This is Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com. Today we are going to talk about the importance of walking around a concert hall. What am I talking about? If you ever get the opportunity to play a concert and you have the chance to go to the hall beforehand, there is no better experience than to get someone else playing the piano in that space while you walk around the hall. You will learn so much.

No matter how fine of a hall you are playing in, the sound you will get in the front row compared to the last row, the left to the right, and the balconies can be dramatically different.

Unless you have the opportunity to hear music in the hall on the instrument you play, there is no way that you can really be sure of what you are projecting.

I had the opportunity with my father Morton Estrin who played in so many different halls, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, to walk around and listen. You get to understand that in some halls you might want to alter your touch or tempo of what you are playing because things can become muddied in certain areas of the hall. Other halls might be overwhelmingly loud in some sections and soft in others and you might want to be able to moderate your expression to be able to suit the hall.

This isn’t just for concert halls. Anywhere you play you’ll want to listen in different parts of the room. Imagine you are having an in-home concert and the piano is opened up, and you go in the room and people’s ears are getting blown away because you don’t realize how loud it is! You’re probably just playing at your regular volume that you always practice at. You want to make sure that you are playing appropriately for the space.

There is no better way than to get another person to play so you can walk around and listen.
That way you’ll know exactly how to create the sound you are after. If you don’t have the luxury of a second person to play:

If you have a good quality portable recorder you can try recording from different sections of the hall.

You can listen back and get some idea of what you are getting. But, there is really no substitute for being there live. One of the coolest things is if you have a recording system on your piano. You actually play in the hall on the piano, play it back, and walk around the hall. That’s an ideal situation! Short of that, get a friend to play for you, listen to what you are getting, and pepper your performance to make sure it is ideal for the space you are playing in.

Thanks again for joining me, I’m Robert Estrin from LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store.

info@LivingPianos.com
949-244-3729

The Importance of Walking Around a Concert Hall

This is Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com. Today we are going to talk about the importance of walking around a concert hall. What am I talking about? If you ever get the opportunity to play a concert and you have the chance to go to the hall bef

This is Robert Estrin from LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store with a question. “Does playing the piano make you smarter?” I hope so. I’ve been playing a long time and wonder what I would be like if I didn’t play the piano! This is a serious question. Indeed there have been studies, like famous Gordon Shaw – Frances Rauscher studies at UC Irvine. These studies showed:

With a control group of children studying the piano, compared to other groups studying computers, as well as a control group studying nothing, the children who studied piano showed an increase of math and science scores and even increase in English skills!

That is exciting to think about! Later on, they even discovered the “Mozart Effect”, which had some controversy. They simply played recordings of Mozart while kids were taking tests and found that there was a temporary increase in IQ scores just from listening to the music! Temporary is the keyword here. Later on their findings were diminished when they found it was just a temporary boost, but that is exciting enough!

Why should playing the piano increase your intelligence? Did you know?

Playing the piano uses more parts of your brain than any other human activity.

This is according to the New York Times in article years ago about the human brain that showed piano playing as the single most complex endeavor of the human mind. How can this be? Think about it. You have short-term memory, long-term memory, tactile memory as well as visual and aural cues.

You have just about every part of your brain firing when playing the piano.

It is a fantastic opportunity to develop your mind. Of course if you play with other musicians you also develop social skills. It is endless. Just playing music is a great way to expand your mind. The discipline of practicing and the organization it takes to digest a piece of music make for an incredible opportunity to explore aspects of your own mind in ways that are richly rewarding. At the end of the line, you have something to show for it. You can play a piece of music or many pieces of music!

As if that isn’t enough of a reason to play the piano, being able to increase your intelligence is a benefit too! Everyone should study the piano, don’t you think? Let me know how you feel about this. I wonder how many of you are on board. I suppose if you are reading this there could be skewed results because many of my readers might already feel this way!

There are studies that prove an increase in intelligence just from playing the piano.

