Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
120 registered (aostensv, amadeus90, accordeur, agraffe, augustm, 34 invisible), 1585 Guests and 7 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#452859 - 10/21/08 10:38 PM Bad timing!
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Lots of people have issues with faulty terminology. Song has gotten lots of attention, and baby grand a fair amount, too.

I was very surprised to learn in this current thread that voicing doesn't officially have the meaning it's commonly understood to have by classical pianists (in addition to the ones used by piano technicians and jazz pianists)!

What about "timing" in the context of classical music?

When I hear a pianist refer to timing, I imagine a concerto performance where the soloist's entry coincides with the end of a tutti or a jazz combo in which the pianist must be in step with the other players. Indeed, the "official" meanings relate to synchronization and "the regulation of occurrence, pace, or coordination to achieve a desired effect (as in music, theater, athletics, mechanics)."

Just as with voicing, I couldn't find a definition for timing that affirms the sense in which it's popularly used, viz. the arithmetical counting of beats that comprise rhythm. I wonder how timing became accepted as shorthand for counting timeā€”and if anyone finds this usage comparably vexing to "song," etc.


Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
#452860 - 10/21/08 10:49 PM Re: Bad timing!
PianistOne111 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Utah
That's what timing means? I use it in a more general sense: when things happen relative to each other. I'm talking about timing (and voicing) when I say that some people play the melody earlier than the other voices.
I'm talking about timing when I say that a small pause before a sf might make it sound a bit more surprising.
I'm talking about timing when I say that in an orchestra, basses might start their notes earlier than violins because bass bodies take longer to get moving.

#452861 - 10/21/08 11:23 PM Re: Bad timing!
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Hey Steven, your mailbox is full!!!

I don't find "timing" all that vexing myself. But I could see how some might think that way.
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

#452862 - 10/22/08 01:44 AM Re: Bad timing!
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
No, it's always jarring for me when someone calls a "piece" a "song," but neither "timing" nor "voicing" bother me.

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

#452863 - 10/22/08 09:27 PM Re: Bad timing!
1RC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 516
Loc: Alberta
I found a definition for voicing, in our common context, easily enough at dictionary.com:

17. the finer regulation, as of intensity and color, in tuning, esp. of a piano or organ.

19. Music. a. to regulate the tone of, as the pipes of an organ.

Works for me. Then we might get into a snare of what tone means, but I think the easy answer for piano is that the one thing we know we can control is the volume of the notes. So, if we speak of voicing as regulating the tone, I think it's perfectly reasonable to take that to mean the relative volume of simultanious notes (so far as piano is concerned). Do we need to make it any more difficult?


3. the selecting of the best time or speed for doing something in order to achieve the desired or maximum result: I went to ask for a raise, but my timing was bad, since the boss had indigestion.

This also works for me.

How about when people call baroque classical? Or when somebody calls the ceiling a roof?

Sometimes the word is just used wrong, but it's easy to see what the person means. Other times, I find it to be annoying semantic arguement.

#452864 - 10/22/08 09:35 PM Re: Bad timing!
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19533
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally posted by 1RC:
I found a definition for voicing, in our common context, easily enough at dictionary.com:

17. the finer regulation, as of intensity and color, in tuning, esp. of a piano or organ.

19. Music. a. to regulate the tone of, as the pipes of an organ.

[...] [/b]
This is precisely what many of us are not[/b] talking about when we talk about voicing in the performance of piano literature. In both instances you quote, this is regulation to an instrument done by a technician in preparing and servicing the instrument, and it has nothing to do with the "manner" in which a performer sounds the individual notes of a chord in comparison with each other.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#452865 - 10/22/08 09:39 PM Re: Bad timing!
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19533
Loc: Victoria, BC
I have heard many people say that "timing is off" or "the timing is wrong" or some similar expression using the word "timing" when a performer's sense of rhythm is imprecise, when note values are not precisely observed, or when the rhythm is not regular when it should be.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#452866 - 10/23/08 09:09 AM Re: Bad timing!
Guendola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/08
Posts: 39
If "timing" is used in German about music, it means exactly what BruceD said, but used by pop- and jazz musicians only. There is no equivalent expression for classical music. Well, there is "Agogik" but that is rather using tempo changes for expression (not meaning "Rubato", Agogik is more general).

I guess a lot of confusion comes form international internet boards. People often learn musical expressions in their native language, especially for classical music. For pop and jazz, English expressions are much more common - at least in Germany - and so people use those instead and other readers simply adopt them.


Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
Why It's Impossible to Tune a Piano!
aka, why you should be nice to your tuner.
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

Piano Classified Ads
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
Hammond A100 for Sale!
(Think B3)
Hammond A100 for sale!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad 125)
Sweetwater $55,000 Giveaway
Sweetwater $55,000 Mic Locker Giveaway
Wessell Nickel & Gross
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Piano Meetup in Richmond, VA
by lesecret
05/26/16 04:15 PM
15th harmonic on a piano string
by Ricochet75
05/26/16 02:00 PM
by fatar760
05/26/16 12:23 PM
Should you take lessons from same teacher as your child?
by ViennaAutumn
05/26/16 10:42 AM
My upright is good enough for me
by Beemer
05/26/16 08:09 AM
Forum Stats
83,760 Registered Members
44 Forums
172,941 Topics
2,527,964 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2016 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission