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Originally Posted by LarryK
My music major friend kind of laughed at me with regards to the repetition limit and said that he hadn’t known anyone to hit it in all the years he studied piano and attended recitals.


Am I wrong in thinking that hitting the repetition limit is exactly what is going on when the action blocks and, prior to the recent patch, a loud note occurs?


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Originally Posted by BradleyG

Am I wrong in thinking that hitting the repetition limit is exactly what is going on when the action blocks and, prior to the recent patch, a loud note occurs?


It's not repetition speed that triggers it, it's the position of the key when you strike a repeated note.

I hit the loud note issue frequently when I play the NU1, and it's because I don't always lift my finger off the key completely when I go to strike it again. Most of the time, I hit the issue with slow/relaxed repetitions rather than quick ones.

I think the ability to reliably restrike a note without fully lifting the key is double-escapement, which is another general difference between grands and uprights, but not directly related to repetition speed.


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Thanks for clarifying Gombessa!

Last edited by BradleyG; 05/23/19 06:11 PM.

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So, i guess while i didn't understand why Yamaha would release a successor to the Nu1 with the same loud note issue, they were already busy working to fix it.

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BradelyG. If it is convenient to do so that would be wonderful and appreciated!

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Originally Posted by LarryK
My music major friend kind of laughed at me with regards to the repetition limit and said that he hadn’t known anyone to hit it in all the years he studied piano and attended recitals.

Send this video to your friend. She can be seen pressing on keys that make no sound:



There are also missing notes here on this upright, but I think in this case the upright is completely broken so that can't be counted against an upright action.

She has this piece so wired, she almost never misses a note when she has played this on a grand:













I don't believe your friend is right. In fact, I'm sure he is wrong. (That doesn't mean you or I will play pieces that test the limits of an upright though, at least not soon.)

BTW, unless one uses ando's innovative technique it will also be difficult to play Ravel's Ondine at tempo on an upright.

Consider that the maximum key repetition rate of an upright action is 7 Hz. So imagine a piece that is crochet/quarter-note = 120 BPM. so there are two beats a second. Now give the piece a single pair of 16th note that repeat (e.g., Ondine-like pieces). That already requires 8 Hz and exceeds the maximum of 7 Hz. Unless you use rubato on that measure, the second note of the pair will sometimes not make a sound.

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Ok, I sent the first video to him and asked him for his thoughts. His is just one opinion, I know other people have different opinions. I know I don’t have five or six hours a day to practice, for decades, to reach his level of playing, it’s just not going to happen for me, I have to be realistic. I just found it interesting that he had never run into this problem among the pianists he hung out with in music school.

I showed him the magnet repetition mechanism on the Seiler and he didn’t feel that it was necessary for me to buy a piano with that feature. I wanted to take him to a showroom to get his opinion playing one of those pianos but Seiler has no dealers in Manhattan, only way out in Long Island, and he is a busy guy.

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My friend responded to the video and said, yes, he sees that happening and he thinks it’s cool that people are solving hardware problems like this, but I think it’s fair to say that he sticks by his assertion that this was not a problem he encountered in music school.

I think the more interesting topic is how adult musicians should be kind to themselves when, after ten years or more, they have not reached the level of a virtuoso on the instrument. Piano will be my third instrument where that will be true, after, first, violin, and, second, classical guitar.

My duo partner, on the classical guitar, has let other people’s virtuosity interfere with her ability to feel any joy in playing music. She has told me that she feels that every note she plays sounds like crap, based on how she has seen others play on YouTube. I disagree, and argue to contrary, to no avail.

