Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Hurricane Irma & Our Piano Friends!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Virtual Sheet Music
Download Sheet Music Instantly
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Sheet Music...
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
81 registered members (accordeur, Almaviva, Agent88, ando, andreaitaly, anamnesis, 20 invisible), 1,678 guests, and 4 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#211718 - 10/25/08 05:42 PM Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2
Nathami Offline
Junior Member
Nathami  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2
Montreal (Qc)
Hi everyone,

I want to dress a list of words that people used to describe piano sound to difference a piano with another one.

So, which words do you use to describe piano tone qualities?

Examples: metallic, stridden, bright, warm, muffle

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#211719 - 10/25/08 07:16 PM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 38
kadiddle Offline
Full Member
kadiddle  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 38
Here are some terms used by a RPT that I hired recently to help me shop for a piano (he also is very skilled at playing the piano)
Regarding the Treble:
Bright, thin, sings, sustained, silvery (silvery was his highest praise for the treble)

Regarding the mid range:
Bright, sustained, vibrant, engergetic, round

Regarding the Bass;
Overtones, fuzzy, balls, focused, clear

He also had a few terms to describe the pianos sound overall:
Bright, mellow, round, energetic, lively, vibrant, powerful

I would add a few terms of my own:
strident, muted, warm
kadiddle


August Forster 215
#211720 - 10/25/08 07:25 PM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 216
Jonnie P. Offline
Full Member
Jonnie P.  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 216
Seattle, WA
Balls?


Jonnie P.
Seattle, WA

Kawai RX-2 ES

Obsessive behaviour: Jazz and other forms of piano improvisation
#211721 - 10/25/08 07:56 PM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,289
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,289
Georgia, USA
Maybe he meant “Bells”. I’ve never heard the term “Balls” to describe a pianos tone wink laugh .

However, I do like that “Bell-like” pop in the mid to upper treble section.

I’m afraid I too have become a connoisseur of fine piano tone. After some voicing and action regulation my Tokai grand sounds better than it ever has.

This just goes to show that a good piano technician can make a mediocre quality piano sound high class laugh .

Take care,

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#211722 - 10/25/08 08:08 PM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Quote
Originally posted by Jonnie P.:
Balls?
wink laugh Electric guitar player?


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#211723 - 10/26/08 01:22 AM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,282
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Norbert  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,282
Surrey, B.C.
Customers often find their own words that can be somewhat "illuminating"

In 2 recent games between the Italian soccer team [Fazioli] and the Germans [Grotrian] some players [customers] used such words as "transparent" - "clean" - "strident" - "balanced to the 9th" - "glorious" - "distinct" - "musical" - "startling" - "inspiring" and "seductive"

Anybody can guess which team got which.

By the way, final score: 1:1

Norbert thumb thumb


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908
#211724 - 10/26/08 04:50 AM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 326
Genaa Offline
Full Member
Genaa  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 326
Winchester, UK
Sparkling and pearly are another two reasonable terms to describe treble tone. Think of the difference between diamonds and pearls and you get the difference hopefully smile

For bass tone: dark is worth adding - certainly some of the Bechstein and Steingraeber uprights I played when shopping had what I would call a 'dark brooding' sort of bass tone though it is somewhat difficult to put into words how it is dark... frown

Coming from the soon to be a member of the Sauter owning family... you can add woodsy, pure and clear to your list of overall descriptions too, oh and maybe "earth-shatteringly beautiful" too wink


Sauter Masterclass 130
----------------------
Currently working on:
Bach: French Suite no. 4
Beethoven: Op 10 no 1
Schubert: Op 90 no 3
Debussy: La Cathedrale Engloutie, Golliwog's Cakewalk, 'Clear the Room'
Balakirev / Glinka: The Lark
#211725 - 10/26/08 09:17 AM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 38
kadiddle Offline
Full Member
kadiddle  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 38
Quote
Originally posted by Jonnie P.:
Balls?
Yes, the RPT said that the bass of this particular piano had "balls". A Mason BB as I remember.

