PIANO WORLD- the first years...

Posted by: P I A N O piano

PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 01:04 PM

Well, it's the close of a decade and PIANO WORLD is how old??? I thought (and really, I consider myself a freshman member) I'd see what the original PW people think about this site during this decade. You must have see the growth first hand!! This is a really cool site and I learn something every day! This thread has no guidelines except here are some questions- (choose one, none or all)

Why do you visit PW? PC?

What have you learned from PW? PC?

How has PW evolved? (forum members who have seen the early years)

Has there been memorable threads on Pianist Corner?
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 01:09 PM

Originally Posted By: P I A N O piano

Has there been memorable threads on Pianist Corner?


Ah, yes, the legendary Coffee Room. Well worth a visit. grin
Posted by: Phlebas

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 01:18 PM

Ah yes, the Coffee Room. People who think things get contentious around here now should look at some of the big threads in the pre-moderated days of Coffee Room (while it still existed), Pianists Corner and Piano World.

When I look back at some of those threads....no wonder Frank closed it down.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 01:39 PM

Before there was PW, there was r.m.m.p.

Steven
Posted by: Numerian

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 02:15 PM

In the very early days people used normal names like Dan, Amy, Alex, Brendan, though a few cool people were more inventive like pianoloverus (still around). There were a lot of us lurking back then before committing to join because it wasn't clear how websites and blogs were supposed to work.

Nobody knew what a flamefest was at first - in fact in the first few years there was more politeness. But that eventually gave way to some passionate fights in the Coffee Room. Most of the fights then and now are about pianos, with occasional dust-ups over composer likes and dislikes.

Ten years ago, certain brand names didn't exist or were just coming on to market, so there was a lot of curiosity about high end pianos like Steingraeber, Fazioli, Estonia, and Mason & Hamlin in its revived form. Very few people had ever seen or played these instruments. Steinway was therefore unchallenged on the high end, and it has been interesting to see their dominance weaken a bit in ten years time with all the competition. Steinway pianos still seem to me by far to be the source of ongoing controversies and fights, and after all this time I still haven't figured out what it is about the instrument that incites so much anger. If you've been around long enough, these flamefests get repetitive and you learn to avoid them, just as you learn to avoid certain teenagers who are convinced they know everything and like to throw out bombshells just for fun. As a general rule, I also stay away from dealer fights because they usually become exercises in name calling.

Perhaps the saddest thing that happened here in the past decade was the Piano Superstore fiasco. A lot of people learned to be a little less trusting of what people say or claim on the internet after that incident. But 98% of the time the information and opinions you get here are valuable and without any doubt Piano World has helped a lot of people become better musicians, more astute shoppers, and if you are in the piano business, better manufacturers and salespeople. That is quite an accomplishment so Frank B. has much for which he can be proud.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 02:20 PM

Well, in my time here perhaps the most interesting thread was the case of the disappearing Boesendorfer. The one that supposedly was left in a hotel room somewhere. This was also a thread about unscrupulous behavior and catching the guilty party.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 03:23 PM

Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Before there was PW, there was r.m.m.p.

Steven


Ah yes, I remember r.m.m.p

Those discussions were, um, spirited! laugh
Posted by: Piano World

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 03:33 PM

I managed to save a few threads from 10 years ago.

The Way We Were

I started Piano World as a hobby, something I could do with my new found HTML skills (web site programming for those who may not know).

Alas, my programming skills did not keep up, but luckily Piano World has, thanks primarily to the input of our members.

It is now my primary focus, and lots of fun for me.

I just hope we can continue to do our little part in helping people discover the joys of owning/playing a piano.
Posted by: piqué

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 04:02 PM

there's a narrative of the early days of pianoworld in "grand obsession" in chapter 6 "piano world" (naturally) and in chapter 15 "the piano crawl" in which you also learn something about frank's background in music, and also about the background and personal interests of several other early forum members.

i came on board when there were just a handful of us, and it was a much more peaceable universe back then. the attacks of sept. 11th set us off in a different direction for awhile, which you can also rediscover in a forum frank created just for discussing that event.

it's really quite remarkable that frank has been able to preserve this long social history. thank you, frank, for creating this place and maintaining it. i know it's a hugely important part of many of our lives, and some of my best friends in real life are now people i first encountered at piano world.
Posted by: Ted

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 05:12 PM

Over the last seven years, the main thing I have learned from Pianoworld is how most other people, especially musicians, think about music. That has been the real eye-opener for me. I completely lacked any understanding of what might be termed conventional musical perception. I met Matthew Collett through this site, even though he was living just a few miles away from me, and at his piano parties I have met and heard several other interesting players. Such is the power of the internet to bring people together constructively.

