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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]

piano_garden003

PIANO GARDEN

Piano Garden

Piano Garden Blueprint

The First time I remember seeing an abandoned piano was in Boston as I was heading to a Red-Sox game with Mark Moriarty on those back streets leading from Marks apartment which was much closer to the ball park than my own digs over on Commonwealth near Boston University. We stood for more than a few minutes looking at the sad remains of what was once a piano that at one point was certainly shiny and new, now weathered brutally with most of the guts of the piano missing.

Since the ‘Sox’ were calling, that was the last I saw of that piano but it is always some how with me as a reminder that almost no one has any idea what to do with an old piano!

Flash forward to tuning for the Washington D.C. public schools when one morning I got a call to go look at some pianos that equipment maintenance had picked up from various school buildings and left all weekend on the open flatbed truck in the rain (unbeleiveable but it happened). Of course the pianos were totaled and sadly were driven off to the dump, another memory that is with me to this day and again no 2nd life for a piano that has seen the end of days.

Then I came upon a short article in a gardening magazine that covered a wonderful story on what to do with an old piano that really never again will live the glory days of past.

The plan is basically to remove the piano plate and mount the plate on a display frame and then mirror the angles of the plate in the layout of the planting rows of the garden, transforming a small space into the essence of the piano.

This piano essence will endure as the piano plate with a good coat of paint should do fine outside and give the piano a final resting place that perhaps is more proper that a land fill.

Here are the few wonderful images by Ned O’Gorman that show the basic layout of the garden and the blue print of the design by Keith Corlett that you see above for the postage stamp size garden with the gardens harmonic curves and the Laffargue upright piano harp that inspired it all. Arborvitae and purple beech “piano pegs”end at a fountain.

Piano GardenTHe Piano GardenImpatiens, Russian Sage, Delphinium, Asiatic Lilies and Ligularia “Skyrocket” in the piano garden. Slender Ailanthus trees dubbed Bronx Palms by Corlett is comfortable even on the hottest days. Additional plantings include Wisteria, Clematis and Trumpet Vines that eventually died and were replaced.

Perhaps a secret garden was never finer than this healing piano garden, to ponder, to dream, and to quote Yeats, ‘In dreams begins responsibility’.

MONSTER’S BALL

MONSTER’S BALL

MONSTER’S BALL [sc_embed_player volume=”50″ preload= “true” autoplay=true loops=”true” fileurl=”http://masterpianotuner.com/audio/End Title.mp3″]

Watch this video on YouTube.

Music For the Film Monster’s Ball

Composers Asche & Spencer discuss the Process…

In a fascinating open discussion alternating comments, the composers as well as the editors make comments on the hand in hand process of composing and editing the soundtrack for the film Monster’s Ball.

Marc Spencer said a lot of people don’t hear the music in films actually, that the score, the underscore, uh, because it should be very subtle, it shouldn’t be in your face. It should be in your subconscious, because once it is in your face, then you realize it and that’s a bad thing because in a sense you shouldn’t realize the camera and you shouldn’t realize the images. You should realized anything that…you just should ..all you should do is be part of the story.

Composer Thad Spencer said when we first read the script for the film and met, we had, varied ideas about what musical styles would work and what we wanted to do, but one theme that ran throughout all the ideas was that it had a very ambient texture, well, in pursuing that broad range of ideas, we decided that the best thing to do would be to limit our instrumentation, to actually use certain instruments and to only those instruments and not expand outside of those instruments, thus giving all the music a very minimal and all important feel.

Composer Richard Werbowenko said the majority of the instruments you hear are processed acoustic instruments (e.g. piano) or guitars, there are a lot of electric guitar textures that are put through different amplifiers, delays, reverbs, modulation effects to kinda create something that really has a long, kinda ‘drifty’ quality without it sounding the same.

Chris Beaty said we really stretched an event for what song we had… as far as we could stretch it and once you get it then, stretched like that, it’s hard to tell what they are.

I think the most complicated aspect of this was creating a style of music that didn’t draw a lot of attention to itself but gave a lot of meaning. ( movie clip shows Thorton saying “bye Pop” moving to get dressed.)

Having multiple composers was a real positive thing for the film. The three of us really bounced ideas off of each other.

If you were in a position where you were, got to a certain point on a piece of music and maybe wondering is this even any good, you could always draw one of the other composers into your room and ask “what do you think? is this horrible ? is this any good?

We all wrote different Ques we all -uh- helped each other perform and -uh- kinda conceptualized different Ques.

If there’s constant dialog between the people writing and uh, uh, true collaboration it works really well.

One of the designs of the music was to carry you through this and give you a sense of a persevering spirit, without necessarily saying every thing’s going to be o k and instead it was more something you could ride on through the whole film and it could help deliver you to a place that was more inside people and less about all the material things and crap that could happen to them.

The first place that you have to start is uh, you know, what is this scene saying, what is this scene really trying to emote, and whats the most subtle way to support what the scene is actually trying to express

Re-recording engineer Rick Asche said what I noticed here more than anything else and I was very happy about was that the music sorta played the over all theme of what the scene or that arc of scenes was doing so that we as a viewer actually got to understand a much bigger and broader picture of what’s going on with these characters.

If I’m totally reaching to music all the time then the music just becomes like emotional finger painting, as opposed to something that can hold water.

Overall I saw the film was very quite for me. I saw a lot of silences a lot breathing room in the film so the music only would come in, uh , in certain places, which would elevate and interrupt those silences in a very beautiful and emotional and magical way.

A lot of the music was written before the images were available to us, based on the script that we read, and, I’m really glad that we went about it that way, in that we weren’t always reaching to what was on the screen all the time, instead, it was the over all emotion that we got from reading the script.

When you don’t have to worry about an edit schedule or a specific timing, so your just allowed to write music very freely based on what you feel emotionally is gonna be happening in different parts of the film and then that music is simply delivered to the editor and director and they can sift through it and find what they like.

So it’s sort of hand in hand process between composer filmmaker and editor

Composer Matt Chesse’ said I started out with a bunch of their music that I, you know, that I laid it throughout the film, then I laid the film on them and let them absorb the mood with their score worked in there, but a lot of places were open for interpretation.

There’s a point at the end of the film where Latesha (Halle Berre’s character) comes into the kitchen and shes just found out that Hank (Billy Bob Thornton’s character) had a hand in executing her husband but we don’t know how upset she is

(All three together) you see the cameras doing this kinda slow pan thing (there we go) here we go , wait because he doesn’t even…starts to.. here we go, here we go… starts to creep in now…

Needed to support this tension, we didn’t want to point anybody…. in any particular direction

as to how they should feel.

All watching together again someone mutters “it’s cool” then plays guitar “maybe something like that?”

The end of the film gives people some resolve and the score definitely does that too. To the point that the end it’s a very simple melody. It’s giving you that little bit of hope, that little bit of resolve.

It’s important for us to come at that moment very artfully.

It was an opportunity for emotions in the film to stretch a little bit and so, it was also an opportunity for the music in the film to stretch a little bit.

The music in the score incorporates so much poetry on it’s own.

And that was,you know, that was our goal all along so you wouldn’t walk out of there singing the Monster’s Ball melody, but that you would, you know, remember the mood you got from it.

Directed by | Jon Baugh

Thanks to

Marc Forester

Matt Chesse’

Joel C. High

Rick Asche

Vine St Studio

Asche & Spencer

Chris Betty

Than Spencer

Richard Werbowenko

Bob Demaa

Chuck Statler

Soundtrack available on | Lions Gate Records

www.monstersballfilm.com

VERITUNE …A BETTER WAY…

VERITUNE …A BETTER WAY…

VERITUNE …a better way…

This is a terrific series presented from Chicago land by Drwoodwind

Part one (one of six) is a video using the Verituner to tune a piano in the confines of a practice room somewhere in ‘Chicagoland’.

Drwoodwind said it’s January outside of Chicago, it’s a Mason & Hamilton upright, indoor humidity is 21% so naturally it’s pretty flat

Today I’m going to try and pitch raise and fine tune as efficiently as possible using the Verituner. I will display all three over pulls, so it’s roughly 10% in this area, 25% in this area and 35% overpull in this area

The goal is to, after the first pass, be as close to a fine tuning as we can be so there is minimum adjustment left to be done for that final pass

The Verituner needs to get some information, it will update it’s information as we go (in real time)

so…..

it’s about 20 % err- 20 cents flat, I’m working to fill the [ I ] (Inharmonicity) I’m on the medium ‘zoom’ right now and I’m actually going to start these about half way between the first two arrows. I only have the needle displayed A3 A4 is in the ‘bracket’ for the temperment. I’ll go ahead and give it A5 so it knows about what (Inharmonicity) is there

And now it’s a matter of going through the piano giving it the information it needs to fill those [ I’s ]

Notice how I sound the note first to let the VERITUNER start calculating before I even move the hammer

starting at about twelve o’clock over here taking my time in this temperment section to try and fill the [ I ]

This should work for any style even the built in styles or one of my custom styles (one for all)

I’m measuring the right string, when I come back and tune this piano for good, I’ll be working on the left string over-pull

Again

this isn’t so much a ‘tuning’ pass as a ‘measuring’ pass until we reach the bass strings, just while I’m working I might as well get something done.

If you are ‘close’ you can use the ‘ zoom ‘

I’ll go ahead and pull the unisons for these three strings (in the bass section) here

Notice it was a miss measure over-pull but I know that I was just over pulling the previous note less than a cent.

Watch this video on 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

SOFTWARE PIANOS Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 6 reviews
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