Spend more time with the piano and your brain will thank you! Once again, this is Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store.

info@LivingPianos.com
949-244-3729

Can Playing the Piano Make You Smarter?

This is Robert Estrin from LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store with a question. “Does playing the piano make you smarter?” I hope so. I’ve been playing a long time and wonder what I would be like if I didn’t play the piano! This

Hi, this is LivingPianos.com, and I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s question is, “Why is a slur impossible on the piano?” It seems like a ridiculous question because you know that you have slurs all over the place in your scores on the piano, and here I am telling you that slurs are impossible on the piano!

Well, as you probably know, the piano is an instrument of illusion. After all, you play a note and as soon as you play it, it’s dying away. So, every single note you play on the piano has a decrescendo to it, and yet you have music that’s written with crescendos. That’s a whole other issue, why crescendos are impossible on the piano, or are they? Obviously, if you play multiple notes, each successive note can form a crescendo. Correct. But what about a slur? Why is a slur impossible?

What does a slur mean?

Did you know that a slur on the human voice and many instruments have all the notes within the slur? In fact, it’s impossible to avoid it completely when singing. Try singing from one note to another note, and try to avoid getting the notes between. If you were to slow that down dramatically, you would hear all the notes sliding between the notes very quickly. I’m also a French horn player, and on the French horn, slurs also have all the notes between. If you listen to great string players, violinists and cellists for example, when they play slurs they won’t always have the notes between, but for expressiveness, depending upon the positions and which strings they choose, they will achieve a smooth slide between notes when slurring.

That’s impossible on the piano.

So what do we do as pianists? We fake slurs! We create the illusion of slurs by simply having the notes overlap slightly. In one case, you can play two notes and detach them. If you want to create a creamy, slurred effect between two notes, you would release the first note after you play the second note of the slur. You will hear a much smoother sound. If you want to avoid a slur, you can detach the notes. That’s how you achieve the effect of a slur on the piano. But you are not technically slurring on the piano. You’re just creating the illusion of a slur by judiciously overlapping the notes just enough so it doesn’t become ugly, particularly if you have a half step slur, you want to avoid dissonance. You can overlap the notes slightly in order to achieve a smooth connection from note to note.

Yes, slurs are impossible on the piano, but we try our darnedest to create the illusion of slurring by overlapping notes slightly. I hope this has been interesting for you, and I wonder how many of you realize what a slur actually means, and how to achieve the effect on the piano.

Thanks so much for joining me again. This is Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com Your Online Piano Store. We’ll see you next time.

Info@LivingPianos.com
949-244-3729

Why is a Slur Impossible on the Piano?

Hi, this is LivingPianos.com, and I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s question is, “Why is a slur impossible on the piano?” It seems like a ridiculous question because you know that you have slurs all over the place in your scores on t

This is Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com with the question, “Can you learn to tune a piano online?” The whole world has moved online and people seem to be able to learn just about anything on the internet. Does this mean you can learn to tune a piano online too?

Actually, there are online resources for learning how to tune a piano!

First, let’s go back in time a bit. In the olden days (not so long ago!), most piano technicians learned their craft through apprenticeships. An established tuner would take somebody under their wing who had a desire and passion for tuning and piano repair. They would get to practice with some side work, and little by little be trained so that they could start to service some of their clients. Indeed, one of the best ways to learn the craft of piano tuning is through an apprenticeship if you are lucky enough to be able to hook up with someone. You might think that piano technicians would love to have the help from somebody who is eager to learn the craft. But, the amount of time it takes to train somebody can far outweigh the benefit a technician is going to get from the work of someone who is a relative newbie to piano tuning. Piano technicians’ schools are available online. You might consider looking at Piano Technician Academy:

Piano Technology Academy
https://www.pianotechnicianacademy.com/

They are a wonderful resource online where you can actually be certified as a Registered Piano Technician (RPT) through the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG). This enables you to prove to people that you have passed a certain level of proficiency in servicing pianos. There are other schools online, but I happen to know this one personally, and it’s a great place to learn. The North Bennet School https://www.nbss.edu/ allows you to physically attend to study the craft of piano tuning. But if you want to learn right in your own home, the Piano Technician Academy is a great resource. Having said that:

You obviously still have to work on actual pianos.

