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#1568909 - 12/02/10 08:30 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
Jonathan Baker Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 332
Loc: New York City!
Hello Turandot,

Thank you for your response.

You don't believe that the successful pianists I mentioned have influence on the future of the instrument. Oh, but they do, indeed, have great influence on the tastes of other working pianists (I respectfully exclude you from their ranks). When Oscar Peterson raved about Bosedorfers and insisted on performing on them, piano students who admire his work will 'check out' that maker when they have the opportunity to hear for themselves what Peterson was talking about. That is real influence. When someone like Keith Jarrett writes the introduction for Larry Fine's "The Piano Book" and effectively advocates a level of elitism not approached by any of the posters here, his fans likewise take note and are influenced accordingly.

The world of the working pianist is not necessarily the grim existence you seem to imply. Not for me, anyway. Yes, I have had to play on mediocre pianos with a pit-band in a show, but it did not destroy me, or make me miserable, or shift my values. Yes, I have had to accompany singers or ensembles on pianos with broken strings, and/or howling out of tune. But I am still here, unbowed. So what? I relish the wonderful pianos I do get access to, and rejoice in those opportunities. The good and bad are all mixed in quick succession. That's the way it goes for a working musician.

Thank you for referencing my teaching. If we are not entirely on the same page, we are partially regarding education of those students who are working toward full-time professional careers. Although I always and repeatedly compare/contrast with students the attributes of various electronic instruments on the market, with no less intensity I compare/contrast Steinways with Bechsteins, and Yamahas with Webers. Students deal with it all, and that is par for the course. But the actual survival skills I teach (in addition to a killer technique and the usual music theory) are facile sight-reading, transposition, playing by ear, improvisation, and arranging. Those are the every day skills that have been required of me for the past thirty years, and on what instruments I employ them is secondary to the reality of the business at hand.

Like Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett, yeah, I prefer a real piano, thank you, and I cannot think of one single, solitary working-pianist I know here in New York City, or have ever known, whether classical or jazz oriented, who prefers otherwise.

Best regards,

Jonathan
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http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#1568951 - 12/02/10 09:41 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Jeff Clef]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3866
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef

I suppose a music boutique mini-mall would flop in the present economy, but what a nice thought, in a way. Pianos in one store; luthiers in another; a really great music store in a neighbor location; across the way, an electronic music house; band instruments next door; space for lessons, practice rooms; performance space with a coffee house and bar; indie recording studio, Liberace museum (now that it's out on the street).


A piano/music boutique of sorts was tried in downtown Chicago for a few years. There was Carl Fisher, and about 3 piano stores. They had lunchtime concerts that were really nice.

However, I like the idea of having a shopping center with a Best Buy, Sam Ash, Guitar center, and piano stores selling Steinway, Yamaha, and Kawai. In addtion add a teaching studio, dance studio, karate school, a couple of nice places to eat, maybe a book store.

The reason car dealers congregate together is to share advertising and allow the customer easy comparisons. In my market, the Yamaha store is a 35 min drive in good traffic from the Steinway and Kawai stores, which are a 10 min drive apart. Putting them all in the same strip mall, would probably be mutually beneficial, I would think?

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#1568958 - 12/02/10 09:47 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
piano row in NY?
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#1569101 - 12/03/10 03:57 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
The reason car dealers congregate together is to share advertising and allow the customer easy comparisons.

I don't know about that. I've always seen clusters of car dealerships in industrial type areas where real estate is cheaper; that makes sense since they need so much space.

------

Like Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett, yeah, I prefer a real piano, thank you, and I cannot think of one single, solitary working-pianist I know here in New York City, or have ever known, whether classical or jazz oriented, who prefers otherwise.

You might need to make a distinction between practice pianos and performance pianos. I'm sure the Oscar Peterson's and Keith Jarrett's of the world have no problems with their neighbors when practicing at any hour of the day or night. We mere mortals, thank you, tend to live in apartments, townhouses and row homes (I never understood the difference between a row home and a townhouse) and have neighbors to think of.

