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#1169895 - 03/27/09 04:46 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: musicalmeid]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
Originally Posted By: musicalmeid
Hi,
I'm 14 years old. I just started reading your book. I really like it. Sometimes I feel like you do especially in one of the first couple pages of your book you mentioned that you couldn't play in front of your friends because you would be an outcast. I know exactly how you felt. I feel that way. Many kids that I know don't listen classical music. It's not cool. I love it. It's all I listen to. When I play the piano,or listen to classical music, the pieces are so beautiful that it makes me want to cry.
Thank you for writing your book.
Marie
By the way my family owns a Kawai RX-3 and I love it.


marie, thank you so much for writing! i am glad you are enjoying the book and can identify with some of it.

when i grew up i found out, to my great surprise, that lots of very cool people love classical music, and i was part of a wonderful tribe, not an outcast at all!

so i hope you'll keep nurturing your love of great music, because you will find many times in life that it is your consolation.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1169934 - 03/27/09 06:00 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: RealPlayer]
salzdt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 260
Loc: Greenport, New York
Hi,
I have not read your book, but I wanted to relay this little story. I was a music major 40+ years ago, and changed careers. I retired in 2006, and in 2007 decided to get back to the piano. Prior to my retirering, I had a Baby Grand in my living room that I inherited from my Mother In-law. I was not playing and everyone was trying to convince me to sell it. I felt a real connection to this piano and wanted to keep it in the family. I shipped it to my daughter's home in Charlotte, N.C. In 2007, after retirering, I decided I wanted to get back to playing the piano. I bought a digital, so I could practice any hour of the day or night. I soon realized that a digital is not the same as a Baby Grand. In 2008, I traded in the digital for a Baby Grand ( I didn't want to take back the Baby Grand in N.C.)
Last week my husband's couison, who is a science writer, Dava Sobel, came to dinner. She asked me if I had read the Grand Obsession? She knew of you work and you love of the piano. I guess I have to get a copy of your book. One could say I also had a Grand Obsession. Owning two Baby Grand's in one's life time is rather unusually for an amature. I just thought you would appreiciate another writer complementing your book.
Dot
_________________________

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#1169936 - 03/27/09 06:06 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: salzdt]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
OMG. please send my regards to your husband's cousin. i am a HUGE fan of hers, and i am thrilled to know she has read my book. she might be interested to know that when my agent was pitching "G.O." he called it the next "Longitude".

of course, the two books have nothing in common as far as subject matter, but they do share a similar propensity to burrow as deeply as possible into an arcane subject.

thank you so much for writing to tell me this. you have totally made my day.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1188723 - 04/27/09 10:35 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: Goose68]
pianovirtuoso Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Tomkins Cove, N.Y. 10986
Hello Pique,
I am reading your book with rapt attention as it came in the mail this week. So far so good.

Regards
Peter@nwcmta.com
www.nwmta.com

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#1192347 - 05/03/09 07:06 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: Bernard]
eightyeight_keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/08
Posts: 383
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Dear Pique,

I have finished reading your book. One the BEST books I have ever read!! Fantastic book. I love it so much. This book has changed my life for the better. I thank you. I have always loved pianos and piano playing. This great book confirms as to why I do love pianos. I also have spent the last few months searching for my "ideal" perfect grand piano. I have found it!

The best book ever. Thank you so much and I share your love and interest in pianos 100%! There should be more people doing what you have done!

Regards,
Michael
_________________________
Kawai RX6G Grand
Bernstien/Hailun Europa BH - 1EP Upright
Roland HP-335 Digital Piano
Yamaha W7 Synthesizer
Roland E09W Interactive Arranger

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#1192787 - 05/03/09 09:34 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: eightyeight_keys]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
Originally Posted By: piano_mike
Dear Pique,

I have finished reading your book. One the BEST books I have ever read!! Fantastic book. I love it so much. This book has changed my life for the better. I thank you. I have always loved pianos and piano playing. This great book confirms as to why I do love pianos. I also have spent the last few months searching for my "ideal" perfect grand piano. I have found it!

The best book ever. Thank you so much and I share your love and interest in pianos 100%! There should be more people doing what you have done!

