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#2006854 - 12/31/12 02:28 AM Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding
newinstru? Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/12
Posts: 113
Loc: SoCal
Uprights vs. grands.

It has been greatly discussed/debated many times, and I thought it would be interesting to ask the teachers here....

In my searching of this blog I have not come upon any SPECIFIC example of what a grand could do that an upright could not. And I'm not talking about an upright in certain ways being more challenging. So...

Could anyone give me an example of something in classical repertoire ( Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, etc)....a particular measure number, passage or whatever, that would be impossible on an upright?

I have read, if memory serves me correctly, a few of you who seem to be very fine teachers who teach on an upright and have pretty advanced students, so I thought this would be a good place to ask.

If this question has already been answered somewhere, I wouldn't mind a point in the right direction.

Thanks so much.

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#2006861 - 12/31/12 03:24 AM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: newinstru?]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20751
Loc: Oakland
The only thing that a grand can do that an upright cannot, other than things that require touching the strings, are fast repeated notes, and even then, it will be a manner of technique for most pianists. Two pieces, both for piano and violin, which are challenging, are Janacek's Sonata, and Stravinsky's Duo Concertante.

For at least 99% of pianists and 99% of playing, whether it is a grand or an upright is a moot point. Whether the piano is properly regulated or not is more of an issue.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2006872 - 12/31/12 04:30 AM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: newinstru?]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Besides minor add-ons which a posh Grand might boast over an Upright ... nobody should snub a quality Upright ... my good fortune set me up with a German Grotrian Steinweg ... which has advantages of being compact, occupying minimal space in a sunny spot to my lounge, was less costly ... not forgetting has a neat shelf for a morning cup of coffee.
(don’t tell anybody about my cuppa).

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#2007032 - 12/31/12 11:46 AM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: newinstru?]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11179
Loc: Canada
My teacher has discussed this at length with me. I'll share what I remember. The action of a good grand is different than that of an upright, which allows for a more subtle touch. The actual mechanism - what is vertical and what is horizontal - is different. That makes a difference since we live on a planet with gravity. The big difference involves pedal, how it functions and what it does, especially the una corda. Rubinstein said that the pedal is the soul of the piano. I suspect that John v.d. Brooke may have a few things to say on this subject.

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#2007045 - 12/31/12 12:36 PM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: newinstru?]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
It's like asking what a BMW can do that a Ford Fiesta can't. Nothing, really. The BMW will go a bit faster and last a bit longer, but both cars will easily exceed the speed limit and get you from one place to another.

But the ride in a BMW is more pleasant, the handling is better, and everybody I know would pick the BMW over the Fiesta if money were no object.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2007061 - 12/31/12 01:29 PM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: newinstru?]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5277
Loc: Orange County, CA
Uprights are missing the sostenuto pedal and a true soft pedal. Rachmaninoff Prelude in C-sharp minor requires the sostenuto pedal. The Alfred edition has a page written for "pianos without a sostenuto pedal," and the effect just isn't the same. Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2 (first movement cadenza) also requires the sostenuto pedal.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2007118 - 12/31/12 04:07 PM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: AZNpiano]
A Rebours Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 220
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Uprights are missing the sostenuto pedal and a true soft pedal.


Some high-end uprights have a true sostenuto pedal. Some come with them and others are an added option with an additional cost when you want it on the piano. My Sauter Masterclass came with the sostenuto pedal as a standard feature.

And yes, you won't get a true una corda pedal that you have on a grand.

A R
_________________________
Sauter 122 Masterclass (M-Line)

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#2007243 - 12/31/12 09:25 PM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: A Rebours]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 787
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: A Rebours
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Uprights are missing the sostenuto pedal and a true soft pedal.


Some high-end uprights have a true sostenuto pedal. Some come with them and others are an added option with an additional cost when you want it on the piano. My Sauter Masterclass came with the sostenuto pedal as a standard feature.
A R


Yes, and the higher end Yamahas - I think it was a U3 I used to play, and it had a sostenuto.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2007294 - 01/01/13 01:00 AM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: newinstru?]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Must just tell Kreisler that I still drive a Ford ...
and that my medic grandfather did his rounds in 1914
in one of those ancient BLACK Fords ...
didn’t come in any other colour.

What was the question?

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#2007331 - 01/01/13 04:33 AM Re: Please bear with me. Yet another question regarding [Re: keystring]
newinstru? Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/12
Posts: 113
Loc: SoCal
Thank you all so much for your replies. It seems that people have VERY different opinions about when a grand is REQUIRED. I came across someone's post on a blog the other day, explaining why he is partial to grands ( don't get me wrong.....I am too!), and proceeded to demonstrate a very fast sequence of repeated notes (two hands), stating that it would be impossible to accomplish such a thing on an upright. I'm not saying he is wrong. It just got me wondering.

And then I thought, wasn't there a famous concert pianist who learned on an upright? I can't remember if it was Lang Lang or someone else. And I recalled a thread where at least two teachers discussed the fact that they taught at least some of their students on an upright. John v. d. Brook was one of them, and I certainly would love it if he would at some point chime in.

Anyway, I really appreciate the particulars that some of you mentioned. I was able to listen to a couple of pieces on YouTube, and will continue to look for the rest.

Trying to add a few more drops to my mostly empty bucket of piano knowledge....very grateful for everyone here.....

Happy New Year!!!

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