I also remember using the word "luscious" to describe the overall tone of one particular piano.
kadiddle


August Forster 215
#211726 - 10/26/08 07:09 PM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 386
verania5 Offline
Full Member
verania5  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 386
Michigan
I am still at a loss for "balls".
Perhaps a better alternative would be "ballsy"? Chutzpah?


Steinway M & Yamaha P120
#211727 - 10/26/08 07:37 PM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Quote
Originally posted by verania5:
I am still at a loss for "balls".
Perhaps a better alternative would be "ballsy"? Chutzpah?
"Balls" or "ballsy" are terms more usually associated with electric guitars & their related amplifiers, as I pointed out above. FWIW, I have never heard anyone describe a piano as having "balls" or being "ballsy" either. laugh wink


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#211728 - 10/26/08 11:13 PM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 307
DarkGreenChocolate Offline
Full Member
DarkGreenChocolate  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 307
Michigan
I like a "growling" bass and "shimmering" or "luminous" (but never "glittering" or "sparkling") treble. The tenor's the hard one to describe, because that's where you spend most of your playing time, and that's where most pianos grab at your heartstrings: "sweet," maybe, like "honey," but somehow never "syrupy."

Begging the pardon of vegetarians, I also favor "meaty," which for me tends to distinguish Steinways, or European makes generally, from most Asian models. A big Yamaha, for ex., can be plenty "powerful," but to me it's somehow all "gossamer," no "gridiron." I tend to prefer Kawais, because they're more "brooding," but almost too "velvety," "smooth," like a cake that looks better than it tastes, or a rayon robe.

A really "dark" piano might even be considered "smoky," but "woody" for me is a bad thing, common in the upper register of (old) Steinways and Kawais. "Round" is perhaps the most unavoidable yet undefinable word of all: rare is the upright that has it, yet many grands lack this vital quality.

My tuner used "sizzle" to describe a badly voiced note. That's the most striking adjective I've heard in a while (no pun intended with "meaty" above).

#211729 - 10/27/08 12:20 AM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 82
Aley Offline
Full Member
Aley  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 82
Albuquerque, NM, USA
I like it to be full-bodied, with a lovely silky structure and a long, rich, and subtle fruit character on the finish.

Oh, wait, that's wine. smile

There are so many terms that are tossed around but are poorly defined. Is there really a difference between a shimmering treble, a singing treble, and a bell-like treble? And if so, would any two people agree on what those differences are?

#211730 - 10/27/08 08:18 AM Re: Words to describe piano qualities  
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 285
NoctuGranes Offline
Full Member
NoctuGranes  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 285
Northeast USA
What about the action: 'buttery' vs. 'unrefined' or even 'clunky'

I can't imagine a description of a great piano that didn't include the word 'whisper'

Plus there's a whole meta-level higher to describe whether a piano has color and dynamic range. This is probably where we were trying to go with "Ballsy". When you play fff does it top out or not. If not, how different do the notes sound...do they rise above those played at 'f' in something more than volume. I don't know who to boil this down to single words.

Yet this is where people often diverge on taste. Some like a very precise sound and others like a colorful one (that changes with the attack). I couldn't have bought a piano without having this conversation.


-Nocty
Not in the piano business.
1906 Baldwin C rebuilt 2008

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Grand vs. upright
by BruceD. 09/23/17 12:03 AM
Baroque performance change in last 50 years
by RubberFingers. 09/22/17 10:10 PM
Kawai CA78/98: what is new(confirmed)
by USSOWT. 09/22/17 08:39 PM
Yale free music class
by carolinakeys. 09/22/17 04:55 PM
Celviano AP 650 vs Clavinova CVP 701
by VMK. 09/22/17 04:32 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics181,985
Posts2,659,496
Members88,879
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0