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#1334948 - 12/27/09 07:56 PM Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out?
jameskey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 43
Loc: United States
Just had a visit with a local piano dealer, who has been in business for over 100 years. He sells mostly acoustic pianos, and a small selection of digital pianos. He feels that within 10 years almost 100% of the market for new pianos will be digital. With the advances with the V-piano and the Avant Grand, he feels that both Yamaha and Roland will build on that technology and move forward, and at the same time, much like the computer market, prices will come down. He felt that because of the cost of building and maintaining acoustic pianos, the digital market will continue to grow. What do members think? Cheers!

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#1334963 - 12/27/09 08:15 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: jameskey]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Unless they can make an acoustic piano that won't go out of tune, more and more people will turn to digitals, especially with the newer technology replicating the sound and the action so accurately....now, they can even replicate the feedback.

I see Chick Corea is is endorsing the Yamaha Avant Grand N3...no doubt more will follow, and we must also remember, the Avant Grand N2/N3 are supposedly the beginning of a whole new series. The V-Piano will also have it's own offspring.

I think Yamaha, who makes acoustic pianos, has realized that digitals are a serious consideration, since the Avant Grand was developed by both the acoustic and electronic divisions.

There will be those of the "I must have an acoustic" persuasion, but they are getting less in numbers...most of my piano playing friends in Nashville are using digital pianos for live gigging, although a few studios still rely on the acoustics that they've had for years.

Mic'ing an acoustic for stage use is very difficult...in a studio, the mics are more or less left in place permanently.

I won't miss the acoustic piano if it does become extinct. I don't miss my Steinway B one tiny bit since I've been playing the Avant Grand.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1334982 - 12/27/09 08:36 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: snazzyplayer]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
When I was making the deal for the purchase and installation for my Rodgers organ, I made part of the deal that they would remove my Nordheimer upright grand. The dealer told me that he had a warehouse full of such pianos, which he couldn't sell. People mostly wanted digitals or small acoustics. No market at all for larger instruments. (So I guess size does matter!) I had tried to sell the Nordheimer, with no success, and then offered it for free, with still no takers.

When I listed my HP-207 for sale (one of two that I owned at the time) it sold within 1-1/2 weeks. (I had two: one for home use, and one for the church. I still use the one at the church - very effective for rehearsing the choir.) I replaced my home HP-207 with a Roland RD-700gx, which I then replaced with V-Piano, and now I'm thinking of the Yamaha CP1).

Some purchasers of grand pianos are buying it for status or furniture, and cannot even play it! (Sad, but true). However, most buying grands are actually buying them to to play them!

Lawrence
_________________________
Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
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#1335028 - 12/27/09 09:48 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: jameskey]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: jameskey
Just had a visit with a local piano dealer, who has been in business for over 100 years. He sells mostly acoustic pianos, and a small selection of digital pianos. He feels that within 10 years almost 100% of the market for new pianos will be digital. With the advances with the V-piano and the Avant Grand, he feels that both Yamaha and Roland will build on that technology and move forward, and at the same time, much like the computer market, prices will come down. He felt that because of the cost of building and maintaining acoustic pianos, the digital market will continue to grow. What do members think? Cheers!


He is right. The market for Acoustic pianos will decline. Already it is literally 1/10th of what it once was. In my Grandmother's time (she was born in 1911) most houses had pianos in them. Today very few do.

But I think there will always be acoustic pianos in the way that there will always be clarinets, violins and drums. An acoustic grand piano is needed for public performance of classical works and people will want to practice on them. My experience (and some experiments I've done) lead me to believe that anything that sounds like a grand piano will need to be as large and massive as a grand piano. The cost of DPs is going down but not the cost of such large and massive objects.

I think digitals will mostly cut into sales of the uprights pianos.

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#1335029 - 12/27/09 09:49 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: snazzyplayer]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
I see Chick Corea is is endorsing the Yamaha Avant Grand N3

I think Yamaha endorses Chick Corea:

http://www.yamaha.com/Artists/ArtistDetail.html?CNTID=29415

If so, I'd take that with a huge grain of salt (i.e. completely ignore it).

Originally Posted By: snazzyplayer
Mic'ing an acoustic for stage use is very difficult.

Agree 100%. I jam a MIDI file into standalone Pianoteq and a out pops a wave file on the other end. Incredibly simple & it totally fools me (which is all I ask - I'm really easy to please when it comes down to it).
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1335033 - 12/27/09 09:54 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
Largely, yes. Though it will go out faster if DP manufacturers can get their act together.

That is all.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1335039 - 12/27/09 10:04 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: dewster


I think Yamaha endorses Chick Corea:

http://www.yamaha.com/Artists/ArtistDetail.html?CNTID=29415

If so, I'd take that with a huge grain of salt (i.e. completely ignore it).



You'd better watch all that salt...it's bad for your pressure. wink

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1335122 - 12/28/09 12:32 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: snazzyplayer]
Glenn NK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 457
Loc: Victoria BC
I'll echo other opinions above, with one proviso: Acoustic grand pianos will not likely ever be completely eliminated.

