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#537529 - 07/06/06 04:27 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1579
Loc: Helsinki, finland
 Quote:
Originally posted by ecm:
I don't think "Amadeus" is real at all. I also think, that you, me, or even THE GREATEST GENIUS OF ANY TIME, shouldn't criticise Mozart that hard. [/b]
may I ask why not?
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#537530 - 07/06/06 08:37 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
ecm Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 1271
Loc: Republic of Macedonia
No you may not.

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#537531 - 07/06/06 09:19 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
This is a quote from wikipedia:

"Glenn Gould frequently hummed along while he played, and his recording engineers varied in how successfully they could exclude his voice from his recordings. Gould claimed this singing was unconscious, and increased proportionately with the inability of the piano in question to realise the music as he intended.

Gould also was known for his peculiar body movements while playing and for his insistence on sameness. He would only play concerts whilst sitting on a chair his father made. He continued to use this chair even when the seat was completely worn through [2]. His chair is so closely identified with him that it is shown in a place of honour in a glass case in the National Library of Canada.

Gould was very afraid of being cold and wore very warm clothes, including gloves, at all times, even when he was in warm places. Gould also disliked social functions. He had an aversion to being touched and in later life he refused to talk to almost anyone in person, relying on the telephone and letters for communication. He conducted interviews with himself, wrote unusual personal advertisements about himself which he submitted to newspapers, and recorded other people's conversations in public places. When he was still performing publicly, he did a concert with the Cleveland Orchestra, after which conductor George Szell remarked: "No doubt about it - that nut's a genius".

Gould was not without a sense of humor, as for example in his creation of numerous alter egos for satirical, humorous or didactic purposes. From the liner notes to Sony CD SM2K-52597, "Bach Partitas, Preludes and Fugues", page 14:

"David Johnson", of course, was none other than Gould himself, the first in a long line of more than two dozen fictional characters whom Gould was to impersonate during the coming years, and of whom the most famous are the German composer "Karlheinz Klopweisser", the English conductor "Sir Nigel Twitt-Thornwaite", and the American pianist "Theodore Slutz".
Fran's Restaurant was a constant haunt of Gould's. A CBC profile noted:

Sometime between two and three every morning Gould would go to Fran's, a 24-hour diner a block away from his Toronto apartment, sit in the same booth and order the same meal of scrambled eggs. (Source: CBC) "


This guy sounds crazy to me!
He was a good pianist, but to hate a composer because the composer was popular makes no sense!

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#537532 - 07/06/06 09:21 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
 Quote:
Originally posted by Reaper978:
 Quote:
Originally posted by gordonf238:
 Quote:
Originally posted by ecm:
Oh, great - so now Mozart is not genius according to you and Gould, while the rest of the world is sitting in bunch of lies still thinking that Mozart is a genius. [/b]
Well, the rest of the world also believes in an omnipotent, all-knowing being that lives in the clouds and is the undisputed creator of life and earth. The rest of the world is also glued to the TV watching reality shows and buying a new iPod every year because a company tells them to think different. Just because most people think Mozart was a genius doesn't make it so. For what it's worth, the masses usually base their ill-informed opinions on incomplete knowledge and/or flawed understanding. There is only a handful of individuals who can appreciate classical music these days, the rest seems more excited about repetitive 4-beat melodies that loop the same old chord progression, briefly interrupted by a chorus "Hit me baby one more time".[/b]
I love you. [/b]
lets not go that far

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#537533 - 07/06/06 11:38 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
blaude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 183
Loc: Houston, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:

This guy sounds crazy to me!
He was a good pianist, but to hate a composer because the composer was popular makes no sense! [/b]
When did he ever say that he hated Mozart because he was popular?

And 'crazy' isn't the best word. He was, in fact, a 'sane' human being. 'Eccentric' I think is the word you're looking for. 'Genius' works too. Szell said it best.
_________________________
“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
-John Cage

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#537534 - 07/07/06 12:21 AM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1325
 Quote:
This guy sounds crazy to me!
He sounds like a higher level human being. He was an artist, and from what I can gather, he really didn't care what other people thought of him. He did what he loved, and he did a damn fine job of it. I think he was a genius, and a fine testament to what humanity can achieve.

Don't call someone crazy just because they don't fit in any of our neat and tidy little categories.

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#537535 - 07/07/06 10:48 AM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
"He was an artist, and from what I can gather, he really didn't care what other people thought of him."

I think he cared a great deal what other people thought of him. Most, if not all, of his eccentricies sprang from his being attention sick.

As for geniuses who thought very highly of Mozart's music:

Albert Einstein (the physicist, philosopher, and amateur violinist and pianist... Mozart was *the* favourite composer of his), Vladimir Horowitz (his, too), Beethoven, Haydn, Richard Wagner (even he: read Cosima's diaries), Kierkegaard (the most significant 19th century philosopher according to Wittgenstein... Kierkegaard more or less literally worshipped Mozart, and thought Don Giovanni the greatest work of art ever made), the list could go on, and on, but I think I made my point...

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#537536 - 07/07/06 11:13 AM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Reaper978:
 Quote:
Originally posted by gordonf238:
quote:
Originally posted by ecm:
Oh, great - so now Mozart is not genius according to you and Gould, while the rest of the world is sitting in bunch of lies still thinking that Mozart is a genius. [/b]
Well, the rest of the world also believes in an omnipotent, all-knowing being that lives in the clouds and is the undisputed creator of life and earth. The rest of the world is also glued to the TV watching reality shows and buying a new iPod every year because a company tells them to think different. Just because most people think Mozart was a genius doesn't make it so. For what it's worth, the masses usually base their ill-informed opinions on incomplete knowledge and/or flawed understanding. There is only a handful of individuals who can appreciate classical music these days, the rest seems more excited about repetitive 4-beat melodies that loop the same old chord progression, briefly interrupted by a chorus "Hit me baby one more time".[/b]
I love you. [/b]
lets not go that far
Actually Hit Me Baby One More Time must have at least 5 chords I think.

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#537537 - 07/07/06 02:33 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
gordonf238 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 283
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
I think he cared a great deal what other people thought of him. Most, if not all, of his eccentricies sprang from his being attention sick.[/b]
What do you base that statement on? Glenn Gould was anything but an attention whore. He despised publicity, he rarely socialized with his fans and never even took on a student. And I say this having read a book and a handful of articles about him. Can you cite a source that depicts him as an attention whore who loved the adulation of yes-men and groupies?

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#537538 - 07/07/06 06:38 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by gordonf238:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
I think he cared a great deal what other people thought of him. Most, if not all, of his eccentricies sprang from his being attention sick.[/b]
What do you base that statement on? Glenn Gould was anything but an attention whore. He despised publicity, he rarely socialized with his fans and never even took on a student. And I say this having read a book and a handful of articles about him. Can you cite a source that depicts him as an attention whore who loved the adulation of yes-men and groupies? [/b]
And I said what I said having read books about, or containing writings by, him.

If we ignored my having played Gould by saying only a part of what I think, and even that part in a provocative way, I should base my statement on the facts that only a badly mentally deficient person wouldn't care about what others think of him or his doings, and that Gould wasn't badly mentally deficient. Gould was a bit different, sure, or just stubborn, and so, a public figure and an artist as he was, he had to develop all kinds of mental coping mechanisms to handle criticism. However, he mostly employed emotion focused strategies, like minimizing or belittling the value of something, changing his values, lying, or telling only half-truths, to himself and others in general, etc....

From Wikipedia: "Emotion focused strategies occur when the person modifies the way [he thinks], for example: employing denial, or distancing oneself from the problem. [A person] may alter the way [he thinks] about a problem by altering [his] goals and values, such as by seeing the humour in a situation."

At some point, Gould couldn't anymore or didn't want to cope with the stress he had to face in his own live performances...

Or that's how I see it, you are free to have your own view.

I could also ask whether you have done some real statistical studies concerning the correlation between this and that, or concerning the amount of stupid people in general, or whatever, but I'm not interested...

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#537539 - 07/07/06 08:10 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
As much as I respect Gould's opinion, I really think he is wrong.

"'Gould heard only "an appalling collection of cliches" of no greater potency than "inter-office memos.'"

