July 19, 2018 at 9:50pm

Piano Trivia Time #4 - In which city can you find the oldest piano in existence on display today? How old is it and how many keys did it have?

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Gavin Koh

?... You can hear the oldest piano being played here too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XDJ2O4P97I

July 29, 2018 at 2:02pm
Liew Soo Hin

I think the pianist will have immense pressure on him! What if he accidentally break a string or something!! The oldest piano!

Btw, what about those other pianos by famous composers? Are... See More

I think the pianist will have immense pressure on him! What if he accidentally break a string or something!! The oldest piano!

Btw, what about those other pianos by famous composers? Are they preserved or something?

August 11, 2018 at 11:27am
Gavin Koh

The piano tuner would also feel stressed repairing a broken string on such a pristine piano.

The pianos of famous composers are well preserved in museums. Here are just a few of them:

... See More

The piano tuner would also feel stressed repairing a broken string on such a pristine piano.

The pianos of famous composers are well preserved in museums. Here are just a few of them:

- Mozart's piano can be found at his home in Vienna.

- Chopin's only working piano can be found as part of the Cobbe collection of musical instruments displayed at Hatchlands, a country house run by Britain's National Trust in the southern English county of Surrey. Chopin's other pianos in Paris and Majorca do not work.

- At the Budapest museum dedicated to Liszt are two Chickering pianos and a Bösendorfer piano. There's also an Erard grand piano owned by Liszt during the last 15 years of his life at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

- You can find one of Beethoven's piano in Bonn at the museum dedicated to him.

August 12, 2018 at 2:33pm
Liew Soo Hin

Nice. Wonder how current pianists will feel playing on these preserved pianos. Ha.

August 11, 2018 at 1:32pm
August 1, 2018 at 4:07pm

Music Mickey spotted at Raffles City.

July 20, 2018 at 11:33am

Book Intro #1 - "Play it again: An amateur against the impossible" by Alan Rusbridger. This is an inspiring book by the Editor of the Guardian, one of the world's foremost newspaper. Alan, who gave up the piano at 16, gave himself a year to learn Chopin's Ballade No. 1 forty years later, and this book deals with his focus, discipline, and desire. It is, above all, about the sanctity of one's inner life in a world dominated by deadlines and distractions. A great read - available at NLB (... See More

Book Intro #1 - "Play it again: An amateur against the impossible" by Alan Rusbridger. This is an inspiring book by the Editor of the Guardian, one of the world's foremost newspaper. Alan, who gave up the piano at 16, gave himself a year to learn Chopin's Ballade No. 1 forty years later, and this book deals with his focus, discipline, and desire. It is, above all, about the sanctity of one's inner life in a world dominated by deadlines and distractions. A great read - available at NLB (Esplanade, Tampines, Woodlands, and Jurong).

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Gavin Koh

A short video about Alan's book by Alan himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwJKGEWarAk

July 20, 2018 at 11:34am
Gavin Koh

Currently going through this book and must say it's very well written and full of insights. The content is laid out in the style of a diary and I especially love the ending where Chopin's Ballade... See More

Currently going through this book and must say it's very well written and full of insights. The content is laid out in the style of a diary and I especially love the ending where Chopin's Ballade is analyzed thoroughly page by page, section by section - kind of like an amateur climber tackling the Matterhorn, one cramponed step at a time.

July 20, 2018 at 7:31pm
Adrian Huang

Very inspiring.

July 31, 2018 at 3:39pm
Gavin Koh

Absolutely!

Here is a single paragraph from the following entry "Friday, 25 March":

Lunch with Noriko Ogawa today. She's just flown from Japan and looks emotional and sombre. I... See More

Absolutely!

Here is a single paragraph from the following entry "Friday, 25 March":

Lunch with Noriko Ogawa today. She's just flown from Japan and looks emotional and sombre. I suggested a couple of weeks back that she might give a Kings Place concert in aid of the Japanese tsunami relief appeal. She immediately agreed - and promised to play the G minor Ballade. After a single course, we steal off for a very quick lesson in one of the rehearsal rooms in Kings Place. She begins by playing the piece to me. I realise that this is the first time since I started on this journey that I have heard the piece live and played by a 'proper' pianist. I've of course sampled numerous recordings on YouTube and iTunes, but nothing in the flesh. She plays it with incredible power and certainty - especially given the inner turbulence she must be feeling after such personal exposure to the tsunami, which has wrecked the concert hall where she most regularly plays. The piece today has an extra dimension - the sheer elemental feeling of some of the passages, that sense of being almost out of control, or rather in the control of wilder external forces. At the end, she seems shocked by what's happened. We both sit there in silence for a few moments. Noriko then asks me to play. I struggle - even though it's a new Steinway O - to make the piano sing, to tease a delicate sound out of it. On Saturday at Fish Cottage I was flying on my newly arrived Steinway. Further evidence that progress is not linear.

