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#1279931 - 10/03/09 11:59 AM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: jazzwee]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 365
Just call it touch?


Edited by KlinkKlonk (10/03/09 12:01 PM)

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#1279965 - 10/03/09 01:03 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: theJourney]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19451
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: theJourney
There have been lots of posts in the past on the Pianist Corner forum about tone and the physical side of playing the piano which can be summarized as " only careful years long study with a master teacher on a fine acoustic instrument can insure that the pianist will not injure himself and produce an ugly banging tone ".


This "summary" isn't vaguely close to being a correct summary.


Easy to criticize, isn't it?
Much more difficult to contribute.

Why not share with us your correct "summary" of the past years of posting on tone? Perhaps such an approach would tend to help stimulate discussion rather than attempt to stifle it.


You started a thread with what I would consider to be a completely incorrect "summary". Just pointing that out. I certainly don't intend to do your "assignment". I doubt that thread or any thread where there are numerous opinions can be summarizaed.

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#1279994 - 10/03/09 01:56 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: pianoloverus]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Hmmm, those that claim they can make a certain distinction, criticize others for not meeting their standards, yet cannot or will not articulate the difference when push comes to shove: there is a lot of that kind of empty monkey business going around these days.

Thanks for your "contribution". It was yet again better for your post count than for progressing a meaningful discussion.

As long as it makes you and sotto voce and Horitzian feel good, then who are we, those who would like to have serious discussion, to argue with you?

Cheers.

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#1280021 - 10/03/09 02:20 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: theJourney]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: theJourney
As long as it makes you and sotto voce and Horitzian feel good, then who are we, those who would like to have serious discussion, to argue with you?

Cheers.

Excuse me? I don't have a dog in this fight, so go pick a fight with somebody who gives a damn.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1280191 - 10/03/09 08:07 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: sotto voce]
VirtuosicOne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 144
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: theJourney
As long as it makes you and sotto voce and Horitzian feel good, then who are we, those who would like to have serious discussion, to argue with you?

Cheers.

Excuse me? I don't have a dog in this fight, so go pick a fight with somebody who gives a damn.

Steven


So in the long run, what's the general concencus on tone over in the pianist's corner? That highly trained classical pianists can control which direction the hammer shafts twist and bend in, and to what degree, ergo they can fully control and contort the piano's tone?

If so, can they also control the level of humidity surrounding the shafts, to adjust to environmental changes that may alter the malleability of the hammer shafts?

It would seem that there's more to playing classical music than I had ever dreamed of!

I have an entire new found respect and reverence of classical pianists and their paranormal shaft-bending abilities! grin
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#1280201 - 10/03/09 08:26 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: VirtuosicOne]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
The general consensus is that you ought to get a dictionary.

Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne
concencus
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#1280214 - 10/03/09 08:47 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: jazzwee]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3214
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

So by the nature of the beast the Jazz player is very concerned with the Release portion of Attack/Sustain/Release (ASR), in other words very legato oriented, which is a key part of swing.


I think you and I might agree but it's hard to be sure, because there are different definitions of this ASR stuff. I'm not sure it's really any clearer than the word tone.

Attack? the spectrum of the beginning of the note is determined either by the speed of the hammer, or the software that defines it in the case of the digital. I don't think any pianist controls attack on either piano, but all of us try to place that attack in the precisely correct place (either before, on, or after the notated note value as required.) Especially critical to attack is separation from the previous note, and dynamic level - I claim that totally defines attack, I suspect some of you disagree.

Sustain? Yeah, how long we keep our finger down.

Release? This is probably what tone is mostly about. One finger comes up as another comes down, but with humans there is an infinite amount of variation possible in the timing of that. Space between the notes? How much? Overlap of the notes? How much? And within the voicing, overlap of part of the chord with space in part of the chord.

But as far as affecting the spectrum of the note through the release, nah.
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#1280219 - 10/03/09 08:54 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: TimR]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Touch, tone...hmmm...

To me, when it's right, it's an embrace between (among) the instrument, the pianist and the composer...

And I think we all know it when we hear it. It's harder on a digital, but I did get a nice compliment on my touch when playing Chopin on a CVP 409 at the Yamaha dealer....then again, he was probably buttering me up.

But the only time I've really felt that I played with nice touch/tone is when I play Chopin on my Knabe.

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#1280228 - 10/03/09 09:08 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: VirtuosicOne]
daro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 168
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne
So in the long run, what's the general concencus on tone over in the pianist's corner? That highly trained classical pianists can control which direction the hammer shafts twist and bend in, and to what degree, ergo they can fully control and contort the piano's tone?


