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#2027300 - 02/05/13 07:04 AM Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ???
musicmad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 152
Loc: London England
Hi

If you were given the choice to record a solo piano album of "slow soundtrack" music on a full size concert grand or a baby grand, what would you choose ?


Edited by musicmad (02/05/13 07:07 AM)
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#2027322 - 02/05/13 08:29 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
Morodiene Online   content
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It depends on the condition of both pianos. If they are both in top condition, I'd choose the concert grand most likely just for the fact that the bass notes will be much clearer and the feel of the concert would probably be more to my liking. Chances are the concert would also have better dynamic control. The style of music I'm playing doesn't really come into consideration.
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2027373 - 02/05/13 11:05 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
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As Morodiene says, if the two pianos are in equally good condition, there is no question that the concert grand is the better choice.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#2027395 - 02/05/13 11:35 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
Thrill Science Offline
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Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 529
Loc: California
For recording, the room, the microphones, and the microphone placement are as important as everything else.

That being said, unless I was going for a specific effect, the longer the better! For one thing, the piano will be able to be tuned with fewer compromises.
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#2027434 - 02/05/13 12:58 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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BTW (and I'm sure the people doing the other replies knew this too), there's a lot of room between "concert grand" and "baby grand." And also, even after 200 years with pianos, including probably having owned a "baby grand" or two ha I don't know what's the dividing line between baby grand and grand, even before we get to "concert grand." I consider them all simply "grands," just in all kinds of different sizes. We have a Steinway B and a Kawai GE20 which is 5'1". To me they're both simply "grands."

Anyway grin ....I would hope to use a piano that's at least about the size of a Steinway B (6'10.5"). Depending on the size of the space it might even be preferable to larger grands. In a large enough space I'd always prefer a "concert grand" but I'd never feel terribly deprived with a B or larger.

More about "baby grand": There are actually a lot of people who think it means exactly the same thing as what I'm calling a "grand" (really!) -- i.e. any piano with that rounded shape and with a lid that goes up diagonally like that, even a concert grand. It comes from having been used to people having mainly just uprights in their homes, and the few people who had grands having mostly just smaller ones and calling them "baby grands," so it came to be understood as any piano like that. They barely notice the word "baby"; it's just part of the name.

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#2027448 - 02/05/13 01:17 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
BruceD Offline
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Perhaps among the uninitiated "baby grand" is just part of the name, and I, too, have heard it used to apply to pianos considerably larger than "baby", but I think that that term drops as soon as you get to those who know something about grand pianos. According to Larry Fine :

"Grands less than 5' long are the musical equivalent of spinets and consoles; that is, they are musically compromised and are mainly sold as pieces of furniture. Grands between about 5' and 5-1/2' are very popular. Although slightly compromised, they can reasonably serve both musical and furniture functions and are available in many furniture styles. (By the way, professionals prefer the term small grand to baby grand. Although there is no exact definition, a small grand is generally one less than 5-1/2' long.) Above 5-1/2', pianos rapidly improve becoming professional quality at about 6'. Pianos intended for the home or serious professional top out at about 7' or 7-1/2'. These sizes may also satisfy the needs of smaller concert venues. Larger venues require concert grands, usually about 9' long."

Other standard designations that I often come across :

Baby Grands - up to 5-1/2 feet
Medium or Parlor Grands 5-1/2 feet to 6-1/2 feet
Semi-concert Grands 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 feet
Concert Grands - 9 feet

Regards,
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BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#2027462 - 02/05/13 01:38 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Online   content
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Good post, and I think those groupings at the end are a lot better than just baby grand and grand (or, as in this thread, baby grand and concert grand). Best of all is just saying grand and specifying the size; otherwise we're never sure exactly what someone is talking about, even if we think we are. When someone says baby grand I figure it probably means less than about 6'3 but it absolutely can mean anything up to that, and sometimes larger. And heck, on this thread, it was used for anything less than 9'!

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#2027478 - 02/05/13 02:08 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Musicmad: Don't worry about this terminology stuff -- lots of people say baby grand. It's just a little project of mine. ha

Although....it might be helpful if you want to say what are the actual sizes of the grands you're talking about. I think people are assuming the "concert grand" is 9'. We don't really know what size of other piano you mean but I think people are assuming it's in the low or mid 5's.

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#2027485 - 02/05/13 02:17 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Online   content
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Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3829
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
When someone says baby grand I figure it probably means less than about 6'3...
My guess is that to most people, "baby grand" implies significantly smaller than 6'3. Like in the 5' range max, as Bruce indicated.


-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2027487 - 02/05/13 02:20 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
My guess is that to most people, "baby grand" implies significantly smaller than 6'3. Like in the 5' range max, as Bruce indicated.