July 31, 2018 at 5:15pm
July 10, 2018 at 1:19am

Piano Trivia Time #3 - [Click images to browse]: Which of the following four music instrument spare parts belong inside a piano?

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Gavin Koh

The answer to this is picture number 3 of 4. It is called an agraffe and this particular one can be found in a Steinway grand.

July 18, 2018 at 8:07am
Gavin Koh

The primary purpose of an agraffe is to hold down the strings near where the hammers strike up. They keep the strings from being lifted up by the hammer blow and pulling them out of tune. At the... See More

The primary purpose of an agraffe is to hold down the strings near where the hammers strike up. They keep the strings from being lifted up by the hammer blow and pulling them out of tune. At the top of the piano's range, the agraffe and the plate it screws into would get in the way of the hammer, hence other alternatives are employed..

Using agraffes is generally more expensive and it is generally considered "better" than not using them. It is however, but one small factor in the design and build quality of a piano.

Agraffes are also not necessary on uprights, although some do have them.

July 17, 2018 at 7:22pm
Gavin Koh

For completeness sake: Picture 1 of 4 is a point screw for a Yamaha flute. Picture 2 of 4 is a violin Bridge. Picture 3 of 4 is a grand piano Steinway agraffe 7/32". Picture 4 of 4 is an Octave... See More

For completeness sake: Picture 1 of 4 is a point screw for a Yamaha flute. Picture 2 of 4 is a violin Bridge. Picture 3 of 4 is a grand piano Steinway agraffe 7/32". Picture 4 of 4 is an Octave Rocker Key for Selmer saxophones.

July 19, 2018 at 10:41am
July 3, 2018 at 11:21am
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Gavin Koh

The answer to this question is Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu, Op. 66. The song "I'm Always Chasing Rainbow" is based off the captivating melody featured in the Largo section. You can compare the... See More

The answer to this question is Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu, Op. 66. The song "I'm Always Chasing Rainbow" is based off the captivating melody featured in the Largo section. You can compare the song by watching an excerpt of Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1qrz5h2QWs

July 10, 2018 at 1:32am
July 1, 2018 at 12:39pm

Do you think there will be an impact on technique/playing/dynamics if most (70%) of the weekday practice is done with the muted pedal (middle pedal) on the upright? Reason for that is because the practices can only start from 9:30 pm or later.

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Liew Soo Hin

90% confident that it will have a negative impact. A lot of learning comes from the ability to feel the keys/hammer, and to control how much / fast to strike them. Your reactions / responses are... See More

90% confident that it will have a negative impact. A lot of learning comes from the ability to feel the keys/hammer, and to control how much / fast to strike them. Your reactions / responses are according to what you heard, and you train your muscles memory based on these. Unless the training is purely for getting notes right, at the stage where expression doesn't matter, and just accuracy matters.

July 2, 2018 at 8:39pm
Yoke Ping

Albert and Soo Hin, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I have the inkling that the current situation is not ideal but unfortunately, it is unlikely to change. I love my upright and would like to... See More

Albert and Soo Hin, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I have the inkling that the current situation is not ideal but unfortunately, it is unlikely to change. I love my upright and would like to keep it in its original form. :)

Will keep the muted practice for getting the notes right or for loud passages. I agree that the softer/more delicate passages should not be practiced with the muted pedal at the first instance. If the passages are meant to be soft, I think it is still ok to practice without the muted pedal even at 10+ pm or 11 pm. :p

July 4, 2018 at 8:44pm
Liew Soo Hin

Definitely a challenge for you, if you can only practice in the late night. Unless you fix your room to be sound-proof!

July 5, 2018 at 1:29pm
April 10, 2018 at 12:45am

Besides Richard Clayderman, are there any other people whose light piano music playing is well known (if not as famous)? Here's my list of the pianists from yesteryear (please see comments below as I can't paste them here due to some technical reason). Some of these artistes are still around to serenade us; their music, and their playing style, shall however remain evergreen. Enjoy listening and getting ideas for a song you wish to perform.

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Goh Zensen

Have you heard Yanni's "Until the Last Moment"? When I first heard it, I thought it was another Richard Clayderman's piece:

... See More

Have you heard Yanni's "Until the Last Moment"? When I first heard it, I thought it was another Richard Clayderman's piece:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R4xEB-v_dE

April 12, 2018 at 3:17pm
Gavin Koh

I listen to a lot of Clayderman, so there is no way I can mistake Yanni's music as Clayderman's. One obvious giveaway to "Until the Last Moment" would be the missing Alberti bass variation you... See More

I listen to a lot of Clayderman, so there is no way I can mistake Yanni's music as Clayderman's. One obvious giveaway to "Until the Last Moment" would be the missing Alberti bass variation you would expect to hear in most of Clayderman's songs.