You can’t do it all online and be ready to go. You’ll need to have some pianos to work on, and in a perfect world, you’ll also have some kind of experienced piano technician who you can mentor with to some extent. An ideal situation would be the ability to take the best of the old world and the best of technologies and marry them together to learn the craft of piano tuning right at your own home with the help of somebody to guide you through to make sure you are on the right track. Thanks for the great questions I know there are a lot of people out there wanting to learn piano technician skills. If you are willing to travel:

There are areas of the country that have a dearth of piano technicians and the work opportunities are plentiful.

I happen to know this because Living Pianos sells pianos all over the country and we engage piano technicians from the Piano Technicians’ Guild. There are some areas with weeks of waiting lists of clients! I encourage any of you who want to get into this. It is a great skill to learn. You get to be around pianos, and you set your own hours which is why it is something that appeals to a great number of people. Once again, I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store.

info@LivingPianos.com
949-244-3729

Can You Learn to Tune a Piano Online?

This is Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com with the question, “Can you learn to tune a piano online?” The whole world has moved online and people seem to be able to learn just about anything on the internet. Does this mean you can learn to tu

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today I’m going to tell you about five misleading piano terms. You may have heard some of these terms and wondered what they mean. They may sound scary and you want to know more about them. Let’s dive right in!

The first term we are going to discuss is “Gray Market Pianos”.

When you hear this term, it sounds pretty foreboding, almost like it is something illegal! Truth be known, gray market is a term coined by Yamaha North America. Yamaha North America is the sole distributor of Yamaha pianos on our continent. Every new Yamaha piano that is sold in North America must go through this corporation. Yamaha North America is separate from Yamaha International.

Japanese culture doesn’t like used things so much. As a result, there’s a glut of gently used Yamaha pianos in Japan that nobody wants to buy. Enterprising business people refurbish the pianos and then redistribute them in the United States as used Yamaha pianos. Naturally, Yamaha North America is not too happy about this because it cuts into their market. They do everything they can to try to squash it.

What are some of the things they say about them? There is certainly some truth to their claims! Yamaha wasn’t really an export company until the 1970’s. When you are talking about really old Yamaha pianos, you might wonder if they were made to withstand a wide range of climates. At one point, they weren’t exporting pianos much at all. So, this could be an issue with extremely old Yamaha pianos.

Yamaha talks about the “climatization” of their pianos for the North American environment. Here in Orange County we are about ten miles from the beach. The beach is about ten degrees cooler and probably has about 20% higher humidity than what we have here. That is just ten miles away! Go an hour and a half inland and you could be in the hot desert or cool mountains. There are many climates right around us!

What about the whole North American climate? It is kind of funny to say that pianos are climatized for North America because the climates are so diverse. Any late model Yamaha, from the 1970s and beyond, are made to handle climates all around the world.

What is another problem with buying gray market Yamahas? If a technician is ordering parts for a Yamaha piano and they provide the serial number to Yamaha and it doesn’t match one they sold, they won’t sell the parts. Is that a big problem? Not necessarily. There could be other serial numbers that could be referenced in order to get the parts. Also, Yamaha is not the only parts manufacturer and their parts aren’t so unusual. So, there are parts available from Abel, Renner, and other companies that can be a good fit. You just need to be aware that this is what gray market is all about. Should you be concerned? Possibly, if it is an older Yamaha, but otherwise you should be in good shape.

Another similar parallel comes from Steinway. Steinway’s biggest competition you’d think would be Yamaha, Kawai, or Bösendorfer.