Why we're at it, since you are placing yourself in such great company, it would be great to hear samples of your playing. While I've made my living by playing I would never start a paragraph with ... Like Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett, yeah, I prefer .... but that's just me. smile
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#1569181 - 12/03/10 08:58 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Jonathan Baker]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7191
Loc: torrance, CA
Jonathan,

Thanks for your response, but to be honest, I don't see musch there except an affirmation of your personal preferences. It's hard to find a way to interpret your comments about Debussy, Chopin, Beethoven, and Art Tatum as anything but testifying for the first three and putting down Art Tatum.

Quote:
You provide a dichotomy between pianists and musicians. That would come as mighty big news to Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy, among others. They saw no division whatsoever.

I don't think that the music of, say, Art Tatum, demands the quality of a Steinway concert grand. A noisy, brassy, upright will do, and that is not to the discredit of Tatum, whose music delights me.


I don't really believe that you find noisy brassy uprights a delight. Do you?

Now you've added the obligatory reference to 'real' pianos.

Quote:
I prefer a real piano, thank you


That's fine, but did a waiter ask you to order for the house? smile

I don't dispute that the choices of popular artists have a bearing on the choice of pianos by their fans. Love of classical music, its composers, and its artists is the biggest reason acoustic pianos have had such a long ride. Your Oscar Peterson/Bosie reference is a good one because Peterson's music was not an obvious fit for Bosie's highbrow image, and no doubt he widened the Bosie sphere of influence. However, I don't feel that Chopein sells Pleyels today, that Beethoven sells Broadwooods. or that Tatum sells noisy uprights. They sell the acoustic ideal. Same for Keith Jarrett. The huge stable of Steinway artists no doubt helps their branding, just as aggressive free-agent signings help your NY Yankess,but I doubt that many consumers show up at a Steinway shop asking for the Keith Jarrett model. If there's a parallel to Peterson/Bosie today, it's probably Herbie Hancock's endorsement of Fazioli. It's not an obvious fit either.

Anyway, I'm not accusing you of anything or trying to fight you tooth and nail here. It's par for the course on these
'potential acoustic demise' threads for members to state their preference and display their passion. Why not? It may not alter the empirical data though.

I do very much want to correct your perception that I'm painting a grim reality here. Personally, I don't see it as grim at all. I love all acoustic pianos that are in good shape. There's nothing quite like then. I love some unpretentious ones more than some pretentious ones, some short grands more than some long ones, and some verticals more than some grands, but deep down I love them all if they have their own voice and are in decent shape. I had only an Acrosonic spinet for more than ten years and don't have one bad thing to say about it.

I love the intimacy of a good digital with a good pair of phones. There's nothing quite like it. I don't regard arranging and improvisation as survival skill like you do since my own bag is orchestration, arranging, and composition. For that reason I don't consider the skill set necessary to fully exploit digital functions a survival skill either.

I love the fact that the future will be full of surprises -- bring it on -- and that music is being written now specifically with digitals in mind. Some of the most creative stuff that I hear these days is coming from that camp. It may be raw, but it's creative. So I'm not glum and I don't see the future as grim except for the fact that as acoustic sales continue their decline, choices will be fewer and prices will be far more expensive.

No animosity at all, just a different perspective.
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#1569190 - 12/03/10 09:27 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5114
Making predictions is difficult, especially about the future (Samuel Goldwyn).
Especially about the demise of APs (bennevis).
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#1569307 - 12/03/10 12:53 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
FormerFF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 476
Loc: Roswell, GA, USA
As long as the instrument can play piano music, does how it produces the sound really matter?
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#1569772 - 12/04/10 04:29 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3534
How it produces sound probably does not matter.
What really matters is HOW it sounds and feels.


Edited by wouter79 (12/04/10 04:30 AM)
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#1569793 - 12/04/10 05:53 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Snag with forums like this is that we are a bunch of enthusiasts corralled together. We don't really want to contemplate the demise of our favoured instruments so a realistic appraisal of the situation may escape many of us.

The decline of the acoustic and the digital piano, is an inevitable function of changes in societal education values, leisure priorities and the availability of alternatives. Pianos of all kinds are already in a small niche market.

However, lots of very successful businesses operate successfully in small niche markets - once they wake up to what that market really is.

The piano industry is presently afflicted by substantial oversupply coupled with weak demand. So the focus of most people is on low prices.

