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garee

Piano Florida State University Piano Technology

Piano Technology at

Florida State Univerity FSU

This is a terrific series about Piano Technology at Florida State University ( F S U ) a comprehensive public University containing it’s own College of Music in Tallahassee Florida U S A.

Anne Garee is the current Program Director, Piano Technology Department Head College of Music Florida State University Tallahassee Florida U S A . http://music.fsu.edu/garee.htm

The following Florida State University Piano Technology thread was started December 2006 to February 2008.

FSU Piano Technology Program Director Anne Garee begins by saying –

This piano was on its side for many years waiting patiently for it’s moment and the moment was fall semester 2006.

Anne felt it was a good candidate and very interesting journey. It had served in the College of Music actually since it was purchased in 1954.

Each project is totally unique and presents its own specific challenges which makes it a very interesting journey.

(Anne continuing)

My mother was a pianist and a professional musician. She was a theory professor at Oberlin Conservatory before she married my physicist father.

My father the physicist, my mother the musician is actually a synthesis of what I do now. It is really the unique combination that we bring to piano technology and was fortunate to have these two forces in my life. they were so supportive in choices we made in career path because obviously you don’t grow up to be a piano technician. Those of us in this field typically come to it by accident and sort of fall into it.

In the field there is a real shortage of training opportunities. Typically people get their information in a very patchwork fashion, um, a bit like here and a bit there and it was always my dream to provide some, a cottified way to accelerate peoples training so that they didn’t have the circuitous route than most of us have taken and because of the comprehensive nature of our music school and the breadth of the program material it was an ideal setting for a program such as this.

Jennifer Roberts

(Jennifer Roberts is a graduate student in the Florida State University FSU College of Music, Piano Technology program) said

I heard about the program when I was studying in Canada. I did my primary training at the University of Western Ontario and we were all looking for options after we left, we either worked in our own business or we worked for somebody else and I heard about this program down here as being really structured and intensive training program.

Amy Porter

(Amy Porter isa Graduate Student at the Florida State university (FSU) College of Music, Piano Technology) continues saying

It’s very much like a job. We are graduate assistants here in the College of Music and so we have (both Jenifer and myself) um, look after about fifty pianos, each year, each semester, we run through our list of instruments, um, some are in practice rooms, some are in faculty studios, halls, um, we have our own assignments that we look after and as well as tuning a harpsicord on a weekly basis.

Jennifer said

One thing that I found particularly challenging on this piano was the fact ,uh, that it had a lot of problems straight from the factory, so when it came to us it had a lot of geometrical flaws, and in that sense it’s been a great piano to learn the restoration process.

(alternating), Amy said

We brought it in the shop and got to play on it. It was terribly out of tune it was very heavy (the touch was very heavy.)

Jennifer-

The first thing we noticed was that the action was extremely heavy. It was hard to play. If you think of a teeter-totter you know – the hammers on one end and the keys on the other and, you know, you want a certain relationship between these two in order for it to perform properly, it’s going to be, i f you have to much weight on one side it’s going to be not pleasant to push on the other.

The pin block

The pin block is quite a thick piece of wood at the front of the grand piano and it is what the tuning pins are embedded into. It is the secure anchor.

The strings were rusty and quite decrepit.

The bridge needed some restoration, the soundboard was pretty ugly, the plate needed refinishing.

One thing that we spent a lot of time on was the lettering of the plate. It’s a part that some people just use a marker to paint them we actually decided to use some black lacquer and a paint brush and do it the old fashion way.

Anne finishes up saying-

The ultimate goal is of course that they are confident that they can go anywhere.

The world needs wonderful piano technicians, The piano is a cornerstone instrument. There are not enough people doing it well.

Jennifer-

There are a lot of opportunities hat have come other from the contacts I have made through this program. I would like to be able to work in a University to have the access to talented faculty members and to be able to work with students.

Amy-

The program has really taken me to a different level of technical ability and I’m hoping that will open a few more doors, more opportunities to practice my craft.

Amy-

As often as I can I like to play and keep my fingers moving and remember why I’m restoring pianos in the first place.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

contact

http://music.fsu.edu/pianotech.htm

[fve]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpBnlRMklPA[/fve]

HENRY Z STEINWAY PIANO MAKER

HENRY Z STEINWAY PIANO MAKER

I remember on special Steinway events here in the Northern Virginia area the now soon to be raised Jordan Kitt’s Steinway dealer on Gallows Rd between Merrifield and Tyson’s corner would have Henry Steinway available to sign the soundboard of your Steinway after a selection and purchase.

Often I would attend the Jordan Kitt’s Steinway event just because Henry Steinway would be there. Henry in the room was enough for me and although I had the pleasure to meet him once, I really wanted to just be there and observe other piano lovers interacting with Henry Steinway as he entertained any questions they may have had. So now this is a rather fond memory of Henry Steinway at Jordan Kitt’s Music in Vienna Virginia, my home these many years.

