What pieces must be original to keep the original sound of a piano?
Just the soundboard or also the strings and hammers and so on?
You are right, if the soundboard is replaced, some people feel that the piano is no longer truly original. I have a video on that subject that I just made:
What is the MOST Important Part of a Piano?
The bottom line is the original quality of the manufacturing coupled with how fine the restoration has been done. While there are many companies making high-quality piano parts, only very experienced technicians know which are the exact right match for a particular piano. It is essential to utilize the correct parts installed to precise specifications to keep the original geometry of the piano essential for high-level playing and superior tone. Be sure you know the piano and people you are buying from to assure things are done correctly.
I have really enjoyed reading your insightful essays and watching your enthusiastic and expressive videos! I am a violinist/opera singer who plays enough piano to accompany students and have 2 daughters who are studying piano plus other instruments. I was recently helping my (just turned) 7-year old daughter practice a piece by having her play the right hand alone, the left hand alone, and then both together since she was having trouble with trying to play them at the same time initially. Her piano teacher gave me a big scolding for separating the hands, saying if you don’t always play them both together, you never learn how to play/read well. I’m not enough of an expert pianist to know any better since my first instrument was violin, and I learned piano from a wonderful teacher after I’d already played the violin for 10 years. Can you please let me know your thoughts on the matter? I had no idea it was any kind of controversy!
Thanks so much!
Thanks for the great question! You are both right. When sightreading music, it is absolutely necessary to keep the eyes on the music and play hands together to get a sense of the piece. The hardest part about sightreading on the piano is playing the hands together and the only way to improve reading is by tackling this head-on with both hands.
However, in memorizing music it is the opposite. There is simply too much information to absorb playing hands together. It is necessary instead to break the music down to its intrinsic components a small section at a time, hands separately and master each section before going ahead. You may appreciate my video on memorization here:
How to Practice the Piano – Memorizing Music – Music Memorization
You may share this with your teacher to get their opinion about practicing sightreading compared to learning a piece (memorization).
Here is another video of mine about how to develop sightreading:
How to Practice the Piano – Sight Reading – Tips for Playing Piano