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#2306255 - 07/24/14 01:11 AM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Michael Sayers]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
Hi Saranoya, as I am sure you know, elite athletes nowadays can go through very acute computer-aided measurement and analysis of their motions in order to achieve technical improvement. Maybe an application of these methods to piano technique would work if tailored to each pianist specifically? Presumably the applications themselves would need to be very specific ("here is part of why your scales are uneven above speed x").


I do, in fact, know about that kind of computer-aided analysis, not least because I went through something like that myself at the age of fourteen. I have cerebral palsy, which means the joints in my lower limbs don't move the way they should. I underwent multi-level orthopaedic surgery (basically, several surgical procedures all at once) as a teenager, to correct the worst of my problems. Prior to that surgery, my movement pattern was meticulously analysed with the help of a computer, in order to determine exactly what interventions I would need.

So I know from personal experience that this can be a powerful approach, and I think it's an intriguing idea to perhaps apply it to things other than athletics and neuro-motor disorders. I'm just not sure the existing equipment is quite there yet: it strikes me as something that serves the purpose of analysing "large scale" movements very well, but perhaps it can't (yet) be applied to something as subtle as playing the piano. I don't know. An old friend of mine is an electronics engineer who spends about half his time working on this kind of stuff. I'll ask him about it, if I ever get the chance.

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#2306333 - 07/24/14 08:18 AM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Saranoya]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
Hi Saranoya, as I am sure you know, elite athletes nowadays can go through very acute computer-aided measurement and analysis of their motions in order to achieve technical improvement. Maybe an application of these methods to piano technique would work if tailored to each pianist specifically? Presumably the applications themselves would need to be very specific ("here is part of why your scales are uneven above speed x").


I do, in fact, know about that kind of computer-aided analysis, not least because I went through something like that myself at the age of fourteen. I have cerebral palsy, which means the joints in my lower limbs don't move the way they should. I underwent multi-level orthopaedic surgery (basically, several surgical procedures all at once) as a teenager, to correct the worst of my problems. Prior to that surgery, my movement pattern was meticulously analysed with the help of a computer, in order to determine exactly what interventions I would need.

So I know from personal experience that this can be a powerful approach, and I think it's an intriguing idea to perhaps apply it to things other than athletics and neuro-motor disorders. I'm just not sure the existing equipment is quite there yet: it strikes me as something that serves the purpose of analysing "large scale" movements very well, but perhaps it can't (yet) be applied to something as subtle as playing the piano. I don't know. An old friend of mine is an electronics engineer who spends about half his time working on this kind of stuff. I'll ask him about it, if I ever get the chance.


This sort of reminds me of vocal teachers who use computers to analyze the vocal quality and try to teach from that instead of knowing what a good sound is and leading the student to free up bad tensions and create a free sound. What happens is you often end up with less than desirable sound if led by these methods.

The science of things is fine, and a good teacher knows enough of this to help them understand what muscles a student may be engaging to create the sound they are producing. However, in the end, it is about the sound and ease of use that is paramount. When these two things exist simultaneously, then the student is able to focus more on expression because the technique is out of the way and assisting them.

If you are going to insist on science as a means of doing things, then you'd better be able to produce results. If you can show proof of how that approach helps, then you will have a lot of interested people. The 'person' in question cannot after many people asking them to do so, and so the content of what they say must be dismissed, IMO.
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2306492 - 07/24/14 02:25 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: gooddog]
Vid Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 871
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
When I see the trolls posting I don't even want to get involved in the thread as one's voice risks becoming immersed in a sea of "sound and [of] fury, signifying nothing."
That is so unfortunate and is true of me also. Yesterday, I opened a thread that is generating some very thoughtful conversation and I'm learning a lot. Sadly, I can't help holding my breath waiting for someone with a bone to pick to hijack it. The very nature of a "monitored forum" is to keep the conversation civil. If my thread starts spiraling downward, I'm going to hit that "notify" button so fast, those trolls' heads will spin!


I wonder if this is a better approach rather than just ignoring the offending posts. Even if you choose to ignore it doesn't ensure that someone else will reply and then the thread starts to go south.

I only learned about the 'notify' feature recently.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2306509 - 07/24/14 02:48 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This sort of reminds me of vocal teachers who use computers to analyze the vocal quality and try to teach from that instead of knowing what a good sound is and leading the student to free up bad tensions and create a free sound. What happens is you often end up with less than desirable sound if led by these methods.


