What is Prepared Piano?

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Today’s question is something you might or might not have heard of. You’ve undoubtedly heard a prepared piano on film scores but you might not even realize what you were hearing. Today we’re going to discuss what it is as well as how you can experiment with these sounds yourself.

The piano has been around and advancements have been made over hundreds of years. Despite where the instruments are today, some composers still want to get even more out of the instrument. Composers like John Cage and others have experimented with altering the piano by adding different tools and other objects to the inside of the piano.

The video included with this article gives you an example of how a prepared piano can look and sound, although there are endless possibilities. We used just a few household objects placed on top of and between the strings. You are certainly not limited to just these types of enhancements; sometimes players will pluck strings or make changes to the keys as well – the only limit is your imagination and the capabilities of your piano.

If you feel brave enough to try and prepare your piano and experiment with different sounds, go for it!

This is a musical instrument after all and anything you want to do to illicit new sounds is fair game – there are no strict rules for what you can and can’t do. Just be careful not to harm the piano and certainly be wary of doing anything that involves pulling the action of the piano – this is something only a technician should be doing for you.

Thanks again for joining me Robert Estrin Robert@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729

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