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#1255958 - 08/25/09 04:16 PM What is a short octave piano please?
Quickquestion Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 2
Hi all
I'm playing the piano at my friends wedding at the weekend and she's just told me that the venue have informed her it's a short octave piano. Please can someone explain to me what this is and will I still be able to play it like a normal piano? I've looked on the internet but can't find anything that helps.
Thanks for your help.

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#1255999 - 08/25/09 05:09 PM Re: What is a short octave piano please? [Re: Quickquestion]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1277
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
It probably means the piano doesn't have 88 keys. Hopefully, for you, it has more than 3 octaves.
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#1256003 - 08/25/09 05:14 PM Re: What is a short octave piano please? [Re: Eric Gloo]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19948
Loc: New York City
According to my research, it is a piano with a span of 13 semi-tones owned by Bobby Short.


Edited by pianoloverus (08/25/09 05:14 PM)

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#1256005 - 08/25/09 05:15 PM Re: What is a short octave piano please? [Re: Eric Gloo]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19948
Loc: New York City
OOPS!


Edited by pianoloverus (08/25/09 05:15 PM)

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#1256049 - 08/25/09 06:14 PM Re: What is a short octave piano please? [Re: pianoloverus]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9586
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
It probably means, as Eric said, that it is a shorter span than the regular 88 notes.

But there are makers who have custom manufactured 7/8 scale keyboards for those who have small hands but wish to play a full octave stretch. Both Boesendorfer and Bechstein have done this in the past, but they are by no means the only manufacturers who have done this.

I have also heard of a small company who retrofits this size keyboard into any piano. I cannot recall their name though.

I hope that is helpful. smile
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#1256119 - 08/25/09 08:50 PM Re: What is a short octave piano please? [Re: Rich Galassini]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4469
Loc: San Jose, CA
Quick Q., you'd better go have a look.

Oxford and Harvard music dictionaries both list "short octave," Harvard somewhat more intelligibly:

"...the omission of one or more pitches from the lowest octave, the keys corresponding to the omitted pitches causing other, usually lower pitches to sound instead... the practice lasted well into the 18th century in Europe and even later in Mexico..."

Clavichords, organs (especially), virginals; no mention of pianos but it sounds like the instrument might be really old.

Good luck.
_________________________
Clef


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#1256286 - 08/26/09 05:43 AM Re: What is a short octave piano please? [Re: Jeff Clef]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9586
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Yes, a look in person is a good recommendation, Jeff.

Quick Q, you've peeked my interest. Will you let us know what this piano actually is?
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#1256490 - 08/26/09 12:57 PM Re: What is a short octave piano please? [Re: Rich Galassini]
Quickquestion Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 2
Thanks for your replies. Hopefully the piano will only be a one or two octaves short! I'll note down the range of notes used for each piece and then at the wedding I can quickly find suitable pieces to play. It's a shame the venue isn't closer otherwise I would have gone to have a look.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks again

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