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#1837498 - 02/02/12 10:12 PM Digital VS "real"
Rostosky Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 3339
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
After all the controversy and arguments, I came across this in "members recordings" and it nearly broke my heart....

Sometimes, just sometimes, something moves me big time.
This is one of those times,
This dude has just played mendelssohn, on his laptop keyboard..
Literally.

with programs like abelton, you can "play" the actual keyboard of your laptop as a midi controller if you dont have a keyboard.

However, this is not the easyest thing in the world to do, and most folk just use it to write a few midi notes or chords..

This takes it to a whole new level, and moves me that anyone can defeat the adversity of not having even a cheap casio with piano keys to play....

Someone give this dude your old unused keyboard....

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1836173


_________________________


Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project

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#1837504 - 02/02/12 10:20 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3765
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Rostosky,

I felt the exact same way, which is why I encouraged him to also post on the Piano Corner Member Recordings section. Which he did, and there's been a little discussion there.

-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1837519 - 02/02/12 10:39 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 360
Loc: Western NC (US)
It's really beautiful. He is very gifted to be able to do that. Not sure it needs a lot of commentary from me, it just makes me realize again,... there are wonders in the world!

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#1837524 - 02/02/12 10:42 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Rostosky Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 3339
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
Thanks Jason, I misread it as just pianists corner. Saying that, In this instance, I feel that the more folk that see this lad beat the adversity of not even having a digital piano the better.
If I had a spare keyboard that was unwanted or unused, I would be bubble wrapping it up right now.
Not a lot moves old Rossy these days, but this did.
_________________________


Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project

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#1837526 - 02/02/12 10:44 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Has the video above been edited? If it has, I refuse to to enjoy it! wink

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#1837534 - 02/02/12 11:00 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Rostosky Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 3339
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
And miss out on an excellent example of that which humbles? PPP , I am surprised.
_________________________


Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project

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#1837550 - 02/02/12 11:21 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: polyphasicpianist]
gwood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 92
Loc: plano,tx
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Has the video above been edited? If it has, I refuse to to enjoy it! wink


haha. now, that is funny.

gw

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#1837601 - 02/03/12 12:33 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Wonderful! thumb
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1837684 - 02/03/12 03:27 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I'm not buying it as a real performance. How is he doing the pedaling? How can he get any dynamics with a keyboard that is either on or off and can't sense velocity? I think it's a con.

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#1837719 - 02/03/12 05:33 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: ando]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7803
Originally Posted By: ando
I'm not buying it as a real performance. How is he doing the pedaling? How can he get any dynamics with a keyboard that is either on or off and can't sense velocity? I think it's a con.


Seems to me that the "pedaling" is just at one setting thoughout, so it's not something that needs to be dealt with, other than setting it at "on" or "off". I also don't hear any dynamics, really. So, I don't get a strong sense that it is bogus.

On the other hand, while thinking it is a cool accomplishment and nicely done (and I hope a regular keyboard arrives soon), I don't quite get why people are falling all over themselves about it in the way they are. It's just another kind of MIDI controller, really. The very fact that somebody actually went to the trouble of creating the software to do it tells you that "playing piano" using a QWERTY keyboard is perhaps not all that unusual.

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#1837723 - 02/03/12 06:05 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: wr]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: ando
I'm not buying it as a real performance. How is he doing the pedaling? How can he get any dynamics with a keyboard that is either on or off and can't sense velocity? I think it's a con.


Seems to me that the "pedaling" is just at one setting thoughout, so it's not something that needs to be dealt with, other than setting it at "on" or "off". I also don't hear any dynamics, really. So, I don't get a strong sense that it is bogus.

On the other hand, while thinking it is a cool accomplishment and nicely done (and I hope a regular keyboard arrives soon), I don't quite get why people are falling all over themselves about it in the way they are. It's just another kind of MIDI controller, really. The very fact that somebody actually went to the trouble of creating the software to do it tells you that "playing piano" using a QWERTY keyboard is perhaps not all that unusual.



You are right about it being a dynamically flat performance, but there are still some notes that stand out more than others. I aint buying it.

