Favorite artists utilizing the piano

Elton John, Art Tatum, Ruth B,  Alec Benjamin, and Brendon Urie.

Favorite Performances on Piano

The History of the Piano

 

The piano was invented in the early 18th century at a time when the harpsichord - a similar instrument in which the strings are plucked instead of hit with a hammer - was the instrument of choice. The piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori. Cristofori was a harpsichord manufacturer and was enlisted by the Prince of Tuscany, Ferdinando de’Medici, to maintain his vast assortment of instruments. It is believed that Ferdinando had other motives behind Cristofori’s employment, (that he would become his own instrument inventor). Cristofori fulfilled this role by the inception of the piano. While it was much like the harpsichord, it allowed for more control over the sound and dynamics of the instrument.

 

The piano has gone through many changes since this time, and yet, this is the origin of the instrument we know and love today.

Sources:

Link 1 (ABC)

Link 2 (PianoNet)

Link 3 (ConcertPitchPiano)

Proper Maintenance of Piano

To properly maintain the sound and quality of your piano, you must take into consideration factors that wouldn't normally affect other possessions, such as temperature and humidity. Extreme humidity or temperature can lead to the strings of the piano becoming warped and will make it much more difficult to tune. Additionally, covering the keys when not in use, keeping liquids away from it, and playing your piano frequently all help to ensure the health of your piano.

 

Sources:

Link 1 (WikiHow)

Link 2 (Portland Piano Company)

Link 3 (Cooper Piano)

Ears - Understanding and Protecting them

 

  1. How Do We Hear? - Link Sound waves travel down the inner ear canal and eventually reach the snail-shaped area known as the "Cochlea" which is host to thousands of ear cells that can received signals and compute them into sound.

  1. What are Decibels? - Link A unit used to measure the intensity of sound 

  2. How Loud is Too Loud? - Link At around 85DB, your hearing can be damaged (less sound than the average leaf blower!)

  3. How Can You Protect your Hearing? - Link There are obviously many ways to be cautionary with your ears, but easy things such as making sure you don't make the music you're listening to too loud is a great place to start

  4. What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?  - Link The carpel tunnel is a narrow space where nerves and ligaments can travel down the palm of the hand. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome can occur when the median nerve is pinched do to overuse. Overuse commonly occurs from things like typing on a computer for excessive amounts of time.

  5. How can Musicians Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? - Link Trying to keep your wrists in a neutral position will aid in preventing the progression of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Additionally, there are many wrist exercises you can do to strengthen the ligaments and prevent a pinched nerve.

  6. What is Tendinitis? - Link Tendonitis is when a tendon (a thick strand of musclatory fibers attached to the bone) is inflamed and irritated.

  7. How can Musicians Prevent Tendinitis? - Link Much like carpel tunnel syndrome, it is important that you practice the instrument within your capabilities. It can take a lot of strength to play for hours on end and this must be supplemented with localized strength training to sustain

  8. What are Vocal Nodes? - Link Vocal Nodules are small noncancerous growths on vocal chords from the overuse or misuse of your voice

  9. How can Singers Prevent Vocal Nodes? - Link Avoid singing at extreme ends of the vocal scale for extended periods of time and make sure to let your voice rest after a strenuous day of practice/performance

Types and Variants of the Traditional Piano

Weighted keys allow for much more nuance and dynamic to be added to the sound of the instrument. I had someone describe playing unweighted keys on a key board is like playing tennis with a balloon. 

 

The sustain pedal: Allows the notes to resonate for a longer period of time before dissipating.

The Sostenuto pedal: Sustains notes that were hit during the initial use of the pedal but not the notes played after

The Una Corda pedal: This pedal makes all notes sound softer because the pedal only hits 2 of the 3 strings of the note rather than all 3 

 

The Piano lid helps to protect the inner workings of the piano but can be raised during use to provide insight into the inner workings of the sound

 

Sources:

Link 1 (Shine Music)

Link 2 (Blue Book of Pianos)

Link 3 (ThoughtCo)