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#1760 - 11/11/05 11:47 AM Piano lecture
David Ramezani Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 226
Loc: Sweden
Dear forum members!

I am going to hold a short (18 min) lecture about the history and the construction of the piano.

I know that there are tons of information that I could bring up. Do you have any suggestions of what I should include?

Would it be too difficult for the average listener to understand every part of the average grand? But perhaps that will be boring to listen to.

I think it is difficult to make this interesting for the non-pianist.

What do you think?
_________________________
Best regards,

David Ramezani

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#1761 - 11/11/05 12:23 PM Re: Piano lecture
palley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Binghamton, New York
Try to borrow an action model from a piano retailer. Don't try to explain it all but make the point that it is a complex mechanism of venerable design.

Good luck!
_________________________
Phil

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#1762 - 11/11/05 01:46 PM Re: Piano lecture
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Phil,

Good one,

DavidH

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#1763 - 11/11/05 05:06 PM Re: Piano lecture
Casalborgone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 1046
Loc: San Francisco Area
Why are you planning to give such a lecture?

The primary question a lecturer needs to ask himself when creating a talk has to do with the character of the audience. The general public? Musicians? Historians? People with knowledge of manufacturing or woodworking?

The exceedingly short time of 18 minutes really says that you will have only the briefest opportunity to touch on perhaps one aspect of piano history or construction.
_________________________
Mike
Registered Piano Technician
Member Piano Technicians Guild
Not currently working in the piano trade.

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#1764 - 11/11/05 11:56 PM Re: Piano lecture
ftp Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Philadelphia
I would talk about how the piano changed the nature of music in terms of revolutionizing or evolutionizing stringed instruments, and the possibilities it introduced. I would then get into the how the mechanics of the piano enabled this change. What did the concept of action do, demonstrate the action as Palley suggests in the context of the "instrument" of expanding the ability of the composer to speak to us, the new language it gave them and the new periods of music that evolved as a result.

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#1765 - 11/12/05 01:31 AM Re: Piano lecture
Casalborgone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 1046
Loc: San Francisco Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by fathertopianist:
I would talk about how the piano changed the nature of music in terms of revolutionizing or evolutionizing stringed instruments, and the possibilities it introduced. I would then get into the how the mechanics of the piano enabled this change. What did the concept of action do, demonstrate the action as Palley suggests in the context of the "instrument" of expanding the ability of the composer to speak to us, the new language it gave them and the new periods of music that evolved as a result. [/b]
Great ideas, but not in 18 minutes!
_________________________
Mike
Registered Piano Technician
Member Piano Technicians Guild
Not currently working in the piano trade.

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#1766 - 11/12/05 02:48 AM Re: Piano lecture
David Ramezani Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 226
Loc: Sweden
We have to give a lecture at school about something that interests us. I'm studying engineering physics, and actually there's nothing musical about that.

We do this because we have to learn to give lectures. One guy will talk about poker, another about artificial intelligence. And I would very much like to make the piano my subject.

Therefore, thank you all for all suggestions.
_________________________
Best regards,

David Ramezani

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#1767 - 11/12/05 02:58 AM Re: Piano lecture
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20746
Loc: Oakland
In an engineering class, for such a short amount of time, you might rather talk about how the piano action led to the typewriter. That would cover the engineering problem which the first piano builders had to solve, how it was similar to that faced when building the typewriter, and what the similarities and differences are.

There are actually a lot of physics and engineering problems that are related to music. The problem of fitting fifths into octaves probably led to the discovery of irrational numbers, which has engineering consequences. Piano wire may have been one of the first materials that, by virtue of its acoustic properties, was tested non-destructively. You have a lot of options.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1768 - 11/12/05 01:40 PM Re: Piano lecture
Casalborgone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 1046
Loc: San Francisco Area
I think BDB is right on target for the audience. I might be inclined to add that the Chinese discovered the math formula for calculating the frequencies of equally-tempered semitones long before Western physicists got there; a little cultural tidbit like that is good to enliven a short talk.

You could include in the discussion about typewriters and keyboards a mention of other, much more efficient, but never popular, keyboard systems.
_________________________
Mike
Registered Piano Technician
Member Piano Technicians Guild
Not currently working in the piano trade.

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#1769 - 11/12/05 01:47 PM Re: Piano lecture
David Ramezani Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 226
Loc: Sweden
The problem is that I don't know anything about those subjects. Do you have any good sources of information?
_________________________
Best regards,

David Ramezani

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#1770 - 11/12/05 03:56 PM Re: Piano lecture
Casalborgone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 1046
Loc: San Francisco Area
One source on the alternative-design Janko keyboard is Edwin Good's Giraffes, Black Dragons and Other Pianos. On Chinese technology there is the classic by Joseph Needham, Science and Civilization in China.
_________________________
Mike
Registered Piano Technician
Member Piano Technicians Guild
Not currently working in the piano trade.

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