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#1372909 - 02/13/10 07:08 PM Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it?
Nikorasu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/10
Posts: 66
Hey there again!

I'm not really into videogames (I don't play any, no time for them) but I've played many when I was younger, and even though most of the videogame industry is made of low-quality products, there are some masterpieces in which music is as important as it would be for a good film. I enjoy that kind of game music and while, of course, I didn't get into piano because of it (what brought me in is classical and jazz) I enjoy playing it too (the kind that was specifically composed for piano anyway).

The thing is, I've met many people that would disregard videogame music right off the bat because well, it was composed for a videogame, which seems to make it subculture instantly.

Do you think that prejudice exists? Or is it just me? It seems like if these people I've met had been shown the very same music without relating it to a videogame, their reactions would've been very different. Still, since I'm very new to the world of piano, I can't really tell if the pieces I enjoy to are actually bad quality or have the depth of a good classical piece, but for me, they sound just as beautiful.

I'm linking three of my favourite videogame piano pieces for you to see what kind of music I'm talking about. They're all from the Final Fantasy franchise, which for those of you that haven't grown with it like me, is known to have great soundtracks.

I'm looking forward to your answers and your point of view on videogame music, specially if you're older than 20-30 or you haven't really been into videogames ever =).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4FQaDQbwoE (I want to play this piece some day, veeery badly)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11IYF0qMyaY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-neZL4_O6sQ


Edited by Nikorasu (02/13/10 07:13 PM)

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#1372936 - 02/13/10 07:40 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Nikorasu]
Up Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway
I know exactly what you mean. I remember when I linked the symphony of One Winged Angel to a typical classical-music girl. When she had heard it she said "It was actually nice". Why did she say actually? Because she expected it to be some sort of crap. Thats why I always play Those Who Fight _before_ I tell who composed it, and why it's composed :p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdZeK64iERI

Look at 15:20... I feel him!

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#1373037 - 02/13/10 09:51 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Up]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I can't say that I've heard video-game music that appeals to me on the same level as a great "classical" work, but (most of the time) I try not to dismiss things as inferior just because I don't like them. Does that prejudice exist, though? Sure.

The real reason I wanted to reply, though, was to post this:


smile

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#1373045 - 02/13/10 09:59 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: buck2202]
AnotherSchmoe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Arkansas
There's a lot of video game music that I love. Most of it is by Nobuo Uematsu (of Final Fantasy / Chrono Trigger fame) or Yasunori Mitsuda (of Chrono Trigger / Chrono Cross fame).

I've played the Piano Collections arrangement of Eyes On Me from Final Fantasy VIII for people who were just astonished to learn it was from a *gasp* video game (after they asked me what it was). Same goes for a lot of the other music from those games, a lot of it is VERY beautiful, try Tifa's Theme (Piano Collections arrangement), Aerith's Theme (PC arrangement again), To Zanarkand etc. (plus far too many others to list here) and much of it (especially battle themes) is not to be scoffed at on a technical level. The amazing thing is that all of the music from the Final Fantasy games (up until the latest entry in the series, I believe) was composed entirely by one man, talk about having a lot of amazing compositions under your belt. IMHO, This guy doesn't get near the credit or recognition that he deserves for his wonderful work. As I age and slowly forget the games, the music always stays with me.

They especially hold extra sentimental value to me as I played a lot of these games when I was younger and the music brings me back to them and to the wonderful stories and to a simpler time in life. So there's that extra value for me.

That said, a lot of video games do not have memorable music OR stories, but some definitely DO. And yes, I have found that it's better to have someone listen to it BEFORE you tell them it's from a video game, just so that there are no preconceptions, I've gotten quite a few surprised reactions out of people who weren't familiar with the source material and who normally only correlate video games to the likes of Doom and Grand Theft Auto when the subject is brought up.

To give you a shorter answer to your original question:
Yes, I believe there is definitely some prejudice. Not everyone is prejudiced certainly, but some people are. The same can be said for anything though.
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#1373053 - 02/13/10 10:09 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: AnotherSchmoe]
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I like some video game and movie music. Just not on the same level as some of the greatest classical pieces, because I don't feel they are on the same level of sophistication and achievement. For example, "To Zanarkand" is a nice piece, but it's also fairly simple/derivative. I think it's okay to enjoy something while also acknowledging that it may not be as good as something else.