Regards,
Michael


michael, thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed the book. though i don't know if i agree with the part about how others should do what i did. write books, yes. go into torment over a piano, maybe not.

so are you going to reveal what your "ideal perfect grand" turned out to be? or are you going to keep us in suspense?

laugh
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1205210 - 05/24/09 06:23 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
latest update:

"grand obsession" is due to be released in paperback on june 2. the paperback edition has been revised, updated and a few errors were corrected.

this month or next, it will appear in chinese. it is also available in italian under the title "piano solo."

i have a few hardcover first editions that i will autograph,inscribe, and ship upon request, until they are gone! for further details, you may email me. contact me through my website.

i know how hard it is for some of us, especially music students, to justify spending the price of a new hardcover for a book. i hope those of you in that situation will now find the book more affordable in paperback.

and if still not within reach--there is always the library!

also, if anyone here has been trying to reach me and has not received an answer, please resend your email. i had an email meltdown and may have lost some.

thanks to all of you for your interest in "grand obsession."
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1205280 - 05/24/09 10:25 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
gosh pique!
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1210235 - 06/02/09 10:15 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
Davide Roato Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 1
Loc: Asti - Italy
Dear Pique.
I have read the Italian version of your book “Piano solo. Una storia d'amore e musica”! I have continued reading it for a week and simply could not put it down. It is absolutely compelling.
The connection to piano music and the process of bringing it to life is palpable throughout the pages. The way you crafted the story is incredibly haunting and inspiring.
Brahms Intermezzo op. 118 n.2, that you mention at the end of your book, is one of my favourite short pieces.
Hope to see you around in Italy sometime. Your book really deserves more echo.
Regards.
David
_________________________
"Sempre caro mi fu quest'ermo colle,
E questa siepe, che da tanta parte
Dell'ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.
Ma sedendo e mirando, interminati
Spazi di là da quella, e sovrumani
Silenzi, e profondissima quiete
Io nel pensier mi fingo; ove per poco
Il cor non si spaura." G.Leopardi

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#1210383 - 06/02/09 03:00 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: Davide Roato]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
david,
thank you for writing. the book must have some sort of special resonance for italians, as some of the most impassioned fan mail i have received has been from italy (not all of it in english!)

i would love to go to italy and meet my readers there. i'll let you know if anything like that is happening.

as for the "more echo": spread the word all you can! thanks!!!
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1210387 - 06/02/09 03:04 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
i have a few hardcover first editions that i will autograph,inscribe, and ship upon request, until they are gone! for further details, you may email me. contact me through my website.


i'm highlighting this because quite a few orders are coming in, and the last of these books may be gone shortly. if you are considering getting a signed first edition for yourself or for a gift, now is the time! i suspect there will not be a reprint of them, now that the paperback has been released.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1211120 - 06/03/09 03:04 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
in honor of the launch of the paperback edition, grand obsession now has a facebook page. i've posted some photos that illustrate the people, places, and events that occur in the book.

there are pictures from austria, germany, new york, and of many pianoworld celebrities, including frank.

come take a look, become a fan, forward it to your facebook friends!

Perri Knize/Grand Obsession Facebook Page

click on the "photo" tab to see the grand obsession rogue's gallery.

i plan to launch a few photo pages on my website in the near future that will, in effect illustrate the book.

i am still learning the facebook ropes, but i will be linking to this page from there, once i figure it out.


Edited by piqué (06/03/09 03:05 PM)
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1286428 - 10/13/09 10:56 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
update:

there are now photos illustrating these chapters:

beethoven's warehouse
the piano crawl
braunschweig
austria
mittenwald

go to my website: www.grandobsession.com/links/index.html

and click on the "grand obsession illustrated" link, the first one in the content area of the page. lots of good illustrations of piano building, and some of the characters in the book.

i hope to see some of you in white plains, ny on october 23rd. you can see the details here:

member events
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1510565 - 09/07/10 01:48 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
Phil Hayward Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Lower Hutt, New Zealand
I just read "Grand Obsession" in 2 big chunks of time over 2 days, I was so gripped by it. I am a piano tuner in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. I kept finding myself saying "wow, that's worth knowing", and "aha - I know that" or "I do that too". What a unique book.

I am bursting with comments to make. This is my first ever contribution here, I have registered especially to make this comment. So excuse me if I am unwittingly breaching any protocols or etiquette. I don't even know if I should have posted it on some other part of the forum such as the Piano Technicians section. I would appreciate your advice, or if you bring this comment to the attention of contributors to other sections that would like to respond.