My intuition tells me that this might indeed be what happens when you pursue "objectively perfect technique", which is why I said that I don't currently believe it's possible to build an automaton that plays the piano truly musically.

There is an episode of Star Trek: Voyager in which the ship's doctor, who is himself an elaborately programmed machine (an emergency medical hologram in the process of becoming "a real man") acquires instant fame when the locals hear him sing during an away mission. By the end of the episode, though, he's been replaced with a "better version" of himself, which is programmed to go beyond a normal human being's vocal range.

The message: at a certain point, "perfection" can become so perfect that it becomes alien to us. I think that if human performers are inevitably somewhat flawed in their execution of virtuoso music, that's an important part of their charm. Perhaps it's possible to eliminate the flaws by pursuing "peak efficiency" in piano technique. But even if it were possible to do that (which I'm still not sure it is), should we really go there?

I'm inclined to think not.

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#2306512 - 07/24/14 02:53 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Honestly, I like the posts. I think it IS good to challenge status quo. I think a lot of piano teachers just teach "what they were taught" not because they have trial and errored it to be the best thing, but because they know no other methods. I like my teacher because he says things like "well i was taught XYZ, but i'll have you do it a bit differently". That tells me he uses his critical thinking skills to determine what was relevant and what wasn't vs blindly just teaching what he was taught.

One thing that was said was the sound a piano will make is solely determined by how hard or soft the hammer hits the string... basically the velocity of the hammer is what creates the sound. I'm not sure how some people argued against this as it isn't even a matter of opinion, it's just true. I think where people were getting confused is there are most DEFINITELY easier ways to control this velocity than others. For example arm weight I find easier to have hammers strike at the same time and I find I have more control vs just using fingers. But by no means does differing tones/sounds come from ANYTHING other than how fast/soft the hammer hits the string.
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2306518 - 07/24/14 02:58 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Saranoya]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This sort of reminds me of vocal teachers who use computers to analyze the vocal quality and try to teach from that instead of knowing what a good sound is and leading the student to free up bad tensions and create a free sound. What happens is you often end up with less than desirable sound if led by these methods.


My intuition tells me that this might indeed be what happens when you pursue "objectively perfect technique", which is why I said that I don't currently believe it's possible to build an automaton that plays the piano truly musically.

There is an episode of Star Trek: Voyager in which the ship's doctor, who is himself an elaborately programmed machine (an emergency medical hologram in the process of becoming "a real man") acquires instant fame when the locals hear him sing during an away mission. By the end of the episode, though, he's been replaced with a "better version" of himself, which is programmed to go beyond a normal human being's vocal range.

The message: at a certain point, "perfection" can become so perfect that it becomes alien to us. I think that if human performers are inevitably somewhat flawed in their execution of virtuoso music, that's an important part of their charm. Perhaps it's possible to eliminate the flaws by pursuing "peak efficiency" in piano technique. But even if it were possible to do that (which I'm still not sure it is), should we really go there?

I'm inclined to think not.


You see I think perfection would be nice to strive towards.... I don't personally think its attainable for a human to be perfect 100% of the time but I do think it's silly to say you prefer things flawed vs not flawed. The entire point of a flaw is something that is derogatory. Concert pianists put countless hours into their work in order to get RID of anything they view as flaws. To say that people enjoy music because of flaws I can't really get on board with . I think its just a defensive mechanism because we CAN'T be perfect, not because we SHOULDN'T strive for it. I think people SHOULD strive to the do the best they can do, not take solace in the fact that they CAN'T do it. The more you think you can't, the more true that becomes smile
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2306523 - 07/24/14 03:04 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Sweet06
Honestly, I like the posts. I think it IS good to challenge status quo. I think a lot of piano teachers just teach "what they were taught" not because they have trial and errored it to be the best thing, but because they know no other methods. I like my teacher because he says things like "well i was taught XYZ, but i'll have you do it a bit differently". That tells me he uses his critical thinking skills to determine what was relevant and what wasn't vs blindly just teaching what he was taught.

One thing that was said was the sound a piano will make is solely determined by how hard or soft the hammer hits the string... basically the velocity of the hammer is what creates the sound. I'm not sure how some people argued against this as it isn't even a matter of opinion, it's just true. I think where people were getting confused is there are most DEFINITELY easier ways to control this velocity than others. For example arm weight I find easier to have hammers strike at the same time and I find I have more control vs just using fingers. But by no means does differing tones/sounds come from ANYTHING other than how fast/soft the hammer hits the string.
I must have missed the part where people were arguing that different sounds or tone come from something other than the velocity of the keys striking the strings. This is common knowledge, and while the tone does change if you play a note p vs. f (and tone can be marginally changed also by use of the pedals, especially una corda), it's all about the hammer hitting the string. The rest is how you press the key down, and those are internal things that do not have an effect on the sound except to give the performer better control and thus more expressive capability. I didn't see where anyone was stating otherwise, but I did sift through a lot of the posts.
_________________________
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www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2306524 - 07/24/14 03:07 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: Sweet06
But by no means does differing tones/sounds come from ANYTHING other than how fast/soft the hammer hits the string.


This is true, of course. I never saw anyone argue against that in this particular thread. I did, however, see someone argue once that vibrato is something that can be achieved on piano which, obviously, it cannot. Once the hammer has hit the string, that's it. You can influence the duration of the sound by controlling the dampers, but other than that, it's out of your hands.

To me, the musicality and the humanity of it is mostly in the decisions the performer makes on the spot, though. Play softly here, and a little bit louder on the next repetition, or in the next measure. A little bit of rubato on this particular scale run, and a little bit more of it on the next one. There is probably going to be some unevenness, some measure of "unpredictability" in the way these decisions get executed during any given performance of a piece, which, to me, is part of what makes that performance interesting ... and human. Maximum efficiency involves, I think, doing away with that unevenness. I'm just not sure that's something we should be striving for.

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#2306527 - 07/24/14 03:10 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
there was a big back and fourth between atrys telling someone that velocity is the ONLY things(lets remove pedal as well because as you stated that has a subtle effected via ringing of all the other strings) that can change the sound/tone. He was arguing that he struggles with "play this warmer" because he'd rather hear, "play this softer" because its not abstract and vague. I see where he is coming from but believe he was trying to be difficult because most people would interpret that as playing softer = warmer. Someone else argued that there are other ways to control tone which is simply... wrong lol. Velocity of hammer hitting the string is the only way to control sound. My belief is this person was confusing WAYS to control the velocity with what he was stating.

I think perfect technique would be great but its ultimately unattainable because humans are imperfect creatures!

@sayanoya i didn't interpret anything as attaining "maximum efficiency" in regards to a performance. Just thought the argument was about maximum efficiency regarding the movement of your hands in order to REPLICATE that performance. Ultimately I think its a moot point because if the end result is a piece of music that sounds good, what do you, as the listener care how the pianist moved in inefficient ways? Sure it could have made the player less tense or more confident or whatever, but if the end result is the piece of music sounding good, who cares what path they took to achieve that?

To compare it to me playing a game. Sometimes I'll get a perfect score on a game, but I'll still watch the replay to see what I could have done better. My desire for doing this is based on the fact that it won't always be as "easy" thus I won't get as much leeway for silly mistakes even tho ultimately, I still got 100% and won anyways.... if that makes sense haha


Edited by Sweet06 (07/24/14 03:15 PM)
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2306561 - 07/24/14 03:50 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5424
Originally Posted By: Sweet06

One thing that was said was the sound a piano will make is solely determined by how hard or soft the hammer hits the string... basically the velocity of the hammer is what creates the sound. I'm not sure how some people argued against this as it isn't even a matter of opinion, it's just true.

But by no means does differing tones/sounds come from ANYTHING other than how fast/soft the hammer hits the string.

That is true only if you are playing that one note and only that note in isolation.

Which isn't what happens when you're playing music. Because what happens before and after that note is played changes the sound of that note.

If you read that thread again, you'll find that I challenged the troll repeatedly on this issue, but because he's unable to think outside his box, he got quite nasty - and then tried to bluster & bully his way out of his predicament.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2306567 - 07/24/14 04:06 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: Sweet06
To say that people enjoy music because of flaws I can't really get on board with. I think its just a defensive mechanism because we CAN'T be perfect, not because we SHOULDN'T strive for it. I think people SHOULD strive to the do the best they can do, not take solace in the fact that they CAN'T do it. The more you think you can't, the more true that becomes smile


I don't think people "enjoy music because of the flaws", and I *definitely* don't think that any of us should just stop trying to do better, simply because absolute perfection may not be attainable (or, indeed, desirable).

What I'm saying (or trying to say, anyway) is that I think a truly musical performance has certain qualities that cannot be translated into rules that define "perfect technique". If such rules existed and were widely known, and all concert pianists strived to attain them, then eventually, there would no longer be any way to distinguish one performance from another. At that point, why have concerts, and different recordings of the same music, at all? A single "canonical" recording of each piece in the repertoire should suffice, no?