I spend much less time posting on forums of any sort recently because I am too busy actually playing and making recordings but I still enjoy reading what people have to say every day or two.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 06:20 PM

Anyone remember some ridiculous lady whose name in Russian meant Dark Eyes? Trying to sell some music product over and over and over and over?

Fun stuff.
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 07:04 PM

Well, once upon at time, prior to September 9, 2006, there was no "Just for those Totally Devoted to Chopin" thread. Now it's hard to imagine ABF forum without it. We've had Hershey Felder (Gershwin, Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven as I Knew Him)and Dr Jeff Kallberg (Chopin at the Boundaries) post there. We've had Angela Lear (The Original Chopin)as a consultant. We've had our own representative (LisztAddict) make it into the second round of the Amateur International Chopin Competition in Warsaw this past October. We initiated the first composer themed recitals and coined the term "e-cital." We owe a great debt to LovesChopinToo Much (our Kathleen) for starting and nurturing it. The thread now has more than 5,600 entries and over 112,000 views. I don't know if this is some sort of internet record but I think it might possibly be.

Posted by: jotur

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 07:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Debussy20
Anyone remember some ridiculous lady whose name in Russian meant Dark Eyes? Trying to sell some music product over and over and over and over?

Fun stuff.


Was that the one trying to sell SoftMozart in the teachers forum? That's when I first came on.

Cathy
Posted by: piqué

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 09:33 PM

"dark eyes" in russian (transliterated) is chornaya glaza. was there really a screen handle here by that name?

i missed that contribution.
Posted by: signa

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 09:41 PM

the coffee room was insane sometimes, where you can read everything from WMD to Bush vs. Gore and etc. and believe it or not, many people argued about WMD as if it really existed somewhere in a Iraq secret place... just think how insane and intense that coffee room became then... so, it was closed forever, and i don't miss it.
Posted by: Elene

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 10:06 PM

I can't believe I've been hanging around here for 2 years now, mostly in the Devoted to Chopin corner. I remember quite a few years ago looking for something like this, but it didn't yet exist. (I'd been in a lute discussion group where the flames flew thick and fast, and had had enough of that!)

At Piano World I've met some of the most fascinating people I've encountered in my whole life, and I feel privileged to count them as friends. Thank you to everyone!

Elene
Posted by: P I A N O piano

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 10:08 PM

seems like this would make a great story on NPR...
Posted by: DragonPianoPlayer

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 10:25 PM

Imagine PianoWorld before this thread:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1337474/1.html

LOL
Posted by: Numerian

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 11:00 PM

Originally Posted By: piqué
"dark eyes" in russian (transliterated) is chornaya glaza. was there really a screen handle here by that name?

i missed that contribution.


Wasn't it something like "Ochi chernye", named after the song?
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: signa
the coffee room was insane sometimes, where you can read everything from WMD to Bush vs. Gore and etc. and believe it or not, many people argued about WMD as if it really existed somewhere in a Iraq secret place... just think how insane and intense that coffee room became then... so, it was closed forever, and i don't miss it.


Hmmmm...do I hear a can opener? grin
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 11:14 PM

Originally Posted By: jotur
Originally Posted By: Debussy20
Anyone remember some ridiculous lady whose name in Russian meant Dark Eyes? Trying to sell some music product over and over and over and over?

Fun stuff.


Was that the one trying to sell SoftMozart in the teachers forum? That's when I first came on.

Cathy



Yep, good times... I also think that there was some hate messages on the SoftMozart forums that basically wanted an all our war between the forums or somethign like that. Gotta love the internet.
Posted by: Damon

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 11:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Horowitzian

Hmmmm...do I hear a can opener? grin


I'm stifling an urge. smile
Posted by: jotur

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/30/09 11:25 PM

Well, I'll 'fess up. I was roped in by the softmozart stuff smile I'm much less naive now.

(I'll also 'fess up to being the only person my age I know who will admit to getting signatures in favor of the Vietnam war when I was college. I'm much less naive now.) (oh - what was that sound? a can opener?)

DPP - lol

Cathy
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/31/09 06:08 AM

Originally Posted By: jotur
Well, I'll 'fess up. I was roped in by the softmozart stuff smile I'm much less naive now.


It's still around: Soft Mozart
Is is snake oil? Was "Dark Eyes" this Valeri Koukhtiev?
(Frycek loves a good scandal.)
Posted by: loveschopintoomuch

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/31/09 08:38 AM

I owe so much to Piano World and to the people who have posted and continue to post here. I have been informed, inspired, awed, amused, entertained, enthralled, moved, motivated and most important -- supported.