To most people here it certainly means that, and among fairly serious pianists it does (although many probably are uncomfortable with the term at all). Otherwise, IMO all we can be sure of 'with a reasonable degree of certainty' is up to about 6'3.

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#2027494 - 02/05/13 02:27 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
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Loc: Victoria, BC
I have seen real estate ads for luxury residences often showing what looks like a 7-footer in an oversize living room with the comment : "Look! There's even room for your baby grand!"

As I said : among the uninitiated ....

But, back to what the OP was contemplating ....

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#2027510 - 02/05/13 03:03 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Most people (in my experience) attach "baby" next to grand for almost any piano. Several times I've been told what a nice baby grand I have although my piano in a 7' Mason Hamlin.

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#2027518 - 02/05/13 03:14 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: Mark_C]
Morodiene Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
BTW (and I'm sure the people doing the other replies knew this too), there's a lot of room between "concert grand" and "baby grand." And also, even after 200 years with pianos, including probably having owned a "baby grand" or two ha I don't know what's the dividing line between baby grand and grand, even before we get to "concert grand." I consider them all simply "grands," just in all kinds of different sizes. We have a Steinway B and a Kawai GE20 which is 5'1". To me they're both simply "grands."

Anyway grin ....I would hope to use a piano that's at least about the size of a Steinway B (6'10.5"). Depending on the size of the space it might even be preferable to larger grands. In a large enough space I'd always prefer a "concert grand" but I'd never feel terribly deprived with a B or larger.

More about "baby grand": There are actually a lot of people who think it means exactly the same thing as what I'm calling a "grand" (really!) -- i.e. any piano with that rounded shape and with a lid that goes up diagonally like that, even a concert grand. It comes from having been used to people having mainly just uprights in their homes, and the few people who had grands having mostly just smaller ones and calling them "baby grands," so it came to be understood as any piano like that. They barely notice the word "baby"; it's just part of the name.


True, I call my 9' Petrof my "big baby" laugh .
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2027522 - 02/05/13 03:16 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5399
I'd be quite happy with a baby Bösendorfer Imperial 290. I'd even prefer this little baby to a full-sized Steinway D concert grand......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2027523 - 02/05/13 03:18 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: bennevis]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I'd be quite happy with a baby Bosendorfer Imperial 290. I'd even prefer this little baby to a full-sized Steinway D concert grand......

ha

For anyone who doesn't know: The Bosendorfer is about 100 feet long. grin




(9'6"....or is it 9'8"? I always thought 9'6 but I just did the math and it comes out 9'8!)

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#2027543 - 02/05/13 04:16 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: Mark_C]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

(9'6"....or is it 9'8"? I always thought 9'6 but I just did the math and it comes out 9'8!)


You may have miscalculated:

290 cm / 2.54 in/cm = 114.17 in

114.17 in / 12 in/ft = 9.51 ft = darn close to 9'6".

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#2027734 - 02/05/13 09:48 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: AldenH]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: AldenH
You may have miscalculated....

I DID!!

I often rounded off the factor from 2.54 to 2.5 for quick calculations -- and somewhere along the line I just FORGOT that's it's not exactly just 2.5!

(Thank you!) smile

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#2027736 - 02/05/13 09:55 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18215
Loc: Victoria, BC
Well, the Bosendorfer Imperial is the model 290 which means 290cm. Using a precise conversion calculator : 290 cm = 9.1548 feet or 114.1473 inches.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2027850 - 02/06/13 03:26 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
But is “bigger” better? ...
all this elevated chat about Grands has me groping for my six-shooter ... who to pot first?

But heck ... those damn 230cm things take up so much space ... and when not in use, the deserted creepy home settings have the echo of a graveyard ... why not employ a standby undertaker? ... just in case someone develops apoplexy revving up the final run of a dreaded Chopin Etude.

I’m happy with my Grotrian Steinweg upright ... no need to mess around with the settled furniture ... all neat and tidy ... or take out a 2nd bond to house the monster.

Why don’t you chaps save the cash and go small ...
you could save enough loot to visit the Greek Isles in July.

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#2027896 - 02/06/13 06:09 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: btb]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4890
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: btb
But is “bigger” better? ...
all this elevated chat about Grands has me groping for my six-shooter ... who to pot first?

But heck ... those damn 230cm things take up so much space ... and when not in use, the deserted creepy home settings have the echo of a graveyard ... why not employ a standby undertaker? ... just in case someone develops apoplexy revving up the final run of a dreaded Chopin Etude.

I’m happy with my Grotrian Steinweg upright ... no need to mess around with the settled furniture ... all neat and tidy ... or take out a 2nd bond to house the monster.

