"Acoustic Piano"?

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Descombes
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"Acoustic Piano"?

Post by Descombes » 26 Jun 2009, 17:33

Without meaning to criticise any of the people who use the term, either on this thread or elsewhere, why do some people insist on using the awful expression "acoustic piano"? I've only begun to hear it in the last few years. Would someone walk into Steinway Hall and say "I've come to try some acoustic pianos"?

I know what is meant by the term, but wouldn't "piano" do just as well. We can always say "electric keyboard" if that's what we mean, or even, as I tend to say, "Clavinova", whatever the make. (Much as people say "Hoover" even if it's a Sebo or whatever.)

Again, I repeat that I'm not criticising those who do say "acoustic piano"; it's just that it makes me cringe!

markymark
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Re: "Acoustic Piano"?

Post by markymark » 26 Jun 2009, 18:02

I know that I have come to use the term on Digital Pianos so as to make it absolutely clear which type of piano I am talking about.

I have to say that the term "piano" is used by non-musicians very casually. As I play at various church settings, I have heard the term "piano" used to refer to any of the following things: small digital keyboard, clavinova, electronic organ, Electone... Because it has black and white keys people casually refer to keyed instruments as pianos.

I suppose with the establishment of the digital piano over the last 20 years or so, the need to clarify "piano" has become more necessary as I have learned to do from experience. Even when establishing the instrument is a "digital piano", I still have problems getting an exact representation of what some folks mean.

So while I know what you means, Descombes, I find that the same issue arises in the digital instument kingdom too!

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Re: "Acoustic Piano"?

Post by Descombes » 26 Jun 2009, 22:27

Since you mention church settings, markymark, it's worth pointing out that the term "organ" can also be confusing. This has led to the layman's expression "church organ", which is another that makes me cringe. What about the organs in the Albert Hall, Festival Hall (when/if it's restored), Symphony Hall and numerous Town Halls? I suppose "pipe organ" is an alternative.

I suppose, from a classically trained musician's perspective, I would say that "organ" means a church/pipe/proper organ. All others need to be qualified: Hammond, cinema, electronic, Wurlitzer (but they have pipes, so there goes my previous definition!) But others would see things differently.

So it's not just pianists who have these problems.

(PS Glad I found my posting, which I thought must have been deleted for being provocative, until I found it had been moved!!)

markymark
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Re: "Acoustic Piano"?

Post by markymark » 26 Jun 2009, 22:48

Descombes wrote:Glad I found my posting, which I thought must have been deleted for being provocative, until I found it had been moved!!
In all the time I have been a Global Moderator, I think I've only ever had to remove a controversial post (not including SPAM) three times. Your's wasn't in that bracket, just in the wrong place :wink:

I find particularly in church settings, the church minister will often misuse terms like "keyboard" when they really mean "stage piano" or the likes of what I mentioned earlier because it's not something they really ever have to manage or deal with. I ALWAYS ask for the brand and model so that I know for sure what I will be playing when I arrive.

I remember being asked to play at a church meeting being held in hotel and I was told not to worry about bring an instrument with me because someone was bringing a "good keyboard" with them. When I arrived, to my horror, they brought in this 73 keyed thing with those thin, sythnesisor keys you would get on a portable keyboard in a primary school - not even a sustain pedal. Needless to say, it made me sound as if I hadn't played a musical instrument in ten years! ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE! :x

Moonlight
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Re: "Acoustic Piano"?

Post by Moonlight » 27 Jun 2009, 16:11

I simply use the term to be specific when talking about pianos. If I was going into shops that sell only the real thing then I would say piano – I use the word acoustic piano to separate the real ones from the imposters.

My teacher calls my digital piano a ‘keyboard’ even though she knows it’s not a keyboard, I guess a digital piano is really just a pimped up keyboard :oops: .

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Barrie Heaton
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Re: "Acoustic Piano"?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 28 Jun 2009, 10:12

There will have been those 200 years ago who said why have we shortened the name to "piano forte" then to just "Piano" later in the early 1900s


The piano is part of the keyboard family the church and theater organ are also part. I was told by Henry Willis the 4th they are Pipe organs not church organs but the difference between a pipe and theatre organ is the belle and wissells and horns you get on the theater organ

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mayu0203
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Re: "Acoustic Piano"?

Post by mayu0203 » 26 Jul 2009, 08:06

Much of the most widely admired piano repertoire, for example, that of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, was composed for a type of instrument that is rather different from the modern instruments on which this music is normally performed today. :D :D :o :o Even the music of the Romantics, including Liszt, Chopin, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms, was written for pianos substantially different from ours.................
One of these builders was Gottfried Silbermann, better known as an organ builder. Silbermann's pianos were virtually direct copies of Cristofori's, with one important addition: Silbermann invented the forerunner of the modern damper pedal, which lifts all the dampers from the strings at once
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pintwister
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Re: "Acoustic Piano"?

Post by pintwister » 29 Aug 2009, 13:45

I am a piano tech. and you would not believe how many times I have been called out on a job, only to find out when I get there that it is a "digital piano" needing repair.
How did the name "piano" ever extend itself to these electronic devices? Just because they have black and white keys, does not make them a piano.
Pipe Organs have black and white keys also, but you never hear anyone referring to them as pianos.
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Gill the Piano
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Re: "Acoustic Piano"?

Post by Gill the Piano » 01 Sep 2009, 01:53

I've been rung up about mending - and even tuning!!! - digital things too, Pintwister. People actually seem to fall for the sales guff that 'they're just the same' as a proper piano. Less principled people would go to these houses, pretend to fiddle with the innards, drink a cup of tea and relieve the poor person of fifty quid then clear off. I often wonder whether it happens!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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