What I'm getting at is more "unpredictability" than "imperfection". As a listener, I'd like to be surprised once in a while. I think that involves the occasional choice, in performance, that may not be technically "optimal", but produces something unique.

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#2306625 - 07/24/14 05:27 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: bennevis]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1244
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Sweet06

One thing that was said was the sound a piano will make is solely determined by how hard or soft the hammer hits the string... basically the velocity of the hammer is what creates the sound. I'm not sure how some people argued against this as it isn't even a matter of opinion, it's just true.

But by no means does differing tones/sounds come from ANYTHING other than how fast/soft the hammer hits the string.

That is true only if you are playing that one note and only that note in isolation.

Actually there has been some scientific laboratory research here in Sweden on this, involving notes in isolation, and it does seem that tone quality can be made to vary without varying the dynamic level. I posted in a thread on this a while back.

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#2306626 - 07/24/14 05:31 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: bennevis]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Sweet06

One thing that was said was the sound a piano will make is solely determined by how hard or soft the hammer hits the string... basically the velocity of the hammer is what creates the sound. I'm not sure how some people argued against this as it isn't even a matter of opinion, it's just true.

But by no means does differing tones/sounds come from ANYTHING other than how fast/soft the hammer hits the string.

That is true only if you are playing that one note and only that note in isolation.

Which isn't what happens when you're playing music. Because what happens before and after that note is played changes the sound of that note.

If you read that thread again, you'll find that I challenged the troll repeatedly on this issue, but because he's unable to think outside his box, he got quite nasty - and then tried to bluster & bully his way out of his predicament.


I see. So when the damper is released and other notes are sounding, the vibrations effect the note you hit OUTSIDE of the velocity of which you hit that string. That IS reasonable and correct IMO. Much the same way when you release the pedal and hit a note, the sound will be slightly different than when you hit the note with the same velocity without the pedal. GOTCHA. I wasn't pulling that from the other thread but I definitely understand now!!
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2306627 - 07/24/14 05:31 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: bennevis]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1244
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Here is a link to the paper on that research. A little time was needed to find it:

http://www.speech.kth.se/music/5_lectures/askenflt/askenflt.html

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#2306629 - 07/24/14 05:32 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Saranoya]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: Sweet06
To say that people enjoy music because of flaws I can't really get on board with. I think its just a defensive mechanism because we CAN'T be perfect, not because we SHOULDN'T strive for it. I think people SHOULD strive to the do the best they can do, not take solace in the fact that they CAN'T do it. The more you think you can't, the more true that becomes smile


I don't think people "enjoy music because of the flaws", and I *definitely* don't think that any of us should just stop trying to do better, simply because absolute perfection may not be attainable (or, indeed, desirable).

What I'm saying (or trying to say, anyway) is that I think a truly musical performance has certain qualities that cannot be translated into rules that define "perfect technique". If such rules existed and were widely known, and all concert pianists strived to attain them, then eventually, there would no longer be any way to distinguish one performance from another. At that point, why have concerts, and different recordings of the same music, at all? A single "canonical" recording of each piece in the repertoire should suffice, no?

What I'm getting at is more "unpredictability" than "imperfection". As a listener, I'd like to be surprised once in a while. I think that involves the occasional choice, in performance, that may not be technically "optimal", but produces something unique.


Agreed. I like that performers get to make choices on how they want to deliver certain things smile
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2306637 - 07/24/14 05:59 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5424
Originally Posted By: Sweet06
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Sweet06

One thing that was said was the sound a piano will make is solely determined by how hard or soft the hammer hits the string... basically the velocity of the hammer is what creates the sound. I'm not sure how some people argued against this as it isn't even a matter of opinion, it's just true.

But by no means does differing tones/sounds come from ANYTHING other than how fast/soft the hammer hits the string.

That is true only if you are playing that one note and only that note in isolation.

Which isn't what happens when you're playing music. Because what happens before and after that note is played changes the sound of that note.

If you read that thread again, you'll find that I challenged the troll repeatedly on this issue, but because he's unable to think outside his box, he got quite nasty - and then tried to bluster & bully his way out of his predicament.