Eventually the industry in the west will shrink such that those who are willing to pay for premium brands have a small choice but at premium prices. Everyone else will have access to cheaper (but eventually no longer "cheap") Chinese made instruments of acceptable quality.

The Chinese domestic market is still growing and manufacturers will primarily service this, but with some higher margin exports to the west. Eventually sensible currency balancing will push the prices of Chinese exports up - especially when indigenous western industries have died.

The very best piano dealers will survive. Many more will go bust. Consumers will need to travel further to buy acoustic pianos - but serious enthusiasts will not mind this.

We may see a resurgence in the secondary market for cheap oldish acoustic instruments for a while, until they wear out.

This is what I think is already happening to the market - we are about half way through it. Feel free to disagree - the beauty of economic forecasting is that it can only be tested with hindsight.

Adrian
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#1569826 - 12/04/10 08:12 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: FormerFF]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: FormerFF
As long as the instrument can play piano music, does how it produces the sound really matter?


Before the electric guitar it was down right dangerous playing the steam powered guitar, but I agree with your statement.
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#1569905 - 12/04/10 10:52 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
Jonathan Baker Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 332
Loc: New York City!
Turadot -

That you refer to a full grand as "pretentious" gives away your game...
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http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#1570196 - 12/04/10 04:55 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Jonathan Baker]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7191
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
Turadot -

That you refer to a full grand as "pretentious" gives away your game...



My game??????

Here's what I posted

Quote:
I love all acoustic pianos that are in good shape. There's nothing quite like then. I love some unpretentious ones more than some pretentious ones, some short grands more than some long ones, and some verticals more than some grands, but deep down I love them all if they have their own voice and are in decent shape. I had only an Acrosonic spinet for more than ten years and don't have one bad thing to say about it.


. Read it again. If you still don't understand, ask someone to explain it to you.

My reply to you was courteous and thoughtful, and this is your response---that I am playing a game????

I'm sorry you take it that way, but there's nothing I can do about it.
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#1570206 - 12/04/10 05:24 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Oddly enough I can see exactly where Turandot is coming from here.

For close on 30 years I have collected electric (mainly) guitars. For most of my life I have played guitar more than piano. Some guitars are worth more (by "worth" I mean in the collectors market) than any top class grand piano you can think of. Think double the price of a Stuart.

And yet, some years ago, I bought in a guitar shop, a second-hand Fender "custom Shop" strat, that some idiot had altered. The body was gold, which I hated. But the neck was sublime. So I bought it for about $1,000. It is among the cheapest guitars I own.

Ninety nine times out of one hundred, if I play guitar at home or live on stage (in my amateurish way), I pick that one. I have others that are far more valuable and supposedly better. But in reality some musical instruments just "fit" us. They sing. So we should cast aside everything but that.

Same logic applies to pianos, I think. I learnt to play on my parent's old upright. I don;t actually know what make it was. Probably a Broadwood I guess. I expect I would look down on it now. But it suited me as a five year old and was plenty good enough to take me to ABRSM grade 8 a few years later. I never played on a grand throughout that time.

The truth is it's not the piano. It's the player.

Hence, Turandot has an extremely valid point. We enjoy most what suits us best.

Adrian
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#1570324 - 12/04/10 08:50 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
Jonathan Baker Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 332
Loc: New York City!
"Turandot" - You clearly have experience with "pretentious" pianos. I never knew that musical instruments could be pretentious, but I fully accept that you have encountered such musical beasts, and I assure you that if you play any of the pianos here in NYC that they are all quite modest and accommodating, actually, in their social and professional relations with pianists.

David Horne - distinctions between practice and performance pianos is not, to my knowledge, a matter of contention. A pianist practices and performs on what is available at hand. Simple enough. "Will the acoustic piano go the way of the typewriter?" is the valid question of this thread, and I already addressed the issue of sonority as I hear it. As for Oscar and Keith, whose reference you found disconcerting, I will rephrase it thus: Like Beethoven, I would rather play a massive Broadwood over a spindly 5-octave Viennese piano any day of the week. Thank you! I always seek out the best musical company I can find, past or present. wink



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http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#1570401 - 12/05/10 12:39 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Jonathan Baker]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7191
Loc: torrance, CA
Jonathan,

It seems that you are entitled to post a very clear pecking order of your preferences as some sort of objective reality, but I am not entitled to say in neutral generic terms what I like without ticking you off.

