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#1495485 - 08/13/10 08:19 PM Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano  
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Varcon Offline
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Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Since Morodiene came up with an unusual piano I started wondering if anyone has heard, know of, or have any kind of association with Hans Barth and the quarter-tone piano. I believe he wrote music for it but I know very little about it and I've never heard any example of it. I believe he played a concerto of quarter-tone music with an orchestra.

It would be interesting to have some comments on it.


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#1495490 - 08/13/10 08:27 PM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: Varcon]  
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Catenaires Offline
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Ah! I built a quarter tone piano once with my piano tuner. Two keyboards, two sets of strings, one tuned a quarter tone higher.

You should absolutely check out Ive's quarter tone piano pieces. And the Carillo tone piano (1/14th tone)

#1495493 - 08/13/10 08:31 PM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: Catenaires]  
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NO!!!!! I won't be able to sleep tonight! Ghosts coming out of that coffin!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5sI-s4E9js


Jose
Kawai K5 - Kawai CA61
#1495495 - 08/13/10 08:33 PM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: Catenaires]  
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#1495674 - 08/14/10 05:09 AM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: Catenaires]  
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I've seen a quarter-tone piano with three keyboards. The middle one was tuned a quarter-tone flat while the other two were tuned normally and played, I believe, the same set of strings. This was done to make some chords easier which would otherwise be uncomfortable to play. I think this piano used to be in the possession of Ivan Wyshnegradsky.

I've heard some quarter-tone preludes for two pianos by Wyshnegradsky once and liked them quite a lot. They must have been difficult to play because Wyshnegradsky originally wrote them for one piano as described above, but then rewrote them for two pianos (one normal, one a quarter-tone flat) when he realized that getting and retuning a second piano would be much easier than finding such a specially constructed instrument. As a result, the two pianists have to sound like one since both melody and accompaniment constantly switch between the two.

I've also heard that someone once built quarter-tone vibraphones and marimbas. I'm also hoping for quarter-tone organs (but that would make those instruments twice as big as they already are...).


I have an ice cream. I cannot mail it, for it will melt.
#1495716 - 08/14/10 08:04 AM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: mrenaud]  
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Hello there... as someone who plays Arabic music which uses quarter tones in most songs, I don't see how a real quarter tone piano would work, because the quarter tone pitch is not fixed. That is one musical piece/song may have the quarter tone on E and/or on B. Another requires the quarter tone on G, A#, basically any key.

I can see that it is easier to construt a piano for the Rast Mode only, and only for the Rast mode in the key of C (for example), but that's about it. I know that in Arabic/Turkish/Hindi and may be others, there is no quarter tone piano, other than for experimental purposes. I would like to know more about the piano mentioned by the OP.


#1495729 - 08/14/10 08:50 AM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: OuttaControl]  
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mrenaud Offline
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Originally Posted by OuttaControl
Hello there... as someone who plays Arabic music which uses quarter tones in most songs, I don't see how a real quarter tone piano would work, because the quarter tone pitch is not fixed.


They are fixed in western music. The tempered semitone is simply divided into two equal parts, giving 24 equal quartertones per octave. Since those quartertone pianos are mainly intended for western music, this works. For musical styles like Arabic, Persian, Indian or others where pitches are variable, this kind of piano is of course not ideal. However, a recent development called the fluid piano might be more interesting to you.


I have an ice cream. I cannot mail it, for it will melt.
#1495785 - 08/14/10 11:17 AM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: OuttaControl]  
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Originally Posted by OuttaControl
Hello there... as someone who plays Arabic music which uses quarter tones in most songs, I don't see how a real quarter tone piano would work, because the quarter tone pitch is not fixed.



You need one of these new 'fluid' pianos.

http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/our-work/geoff-smith-fluid-piano/

It sounds a bit too harpsichordy to me but it's an interesting idea.
I believe Sayed Darwish experimented with the quarter tone piano a hundred years ago so there is some history of it in Arabic music.

#1495875 - 08/14/10 01:51 PM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: mrenaud]  
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Originally Posted by mrenaud
However, a recent development called the fluid piano might be more interesting to you.


That's interesting, although they didn't show how you would actually make the tone changes in real time!! I don't think that's possible with the current model. The way it's done in electronic keyboards is by the touch of a button.

#1495876 - 08/14/10 01:53 PM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: beeboss]  
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OuttaControl Offline
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Originally Posted by beeboss
I believe Sayed Darwish experimented with the quarter tone piano a hundred years ago so there is some history of it in Arabic music.


You're right, I recall something like that. Also I believe Abdullah Shaheen in Lebanon had something similar.

#1495888 - 08/14/10 02:23 PM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: OuttaControl]  
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Originally Posted by OuttaControl


That's interesting, although they didn't show how you would actually make the tone changes in real time!! I don't think that's possible with the current model. The way it's done in electronic keyboards is by the touch of a button.


Sure you can, you can pitch bend it kind of like a guitar if you like.
This video shows how...
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheFluidPiano#p/u/1/yj8T7rp8kkg


apologies mrenaud I must have missed your post before.

Last edited by beeboss; 08/14/10 02:26 PM.
#1495931 - 08/14/10 04:00 PM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: beeboss]  
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OuttaControl Offline
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I see that, but that's not really practical, as compared to oriental keyboards, for example, but it may be possible to automate it in some way. Cool channel you got there, by the way.

#1496299 - 08/15/10 05:14 AM Re: Hans Barth's quarter-tone piano [Re: OuttaControl]  
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I have to say, I've really gotten into that quarter tone music. It unlocks so many possibilities if it were applied to traditional harmony. The only thing is.. it's been around for decades it seems. You would think more people would know about it, but nope. I guess it'll never truely replace piano. Not to mention, we'd have to replace pretty much every other musical instrument with a quartertone counterpart anyway.. and change our rules of harmony.


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