Their numbers will drop significantly, but they won't disappear completely (I've a piano rebuilder friend that is considering a change in careers because acoustic sales are way down).

Of course, these comments are going to incur the wrath of a certain individual (un-named) that will be incensed over them.

. . . just waiting . . .

Glenn

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#1335191 - 12/28/09 04:15 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Glenn NK]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
The acoustic piano industry will basically parallel the photographic industry. Just look at the once giant of the industry Kodak, now a mere shadow of its former self. Only as recent as 1990, any talk of digital photography would ever over take that of film photography would be considered unlikely. Besides, people were so familiar with the universality of the 35 mm film, and digital photos had such poor resolution.

Once there were 35 mm film processing and printing shops everywhere. Then some years back, they started to go out of business very rapidly to now, you would be hard pressed to find yourself a custom film processing and print enlargement shop that still handle either B&W or color film. For the acoustic piano, it will be the availability of the piano tuner technician. Once those professionals start declining significantly in numbers, it is no longer an option for most consumers to buy an acoustic piano whether or not it is better or not.

A small number of very skilled tuners will always be available to service the concert hall and conservatories, the very serious places, but for homes, it may get to a point where a consumer would either have to learn piano tuning as well or just buy a digital. Those who live near large cities may be able to hang on to their acoustics a bit longer while the tuners are still available. But at some point, the few available tuners would have to charge so much that few would want to pay the increasingly more expensive cost of maintaining a niche product unless the piano happens to be in Carnegie Hall or Julliard's.

With Moore's Law in effect and computing power doubling every 18 months, it is only a matter of time that a small processing circuit the size of a small notebook computer would have enough processing power to virtually recreate the experience of of an acoustic piano or at least the difference between a virtual piano and a real piano would no longer be enough to matter to any amateur. It is only a matter of time.

_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1335228 - 12/28/09 06:25 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: 4evr88keys
With Moore's Law in effect and computing power doubling every 18 months, it is only a matter of time that a small processing circuit the size of a small notebook computer would have enough processing power to virtually recreate the experience of of an acoustic piano or at least the difference between a virtual piano and a real piano would no longer be enough to matter to any amateur. It is only a matter of time.


For recording, we've already reached that point IMHO.

Greg.

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#1335250 - 12/28/09 07:21 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: jameskey]
Ludwig van Bilge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/09
Posts: 204
Acoustics may be in decline but real pianos won't go away so long as there's people who know the difference between a piano and a simulator and who can afford the real thing. As good as high end digitals are they ain't pianos any more than flight simulators are airplanes.

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#1335259 - 12/28/09 07:38 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Ludwig van Bilge]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: Ludwig van Bilge
Acoustics may be in decline but real pianos won't go away so long as there's people who know the difference between a piano and a simulator and who can afford the real thing. As good as high end digitals are they ain't pianos and never will be.


I can't agree with you there, Mr. Bilge. I've just replaced a Steinway B with an Avant Grand, and I couldn't be happier. I've had plenty of experience (40 plus years) with acoustic pianos, and most of it has not been good. Tuning, has always been an issue with me, and, although I don't have perfect pitch, it is definitely up to scratch enough to hear the instrument go out of tune with itself and other instruments.

My Steinway is in fantastic condition, but after a few weeks, it starts to go out, as do most acoustics...then, it needs the services of a tuner; which involves money and inconvenience.

Sorry, but even a decent digital provides much more playing pleasure for me; of course, your mileage obviously varies, but perhaps your ear can "adjust" to tuning discrepancies (or you know how to tune), but I can not.

The quicker the demise of the acoustic...the happier I will be.

They should rip out the innards of grand pianos, and put in a digital piano, for those who have to have the look.

And finally...digitals are pianos...not acoustic pianos, but pianos nevertheless...they sound like pianos, they play like pianos, and with the Avant Grand, they feel like pianos...they just hold their tune 100% better...that's all.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1335281 - 12/28/09 08:27 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: snazzyplayer]
Ángel Santana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/27/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Gran Canaria (Spain)

Hi.

I think that acoustic pianos will never dissapear. Digital pianos are very nice, flexible, suitable for an apartment or small house, don't need maintenance... I chose one, even when I own an old W.H. Barnes upright piano.

I'm sure manufactures will be closer and closer to a real piano, but your ears and hands will still finding diferences, and if not, the prices for these instruments will be very high. Technology is always becoming cheaper, but not wood, and also the human touch applied for making musical instruments.

I tried to argue from another point of view: why can anyone re-sell a second hand mint condition acoustic piano for a good price? Can do the same with a digital one?

I'm not an expert on the piano market, I only tried to get the solution for my needings, and it was a Kawai CN32. But I'm into the guitar world for many years, and I know that good musical instruments will never dissapear, and it's almost impossible to get them for cheaper prices.