The biggest competition Steinway has is used Steinway.

Why? When you go to a Steinway store you see an $80,000 piano. When you look on the used market you see similar Steinways for half the price or even less. This is obviously a big concern for Steinway. They have coined a term called, “Steinwas” claiming that if you have a Steinway piano and one or more parts on the piano were not made by them, it’s no longer a Steinway piano. Is there truth to this? Yes and no. Sometimes it can be true. There is nothing more crushing than to see badly restored Steinway pianos tarnishing their good name. I applaud them for trying to keep that high standard! However, there are also stupendous rebuilders of Steinway pianos. Steinway does rebuild pianos but they can only do a limited number of rebuilds every year. For all those used Steinway that have been made for over a hundred years, there are really high-quality rebuilders out there. They may choose to use Steinway parts, and you might wonder why they would use any other parts in the restoration. To save a few bucks here and there? Not really. I can imagine there might be a few inexperienced rebuilders who think they can get away with using a cheaper part. But the extra labor it would take to make that part work can negate any savings by selecting the wrong part. The real reason why a rebuilder would use different parts is that Steinway is not a parts builder. In fact, the only parts they have on hand are for the pianos they are currently building.

On a side note, Steinway pianos manufactured in Germany have always utilized action parts manufactured by the German company Renner. Steinway recently bought Renner Corporation.

Imagine a Steinway M from the 1920s that needs a new set of hammers. An inexperienced rebuilder might just order the set from Steinway thinking it has to be right. However, the specifications of Steinway pianos vary over the years. It may or may not be the exact right weight and geometry for a specific piano from the past that you are trying to rebuild. The good news is that there are many companies that make very fine parts. Renner and Abel (to mention just two companies) make great hammers. There are a number of companies that make great piano parts.

The critical thing is using the right part for a specific piano.

Sometimes you go into a store and you wonder about a piano and the salesperson might tout a piano with an “all-spruce soundboard”. You probably think that spruce is great. In reality, “all-spruce” is a clever way of not indicating to you that the soundboard is not a solid spruce soundboard, which is the preferred board for high-quality pianos.

What is important is to have a “Solid Spruce Soundboard”.

A soundboard may be, “all-spruce” but utilizing laminated wood which is simply plywood. What is wrong with that? First, let’s talk about the benefits of laminated soundboards. A laminated board is much, much more durable just like plywood is less likely to crack than solid wood. Why is that? Because the grains are put layer upon layer crossing each other with cement between. It is almost impossible for a crack to go through because each layer of wood is positioned at 90-degree angles to one another.

A laminated soundboard is stronger than a solid spruce soundboard.

The bad news is that laminated soundboards lack the rich tone of high quality, solid spruce soundboards. The vibrations are not as rich and complex. You’re better off with a solid board unless you live in a harsh climate. If you hear the term, “all-spruce”, you now understand the implications.

Another term you’ve probably seen is the “Going Out of Business Piano Sale”.

Many of these are legitimate. When you consider that in 2005 there were over 1,200 piano stores in the United States, and today there are only around 150, you can see that many stores have actually gone out of business. However, this is the way it generally works. A store can’t keep running with depleting inventory and have enough money to cover operating expenses. When they get down to two pianos, how could that possibly work? It can’t. Usually, a going out of business sale entails partnering with another store that feeds additional inventory so their store can function as they sell out their inventory. There is a lot of hype that goes into these sales and sometimes they are very successful with tremendous amounts of promotion. It is not necessarily a bad place to buy a piano. But you should be aware that the sale may not be as desperate a situation as it appears to be. Worse yet, sometimes you see people taking advantage of these situations. A store might do a going out of business sale for months or even years! Sometimes they will even change names and do it all again. I’ve seen it happen and it gives a bad name to the whole piano industry.

Lastly, and related to this, are the famous college piano sales.

