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#2185459 - 11/20/13 12:55 AM Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor)
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
Okay, so I know that his Prelude in C Sharp minor is one of the most hackneyed piece in classical music. However, when you really put things into perspective, 99.7% of the population does not even know he exists.

I made an interesting connection between an awful rap song (Double platinum with over 50 million views) called "Rack City." Rack City has greatly influenced the youth with lyrics like: Rack city bi*** rack city bi***, ten ten twenties on your ti**ies bi*** (and thats just the chorus). The versus are even worse. Anyways the instrumental uses the same introductory motif that Rach wrote over a hundred years ago. I doubt it was intentional, however the connection stands.

I'd like to open up some discussion on the lack of change from the classical music industry in regards to these "Masterpieces," which we as pianist should not touch. I decided to shorten Rach's prelude and connected it to this rap song so when young people search for "Rack City" - some will find "Rack City vs. Rachmaninoff." Somewhat of a red herring, I am hoping that my project opens up the door for other (much better) musicians to adopt a similar marketing technique which enables people who most likely will never get the chance to experience classical music - to experience classical music via mainstream connections. Now I shortened it because the attention spans of the youth are abysmal - from experience I doubt any young kid is going to listen through a 4-5 minute prelude. Which is a shame because that agitato section is remarkably inspiring - regardless how many times I hear it.

It was actually that section of music which inspired me to start playing piano 3 years ago, when I was losing my mind in undergrad as a biology major. Anyways, I am really looking for your feedback - I know my voicing, phrasing, and overall playing needs much work - but I hope you can find some sympathy in regards to how long I have been playing - and rather focus on the concept and how we can bring this idea to more classical musicians.

Another quick example is just doing covers of popular music on your channel which consists of classical music. We need to start adapting to the current times or I believe all hope will be lost.

Rack City vs. Rachmaninoff
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWrjNEaz3E

P.S Rachmaninoff already had a certain distaste for this piece because of its unusual popularity - however, I believe that if he heard Rack City and this other crap that is on the radio - he would be glad that at least somewhere out there his music is still being heard...

Thoughts, comments, criticisms are much appreciated as your time is.

Thank you,
Daniel
www.Danielinnovate.com


Edited by innov8music (11/20/13 12:56 AM)
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#2185478 - 11/20/13 03:10 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 853
Loc: UK, Brighton
Did you seriously dump your swag on that beautiful piano? frown I must admit, I laughed when you took off the d**che-chain. Still, um, you're not bad for three years; not bad *at all*. A good choice of font, by the way, for the video I mean; a classic font that's been rather adopted by the wannabe gangsters, for some reason...God, let's not get into that laugh Um...it's just...oh, I mean no offence, but surely when you try to bridge two worlds you can't help but diminish the value of both? As The Hitcher from The Boosh put it: "combining elements of the past and future to make something not quite as good as either". I can far from condemn what you're trying to do, really, but, um, I'm not so sure that *that* many people don't get a chance to listen to classical music. Certainly, the majority of people I know do. I don't know...follow wherever your passions take you and don't let the opinions of anyone stop you...I mean, um, I would never do what you are doing and I make no pretence otherwise; but that's just what I'd do. Do what you want. I see no value in it for *me*, but that's because I'm already on the side to which you're trying to transport people. Maybe if you keep practicing you could play, and I say this in the least elitist way possible wink , properly and I'll really love what you have to offer. As it is, I recognise that there *is* value in what you're doing and I respect your decision to pursue it. By the way, I think someone used Debussy's first Arabesque (?)in one of their hip-hop (?) pieces. Frankly, I don't listen to either so I couldn't pinpoint it any further, but I'm sure it's the first Arabesque...like, um, Beyonce or someone...I...I wouldn't be so sure the influence wasn't intentional in your example ("Rack city"?), though of course I'd never dare suggest it is...anyway! Um...I'll let you get on; good work, nice idea, keep at it, welcome, have fun, I hope you're well and enjoy your night and day!
Xxx
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#2185482 - 11/20/13 03:19 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
That's a nice idea and even if Sergei's bones are rattling down there... who cares... laugh

I would admit that I, as a knowledgeable classical lover, would expect more... not "just" a Rachmaninoff performance (butchered, but I don't mind, personally).

That last bit is "stolen" from WANTED perhaps? wink
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#2185486 - 11/20/13 03:51 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
I think you would be surprised how well-versed professional musicians (of every background, and across most genres) actually are.
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#2185489 - 11/20/13 04:04 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Excuse me while I hurl.
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"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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#2185494 - 11/20/13 04:15 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: stores]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: stores
Excuse me while I hurl.


I didn't want to be the one to say it.

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#2185544 - 11/20/13 08:29 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: innov8music
Okay, so I know that his Prelude in C Sharp minor is one of the most hackneyed piece in classical music.

No.

