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#1335478 - 12/28/09 01:22 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: turandot]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Originally Posted By: turandot


One aspect of the overall question that has been touched on only lightly is the relationship between the acoustic piano and the classical repertoire. If you spend any time on the (acoustic) Piano Forum here, you will notice that acoustic purism and the willingness to spend major bucks on an upscale acoustic piano is more often than not linked to DEAPS (the Dead European Appreciation and Preservation Society). Sure, there are jazz fans and even New Age folks who are in tune with exploiting the charms of an acoustic and willing to pay up for it, but in the main it is DEAPS that keeps solvent the mid to high-end part of the acoustic piano industry and all the cottage industries tethered to it.

What are the cottage industries? Classical method piano teachers, acoustic piano tuners and techs, classical-only recording labels, highbrow music critics, classical-only concert venues, professional piano evaluators such as LArry Fine, and last but not by a long shot least, music conservatories steeped in the values of so-called ‘serious’ music. Take away the enthusiasm for Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, etc., and the self-dedication or imposed parental dedication to achieving a degree of mastery of Dead European lit written for piano, take all that away, and the acoustic piano will begin to be a period instrument, exquisite and charming, but increasingly irrelevant.


Some people actually love this music for what it means to them. It's not a status symbol or high-brow at all. This is a stereotype that perhaps has existed in some people, but it is wrong to assume everyone in this field is that way. If you knew me and what I taught, you'd never say I was high-brow or snobbish, elitist, whatever you wish to call classical music. This used to be the "popular" music of the day. Opera singers were the 19th century version of rock stars. It does sound a bit like you are looking down your nose at classical musicians.

Quote:
Mastery of the notes, of the tempo, of the dynamics, of the indicated expression in classical lit is obsessive. A person needs obsessive dedication to get even part way there. In the instance of minimal talent played against lit of extreme difficulty, obsession may take the player to only the first level (the notes). Whereas jazz or pop notation invites you to explore, classical notation reminds you in every measure of your never-ending responsibility to stay on track.
Some classical literature is hard to play. Some of it is worth the effort, and some not, IMO. But isn't that up to the individual to decide what they like and don't like? And certainly there are varying degrees of being able to play well. I am not the most accurate pianist in the world, and I don't wish to be. I prefer to play musically, and so I don't spend excessive amounts of time on details that are not a means of being expressive. I don't believe in slavish adherence to the written notation.

Quote:
Creativity, however, is frowned upon in the DEAPS world. Even in ‘professional’ critical reviews of top-tier concert pianists, a new approach to an old warhorse has a better chance of being panned than praised. Even so,the lit of the Dead Europeans continues to be re-worked, re-worked, and reworked again by both the few concert pianists who are actually able to support themselves from that activity, by the wannabes who claim to be concert pianists because of some solo gigs for church benefits or an appearance or three with a community orchestra, or by all those home enthusiasts who find beauty and solace in the unplugged lit of a simpler less convoluted era of human history.
So basically anyone who likes classical music doesn't know how to be creative, doesn't want to be creative, and wishes to squash creativity in others? Perhaps you've had a bad experience, and I know there are those out there who do not want people to be creative. However, I do wish you wouldn't put us all into one category. There are certainly those who encourage creativity in playing classical music, just as there are control freaks in other genres (I've met them so I know they exist). And what is wrong with the church musician or those who play in community groups or just play for their own pleasure? They may not be "wanna bees" if they are doing what they love already.

Quote:
Digital pianos offer a suite of options that entice any undisciplined player away from mastery and toward creativity. Whereas mastery can be measured against the standard of the notated page, creativity is simply a measure of the player’s enjoyment of whatever originality he is creating or the appeal of that which he has created to the listening public. Thus, many creative pianists who have wide popular appeal do not have the greatest technique, the greatest mastery, or the greatest ‘credentials’ in their piano pedagogy training.
Credentials mean nothing if you can't move people with your music, period. Who cares if you have a degree and studied with so-and-so if you play like a mechanical doll? Again, I know this exists, but it is not the case with everyone who loves classical music. The written page is just a map, not a picture of the entire scene. Again, I know many pianists who at least try to get beyond the page, seeing it only as a means of getting to the music. What one does beyond that is a matter of taste. The idea that a person's pedigree means more than making music is only true in some circles.