Seems to me there was one poster who claimed that hammer flex was a component to tone above and beyond the velocity of the strike, but there was certainly no consensus that such a thing was even detectable let alone controllable.

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#1280230 - 10/03/09 09:17 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: daro]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
Definitely no consensus, I'd say smile nor probably ever will be.
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#1280236 - 10/03/09 09:38 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: Horowitzian]
VirtuosicOne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 144
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
The general consensus is that you ought to get a dictionary.




I guess it's a blessing in a way that you have that much time on your hands to run spell and typo checks on everyone's posts on a Saturday night, when most adolescents are out and about with their friends and girlfriends having fun! How lucky you are to have such a limited social calendar to make that possible. thumb

I have no use for a dictionary. You're the college student, I'm not. Nobody is grading me on my typos except for you.


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#1280246 - 10/03/09 09:56 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: VirtuosicOne]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 365
So much hate =( Why can't you just get along.

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#1280269 - 10/03/09 11:16 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: KlinkKlonk]
VirtuosicOne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 144
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: KlinkKlonk
So much hate =( Why can't you just get along.


Funny you should say that. I don't hate anyone nearly enough to run spell checks on everyone's posts and then troll them if I find a typo, suggesting they buy a dictionary.
Ironically, when it comes to matters concerning jazz piano, an occassional text typo is the only thing Horowitzian is qualified to correct me on, truth be told.
That's not angst or not getting along. That's just plain facts.
_________________________
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#1280278 - 10/03/09 11:49 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: currawong]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
The claim that pianists control which way the hammer shafts twist and bends is ridiculous. Do people actualy claim that is the mysterious tone controlling technique? Of course there are all sorts of things some people claim to be true that are false.

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#1280282 - 10/04/09 12:04 AM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: Jazz+]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
Jazz+, if it's my post you're responding to, I was just saying that there is no consensus in the Pianist Corner about the degree to which a pianist can control the piano's tone. There are those who say it's just velocity of hammer and you can't control tone, and those who think there's something else (one of the somethings might be the hammer twisting thing according to some), and a whole lot of others who don't care all that much, but just keep using their ears and trying to make beautiful sounds however it is they're doing it. smile I think I'm in the third camp.
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1280288 - 10/04/09 12:42 AM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: VirtuosicOne]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Do I have that right or are there players and instructors on the non-classical side who are obsessed with "tone"?


Because classical pianists are dealing with music that is pre-conceived, that is, no mater how many times you approach the piece, everything remains the same, all notation unchaged, the ONLY parameters that they have to impart any of their own creativity whatsoever, aside from tempo, is their erroneous delusion that they can somehow alter the "tone" of the piano.



I can think of multiple practicle and basic examples of where these statements are ignorant. A classical pianist can alter the voicing or balance as a parameter of expression. They can use rubato which is certainly different from tempo. They can use various techniques of touch combined with pedaling etc etc. They can bring out different voices within counterpoint. They can manipulate time and silence. I could go on and on.


Quote:
The tone of the piano is inherent in the piano itself, not the player. The tone of any one note, any key depressed with enough force to sound a note at any volume will be the same as if depressed by Lang Lang, Theolonius Monk, a 4 year old child touching the piano for the first time, or a machine designed to depress keys.


This is a misguided arguement. I would agree that if a key is struck with exactly the same force it will produce exactly the same tone. However, as soon as the key is struck with a different force, on an acoustic instrument, the tone as well as the dynamic changes. And, there are pretty much an infinite number of speeds that a key can be struck at. The slightest change creates a different tone, not just a different volume. On better pianos, the tone changes more.
Now, add to that pedaling effects, balancing/voicing of more than one note, timing, etc etc and the tonal variety available to a pianist within the context of music, becomes limited only by their imagination, purpose and control. This is why a good, purposeful pianist has a sound of their own, regardless of the piano they play on, although certainly at the same time affected by the piano they play on.


Quote:
As long as a note is depressed at the same velocity, and with the same force, there will be no difference in the physical acoustics of that note with regard to it's acoustical, timbral profile.


True, but who cares about a note depressed at the same velocity and the same force. Out of context notes being played exactly the same way by robots means nothing. Now, add pedal, 1/2 pedal, una corda, in a myriad of combinations while changing that velocity subtley or dramatically and ....VOILA.... you have different tone every time. Add the context of music and a pianist with an excellent imagination for sound and the technique to execute, and you have inifinite tonal variety.

Quote:
What the classical pianists erroneously refer to as "controlling tone" is the control of ASR, the note envelope. The attack, sustain, and release of each note WITHIN the contect of the line (phrasing).