Any piano, or brand new piano, that has been just delivered to a customer, is likely to sound awful until it is tuned, and retuned, and retuned; and it will take several tunings over the first year or 2, to stabilise it; not to mention all the other work that needs to be done on it. These things need to be made very clear to all new piano purchasers - in my experience, few are aware of this.

I particularly admire all the tuners in the book who are placid, accomodating, and non-egotistical. That is not to criticise any particular one of the highly professional people Perri deals with in her book, but I do not think that the hyper-active, excitable, edge-of-burnout, semi-eccentric type is a "model" for the profession, although if some of the very very best technicians are such types, that is excusable - for them.

Perri Knize's sensitivity to sound is rare (perhaps most piano tuners would say "fortunately") and it would be logical for anyone with such sensitivity to have become a piano tuner themselves. However, this could be a frustrating experience as pianos simply always will have limitations according to the physical materials they are made of - "perfection" in the sense of a uniformity of tone that one might be able to devise electronically, for example, is impossible.

Among the many books I have read, is Carl Seashore's "The Psychology of Music". One of his cases is a family of gifted musicians, all of whom scored very highly in tests of hearing; one member of the family, though, was not a musician, and disliked music - and this individual scored highest of all in hearing sensitivity. The conclusion was that this individual's sensitivity to the "imperfections" that are always present in musical performance, that remain unnoticed to the most (even professional musicians), rendered him incapable of enjoying any music at all.
(Other recommended books: "This is Your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitin, and "Musicophilia" by Oliver Saks).

I can relate entirely to Perri Knize' description of powerful emotional affects, BUT as a consequence of "music" itself, rather than as the effect of a particular high quality musical instrument or tuning. I think most people who are emotionally affected in some way by musical tones and themes, would share my view. Even some of the great composers were said to be less demanding than some others about tuning and tone - melody, harmony and rhythm were what mattered most to them. "Poor quality" tone and tuning would "detract" from the emotional impact of the music, rather than exceptional tone and tuning being themselves the factor that causes the emotional impact. Some works would have to be performed very badly or quite out-of-tune indeed, NOT to move me to tears.


As the piano tuner to the Hutt Valley's premier concert venue, I have done concert tunings for numerous famous pianists, and none of them have ever expressed dissatisfaction, including some who are known in the profession to be quite demanding. There are only two customers I have ever met who I think might have Perri Knize's level of hearing sensitivity, and both are private individuals. One lady owns a small Yamaha upright. Most PIANO TUNERS CAN hear the imperfections that lay persons cannot, but this particular lady was the first non-piano tuner I have met who could tell that the low bass strings, for example, were only ever perfectly in tune with either the "first octave" above them or the "second octave" - never both - and she had always blamed the poor old piano tuners, not the imperfection of the piano itself. I think I succeeded in explaining "inharmonicity" to her and suggested she try out a 9 foot concert grand and see if she could tell the difference.

Another lady was dissatisfied with my first tuning on her piano, and was clearly able to articulate what she did not like about it; I then re-did the tuning with slightly NARROW octaves, and she was deliriously happy. I was extremely interested to read that Marc Weinert's "Schubert"/"clean double octave" tuning was what appealed to Perri Knize. I personally think that there is not a lot of scope for adventurousness with "stretch", so that tuning octaves so wide that there are definite beats in them audible to anybody, I think would risk "polarising" people about whether they liked my tuning or not.

I do not know whether others have commented, in reference to Marc Weinert's "Schubert" tuning and its effects on Perri Knize, about the book "The New Tuning" by Lucas Mason. This book, and its author, would have been an extremely interesting addition to Perri Knize's study. Mason discusses the self-reinforcing nature of "coincident beat rates" (my words) when a piano is put "perfectly" in tune according to his analysis. A startling insight from Lucas Mason is, that the inharmonicity of piano strings cancels out "the Pythagorean Comma" in the real life piano situation, so that tuning the 5ths of the temperament CLEAN actually does NOT result in a "wolf interval" 5th anywhere. A cycle of 12 CLEAN 5ths (and 4ths beating at slightly more than once per second) will nicely fit within a temperament octave that will turn out to be just ever so slightly stretched.

Pythagoras and his friends need not have worried about the terrible secret of the comma and its implications for "the natural order" after all. Building a slow beat into the 5ths as has been traditionally taught, actually results in a narrow temperament octave. This narrowness might be carried over into the rest of the tuning outwards, up and down from the temperament, leading to noticeable "flatness" of the high treble notes; or additional strain to the "harmonicity" of the whole tuning might be introduced as the tuner tries to stretch octaves over the rest of the compass of the piano.