You have written that you compare and contrast all acoustic pianos. Have you ever had the experience that a current line of pianos from a prestige manufacturer leaves you flat -- or -- that a certain model from a prestige manufacturer leaves you thinking it's a sub-par effort from that maker? It's not about poor prep. The feeling is based on playing several samples. The piano(s) may be built like a tank with gorgeous casework. It may have contrasting veneer, inlays, whatever -- the whole nine yards. It will most definitely have the requisite action from the world's most famous action maker. But somehow or other its performance just doesn't stack up, either to other competitors in its price class or to other efforts past or present from that manufacturer.

Conversely,have you ever had the experience that a current model piano with a very modest pedigree, a plain-jane case, and a fairly modest price surprises you with its even action response and its ability to produce a fair degree of color throughout its dynamic range (even though that range might be limited at the power end)? Have you ever thought "Wow, this piano can compete above its class"?

Does that help you to understand?

If not, or if you're just lathered up about some perceived slight to you, your profession, or to New York City of all things, send me a PM and we'll sort it out. You're pushing buttons now that go way way off topic. Even though this thread has had its ups and downs. it has stayed on topic, remarkably so for a thread of its length.
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#1570823 - 12/05/10 05:36 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
Jonathan Baker Online   content
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Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 332
Loc: New York City!
Turandot -

Regarding paragraph 1 of your post, above: of course, I have my preferences, as you have yours, but I don't think your preferences are 'bad' or 'less than' in any sense. And regarding your next two paragraphs I have had exactly the same impressions and experiences, it seems, fourteen trillion times. No disagreement there!

Perhaps where I expressed myself poorly is in the matter of performing, say, Schubert lieder with a singer on a piano with virtually no singing tone; there is an example where any pianist is instantly going to morph into a elitist with a bad attitude simply out of frustration, because at that point, from the pianists counterpoint, he is merely giving a bad pantomime of the music.

Or, say (and this drives me truly crazy) where the hammers have been so fluffed up that it is physically impossible to achieve more than a mezzo piano - no forte to be had - none. That leaves nothing but the tempo, and perhaps out of desperation, an exaggerated tempo rubato, which again ends up being a parody.

Last week I was obliged to play on a 9-foot Baldwin so badly mangled in its voicing that I would have traded it for an upright Yamaha. These things happen all the time, of course, but not every time. So I would say that trying to advocate for standards often feels like an uphill struggle, particularly with managers of halls or theaters who regard such matters as prissy elitism by difficult artsy-types. But I do not want to give a lopsided impression, there are terrific, fabulous pianos all over town, often found in 'modest' locations, not necessarily in the 'best' clubs or halls.

But I am starting to ramble off-topic, which is whether or not acoustic pianos will become extinct. I think I agree with many posters here that that is not imminent on the concert venue, but practice pianos definitely have competition from electric keyboards for the legitimate reasons of price and thin walls. And I cannot rail against that, although I prefer acoustic piano for the type of music I play for a living. If I were working at the synthesizer creating, say, New Age music or a variety of other styles that depend on recording for their realization, then I would probably have a significantly different outlook.

regards,

Jonathan
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http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#1926033 - 07/12/12 08:50 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
Rusty Fortysome Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 194
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Gary Allen
I am curious if you think that eventually the accoustic piano could go the way of the typewriter, cameras that use film, etc.?


2 years on and I have to confidently say... NO.

If you have played all sorts of pianos, you will know that no digital piano comes even close to the satisfaction of the feel the sound of an acoustic provides. Also, I have found the digitals to be lackluster in sound, and I own two and play them regularly.

I heard some 12,000 figure pertaining to 2012 or 2011 grand sales in America. If true, the grand is going strong to obscurity... in NEW sales. Obviously there is a market for used grands. The grand piano will become something akin to a yacht or swanky sports car: few will have them and they will be for wealthier and more-dedicated players.

