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#2187211 - 11/23/13 08:28 AM There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos?
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Venezuela
I am researching a lot about digital pianos lately, and one thing surprise me. Many people talk about continuously variable half pedal, with supposably 128 values, from 0 to 127 (MIDI resolution limit). When I read about that, I was assuming there was a digital piano that send complete 1 by 1 resolution about the sustain pedal. Like 0, 1, 2, 3...127. But now that I am having real data about some digital pianos, is clear is far from continuous. Here are a few examples of models:

Casio PX-150 and Casio PX-350: Half pedalling is 3 steps pedal (OFF, HALF, ON)

Yamaha P-105: Half pedalling is 9 steps pedal (0 16 32 30 64 80 96 112 127 values)

Kawai ES100: Half pedalling is 6 steps pedal (0 16 38 64 94 127 values)

Yamaha P-155: Half pedalling is 6 steps pedal (0 24 48 72 100 127 values)

Don't get me wrong. I think 6 or 9 steps is very good. More than that is not that really necessary, except if you want a very realistic pedal damper noise (not that important ether) in a advanced piano sound like Pianoteq. But continuous?

Maybe the reason I don't find a real continuous half pedal is that I am looking for under 1000 US$ DPs. What about very expensive digital pianos?

There is such thing as a digital piano with real 128 steps half pedal?

Not that I think is super necessary having 128 steps. I just want to know if there is such thing. Is more to know if the terminology is correct.
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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2187215 - 11/23/13 08:40 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
MacMacMac Offline
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Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3837
Loc: North Carolina
You're not alone in thinking 128 steps are not needed. Pianos have no more than around a half dozen steps. That's all.

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#2187248 - 11/23/13 09:50 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5277
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Daniel, the best way to research a piano or keyboard is to play it and not compare numbers per se.

Numbers can't explain how a keyboard's action feels or explain the interaction between the keyboard action and your perception of how it responds.
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#2187257 - 11/23/13 10:18 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3708
Loc: Northern England.
Well, the Yamaha DGX 630 640 and 650 support continuous pedalling, I think. But my experience is that it makes no difference to the on/off one; however, the pedalboard makes it look a whole lot better and was worth the £60 or so I paid for it on that basis. . .

And I`ve used the middle pedal once in anger on a piece of music. Everybody got to know about this achievement, too. It may never happen again!!
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2187261 - 11/23/13 10:34 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: peterws]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3613
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: peterws
But my experience is that it makes no difference to the on/off one


Pete, do you even play piano?

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#2187279 - 11/23/13 11:15 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9369
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
Kawai ES100: Half pedalling is 6 steps pedal (0 16 38 64 94 127 values)


May I ask where you saw this information?

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2187282 - 11/23/13 11:19 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Kawai James]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Kawai ES100: Half pedalling is 6 steps pedal (0 16 38 64 94 127 values)

I buy a Kawai ES100 recently and i test it connected to my computer.

The rest of models are by other testing their pianos.


Edited by Daniel Richter (11/23/13 11:20 AM)
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2187283 - 11/23/13 11:19 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
Don't forget that the continuous numbers that you might see on the midi stream doesn't mean that the DP is using them that fine grained. (Just sayin')

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#2187284 - 11/23/13 11:21 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
PtJaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 193
Loc: Czech Republic
My CA65 has a 26-step pedal. Yamaha YDP-161 had a 9-step pedal . (guessing from the Pianoteq Midi-events window)

I would not want a piano with the full 128-step midi pedal.
Sending one MIDI message through the MIDI cable takes ~1ms (I don't know how it is with MIDI over USB, perhaps it might be better?). So, unless the electronics inside the piano used an advanced algorithm for queueing the pedal events, pressing the pedal could create serious traffic jams.

Another possible problem could be on the other side, I'd be afraid that having to handle so many interrupts could impair the low-latency capabilities of my computer.

On top of that, I'm not sure about contemporary VSTs (Galaxy, Ivory, ..., let's ignore Pianoteq for a moment), how many halfsteps they can sense. Is it only 1 halfstep or is it more? If it was only 1 halfstep, then 3-step pedals inside Casios already uses their full capabilities.
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#2187288 - 11/23/13 11:30 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: PtJaa]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: PtJaa
My CA65 has a 26-step pedal. Yamaha YDP-161 had a 9-step pedal.

I would not want a piano with the full 128-step midi pedal.
Sending one MIDI message through the MIDI cable takes ~1ms (I don't know how it is with MIDI over USB, perhaps it might be better?). So, unless the electronics inside the piano used an advanced algorithm for queueing the pedal events, pressing the pedal could create serious traffic jams.

Another possible problem could be on the other side, I'd be afraid that having to handle so many interrupts could impair the low-latency capabilities of my computer.