Once the temperament is established on Lucas Mason's lines, an incredible series of coincident beat rates in the various intervals contained in harmonies played on the piano, are achievable. These beat rates reinforce each other. For example, in a minor triad, the beat rates of each "third" contained within the triad, are identical. The beat rates in a major triad coincide on a ratio of 3:2. The effect of this is altogether different to a piano tuned in a way that results in these beat rates ratios to each other being , say, 11:13 or 9:14.

Mason's book goes on for chapter after chapter, analysing a whole host of coincidences in beat rates when certain common combinations of notes are played on the piano.

I would love to know what Marc Weinert would say about this. On page 353 of "Grand Obsession" he is quoted as discussing "the stretch characteristic", "the relationship between all the beats within the beats of interacting partials" - Marc says "it's an inner vibrato I use to control the voice of the piano". I am so excited about this, I KNOW what he is talking about!!!!!! But I would like to know WHY he does not do "the magic Schubert tuning" ALL the time; and WHY did he just happen to have done it to the Grotrian that Perri fell in love with, if he does NOT do that tuning all the time.

But I agree completely that the piano simply cannot stay so exactly right for long. In fact, one of the major things that tuners need to latch onto at some stage in the development of their skills, is how a piano's tuning might "move" WHILE it is being tuned. Of course this happens during major pitch raises, but it is surprising just how small the "pitch raise" might be, that causes movement in strings already tuned, as you go. What is sometimes called "setting the pin" is more a question of attempting to "balance" the tensions in each segment of the string so that there is the least potential for it to "render" again during tuning the rest of the piano, and the playing of it afterwards.

On voicing hammers, I liked the humility of the voicing man at the Grotrian-Steinweg factory. Clearly a subject on which there are many different approaches required according to the situation, hammers and pianos all differing so much. I agree with the comment that it is difficult for a technician to "voice" not knowing what has already been done to the hammers on the piano. But there seems to be very little enthusiasm among piano manufacturers to just leave hammers unvoiced so that the poor old local technician at the piano's final destination can start with a clean sheet of paper so to speak.

I actually believe that some of the cheapest new pianos are worth making the effort to voice, contrary to what some elitist technicians say, precisely BECAUSE they have not been touched. The "tonal change" per unit of time spent can actually be quite spectacular.

Lastly, I agree with the comment from the Grotrian executive that ability to play the piano is an asset to a piano technician; this is something that is unfortunately controversial in the trade, naturally it is the non-playing tuners who like to make it controversial.

Regards

Phil Hayward
Lower Hutt
New Zealand

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#1510568 - 09/07/10 02:13 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
I loved the book but thought Perri was crazy... until I bought an acoustic myself and realized I'm as crazy as her!
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1510844 - 09/07/10 02:32 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Phil Hayward, I particularly enjoyed reading your comments.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1510860 - 09/07/10 03:00 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
Quote:
I would love to know what Marc Weinert would say about this. On page 353 of "Grand Obsession" he is quoted as discussing "the stretch characteristic", "the relationship between all the beats within the beats of interacting partials" - Marc says "it's an inner vibrato I use to control the voice of the piano". I am so excited about this, I KNOW what he is talking about!!!!!! But I would like to know WHY he does not do "the magic Schubert tuning" ALL the time; and WHY did he just happen to have done it to the Grotrian that Perri fell in love with, if he does NOT do that tuning all the time.


you can ask him yourself! he's at pianomarc@aol.com

i will warn you that he almost never answers his email because he has too much going on in his life between work and family obligations, but he will read it and i know he'll be interested in the book you mention.

marc says the SCT is not what most customers are looking for, and the bulk of his work is (or was) preparing pianos in showrooms for sale. so he rarely uses that tuning.

the reason he did it in the case of my piano is because, as i quoted him in the book, carl is not like other dealers, and he and marc have the same taste. carl tells him to make the piano "as beautiful as you can possibly make it" and so marc satisfies his own ear in that situation.

luckily for me (or unluckily, depending on your perspective), marc and i also have the same taste.

thanks so much for your enlightening comments! it is eye-opening to discover how much the more esoteric aspects of the book resonate for certain people.

as for the going crazy part--well, if you are someone who has been profoundly moved by anything of beauty, i think you can relate. otherwise, yes, i guess it looks pretty crazy. smile
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

Top
#1513050 - 09/10/10 08:05 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
Phil Hayward Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Thanks for that, Perri (and Oun).

