July 2, 1819
March 19, 1900 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Also Known As:
French composer and piano pedagogue of the Romantic period.
Hanon devised warm-up exercises for pianists. He noted that the ring finger (fourth finger) and the pinky (fifth finger) are weak and almost useless when playing the piano. Thus, he developed special exercises to specifically strengthen the weak fingers as well as further build strength on other fingers. It is aptly called the Hanon Exercises.
There are some contests held wherein pianists play the Hanon exercises competitively. One of Hanon's notable works is the book The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises.
The Hanon Exercises:
In his book, he compiled 60 exercises that will help pianists build strength, agility, speed, endurance and accuracy. These exercises target all the fingers, especially the weak ones as well as the wrists. The book is divided into three parts going from easy to very difficult exercises. It is recommended to play the exercises daily to build skill. The Hanon Exercises are still being used, but it also has its share of critics.