Like many of us, I was an "off and on" again pianist. Mostly "off," I'm afraid. Lack of patience and easily frustrated, the piano was an instrument of torture for me for many years. But reading of the experiences of people here, I discovered I was not alone. AND I found so much encouragement that I finally, and with long-lost confidence, sat down on that bench and began to realize that I did possess the ability to play quite well, if I just didn't quit. My mantra became "Don't give up!"

I want to thank each and every one of you and Frank, a very special debt of gratitude for creating this amazing place. It is my life-line. heart

My hopes for a happy and healthy New Year to all,
Kathleen
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/31/09 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian

Hmmmm...do I hear a can opener? grin


I'm stifling an urge. smile


smile
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/31/09 01:08 PM

WAsn't it Olenka?
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/31/09 01:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Debussy20
WAsn't it Olenka?

She had several incarnations as lenkaolenka, ochy_cherniye, etc....
Posted by: BruceD

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/31/09 01:29 PM

I've been around here since before this incarnation of PW, and there are both constants and variables that reinforce "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

There were a few passionate, informed pianists who wrote intelligently and articulately about music they knew a great deal about. I miss them and their posts. That characteristic, however, has not changed, even though the particular individuals have long since disappeared. They have been replaced by others, equally passionate, equally articulate and equally well-informed. This is one reason I keep coming back here.

There have also come and gone those who knew little but who wrote, unashamedly, a lot about what they didn't know. That characteristic seems ever present.

There always have been - and undoubtedly always will be - those enthusiastic students in their first year of lessons - or their first year of teaching themselves - who will ask how long it will take them to master "La Campanella, if I start right now, since I've been already been playing the piano for six months."

There also have been a number of genuinely inquisitive pianists, not yet well-trained or advanced in classical music, who have come (and gone) but who, during their short appearances here, asked questions that showed a growing love of music and a willingness to learn from others. I often wonder what has happened to some of them and hope that their musical interests continue to grow.

Those of us who have long been "permanent residents" of this forum owe so much, I believe, to Frank. Without his efforts and interest, some of us would be vox clamans in deserto or as a piano without a soundboard!

Thank you, Frank! Happy New Year to you and to all here.

Regards,
Posted by: Phlebas

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 12/31/09 06:39 PM

Originally Posted By: loveschopintoomuch
I owe so much to Piano World and to the people who have posted and continue to post here. I have been informed, inspired, awed, amused, entertained, enthralled, moved, motivated and most important -- supported.

Like many of us, I was an "off and on" again pianist. Mostly "off," I'm afraid. Lack of patience and easily frustrated, the piano was an instrument of torture for me for many years. But reading of the experiences of people here, I discovered I was not alone. AND I found so much encouragement that I finally, and with long-lost confidence, sat down on that bench and began to realize that I did possess the ability to play quite well, if I just didn't quit. My mantra became "Don't give up!"

I want to thank each and every one of you and Frank, a very special debt of gratitude for creating this amazing place. It is my life-line. heart

My hopes for a happy and healthy New Year to all,
Kathleen


Frédéric Chopin was a great composer to start a thread on.

Regular posters in ABF ran with it.

Another good idea would be Mozart, Beethoven or Schumann.

Understandably though, Chopin seems to touch a lot of people.

Don't let that stop you from looking at other composers though.

Posted by: Peyton

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/01/10 10:23 AM

Of all the forums I participate in, including my own (a telemark ski forum) I would say this is about the best run and most enjoyable. I find it informative with just the right amount of "drama" to keep things interesting. For me, not being a pro and not being in a position to try public playing this has also been a great opportunity to play for other folks of like interest and get some really good positive feedback.

Cheers to Frank and all the moderators and to all the folks on the forum.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/01/10 12:24 PM

BruceD, your beautiful post expresses how I feel about PW perfectly. thumb

I joined PW sometime after the Coffee Room was dismantled and the infamous Larry was banned... quite frankly, I'm rather glad I missed the worst of those fireworks.

The combined P$$ threads/brouhahas were among the most controversial and, for me, the most aggravating aspects of PW. Though I guess I must've enjoyed it on some level if I kept going back to the threads and adding my 2 cents' worth. Maybe it was worth it if the threads made at least a few people reluctant to hand over (and subsequently lose) their $$ to ol' TW.

On the other hand, the P$$ threads spawned the absolutely delightful "First Act" parody thread, which receives my nomination for Funniest PW Thread Ever. Schumann's legendary Bosie-in-a-hotel-room thread also receives a nod for Best Thread Ever.

As entertaining as threads like those are, what keeps me coming back to PW is AB forum. The community there is wonderful and supportive beyond belief. AB forum led me to discover Einaudi, David Nevue, and Tiersen... and I can't imagine my piano life without their music. The recitals inspired me to start recording my music and sharing it with other people, and that has added a rich dimension to my musical life and motivated me to improve my playing more.