I have emailed Marc as you suggest. While it would be fantastic to have a bit of a discussion with him on this, I certainly know how pressed he is for time. Even in my locale, which is cetainly not NY, the technician whose advice I value the most is always days behind answering his voicemails and emails.

Sorry my question about the special tuning was a bit superfluous, you did such a good job of explaining in your book, how this happened - Carl likes it too. I am imagining that instead of having the "reinforcing beats" like the Lucas Mason tuning, the "slightly out of sync" but consistently so, nature of the beats may be the special vibrato that you hear.

I would just like to say further that I use the "Lucas Mason" tuning all the time; except for the one customer I mentioned above. I suspect from your description, that Marc's "Schubert" tuning may be somewhat like what I did for that customer - and I was amazed at the time that it sounded so nice, because I was expecting it to sound "wrong" to my ears. I have never tried it again, not really having had any reason to. But you never know.

While I say above that I am still emotionally affected by music even if the tuning is not perfect, what I do find is that on any especially good piano I have just tuned, I seem to get a higher level of inspiration for improvisation than when the tuning was "so-so".

All the best,

Phil Hayward
Lower Hutt

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#1513157 - 09/11/10 12:14 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
Jordy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 133
Loc: USA
Pique, when is your book coming out in audio???? Soon I hope!

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#1513182 - 09/11/10 01:06 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: Phil Hayward]
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1757
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
Any piano, or brand new piano, that has been just delivered to a customer, is likely to sound awful until it is tuned, and retuned, and retuned; and it will take several tunings over the first year or 2, to stabilise it; not to mention all the other work that needs to be done on it. These things need to be made very clear to all new piano purchasers - in my experience, few are aware of this.


Agreed!

Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
Among the many books I have read, is Carl Seashore's "The Psychology of Music". One of his cases is a family of gifted musicians, all of whom scored very highly in tests of hearing; one member of the family, though, was not a musician, and disliked music - and this individual scored highest of all in hearing sensitivity. The conclusion was that this individual's sensitivity to the "imperfections" that are always present in musical performance, that remain unnoticed to the most (even professional musicians), rendered him incapable of enjoying any music at all.


I believe this to be true also; that some people have such sensitive hearing that nothing can ever please them. To have this trait (sorry will not call such a thing a gift) may in fact be a curse.

Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
Even some of the great composers were said to be less demanding than some others about tuning and tone - melody, harmony and rhythm were what mattered most to them.


Beethoven among them, probably.

Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
"Poor quality" tone and tuning would "detract" from the emotional impact of the music, rather than exceptional tone and tuning being themselves the factor that causes the emotional impact. Some works would have to be performed very badly or quite out-of-tune indeed, NOT to move me to tears.


There’s also the anticipation of known musical effects that move one when they are encountered in live performances. Sometimes they are as strong as a déjà-vu.

Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
As the piano tuner to the Hutt Valley's premier concert venue, I have done concert tunings for numerous famous pianists, and none of them have ever expressed dissatisfaction, including some who are known in the profession to be quite demanding. There are only two customers I have ever met who I think might have Perri Knize's level of hearing sensitivity, and both are private individuals. One lady owns a small Yamaha upright. Most PIANO TUNERS CAN hear the imperfections that lay persons cannot, but this particular lady was the first non-piano tuner I have met who could tell that the low bass strings, for example, were only ever perfectly in tune with either the "first octave" above them or the "second octave" - never both - and she had always blamed the poor old piano tuners, not the imperfection of the piano itself. I think I succeeded in explaining "inharmonicity" to her and suggested she try out a 9 foot concert grand and see if she could tell the difference.


LOL, then the poor lady will have a hankering for a concert grand with perhaps limited space for one.

Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
Another lady was dissatisfied with my first tuning on her piano, and was clearly able to articulate what she did not like about it; I then re-did the tuning with slightly NARROW octaves, and she was deliriously happy. I was extremely interested to read that Marc Weinert's "Schubert"/"clean double octave" tuning was what appealed to Perri Knize. I personally think that there is not a lot of scope for adventurousness with "stretch", so that tuning octaves so wide that there are definite beats in them audible to anybody, I think would risk "polarising" people about whether they liked my tuning or not.