My Favorite link that includes mention of Henry Steinway & Franz Mohr, both just recently visited the new Jordan Kitt’s Music showroom, for the kick off, (and signed my Steinway anniversary tuning lever), plus mention of Bill Garlick my tuning instructor and the former Director of the piano technology program at North Bennett Street School In Boston is http://yost.com/art/Steinway

Also recently a wonderful article about Henry Steinway’s 91st Birthday from MMR Music Merchandise Review that introduces the Henry Z. Steinway Limited Edition piano.
The Z piano is being produced in a series of 91 handcrafted instruments, available in two sizes, each signed by Henry Steinway, great-grandson of Steinway founder Henry Engelhard Steinway.

Featuring late 19th century colonial design elements, the piano has a hand-carved music desk adorned with scroll work and its namesake’s initials. Atop each leg is a hand-carved floral medallion, while the legs are carved with straight barrel-fluted pillars that match the lyre pedals and bench.

On the inner rim, each piano bears a brass medallion honoring the four generations of the Steinway family members who led the company: Henry E., William, Theodore, and Henry Z. The medallion also displays the limited-edition series number of the instrument.

The Henry Z. Steinway Limited Edition piano is available as a 5’10” Model O and 6’10” Model B. It is offered in ebony and East Indian rosewood finishes. Prices range from $71,000 to $125,400.

In 1955, Henry Steinway became the last family member to lead the company and did so as president for 22 years.

The New York Times Link is most expansive.

Henry Z. Steinway, the last Steinway to run the piano-making company his family started in 1853, died Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.

His death was confirmed by a daughter, Susan Steinway.

Mr. Steinway once said that he had taken countless piano lessons but never knew “which is Beethoven’s this or Beethoven’s that.” He remained proficient on a typewriter’s keys, however; long after the world had adopted personal computers, he was still pounding away on his Smith-Corona manual.

Henry Ziegler Steinway — named for an uncle, and not to be confused with a cousin, Henry Steinway Ziegler — was the great-grandson of Heinrich Engelhard Steinway, the illiterate German immigrant before the ampersand in Steinway & Sons. Henry was born on Aug. 23, 1915, in his parents’ apartment on Park Avenue, between East 52nd and 53rd Streets.

The location was important to his tradition-minded father, Theodore E. Steinway. The Steinways’ factory, the largest piano plant in New York City when it opened, had occupied that site from just before the Civil War until about 1910. Theodore rented an apartment in the building that took the factory’s place. (The apartment house was demolished in the 1950s to make way for Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building.)

By the time Henry was a boy, the name Steinway had become almost synonymous with pianos, famous on concert stages as well as in Tin Pan Alley. Irving Berlin paid homage in “I Love a Piano” with the lyric “I know a fine way to treat a Steinway.”

After shuttering its Manhattan factory, Steinway & Sons moved its manufacturing operations to Queens, and as a child Henry wandered through a labyrinth of sawdust-strewn workrooms. He joined the company after graduating from Harvard in 1937 and began his career by building pianos, just as his father and uncles had.

“I learned a respect for work that is actually done,” Mr. Steinway said years later.

He also discovered that making instruments that have thousands of tiny parts under the lid is not easy. He said it took him a day and a half to do what the workers at the factory did in four hours.

In the 1940s, following the death of a cousin who had been the company’s general manager, Mr. Steinway began overseeing operations at the company’s three factories in Queens. Poor eyesight kept him away from the front lines during World War II; the Army stationed him on Governors Island in New York Harbor.

He became the factory manager after the war and president of the company in 1955, when his father made a surprise announcement that he was stepping down, immediately.

By then the piano business was struggling against changing technologies and tastes. Phonographs and radios had displaced pianos as home entertainment choices, and television was on the rise. As Mr. Steinway recalled in 2003: “People would say: ‘You’re in the piano business? That doesn’t exist anymore.’ ”

So he downsized the company — though he preferred the term “right-sized” — closing two of the plants in Queens. He decided that concert artists to whom the company had lent pianos would have to return them, unless they bought them.

He also arranged to sell Steinway Hall, the company’s building on West 57th Street, to Manhattan Life Insurance Company. He moved most of the company’s offices, including his own, to Queens. But the showroom, with its big front window and arched ceilings, remained.

In 1972 he sold the company itself. “It was the hippie time,” he recalled in 2003. “Nobody in the next generation —”

He left the rest of the sentence unsaid. He said he did not believe that any of his younger relatives could take over, so he proposed a $20.1 million stock swap with the CBS Corporation. The deliberations split the family, with his mother, Ruth, calling the sale “a betrayal,” although she ultimately voted for it.

CBS replaced him as president in 1977, naming him chairman. He gave up that title when he retired at 65, but he never really left. Until a few months ago, he went to Steinway Hall most days. He also went to the factory to autograph just-finished pianos, signing the cast-iron plates with felt-tip pens. At times he served as a goodwill ambassador, visiting piano dealers and attending music-industry conventions.

Last year President Bush presented him with the National Medal of Arts, the government’s highest award in the arts. Mr. Steinway was also the founding president of the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, Calif.