Quote:
It’s not really a question of which is better. Some people will gain a sense of fulfillment painting by the numbers, completing a Czerny exercise book, or completing basic training in a military service stint. Others will feel fulfilled by writing a personal blog, composing a pop song built on a standard chord progression, or mastering the ‘self’ through Tai-Chi, Yoga, or some fringe sort of transcendental meditation. It’s all good! Whatever works. Both can be personally rewarding. Neither interferes with anyone else’s self-fulfillment
However, your entire post puts classical musicians in a bad light as non creative, comparable to painting by numbers or being in the military. Your assertion of "it's all good!" is belied by the content of your post.

Quote:
Reduced to the simplest terms, the digital piano is about creativity. It invites exploration. Deviant options are many, in combination almost unlimited. Digital makers should worry less about the tedious pursuit of acoustic piano peculiarities and continue to expand the creative options (along with the dynamic and expressive range of ‘piano’ options). This approach conforms to strong contemporary ‘self’ trends such as the home performance studio, personal publishing, and the one-wire self-sufficient household.

Meanwhile, the acoustic piano industry should focus on Asia, and all evidence suggests that it is doing precisely that. Acoustic piano exhibitors at NAMM are shrinking in number while the big annual show in Shanghai is not to be missed. The successive booms in DEAPS membership in Japan and Korea are being dwarfed by the biggest boom of all possible DEAPS booms – the awakening of China to class consciousness and ‘refined’ taste. It’s anyone’s guess how long and how far the DEAPS missionary effort to the remaining parts of the world that have not overdosed on its lit can be sustained, but Yamaha, S&S, and the smaller players will pay their marketing people to reckon the answer.
I'm just amazed at how condescending you are toward other people's love of music that does not suit your own. I don't love new age, rock, jazz, pop, world, etc. genres for myself to play, but I can appreciate them as an artform. I even choose to listen to some of it on my own. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, and so if you hate classical that's fine. But please avoid from drawing such broad strokes of every classical musician in your apparent negative exposure to the genre.


Edited by Morodiene (12/28/09 01:24 PM)
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#1335489 - 12/28/09 01:35 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Glenn NK]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
1. Drawing a parallel between photography and pianos may not hold up. One could just have easily said, "now that artists have computers, they won't be using pencils, oils or acrylics anymore - they'll do graphics on the screen."

I agree the film/digital camera | acoustic/DP analogy isn't the best. But regarding your analogy, I would only like to point out the fact that no one drafts on drafting tables anymore, CAD killed them all off.

Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
2. Moore's Law isn't a law of physics or mathematics, but a statement of an observation of a trend that started about 1965. Exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely except in the world of mathematics.

Want more proof?

http://news.techworld.com/operating-systems/3477/moores-law-is-dead-says-gordon-moore/

True, true. But the screaming title to that article "Moore's Law is dead, says Gordon Moore" is hilariously contradicted by its own subtitle "Key predictor of IT will end sometime, reckons its progenitor" as well as by the body of the article.
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#1335518 - 12/28/09 01:59 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: ChrisA]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
The cost of software (and there is a lot of it inside a DP) is actually going up, not down. (I'm in the business and can say first hand how little software development $1M buys)

Already I'd estimate the cost of the digital electronics to not be driving the cost of a DP.

All the more reason to have an open source DP so as to offload the onerous SW development costs. We have open source operating systems and SW running on just about every new piece of electronic equipment. There's open source SW for my wireless router, my HD video box, my MP3 player, my PC, etc. and it almost invariably works much better than the original SW from the manufacturer.