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#1335299 - 12/28/09 09:06 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Ángel Santana]
Masume Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Germany
Well, I know and understand the advantages of digital pianos and I wouldn't want to miss those advantages, but under no circumstances can they truly replace a true, acoustic piano, not yet anyway and I believe not in a long time. I have tested AvantGrand and V-Piano, and they are absolutely awesome and on a recording it would be hard to distiguish acoustic from digital and advancing technology might make the feel and sound of digitals even better, but what makes a real difference is the sound production itself. Even in the great AvantGrand you can obviously hear speakers playing piano sound. It's kind of like hearing a recording of incredibly great quality, but still a recording and not a live performance. You can hear the difference between real strings and fake speakers.
And on a less rational side, it's just more fun knowing you play a REAL instrument, not a great simulation =D
I'm not an enemy of digital pianos, I nearly bought a v-piano myself, and I'm sure digital pianos will sell better than acoustic ones, but the idea of the acoustics dying out altogether is preposterous.

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#1335304 - 12/28/09 09:14 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Ángel Santana]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10766
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
The one thing that I think DPs are a long way off in duplicating an acoustic are the acoustic properties of an instrument. The entire instrument vibrates in order to create the sound, not just the strings and the sound board. With a DP, if anything vibrates with it it is an annoyance, a disturbance to the sound. Because of the need for DP manufacturers to eliminate any sympathetic vibrations in the instrument, we only get the sound from the speakers - by design - and the sound is mostly directed somewhere. Acoustic piano sound goes out in all directions from an acoustic (although some directional sound is created by the lid). This allows the sound to fill the room and bounce off of everything in it. Now I suppose if you could spend $10k on some nice speakers and put them in the right place for the shape of the room, you might be able to get close. But then it's more like you are the audience and not the performer, because the instrument still isn't vibrating, only the speakers are.

For classical pianists, I think that acoustic pianos will remain. I do believe the days of having an upright in every household are gone, however. I will recommend an acoustic (in good condition) any day to a student except if size or sound bleeding is a consideration.

As for the tuning thing, if I had to I could certainly learn how to do it myself. I have watched my piano tuner enough that I know I could get a few books or take a class and do it.

Something I want to point out, however, is that when listening to all the great piano software out there, the downfall is that everything is perfectly in tune, and so it was recommended to me by someone (ChrisA I believe) that you want to detune a couple of the keys to make it sound more realistic. I think that when you are listening to any live instrument in a concert, the slight out of tuneness is what makes it alive and exciting. I'm not talking about someone constantly singing flat, but simply that there is something organic and alive about this aspect that is desirable. A digital that doesn't have a few notes detuned sound very sterile, IMO.
_________________________
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#1335307 - 12/28/09 09:24 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Masume]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10766
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Masume
Well, I know and understand the advantages of digital pianos and I wouldn't want to miss those advantages, but under no circumstances can they truly replace a true, acoustic piano, not yet anyway and I believe not in a long time. I have tested AvantGrand and V-Piano, and they are absolutely awesome and on a recording it would be hard to distiguish acoustic from digital and advancing technology might make the feel and sound of digitals even better, but what makes a real difference is the sound production itself. Even in the great AvantGrand you can obviously hear speakers playing piano sound. It's kind of like hearing a recording of incredibly great quality, but still a recording and not a live performance. You can hear the difference between real strings and fake speakers.
And on a less rational side, it's just more fun knowing you play a REAL instrument, not a great simulation =D
I'm not an enemy of digital pianos, I nearly bought a v-piano myself, and I'm sure digital pianos will sell better than acoustic ones, but the idea of the acoustics dying out altogether is preposterous.

Hehe, we were typing at the same time! I agree with you wholeheartedly. There is something exciting about playing my acoustic pianos vs. the digital, and I love my Roland fp-7. I was playing my parent's Clav (not sure the model, but whatever the base model is), and I was not impressed with the sound quality at all, although it felt OK to play. But it was really the fact that you don't feel like you are making the sound yourself, but just a spectator. Similar to those video games where you "play" and instrument by pressing the Y button over and over again, though certainly the same skills to play well on an acoustic are required to play well on a DP. Simply the disconnect from the physical manipulation to the acoustic sound is the troubles me. It's like banging a pot with a spoon but the sound coming from somewhere other than where the spoon hits the pot.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1335309 - 12/28/09 09:25 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Masume]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Selling a second hand acoustic, unless it is a big name instrument, like Yamaha, Bechstein, Steinway, or Bosendorfer to name some, you are going to have a tough time getting a decent price.

Those with Young Chang, Samick or Pearl River are in a very tough situation.

Even worse, is trying to sell an upright.

There are plenty of stories to back this up in the other sections of this forum.

Generally, people buy an acoustic grand for life, but situations change...divorces, deaths, and the need for different living conditions often force the sale of these instruments, and, generally, the outcome is not good, unless the instrument has a valued name...and even then, there are sometimes big losses.

Yes, there will be acoustic grands used in concert halls, and maybe the odd jazz club, and of course, some homes, but the buying direction is definitely away from acoustic and towards the convenience of the digital.

The original poster mentioned almost 100% would be digital in 10 years...almost is not all...but we're getting closer every year.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1335317 - 12/28/09 09:40 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: snazzyplayer]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10766
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I am not disagreeing with this, except to say that for classical piano aficionados, whether professionals or amateurs, there will be a preference because of the disparity in the way the sound is produced. There is also a difference in feel, but I think that technology will soon be able to overcome that issue if they haven't already (I haven't played a V-piano or Avant). Even a good upright piano I think is better than a good digital in this area.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1335323 - 12/28/09 09:55 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


I am not disagreeing with this, except to say that for classical piano aficionados, whether professionals or amateurs, there will be a preference because of the disparity in the way the sound is produced. There is also a difference in feel, but I think that technology will soon be able to overcome that issue if they haven't already (I haven't played a V-piano or Avant). Even a good upright piano I think is better than a good digital in this area.


I agree wholeheartedly about the classical bunch..."There must be a grand piano, Cedric!"

But, although an upright might feel better than most digitals (except the Avant Grand...the V-Piano feels exactly like any other high-end Roland digital), it is still subject to tuning discrepancies. I have no quarrel with the "sound" and "feel" of an acoustic piano, grand or ungrand...but, I do dislike their propensity to drift out of tune, thus requiring maintenance.

Concert halls have their pianos tuned before an important performance...I feel every performance by even the most beginning beginner is important and a piano in proper tune encourages one to play better.

An out of tune piano encourages nothing.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1335329 - 12/28/09 10:04 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: jameskey]
kimba Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 5
Reminds me of my old Andrew Kohlar upright I tried to sell. Eventually, I eneded up pushing it down the street and giving it to some kids who wanted to learn piano. I am very happy with my Triton Extreme. Sounds great and I can take it to gigs with me. No way will I ever own a piano. Don't get me wrong, I love the instrument and grew up with one. However, today's technology just offers way too many options and convience.

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#1335347 - 12/28/09 10:26 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: kimba]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1432
Loc: Australia
Whilst I hope that there will always be people who can afford to own and maintain a quality acoustic instrument ( sales of Rolls Royce motor cars have steadily increased over the past five years, when those of mass market producers have slumped),

I am beginning to agree with Dewster, in that DP manufacturers have sat on their hands for far too long, content to supply an eager mass market with inferior products, in the interests of 'shifting boxes'.

If a relatively small outfit, such a Moddart, can bring us an amazing, (if not yet, totally convincing) product, just imagine what the 'Big 4' could develop, with their huge R&D budgets, and technical resources!
_________________________
Rob

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#1335357 - 12/28/09 10:31 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: R0B]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
Pianoteq...does it play with that connectedness that elevates it to an actual instrument? No. In my opinion it does not. No tactile feedback whatsoever.

The ideal would be a combination of sampling and modeling.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1335369 - 12/28/09 10:41 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

Something I want to point out, however, is that when listening to all the great piano software out there, the downfall is that everything is perfectly in tune, and so it was recommended to me by someone (ChrisA I believe) that you want to detune a couple of the keys to make it sound more realistic.


Acoustic pianos go out of tune the way they want to, not the way you want them to. So this sword cuts both ways.

If you like a particular couple of notes out of tune a particular amount, you can program any digital to do so. Or, with the press of a button you can play any digital in any historical temperament, or any weird modern tuning you can come up with.

Play a simple Bach piece in three different temperaments, back to back, so you can compare. This is easy on a digital. Impossible, on an acoustic (unless you're rich enough to buy three of them!)

I practise on a digital, have my lesson on a digital, and get on a decent acoustic once a week at church. I like having the opportunity to play both. Even at my level there are some things I like better about the acoustic. But also there are some mechanical defects I notice, even with our Steinway grand. The touch is not predictably even across the keyboard, dampers don't all respond the same, etc. As we advance and become more discriminating we find more things to dislike about the digital, but if we are honest we could say the same of the acoustic.

I think that at some level of market share, there are no longer enough of us with experience on both. At that point the digital wins by default, regardless of actual merit. We may be nearing that now. And as skilled tuner-technicians become scarce, the acoustics that survive sound worse.

One thing I wish digitals would do less well is emulate the bass notes. That growly non-pitch that makes the bottom few notes not useful on an acoustic is replicated on a digital. Why not extend the clean bass tone from a few notes higher right down the bottom?
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#1335392 - 12/28/09 11:13 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: TimR]
wildpaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Richmond, VA
The condition and care of an acoustic piano can greatly affect how it plays, feels, and sounds. Many "piano technicians" are nothing more than piano tuners, they don't have a clue about regulating the action or voicing the piano to make it play and sound it's best. An acoustic piano that is constantly going out of tune has issues that need to be fixed, once strings are "broken in" (i.e. most of the stretching has been finished), a good acoustic piano should stay in tune provided you are maintaining constant temperature and humidity levels. DPs are getting better all the time, one of these days they will sound and play well enough that you won't miss an acoustic piano. Are acoustic piano sales going down? I don't think anyone can ignore the obvious answer that they are rapidly falling, many people are opting for DPs and software pianos. I think there will always be some acoustic pianos around, but I think they are rapidly disappearing from most people's options.
Clyde
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#1335394 - 12/28/09 11:14 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: snazzyplayer]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
I think most of us here can remember a day before digital pianos. Our perception of "digital vs. acoustic" is based on the fact that we've known a world before digital pianos and have seen the creeping effect of digital pianos as they've entered the marketplace.

