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#2142005 - 08/31/13 10:45 PM Horowitz transcriptions
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
After searching this forum I have found relatively little information regarding the Horowitz transcriptions and wanted to reopen this topic since it deserves more attention and discussion among all pianists and rare sheet music collectors. I am not going to post links to the scores as many of these realizations are still available online although it is not in my best interest to share other's scores and distribute or sell them as many sites are now doing. Sharing something for free is one thing (as a labor of love) although selling these realizations for personal gain is wrong and I do not endorse it.

Even though the realizations have been floating around at various sites on the internet for many years I have some other more important questions to look into that may eventually unravel the mystery of Horowitz's hand written manuscripts.

Questions:

Wonder as to when (if ever) the "Horowitz Estate" will decide to release the transcription scores as penned by the master himself?

According to pianist Arthur McKenzie (back in the '80's) it was said that Horowitz kept his transcriptions in a safe so that no one would be able to know how he played them.

As for now we have many "realizations" of these pieces notated by many different arrangers - some of which I have had personal communications with regarding specific pieces. As accurate as many of the realizations may be it still does not replace original manuscripts for authenticity. There is only one version of the Carmen Variations (1957) completed by Jon Skinner (i.e., Pellisorius edition) that was based on a real manuscript by Horowitz as it had been requested by the recording engineers to aid in editing the recording.

I see no reason as to why the Horowitz Estate would remain reluctant to release and publish the originals (perhaps as reformatted versions that can be sold in a collection) as they stand to make *a ton* of money if they decide to do so.

Does anyone have any additional details regarding these transcriptions?

Comments, stories, score examples... any and all info is welcome!

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#2142008 - 08/31/13 10:51 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: pv88
Wonder as to when (if ever) the "Horowitz Estate" will decided to release all of the transcription scores as penned by the master himself?

According to pianist Arthur McKenzie (back in the '80's) it was said that Horowitz kept all of his transcriptions scores in his safe so that no one would be able to know as to how he played them.

I wouldn't have assumed that he necessarily wrote them out -- and I still wouldn't assume that there were ever scores for all of them. When you do transcriptions for yourself to play, you don't necessarily write them out.

Quote:
As for now we have many "realizations" of these pieces notated by many different arrangers - some of which I have had personal communications with regarding the scores. As accurate as the realizations may be it still does not replace original manuscripts for authenticity....

From the one that I've played (Stars & Stripes) plus the one composition of his that I played and for which there are only other people's attempts to write it out (Danse Excentrique), I can tell you that they're not extremely accurate at all, even the better attempts.

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#2142034 - 08/31/13 11:53 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Mark_C]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
@Mark,

Thanks for your reply.

It looks like you quoted me as I was still editing my post as I took out the words "all of" (in the first quoted example) so that the question would be more to the point. You are right that no one can assume that Horowitz had stored away ALL of his scores in a safe even though there may be good reason to believe the statement (at least in part) by Arthur McKenzie. The reference to McKenzie can be found in Glenn Plaskin's biography of Horowitz, here:

Horowitz - by Glenn Plaskin

I am hoping that the Horowitz Estate might consider releasing or publishing some of these scores if they do indeed have them otherwise we are left with the realizations notated by others, or, we simply have to do our own transcription work.

Also, I did attempt the opening section of Horowitz's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (many years ago) and notated it long before I had seen any of the other realizations although I admit there are some errors as you will see, here:

Page 1:

http://imgur.com/5yUlU7b

Page 2:

http://imgur.com/ucIfFCX

Page 3:

http://imgur.com/sRHcUap

Has anyone else done notation of this piece (or, any other Horowitz transcription) that they would like to share?

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#2142060 - 09/01/13 12:38 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Mark_C]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
As for "The Stars and Stripes Forever" here is an excerpt I have recorded at my Clavinova CLP-480 of the first 20 measures without the repeats:

https://app.box.com/s/33352vxz78p98bvrojio

The score I play from is a free rendition offered by Florian Wolf as taken from a link given in a current YouTube video.

I am aware that my playing was slightly under tempo and I also had to keep it rather short since I have an index (or, 2nd) finger on my R.H. that has been sensitive as of lately due to all the typing and mouse clicking I do at the computer. I am now attempting to avoid further injury to my hand by using a "HandShoe" mouse that I just bought, below:

http://www.handshoemouse.com/

Extra note:

If anyone else wants to post their own recordings here (if it is a Horowitz transcription piece) - please do so.

This will add a little spice to the thread!