I see. So when the damper is released and other notes are sounding, the vibrations effect the note you hit OUTSIDE of the velocity of which you hit that string. That IS reasonable and correct IMO. Much the same way when you release the pedal and hit a note, the sound will be slightly different than when you hit the note with the same velocity without the pedal. GOTCHA. I wasn't pulling that from the other thread but I definitely understand now!!

thumb
I believe that's a small part of the secret of why different pianists can produce so markedly different tone quality even when playing the same piece at the same speed at the same dynamics on the same piano under the same conditions.

My last teacher once demonstrated to me how to produce that ultra-legato bel canto quality (when we were talking about how to imitate an opera singer's way of almost sliding smoothly from one note to the next) - he played just a five-note scale, once with clean release of each finger, then with very slight overlapping between each note, i.e. the next note being played before the previous had been fully released. The difference was startling.

There's nothing mystical about this - it's just one of the many techniques in a pianist's arsenal that can be employed to produce the kind of tonal quality he seeks, along with voicing of the melodic line, and balancing of each note within the accompanimental chords, using a fractional delay (desynchronization) between the accompaniment and melody etc. This is possible because the acoustic piano has a soundboard and a cabinet in which the sounds get 'bounced' around, as well as sympathetic vibrations from other strings, depending on whether they are fully or partially damped, or undamped. And all that even before the pedals are brought into the equation.......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2306656 - 07/24/14 06:42 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Sweet06]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Thanks for being cordial and explaining that. I appreciate that especially given how firm a stance I was taking on my original thought smile

I definitely don't believe anything to be true unless I know the underlying reasoning to it... thats just my personality type, always curious and questioning things smile


Edited by Sweet06 (07/24/14 06:44 PM)
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2308186 - 07/28/14 03:05 PM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Michael Sayers]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19842
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
Here is a link to the paper on that research. A little time was needed to find it:

http://www.speech.kth.se/music/5_lectures/askenflt/askenflt.html

Michael: Thanks very much for mentioning this article, and for the link. Although you mentioned it fairly quietly, this is the kind of article that could be fairly revolutionary for the theory of piano playing. I don't think it would much affect what the very highest levels of pianists do, or what they think -- but it would affect teaching, it would eliminate a lot of quasi-physics BS that gets said (and I'm speaking as someone who's more of a physicist than a musician, I think) grin ....and it would greatly help us to know how the things that physicists and quasi-physicists have been saying might be missing a lot. I've mentioned a few times that for me, the most telling bottom-line is that in general the pianists who think you can control the sound of individual notes in ways besides just the velocity of the hammer play more beautifully than those who don't.

I glanced through the article, and I do think it could be very important but unless I'm missing some things (and maybe I did; I didn't look at the whole article which is hard to do because you have to click many many different links; I clicked on a few that I thought might have what I was looking for) ....unless I'm missing some things, they don't present it nearly as well as they might, and/or maybe their work is just incomplete. They talk about ways in which the exact way that you hit the key affects the mechanics within the piano (or, I should say, some of the ways; I can think of others, and I've talked about it) ....but I don't see that they talk about having shown how these things actually do affect the sound. I mean, to me if seems fairly implicit that those things would affect the sound, and in exactly the ways that fuzzy-minded physics-ignorant pianists have assumed like forever, because that's basically what I've thought anyway -- but I don't see that they've done any demonstration of that.

P.S. I've appreciated and enjoyed this thread. I have to admit -- and I'd bet that some other Pianist Corner people might say likewise -- that in the back of my mind through this whole thing has been "I hope they don't mean people like me." ha
I agree completely with the gist of the thread, and I also have to admit that at times I've probably slipped into those kinds of things. But I try not to, and I try to help keep others from it too.

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#2308364 - 07/29/14 02:41 AM Re: Just visited pianist corner [Re: Mark_C]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1244
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Hi Mark, as I am sure you know, it is possible with the right types of staccato touch to get pedaled through staccato lines in music by Chopin and other composers to sound quite different than if those keys had been played legato. This is an easy avenue for anyone skeptical to experiment with and possibly hear that the tone quality of a grand piano can be made to vary.

The specific grand piano used has a lot to do with it - some brands of piano are designed to make everything sound "nice". This homogenizes the sound and, depending what piano it is, filters out much-to-most of the diversity in tone quality if the pianist intends it to be there. It is almost impossible to get an ugly sound from a Bösendorfer but with an old fashioned N.Y. Steinway it is very clear who it is that is playing. I think this is why there is some aversion out there to the "Steinway sound" - it is dangerous to some pianists for them to play on such a piano, especially the N.Y. ones. In the time since I was growing up even the N.Y. Steinways have changed (particularly in the hammers) to start making everything sound nice and homogenized.

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