The speed of the attack absolutely changes the tone, not just the volume. The decay after the attack cannot be controlled, but the illusion can be. How a pianist shapes a legato through attack, release, timing, balance, connection, pedaling, voicing, can absolutely create the illusion of sustain where it doesn't exist. This is quite evident when listening to 2 pianists playing the same music on the same piano and one sounds like they are singing and the other sounds like someone playing a percussion instrument.
Release certainly affects tone. Strike a key, and let it linger for one second or 1/10 of a second or 5 seconds. The timing of the release will determine what the listener perceives the tone to be. That note has a different balance of harmonics at attack, 1/10 of a second in, and 5 seconds in.
And, again, add musical context and the tonal variety becomes infinite.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
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keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#1280331 - 10/04/09 04:04 AM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: VirtuosicOne]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne
Originally Posted By: KlinkKlonk
So much hate =( Why can't you just get along.


Funny you should say that. I don't hate anyone nearly enough to run spell checks on everyone's posts and then troll them if I find a typo, suggesting they buy a dictionary.
Ironically, when it comes to matters concerning jazz piano, an occassional text typo is the only thing Horowitzian is qualified to correct me on, truth be told.
That's not angst or not getting along. That's just plain facts.


The style of personal interaction of Old New Amsterdam New Yorkers is sometimes indistinguishable from that of Old Amsterdammers. grin

I read some of these authentic sounding posts and long for a Katz Corned Beef sandwich followed by a long evening in some real, live, in your face, New York Jazz Club.

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#1280343 - 10/04/09 05:18 AM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: Keith D Kerman]
VirtuosicOne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 144
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Now, add to that pedaling effects, balancing/voicing of more than one note, timing, etc etc and the tonal variety available to a pianist within the context of music, becomes limited only by their imagination, purpose and control. This is why a good, purposeful pianist has a sound of their own, regardless of the piano they play on, although certainly at the same time affected by the piano they play on.



Sorry for your confusion on the subject, but your statements suggest ignorance of the science of acoustics. It would be a figment of the IMAGINATION that even the most gifted pianist can make an early 20th century Mason and Hamlin sound mimic the "tone" of a late 21st century Yamaha by exercising complete PURPOSE and CONTROL.

The identifying marker that you're referring to that distinguishes one pianist from the next is their PHRASING, the way music that finite music, though unchanged in notation, is subject to variation and interpretation by manipulating performance parameters, not some supernatural ability to uniquely change the acoustic profile of the instrument from player to player.

Though there is an infinite way to rephrase the same music, the acoustic profile of an instrument can only be changed by altering the instrument itself.
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#1280440 - 10/04/09 10:01 AM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: VirtuosicOne]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne

It would be a figment of the IMAGINATION that even the most gifted pianist can make an early 20th century Mason and Hamlin sound mimic the "tone" of a late 21st century Yamaha by exercising complete PURPOSE and CONTROL.


I think it is a figmant of your imagination that anyone at any point was saying anything related to this totally random and unrelated point. I will counter it and support my arguement with an equally relevant point. Flying monkeys are dissimalar from toast! laugh

Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne

The identifying marker that you're referring to that distinguishes one pianist from the next is their PHRASING, the way music that finite music, though unchanged in notation, is subject to variation and interpretation by manipulating performance parameters, not some supernatural ability to uniquely change the acoustic profile of the instrument from player to player.

Though there is an infinite way to rephrase the same music, the acoustic profile of an instrument can only be changed by altering the instrument itself.


The original poster was writing about a classical pianists obsession with tone. If you are using tone and an instrument's acoustic profile as interchangeable, then you are not addressing what the original poster was writing about.
It seemed like you were saying that one can't change the tone on a piano. You can change the tone on a piano by striking a key twice in exactly the same way, but once with the damper pedal engaged and once with the damper pedal not engaged. You can change the tone on a piano by striking a key twice in exactly the same way, but once with the una corda engaged and once with the una corda not engaged. You can change the tone of a piano by striking the key with more force or with less force. It is not only the dynamic that changes, but also the tone. It will still sound within "the acoustic profile" of the instrument, but "the acoustic profile" includes many many different types of tone.
Now, I am pretty sure that you understand this, but your definition of tone and changing tone is something else. You seem to be saying that the only way that a tone on a piano could be legitamately changed would be if a pianist made one piano sound like another. And then you ignore the change in tone that occurs on a piano that occurs from basic techniques of playing such as engaging the pedal or changing the speed of attack.
You are aware that the definition of tone is not limited to "the acoustic profile of the instrument", right?
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#1280462 - 10/04/09 10:48 AM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: currawong]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...Seems to me there was one poster who claimed that hammer flex was a component to tone above and beyond the velocity of the strike..."