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#2185550 - 11/20/13 08:47 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Every time we talk about the purists in classical music and elitism I will be hot linking this thread! wink
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#2185711 - 11/20/13 01:09 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: Nikolas]
wower Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 242
Loc: Calgary
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Every time we talk about the purists in classical music and elitism I will be hot linking this thread! wink


+1 I lol'd.

Cool concept, could be developed further but that's just my opinion. For the most part well executed too, some details here and there but that might just be personal taste.
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#2185832 - 11/20/13 04:40 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...I doubt any young kid is going to listen through a 4-5 minute prelude. Which is a shame because that agitato section is remarkably inspiring...

Maybe they will, maybe they won't. It's my experience that the young enjoy agitato sections--- and even manufacture them on their own. God knows, Rachmaninoff has been pilfered plenty for the popular music market.

The real question is not, "is Rachmaninoff killing you," but, "are you killing Rachmaninoff?" Even if you were, I can't see him reaching up from the grave to drag you off the piano bench, just because you're giving it a shot. If you're bold enough to post it on the web, you're probably not that worried about it yourself.
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#2185838 - 11/20/13 04:48 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4845
Originally Posted By: innov8music

Another quick example is just doing covers of popular music on your channel which consists of classical music. We need to start adapting to the current times or I believe all hope will be lost.

Rack City vs. Rachmaninoff
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWrjNEaz3E


Thank you,
Daniel
www.Danielinnovate.com

Cool, man! grin

BTW, old Rach never hesitated to cut bits out of his music to suit his audience (or himself). And Horowitz never played Rach 3 uncut - even in his so-called 'complete' performances from the 1970s onwards, he lopped off a 'superfluous' climax (or two) from the cadenza......

Now, I'll go put my flak jacket on wink .

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#2185955 - 11/20/13 09:38 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: FSO]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1036
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: FSO
By the way, I think someone used Debussy's first Arabesque (?)in one of their hip-hop (?) pieces. Frankly, I don't listen to either so I couldn't pinpoint it any further, but I'm sure it's the first Arabesque...like, um, Beyonce or someone[?]


That was Alicia Keys in Like the Sea. She had previously used Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata in the intro to her first studio album Songs in A minor although that particular piece has probably been used in everything.

But 'pianist' is one of the many hats that Keys wears.

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#2186073 - 11/21/13 02:35 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: FSO]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
I laughed SO hard while I read your first sentence. LOL! Thank you so much for the kind words, as well as the other feelings in there.

I promise you that I am working tirelessly on my technique, as well as just my understanding of music and the instrument. I'm looking forward to someday soon recording and filming the Chopin Nocturne in e minor (Op 72 no 1) in a more untouched way. So perhaps that will be something more towards your taste.

Just wanted to thank you again for your time and consideration. Hope you enjoy your night and day as well!
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innov8music

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#2186076 - 11/21/13 02:44 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: Nikolas]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
Yes maybe he twitched a bit if he noticed my project. But I can only imagine his reaction knowing that the Kardashians are the influencers of the current times - with all that "talent" and "hard work" they have to offer this world.

Sorry for the butchering, I spent literally my last 400$ producing the video and renting the studio out. And I only had a couple hours to direct, record, and film everything. With so much on my plate that day, perfect voicing was unfortunately not my priority.

Actually I didn't consciously steal that from the movie Wanted! But now that I think about it, thats a cool connection. Honestly I released this project 6 months ago with a really stupid ending where I presented a graph of keyword "Rachmaninoff vs "Tyga," (the rapper of Rack city). No one really understood the graph but it illustrated that less and less people around the world are searching for him and more and more are focused on "pop" stars.

Anyways thanks for your thoughts. Appreciate your lack of hostility as a knowledgable classical music lover. smile
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innov8music

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#2186078 - 11/21/13 02:46 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: Derulux]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
I'm not quite sure I understand where you are going with your statement.

Thank you for your response though and your time. Feel free to clarify if you choose so.
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www.Danielinnovate.com
innov8music

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#2186079 - 11/21/13 02:49 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: stores]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
Thank you for your insight! I hurl a bit too when I hear my awful chord voicing in the opening phrase (throughout actually). As well as the little hesitations in-between most of my phrases. Especially as the agitato section develops.

I've only been playing for 3 years though and if you watch my first video on youtube my piano skills are quite pathetic. Anyways, thank again for watching. Best to you.
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www.Danielinnovate.com
innov8music

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#2186080 - 11/21/13 02:50 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: Nikolas]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
Haha! Hey thank you so much for keeping this project in mind for all the purists! I've already have a few send me death threats via email!

I must be doing something right. Just wait till you hear my Chopin!! :p

Thanks for your time, sincerely!
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www.Danielinnovate.com
innov8music

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#2186082 - 11/21/13 02:53 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: wower]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
Nikolas, thanks so much for your time. I agree with you about the undeveloped-ness. Like I mentioned in a previous reply. I did this all on a really small (personal) budget on a tight time constraint.

Also only have been playing for a short while, which I'm actually thankful for in a weird way because I have not become so prejudice and purist towards classical music.