It's too easy to get and play and move a digital piano when learning and poor. They are excellent solutions for this damaged economy. For people that play a lot and enjoy piano playing, the acoustics will always be honored.
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#1926053 - 07/12/12 10:10 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: David Burton]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
If the lights stayed out for more than a few hours, we'd all have many more problems than where to play music. (But you did say there were other reasons, too).

Originally Posted By: David Burton

When the lights go out, one can still be played.

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#1926055 - 07/12/12 10:14 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: bitWrangler]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
This has been proven. Trinity Church on Wall Street has a mammoth virtual pipe organ, featuring an impossibly elaborate, gigantic speaker system. The claim is that it's extremely hard to believe that you're not listening to a real pipe organ.

Originally Posted By: bitWrangler


The issue isn't just one of speakers, but it's the entire chain. If one went out and hooked up a $60K stereo system (designed to reproduce piano sonics well, there is a difference) to a Avant Grand, how many people listening would be able to tell the difference? I'm not taking a stand one way or the other, because I've not done the A/B myself, but my feeling is that many folks would be hard pressed to tell the difference (other than the obvious differences between the Yamaha house sound and the S&S).

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#1926136 - 07/13/12 03:33 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
backto_study_piano Offline
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Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 426
Loc: Australia
No.
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#1926144 - 07/13/12 04:21 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
charleslang Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2080
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
This has been proven. Trinity Church on Wall Street has a mammoth virtual pipe organ, featuring an impossibly elaborate, gigantic speaker system. The claim is that it's extremely hard to believe that you're not listening to a real pipe organ.

Originally Posted By: bitWrangler


The issue isn't just one of speakers, but it's the entire chain. If one went out and hooked up a $60K stereo system (designed to reproduce piano sonics well, there is a difference) to a Avant Grand, how many people listening would be able to tell the difference? I'm not taking a stand one way or the other, because I've not done the A/B myself, but my feeling is that many folks would be hard pressed to tell the difference (other than the obvious differences between the Yamaha house sound and the S&S).


But pianos are only like pipe organs in certain ways, and not in all ways. The only proof that digital keyboards can be as good as pianos would be to actually build one that fools people -- blindfolded players and listeners. No one has done that yet.

The topic of digital versus piano is a perennial. I think this is because these days technological advances in all realms are so fast that they lead to all sorts of surprises, like facebook, flat screen TVs, cars the park themselves, and so on. In this environment, it seems realistic that advances will be made that make digital keyboards indistinguishable in tone and touch from pianos.

On the other hand, other examples show that it's extremely difficult to predict what advances will occur and which will not. In the '50s many theorized that artificial intelligence would be far more advanced by 2012 than proved to be the case.

For other examples, one can watch any old movie about the future. In "Back to the Future", the future year is actually 2012. In the '80s, it seemed plausible to many people to think that by 2012, we might have tiny dehydrated pizzas that would fully hydrate in a few seconds in something like a microwave oven, and be delicious. Obviously that didn't happen.

So are digital instruments that perform just as well as acoustics right around the corner? Or are they a long way off? Or is it a goal like a levitating skateboard, or a warp drive, which seem to more sober minds like they might well never be realized?

I confess my complete inability to predict what might happen.

I think that the above quote suggests a project which could go a long way toward convincing some people, though, that digital have the potential to win out: if a company like Yamaha were to spend a million dollars creating just a single digital instrument that would really fool people -- players and audience members alike -- in blind tests, then that would suggest that the goal is less like levitating skateboards and warp drives, and more like facebook and flatscreen TVs. Then, it would just be a matter of waiting for the price to come down.

But, as things stand, I think we have no reason to believe that Yamaha or another company would be able to create an instrument like that.
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#1926146 - 07/13/12 04:39 AM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 804
Originally Posted By: Gary Allen
I am curious if you think that eventually the accoustic piano could go the way of the typewriter?


Eventually, of course, just as the solar system as a whole.

In the near future, no.
An acoustic piano is very unlike a typewriter. For how long have violins been around by now? Will they go away soon? Hardly.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#1926272 - 07/13/12 01:13 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2332
Loc: NYC
There are many reasons why a "virtual" pipe organ may be very convincing. Unlike a piano, the keys are far simpler, more like switches (on/off) and the tone envelopes are pretty constant in organ sound...a kind of sound electronics have been good at for decades now.