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#1837754 - 02/03/12 07:28 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
RedKat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 173
Loc: Belgium
No, he is not playing. Watch at 2.08. After the trill there are notes sounding but he does not even touch the keys. I don't buy it either
_________________________

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#1837935 - 02/03/12 12:29 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: RedKat]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: RedKat
No, he is not playing. Watch at 2.08. After the trill there are notes sounding but he does not even touch the keys. I don't buy it either


It looks like he is hitting them to me. I think he needs a better camera though, because the frame-rate is not particularly great. Also, it is a midi, and if his keyboard is anything like my DP, when you input midi there tends to be a slight lag while it processes the pitch and rhythm for recording (though that might be because I am inputting to my laptop via a USB) - which is why I don't even try to use the midi function on my DP anymore.

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#1837940 - 02/03/12 12:37 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17964
Loc: Victoria, BC
Until I understand how this is done and/or how it can be done, I remain skeptical.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1838053 - 02/03/12 04:10 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5248
Loc: Europe
Does a QWERTY (laptop actually) keyboard have enough keys to accomodate 88 piano keys? I mean with the shift key it seems plausible, but...

Other than that, the 'how' question seems quite easy to answer: You just make a program to response to midi notes 1 key at a time. If you remain at the same velocity layer constantly and have the pedal continuously down, it can be done it seems...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1838068 - 02/03/12 04:40 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Nikolas]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Does a QWERTY (laptop actually) keyboard have enough keys to accomodate 88 piano keys? I mean with the shift key it seems plausible, but...

Other than that, the 'how' question seems quite easy to answer: You just make a program to response to midi notes 1 key at a time. If you remain at the same velocity layer constantly and have the pedal continuously down, it can be done it seems...


If the pedal was continuously down, the sound would become unbearably mushy. The way he is touching the keyboard is also very un-piano-like. There's no way to make it sound like that the way he is doing it. Still, he's convinced a few people with it so he's had a victory of sorts... wink

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#1838096 - 02/03/12 05:36 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5924
Loc: Down Under
I'm pretty technologically challenged and have no idea to what extent this is possible or not, but I'm starting to be intrigued. Guess I'd better listen to it now (my previous post, in Members' Recordings, was a hypothetical answer to the question "why?" which stores asked - I haven't listened to the actual recording).
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1838099 - 02/03/12 05:42 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6118
Loc: St. Louis area
Not speculating as to whether or not he is actually playing it this way, but some objections are easy to overcome. For Nikolas, the piece he is playing doesn't use 88 keys; without the shift key (or alt, ctrl) you can have two octaves. For ando, since he must be using a synthesized or sampled piano, he can set the release automatically and shorten the length of decay to keep it from overlapping too much. There are a few spots where chords overlap and are dissonant. The only problem left is the melody seems to be louder than the accompaniment but you can set a filter to brighten the sound around the range of the melody.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1838103 - 02/03/12 05:50 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I think we should link to this thread in the other thread, so he can offer an explanation. (I don't think he is reading this thread.)
I have never done it, although I think what Damon said is true based on stuff I read on the subject. The video is a little bit blurred and it is difficult to discern what he is doing.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1838209 - 02/03/12 09:07 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Damon]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Damon
Not speculating as to whether or not he is actually playing it this way, but some objections are easy to overcome. For Nikolas, the piece he is playing doesn't use 88 keys; without the shift key (or alt, ctrl) you can have two octaves. For ando, since he must be using a synthesized or sampled piano, he can set the release automatically and shorten the length of decay to keep it from overlapping too much. There are a few spots where chords overlap and are dissonant. The only problem left is the melody seems to be louder than the accompaniment but you can set a filter to brighten the sound around the range of the melody.


There are obvious problems with this performance in terms of dynamics, pedalling, how long he holds down the keys. It's not totally authentic. Also, people who own a computer with a sampled piano and know how to play, certainly would own a piano keyboard to trigger it. It's more plausible that it was recorded with a keyboard and he is miming to a recorded sequence. It's obvious that he can play it on the computer because he is hitting the same notes consistently. I'm sure you could play the piece, but with less control over the sound. Try playing a decent trill on a computer keyboard, it's pretty much impossible. Nice gimmick though. Another possibility is that it was recorded like this, but was MIDI edited later to add pedaling and fix things like the trills and dynamics. That would be perfectly doable.

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#1838216 - 02/03/12 09:27 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: ando]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: ando

There are obvious problems with this performance in terms of dynamics, pedalling, how long he holds down the keys. It's not authentic. Also, people who own a computer with a sampled piano and know how to play, certainly would own a piano keyboard to trigger it. It's more plausible that it was recorded with a keyboard and he is miming to a recorded sequence. Nice gimmick though.