Edited by Theowne (02/13/10 10:54 PM)
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音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#1373067 - 02/13/10 10:31 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Theowne]
FunkyLlama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 359
Yes, and for the most part it's justified.

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#1373210 - 02/14/10 12:41 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: FunkyLlama]
Googlism Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 1072
Loc: Toronto
I will admit that I'm prejudice against video game music as well, even though there are some pieces which I enjoy immensely.

I guess the reason why I'm many aren't high on video game music is because there is a perception that video game music was not composed to be pleasing to the ear, but pleasing and complimentary to a player in a video game. Maybe it's not beautiful or complex enough to be considered music that is worth learning and performing. Maybe it's not pleasing when not synced with the gameplay.

But that mentality should be long gone. There are many games out there which are heralded as greatly with their music as the gameplay. Games like Starcraft, Modern Warfare 2, Bioshock - great music that compliments the gameplay, but good enough to be listened by itself.

And my personal reason? I don't find any game music which is suitable to be played on the piano and performed to an audience with no knowledge of it being game music. Maybe it's too abstract. That, and the 'embarrassment' I would feel that I was playing music from an unpopular video game.

Yeah, I'm silly at times.
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#1373331 - 02/14/10 07:00 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Googlism]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
I put it in the same category as new age. Nice ear candy.

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#1373391 - 02/14/10 09:50 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Phlebas]
babama Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/08
Posts: 800
Loc: Netherlands
Don't know, don't care.
I enjoy certain video game music for what it is. No reason to compare to anything.

My favorite video game soundtrack: Super Castlevania IV (Super Nintendo, 1991)
Really cool and moody music made with very limited means.

Beginning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upN1Ab57cKQ&fmt=18
Chandeliers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsgffC9KfSY&fmt=18
Ending: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ojs0qMrfWWc&fmt=18

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#1373468 - 02/14/10 11:24 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: babama]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3301
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
While much of the piano music for video games leaves much to be desired ( though no doubt some is excellent), there is some great music being written for video games. The video game market is massive and attracts some of today's most talented composers the way the film industry back in the 1930s and 40s used to.

It is usually quite derivative the way John William's music is, but it can be quite thrilling. You will hear the influence of everything from Beethoven to Stravinsky, Mahler, Brukner, R Strauss etc.

I also think that video game music is the best and most relevant bridge between classical music and kids. Give these a listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da9rQCcXHj8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbTon3KGgGU&feature=channel


Edited by Keith D Kerman (02/14/10 11:31 AM)
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keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#1373477 - 02/14/10 11:41 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Keith D Kerman]
babama Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/08
Posts: 800
Loc: Netherlands


Edited by babama (02/14/10 11:57 AM)

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#1373492 - 02/14/10 11:56 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: babama]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17822
Loc: Victoria, BC
I think that if video-game music is good music it will eventually be realized as such; it just may take some time.

Regards,
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BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#1373495 - 02/14/10 11:59 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Masume Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Germany
I myself love Videogame music very much, at least half of what I play on the piano is videogame music, and there is no doubt a prejudice against it.

One Year ago in school in 13th grade a classmate and I held a report on videogame music to show our class and of course our teacher what videogame music is. That was after the grades were done, so we practicly did it "for free", for the good cause and not to get good grades. We talked about the history, the limitations it had to deal with in the past and its role it plays today. We showed extracts of Max Payne, Final Fantasy, Silent Hill, Bioshock and a few more. In the end our teacher had to admit he was surprised how big videogame music is with concerts around the world and many soundtracks sold.

During our graduation ceremony later that year every student had to choose a part of a song that would be played while said student comes up to the stage and recieves his certificate. I chose the beginning of Cohens Masterpiece from Bioshock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlu2z2gkhhI
There were a number of teachers who afterwards came to talk to be about it. They thought the piece was interesting and asked what it was, thinking it was classical music. I think they could hardly grasp the idea that it was composed for a mere videogame when I told them.

That happens a lot actually when I show someone some really good videogame music: "That's from a videogame? That's surprisingly good!"

Sure, Bioshocks great soundtrack is somewhat of an exception in videogame music, but that's the nice thing about videogame music, there are very many exceptions, games with exceptionally good music. Take Akira Yamaokas work on Silent Hill or Koh Ohtanis Shadow of the Colossus soundtrack for example, there are many games that are unique in its music.