What I think will be interesting to watch is what happens as the next generation starts making their decisions. I know that, in my son's case, he sees my keyboard and acoustic piano as two different instruments and can already see the advantages and disadvantages of each. Just the other day he was complaining to me about a buzz that was coming from one of the long hinges on my K-3. Assuming that he never pursues the piano as a professional endeavor and becomes only a casual player, it will be interesting to see if he ever sees the "value" of having a real acoustic piano in his home. Already in his piano lessons at school they've started to incorporate the use of digital pianos both in practice and performance, including the use of other voices to accompany their playing.

Considering he's only 10 now, by the time he has his first job and the expendable income to purchase an instrument, I can only imagine what a digital piano is going to sound like.
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#1335401 - 12/28/09 11:19 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
ChrisA Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: 4evr88keys

With Moore's Law in effect and computing power doubling every 18 months, it is only a matter of time that a small processing circuit the size of a small notebook computer would have enough processing power to virtually recreate the experience of of an acoustic piano or at least the difference between a virtual piano and a real piano would no longer be enough to matter to any amateur. It is only a matter of time.


We are already there. Software running on a notebook can recreate a piano. The weak link is the speakers and audio system. Good speakers and good amplifiers have always been expensive and remain so. The other expensive part of a digital piano is the key action. Hammer action keys have a certain minimum number of parts and must be very well built.

If you believe in Moore's law then the cost of the digital portion of the electronics will soon approach zero but the minimum cost of a DP is defined by parts not subject to this law, like the key action, the audio system, the case and the engineering cost of the samples or the model inside. 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.

I think in the future we will see a wider gap between the cost of the best DPs and the low end. If you can live with cheap speakers and low cost key actions the there is noting to prevent someone from selling $100 DP's but if you demand a certain level of audio quality and power then I expect DP's to cost in the "few thousands" for quite some time.

I think over time smaller size upright pianos will become more and more rare. But 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. So these buyers are not so senitive to price. But there are few of them.


Edited by ChrisA (12/28/09 12:55 PM)

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#1335450 - 12/28/09 12:34 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: jameskey]
turandot Offline
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Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Good thread, with the exception of Snazzy’s death wish for acoustic pianos and incessant pimping of the AG laugh .

Studio production costs, concert venue maintenance costs, and rising costs of concert quality acoustic instruments and their maintenance have all been mentioned, and all are extremely pertinent. An instrument’s eccentricity, production of extraneous noise, predilection for being slightly out of tune – all that cuts both ways, as a recent poster pointed out. Tuning your home digital so that a couple of notes are pleasantly (to you) out of tune may please a few casual players conditioned to acoustic eccentricity, but, try that in an ensemble setting and see how popular you are. On top of everything else, music is an advertising and sales tool. More money is expended on finding the right mass-appeal jingle for a big brand-name product than is expended on a year’s concert series at most classical venues.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.
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#1335453 - 12/28/09 12:39 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Glenn NK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 457
Loc: Victoria BC
Originally Posted By: 4evr88keys
The acoustic piano industry will basically parallel the photographic industry.

<snip>

With Moore's Law in effect and computing power doubling every 18 months, it is only a matter of time that a small processing circuit the size of a small notebook computer would have enough processing power to virtually recreate the experience of of an acoustic piano or at least the difference between a virtual piano and a real piano would no longer be enough to matter to any amateur. It is only a matter of time.



Maybe:

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."

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/

Glenn

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#1335457 - 12/28/09 12:43 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: TimR]
Morodiene Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

Something I want to point out, however, is that when listening to all the great piano software out there, the downfall is that everything is perfectly in tune, and so it was recommended to me by someone (ChrisA I believe) that you want to detune a couple of the keys to make it sound more realistic.


Acoustic pianos go out of tune the way they want to, not the way you want them to. So this sword cuts both ways.

If you like a particular couple of notes out of tune a particular amount, you can program any digital to do so. Or, with the press of a button you can play any digital in any historical temperament, or any weird modern tuning you can come up with.

Play a simple Bach piece in three different temperaments, back to back, so you can compare. This is easy on a digital. Impossible, on an acoustic (unless you're rich enough to buy three of them!)

I practise on a digital, have my lesson on a digital, and get on a decent acoustic once a week at church. I like having the opportunity to play both. Even at my level there are some things I like better about the acoustic. But also there are some mechanical defects I notice, even with our Steinway grand. The touch is not predictably even across the keyboard, dampers don't all respond the same, etc. As we advance and become more discriminating we find more things to dislike about the digital, but if we are honest we could say the same of the acoustic.