Some manufacturer should put some decent keys with decent computing & storage in a case and let it loose in the wild. I'm thinking Yamaha keys, a decent ARM or low end AMD processor, and a small (32 to 64 GB) flash-based hard drive. Once decent SW became available I'd snatch one (or two) up in a second.
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#1335522 - 12/28/09 02:02 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
Glenn NK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 457
Loc: Victoria BC
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
1. Drawing a parallel between photography and pianos may not hold up. One could just have easily said, "now that artists have computers, they won't be using pencils, oils or acrylics anymore - they'll do graphics on the screen."

I agree the film/digital camera | acoustic/DP analogy isn't the best. But regarding your analogy, I would only like to point out the fact that no one drafts on drafting tables anymore, CAD killed them all off.

Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
2. Moore's Law isn't a law of physics or mathematics, but a statement of an observation of a trend that started about 1965. Exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely except in the world of mathematics.

Want more proof?

http://news.techworld.com/operating-systems/3477/moores-law-is-dead-says-gordon-moore/

True, true. But the screaming title to that article "Moore's Law is dead, says Gordon Moore" is hilariously contradicted by its own subtitle "Key predictor of IT will end sometime, reckons its progenitor" as well as by the body of the article.


I'm quite aware of CAD drafting (as a structural engineer, I do my own drafting), but it's not conducive to the creative process at all. I've tried "art" programs on computer with similar result.

Infinite exponential growth can only take place in mathematics. In the physical world, there are size constraints - the chips cannot keep getting smaller forever or they would vanish. In time, the straight line of Moore's "law" will curve downward and become asymptotic to a horizontal line. Which means that the "law" doesn't hold up, and thus isn't a law.

Glenn

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#1335525 - 12/28/09 02:06 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Glenn NK]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
I'm quite aware of CAD drafting (as a structural engineer, I do my own drafting), but it's not conducive to the creative process at all. I've tried "art" programs on computer with similar result.

Infinite exponential growth can only take place in mathematics. In the physical world, there are size constraints - the chips cannot keep getting smaller forever or they would vanish. In time, the straight line of Moore's "law" will curve downward and become asymptotic to a horizontal line. Which means that the "law" doesn't hold up, and thus isn't a law.
All true. But I wonder if any of this applies to pianos anyway? DPs are not stressing the technical limits of their embedded computers. Rather, the limits are found in the way the sound signals are produced and in the way they're reproduced.

A sampled or modeled tone generator is not a hammer and string.

A speaker is not a soundboard.

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#1335530 - 12/28/09 02:14 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Regarding Morodiene's response to turandot's post:

I've watched a couple of documentaries of classical pianists lately, one on Gould, another on Richter. I will certainly be over-generalizing here, but what strikes me is that classical pianists often seem disillusioned once they reach the top. They look down and realize that the seemingly iron-clad rules they were following are rather arbitrary, which leaves them somewhat rudderless.

Top classical pianists remind me of top chess players in that they are really really good at doing a very very narrowly focused thing. I find both fields overly hyped by the general media, highly claustrophobic, and ultimately somewhat sad for their crowned masters.
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#1335534 - 12/28/09 02:18 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7219
Loc: torrance, CA
Morodienne,

I prefer classical music to any other category for listening. I was not putting down classical music in any way. However, reality is reality. Chances are that one day the romantic lit of the mid-to-late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which made the modern acoustic concert grand piano the 'beast' (that many refer to it as) will take its place with the instrument employed to make it next to Gregorian chant, baroque, etc. I do not know when and exactly how that will happen. I'm just making an observation.

In terms of practice and performance, each player can make his own judgment about what genre appeals to him and suits his particular talents. As I said, it's all good even though it's personally annoying to me when some derivative classical throwaway piece by Mozart or Haydn concocted for a Duke, Duchess, or even an Emperor is considered superior based on its genre to something like Chick Corea's My Spanish Heart.

I'll stand on my post despite your bruised feelings (which I in no way intended to provoke). Classical lit requires tremendous self-discipline to achieve mastery. Mastery is judged by the ability to execute all the prescribed details. Can you dispute the fact that in classical lit virtually everything is prescribed?

