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#2291174 - 06/17/14 05:17 PM Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys?
Jeff Petsinger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 72
Loc: Wayne, Illinois
The Evolutionary Piano Project launched on Indiegogo today. The primary goal is to develop an optimized carbon fiber composite soundboard, but we are building the piano with an expanded compass of 102 keys. I was wondering if any of you are interested in having more keys to compose with?

Evolutionary Piano Indiegogo Project

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Piano & Music Acc. / Sheet Music


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#2291205 - 06/17/14 05:48 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7576
Loc: New York City
I think I'm fine with the keys we have, although there have been two or three times when I've wanted to take things down farther into the 0 octave (with double octave passages, for example). Never wanted below Imperial C, though. grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2291260 - 06/17/14 07:36 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
No way. For one, the Bosendorfer Imperial grand is too wide. It looks like rubbish. 102 keys sounds ridiculous, no offense.

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#2291374 - 06/17/14 11:05 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
Ritzycat Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 163
Maybe, but once we get to a certain point we'll need sliding piano benches


Edited by Ritzycat (06/17/14 11:05 PM)

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#2291378 - 06/17/14 11:21 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Ritzycat]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7576
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ritzycat
Maybe, but once we get to a certain point we'll need sliding piano benches

Yes! Have them run on a roller built into the floor in front of the piano. grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2291444 - 06/18/14 02:41 AM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1027
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
I've composed a few pieces that dip momentarily below the 88, none lower than the G.

It might be worth looking at a reversion to straight stringing with parallel grain approximation in the carbon fibre if it really will be 102 keys. This would help keep the lowest octave register from unduly resonating the higher ones and keep the sound clearer with long held pedal.

Not only the Imperial Bosendorfer - Erard had a line of concert grand with more than 88 keys and which was straight strung.

http://www.frederickcollection.org/Erard1877.htm

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#2291951 - 06/19/14 07:08 AM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7799
88 are already too many, not too few. Extending the range of the piano is just a silly engineering [censored], and not musically justified, IMO.

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#2291981 - 06/19/14 08:35 AM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Polyphonist]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 503
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Ritzycat
Maybe, but once we get to a certain point we'll need sliding piano benches

Yes! Have them run on a roller built into the floor in front of the piano. grin


Not that hard to do.
ASSUMING sheet music, or a stored copy of it and some minor programmed intelligence.
Easy enough to read ahead and get the player's butt to whichever end of the keyboard it will need to be at next.
Take the pedals (lyre) with them too.
laugh

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#2291986 - 06/19/14 08:37 AM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 503
BTW, the Indiegogo page isn't there - or at least isn't where your pointer points to.

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#2291991 - 06/19/14 08:56 AM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2728
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
88 keys has been plenty for me. In terms of extending the piano's range we're pretty much far in the extreme now. The problem is if I say I don't need the extra notes something will come to mind and I'll want to write with them. However, I will say that extending the bass of the piano is almost an exercise in futility because the instrument just doesn't produce much fundamental at the bottom of its range. If you want real bass, earth shattering, wall shuddering bass compose for organ. I once played the old Aeolian Skinner at Duke University. It had a 32' Bombarde (actually now that I think about it it might have been a 64'). I played the low C for just a moment. Bear in mind the fundamental at 32' is 16 Hz (for 64' it would be 8 Hz). I thought the building might come down. No piano will ever be able to do that.

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#2292121 - 06/19/14 01:35 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: R_B]
Jeff Petsinger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 72
Loc: Wayne, Illinois
Please go to this link:

Evolutionary Piano Indiegogo Project

It seems I just can't send out a link that works.

Please to it soon and early. I really need the traffic on the site.

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#2292125 - 06/19/14 01:39 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Steve Chandler]
Jeff Petsinger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 72
Loc: Wayne, Illinois
I tried to discuss the bass issue before, but nobody engaged. The conventional wisdom is that those low notes do not produce a lot of fundamental. I think the problem is that the soundboard's fundamental resonance is typically set to 40-50 Hz, meaning it is going to reproduce the harmonics better than the fundamental. If the ring tone were set to 28 Hz, I wonder what it would sound like.

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#2292170 - 06/19/14 02:48 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
Ritzycat Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 163
To be honest, my poor ears have trouble discerning the tones of the uppermost and lowermost piano keys anyway.

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#2292323 - 06/19/14 07:35 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Ritzycat]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7799
Originally Posted By: Ritzycat
To be honest, my poor ears have trouble discerning the tones of the uppermost and lowermost piano keys anyway.


Many of us have that trouble. Which is exactly why I think the whole idea is pretty silly. After all, it's not like the ability to extend the range is something new - it's just not something musicians and listeners want or need in a piano. Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should be done.

Plus, as has been alluded, it's already hard enough for the player to reach the ends of the keyboard as it is, especially if they are not very tall.

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#2292361 - 06/19/14 09:43 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: wr]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 503
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Ritzycat
To be honest, my poor ears have trouble discerning the tones of the uppermost and lowermost piano keys anyway.


Many of us have that trouble. Which is exactly why I think the whole idea is pretty silly. After all, it's not like the ability to extend the range is something new - it's just not something musicians and listeners want or need in a piano. Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should be done.

Plus, as has been alluded, it's already hard enough for the player to reach the ends of the keyboard as it is, especially if they are not very tall.





Agreed, just because it COULD BE done doesn't justify doing it.

If (if, If, IF) there was much "need" for it you could bet the electronic folk would be out there with however many keys starting from wherever you want, with transposing to boot.
5 Hz ? No problem.
50K Hz ? Sure.

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#2294286 - 06/24/14 11:05 AM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: Jeff Petsinger]
gsmonks Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/10
Posts: 635
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
No.

88 is the number of keys that will fit into the magic space of 4'. More keys = no more magic space of 4'. The world will fall off its axis, and all that's good will perish.


Edited by gsmonks (06/24/14 11:06 AM)

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#2294339 - 06/24/14 01:33 PM Re: Do Composers Want More than 88 Keys? [Re: gsmonks]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1027
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Originally Posted By: gsmonks
No.

88 is the number of keys that will fit into the magic space of 4'. More keys = no more magic space of 4'. The world will fall off its axis, and all that's good will perish.

For purely selfish reasons I want 90 keys which adds two half steps more depth to the bass. wink

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