Yes, cliches, cliches that MOZART created. I'm sorry, but I just don't agree with Gould at all in this case.

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#537540 - 07/07/06 08:31 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Don't all composers have formulas? I think they do to a certain extent. Certainly Rachmaninov, Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin, et. al. are recognizable due to their favorite techniques of composition.

Maybe it's simply that Mozart's music makes his formulas (cliches?) easier to hear. His music is pretty exposed.

I love Mozart's music. It is pristine like no other I can think of.
_________________________
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#537541 - 07/07/06 08:53 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
blaude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 183
Loc: Houston, TX
I'm totally lost. Is there even an argument anymore? It seems like most of us here agree that Gould was a great pianist, and Mozart was a great composer.

So Gould had some curious ideas sometimes, big deal.

You can't watch this clip and tell me he wasn't sane and frankly quite eloquent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkjmdHpPWwA&search=glenn%20gould

And you can't watch this clip and not think he was a little looney:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57kR6RsV2iA&search=glenn%20gould

(He's singing Mahler to a bunch of elephants, how can you not love this guy?)

And you can't watch these clips and tell me he wasn't a genius:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRYcbatSA4k&search=glenn%20gould
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji_L_9MZoqw&search=glenn%20gould
_________________________
“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
-John Cage

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#537542 - 07/07/06 08:54 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
sylvie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 9
Loc: California
I think it just boils down to a question of a person's preference for music. While I enjoy listening to classical music, not all of it is wonderful, and some I like more than others.

And besides, can anyone really say whose music was the 'best'? I don't think there is a 'best composer' out of all of them -- they're all different.

I just think that anyone that can compose music at a very young age has some kind of genius in them. And Mozart was one of them.

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#537543 - 07/07/06 09:36 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Matthew Collett Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 536
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
 Quote:
Originally posted by jon-nyc:
In the C minor piano concerto [K 491]... Gould heard only "an appalling collection of cliches" of no greater potency than "inter-office memos". [/b]
I'm reminded of the man who thought Shakespeare an over-rated poet, on the grounds that all he did was string together familiar quotations.

Best wishes,
Matthew
_________________________
"Passions, violent or not, may never be expressed to the point of revulsion; even in the most frightening situation music must never offend the ear but must even then offer enjoyment, i.e. must always remain music." -- W.A.Mozart

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#537544 - 07/09/06 11:53 AM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
Mr Gould is clearly a moron, and needs a good pepper-spraying.
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#537545 - 07/09/06 12:02 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Its like you read my mind man....

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#537546 - 07/09/06 12:05 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Gould's biggest problem is he wrote in such a way that urges people to take sides rather than discuss the issue.

Gould's opinion of Mozart is low because Mozart didn't painstakingly craft each and every note. In Bach, like Schoenberg, like most of Gould's favored composers, each note has a place and makes a substantive structural contribution. In Mozart, the notes don't always have structural significance. They rather hang upon the structure like ornaments on a tree.

What Gould's trying to do is not make people decide whether or not they agree with Glenn Gould. He's asking us to decide where the genius resides - in the making of the tree, or the decorating.
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#537547 - 07/09/06 12:22 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Horace Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 505
That's interesting, thanks Kreisler. But I always thought popular conception of Mozart's work was that there's a "perfection" about his choices of notes, not too few nor too many, just right for the intended effect, which wouldn't seem compatible with your explanation of why Gould felt as he did.

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#537548 - 07/09/06 12:45 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
blaude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 183
Loc: Houston, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horace:
That's interesting, thanks Kreisler. But I always thought popular conception of Mozart's work was that there's a "perfection" about his choices of notes, not too few nor too many, just right for the intended effect, which wouldn't seem compatible with your explanation of why Gould felt as he did. [/b]
No, it is still compatible with Kreisler's defition. When people talk about the 'perfection' of Mozart's music, they're talking about his ability to achieve the greatest order, balance, and proportion with the smallest means possible. Thus Mozart achieved great simplicity and yet great depth. The fact remains, however, that Mozart's music is largely homogeneous, like most of the music from the galant composers through most of the early romantic era. Gould simply was not as interested in music which acheived depth through simple and homogeneous means. He preferred complex, heterogeneous, contrapuntal music. Mozart just did not satisfy this desire for Gould.
_________________________
“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
-John Cage

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#537549 - 07/09/06 09:19 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Reaper,

If you think Mozart's music is happy all the time, try the Fantasia and Sonata in C minor.
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#537550 - 07/09/06 10:07 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1325
 Quote:
Mr Gould is clearly a moron, and needs a good pepper-spraying.
Please, my dear sir, let us not insult each other. If Gould has insulted others than I will happily disagree with what he has said.