So yeah, there is prejudice against videogame music, so try and do something about it! Educate your peers! =)

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#1373505 - 02/14/10 12:09 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: BruceD]
babama Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/08
Posts: 800
Loc: Netherlands
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I think that if video-game music is good music it will eventually be realized as such; it just may take some time.

Regards,


I have no idea what you mean by that, but video game music doesn't have to become like classical music and meet the standards of the great classical composers.
It is video game music. Take it for what it is. Just like film music.

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#1374028 - 02/14/10 09:06 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Masume]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7753
Originally Posted By: Masume
I myself love Videogame music very much, at least half of what I play on the piano is videogame music, and there is no doubt a prejudice against it.



At least in my case, not being interested in it doesn't equate to prejudice. It just means I am not interested in it.

There is a lot of music that I like that might not interest you, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it is because you are prejudiced against it.

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#1374133 - 02/14/10 11:25 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: babama]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17822
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: babama
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I think that if video-game music is good music it will eventually be realized as such; it just may take some time.

Regards,


I have no idea what you mean by that, but video game music doesn't have to become like classical music and meet the standards of the great classical composers.
It is video game music. Take it for what it is. Just like film music.


What I mean by that is that if the music is good, it will eventually take on a life independent of the video game for which it was initially composed; it will appear on programs of music performed independently of the games themselves. It may, for example, be used as music for a dance or some other performance piece.

"Just like film music." Exactly! Good film music is often performed as orchestral music in concerts and on recordings, independent of the original accompaniment to a film. Prokofiev's "Lieutenant Kije" suite, Nino Rota's "War and Peace" are two of the more famous examples of the dozens of recordings that have been made of film music.

If some video game music is good music that the public enjoys listening to for its own sake, it should eventually find its way to recorded collections of music, recordings that the public will buy because they want to hear the music.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1374365 - 02/15/10 03:41 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: BruceD]
BarCode Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/09
Posts: 7
I've been playing for just about 2 years now and all I ever play is video game music. Yes when people ask me what type of music I play and I tell them video game, I get the eyebrow. I think that if you want to keep playing playing piano for as long as you can, you have to play what appeals to you, not what people want you to play. On a side note, I play Those Who Fight, I started Zanarkand but eventually dropped it to start learning Jenova and One Winged Angel. I actually listen to Passion at least 10 times per day, it's next on my list smile

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#1374377 - 02/15/10 04:24 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: wr]
Masume Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: wr
There is a lot of music that I like that might not interest you, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it is because you are prejudiced against it.

I didn't want to imply that everyone should listen to nothing but videogame music from now. You're right. I'm not particularly interested in jazz music for example, but I don't think its now worth taking seriously or that it is bad even. I was thinking about the people who, when told that I play a lot of videogame music, think to themselves "oh, so you dont play "real" music...". People who "give you the eyebrow" as BarCode put it so nicely. If you're not one of those people, thats great! smile

Originally Posted By: BruceD
If some video game music is good music that the public enjoys listening to for its own sake, it should eventually find its way to recorded collections of music, recordings that the public will buy because they want to hear the music.

I believe that already happens. The Single "Eyes on Me" from Final Fantasy VIII was a bestseller in Japan:
Quote:
"Eyes on Me" was the first song in video game history to win an award at the 14th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards, where it won "Song of the Year (Western Music)" in 1999.
(Source: Wikipedia: Music of Final Fantasy VIII)

@BarCode
I've played the Piano Collection Jenova aswell, but what I really enjoy is the OCRemix "Jenova for Classical Piano" by Noir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xdA5jFWEcI
Great fun to play, sound nice and even a bit technically demanding. I think the sheet music is hard to find, but I could provide it if anyone wants it.

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#1374436 - 02/15/10 07:30 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: BruceD]
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 430
Originally Posted By: BruceD
What I mean by that is that if the music is good, it will eventually take on a life independent of the video game for which it was initially composed; it will appear on programs of music performed independently of the games themselves. It may, for example, be used as music for a dance or some other performance piece.

Video music is performed independently in concerts and the concerts are hugely popular. I've been making some orchestrations for some of these concerts and the enthusiasm in the audience is always a lot greater than at any classical concert. I'll be doing some work again for a concert in Kölner Philharmonie next fall. Even though the concert is more than 6 months away and absolutely nothing is revealed yet about the program, over 90% of the tickets are already sold out.

