Bach in the Subways is a global movement dedicated to bringing Johann Strauss Bach’s classical compositions to the masses. It was started by Dale Henderson in 2010 in response to what he saw as a gradual decline of classical audiences in today’s music scene, where pop and electronic music rule the day.
Many great movies about piano have been made, however, probably none endears itself to the viewer as much as The Legend Of 1900. Starring Tim Roth as the eccentric pianist 1900, this movie tells the tale of a talented pianist who was born on board the four-funneled passenger liner SS Virginian on New Year’s Day in 1900.
Dignity Kitchen is a social enterprise set up in 2010 with the aim of returning dignity to people with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. By training people who would otherwise find it difficult to obtain jobs by themselves because of the additional challenges they face, it aims to equip them with useful skills and empower them to sustain themselves through meaningful work.
Music lovers and young parents alike may have heard the age-old claim that allowing unborn babies listen to classical music will make them smarter. The debate about the benefits of the so-called the Mozart Effect has raged on for years. Is there any truth?
Months of anticipation finally came to an end when Play Me, I’m Yours Singapore 2016 finally arrived. In Singapore, a total of 25 pianos were decorated by 25 artists working with 25 social organisations and are now located in 25 locations for 25 days. This event was launched on 13 March 2016 at OCBC Square at the Singapore Sports Hub, to much fanfare.
Italian musician and artist Alice Ninni created an artistic sensation of sorts in the world of music in December 2010. By combining colourful drawings with beautiful music, she provided a visual, artistic dimension to the otherwise aural masterpiece, while also telling a story with an environmental message.
In what could possibly be the first case of its kind, a young girl has been filmed playing the piano while being fast asleep. This amazing feat took place in Napier in New Zealand’s North Island in July 2015. The protagonist, a 13-year-old girl by the name of Isabelle, had gotten up from bed and played a tune on her upright piano.
Busking or street performances add to the vibrancy and characters of the cities they occur in. They liven what would otherwise be soulless cities and are a welcome addition to the arts scenes. At the centre of these activities are the talented persons who give their best as they display their artistic or musical skills.
It is probably one of the most baffling mysteries in the world of piano. Many piano owners might have come across this question but dismissed it as a non-question for the two terms seem interchangeable. For all intents and purposes, both piano tuners and piano technicians are able to do the important job of tuning pianos. Here then comes the million-dollar question: What exactly is the difference between a piano tuner and a piano technician?
Play Me, I'm Yours, a piano-themed arts movement conceptualised by British artist Luke Jerram, is coming to Singapore this March 2016. Started in 2008 in Birmingham, it involves collecting pre-loved pianos, refurbishing them and installing them in public places for public access and entertainment, before moving them to charities that will benefit from the musical instruments.
Play It Forward Singapore is a community initiative started by three young Singaporeans with a cause. Combining their passion for piano-playing, the desire to bring music to the masses and a wish to help the underpriviledged, Jean Hair, Billy Soh and Lee Yan Chang embarked on a creative mission that also brings together musicians who now have opportunities to perform as well as artists who have an avenue to showcase their skills.
While the advent of technology has improved the lives of many, a much quieter revolution is happening around us. London-based Sinfini Music has skillfully rendered Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier into a visually-entertaining animation that promises to redefine the way we look at music.
NUS Piano Ensemble Alumni Concert was held on 9 Jan 2016 at the NUS Centre For The Arts (CFA). Since its inauguration in December 2013, this annual concert, now running for the third year, has been a greatly-anticipated event among the seniors.
The name Leopold Godowsky is rarely mentioned when one talks about favourite composers who wrote piano works. His compositions are often only explored by pianists who are interested in the exotic repertoire of the piano literature. Does Godowsky deserve this neglect? Perhaps not. He might have been the most unique writer of piano music after Chopin, and that's not forgetting Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. So why is Godowsky's music not as well-known as that of the composers mentioned above?
The Chinese New Year (农历新年) is a very important festival that is celebrated by the Chinese populations in many Asian countries, like Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mauritius, and Philippines. During the celebrations, many popular Chinese New Year songs are sung, including "Gong Xi Gong Xi" (恭喜恭喜). The fact that it uses the minor key is the oddity, because minor key songs typically project sadness and loneliness. Why is Gong Xi Gong Xi written in the minor key then?
You might have come across the phrase "lower register" or "higher register" of a piano. For example, a piano theory book might mention that the Bass Clef is designed to help a pianist read the notes in the lower register of the piano. In his book, The Art of Piano Playing: A Scientific Approach, George Kochevitsky wrote that "a fast succession of lower tones is more difficult to perceive than one of higher tones because of the overtones. Therefore, what sounds clear in a higher register would sound muddy in a lower register". Have you guessed what is a piano register?
While movies use box office earnings as a yardstick to decide the highest-grossing and consequently the most successful films, there is no recognised yardstick when it comes to pianos. How is it possible then to have a decisive ranking of the top 10 best selling piano brands in the world?
The metronome is a musical tool to help musicians keep in time by producing simple steady rhythmic sounds according to a tempo setting. This very important invention survives many centuries, and even now, many continue to use it. If you walk into a music shop that sells musical instruments, it is very likely that you can purchase a metronome there. Typically, it is known as the Maelzel Metronome, and this explains why the tempo notation is written as "M.M. (Maelzel’s metronome) ♩ = 60". But do you know Maelzel wasn't the true inventor of the metronome? What is the history of the metronome actually?
On 8 Dec 2015 11.30am, at the Steinway Gallery Singapore in Palais Renaissance, Orchard, Professor Yu Chun Yee, Nicole Tay, piano teachers, music school representatives, parents with their children, and other invited guests were present for the launch of the 3rd Steinway Youth Piano Competition 2016.
There is an obvious Star Wars fever on a global scale this December 2015. Straits Times reported that Star Wars: The Force Awakens generated a record US$238 million (S$364.34 million) in US and Canadian ticket sales over the weekend as fans of the space saga packed cinemas, according to Walt Disney Co estimates on Sunday (20 Dec 2015). Once more in the limelight is John Williams, who is the composer for all seven Star Wars saga films. And musicians around the world celebrate Star Wars music in many ways.
Ludwig van Beethoven was a famous German composer whose works are still widely heard and performed. Despite the deterioration of his hearing in his 30s and becoming almost totally deaf in the last decade of his life, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers, and is considered to be a predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. We celebrate his 245th birthday today.
Playing the piano has always been seen from the typical educational, musical, and performing perspectives. Thus, it can be a refreshing surprise to view it from a new perspective: world records related to piano! Many pianists themselves might not be even aware of these achievements. Time to find out!
Try running your fingers from one end of the piano keyboard to the other, and you will find that there is a total of 88 black and white keys - 7 and 1/3 octaves. Is it just a coincidence that most pianos have 88 keys, or is there a reason why piano manufacturers have decided 88 keys is a standard? Why not 76 or 100 keys? It turns out that the answer has both historical and practical aspects.