When you love the piano
The piano has been around for ages. I am referring to what is really an acoustic instrument. It can come as an upright piano, as shown left, or a grand piano as shown to the right .
They both have the same keyboard layout but the difference is visible in the form and style. The upright contains working parts laid out in an upright cabinet while the grand piano has part housed in furniture that can be opened, as might be seen at concert halls.
There are so many models over the years but basically the structure has been the same the main features being :
- keyboard with 88 black and white keys made from ivory
- strings that vibrate when the keys are pressed and the hammer strikes
- durable wood
Some people just love the acoustic piano. In addition to the sound it produces and the acoustic effects, some people like the elegance of the upright or the grand piano and how it enhances the decor. I have been to homes where there is a beautiful piano and the owner cannot play a tune. Several years ago, the decision to buy a piano was mainly a comparison of the style colour and finish of carpentry, the sound which was that of one instrument, and the cost or brand.
As you all know, inventions have brought options to the piano, which we will discuss later. I am conversant with the inventions but there is something very soulful and sweet about sitting at a piano, caressing those notes which respond to your emotional expressions of touch.
When an acoustic piano takes its place in your home, you will be required to have it positioned away from moisture and extreme cold. All the parts are built for long service, but this piano requires regular tuning by an expert, with repair and servicing over the long term.
How does it compare to the digital instrument
The piano has evolved to a device that is far more than ‘a piano’.
It is an electronic instrument that can sample and deliver, not only sounds of almost all instruments, but also rhythms for accompaniment across all percussion, and preset styles. The main features are:
- electrical connection
- connection to an amplifier to augment the sound
- one touch adjustments in tones and rhythms
- metronome guidance
- hundreds of instruments (voices)
- ability to combine several instruments in various proportions
- a variety of sizes, models with simple to advanced features
The sizes range from 61 to 88 keys. The output is related to the degree of sensitivity of the notes. There are those with weighted keys, semi- weighted keys and light. There is a wide range of prices related to brands and complexity of features and those, along with personal preferences, determine what keyboard you should buy.
The digital piano is designed to enhance the playing experience. Because the practicing is not just learning, but also fun, it encourages the student, hobbyist, or stage performer, to spend more time creating sounds and accompanying simple melodies.
One of the main attractions of the digital piano is the option of lighter instruments and therefore portability. One has to wonder what used to happen for rehearsals and performances when pianos were heavy and would get out of tune if moved from one venue to another.
Another advantage is that of being a workstation. Compositions and loops can be recorded as files and stored on the instrument or on a remote computer.
The factor of cost is also one to consider as an intermediate student could opt for a simple 61 key piano and a professonal might prefer one with weighted keys and more advanced settings with programming, recording and file storage.
Is the electronic keyboard better?
As described above, ‘better’ depends on the preferences, and the needs of the buyer. With all the advancements in keyboards, there are still many professionals who play only on a grand piano, and there are many people who want only an upright piano in their homes.
If you wish to purchase an instrument, take note of the discussion above. Take a look at some recommendations and open the links to Youtube so you can watch someone explain and demonstrate the features, while you can hear some of the voices and the depth of each instrument.
Learn more at https://mypianohobby.com/