On top of that, I'm not sure about contemporary VSTs (Galaxy, Ivory, ..., let's ignore Pianoteq for a moment), how many halfsteps they can sense. Is it only 1 halfstep or more? If it was only 1 halfstep, then 3-step pedals inside Casios already uses their full capabilities.


Really good response. I agree. Having too much steps in the pedal would be very problematic, and don't actually gain anything.

So 26 steps? That looks like a "limit". More than that would cause those problem you mention. So from now on i will consider continuous 26 steps. 9 steps is acceptable though. 3 steps lame but works for most.

Thanks for your response.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2187290 - 11/23/13 11:37 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1751
Loc: Portugal
PtJaa said: Sending one MIDI message through the MIDI cable takes ~1ms ...... So, unless the electronics inside the piano used an advanced algorithm for queuing the pedal events, pressing the pedal could create serious traffic jams.


What a good point! Having a hi resolution sustain pedal could really throw a spanner in the works - especially for those people who claim to be bothered about latency (ie time delays) of as short as 20ms or so.
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Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

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"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2187436 - 11/23/13 05:01 PM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
You can have 128 steps without sending every individual step. You can send an update every 100ms with 7-bit resolution.

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#2187443 - 11/23/13 05:19 PM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1751
Loc: Portugal
.....ah yes.....another very good point! I hadn't thought of that possibility.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2187445 - 11/23/13 05:23 PM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: ando]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3708
Loc: Northern England.
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: peterws
But my experience is that it makes no difference to the on/off one


Pete, do you even play piano?


`Fraid not, ole lad, A digital, yes. I have fun on that; some may not call it "playing"; I make up my own rules . . . . smile
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2187502 - 11/23/13 07:17 PM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1744
How many steps does the F-30 pedal of the VPC1 have?
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#2187507 - 11/23/13 07:30 PM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: doremi]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9369
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: doremi
How many steps does the F-30 pedal of the VPC1 have?


26 steps.
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2187553 - 11/23/13 09:53 PM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: peterws]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3613
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: peterws
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: peterws
But my experience is that it makes no difference to the on/off one


Pete, do you even play piano?


`Fraid not, ole lad, A digital, yes. I have fun on that; some may not call it "playing"; I make up my own rules . . . . smile


So it would be fair to say that any advice you give on the finer points of piano technology, including partial pedalling, should be taken with a Gibraltar sized rock of salt?

You can't appreciate what you don't hear or use.

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#2187619 - 11/24/13 07:12 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: ando]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3708
Loc: Northern England.
You got it in one! But the finer points are often peripherally unnecessary except to boost sales . . .they`re lost in the recording process; they`re lost in the quest for musical (personal) excellence, they`re lost on any uninformed listener . . .more stuff to break down!

But I do find it interesting . . . crazy
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2187624 - 11/24/13 07:34 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1751
Loc: Portugal
Peter, I hope this is not a rude question, but are you peterws7?
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2187626 - 11/24/13 07:56 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: PtJaa]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: PtJaa
Sending one MIDI message through the MIDI cable takes ~1ms (I don't know how it is with MIDI over USB, perhaps it might be better?). So, unless the electronics inside the piano used an advanced algorithm for queueing the pedal events, pressing the pedal could create serious traffic jams.

I agree, MIDI barely handles key events well due to the low baud rate and protocols employed. I'm kind of shocked that pitch bend works OK.

Originally Posted By: xorbe
You can have 128 steps without sending every individual step. You can send an update every 100ms with 7-bit resolution.

Yes, a pedal could use all 128 levels if it were updated periodically rather than every time there is a change. Pedal stuff is problematic because you need to sample the position at a fairly high rate in order to calculate velocity (to tell how hard to slap the dampers back down onto the strings). 100ms might not be often enough to do this. And you would need to get everyone on board to support this method which is unlikely with manufacturers all doing their own thing.

MIDI helped precipitate a huge explosion in synthesis, it could really use an update (higher bandwidth, better support for non-discretely pitched instruments like the trombone, more detailed stimulus, etc.).
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#2187637 - 11/24/13 08:40 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
mdp92 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/13
Posts: 24
Loc: Barcelona
The Roland FP7-F shows the full pedal range (0,1,2,3 ... 127) on Midi Monitor. The same pedal (DP-10) hooked up to a Yamaha NP-30 shows 6 steps on Midi Monitor - 0 24 48 72 100 127.

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#2187642 - 11/24/13 08:47 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: Daniel Richter]
jarosujo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 237
Loc: Slovakia
My Kawai CL36 sends about 10 steps, just checked with Pianoteq. And it works fine, I can hear clearly difference between releasing pedal half-way and all the way.
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#2187643 - 11/24/13 08:47 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: toddy]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3708
Loc: Northern England.
Originally Posted By: toddy
Peter, I hope this is not a rude question, but are you peterws7?