Every generation produces a few acoustic players who can simultaneously honor the composer's intent to the fullest yet somehow get beyond it, Richter being an example in my mind. However, even at the highest level of concert pianists, most performances break no new ground and are mainly judged in comparison to other recorded or simply recalled performances.

A digital piano offers deviant options. I use the word 'deviant' because those button pushes lead away from a dedication to mastery to a world of exploration. I honestly believe that the resistance of successful classical method piano teachers towards students with digital instruments is more about those deviant options than it is about a lack of action quality and/or precise action control.

For recreational players, exploration and whatever creativity results from it can be more fulfilling and more fun than the fulfillment of a relative mastery of prescribed lit. In contemporary lifestyle patterns, whether you like them or not, the trend is toward expression of self, not about revering the past. For this the digital is a better fit. That said, those who aspire toward mastery of classical lit have my total respect. It's an arduous lifelong endeavor with few external rewards.

Please do not take my comments as condescending in any way. I was simply expressing my honest opinion. Each of us has a right to do that. However, I'm done here and will not post further on this because I don't want to engage in some meaningless debate with those who bruise so easily. My opinion is not what I want. It is simply what I see around me.

Originally Posted By: TimR
Even mastery may be available to the DP player.

What if I programmed one key press to produce a blazingly fast two octave scale? Or chords that my fingers couldn't reach? In real time, while my other fingers were adding whatever my creative mind came up with?

Cheating? Or composing? The organist can change manuals instantly, registrations almost as fast. The surface hasn't even been scratched for the DP.


If you're composing, it's no more cheating than it would be to let a one-push string pad simulation fill in for the real thing while working out a composition that involves actual stringed instruments. Digital keyboards and workstations are invaluabe compositional tools, as is computer-generated notation. To avail oneself of these tools is hardly cheating.

In terms of performance, IMO it could be cheating if it's a recorded performance involving layering, editing, after effects, patching together the best parts of several takes, and push-button player shortcuts that are not disclosed in the recording notes. However, that's simply my opinion and shouldn't be taken too seriously since all these practices are standard stuff in the recording industry today.




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#1335543 - 12/28/09 02:30 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: dewster

All the more reason to have an open source DP so as to offload the onerous SW development costs....

Some manufacturer should put some decent keys with decent computing & storage in a case and let it loose in the wild. I'm thinking Yamaha keys, a decent ARM or low end AMD processor,


I'd like to see an open soure DP also. A pure sampler would not be hard to implement but the samples are not easy to get and that is the part that really matters. How many people have a concert grand, an anechoic chamber and about $6,000 worth of microphones? That is a high bar to entry. The big trouble is always going to be getting the samples. OK there are studios near my house that rent time for only $50 an hour. But how to get a piano there?

Yes you could record in your living room using a Sure SM57 or hand held zoom digital recorder but the result would be hopelessly amateurish, just like those u-tube demos we see.

I just don't see a way to get or make a state of the art sample library. Even for a physical model you need the samples for development and testing.

As for the hardware, It takes more compute power than that. For example Pianoteq can't run on the Atom processor without turning off some features. They suggest using a dual core Intel chip. More sophisticated models will require more compute and DSP power. The sky is really the limit but even the high end of this range is getting cheap. By definition an open source project has the source availabel so it could be recompiled onto user's hardware, whatever that is. You would have to select a common, free Real-Time operating system.

Getting a sample library will remain the big hurdle.

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#1335554 - 12/28/09 02:47 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: turandot]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: turandot

For recreational players, exploration and whatever creativity results from it can be more fulfilling and more fun than the fulfillment of a relative mastery of prescribed lit. In contemporary lifestyle patterns, whether you like them or not, the trend is toward expression of self, not about revering the past. For this the digital is a better fit. That said, those who aspire toward mastery of classical lit have my total respect. It's an arduous lifelong endeavor with few external rewards.

thumb

I would have a hard time commenting on this whole thread except to say in all my years of being a musician, I have never met a serious Jazz or Classical player or student that would opt for a DP over a good acoustic piano UNLESS neighbor proximity would not allow for them to practice. OR when recording tracks, the DP obviously is easier and quicker to blend into the overall picture and does not require the additional purchase of high end mics and preamps not to mention the mic placement or engineering skill to get a good sound. OR when the volume level on stage gets to be loud enough where the micing of the piano within the band or ensemble can be a major problem.