In the YouTube description he says he used the following software:

Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard (VMPK)
Kontakt

With both these tools at his disposal I don't see why anyone should be sceptical about his performance with the computer keyboard.

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#1838227 - 02/03/12 09:53 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: ando]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6118
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Damon
Not speculating as to whether or not he is actually playing it this way, but some objections are easy to overcome. For Nikolas, the piece he is playing doesn't use 88 keys; without the shift key (or alt, ctrl) you can have two octaves. For ando, since he must be using a synthesized or sampled piano, he can set the release automatically and shorten the length of decay to keep it from overlapping too much. There are a few spots where chords overlap and are dissonant. The only problem left is the melody seems to be louder than the accompaniment but you can set a filter to brighten the sound around the range of the melody.


There are obvious problems with this performance in terms of dynamics, pedalling, how long he holds down the keys. It's not totally authentic. Also, people who own a computer with a sampled piano and know how to play, certainly would own a piano keyboard to trigger it. It's more plausible that it was recorded with a keyboard and he is miming to a recorded sequence. It's obvious that he can play it on the computer because he is hitting the same notes consistently. I'm sure you could play the piece, but with less control over the sound. Try playing a decent trill on a computer keyboard, it's pretty much impossible. Nice gimmick though. Another possibility is that it was recorded like this, but was MIDI edited later to add pedaling and fix things like the trills and dynamics. That would be perfectly doable.


I don't think he is miming (and I find it quite easy to play a trill on a computer keyboard.) It also sounds to me as if the notes are just ringing out. I'll take door B - editing after the fact.
Also, most (all modern) sound cards have a set of General Midi sounds built in, which is why you can play a midi file from the web and hear it. If the performance was fake, I'd have to wonder why. It's more interesting than it is impressive.

Now if it were a Chopin etude......
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1838237 - 02/03/12 10:32 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Rostosky Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 3339
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
I have studied this to extremely hard, I do accept there is a visual disparity at the given time, BUT, he is not using what we would call a half decent camera, He never claimed that the video was taken in one "shoot" It may well have been patched, and given the primitiveness of the camera used, it would seem natural that it didnt have a very large memory card especially if using its video function.

To my eyes, it looks like it was taken on a very old digital STILS camera that had very very basic video capacity like say an early vivitar... the sort of thing most folk were lucky enough to throw away 20 years ago.

He has agreed to do it again, so that he can send me the midi file.. he doesnt need to do that, but has offered.
the midi file wil show up any alleged "velocity changes" and will also show whether the midi notes themselves have been doctored to fall exactly on time, every time, which I seriously doubt.

On my own laptop, In abelton, using Pianotech as a vst for example, If I want to sound notes in different octaves, I hit the X button to go up and octave, and again to go up another octave , and the Z button to go down an octave and again to go down another octave.
This allows to get to the top and bottom octaves in an 88 key range.

I have only ever used my laptop keyboard to sound midi notes and chords when I am working away from my "real" keyboard and dont want to hook the laptop up.

He also mentions that using galaxy Vienna, some notes have different velocities as an inherent flaw of the program, which I believe I have heard folk mention before?
_________________________


Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project

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#1838259 - 02/03/12 11:22 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Rostosky Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 3339
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
Update, Rupak was using "Camtastia" which records what you are doing online with a WAV file as the sound format. It also allows you to use the webcam function to record visuals.

Quite clearly, his webcam is awfull, and to record the keypad will mean terrible foreshortening, its a wonder we can see anything at all, not ideal conditions for forensic testing of the visuals by a clear margin.
_________________________


Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project

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#1838273 - 02/03/12 11:58 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5248
Loc: Europe
ando: It's not just the alphabet keys. You can very well use pretty much all the keys available (;,.123456890-=`][ and so on, along with the numberic keypad, etc)...

The sound is just a sampled piano, it can happen without a keyboard at all.

And I've had plenty of sound libraries before actually getting a midi keyboard (digital piano that is), so it's perfectly normal.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1838343 - 02/04/12 02:53 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Nikolas]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
ando: It's not just the alphabet keys. You can very well use pretty much all the keys available (;,.123456890-=`][ and so on, along with the numberic keypad, etc)...


I never said anything about the keys being used. I actually said that he could certainly play the piece on the computer keypad. Not sure why you are directing this at me.

Quote:
The sound is just a sampled piano, it can happen without a keyboard at all.