I’d like to hear this tuning myself to see whether I’d even know the difference. I doubt it.

Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
On voicing hammers, I liked the humility of the voicing man at the Grotrian-Steinweg factory. Clearly a subject on which there are many different approaches required according to the situation, hammers and pianos all differing so much. I agree with the comment that it is difficult for a technician to "voice" not knowing what has already been done to the hammers on the piano. But there seems to be very little enthusiasm among piano manufacturers to just leave hammers unvoiced so that the poor old local technician at the piano's final destination can start with a clean sheet of paper so to speak.


If they did that, leaving the hammers clean, people would be even less impressed with the sounds of brand new pianos. I have said for years that fully 60% of the perceived value of ANY piano is due to the voicing.

Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
I actually believe that some of the cheapest new pianos are worth making the effort to voice, contrary to what some elitist technicians say, precisely BECAUSE they have not been touched. The "tonal change" per unit of time spent can actually be quite spectacular.


I would tend to agree, and I’m not a technician. But some have told me that some hammers (Yamaha) are made in such a way as to spring back (be less easily voiced). Someone on here had a question about the new Hallet Davis pianos coming out of China. I think they use Abel hammers which can be nicely voiced. Some time back I played a new (out of the box) untouched Boston piano and was not impressed, came back a couple weeks later and after a thorough voicing etc. it was a different and better sounding piano.

Originally Posted By: Phil Hayward
Lastly, I agree with the comment from the Grotrian executive that ability to play the piano is an asset to a piano technician; this is something that is unfortunately controversial in the trade, naturally it is the non-playing tuners who like to make it controversial.


LOL.

Well welcome aboard Phil. Hope the earthquake down there didn’t get you.
_________________________
David Burton's Blog
http://dpbmss041010.blogspot.com/

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#1513574 - 09/11/10 09:37 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: David Burton]
PaintedPostDave Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 540
Loc: Upstate New York
Having read "the book" and having subsequently purchased a piano from Carl Demler (see the thread "Mission Accomplished") and being in the beginning of sorting out various Knabe problems with the help of an RPT located in Trumansburg, I identify with the author (as do thousands of others).

Rather than adding to the mushrooming panegyric, I would pose a question to the author: How has the book's success affected you and your husband. My guess is that you feel rewarded emotionally and financially and that the initial challenge of paying for Marlene has faded into obscurity (I certainly hope so). Perhaps you are now driving to some of the book signings in a Lamborghini (and loving it). In short, how are you handling the phenomenal (and well deserved) success? smile


Edited by PaintedPostDave (09/11/10 10:05 PM)
_________________________
Dave Koenig
Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/

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#1514660 - 09/13/10 11:46 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: PaintedPostDave]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
hi, dave,

Quote:
I would pose a question to the author: How has the book's success affected you and your husband. My guess is that you feel rewarded emotionally and financially and that the initial challenge of paying for Marlene has faded into obscurity (I certainly hope so). Perhaps you are now driving to some of the book signings in a Lamborghini (and loving it). In short, how are you handling the phenomenal (and well deserved) success? smile


it has been very rewarding emotionally, intellectually, and creatively. the book was a great critical success, and it found a following among pianophiles, which is tremendous. just the process of writing the book and working with my wonderful editor was hugely rewarding.

it has not been very rewarding financially, at least, not yet. but that is par for the course in the world of publishing.

for some reason, people seem to get the idea from the book that i spent a lot of money chasing down "the marlene experience." i'm not sure how or why they got this impression.

i thought i was pretty clear in the book that i was shopping for pianos while on assignment for work, i didn't pay for the travel myself. and as a journalist i was traveling a lot for work.

i also thought i made it clear that i didn't have to pay for most of the warranty work that was done. so i'm a bit mystified when people say i spend thousands of dollars on technicians and travel. i don't have the resources to do that and didn't.

a career as a writer, like any career, is a long process over time. this was my first book. i hope to write many more, and if i'm lucky, one or more of those books will put me in the lamborghini league. laugh but if so, it will be one of those overnight success stories that took 25 years, i fear. wink

in the meantime, what GRAND OBSESSION has done has moved me onto the next big square of my career, and has legitimized me as an author in the eyes of people in publishing. and that is not to be underestimated.

my husband and i are living the same as we always have--scraping by, grateful for and loving the life we have, and loving what we do.

oh--and i now have a piano teacher who has read my book and you'd be surprised what a huge help that has been in our student/teacher relationship. he understands me musically in a way that few teachers understand their students without having taught them for many years. thumb
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1514697 - 09/14/10 02:05 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Perri. Just wanted to let you know I never heard of Pianoworld until I read your book. I got your book on Kindle before text-to-speech was disabled, and you've read me to sleep in Stephen Hawking's voice many nights as you are riding shotgun around New York tuning pianos with Marc or driving piano techs crazy at your house!