There is a thread here where I've made my feelings known:
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads...igi#Post2146367
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#1335566 - 12/28/09 03:00 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: ChrisA]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: ChrisA

...the person who wants an acoustic grand piano is someone who has the space for one. Space typically costs MORE then the piano that fill it...
Isn't that the truth.
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#1335576 - 12/28/09 03:11 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: MacMacMac]
Ludwig van Bilge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/09
Posts: 204
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
A sampled or modeled tone generator is not a hammer and string.

A speaker is not a soundboard.

Just so.
I like digitals and they're certainly more practical in the home but it'll be a sad day when the piano becomes extinct.

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#1335579 - 12/28/09 03:18 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine
Originally Posted By: ChrisA

...the person who wants an acoustic grand piano is someone who has the space for one. Space typically costs MORE then the piano that fill it...
Isn't that the truth.


That is a definite consideration. That was going to be my other "OR" that I forgot to post.

A young, former student of mine moved to NYC, his apartment is a 5th floor walk up. The piano he owns (later model Yamaha C3) is physically impossible to get into his place, so he left it here in LA for the time being. He is a very serious aspiring Jazz pianist. He has a Yamaha Clavinova for the time being, he's miserable but he's studying, practicing and progressing.

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#1335581 - 12/28/09 03:20 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: MacMacMac]
Glenn NK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 457
Loc: Victoria BC
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
All true. But I wonder if any of this applies to pianos anyway? DPs are not stressing the technical limits of their embedded computers. Rather, the limits are found in the way the sound signals are produced and in the way they're reproduced.

A sampled or modeled tone generator is not a hammer and string.

A speaker is not a soundboard.


Absolutely - the limits are still technical; the main limits to DPs in the future will be how the sound is transduced to the air and thence to our ears.

At present, there are digitally produced piano sounds on recording media which are difficult if not impossible to discern from an acoustic piano, but I'm not so sure that a large DP grand would fit into a symphony orchestra.

I suspect that most of the participants on this DP forum are not musicians that play in large orchestras, but rather, many gig in situations where the audience is neither really listening nor can really hear the music clearly.

In these situations, the DP will perform admirably, and probably better than an acoustic piano as speakers can be placed around a large room to disperse the sound more evenly. I attend a jazz club occasionally where the piano, bass, and drums (acoustic) are miked and amped into speakers at the rear of the room.

In large acoustically well designed auditoriums, the acoustic grand piano will rule for many years - in these situations, the DP would be pathetic.

The acoustic has its strengths and weaknesses as does the DP, so it comes down to the application.

The DP is gaining ground, but don't expect it to replace the acoustic anytime soon.

Those that have never played a large grand can't possibly understand the allure of an acoustic - those that haven't ventured into DP Land can't understand the appeal of digital.

I have both, and they are not the same instrument.

And I'm not predicting the pending fate of either.


Edited by Glenn NK (12/28/09 03:21 PM)

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#1335601 - 12/28/09 03:45 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Glenn NK]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
In time, the straight line of Moore's "law" will curve downward and become asymptotic to a horizontal line.

In silicon, yes, and eventually in any physical manifestation of logic. But there is still plenty of room to go before we hit maximum shrinkage </Seinfeld>

Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
Which means that the "law" doesn't hold up, and thus isn't a law.

I think everyone in the industry realizes it is more of an observation than physical a law.
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#1335613 - 12/28/09 03:59 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: ChrisA]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I'd like to see an open soure DP also. A pure sampler would not be hard to implement but the samples are not easy to get and that is the part that really matters. How many people have a concert grand, an anechoic chamber and about $6,000 worth of microphones? That is a high bar to entry. The big trouble is always going to be getting the samples. OK there are studios near my house that rent time for only $50 an hour. But how to get a piano there?