Thank you, Frank! heart
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/01/10 12:55 PM

Forgive my ignorance, but what do these mean?
- r.m.m.p.
- TW
- P$$
Posted by: BruceD

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/01/10 01:13 PM

MacMacMac :

P$$ was, at the time, a thinly disguised cover - although all here knew what the code stood for - for a particular individual's piano sales business. The owner's initials were TW, and he dealt in piano sales in what was agreed to be a less than forthright way.

Regards,
Posted by: DragonPianoPlayer

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/01/10 01:19 PM

MacMacMac:

I wasn't familiar with r.m.m.p myself. A search (google, not the crippled non-user friendly search engine included on this site comes up with: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...ite_id/1#import

I'll leave the other ones vague like Bruce did.

Rich
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/02/10 09:06 PM

I found PW while inquiring about the age of a piano probably back around 2002. It wasn’t until a year later that I received an email from our host informing me that a piano forum existed. I remember thinking what the heck could a “piano forum” be??!!

My Mom had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just days after I signed up to PW. I put PW aside for learning about pancreatic cancer and hospice. Later on I would realize that Frank Baxter’s email was a gift.

As horrendous as the coffee room could be there were a lot of good times; learning to understand people’s angle on politics, history and life in general. It was like having a stage set before me every evening and I basically sat in the audience. Besides listening to the rant of members in the CR, I became engrossed in those who shared their musical knowledge, what the techs shared about pianos and understanding the excitement of someone acquiring a new piano.

I ventured into unknown territory when the first M&H piano tour took place in May 2004 by meeting up with others whom I had met on PW. I was unfamiliar with having piano friends. I remember returning home after the tour and feeling like a new world had opened for me.

I befriended locals like Beelady and Jeanne W. Parties and events were started and our group grew; A441, Axtremus, Bernard, KathyK and their family members. Then my tech, Larry Buck got involved and a whole new venue of gatherings took place at his shop. The group continued to grow; John Citron, Lilylady, and many others.

I remember telling John at one point that I had to stay away from the Pianist Forum as anytime someone praised a new piece they were learning, I just had to find the music so I could learn it. I had lost the desire to play classical music in my early teens and was seeking it once again with a passion I never knew existed.

From PW, I learned about the Frederick Historic Collection in Ashburnham, MA and became hooked in the appreciation of vintage instruments, the spring/fall concerts and the friendship of Pat & Mike Frederick.

Without my Moms encouragement and my Dad paying for my lessons in my early years, I wouldn’t be a part of this community or know anything about it. Even though I seldom post, I will never loose sight of PianoWorld and all the enjoyment it has brought and continues to bring into my life.
Posted by: John Citron

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/03/10 01:10 PM

I "discovered" PW just as the infamous Larry was at his climax of insults and anger. He even ruffled my feathers a few times too. I missed the CR by a few months I think. I'm sure I could have put my few cents in there if I had been around. smile I was piano hunting and asked a few brief questions in the forum I had just discovered. After that it's been history in the making. smile I even got in trouble at work for posting too much in the forums!

Overall I to have learned a ton of stuff here, and without the PW community I never would have met some really great people such as TerryTunes, LilyLady, BeeLady, Jeannew, Frank of course, and many others. I've been introduced to the Frederick Collection, which has become a big part of my life and to which I contribute as much as I can in time and energy. All of these people have been a great influence and support for me as I've gone through the good and bad times.

I haven't been around here as much as I used to, but I've been really busy with practicing again since I've been accepted into the music program at UMASS-Lowell. I still have a lot of work to do to get where I want to be, but it's been a fun ride as ever. I promise to poke in more than once a month going forward. smile

John
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/03/10 07:50 PM

I like PW because I learn interesting things, I can ask questions, I can try to help others if I have the answer and because I met other weirdos like me. smile
Posted by: LimeFriday

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/03/10 10:28 PM

All I can say is I wished I'd found PW years earlier. In the short time I've been a member I've been inspired over and over again reading posts - and it has given me even more excitement and joy in my own music.
Posted by: billd

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/04/10 09:06 PM

I've been around here since late '06. I don't post very much but I read regularly. I think out of all the threads I've read this is one of my favorites.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/19695/1.html

Fathertopianist is a very talented story teller. I'd love to have had the whole story in a word or pdf document. It was so entertaining and brought some happiness to me during a troubled time in my life.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: PIANO WORLD- the first years... - 01/05/10 06:59 AM

Ah, more innocent times.

Today FTP would get booted for using a sock. smile