You’ll see these all the time. You might wonder how they have so many used pianos to sell. You might remember a similar sale just last year. Here’s how it works. College piano sales are a partnership among a manufacturer, a store, a distributor, and a finance company. They go to a school and offer to put several free pianos in the school for a year in exchange for a sale the following year that is promoted to the entire mailing list of the college or university. It can make for a very potent event.

The vast majority of the pianos at college sales do not usually belong to the college.

This is actually a good thing! If you’ve ever seen what school pianos look like, they are usually thrashed! Because they get used so much, the cases get beaten up and the pianos can be worn out. Indeed, the pianos at college sales have been there for just a year, usually kept in studios, not in practice rooms. These are the college pianos that are sold at these events. That just might be a handful of pianos. Yet, you have a whole school full of dozens of pianos that come from a store who is trying to capitalize on the event by selling a wide range of inventory to the staff, students, and alumni of the school. Is it a good place to buy a piano? Possibly. If you know exactly what you want and you don’t want to go through the negotiation process, it is a fine fit. However, it is definitely not the place to go if you want to try out pianos and have any kind of relaxed way of exploring different instruments for yourself. It is a high pressure, quick, know what you want, here is the price, and buy it situation. While it is not completely deceptive, you should understand what it is. It is mostly a good situation since you are not buying abused college pianos.

Those are five things that are not what they appear to be. I hope this has been helpful for you. If any of you are piano shopping or have piano questions, LivingPianos.com is always here as a resource for you. Thank you so much for joining me, Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store.

949-244-3729
info@LivingPianos.com

5 Misleading Piano Terms

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today I’m going to tell you about five misleading piano terms. You may have heard some of these terms and wondered what they mean. They may sound scary and you want to know more about them. Let’s

This is Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store. Today’s question is, “Can you play the piano with a pencil?” Now, that sounds like a crazy idea, and indeed, it is a little bit wacky. But I’m going to show you some interesting things that have profound implications about producing good tone on the piano. Many of us have been trained to utilize arm weight on the piano with proper finger and hand position and you may wonder, “How important are all those things for producing a good sound on the piano?” Well, of course, they’re important. But ultimately:

Your ears are the most important thing for producing good sound on the piano.

So, the first thing I’m going to do is a demonstration of playing the piano with a pencil! I remember one time somebody showed me this little trick. You put the pencil between your fingers, and voila: You can play chords on the piano easily. Well, that’s a party trick for people who don’t play the piano. What I’m going to show you today has much more profound implications.

Growing up, I studied piano with my father, Morton Estrin, and truth be known, I didn’t practice as much as I should have! Yet, I always wanted to strive for certain sounds I heard in my head. So, even though I didn’t have the power or technique with my naturally weak fingers since I didn’t practice a great deal, I would contort sometimes in order to get the sound I wanted in spite of my weak floppy fingers. The joints would bend the wrong way. It was a nightmare. I don’t know how my father put up with me! Nevertheless, and particularly, in slow movements, I was able to achieve some really gorgeous sounds even with my faulty technique, which suffered from a lack of strength. I hadn’t developed my technique and had really small hands as a child. So, the question is, “What can you do if your technique isn’t up to the music you are playing?”

What do you suppose would happen if I were to play a Chopin prelude using just a pencil?

I wonder if it’s possible to produce a good sound without even using fingers! Well, I’m hearing this piano, which hasn’t even been prepped yet. So, if I can get a halfway decent sound out of this piano using a pencil, it will really show something. Let’s see what happens here. Let’s use the Prelude in E minor because it is slow enough to have a fighting chance of playing it! There are some pieces that are way too fast to play with a pencil. But if I can achieve a good sound with a pencil, we’ll talk about what that means. You can listen to the Chopin performance on the accompanying video.

So, what is the point? The point is, if you hear something, that is the single most important aspect of technique not just for the piano, but for playing any musical instrument. You must hear something in order to create it. So, it’s not just a matter of going into certain positions with specific fingers and hand positions.