I don't think the recording would have to be in an anechoic chamber, close mikeing would be fine. And they make some really nice microphones these days for not a lot of money, I'd say $200 would do. And decent grade preamps in say a Mackie mixer would be fine too, as long as they fed a decent grade A/D card ($100).

Postprocess could take care of residual noise (I think you would need to do this regardless of the quality of the analog signal chain).

I think the real hard part would be making the mechanism that plays the keys at various well-defined velocities.

It's all been done before, again and again and again, but I agree it could be a bit of a hurdle getting a decent sample into the public domain.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
As for the hardware, It takes more compute power than that. For example Pianoteq can't run on the Atom processor without turning off some features. They suggest using a dual core Intel chip. More sophisticated models will require more compute and DSP power. The sky is really the limit but even the high end of this range is getting cheap. By definition an open source project has the source availabel so it could be recompiled onto user's hardware, whatever that is. You would have to select a common, free Real-Time operating system.

The Atom is great for low-power netbooks, but is horribly underpowered in general.

Windows isn't an RTOS, so I would assume some variant of Linux would do.
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#1335640 - 12/28/09 04:28 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: turandot]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: turandot
Morodienne,

I prefer classical music to any other category for listening. I was not putting down classical music in any way. However, reality is reality. Chances are that one day the romantic lit of the mid-to-late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which made the modern acoustic concert grand piano the 'beast' (that many refer to it as) will take its place with the instrument employed to make it next to Gregorian chant, baroque, etc. I do not know when and exactly how that will happen. I'm just making an observation.

In terms of practice and performance, each player can make his own judgment about what genre appeals to him and suits his particular talents. As I said, it's all good even though it's personally annoying to me when some derivative classical throwaway piece by Mozart or Haydn concocted for a Duke, Duchess, or even an Emperor is considered superior based on its genre to something like Chick Corea's My Spanish Heart.

I'll stand on my post despite your bruised feelings (which I in no way intended to provoke). Classical lit requires tremendous self-discipline to achieve mastery. Mastery is judged by the ability to execute all the prescribed details. Can you dispute the fact that in classical lit virtually everything is prescribed?

Every generation produces a few acoustic players who can simultaneously honor the composer's intent to the fullest yet somehow get beyond it, Richter being an example in my mind. However, even at the highest level of concert pianists, most performances break no new ground and are mainly judged in comparison to other recorded or simply recalled performances.

A digital piano offers deviant options. I use the word 'deviant' because those button pushes lead away from a dedication to mastery to a world of exploration. I honestly believe that the resistance of successful classical method piano teachers towards students with digital instruments is more about those deviant options than it is about a lack of action quality and/or precise action control.

For recreational players, exploration and whatever creativity results from it can be more fulfilling and more fun than the fulfillment of a relative mastery of prescribed lit. In contemporary lifestyle patterns, whether you like them or not, the trend is toward expression of self, not about revering the past. For this the digital is a better fit. That said, those who aspire toward mastery of classical lit have my total respect. It's an arduous lifelong endeavor with few external rewards.

Please do not take my comments as condescending in any way. I was simply expressing my honest opinion. Each of us has a right to do that. However, I'm done here and will not post further on this because I don't want to engage in some meaningless debate with those who bruise so easily. My opinion is not what I want. It is simply what I see around me.


Your subsequent post was much less insulting and stereotyping. I appreciate that. I'm not one to "bruise easily" but perhaps you should be more cautious of making sweeping generalizations. Nuff said.
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#1335666 - 12/28/09 05:15 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: jameskey]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
I'm going to go against my better judgement and stir the hornet's nest a bit.

Things I really, really hate about Classical music instruction (let me count the ways):

1. Overarching rigidity stifles creativity.
2. Competition kills the very soul of music.

Mothers, don't let your kids grow up to be concert pianists.
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#1335722 - 12/28/09 06:59 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: dewster
I'm going to go against my better judgement and stir the hornet's nest a bit.

