Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Are there different pianos made for different types of music? Are there rock pianos, classical pianos, jazz pianos, new age pianos, or ragtime pianos? Some people say a Yamaha piano is best for rock to be able to get that bright sound that cuts through. Can you play rock music on a Steinway? It can be done!
Let me give you a parallel: Computers.
Are there computers made for business, computers made for photography, computers made for music, computers made for video? To some degree, yes. However, any high powered computer can accomplish any of those tasks. A gaming computer might have a beefier graphics card, but any computer can do any job. Some might be a little bit better suited to certain tasks, and some types of applications require more processing power of one sort or another. To a certain degree, the same is true with pianos.
A great deal depends upon the voicing and regulation of the instrument.
You could take a piano like a Steinway, which you think of as having a rich warm sound that maybe gets a little bit of growl when you really lay into it. But if you harden the hammers you’re going to have a really aggressive sounding piano. That might be appropriate for some classical pieces, but it also could be great for ragtime or rock. So there aren’t necessarily pianos that are built for different styles of music. However, the voicing of a piano has a lot to do with how appropriate a piano may be for certain styles or certain players. For example, Vladimir Horowitz played on a super bright piano. Of course, he was a classical pianist. You might wonder why he wanted a bright piano. With his unique technique of sitting low and playing very delicately, he could control that very bright piano and get all different colors from warm to bright, just from the amazing control he had. On the other hand, my father, Morton Estrin, always liked to have his piano voiced on the warm side. He liked that he could play powerfully and never overdrive the piano into a harsh sound. Yet he could still get that beautiful, warm tone when he was playing delicate pianissimo. So any piano can be voiced one way or another.
There could be some pianos that are more appropriate for certain styles.
For example, sometimes European pianos with their bell-like, clear tone can be just wonderful for Mozart. They have a nice, clear, crisp sound. Where an American piano like a Mason & Hamlin, or even a Steinway, may be a bit thick for that sort of music. If you’ve ever heard the original forte pianos from Mozart’s era, it’s a dramatically different sound from a modern piano, particularly the fat sound of a Steinway. So there is some validity to choosing pianos for certain styles of music. But the voicing, and more importantly the playing, will determine which pianos will be appropriate for your music. I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.
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