Most of Clayderman's pieces are arranged by Oliver Toussaint and Paul de Senneville. Their arrangements are very distinct and in the class of soft pop music. Mean people might call his music "elevator music", but whatever the case, it is because Clayderman's music is composed for the masses and not for the elitists (see article link).

April 14, 2018 at 4:26pm
Mabel Ong

Are Yiruma and Kevin Kern considered eligible in this list? ?

April 14, 2018 at 1:34pm
Gavin Koh

Not really, they are new age pianists. But then the term "new age" is kind of a misnomer and we could also argue that the term easily crosses over with easy listening and light piano music. So as... See More

Not really, they are new age pianists. But then the term "new age" is kind of a misnomer and we could also argue that the term easily crosses over with easy listening and light piano music. So as not to be too ambiguous, I wouldn't accept Yiruma and Kevin Kern. Consider my list the "old guards". Why don't you start yours featuring only new age pianists, like Jim Brickman, and others.

April 14, 2018 at 6:35pm
April 3, 2018 at 1:28pm
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Mabel Ong

Wow. Is this real? Hehehe.

April 14, 2018 at 4:01pm
Gavin Koh

Well, it's technically 2 days after April Fools' Day when I posted it. But, you could actually buy one of these off Amazon. Over here:... See More

Well, it's technically 2 days after April Fools' Day when I posted it. But, you could actually buy one of these off Amazon. Over here: https://www.amazon.com/Sega-Toys-Grand-Pianist/dp/B000H5UODQ. So, you see... they are VERY REAL. Maybe the Online Store ought to stock up on this product if there is demand for it. ?

April 14, 2018 at 6:33pm
Gavin Koh

And you could watch another video of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-5rii9LrjA. Although I won't recommend... See More

And you could watch another video of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-5rii9LrjA. Although I won't recommend anyone playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1 on it.

April 14, 2018 at 4:10pm
April 12, 2018 at 11:22am

Suggestion: Would this work - a Request line from spectators at the recital (or online on this page)?

Those who can play a requested piece the next week get to play first. Those who can play the requested piece by ear can come up to say so and play the piece after the main recital is done.

The first point would encourage people to come back next week. The second point would encourage people to stay, listen, and socialize after the recital is done.

Would this idea see... See More

Suggestion: Would this work - a Request line from spectators at the recital (or online on this page)?

Those who can play a requested piece the next week get to play first. Those who can play the requested piece by ear can come up to say so and play the piece after the main recital is done.

The first point would encourage people to come back next week. The second point would encourage people to stay, listen, and socialize after the recital is done.

Would this idea see some traction or not?

March 27, 2018 at 1:28pm

One problem this website has is that it does not list the composer of pieces played in the Statistics > Pieces performed section (@YM - Bummer, leh). So a quick way to search this particular website is to do something like this on Google Search (or you can also type this straight into the Address Bar on Google Chrome):

Type in - site:thepiano.sg digest zimmer

The... See More

One problem this website has is that it does not list the composer of pieces played in the Statistics > Pieces performed section (@YM - Bummer, leh). So a quick way to search this particular website is to do something like this on Google Search (or you can also type this straight into the Address Bar on Google Chrome):

Type in - site:thepiano.sg digest zimmer

The above example will search for all instances of Hans Zimmer pieces mentioned in the digests of thepiano.sg. You can check out the search results for the above example over here.

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Gavin Koh

OMG! I typed in "Bach" and it coughed out JS Bach, JC Bach, Offenbach, and Leybach. Hooray, now I can easily research to play a new piece that's not been heard by Pianovers before. Thanks a... See More

OMG! I typed in "Bach" and it coughed out JS Bach, JC Bach, Offenbach, and Leybach. Hooray, now I can easily research to play a new piece that's not been heard by Pianovers before. Thanks a million!

March 28, 2018 at 7:33pm
Mabel Ong

I just tried the feature! Useful!! Thumbs up! I tend to search sometimes by composer too.

April 3, 2018 at 1:12pm
Corrine Ying

Thanks! The new feature is indeed very helpful.

April 4, 2018 at 7:48pm
Gavin Koh

And even though it reads "Frédéric Chopin", you can just type "Frederic" ignoring all the diacritical marks, and the search engine will still give you a proper search result.

I guess, the... See More

And even though it reads "Frédéric Chopin", you can just type "Frederic" ignoring all the diacritical marks, and the search engine will still give you a proper search result.

I guess, the only minor problem is that the search engine can't parse hanyu pinyin (not that I'm asking for that feature).

April 4, 2018 at 10:51pm

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