Things I really, really hate about Classical music instruction (let me count the ways):

1. Overarching rigidity stifles creativity.
2. Competition kills the very soul of music.

Mothers, don't let your kids grow up to be concert pianists.

1. I agree 100%
2. I agree 100%

But these things are not exclusive to classical music. I see it in popular styles too.
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#1335734 - 12/28/09 07:14 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
wildpaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Richmond, VA
Originally Posted By: dewster
I'm going to go against my better judgement and stir the hornet's nest a bit.

Things I really, really hate about Classical music instruction (let me count the ways):

1. Overarching rigidity stifles creativity.
2. Competition kills the very soul of music.

Mothers, don't let your kids grow up to be concert pianists.


1. It helps if they have enough basic skills to become creative.

2. Competition often brings out the best in students.

There are already too many "one button push" wonders that are a loooong ways from being creative, perhaps some good instruction when they started would have avoided that. I certainly never felt that competition killed the soul of the music my band was playing when we were in the statewide battle of the bands.
Clyde
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#1335944 - 12/29/09 12:12 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: wildpaws]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: wildpaws
1. It helps if they have enough basic skills to become creative.

Yea, but there are ways to develop skills other than rigidly requiring students to perform a repertoire from old dead guys, in a manner dictated by a bunch of old undead white guys. Improvising is verboten!

Originally Posted By: wildpaws
2. Competition often brings out the best in students.

I have never in my life picked up a musical instrument in order to "win". I play because I enjoy it. Pitting young student against student in an already stressful performance environment is punishment. No wonder Glenn Gould was so tormented, the poor boy ran the entire gauntlet of crazy.
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#1336094 - 12/29/09 07:26 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: MacMacMac]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
All true. But I wonder if any of this applies to pianos anyway? DPs are not stressing the technical limits of their embedded computers. Rather, the limits are found in the way the sound signals are produced and in the way they're reproduced.

A sampled or modeled tone generator is not a hammer and string.

A speaker is not a soundboard.


I think it is beyond how the sound is made or even how perfect (however perfection is defined) an instrument may be. Some times, it's just pure practicality. Whether a concert pianist would be willing to perform using a digital piano among other acoustic instruments is the big question. My feeling is no. If the audience did not pay money to listen to an digital cello, violin, oboe, whatever, then they would not accept a digital piano either. How good or bad these digital instruments sound is irrelevant if the audience expects traditional un-amplified instruments. This is probably why digital pianos are only used when the rest of the music are coming from amplified instruments and the audience is experiencing the concert from speakers to begin with.
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#1336101 - 12/29/09 08:08 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
Melodialworks Music Offline
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Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: dewster


Things I really, really hate about Classical music instruction (let me count the ways):

1. Overarching rigidity stifles creativity.
2. Competition kills the very soul of music.



I absolutely agree with both of these statements. Astounding that the fast majority of classical training ignores "playing by ear" and improvisation. Also, the championing of memorization kills the music as well.

Lawrence
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#1336135 - 12/29/09 09:37 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: wildpaws
1. It helps if they have enough basic skills to become creative.

Yea, but there are ways to develop skills other than rigidly requiring students to perform a repertoire from old dead guys, in a manner dictated by a bunch of old undead white guys. Improvising is verboten!


I teach traditional/classical piano. I also teach my students to improvise and compose in whatever style they wish. I also have students interested in jazz, which I teach as well. I'm not an old white guy, either. I encourage creativity, and these students develop a love for classical music (old dead white guy music?!?!). It's been around for so long for a reason: because it's actually good music.

Originally Posted By: wildpaws
2. Competition often brings out the best in students.

