doctor to predict that he would "be either a physician or a pianist". He learned to read music before he could read words, it had been observed that, at age three, he had perfect pitch; when presented with a piano, the young Gould was reported to strike single notes and listen to their long decay, a practice his father Bert noted was different from typical children. Gould's interest in the piano was concomitant with an interest in composition, he would play his own little pieces for family and sometimes large gatherings—including, in 1938, a performance at the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church of one of his own compositions.
At the age of six, he was taken for the first time to hear a live musical performance by a celebrated soloist. This profoundly affected him, he described the experience: It was Hofmann. It was, I think, his last performance in Toronto, it was a staggering impression; the only thing I can remember is that, when I was being brought home in a car, I was in that wonderful state of half-awakeness in which you hear all sorts of incredible sounds going through your mind. They were all orchestral sounds, but I was playing them all, I was Hofmann. I was enchanted. At the age of 10, he began attending the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, he studied music theory with Leo Smith, the organ with Frederick C. Silvester, piano with Alberto Guerrero. Around the same time, he injured his back as a result of a fall from a boat ramp on the shore of Lake Simcoe; this incident is certainly related to the adjustable-height chair his father made shortly thereafter. Gould's mother would urge the young Gould to sit up straight at the keyboard.
He used this famous chair for the rest of his life and took it with him everywhere. The chair was designed so that Gould could sit low at the keyboard, allowed him to pull down on the keys rather than striking them from above, a central technical idea of his teacher at the Conservatory, Alberto Guerrero. Gould developed a technique that enabled him to choose a fast tempo while retaining the "separateness" and clarity of each note, his low position at the instrument permitted him more control over the keyboard. Gould showed considerable technical skill in performing and recording a wide repertoire including virtuosic and romantic works, such as his own arrangement of Ravel's La valse, Liszt's transcriptions of Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. Gould worked from a young age with Guerrero on a technique known as finger-tapping: a method of training the fingers to act more independently from the arm. Gould passed his final Conservatory examination in piano at the age of 12, achieving the highest marks of any candidate, thus attaining professional standing as a pianist at that age.
One year he had passed the written theory exams, qualifying for an Associate of the Toronto Conservatory of Music diploma. Gould was described in adulthood as a musical phenomenon, he claimed to have never practiced on the piano itself, preferring to study repertoire by reading