Why don’t you chaps save the cash and go small ...
you could save enough loot to visit the Greek Isles in July.


You are by far the most... interesting poster I've seen here.

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#2027900 - 02/06/13 06:22 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5399
While on the subject of big grands, I believe the Fazioli F308 is the longest, but Stuart & Sons concert grand 290 (102 keys) is the broadest at 1.75m/5' 9'' among production pianos.

Would anyone like to 'improve' on those? wink
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2027925 - 02/06/13 07:31 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I am ignorant. I know what an upright is. What is a piano that opens up whether it be 4 feet for 9 feet long?

The funny thing is that no matter how much the condo/apt costs - millions or billions, people complain about pianos being played!

Don't 7, 9 foot pianos cost hundreds of thousands of dollars? What joe who plays a piano has that kind of money, huh? What average joe has a house that can accommodate a 7 foot piano? Rich people, of couse, can and do.

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#2027933 - 02/06/13 07:53 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: Michael_99]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4890
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
I am ignorant. I know what an upright is. What is a piano that opens up whether it be 4 feet for 9 feet long?

The funny thing is that no matter how much the condo/apt costs - millions or billions, people complain about pianos being played!

Don't 7, 9 foot pianos cost hundreds of thousands of dollars? What joe who plays a piano has that kind of money, huh? What average joe has a house that can accommodate a 7 foot piano? Rich people, of couse, can and do.


Hahaha... almost! A good 7 foot Steinway usually goes for 30-40 thousand. Not 'hundreds of thousands'. smile

And much less for a good 7 foot Yamaha. You could grab one of those for around 15-22 thousand. Obviously this ain't cheap but it's a lot better than hundreds of thousands!

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#2027935 - 02/06/13 08:00 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
musicmad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 152
Loc: London England
OP here. To put it in perspective i was referring to a Baby Grand medium 6- 1/2 compared to a full Concert Grand 9-feet.

In your opinion what would be the overall benefit in sound and performance recording on a full Concert Grand as opposed to a medium Baby Grand ? I ask because I've been given the option to record on either both these pianos.

After trialing the two I'm more comfortable with the Baby Grand giving a more authentic ambiance feel upfront that overall suits my style of music. That being said the Concert Grand is a beast being to over powerful with a completely different attack being difficult to express that gentle touch.

As btb quoted,

Quote:
But is "bigger” better"
_________________________
Without music life would be a mistake.

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#2027943 - 02/06/13 08:11 AM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12136
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: musicmad
OP here. To put it in perspective i was referring to a Baby Grand medium 6- 1/2 compared to a full Concert Grand 9-feet.

In your opinion what would be the overall benefit in sound and performance recording on a full Concert Grand as opposed to a medium Baby Grand ? I ask because I've been given the option to record on either both these pianos.

After trialing the two I'm more comfortable with the Baby Grand giving a more authentic ambiance feel upfront that overall suits my style of music. That being said the Concert Grand is a beast being to over powerful with a completely different attack being difficult to express that gentle touch.

As btb quoted,

Quote:
But is "bigger” better"


If you prefer one over the other, why ask those who have never played either piano? It is quite possible the smaller grand is better than the concert, and you would know best what your music sounds like on it. A lot has to do with the brand and the maintenance of each. Generally speaking, however, the larger the grand, the clearer the bass notes and more room for dynamic contrast.

Can you record the same piece (or a segment of one) on each piano and compare the recordings before deciding?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2028049 - 02/06/13 12:07 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Hahaha... almost! A good 7 foot Steinway usually goes for 30-40 thousand....

Actually about double!

But you're right, it's not hundreds of thousands.

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#2028050 - 02/06/13 12:08 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: musicmad
OP here. To put it in perspective i was referring to a Baby Grand medium 6- 1/2....

Everybody take note. grin

When you see "baby grand," you can't assume. Even my liberal upper border of 6'3" didn't cover it!

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#2028086 - 02/06/13 12:53 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4890
Loc: USA
Yeah, I wouldn't exactly call 6'6 a baby grand... When I hear "baby grand" I think anything UNDER 6'.

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#2028167 - 02/06/13 03:09 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: Morodiene]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
....Generally speaking, however, the larger the grand, the clearer the bass notes and more room for dynamic contrast....

....and the richer the tone.

As per what you said, he should just judge according to how the pianos seem to him. But I'm guessing he was also wanting to learn some general things about different sized grands, and hopefully we've helped him do that.

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#2028171 - 02/06/13 03:14 PM Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? [Re: musicmad]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4890
Loc: USA
When it comes to pianos, generally bigger IS better... that's why we have 9' pianos anyway... If it wasn't so, we'd never have to build 9' pianos.

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