If I recall, the poster was Kawai Don and the information about the flexure of hammer shanks came from ultra high-speed photography. It wasn't just a blue sky pronouncement. But the speed of the strike is a factor in how, and how much, the shank will flex.
_________________________
Clef


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#1280503 - 10/04/09 12:00 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: theJourney]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19451
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Hmmm, those that claim they can make a certain distinction, criticize others for not meeting their standards, yet cannot or will not articulate the difference when push comes to shove: there is a lot of that kind of empty monkey business going around these days.

Thanks for your "contribution". It was yet again better for your post count than for progressing a meaningful discussion.



All I said was that your "summary" in the first post was not correct. In fact, I have no idea why you think what you wrote in your OP represents any consensus of opinion. I even explained why I wouldn't be able to summarize opinion(no consesnsus) about tone at PW even if I wanted to attempt to.

If a poster starts a thread with what I think is a false assumption, then I think saying so seems like a valid contribution.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/04/09 12:04 PM)

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#1280510 - 10/04/09 12:12 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: Jeff Clef]
Michael Darnton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 243
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"...Seems to me there was one poster who claimed that hammer flex was a component to tone above and beyond the velocity of the strike..."

If I recall, the poster was Kawai Don and the information about the flexure of hammer shanks came from ultra high-speed photography. It wasn't just a blue sky pronouncement. But the speed of the strike is a factor in how, and how much, the shank will flex.


This may be a factor in the tone that a specific piano delivers, but I fail to see how a player could control it independently of volume, except in his mind.
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#1280558 - 10/04/09 01:46 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone [Re: Michael Darnton]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Here is an example of controlling the tone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3OOwglVldI

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#1280721 - 10/04/09 06:45 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: Keith D Kerman]
VirtuosicOne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 144
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne

It would be a figment of the IMAGINATION that even the most gifted pianist can make an early 20th century Mason and Hamlin sound mimic the "tone" of a late 21st century Yamaha by exercising complete PURPOSE and CONTROL.


I think it is a figmant of your imagination that anyone at any point was saying anything related to this totally random and unrelated point. I will counter it and support my arguement with an equally relevant point. Flying monkeys are dissimalar from toast! laugh

Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne

The identifying marker that you're referring to that distinguishes one pianist from the next is their PHRASING, the way music that finite music, though unchanged in notation, is subject to variation and interpretation by manipulating performance parameters, not some supernatural ability to uniquely change the acoustic profile of the instrument from player to player.

Though there is an infinite way to rephrase the same music, the acoustic profile of an instrument can only be changed by altering the instrument itself.


The original poster was writing about a classical pianists obsession with tone. If you are using tone and an instrument's acoustic profile as interchangeable, then you are not addressing what the original poster was writing about.
It seemed like you were saying that one can't change the tone on a piano. You can change the tone on a piano by striking a key twice in exactly the same way, but once with the damper pedal engaged and once with the damper pedal not engaged. You can change the tone on a piano by striking a key twice in exactly the same way, but once with the una corda engaged and once with the una corda not engaged. You can change the tone of a piano by striking the key with more force or with less force. It is not only the dynamic that changes, but also the tone. It will still sound within "the acoustic profile" of the instrument, but "the acoustic profile" includes many many different types of tone.
Now, I am pretty sure that you understand this, but your definition of tone and changing tone is something else. You seem to be saying that the only way that a tone on a piano could be legitamately changed would be if a pianist made one piano sound like another. And then you ignore the change in tone that occurs on a piano that occurs from basic techniques of playing such as engaging the pedal or changing the speed of attack.
You are aware that the definition of tone is not limited to "the acoustic profile of the instrument", right?


According to your definition of tone, each musician has his own unique tone, regardless of whether he's playing a Bosendorfer concert grand, or Linus' toy piano. It's a ridiculous hypothesis.
Each pianist has his own STYLISTIC TOUCH.
Perform this simple experiment by striking two pianists. Both will issue forth with a different tone when struck dependent on to what degree you bent their shafts, and in which direction. cool
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#1280741 - 10/04/09 07:33 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: VirtuosicOne]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Although I was pretty aware of this before, I am thoroughly convinced that you simply want to troll, clinging to your points and definitions regardless of logic or relevance, and conveniantly ignoring anything that shows you to clearly be wrong. You win.....I wasted my time with you. Hopefully though, anybody intelligent who is reading this and interested in learning about piano tone wont be confused by your trolling.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#1280752 - 10/04/09 08:00 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: Keith D Kerman]
VirtuosicOne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 144
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Hopefully though, anybody intelligent who is reading this and interested in learning about piano tone wont be confused by your trolling.