Originally Posted By: dewster
I have never in my life picked up a musical instrument in order to "win". I play because I enjoy it. Pitting young student against student in an already stressful performance environment is punishment. No wonder Glenn Gould was so tormented, the poor boy ran the entire gauntlet of crazy.
There's healthy competition, and not healthy competition. It all depends on the person. Me, I like competing vocally, but I don't enjoy it with piano, so I don't do piano competitions. However, I do see that some students thrive on this, and while I would never pit a sibling against another sibling, I do use the more advanced students to inspire the younger less advanced ones. This is healthy competition.

edited to add: It seems as though many people are confusing classical music with those that play it, and their experiences with those that play it. Every single example given of people being strict, non-musical, killing creativity, etc. can also be said for any genre out there. And none of it has to do with classical music itself.


Edited by Morodiene (12/29/09 09:41 AM)
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#1336193 - 12/29/09 11:27 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
al-mahed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Rio de Janeiro
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

edited to add: It seems as though many people are confusing classical music with those that play it, and their experiences with those that play it. Every single example given of people being strict, non-musical, killing creativity, etc. can also be said for any genre out there. And none of it has to do with classical music itself.


Yes, I agree with you.
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#1336197 - 12/29/09 11:36 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
wildpaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Richmond, VA
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: wildpaws
1. It helps if they have enough basic skills to become creative.

Yea, but there are ways to develop skills other than rigidly requiring students to perform a repertoire from old dead guys, in a manner dictated by a bunch of old undead white guys. Improvising is verboten!

Originally Posted By: wildpaws
2. Competition often brings out the best in students.

I have never in my life picked up a musical instrument in order to "win". I play because I enjoy it. Pitting young student against student in an already stressful performance environment is punishment. No wonder Glenn Gould was so tormented, the poor boy ran the entire gauntlet of crazy.


Learning and performing that "repertoire" provides the necessary skills, improvising in and of itself does not necessarily do anything. One must first know and understand something in order to truly improvise on it. Certainly the love of playing music is a good thing, I've loved playing music for over 45 years, but that does not mean I was not pushed to higher levels of competance by competition. Oh, and before you give me the old "dead man" crap, I'm just an old rock and roll musician that wished he had better training when he was younger, it would have made my musical journey much more interesting and easier.
Clyde
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#1336241 - 12/29/09 12:36 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Quote:
This is probably why digital pianos are only used when the rest of the music are coming from amplified instruments and the audience is experiencing the concert from speakers to begin with.


The exception would be jazz bands and even big swing bands. they routinely mix electric and acoustic instruments.

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#1336343 - 12/29/09 02:56 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: ChrisA]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Quote:
This is probably why digital pianos are only used when the rest of the music are coming from amplified instruments and the audience is experiencing the concert from speakers to begin with.


The exception would be jazz bands and even big swing bands. they routinely mix electric and acoustic instruments.

How about:
Trans-Siberean Orchestra
Bond
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#1336574 - 12/29/09 08:21 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Melodialworks Music]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music

I absolutely agree with both of these statements. Astounding that the fast majority of classical training ignores "playing by ear" and improvisation. Also, the championing of memorization kills the music as well.

Lawrence


What's worse is that back when classical music was popular music (a few centuries ago) I think most listeners heard improvisation. Back then they were playing "contemporary music" and I'm sure would adapt to suit the audience, venue and instruments at hand.

All music in those days was live and I think only large formal concerts would use printed music. I doubt the average musician could even afford to buy printed sheet music. I think it became afordable only in the early 1800's

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#1336575 - 12/29/09 08:25 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: ChrisA]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Not only that, ChrisA, but the best composers of the time were also great improvisers. Both the skill of composing and improvising have gone to the wayside in many studios in favor of focusing just on technical prowess. However, in many teaching circles there is a resurgence to get back to this.
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#1336699 - 12/29/09 11:53 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
Da-Risin-Smoke Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/19/09
Posts: 19
Loc: Eastern Washington (state)
I may be a newbie, but I feel acoustic pianos will never go away. It's part of our heritage; we grew up with them.

It's like automatic transmissions on cars; they get more advanced where you can shift faster and go faster than a manual transmission, but something about the traditional that new stuff doesn't seem to replace.
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