I also never considered an acoustic until reading your book and wondering why you seemed to be going so mad over a piece of wood and metal!? I thought it was nuts that you would go so much over your budjet... what could drive someone to do that? Then I went from a $5,000 budget to a $30,000 budget over a matter of weeks and pretty much everyone in my family thinks it's my midlife crisis or that I've gone mad! Recently, while not taking the time that you did, I have come to understand what you went through and empathize with you more than I ever imagined I could. It's that sound, that visceral, organic, melting sound that's ephemeral and angelic. It's therapy and a connection to the universe that people who haven't experienced it find either amusing or odd or nuts!

Any way. I hope you find the time to write more as I'll be the first in line!

P.S. Pretty much 100% of my reading consists of Katie Hafner's books, Longitude, Eniac, Crystal Fire, Thread Across the Ocean, and all of the esoteric scientific or historical object books out there. Grand Obsession is, among those books, one of the books I mention when people ask what I read... and I'm trying to compliment you because all of those books I mentioned are my favorites among hundreds in that category that I've read.
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1514704 - 09/14/10 02:24 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19743
Loc: New York
Just noticed this thread, and rushed to order the book.

I see that I actually posted on here before.....but it was when I first joined the site and was just finding my way around, and didn't absorb what this was about. All I noticed was that I had missed your event in White Plains! ha

I'm afraid I probably share a lot of your grand obsession. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1514990 - 09/14/10 02:19 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19743
Loc: New York
P.S. Would you believe......I only just now got the 'pun' in the title! confused
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1515325 - 09/14/10 09:56 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
Mark C, you're in for a treat. pique, I enjoy hearing your update, too!

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#1515326 - 09/14/10 09:58 PM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 543
Loc: Germany
Hello Perry,

let me just say Thank You for your wonderful book.

I seem to be a "sound addict" too. Once I sung in a barbershop gang after having been "hooked" by a heavenly sung "Shine On me"..

Reading your book I was fascinated by several descriptions of pianos, locations and men. I found your description of the violin makers in Mittenwald very impressive. There it is really a very special community.

I am of the humble opinion that your great book should be available in german also.. ..

Kind regards

Bernd
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#1515486 - 09/15/10 01:43 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
alpha~
Quote:
I thought it was nuts that you would go so much over your budjet... what could drive someone to do that?


that was the question that bedeviled me as well. because for me to do something like buy that piano was so VERY unlike me. and then i saw it happening to other people, too. i just had to find out what was behind this phenomenon.

writing the book was a grand opportunity to "follow the vector of my curiosity" (my editor's advice to me when i asked him if he had any.) it was exciting to have the pursuit of the answer lead down so many very interesting avenues and to so many very interesting people.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1515488 - 09/15/10 01:50 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
mark, thanks for buying the book and i hope you enjoy it.

guest, thanks!

bernd, mittenwald was my personal favorite of all the chapters. that was such a remarkable time and encounter.

i would love for the book to have a german translation! mostly because so many, many of the people who are in the book are german speakers who don't read english and would very much like to read the book.

but also because i think there is quite a bit of german sensibility and appreciation of germans' dedication to craft in the book.

if anyone here knows a german publisher and would like to recommend GRAND OBSESSION to them, the german translation rights are available.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1515573 - 09/15/10 06:50 AM Re: grand obsession news and events--updates [Re: piqué]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4983
Loc: Italy
I bought the book after seeing it mentioned it some threads here.

I just loved it.

I was thrilled to be able to identify with the fledgling pianist, first recital qualms (my only recitals so far are the e-citals here, which are great, but different than going live!).... and I positvely thrummed to the concepts of energy and vibrations you discuss at such great and fascinating length.

I was intrigued to learn so much about how a piano is made and how it is tuned. I have a lot more to learn - which doesn't surprise me! - I'm just glad I read your book before selecting my piano.

An excellent read. Fun, interesting, educational and it very much speaks to the heart and soul of the music in and around each and every one of us.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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