I think that at some level of market share, there are no longer enough of us with experience on both. At that point the digital wins by default, regardless of actual merit. We may be nearing that now. And as skilled tuner-technicians become scarce, the acoustics that survive sound worse.

One thing I wish digitals would do less well is emulate the bass notes. That growly non-pitch that makes the bottom few notes not useful on an acoustic is replicated on a digital. Why not extend the clean bass tone from a few notes higher right down the bottom?

Perhaps you missed my point, that one of the main complaints is a piano going out of tune, where this is something that people try to duplicate in DPs post-production or with different tuning methods in piano software. Either this slight "being out of tuneness" is desirable or it is not. Either it detracts from the acoustic piano sound or it adds to it.

My pianos generally keep their tune quite well as long as the temperature and humidity remains the same. There aren't usually one or two notes that go out of tune, as well, but the notes in the extreme ranges, so the tuning is usually in clusters of notes. This is quite different from one note standing out.

Also, if a piano is not regulated, then the feel and sound of one note will be off. This is a maintenance thing that you should ask your piano tech about.
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#1335458 - 12/28/09 12:43 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: turandot]
TimR Online   content
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: turandot

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 ihas created to the listening public.


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.
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#1335478 - 12/28/09 01:22 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: turandot]
Morodiene Online   content
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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: 4271
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
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
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
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Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3670
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
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
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
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Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 Online   content
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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
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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 Online   content
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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
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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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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
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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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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 Online   content
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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 Online   content
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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
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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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#1336720 - 12/30/09 12:18 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: ChrisA]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: ChrisA
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.

It morphed from popular music of the day to the inflexibly crusty thing it is today. Don't get me wrong, I agree that it makes an excellent basis for honing one's technical skills, and enjoy listening to much of it - but only in spite of the excessive elitist baggage that its modern purveyors have adorned it with. And please don't tell me other musical genres are as bad or worse in that regard, I ain't buying it.

I just think that the ultimate goal of piano instruction shouldn't be to produce concert pianists. Just like the ultimate goal of a college education shouldn't be to produce college professors. But both unfortunately are too often the case.
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#1336819 - 12/30/09 05:30 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
Relica Offline
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Hopefully not! However, I have seen and heard many performers playing with the same feeling and expression on a digital piano as they would on a acoustic.

It's a practical thing also. Here in the UK they build new houses the same size as rabbit hutches. You can hardly get a dining table in some of the living rooms never mind an acoustic piano. So the smaller electronic is a better alternative for most!


Edited by Relica (12/30/09 05:33 AM)

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#1336903 - 12/30/09 09:35 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
Morodiene Online   content
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Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
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.

It morphed from popular music of the day to the inflexibly crusty thing it is today. Don't get me wrong, I agree that it makes an excellent basis for honing one's technical skills, and enjoy listening to much of it - but only in spite of the excessive elitist baggage that its modern purveyors have adorned it with. And please don't tell me other musical genres are as bad or worse in that regard, I ain't buying it.

I just think that the ultimate goal of piano instruction shouldn't be to produce concert pianists. Just like the ultimate goal of a college education shouldn't be to produce college professors. But both unfortunately are too often the case.

I would say that most of the teachers in my local MTNA chapter do not teach only for those students who will go on to be concert pianists. Sure, when they get to college, most of the performance majors there are looking to be concert pianists, and so those college teachers do mainly take those students. However, your average private instructor is most likely going to take anyone who is willing to pay on time and show up. Most of us see ourselves as developing life skills in students as well as an appreciation for music in general. There are tomorrow's music consumers, not necessarily tomorrow's performers. If you ever go on the Teacher's Forum on this site, you'll see that is the case for the majority of the teachers who post there as well.

And while *you* may not have experienced strictness and rigidity in other genres of music, I have. Any time you make a blanket statement about any group of people, chances are you will be proven wrong by the exceptions there. In my experience, like I stated above, most of the teachers I know are not looking to only produce concert pianists, but once a student goes to college to major in piano performance, shouldn't they be taught how to stand up to the competition that's out there? This can be done in such a way as to still cultivate creativity, which I have seen. I've also seen the other side of the coin, so I'm not denying it exists. Just don't lump every educator in with them, and don't assume all classical/traditional pianists are like this as well.

It sounds as though you've had a bad experience in your life with piano teachers, and I'm very sorry for this (even though I had nothing to do with it). Teachers who are abusive are nothing more than charlatans and give the rest of us who really care about our students and try to cultivate their musical expressiveness a bad name.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1337022 - 12/30/09 12:17 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: 4evr88keys

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.


Yeah, I think you're right, but you've underestimated the economics of it.

I would bet the percentage of music that we pay to hear that comes from speakers is above 99%. Probabably above 99.9%.

Sure there are live acoustic classical concerts, but the number of people willing to pay to hear them is so small that every symphony orchestra in the world is near bankruptcy.

(Most people buy the CD of the symphony anyway, and play it through .......guess what........speakers!)

Every live music event I've been to in the last several years, whether background music, dance music, etc., has been through speakers. To make any money you have to play to a big crowd, and that requires amplification. All of those bands had keyboards, none of which were acoustic.