Much appreciated that you took your time to watch and you entertain the idea of sharing it with those purists!

Thank you.
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www.Danielinnovate.com
innov8music

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#2186083 - 11/21/13 02:56 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: Jeff Clef]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
Yes Jeff, you are correct, I do not worry much about what people think of me personally. Classical music fortunately dragged me out of a dark and despairing abyss. I understand now the value of my potential and creativity.

I can only hope that my projects allow others to find such solace via this music.

I've noticed kids enjoy agitato sections as well. Most pieces do not begin with agitato so this was my way to speed up the process a bit and give them a chance to find it.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
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innov8music

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#2186084 - 11/21/13 02:59 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: bennevis]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
Thanks so much for the words of encouragement.

I'm actually on my second book about Rach and have just read the bit about how he played improvisations and variations for his grandmothers guests during summer vacation. He figured that they didn't know the difference between Mozart and Liszt anyways so he just had fun and created his own riffs and abbreviations.

Thank you again for your time watching my project.
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#2186265 - 11/21/13 11:18 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3509
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
That's gotta be some kind of record...

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#2186285 - 11/21/13 11:59 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: ando]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17837
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: ando
That's gotta be some kind of record...


I think eight might be a record ....
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#2186288 - 11/21/13 12:04 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: BruceD]
maxmila Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 70
He's probably trying to innov8 beyond music.

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#2186313 - 11/21/13 12:52 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: maxmila]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4845
Originally Posted By: maxmila
He's probably trying to innov8 beyond music.

These are my favourite trail/mountain-running shoe brand:
www.inov-8.com grin

Can't fault 'em.

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#2186316 - 11/21/13 12:54 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
Steve Peterson Offline

Bronze Level Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 138
Loc: Texas
"Dedicated to Lola Astanova". Gotta love that. My piano is named Lola after her. If you haven't seen her, look her up on YouTube. I find her piano playing good but not great. However, she has other...qualities, and she's doing her best to market those.
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#2186340 - 11/21/13 01:21 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1036
Loc: Massachusetts
Thank you for sharing. You have definitely put a lot of effort into this work. There are many possibilities for what you are trying to do but I think it is not quite there yet.

I see this as a classically-inspired performance, meaning it may not fit specifically into the classical basket. The concept that you are working with from the beginning of the video is fine and workable. But once you have got going, the performance fails to assert itself in any specific way. As someone else put it, you are trying to bridge two worlds but will ultimately not please either side.

By assuming that the 'current generation' cannot sit through the full prelude as it is composed, you deprive them of experiencing it fully. What you are trying to do is bring them to the water but you cannot make them drink it.

In your production you have to make a decision of whether you want to reference Rachmaninoff and incorporate this work into your own composition, or introduce a new audience to the real Rachmaninoff. What you have done here falls too much in the middle and will not hold the attention of a broad audience. You might pull some people in through novelty or gimmick but the attention will not hold.

I think the Alicia Keys example is one way to go about using the classics as inspiration. The audience will be introduced to the original piece in that way. Some will be intrigued and look into it further. There's also groups like Evanescence that incorporate classical pieces into their music. This is basically done as a value-added component and doesn't really cross-over.

There is a great Bill Evans interview where he explains that people need to understand a thing at its most basic level in order to get any true meaning out of it. By introducing a new audience to a piece they don't know and then providing an improvisation on it, they are less likely to understand it.

I looked at your website briefly. Can you explain some of your musical influences and how they impact your work? Any interest in Jazz? What I'm thinking is that instead of playing the piece as you did with edits and improvisation, add more production and 'beats' or something like that so that the classical nature of the piece is subordinated. Sorry to use the labels and suggest picking a side but I think it would be more effective.

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#2186446 - 11/21/13 04:17 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3461
3 years playing? Very nice

Also nice work on the video.

I like the Rachmaninoff parts. And I don't miss the little 'Rack City' that you present

But to me it does not bridge Rach to the Rack. You could try to find some middle ground and go back and forth, shaping the characters of the two pieces. Instead, you go from Rack to Rach and never look back smile
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#2186572 - 11/21/13 09:17 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: Steve Peterson]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Steve Peterson
"Dedicated to Lola Astanova". Gotta love that. My piano is named Lola after her. If you haven't seen her, look her up on YouTube. I find her piano playing good but not great. However, she has other...qualities, and she's doing her best to market those.


-111111111111111111111111111 Other qualities? This is a piano forum and not some meat market. That said, the second I read the dedication I knew I was going to hate what I was about to hear.
_________________________

"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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#2186624 - 11/21/13 11:47 PM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: innov8music]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
This is so bizarre.

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#2186677 - 11/22/13 02:32 AM Re: Rachmaninoff is going to KILL me! (Prelude in C# minor) [Re: maxmila]
innov8music Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/13
Posts: 30
Loc: NY
Yes indeed. smile I think the world needs a little shaking up. Especially when it comes to classical music.
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