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#2143720 - 09/03/13 10:52 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: JoelW
What exactly is the argument here?

Well, it might not be totally clear. smile

As I saw it, what Kuan was saying (essentially) was that the 4th Ballade 'isn't that hard technically.'

Which, as I said (more gently than this), is completely absurd.

BUT, he has "deniability" on it. ha
Because, he didn't 'really' say that. He said the difficulties are more musical than technical, and "most of the sections aren't all that bad technically."

If we look at those things narrowly, arguably he's right.

But I wasn't looking at it narrowly; I was trying to look at it meaningfully. ha

Like, how is it meaningful, if we think we're saying something of any interest and importance, to really only mean that "most of the sections" of the piece aren't that hard technically, if some of them are extremely hard? Why is that worth saying if you only mean it narrowly?

(Kuan, take it!) grin


My two cents:

I'm sick of people comparing technical and musical difficulty as if they're mutually exclusive. They're not. They're intertwined. Any chump can play the coda to the ballade and make it sound bad. It's playing it musically well that makes the technical challenges hard. Technical difficulty and musical difficulty go hand in hand.

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#2143725 - 09/03/13 10:55 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19714
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JoelW
....Any chump can play the coda to the ballade and make it sound bad.....

Well, not really. Most people (who play the piano) can't even play the notes -- including even most people who are reasonably advanced.

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#2143727 - 09/03/13 10:57 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
Ehh, I think my primary argument for saying that it's meaningful knowing that there's only one ridiculously difficult part of the piece is that you don't have to practice as many fiddly bits, and more of the piece (by more, I mean musically, not the notes) is learned thinking and taking time to understand the work.

Does it matter in performance if 10% of the piece is impossible as opposed to 80% of it? Not really, if you've already prepared it and are ready to play it.

But if you're learning it...well it might be possible to get it going more quickly if there are only a few bits that are technically difficult. The fingers don't need time to learn the rest.

Other example: that nocturne. You know that there's one bar that's a devil, and once you learn it, you can do the rest of the piece relatively easily. You can spend time thinking about the music, as opposed to thinking about the notes.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2143729 - 09/03/13 10:59 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: JoelW
....Any chump can play the coda to the ballade and make it sound bad.....

Well, not really. Most people (who play the piano) can't even play the notes -- including even most people who are reasonably advanced.


You're implying that they're trying to make it sound good. If a reasonably accomplished pianist takes a stab at the coda without any intention of making it sound good, the notes won't be that hard to hit because 1) the tempo will be down 2) it will be sloppy 3) there will be no attention to musical detail.

It's the process of making those notes sound as best as possible that makes them hard to hit. Really, go try it. Go slap out scherzo 4 without any serious intent. It will sound awful, but it won't be hard.. then try to play it as best as you can. That's when it becomes hard.


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#2143730 - 09/03/13 11:00 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
@Joel - my last post of the night, but in some ways they can be separated. Think of something abstract like managing climaxes: your fingers aren't going to help you make the coda of the ballade seem inevitable and terrible. It's how you play the other 10 pages leading up to it, in a thoughtful manner, that will make the coda that much more musically effective. Playing the the coda in a tremendously technically proficient and musical way doesn't mean much if the rest of the piece didn't bring you to that point.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2143732 - 09/03/13 11:02 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: JoelW
What exactly is the argument here?

Well, it might not be totally clear. smile

As I saw it, what Kuan was saying (essentially) was that the 4th Ballade 'isn't that hard technically.'

Which, as I said (more gently than this), is completely absurd.

BUT, he has "deniability" on it. ha
Because, he didn't 'really' say that. He said the difficulties are more musical than technical, and "most of the sections aren't all that bad technically."

If we look at those things narrowly, arguably he's right.

But I wasn't looking at it narrowly; I was trying to look at it meaningfully. ha

Like, how is it meaningful, if we think we're saying something of any interest and importance, to really only mean that "most of the sections" of the piece aren't that hard technically, if some of them are extremely hard? Why is that worth saying if you only mean it narrowly?

(Kuan, take it!) grin


My two cents:

I'm sick of people comparing technical and musical difficulty as if they're mutually exclusive. They're not. They're intertwined. Any chump can play the coda to the ballade and make it sound bad. It's playing it musically well that makes the technical challenges hard. Technical difficulty and musical difficulty go hand in hand.


Technical and musical difficulties do NOT go hand in hand. You'll come to learn that with more experience. I'm safe in saying that, because any musician WITH a good bit of experience will tell you that they are not intertwined.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2143734 - 09/03/13 11:03 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: stores]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: stores

Technical and musical difficulties do NOT go hand in hand. You'll come to learn that with more experience. I'm safe in saying that, because any musician WITH a good bit of experience will tell you that they are not intertwined.


The above is a statement with no factual arguments.

You are wrong, stores. At least, in a way. When I say they are intertwined, I mean this:

A passage becomes physically harder the more you attempt to make it sound better. If the musical difficulty is to play fast and loud, that is also the technical difficulty. Not just fast and loud though. Minute control is very difficult technically. If a run calls for quick, fleeting phrasing, and the pianist cannot deliver, s/he will likely resort to using a rubato to compensate for lacking technique. (this is very common in scherzo 4) Therefore, the musical challenge of that phrase is intertwined with the technical challenge.

See?


Edited by JoelW (09/03/13 11:17 PM)

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#2143735 - 09/03/13 11:05 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Kuanpiano]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19714
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Ehh, I think my primary argument for saying that it's meaningful knowing that there's only one ridiculously difficult part of the piece....

You just lost your deniability. ha

The coda is absolutely NOT the only ridiculously difficult part of the piece (even speaking just technically).

And sorry, but I won't be too interested in itemizing the various others. I'll just let this stand as is. Whoever gets it does, whoever doesn't doesn't. smile

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: stores

Technical and musical difficulties do NOT go hand in hand. You'll come to learn that with more experience. I'm safe in saying that, because any musician WITH a good bit of experience will tell you that they are not intertwined.


The above is a statement with no factual arguments.

You are wrong stores. At least, in a way. When I say they are intertwined, I mean this:

A passage becomes physically harder the more you attempt to make it sound better. Pristine phrasing is a technical challenge in itself.

You are right.
At best, it's arrogant semantics.
At worst, it's.......well, let's just say worse. grin

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#2143745 - 09/03/13 11:23 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Quote:

The coda is absolutely NOT the only ridiculously difficult part of the piece (even speaking just technically).

And sorry, but I won't be too interested in itemizing the various others. I'll just let this stand as is. Whoever gets it does, whoever doesn't doesn't. smile

Where does the coda actually start? When the right hand goes cooky or after the soft chords?

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#2143746 - 09/03/13 11:24 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=Mark_C]
The coda is absolutely NOT the only ridiculously difficult part of the piece (even speaking just technically).

And sorry, but I won't be too interested in itemizing the various others. I'll just let this stand as is. Whoever gets it does, whoever doesn't doesn't. smile

Where does the coda actually start? After the soft chords?

Yes, I don't see how one could consider it to start anywhere else.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143747 - 09/03/13 11:25 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8848
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Well now I'm confused. Looking at Hakki's earlier post of this Liszt TE
I just don't see how musical and technical difficulties are NOT going hand in hand here... at least if you wish to observe Liszt's careful dynamic markings.
_________________________
Jason

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#2143749 - 09/03/13 11:26 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=Mark_C]
The coda is absolutely NOT the only ridiculously difficult part of the piece (even speaking just technically).

And sorry, but I won't be too interested in itemizing the various others. I'll just let this stand as is. Whoever gets it does, whoever doesn't doesn't. smile

Where does the coda actually start? After the soft chords?

Yes, I don't see how one could consider it to start anywhere else.


Lol yeah.. scratch that. I don't know what I was thinking. In that case, Mark is absolutely right. When the main theme is revisited, introducing a cooky right hand and the cross-rhythms, it is VERY hard to play that the right way. Not to mention the euphoric part that follows (with the scales in the left hand). The entire piece from the "cooky right hand" segment onward is just demonically hard.


Edited by JoelW (09/03/13 11:34 PM)

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#2143750 - 09/03/13 11:27 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
[quote=Mark_C]
The coda is absolutely NOT the only ridiculously difficult part of the piece (even speaking just technically).

And sorry, but I won't be too interested in itemizing the various others. I'll just let this stand as is. Whoever gets it does, whoever doesn't doesn't. smile

Where does the coda actually start? After the soft chords?

Yes, I don't see how one could consider it to start anywhere else.


Yeah lol scratch that I don't know what I was thinking.

I suppose one could say that the entire piece is the coda. whome
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143754 - 09/03/13 11:34 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
By the way, now that we're on the subject, near the end of the first movement of Rachmaninoff's D minor sonata, there is a passage that closely resembles (and was clearly inspired by) bars 195 - 200 of the Ballade. And it has the same climactic feeling to it, and is at the same point in the emotional arc of the piece. And the meter is similar as well.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143756 - 09/03/13 11:36 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
By the way, now that we're on the subject, near the end of the first movement of Rachmaninoff's D minor sonata, there is a passage that closely resembles (and was clearly inspired by) bars 195 - 200 of the Ballade. And it has the same climactic feeling to it, and is at the same point in the emotional arc of the piece.


I am only familiar with the second sonata. How does the first compare?

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#2143759 - 09/03/13 11:38 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
By the way, now that we're on the subject, near the end of the first movement of Rachmaninoff's D minor sonata, there is a passage that closely resembles (and was clearly inspired by) bars 195 - 200 of the Ballade. And it has the same climactic feeling to it, and is at the same point in the emotional arc of the piece.


I am only familiar with the second sonata. How does the first compare?

