Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
91 registered (beeboss, Al LaPorte, Amir, barbaram, Beakybird, AndrewJCW, 22 invisible), 1169 Guests and 9 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2033946 - 02/15/13 08:34 PM the piano
bengera Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/13
Posts: 23
Loc: ca
Being new to this forum, I'd like to start by saying that I am an enthusiast. I still think that whoever decided to throw the harp into a wooden box, then add the hammer action and the rest, did us a huge favor. What a magnificent repertoire has been written for this King instrument.

But the piano (keyboard) is a unique instrument for which I have fundamental issues that I can't resolve (I have been searching and asking). And I think they are unique to the keyboard (the only instrument I play).
Maybe someone can help and show me how ignorant I am (use all the math or terminology u wish, I am a scientist).

1. Why is the octave divided into 7+5. Why is F# a dark key but E# a regular F?
Why not 6 whites and 6 blacks?
2. I don't think its the C-major scale (which is "pleasant" C to B, w/o the dark notes), I'm pretty sure the A minor has priority (most Gregorian chants are written in a). Is the a-minor the reason (also A to G w/o the black notes)?
3. Why are tuners using "stretching" when they tune?
4. Why are pros insisting the G-flat is different than F#? If I transcribe the Schubert G-flat Impromtu to F# and play it, nobody will ever be able to tell at what of the 2 keys I am playing. Right?
5. How come nobody writes in A# major but there is tons in B-flat? Or otherwise, there is some music in C# major (not much indeed) why was it not written in D-flat?

Thanks for your help, I have a bunch of other fundamental problems but this will be a nice beginning.


Edited by bengera (02/15/13 08:37 PM)

(ad) Hailun Piano
Hailun Pianos
#2033948 - 02/15/13 08:41 PM Re: the piano [Re: bengera]
bennevis Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 7078
This might answer some of your questions:

You'll understand why E sharp is not the same as F (except on a keyboard tuned to equal temperament), how the octave is subdivided etc, and so on.
"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."

#2033968 - 02/15/13 09:50 PM Re: the piano [Re: bennevis]
bengera Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/13
Posts: 23
Loc: ca
Hi there,

I am immensely obliged to u, this is the beginning of an understanding.

I therefore assume that before modernity, the chords were designed according to length (it was possible to get x1.5 of the tone by sheer length) but there is no, for example, 1.5 as a construct of 2^(1/12). The 7th half tone shall be 1.498 (which at 440Hz base tone shall calculate to 659.2Hz (and not 660Hz).
We can not hear this difference between the 2 tones, but we hear it excellently when they are combined with the fundamental.

I think I got it, thanks. =bengera

#2034056 - 02/16/13 01:20 AM Re: the piano [Re: bengera]
Bosendorff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 441
1 & 2. The octaves on the keyboard are now divided and positioned that way since quite a long time, but it was different some centuries ago (first church organs, etc.).

3. Stretch tuning is necessary on pianos because of their inharmonicity/imperfect harmonics so that the human ear perceives the octaves as "correct".

4. Gb and F# are different in terms of music theory and sound different on musical instruments like the violin, violas and cello, but are represented by the same enharmonic keys on keyboard instruments.

5. Keys are defined by a number of flats or sharps which follow a fixed order (Google circle of fifths). An A# major key would imply a signature of 10 sharps - so not practical at all, except for a temporary transposition in a manuscript. The Bb key is thus much easier as it implies only two flats for signature (Bb and Eb). C# and Db major keys are more common as they respectively imply signatures of 7 sharps and 5 flats, which happen more often.

(ad 800) Ritmuller
Ritmuller Presents
#2034066 - 02/16/13 01:47 AM Re: the piano [Re: Bosendorff]
bengera Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/13
Posts: 23
Loc: ca
I am again much obliged.

Still, octaves are always x2, right? So why the stretching?
After 60 years one loses much sound sensitivity or one might never have had it...

I am familiar with the circle of 5th, thanks.

I'll have to think about the A#, there can be no more than 7 sharps for 7 tones. Yep, it's tricky in the D and A.


Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
(ad) Yamaha CP4 or CP40 Free Bag
Buy a CP4 or CP40 Get a Free Bag
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ads) PD - WNG - MH
Ad (the Piano Store)
the Piano Store - Restored Steinway Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Reducing my ambitions...
by Ganddalf
11/25/15 05:37 AM
Yamaha B2 Key Overhang
by Beans47
11/25/15 05:15 AM
Yamaha Avant Grand N2 question?
by tekaeefixe
11/25/15 04:53 AM
"He Makes Music"--A Short Personal Story
by Cinnamonbear
11/25/15 02:48 AM
by johan d
11/25/15 02:31 AM
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Forum Stats
81,545 Registered Members
44 Forums
168,533 Topics
2,469,368 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission