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Player Pianos

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by pianoman342, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Tucker
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    Riley
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    I am curious what everybody thinks of player pianos and player piano rolls. I think a lot of people are creeped out by them. After all, you put in a piano roll hit a button and the piano magically plays itself, usually with pedal directives and all. It's as if a ghost is playing the instrument! :eek: :lol: Are you guys creeped out by it?

    I think it is an interesting marvel, somewhat like MIDI recording for the older generation. The modern day player piano is of course the disklavier or pianodisc. I've even heard of an app created so that one could control these player grands remotely by Ipad. Take this in, if you can, if it isn't a total effrontery :| It's like the piano is a glorified Ipod speaker, :evil: and not a wonderful instrument that can make possible the finest shading of dynamic expression and tone color. :) Yes, for a real life pianist playing in real time! :D

    There are composers who have recorded in the piano roll format. Nancarrow is one, known for his many "studies for piano"

    My music history professor told us he is known for his complex cross-rhythms and making pianos play far beyond what would be plausible even for a pianist of the most refined technique. Here is a video of one of his studies. I must confess, I could not watch it to the end.

    http://youtu.be/H53NM6qs4bw?t=14s

    And Gershwin (who didn't write for rolls exclusively, but recorded for them) is another. Here is a piece that I really enjoy, "Kickin' the Clouds Away":

    http://youtu.be/y84s3ej2zn8?t=5s

    ~Riley
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm not 'creeped out' by piano rolls. I think they're kinda neat, actually. But if I was offered the option of listening to a live person play versus (a dead one....haha) a player-piano, I'd certainly choose the person.

    My uncle has a player piano with big pedals on the bottom that you have to pump in order to make the piano play. That might be a good way to burn some calories. Regarding piano rolls....I do know that even long ago recording technicians could manipulate piano rolls so one can not be sure how much of the recording has been edited.

    Also, Enrique Granados made some piano roll recordings. I love them! It's the COOLEST THING EVER to get to hear him play!! :D
     
  3. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yeah, me too. And it's nice having a live person because many times you can offer them critique about their performance after the fact, but there isn't that option with a piano roll recording by someone is deceased :x (oh well, maybe they wouldn't want my critique, anyway.. :lol: )

    I ought to buy that when I can afford it. Sounds like good exercise! :)

    That's annoying. It bugs me when I can't tell if something is real or fake. I guess I always assume some things are real but then it turns out to be fake :|

    Ooh. I'd love to hear Granados. Is there any recordings on youtube? I hope so. :)

    EDIT: I just listened to Granados playing Granados (his spanish dance no. 2 "oriental") it's funny cause when I am listening to it, I am thinking of your performance, as it is the first I heard of it! :p
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think there are even more of those recordings on Youtube but I'm not sure. Could be that I got them from another source, I can't remember now. I do remember though that I was surprised by how much he varied from the score when playing his own music. But I guess he's allowed to do that.... :wink:
     

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