That`s my Youtube name. There are others who use it elsewhere, of course.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2187645 - 11/24/13 08:53 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: mdp92]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: mdp92
The Roland FP7-F shows the full pedal range (0,1,2,3 ... 127) on Midi Monitor. The same pedal (DP-10) hooked up to a Yamaha NP-30 shows 6 steps on Midi Monitor - 0 24 48 72 100 127.

Really? 128 steps? Wow. For a moment I though there was no real continuous half-pedal on any Digital Piano.

And you don't notes any delay (latency) when playing the Roland FP7-F?
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2187648 - 11/24/13 09:01 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: mdp92]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1751
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: mdp92
The Roland FP7-F shows the full pedal range (0,1,2,3 ... 127) on Midi Monitor. The same pedal (DP-10) hooked up to a Yamaha NP-30 shows 6 steps on Midi Monitor - 0 24 48 72 100 127.


My Roland HP302 is the same as the FP7-f - a continuous stream of midi data from 00, 01, 02 through to 7F.

It would be interesting to know if you (or anyone else) experiences delays or glitches because of this.

If not, why don't we? I do not seem to have any problem, despite the massive swathes of data that invade the computer every time you touch the sustain pedal.


Edited by toddy (11/24/13 09:04 AM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2187652 - 11/24/13 09:06 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: toddy]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: toddy
My Roland HP302 is the same as the FP7-f - a continuous stream of midi data from 00, 01, 02 through to 7F.

It would be interesting to know if you (or anyone else) experiences delays or glitches because of this.

If not, why don't we?

Maybe is because like xorbe say: "You can have 128 steps without sending every individual step. You can send an update every 100ms with 7-bit resolution."

Not sure. But looks like it works well.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2187670 - 11/24/13 10:09 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: peterws]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3613
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: peterws
You got it in one! But the finer points are often peripherally unnecessary except to boost sales . . .they`re lost in the recording process; they`re lost in the quest for musical (personal) excellence, they`re lost on any uninformed listener . . .more stuff to break down!


Uninformed listener, sure, but what about the skilled musician who actually wants to hear the finer points? And half-pedalling is not a bell or whistle - it's a fundamental part of playing piano. Pedal fluttering (requiring continuous pedal) is used to clear sound constantly in dense textures with harmony changes. Try playing any advanced repertoire properly without it...Or even improvising with rapid harmony changes.

Pete, why don't you try being specific about what you think is necessary and what is unnecessary? You are too vague - you want to make yourself seem like the guy who sorts the wheat from the chaff, but you need to support these generalisations with solid arguments about each feature.

Here are some basics for you to be more specific about:

1: Half-pedalling - you think it's a gimmick.
2: String resonance
3: Pedal resonance.
4: Hammer weighted keys
5: 3 sensor action.

I'll come out and say that a DP should have all of these things. I wonder how many of them you think are sales gimmicks?

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#2187676 - 11/24/13 10:39 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: xorbe]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3296
Originally Posted By: xorbe
You can have 128 steps without sending every individual step. You can send an update every 100ms with 7-bit resolution.

I don't think that would work.

Pedals don't have the intelligence to time what they send, so what you're really asking is for the host to only poll for the data once every 100ms, which I guess is effectively the same thing. But what happens if a note happens to be released by your fingers inside that 100 ms window? i.e. it should have been sustained, but it wasn't, because it happens to have been released before the processor took note of the fact that the pedal was down? I think the system really needs to process the key and pedal events in the actual order they occur. i.e. better to have an infinitesimal delay than to have events processed out of order.

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#2187677 - 11/24/13 10:44 AM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: dewster]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3296
Originally Posted By: dewster
I agree, MIDI barely handles key events well due to the low baud rate and protocols employed. I'm kind of shocked that pitch bend works OK.

and aftertouch, and expression pedals, and mod wheels... it really is a very well designed system. However, I have read where people have suggested that the difficulties of handling all the data from polyphonic aftertouch is one of the reasons it is rare. I'm not sure that's a fact, though... after all, there have been some poly AT boards, which seemed to work well.

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#2187709 - 11/24/13 12:39 PM Re: There is a real continuous half pedal on Digital Pianos? [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
But what happens if a note happens to be released by your fingers inside that 100 ms window? i.e. it should have been sustained, but it wasn't, because it happens to have been released before the processor took note of the fact that the pedal was down?

It would most likely be lightly damped but ring on at a slightly reduced volume. I test for this in the DPBSD and this is the way most DPs react to late pedal down events.
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