The sound must come first.

The sound is not just primary or secondary. The sound you are after is everything in music! Now, that isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t try to develop a solid technique. Being able to handle things in relaxed manner and being able to control your music without causing damage to your hands requires a good technique. There are many reasons why you want to develop good technique. But remember, the lesson for today is:

If you hear something, that is the most important aspect for creating the sound you are after on the piano or any musical instrument.

I hope this has been interesting for you. Again, I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com. Thanks so much for joining me.

Can You Play the Piano with a Pencil?

This is Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store. Today’s question is, “Can you play the piano with a pencil?” Now, that sounds like a crazy idea, and indeed, it is a little bit wacky. But I’m going to show y

This is Robert Estrin with LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store with a viewer question. “Why don’t they make pianos like they used to?” So many of the magnificent, American pianos from years ago are just names stenciled on the front of Asian production pianos today. Names you don’t even hear about anymore like AB Chase, Knabe and Chickering were wonderful pianos years ago. There were well over a thousand companies producing pianos in the United States and dozens of companies were making stupendous pianos! You might wonder why they don’t make pianos like they used to.

Have you ever gone downtown and seen a beautiful old car and asked yourself, “Why don’t they make the ‘57 Chevy anymore? It’s such a cool car! I wish they would make Corvettes like they used to!” With cars, it’s pretty obvious. As technologies move on, mileage and safety standards have generally made cars better. But what about pianos?

Have pianos improved?

Not necessarily. However, they do make pianos the way they used to, just in very tiny numbers. Steinway and Mason and Hamlin are both manufacturing a limited number of pianos in the United States very much like they used to. However, Mason & Hamlin is utilizing newer technologies in their actions using synthetic materials in place of traditional wood parts. There are some new rigs and new robotics utilized in manufacturing, but for the most part, American pianos utilize Old World style of wet sand cast plate, hardwood rim, and a tremendous amount of handcrafting. Indeed, many of the great German and other European piano manufacturers from over a hundred years ago are still building pianos like they did centuries ago with the addition of some computer-aided design and manufacturing techniques for more exacting standards of production.

The vast majority of pianos today are made in Asia with a very different methodology from American and European pianos.

You might wonder why. Just look at the difference in the price of a Bechstein or a Steinway compared to a Kawai or a Samick. Asian companies produce pianos that are fully functional and quite good for a fraction of the cost of hand-crafted pianos by utilizing different technologies. Take a company like Pearl River. There aren’t too many companies like them!

Pearl River made over 140,000 pianos last year!

It’s a mind-boggling number. There is no way they could be producing pianos the same way Steinway does. Steinway made a little over a thousand pianos last year. It is just not a scalable manufacturing process.

In order to be able to produce a large number of pianos on a consistent level, it is necessary to be able to utilize newer technologies and newer materials in order to accomplish that. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. If you want that Old World style of piano building, they are available if you’ve got the bucks to pay for them. But, vast amounts of resources have been opened up to people who couldn’t afford those pianos. Some of the modernization and new techniques of making pianos in a way they didn’t have before opens up a whole segment of the market to pianos. In China, where they bought 450,000 new pianos last year, obviously those weren’t mostly hand-built instruments. It would be impossible!

That is why they don’t make pianos the way they used to. It opens up markets at different price points. Yet, those Old World style pianos are still available in very small numbers for very high prices. I hope this has been interesting for you. I’m Robert Estrin and this is LivingPianos.com.

info@LivingPianos.com
949-244-3729

Why Don’t They Make Pianos Like they Used to?