In addition to his daughter Susan, of Cambridge, Mass., he is survived by his wife, Polly; another daughter, Kate, of West Hartford, Conn.; three sons, William, of Chapel Hill, N.C., Daniel, of Rutland, Vt., and Henry E., of Los Angeles; and seven grandchildren.

CBS sold Steinway in 1985, and the company changed hands again in 1995. Mr. Steinway recalled worrying about that sale, to what was then Selmer Industries, a band-instrument manufacturer that had been taken over by two investment bankers from Los Angeles.

“I thought, ‘Here we go up the flue for sure,’ ” Mr. Steinway said in 2003. “ ‘Two hotshots who’re not yet 40. This is where we get liquidated for sure.’ ”

But the two investment bankers, Dana D. Messina and Kyle R. Kirkland, changed Selmer Industries’ name to Steinway Musical Instruments. Mr. Steinway liked to recall that when they took the company public in 1998, they used Ludwig van Beethoven’s initials for a stock symbol— LVB — because all possible combinations of S’s and T’s were taken.

I know in my heart this is truely the end of an era.

Henry Z Steinway

[youtube width=”500″ height=”418″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_E99AQhBM8[/youtube]

pianoteq-sos20080012

SOFTWARE PIANOS

SOFTWARE

SOFTWARE PIANOS

Not sure about a real piano, the time is right to concider a sampled piano and choices abound! Practically speaking a real piano isn’t always ‘practical’. If you seem to have more computer space than the room for a good sized piano take heart as a guide herein tells all. TruePianos offers up a three piano package for a multi-core or Power PC G5 Mac, simple interface of presets for each module sonic adjustment as well as tuning adjustment. The sound is ‘dry’ with no room acoustics. 40 day demo is available on

Service Galaxy ll an upgrade from Galaxy Steinway,

offers up a Steinway D Bösendorfer Imperial 290

and a Blüthner 150.Multisampled and miked for

surround and stereo is a treat.Strong at jazz classic or pop and smooth up seven octaves

I have previously covered the Blüthner Digital model one earlier

Native Instruments Akoustic Piano provide a Steinway D a Bechstein D 280, a Bösendorfer 290 and a Steigräver 130. 10 velocity levels on each note and tuning available (cool

Pianoteq v2.2 is not sample based but modeled.As modeled hammers resonance sustain stacato and a host of other variables as well as size.Very good considering its nor sampled. 45 day demo

Sampletekk is 24bit multisampled fair in a library format all listed on their website include 7CG Yamaha, Black Grand-Steinway D, PMI Bösendorfer 290, PMI Estonia 9 ft, Pmi Hybrid, Pmi Old Lady 1923 D, Pmi Steinway D Pmi The Emperor Bösendorfer 290, PMI Yamaha C7, SG88 MKll,The Big One Yamaha C7 and White Grand 9 Ft Malmsjö Concert Grand

Steinberg The Grand 2 are a dry mix of two large well known pianos in anechoic chamber (I can still hear Dr Wright on that one) I would like to present this in a future post Synthology Ivory 9ft D Börsendorfer 290 Yamaha C7 all with 10 velocity levels Vienna Symphonic Library Börsendorfer 290 multisampled 7 velocities quite possibly the best in its class

Find a wealth of information

and help

on these

and more

in

SOUND ON SOUND

PERFECT PIANO

PERFECT PIANO

PERFECT

A concept of perfection…

expands from the philosophical to….

the legal to…

the grammatical to…

mathematical to…

biological and also to the musical.

In music exists…

the perfect interval-

octave fifth fourth and perfect unison.

Of course the piano tuner is perpetually in pursuit of the perfect tuning

for each and every tuning as a mission and lofty goal

Regardless of definition,

resorting to words like excellent, complete, exact, without flaw, pure, absolute, expert, unmitigated, having all,

the tuner focus is on that endeavor to bring nearer to perfection

improving as fully possible to be unblemished and faultless…

whether it can be said that this condition exists or does not.

But certainly to be ‘most’ perfect and always more perfect as modification can provide

for all purposes,

although there are some that feel words that modify as

more, most, nearly, almost and rather should not be combined with perfect…

since perfect is an absolute,

a yes-no condition that cannot be said to exist in varying degree.

Perhaps then a piano tuner

is with qualification the ‘perfecter’ or the ‘perfectest’

to account for all varieties available or imaginable and ideal for all purposes

PERFECT PIANO

Being complete

without blemish

satisfying all

is then also

the goal of

recording

and sampling

piano

SOUND ON SOUND

Jan 2008 volume 23 issue 3

attempts to describe this perfection in the well covered topic

‘PERFECT PIANO’

Recording a real one? Chosing a sampled one?

As is suggested ‘Read this first’ and travel into the thought process behind that pursuit of

‘Perfect’

as only SOUND ON SOUND could cover

Topics such as what type of mic to use, sample libraries, ambient techniques,

horizontal and vertical dispersion,

spaced stereo and getting an even sound are covered here.

If you need to consider where to set up the piano and mic position

this article is for you to really help narrow down choices in your quest for

the perfect!