And I've had plenty of sound libraries before actually getting a midi keyboard (digital piano that is), so it's perfectly normal.


I never talked about the sound production either. I'm perfectly aware of sampled pianos, MIDI editing, VSTs etc. Again, not sure why you are telling me this. My comments were related to aspects of the performance that do not tally with the video image. Specifically pedalling and dynamics. As I said, it could be played as we see it on the video, but then edited to add what was missing.

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#1840654 - 02/08/12 11:44 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Rostosky Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 3339
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
Rupak was kind enough to send me a midi file he made, and I have done a review of the evidence...
here are my findings...

_________________________


Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project

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#1840701 - 02/08/12 01:09 PM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Rostosky: Killer of Zombies and Defender of People who just want to Enjoy Music!

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#1841100 - 02/09/12 06:39 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Rupak Bhattacharya Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 172
Loc: West Bengal, India
I was not aware of this post. I just came to know about it today from Rostosky. I wanna thank you all for your criticisms. But now I see that even Rostosky's hard effort to prove this to be real is also being joked. This is too painful to me. Though most of the confusions and doubts are resolved by Rostosky, polyphasicpianist, Nikolas, Damon (and their speculations are exactly correct and I'll also explain it that way) still for those who are not still convinced and do need and ready to accept some explanations, I've some. But let me first request you to at least have a look at VMPK, Kontakt and Galaxy II Vienna Concert Grand soft piano.

For pedaling and dynamics (ando): VMPK has a sustain pedal controller, but basically it has only 2 effects: pedal down (when it's maximum) and pedal up (when it's minimum or below certain value). So, it's next to impossible to control pedal and I never did it. I fixed it to MAXIMUM VALUE ALWAYS. So, all notes are sustained throughout the playing. But the explanation of why certain notes are sustained more than others can explain the same issue for velocity or volume as well. As I explained it quite a few times; because Galaxy II Vienna's a sampled piano, all notes, even if they are played with a fixed velocity and pedal down, don't produce same loudness or sustain for same time-span. THIS IS THE INHERENT FEATURE OF SAMPLED PIANO. And as Damon also correctly explained, in the EQ settings of Galaxy Vienna I decreased the resonance time a bit as I've to play with pedal down always. This may not be apparent when you play sampled piano with a DP or a midi controller/sequencer but is quite apparent if you try with a computer keyboard as a midi controller. I request you to try this.

Next issue is video. I recorded the video with a cheap Frontech webcam. The ambient light was also low. I'm sorry for this but please note that I'd no other options. I used camtasia to record the system audio and video from webcam. As correctly anticipated by polyphasicpianist, the video framerate as low as less than 15-20 fps, and I couldn't make it larger. So, the trill portion can't be as clear as a regular HD video looks. I have seen so many people typing much much faster than the trill, even hard core gamers used to press buttons like storm smile Try to catch their finger movements with a slow framrate webcam and see what happens.

Another minor issue which can be understood quite easily if one really wants to is implementing 88 keys on computer. This is quite correctly explained by Damon: this song absolutely doesn't need 88 keys. Even I didn't have to shift the octave up or down. That's a major reason I choose this song to play. Again, best way to be convinced is to try for yourself.

These are some explanations which probably I couldn't make lucid because of my poor english. But I've an ultimate suggestion to all of you. If someone still needs proofs I request him to first download VMPK (it's free) and then send a PM to me so that I can send him the keymap settings (which qwerty key is mapped to which piano keys) that I made for this song as well as the exact notes (the qwerty key sequence to play this song). I believe anyone can try this with a computer and can convince himself more than any explanation or argument can.

Thanks a lot to all of you.

Best regrads,

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#1841105 - 02/09/12 07:13 AM Re: Digital VS "real" [Re: Rostosky]
Krummholz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/12
Posts: 71
Thank you, Rostosky for taking the time to make a thorough and convincing analysis in support of Mr. Bhattacharya’s performance.

What he has done is the musical equivalent of producing a Renoir with nothing but a paint roller, and I applaud his diligence, his commitment to making music, his creativity in overcoming the limitations of his equipment, AND for his performance. I hope we’ll be hearing more from him (and on a real keyboard) in the very near future.

Regards,

John
_________________________
Currently working on:
Beethoven Sonata no. 32, Op. 111
Chopin Etude Op. 10 no. 2
Debussy La Danse de Puck

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