This is Robert Estrin with LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store with a viewer question. “Why don’t they make pianos like they used to?” So many of the magnificent, American pianos from years ago are just names stenciled on the fron

This is Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com. Today’s subject is playing the piano to the room. What is meant by that? The room you’re playing in can be as important to the sound and the approach to the keyboard as the piano you’re playing! I remember, for example, in high school there was a seven-foot Baldwin semi-concert grand piano that was kept to the side of the stage in an incredibly echoey room. It was almost deafening playing in there! I practiced there whenever I had a chance. Then it would come on stage with the curtains closed. It was a completely different sound and I had to approach the keyboard differently in order to project the sound properly. Then when the curtains were open, I could hear the sound project into the hall. It was a fairly live hall. So, it was important not to use too much pedal. Otherwise, the sound could get muddy. In fact, you may have to adjust the tempo you play your music to suit the acoustics of the hall. A hall that is very reverberant can get muddy and you may have to take more time in order for the audience to hear things clearly.

Playing to the room is something that all instrumentalists have to deal with.

So, as pianists, we have a double whammy. We have to adjust to the piano, and we have to adjust to the room! But any other musician, whether they play violin, flute, trumpet, clarinet as well as singers have to figure out how to play to the room, to project a sound, and to reach the last row in the audience.

It is necessary to create the appropriate sound for each specific space.

Certainly, if you’re playing in a living room, you don’t want to blow people out of there with too much volume! So you want to temper your sound to match the room, always using your ears. Practicing isn’t about just molding one performance. It’s about being in excellent shape on your instrument so you can instantly create the right sound for that specific piano and room at that moment.

Thanks so much for the great questions! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store

949-244-3729
info@LivingPianos.com

How to Play Piano to the Room

This is Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com. Today’s subject is playing the piano to the room. What is meant by that? The room you’re playing in can be as important to the sound and the approach to the keyboard as the piano you’re pla

Hello, I’m Robert Estrin and this is LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store. The question is, “Are there new musical classics being composed today?” The people I’m involved with, for the most part, have a great appreciation for the classics. Classical repertoire has endured centuries, and that might make you wonder, “Are any classics being written today?” This is a really tough question. Think about this. If you go way back to the time of Bach and Mozart, they didn’t necessarily know that they were going to be classics. They didn’t know their classical compositions would be studied centuries after they were written. In the thick of it, sometimes the composers who are immensely popular don’t live on and they’re not particularly important in the realm of history. Conversely:

There are some great composers who in their day were obscure or not highly respected.

Styles change. Even Johann Sebastian Bach near the end of his life while writing some of the most magnificent works, had fallen out of favor. The new classical era had begun and the flourishing complexity of the Baroque music he was writing was less in vogue than the music his sons were writing! Can you believe it? I will say this:

There are absolutely pieces being composed today that will live on for centuries.

Predicting what those pieces are is very tough to do. Who would have predicted, for example, in Beethoven’s life that Beethoven would be celebrated centuries later? In the 19th Century, there were hundreds of composers. Who could have predicted who would be the ones to live on in history and who wouldn’t live on? We’re living through a new era. Great music of all time can sometimes be found in unexpected places.

Consider the impact of technology on music.

In the time of Bach, the piano wasn’t even invented yet! Centuries later when the piano was more developed, there was a flourishing of music that couldn’t even have been conceived earlier. At one time, the symphony orchestra didn’t exist! The concert hall had not developed yet. We’re living through a time now with computer technology and some of you might not like the whole idea of computer-generated music. But it’s just a tool!

We can’t begin to imagine how people are going to be working with these new tools in the coming decades and centuries.

We’re definitely living through some tremendous music that’s being written that combines different elements of styles of music written all over the world. The entire world’s music is just click away! Composers can hear each other and develop music that combines elements that were never combined before. Eastern music combined with Celtic music. Anything’s possible today! What is going to be the great music that will live on? It’s hard to say, and we can talk about that. I would love to hear from any of you who has ideas about what music are truly classics that are being written right now. Thanks for keeping the great questions coming in. Again, I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com

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Are New Musical Classics Being Composed Today?

Hello, I’m Robert Estrin and this is LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store. The question is, “Are there new musical classics being composed today?” The people I’m involved with, for the most part, have a great appreciation