There are some exceptions - wind bands don't usually need to be miked. I've played in a couple concerts and heard several over the past year. When's the last time you paid to hear one? Never? (Except for me, how many hear even like that music, Sousa Marches and Holst Military Suites, etc.?)
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1337029 - 12/30/09 12:21 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene



And while *you* may not have experienced strictness and rigidity in other genres of music, I have.


Show up for an orchestra gig with a .500 bore trombone, or a big band gig with a .547, and see what happens.

They're visually identical. They're probably sonically identical to the vast majority of people.

But you'll never get that call again!
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1337062 - 12/30/09 12:53 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Any time you make a blanket statement about any group of people, chances are you will be proven wrong by the exceptions there.

Yes, I realize I was using the biggest blanket and the broadest brush I could put my hands on there.

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
In my experience, like I stated above, most of the teachers I know are not looking to only produce concert pianists, but once a student goes to college to major in piano performance, shouldn't they be taught how to stand up to the competition that's out there?

The competition itself is what I find crazy. Whether or not you should be preparing them for a crazy field is a separate question. I would say no, as it tends to validate and thus perpetuate the unfortunate status quo.

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It sounds as though you've had a bad experience in your life with piano teachers, and I'm very sorry for this (even though I had nothing to do with it). Teachers who are abusive are nothing more than charlatans and give the rest of us who really care about our students and try to cultivate their musical expressiveness a bad name.

I think punishment and reward via competition and ranking are inherently wrong. Not just in music (I disagree with grading in general) but I would argue especially in music.

Extrinsic goals take the focus off of the central activity of learning to play a musical instrument, and place the focus on meaningless things such as grades and rank. They corrupt the pedagogical process.

If you've never read "Punished by Rewards" by Alfie Kohn, I highly recommend it. Just don't read it if you are currently in school (like I did), as your hair is likely to catch fire and your head explode:

Punished by Rewards
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1337274 - 12/30/09 05:50 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3670
Loc: North Carolina
If I may jump on the generalization bandwagon ... Perhaps those who most dislike competition are those least able to compete?

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#1337394 - 12/30/09 08:33 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: MacMacMac]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10766
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I actually read that book many years ago in college. Some people are motivated by extrinsic rewards, some are motivated by guilt, and some are motivated by the love of something. And I'm sure there are those who have a combination of these things that drive them to do what they do (as well as many other factors). Those that thrive on rewards do well in systems such as grades, competitions where a winner is chosen, job interviews in which only one applicant will be hired, etc. Those that do not thrive in such situations either have to adapt and learn how to thrive, or be complacent with not thriving. Like it or not, it is not just in schools and in music competitions that these things exist. They are a part of humanity in its many cultures. Some competitions I do not want my students to participate in, even though I know they are good enough, simply because I know that it would be a bad experience for them, knowing the judges and the way those particular people judge. However, is it a bad thing to have them perform at all? What about in Solo/Ensemble Contests and other "competitions" where anyone can advance to the next level if they do well enough for themselves?

I happen to believe the public performance can teach students a lot about test taking, public speaking and stage presence, discipline in seeing something to its fruition, planning well for an event, and handling stressful situations with grace. I use those competitions that are not attempts at giving the parents another opportunity to live vicariously through their children (and boast to their friends), or ones that simply pick one who is deemed better than the rest by one person's or a small panel of opinions, which is highly subjective anyways. However, these are things that happen in life. I can't change the culture, but I can help students approach such things in a positive light, and if they somehow don't do as well as they'd like, I help them grow from that as well. You won't always get the job you want, or the person to marry, or be everyone's friend and please everybody, and so you can either avoid all such situations or end up frustrated. Best to learn from experiences both positive and negative so that when another similar situation arises, you are better equipped to handle it.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1337415 - 12/30/09 09:05 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: MacMacMac]
wildpaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Richmond, VA
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
If I may jump on the generalization bandwagon ... Perhaps those who most dislike competition are those least able to compete?


Music is like any other field......those who can't become critics. Many music critics are simply failed musicians. In my own area of work, failed tradesmen in the building trades often become building inspectors where they can critique your work.
Clyde
_________________________
DX7IIFD, SY77, SY99, Hammond C3, Steinway L, CP300, etc.

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#1337501 - 12/30/09 10:57 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: wildpaws]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: wildpaws
[quote=MacMacMac]Music is like any other field......those who can't become critics.

For a second there I thought you were going to lob the "those who can't, teach" grenade into the discussion.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1337509 - 12/30/09 11:06 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10766
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: wildpaws
[quote=MacMacMac]Music is like any other field......those who can't become critics.

For a second there I thought you were going to lob the "those who can't, teach" grenade into the discussion.

Haha, me too! Let's not go there...this is heated enough laugh
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1338200 - 12/31/09 10:41 PM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Morodiene]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
I don't think Acoustics's will totally disappear however they will be confined more and more to increasingly smaller segments of the market until they become essentially irrelevant except to those using them for sampling or to a single digit percentage of players. Myself I haven't played a Acoustic in a professional capacity even in studio situations for over a year and even then is was rare to bother with the hassle of getting one in perfect tune and mikeing it up when we had excellent DP's and VST's. I can't speak for live classical or orchestral environments but with modern DAW software and effects banks we have absolutely no need for a Acoustic piano in the recording studio as we can replicate any Acoustic in a recording so that it is impossible to tell for even a expert ear. Live might be different but in rock/pop situations with what we can do these days even parts with significant acoustic piano parts its virtually impossible for anyone but a professional or a very well trained ear to know that in fact a DP or VST was being used.

All that said when I play at home alone for relaxation I most often play my C7 Acoustic .... make of that what you will.
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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#1338268 - 01/01/10 02:14 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: Dr Popper]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Dr Popper
I can't speak for live classical or orchestral environments but with modern DAW software and effects banks we have absolutely no need for a Acoustic piano in the recording studio as we can replicate any Acoustic in a recording so that it is impossible to tell for even a expert ear. Live might be different but in rock/pop situations with what we can do these days even parts with significant acoustic piano parts its virtually impossible for anyone but a professional or a very well trained ear to know that in fact a DP or VST was being used.

Yea, we pretty much all know PC solutions have rocked for years now. I'm in the line wondering why DPs suck so hard in comparison. 8 GB or so and a decent processor and it's all over, what's so hard about that? I mean, why are we all waiting with bated breath for the next Yamaha non-explanation of their latest crap when, given the industry's track record, it can't possibly even live up to that minimal standard? Do I sound bitter?
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1338305 - 01/01/10 06:15 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: dewster]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1706
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Originally Posted By: dewster

Yea, we pretty much all know PC solutions have rocked for years now. I'm in the line wondering why DPs suck so hard in comparison. 8 GB or so and a decent processor and it's all over, what's so hard about that? I mean, why are we all waiting with bated breath for the next Yamaha non-explanation of their latest crap when, given the industry's track record, it can't possibly even live up to that minimal standard? Do I sound bitter?


They don't in a recording or live situation for rock/pop we can easily use a professional stage piano and if you listened you simply would not be able to tell the difference. Any of the currently available upper end stage pianos are quite capable of doing this with their standard onboard sounds and the correct effects processing and mixing. I'm not about to make the same claims for classical or orchestral arrangements but its getting very close. If you take the Roland RD700GX's Steinway or the Yamaha S90XS's S6 samples for example in the full live pop/rock mix nobody ..and I mean nobody could ever tell they were DP's. I loath to risk using VST's live because of the possible (and I've seen it happen many times) latency issues pathetically with big acoustic piano samples playing.
The new crop of professional DP's ( V-Piano, CP-1) will vastly improve of even today's current high standards. The question is can a DP be perfected that can stand alone as a Acoustic in a recital situation ? I don't think DP's are quite there yet but they are close and the new CP-1 might be the missing link as I'm hearing very good things.
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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#1338320 - 01/01/10 07:14 AM Re: Is the Acoustic Piano market on the way out? [Re: sullivang]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
For me, the acoustic piano has long
been gone from my life. When
I restarted as an adult in the
early 1980's, after 20 yrs. away
from playing, the first piano
I bought was a quality acoustic
upright (a similar model today
would be in the ~$20,000 price
range). I put that upright
into storage soon after I
got it--completely disillusioned
that it didn't help my playing
one bit--where it has remained
till this day.

Then in 1989 I tried my first
digital piano and there has
been no looking back. It
was a revelation the first
time I tried a digital. I
had grown up with classical
lessons and acoustic pianos
only, and I had always been
troubled by their need for
tuning and frequent repairs
and their excessive volume.
When I tried my first digital,
I knew right then that digitals
were the answer to all my problems
at the piano and that there
was no longer any need for
acoustic pianos--and this was
way back in 1989. Here was
an electrical instrument that
played just like an acoustic
piano for all practical purposes,
and it had volume control and
needed no maintenance and I
could carry it myself. Had
I died and gone to piano heaven?

Since getting my first digital
in 1989, I've owned four, and
I've gone to less and less
expensive digitals over the yrs.
rather than upgrading, as many
do. I now play a $600 budget
digital with a non-graded
action and a non-half-pedal,
and it serves fine for any
playing, from jazz improv to
the most advanced classical works.
I believe a big-time classical
concert could be played
today using something like a
V Piano or CLP 380, with maybe
some auxilliary amplification,
but nothing further. You
wouldn't miss much.

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#1338384 - 01/01/10 10:31 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
[quote=MacMacMac]Music is like any other field......those who can't become critics.

For a second there I thought you were going to lob the "those who can't, teach" grenade into the discussion.


Not if I value my life, my piano teaching wife would have strangled me for such a comment. Add the fact that most piano teachers can play, some play well, some not so well, but they play none the less.
Clyde
_________________________
DX7IIFD, SY77, SY99, Hammond C3, Steinway L, CP300, etc.

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