Pianos keys are tone regulators and resultant tones are complex due to sympathetic vibration, resonance, decay characteristics, variation in partials, and a bunch of other things I'm not conversant with. It's actually kind of amusing to observe electronic keyboard manufacturers working so hard to emulate what 19th century action hardware does so effectively...

Speaking only of those that do try to emulate piano sound and touch...synthesizers and other keyboards are different animals.
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#1926275 - 07/13/12 01:23 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
I have recently read that typewriters are coming back, too, along with vinyl LPs and analog amps; evidently, some improvements have not improved things as much as claimed. The first breathless blitz of advertizing for a new product--- I at first mistyped this as "avertizing," hmmm...--- does not usually mention the new wonder's delinquencies, but by v.2 they don't even bother to deny them, and by v.3 they're openly pilloried. I guess their young developers don't realize that people remember what they said earlier.

"...This has been proven. Trinity Church on Wall Street has a mammoth virtual pipe organ, featuring an impossibly elaborate, gigantic speaker system. The claim is that it's extremely hard to believe that you're not listening to a real pipe organ..."

Tell it to someone else. Bring back Bach, who tested newly-built pipe organs and knew what was what--- and what wasn't what. If he "claimed" one couldn't tell the difference, I suppose I would buy it myself. There was a charming paragraph (if I remember the source properly) in Schweitzer's biography of Bach, which described the way organ designers would turn white as a sheet when he would get up there in the organ loft and open up all the stops. He could make anyone believe in God, and the Devil, too... at least, during the performance.

Typewriter keys and carriages have a certain feel, which some writers find to have a certain charm, and which they say helps them with their creative work. For that matter, we have given something away with the departure of the teletype and the linotype machine. I suppose most people have never had the opportunity to see these devices at their work, and I don't know if newspapers even use them anymore. It was a busy sound which created a mood and atmosphere in the newsroom and pressroom (composing room, I should say; they're different), and which created a tangible product of work. Now that they're gone, we're finding that people don't bother much with newspapers anymore, and I just wonder if there's a connection. PhD thesis, anyone?

There is no actual reason that a word processor's editing features could not be married to the interesting mechanical features of the typewriter.

Real organs (and real pianos) have a richness of character which is partly because of their imperfections. Listen to--- or play upon--- a real one and you will notice. I wonder if the glossy perfections of today's marvelous devices are, maybe subconciously, too daunting for our still-human and still imperfect minds and bodies, or perhaps mask too effectively the real effort it takes to create and perform.
_________________________
Clef


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#1926278 - 07/13/12 01:32 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1649
Loc: Colorado
No. Digital electric keyboards can't replace an acoustic piano in terms of feedback to the player, for one. The technology for electronic keyboards has improved greatly, but the sound they produce are still copies of a vibrating string and soundboard and they sound that way - like copies. Some are pretty good sounding, but it ends there.

Natural sympathetic vibrations and natural harmonics are not a function of an electric sound. They happen with an acoustic instrument, not an electric one. The only way to copy a felt hammer hitting a string that vibrates over a soundboard that moves air is with another acoustic piano, not with a sample of something that sounds somewhat like it. It's like comparing Apples and Rhubarb. They each have their place, as does an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar, but one cannot truly replace another.

Glen
_________________________


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

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#1926442 - 07/13/12 07:22 PM Re: Will Accoustic Piano Ultimately Go Away Like The Typewriter? [Re: Gary Allen]
thetandyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 443
Loc: Indiana
My 2 cents: At one time in the late "30's the Hammond organ bragged that most organists couldn't tell when they heard a Hammond in concert that it wasn't a pipe organ. When the first cylinder was played before a group on educated men, they declared that finer reproduction could not be obtained. It was so perfect in their minds. Today digital and "virtual" pipe organs are almost impossible to diferentiate between real ones. I am an organist and will hopefully have a virtual organ in my home connected to a vintage theater organ console. One thing that pianos and organs have in common, they're seldom in perfect tune. Organs can be too perfect. A little celeste in the ranks give an air of orchestral tuning. I feel real pianos will always be in demand. Unfortunately, some will be bought simply to decorate a room or impart wealth and sophistication.
_________________________
Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ

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