How about you listen to it, and judge for yourself? It's heresy not to have heard it, in any case. grin

It truly is an amazing work, and vastly underplayed and underappreciated compared to the second.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143763 - 09/03/13 11:40 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
By the way, now that we're on the subject, near the end of the first movement of Rachmaninoff's D minor sonata, there is a passage that closely resembles (and was clearly inspired by) bars 195 - 200 of the Ballade. And it has the same climactic feeling to it, and is at the same point in the emotional arc of the piece.


I am only familiar with the second sonata. How does the first compare?

How about you listen to it, and judge for yourself? It's heresy not to have heard it, in any case. grin

It truly is an amazing work, and vastly underplayed and underappreciated compared to the second.


Well of course I will, right now! Just thought I'd ask.

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#2143764 - 09/03/13 11:41 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19714
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JoelW
....In that case, Mark is absolutely right....

Thanks, but actually Mark was absolutely right even before you got that clarified. ha

There are very difficult technical parts even before that.

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#2143765 - 09/03/13 11:45 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: JoelW
....In that case, Mark is absolutely right....

Thanks, but actually Mark was absolutely right even before you got that clarified. ha

There are very difficult technical parts even before that.

As early as measure 58 the piece becomes very difficult, especially if you have any ambition to play it well. ha
Bringing out the inner voices there satisfactorily while retaining the melody is a huge task.

Anyone who thinks this piece is anything short of extraordinarily difficult is playing it badly, period. I'm sure Zimmerman, Bunin, and Rubinstein would not presume to contradict me here.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143766 - 09/03/13 11:48 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19714
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
As early as measure 58 the piece becomes very difficult, especially if you have any ambition to play it well. ha
Bringing out the inner voices there satisfactorily while retaining the melody is a huge task.

....and that's a great example of why Joel was right about what Stores said, and why Stores was wrong about what Stores said. grin

(Especially putting it as he did.)

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#2143767 - 09/03/13 11:50 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
As early as measure 58 the piece becomes very difficult, especially if you have any ambition to play it well. ha
Bringing out the inner voices there satisfactorily while retaining the melody is a huge task.

....and that's a great example of why Joel was right about what Stores said, and why Stores was wrong about what Stores said. grin

(Especially putting it as he did.)

Just a minute - I never said anything about what stores said.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143769 - 09/03/13 11:51 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19714
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Just a minute - I never said anything about what stores said.

Sometimes we know not what we say. ha

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#2143772 - 09/03/13 11:54 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Just a minute - I never said anything about what stores said.

Sometimes we know not what we say. ha

Point out to me where I said anything about that issue.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143775 - 09/03/13 11:57 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19714
Loc: New York
That things of yours that I quoted in that post!

If you don't get it, maybe you're misunderstanding what we're referring to.

And if you still won't, this is also something I won't be particularly interested in saying more about.

(If you're really interested, just follow back the last few posts between me and Joel. It won't be hard to see.)

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#2143776 - 09/04/13 12:01 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That things of yours that I quoted in that post!

If you don't get it, maybe you're misunderstanding what we're referring to.

And if you still won't, this is also something I won't be particularly interested in saying more about.

(If you're really interested, just follow back the last few posts between me and Joel. It won't be hard to see.)

Well, it doesn't seem very polite to hint that you disagree with me, and won't tell me what it is you disagree with.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143778 - 09/04/13 12:03 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19714
Loc: New York
Yikes!

I AGREED with you!

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#2143780 - 09/04/13 12:05 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Yikes!

I AGREED with you!

Well, it seems like what you said once is true, Mark. "Misunderstandings lead to more misunderstandings." grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143783 - 09/04/13 12:08 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19714
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Well, it seems like what you said once is true, Mark. "Misunderstandings lead to more misunderstandings." grin

Yeah. Actually the quote was "Many misunderstandings come about from misunderstandings."

(right here)

But I'm glad for it to be remembered, even wrong. ha

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#2143784 - 09/04/13 12:08 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Well, it seems like what you said once is true, Mark. "Misunderstandings lead to more misunderstandings." grin

Yeah. Actually the quote was "Many misunderstandings come about from misunderstandings."

(right here)

But I'm glad for it to be remembered, even wrong. ha

grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2143848 - 09/04/13 04:28 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: stores

Technical and musical difficulties do NOT go hand in hand. You'll come to learn that with more experience. I'm safe in saying that, because any musician WITH a good bit of experience will tell you that they are not intertwined.


The above is a statement with no factual arguments.

You are wrong, stores. At least, in a way. When I say they are intertwined, I mean this:

A passage becomes physically harder the more you attempt to make it sound better. If the musical difficulty is to play fast and loud, that is also the technical difficulty. Not just fast and loud though. Minute control is very difficult technically. If a run calls for quick, fleeting phrasing, and the pianist cannot deliver, s/he will likely resort to using a rubato to compensate for lacking technique. (this is very common in scherzo 4) Therefore, the musical challenge of that phrase is intertwined with the technical challenge.

See?


No, I'm not wrong. Do you even play the piano? I know Mark agreed with you, but that means nothing. He would agree with Satan, to disagree with me.
Whether you realise it, or not, what you wrote above pretty much proves my point.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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