 Quote:
Reaper,

If you think Mozart's music is happy all the time, try the Fantasia and Sonata in C minor.
His Fantasia is an interesting piece and it seems very uncharacteristic of him to write something like that, just as the Requiem seems. I haven't heard the C-minor sonata. But I think it's safe to say that most of what he wrote was in a major key, and he thus, in my opinion, lacked the emotional range that he could have achieved. He only wrote two piano concertos in a minor key. I really just don't connect with most of what he wrote.

It's safe to say that I relate to minor more than major.

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#537551 - 07/09/06 10:32 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Mozart wrote in a variety of styles. Most of the piano, chamber, and symphonic music is in the popular galant style.

For religious music, including the Requiem, the predominant style was far more serious and contrapuntal in character, thus his religious works are quite different than the secular works.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#537552 - 07/09/06 11:57 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
blaude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 183
Loc: Houston, TX
I think it's a little misleading to say that much of Mozart's music was written in the galant style. Usually that term is used to refer to the style which acted as a precursor to the Viennese classical style.
_________________________
“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
-John Cage

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#537553 - 07/10/06 12:52 AM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Sorry...I suppose it would be more correct to say that his earlier chamber works were based on galant writing. (Specifically, the works of J.C. Bach, Abel, and Leopold Mozart.) The religious music was not influenced nearly as much by galant but rather pre-baroque and baroque practice.
_________________________
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#537554 - 07/10/06 04:16 AM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1458
Very informative posts, Kreisler and Blaude.

I will never doubt the validity of Mozart's genius.....however, as an artist, I do find him frustrating to perform precisely because of this simplicity. When such a mastery of simplicty is achieved, it in itself is a beautiful thing, but it actually allows for very little interperative liberties on part of the performer (as opposed to Scriabin or Rachmaninoff, where there are almost infinate freedoms allowable to the performer in terms of tempi, dynamics, color, etc). There is really only one way to play Mozart: Clean and crisp. Learning how to project this perfect simplicity is, of course, an art in itself, but a very hard one.

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#537555 - 07/10/06 06:13 AM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
ecm Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 1271
Loc: Republic of Macedonia
That time it was popular to write like Mozart did. Listen to the composers from those periods, Haydn, Salieri.. Only Mozart's music is more genius than those.

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#537556 - 07/10/06 02:47 PM Re: How Mozart Became a Bad Composer - by Glenn Gould
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus_Maximus:
Very informative posts, Kreisler and Blaude.

I will never doubt the validity of Mozart's genius.....however, as an artist, I do find him frustrating to perform precisely because of this simplicity. When such a mastery of simplicty is achieved, it in itself is a beautiful thing, but it actually allows for very little interperative liberties on part of the performer (as opposed to Scriabin or Rachmaninoff, where there are almost infinate freedoms allowable to the performer in terms of tempi, dynamics, color, etc). There is really only one way to play Mozart: Clean and crisp. Learning how to project this perfect simplicity is, of course, an art in itself, but a very hard one. [/b]
I agree with your nice post opus maximus

Damn mozart is the most difficult composer to play

i agree with the quote that says that it is very easy for children but very difficult for artists

 Quote:
That time it was popular to write like Mozart did. Listen to the composers from those periods, Haydn, Salieri.. Only Mozart's music is more genius than those.
can you elaborate more than this ecm please (or any other one please)

i am really ignorant when it comes to the classical period

i love his k545 .. and since i haven't listened to much mozart .. i also like many of you wonder what are his more "serious moody" pieces if i may say other than the requiem and the religious works?

any info on this genius composer will be appreciated \:\)

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