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#2142073 - 09/01/13 01:18 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Dwscamel Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 512
Originally Posted By: pv88
As for "The Stars and Stripes Forever" here is an excerpt I have recorded at my Clavinova CLP-480 of the first 20 measures without the repeats:

https://app.box.com/s/33352vxz78p98bvrojio

The score I play from is a free rendition offered by Florian Wolf as taken from a link given in a current YouTube video.

I am aware that my playing was slightly under tempo and I also had to keep it rather short since I have an index (or, 2nd) finger on my R.H. that has been sensitive as of lately due to all the typing and mouse clicking I do at the computer. I am now attempting to avoid further injury to my hand by using a "HandShoe" mouse that I just bought, below:

http://www.handshoemouse.com/

Extra note:

If anyone else wants to post their own recordings here (if it is a Horowitz transcription piece) - please do so.

This will add a little spice to the thread!


Hey, it sounds like Horowitz crawled into your digital piano and helped you out smile.

Horowitz is my hero (along with Rachmaninoff) and I'd love to follow this thread for transcriptions. I've heard some decent fan transcriptions on YouTube, but nothing for the Carmen Variations, sadly . . .

I'm about to listen to those now!
_________________________
Casio PX-150

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#2142108 - 09/01/13 04:32 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
I wanted to add here that a little known and rare hand written manuscript of Horowitz's original piece titled "Etude-Fantaisie in E-flat major, Op. 4 ("Les vagues") is available from the Yale Music Library. It is possible to request a copy of the piece which includes four large manuscript sheets which was sent to me as four 11'' x 17'' over-sized photo copies. The notation is very small and is quite difficult to read although you will do better to view an image like the one below which is a portion of the 1st page. Save the image first then you can zoom in on it to get a better look at the detail:

http://imgur.com/u0uqRP1

And, here is the library listing for where you can request the copies:

Yale Music Library - Horowitz papers

Scroll down to Box 91, Folder 68, in the above link, to see this:

91 68 Horowitz, Vladimir.
Etude-fantasie es-dur op. 4 : Les vagues.
[4] sheets of music ; 27 x 35 cm.
Holograph, signed, in ink with pencil additions.
For piano.
Dedication on first sheet to Sergei Vladimirovich Tarnovsky.


It is available on request through the Yale Music Library.

Extra note:

Here's an excellent performance of the piece by Valery Kuleshov:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCh3JEQ5Sfs

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#2142126 - 09/01/13 05:27 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1283
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Originally Posted By: pv88
I wanted to add here that a little known and rare hand written manuscript of Horowitz's original piece titled "Etude-Fantaisie in E-flat major, Op. 4 ("Les vagues") is available from the Yale Music Library. It is possible to request a copy of the piece which includes four large manuscript sheets which was sent to me as four 11'' x 17'' over-sized photo copies. The notation is very small and is quite difficult to read although you will do better to view an image like the one below which is a portion of the 1st page. Save the image first then you can zoom in on it to get a better look at the detail:

http://imgur.com/u0uqRP1

And, here is the library listing for where you can request the score:

Yale Music Library - Horowitz papers

Scroll down to Box 91, Folder 68, in the above link, to see this:

91 68 Horowitz, Vladimir.
Etude-fantasie es-dur op. 4 : Les vagues.
[4] sheets of music ; 27 x 35 cm.
Holograph, signed, in ink with pencil additions.
For piano.
Dedication on first sheet to Sergei Vladimirovich Tarnovsky.


It is available on request through the Yale Music Library.


Thanks for posting about that!


M.

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#2142164 - 09/01/13 08:43 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Thracozaag Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/06/04
Posts: 1980
Loc: Salt Lake City
I've written out the Rakoczy, Vallee d'Obermann, and Scherzo and March. Was fun trying to figure them out. Many thanks for the Yale link!
_________________________
"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant

http://www.youtube.com/kojiattwood
https://www.giftedmusicschool.org/

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#2142710 - 09/02/13 08:41 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1664
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
VH never put most of his transcriptions on paper. Indeed, listening to his live recordings from the 1940s onward, I've reached the conclusion that he not only never played them twice in the same way - he often made changes "on the fly."

The Plaskin bio is seriously out of date and contained many inaccuracies - which is understandable since he received no cooperation from VH. Sadly, Plaskin pitched his research material after the book was published and has never attempted an update.

It would be nice of the VH Estate would put out the few items he wrote down - mostly original compositions such as Les Vagues. Again, sadly, most of his original manuscripts remained behind when he left Russia in 1925 and likely no longer exist.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#2142715 - 09/02/13 08:59 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Hank Drake]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Hank Drake
VH never put most of his transcriptions on paper....

I never figured anything else.

I could only scratch my head at the idea of him 'keeping his transcriptions in a safe' -- it's hard to keep things in a safe that don't exist. smile

But I don't blame someone for thinking they exist, if it is said here and there....

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#2142874 - 09/02/13 03:29 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Jonathan Baker Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 476
Loc: New York City!
Every time Horowitz played his Carmen Variations he was capable of reconfiguring it, so there is no definitive version. A good example is in the contrast between his 1925 piano roll here....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRNWt7oDJJs

....now compare that with this rehearsal recording (White House 1978) more than a half century later, with substantial alterations improvised in the moment. Horowitz's improvisational and sight reading prowess made him a live wire on a Lisztian scale, capable of careening off the reservation at any time - this unofficial recording (with bad amateur equipment) has a wild, reckless abandon that I find electrifying. There is nothing else like it in the world of piano playing to this day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM_kl2ayyvQ

There are several young keyboard lions around playing the Horowitz transcriptions (acknowledged and unacknowledged). They disappoint me because, while they may play as fast, they cannot begin to match the off-the-charts dynamic contrasts or the endless variations in touch that made Horowitz what he was. Any pianist would want to study the Horowitz transcriptions to see, exactly, how he configured them. But for active recitalists, it would be more interesting to hear them devise their own transcriptions and hold forth accordingly, as did Rosenthal, Rachmaninoff, Horowitz, Grainger, etc. Both the performer and the public are more engaged when pianists exercise their sense of adventure and present their own ingenious fireworks.
_________________________
Jonathan Baker
http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#2142902 - 09/02/13 03:53 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Jonathan Baker]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
...the contrast between his 1925 piano roll here....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRNWt7oDJJs

1928. wink
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Polyphonist

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#2143147 - 09/02/13 10:43 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5377
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
Both the performer and the public are more engaged when pianists exercise their sense of adventure and present their own ingenious fireworks.

Well said.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2143235 - 09/03/13 03:13 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Jonathan Baker]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
Every time Horowitz played his Carmen Variations he was capable of reconfiguring it, so there is no definitive version.


@Jonathan,

I agree that Horowitz was exceptionally original and innovative in everything he played as we all have our favorite versions of his Carmen Variations and one of the most interesting in regards to the final ending section of the piece would be the brilliant 1947 version here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq6ctq70NEY

Can't think of a better "encore" than this one!

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#2143246 - 09/03/13 03:36 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Hank Drake]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
Originally Posted By: Hank Drake
It would be nice of the VH Estate would put out the few items he wrote down - mostly original compositions such as Les Vagues.


@Hank,

Please note that Horowitz's piece "Les vagues" (or, Etude-Fantaisie in E-flat major, Op. 4) is available from the music library at Yale University as you only need to make a request. The library will send you what is called a "manuscript release form" that is to be filled out and signed. After returning this form back to them they will send paper copies of the score itself.

Take a look at my post just a few back (in this same thread) as I have given a sample of the first page of the manuscript that you can view as the piece itself comprises four pages. I was sent four large 11'' x 17'' photocopies that contain the four manuscript pages. The hand written notation is very small but it is readable.

Extra note:

As for all of those younger pianists (and older, too) that have attempted playing the transcriptions I have never heard anyone as of yet that can get close to matching what Horowitz himself brings to the table.

No one will ever be able to copy his unique style of playing, singing tone, incredible dynamic range, and, technique. Many have tried to emulate these characteristics in his playing - to no avail!

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#2143274 - 09/03/13 05:50 AM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1664
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Yes, I know pv88, I already have a copy. I meant publish it for sale in retail outlets and online.

I agree, no one has approached Horowitz at his own transcriptions. He was sui generis.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#2157085 - 09/24/13 08:54 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
One of my favorite transcriptions is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYhUXXDmNP0

The great climax at the end is quite incredible although Horowitz manages to keep his playing under control making for a phenomenal performance.

Type in "horowitz rakoczy march" at YouTube to see other videos.

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#2157095 - 09/24/13 09:13 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6084
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I've been working on Stars and Stripes. I'm to the piccolo solo part... It's incredibly difficult, haha. The first section and the beginning of the trio is incredibly easy in comparison...

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#2157118 - 09/24/13 10:08 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Orange Soda King]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I've been working on Stars and Stripes. I'm to the piccolo solo part... It's incredibly difficult, haha. The first section and the beginning of the trio is incredibly easy in comparison...