Granted, these concerts are usually specifically game music concerts and the audience consists of mostly game music fans. I haven't heard of game music programmed in a regular concert next to classical pieces. Though that's mostly the case with film music as well, it's programmed in film music concerts. Very few film music pieces have reached the status of completely independent works that are ranked along the great classical pieces and these very few pieces have been around for quite a while already. I cannot think of any film music composed in the age of computer games that would have reached the same "classical" status as Prokofiev's movie scores.

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#1374439 - 02/15/10 07:38 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: RogerW]
zxy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 2
If there is, than Nobuo Uematsu is the one to set anyone straight on the matter. The guy is brilliant.
_________________________
http://zxyzxy.net

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#1374450 - 02/15/10 08:13 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: zxy]
Masume Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: zxy
If there is, than Nobuo Uematsu is the one to set anyone straight on the matter. The guy is brilliant.

While I can't disagree with you on Nobuo Uematsus brilliance, there are quite a few other composers equally worth mentioning, not that anyone gets the impression taht he's the exception to otherwise mediocre music. Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill), Koh Ohtani (Shadow of the Colossus), Gary Schyman (Bioshock), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Cross) to name just a few of my favourites.

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#1375390 - 02/16/10 09:45 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Masume]
oddsignals Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 51
Loc: Norway
There's also the fact that most people will have limited if any exposure to video game music. Fear of the unknown, maybe? smile

Personally I think there's a wealth of good music to be found that was created for video games, and it's not even that recent a phenomenon - I could name several great game themes from the 80s. They might be derivative by classical standards, and they're certainly repetitive (I suspect by necessity), but frankly I found many of them a lot more innovative than contemporary pop music.

Here's someone on YouTube playing a Rob Hubbard piece from 1985 [not originally for the piano]:

Original here .
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#1375416 - 02/16/10 10:25 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Masume]
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1226
Loc: Cape Cod
A number of years ago I stumbled across this Doom WAD... it's a patch that replaces all the music in the early Doom 2 video game with classical music:

http://youfailit.net/pub/idgames/music/classic2.zip

There's a listing inside the zip. Kind of inspired me to research the patching technique and author my own in an alternate genre:

http://www.rtpress.com/misc/ragtime2.zip

15+ years later I still get e-mails from folks, mostly parents that hear their kids playing it. Some express mixed feelings, being torn between disdain for the violent nature of the game but being appreciative that their kids are being introduced to music they might not otherwise be exposed to.

Howard

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#1375991 - 02/16/10 09:32 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Nikorasu]
fanatik22 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 64
In my case, the reason why I even started learning the piano were piano arrangements from videogames. I was an avid gamer and spent hours and hours on various vdieogames (seems pretty common with my generation lol) and probably the pieces that stuck to me were ones from the final fantasy series - composer Nobuo Uematsu. In my opinion purely, throughout his games his music has fit the various settings perfectly and to hear them arranged on the piano (those who fight, besaid island, attack, etc.) is pure joy which goes hand in hand with nostalgia.

A youtuber by the name of Zohar002 posted arrangements from the chrono trigger series such as corridors of time and secret of the forest and the one video that made me wanna start it all, shevat the wind is calling.

Interestingly enough, I JUST had my first lesson with a teacher and she asked me what pieces I wanted to play some day. I told her pieces from videogames and she gave me a little snicker. Didn't really mind though.

As others have said, different strokes for different folks. I'm not one to compare it to any other genre because I feel need to justify it and really in the end, it's just my cup of tea.



Edited by fanatik22 (02/16/10 09:44 PM)

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#1376291 - 02/17/10 08:42 AM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: fanatik22]
D4v3 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 501
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Here are a few of my abs fav video game musics:











This one I love to death

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Currently learning composition:

Some of my compositions

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#1378220 - 02/19/10 02:09 PM Re: Videogame piano music, is there prejudice against it? [Re: Theowne]
Up Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Theowne
For example, "To Zanarkand" is a nice piece, but it's also fairly simple/derivative. I think it's okay to enjoy something while also acknowledging that it may not be as good as something else.
It's easy yeah, but it's not the point that it's suposed to be hard. If you listen to for example Etarnal Harvest, Creature Creation, Those Who Fight and One Winged Angel, then you will hear some harder stuff than to Zanarkand. But yeah, we cant compare Those Who Fight with La Campanella for example crazy

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