I guess I'm not worthy, since basically, I know enough about physics and acoustics to disagree with almost every word you write on the subject, the only correct words in your acoustic treatises being and, of, in, on, and other connective devices betwee the fonts of misinformation and magic.

Now this in itselfisn't anymore your fault than it was medieval man's beliefs in magic and witchcraft due to a lack of proper scientific understanding of thunderstorms, diseases, and other natural causes.

_________________________
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#1280769 - 10/04/09 08:17 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: VirtuosicOne]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Hopefully we can stop the fighting and get back to topic.

Keith, I understand what you're saying. The OP, I thought, was concerned with the unique identifiable sound of each pianist. And there is no doubt that their tone is recognizable regardless of piano.

I think you were both talking past yourselves here. I think you are both right. My teacher has a particular style of playing where he constantly rides the soft pedal when playing jazz. In effect, he's using the physical characteristics of the instrument to enhance the other things he can control. So in that sense, he's altering the piano tone.

In another sense, he knows what kind of tone he wishes to produce and realizes it is not something he can manipulate on stage so he has a specific tonal profile for his piano that his tech creates for him (softer hammers).

He also makes sure to create the proper recording environment to enhance the sound he wishes to create.

Thus, he comes up with a unique tone on his recordings.

But I don't think you're suggesting that you buy the idea of flexing shafts and that some aftertouch on the keys affects the sound after the hammer is released. Or do you?



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#1280791 - 10/04/09 08:45 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: jazzwee]
VirtuosicOne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 144
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
But I don't think you're suggesting that you buy the idea of flexing shafts and that some aftertouch on the keys affects the sound after the hammer is released. Or do you?





I'm not exactly sure of the exact earliest date that an escapement was first introduced and incorporated into the keyboard action, but on pianos as we know them, an escapement, a device assuring that once a hammer has struck the strings, it falls back from them, allowing the strings to vibrate undamped, but due to this escapement, aftertouch is a myth, nothing more.
You see it all the time. A pianist rocking his finger back and forth on a key depressed to the keybed to emote "vibrato", but alas, he can rock his finger from now until the end of time, hard enough to push the key right through the piano, but no vibrato will be heard.
Once the escapement removes the hammer from the strings, whatever aftertouch is applied to the keys is a moot point.
Quite possibly, he believes differently.
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#1280811 - 10/04/09 09:39 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: VirtuosicOne]
VirtuosicOne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 144
Loc: NYC
I took this post, quoted verbatem, from a guitar forum thread that discusses "tone" from guitarist to guitarist:

**************************************

It's understandable that someone would want to get into the ballpark of a specific musician's tone, but I thought it would be helpful to note some of the factors, major and minor, that effect things. I'm open to contributions.

Factors that effect tone:
String gauge, life, brand, type
String break angle over the bridge
Hardware brand, type, density, and metal
Tonewood of body, neck, and fretboard
What tree the tonewood came from - no two trees are the same
Body size and construction (including how many pieces)
Set neck or bolt on or neck thru
Pickup types (magnets, brand, position, windings) - no two pickups are the same
Tone and volume knob settings
Quality and type of pots and electronics
Amp type (brand, model, etc)
Tube type, brand, bias, age, position
Cab wood
Cab size
Speaker size, brand, type, magnet, the way they are built into the cab, the way they are wired
EQ on amp and mixers and processors and programs and all that stuff
Gain and volume settings
Pedals (even pedals that aren't on can effect tone too)
Microphone type and position
Processing before and after the mastering process (once the recording is mastered it makes a difference)
Recording equipment (mixers, programs, etc)
Recording environment - temp, humidity, type of room (sound proofed? wood floors? etc)
Recording process - overdubs, production, style
Producer and engineer
The players fingers, style, sweat composition, mood that day, level of inebriation, sexual tension, nervousness, excitement, what he ate that day and how his body processed that food, level of ear fatigue
Cables used - brand, type, length, metal, soldering
The list goes on...

*******************************
_________________________
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#1280870 - 10/04/09 11:50 PM Re: Is only the Classical Pianist Corner Obsessed with "Tone" [Re: VirtuosicOne]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: VirtuosicOne
I took this post, quoted verbatem, from a guitar forum thread that discusses "tone" from guitarist to guitarist:

**************************************

It's understandable that someone would want to get into the ballpark of a specific musician's tone, but I thought it would be helpful to note some of the factors, major and minor, that effect things. I'm open to contributions.

Factors that effect tone: [...]

Do those factors effect tone or affect tone? I imagine that some do both, but the distinction is central to the topic.

Steven
_________________________

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—Albert Schweitzer

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Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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