Yes, there's no doubt that if you can master the middle "piccolo" section (which sounds like three hands when played correctly) then the rest of the piece will pretty much fall into place.

The opening and ending sections are predominantly a lot of chord and octave work, although the middle section requires splitting up both the melodic line and accompanying parts between the hands, with the L.H. taking a lot of the bass line and some of the melody notes, together.

Good luck!

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#2157141 - 09/24/13 11:05 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6084
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
For clarification, I meant I am learning to PLAY it (from a couple transcriptions I found, plus also altering a couple minor things myself due to hand size). I'm not trying to transcribe one of his recordings by ear. smile

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#2157161 - 09/24/13 11:45 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Orange Soda King]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
....The first section and the beginning of the trio is incredibly easy in comparison...

I always would quibble about anything of any difficulty being called "easy" in any respect, but even besides that: The 'beginning of the trio' is also incredibly difficult, if you want to be playing it with anything approaching the lyricism and soul with which Horowitz played it. Just playing the notes and hammering out the section? Sure, I suppose that's not that hard. But that's not what you want to do, is it?

BTW, if you do just hammer it out, you'll be having lots of company, like almost everyone besides Vlad. smile

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#2157163 - 09/24/13 11:48 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: Mark_C]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5377
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
....The first section and the beginning of the trio is incredibly easy in comparison...

I always would quibble about anything of any difficulty being called "easy" in any respect, but even besides that: The 'beginning of the trio' is also incredibly difficult, if you want to be playing it with anything approaching the lyricism and soul with which Horowitz played it. Just playing the notes and hammering out the section? Sure, I suppose that's not that hard. But that's not what you want to do, is it?

BTW, if you did just hammer it out, you'd have lots of company. smile

Especially the last few measures of that section. Some tricky passage work going on there. Certainly, compared to what follows, it's easier, which I think is what OSK was getting at, but it's definitely not easy.

Mark and I have talked about this piece in the past. He gave me some great advice about a couple of minor tenths that I haven't forgotten. smile

OSK, do you modulate the last section into A major, or leave it in A-flat major?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2157165 - 09/24/13 11:52 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6084
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Well, I've always been able to wade through chords, octaves, and leaps pretty well, so that's why the first section came together so quickly. The leaps at the beginning of the trio aren't that bad to me (I can handle leaps with finesse, too!) and that allowed me to focus on the shaping of the phrases and evenness of tone from the beginning of working on it.

Of course, I would never call any part of this piece "easy," and would agree that the beginning of the trio is more difficult than the E-flat major section of the piece (first half), but for me, the piccolo solo sections are way more difficult to just physically play... Let along worry about the finesse and other musical aspects required.

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#2157167 - 09/24/13 11:52 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6084
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
And I leave it in A-flat major. smile

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#2158155 - 09/26/13 05:30 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
Scores update:

Looks like the following link is now available again for anyone wanting the entire PDF file for the "Horowitz Scores" realizations as it had been titled by another person (whom I will not name here - although he is essentially sharing the same file that was compiled by doctor Makoto Natsui, back in the late 80's and 90's) and I would recommend saving the entire file to your computer:

"Horowitz Scores"

Please note that the above link will take a little while in which to load and after it does you can then save the entire 751 page file.

And, here is the link which contains the Horowitz Scores above if you should only want certain selected pieces:

"Index of/scores/horowitz"

Here is the "Parent Directory" link (from the above page) which also contains a multitude of scores, A-Z, of other composers and arrangers:

"Index of/scores"

Disclaimer:

Even though the scores are free to keep in your private collection please do not distribute or attempt to sell them to anyone else as this is the primary reason that the Horowitz Estate has taken down these links in the past. All of the transcribers that did the realizations wanted to be able to share them among other musicians for private use and study and had no intentions of selling their work.

If you follow my recommendation then the links should remain available for the time being. And, as I am not the owner of the links, please do "save" everything you want right now as it all could be gone tomorrow.

I am glad that I have had this opportunity to share the music!

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#2158215 - 09/26/13 07:20 PM Re: Horowitz transcriptions [Re: pv88]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
To everyone:

Be sure to check out the links for scores above as this may be a one time offer and there is no way of knowing how long the links will remain available.*

The complete 751 page "Horowitz Scores" PDF file and the other miscellaneous scores link happens to include everything you might want.

I do recommend saving and/or printing them out while you can.

*Extra note:

I originally did not intend to post any of the scores in this thread however they always had been freely shared by the original owner until the website links were contested by the Horowitz Estate. Since there is only one large file for the Horowitz Scores it would be most prudent to save a copy now.

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