I strive to maintain a child’s joy in being able to play any music, regardless of how poorly. I am like the students described in this video:



Samuel Beckett, the Irish playwright, used to say that it was “time to shift Mozart in his grave” whenever he sat down to play at the piano. I do not expect to reach a level where any composer will remain in quiet repose while I am at the keyboard. No repeating mechanism is going to change that.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/24/19 04:01 AM.
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I doubt many on this forum, me included, will be able to ever play the La Campanella, even on a grand piano laugh Same for Ondine. One or two pieces, big deal. Not an argument against upright pianos IMO smile


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I doubt many on this forum, me included, will be able to ever play the La Campanella, even on a grand piano laugh Same for Ondine. One or two pieces, big deal. Not an argument against upright pianos IMO smile


Succinctly put, I agree.

I am going to shift my focus from the speed of the notes to the quality of the tone and will strive to find an upright that has a tone which is pleasing to my ear. That might be a hybrid or it might be an acoustic, I’m going to make that decision in five years.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I doubt many on this forum, me included, will be able to ever play the La Campanella, even on a grand piano laugh

Someday. Sigh...

EDIT: I hope I didn't just cause anyone to break into uncontrollable laughter while they were drinking something! wink


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I doubt many on this forum, me included, will be able to ever play the La Campanella, even on a grand piano laugh

Someday. Sigh...

EDIT: I hope I didn't just cause anyone to break into uncontrollable laughter while they were drinking something! wink

Well, that’s all very moving smile I’m being serious.


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I doubt many on this forum, me included, will be able to ever play the La Campanella, even on a grand piano laugh

Someday. Sigh...

EDIT: I hope I didn't just cause anyone to break into uncontrollable laughter while they were drinking something! wink

Well, that’s all very moving smile I’m being serious.

Well to give some idea of the zero level I was at in 2018 when I bought this Roland FP-30 that is being replace today (yay!) - the absolute zero below which there is only an inverted Boltzmann distribution laugh - I didn't know pianos all had 88 keys and I actually thought that La Campanella was a piece I would be able to self-teach myself to in two years. Well at the 15-month point, I am taking two piano lessons a week, and nowhere close to the goal. I've revised this goal now to seven years. wink (There may be those that still snorted out something they were drinking!)


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

I didn't know pianos all had 88 keys


They don't. 88 keys is a relatively modern invention, in earlier times 85 keys was the norm. The grand I grew up playing has 85. I don't know when the three extra keys came ind, but it must have been sometime in the early half of the 20th century.


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OK, Tyrone, its game time. I fully expect blow by blow postings on the delivery of the N1X after your extensive research. You know, pictures of the delivery, moving it into the room, first song played videos etc. Doesn't need to be done in real time, a 10 minute delay in postings would be acceptable. smile


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The thing about studying a musical instrument is that it is never a straight climb, there are many ups and downs, and times when you feel completely lost, and you feel that you’re making very little progress. I think this feeling becomes more pronounced as you become an intermediate player, because the incremental progress becomes smaller.

A friend of mine is working on a few measures in the Aria from Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The ornaments are driving him crazy. He’s spent hours on just a couple of measures. If you do the math and factor in a person’s lifespan, it doesn’t look good, but, I say, play on! Dream!

I’ve posted this many times but I always find people who haven’t read it. It’s an essay by Lynn Harrell, the cellist, and is full of advice for musicians who are about to embark on a career:

https://www.classicalmpr.org/blog/classical-notes/2008/06/16/lynn_harrell_co

His advice applies to anyone who plays an instrument.

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Status Update: The loud note issue has still not happened. Yesterday 3 hours of practice, today two hours. thumb


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My friend finished up this discussion by saying that after fifty years of playing, he rarely finds a piece in which he is held back by the repetition of a single note. He says there are a zillion other musical challenges before that one, and that the music makes the playing worthwhile, not the hardware.

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Originally Posted by LarryK
My friend finished up this discussion by saying that after fifty years of playing, he rarely finds a piece in which he is held back by the repetition of a single note. He says there are a zillion other musical challenges before that one, and that the music makes the playing worthwhile, not the hardware.

Well, and as mentioned above, forum member ando did come up with an innovative way to handle soft and fast note repetition in Ondine on an upright, so there may be workarounds for at least some cases where a problem occurs, even if the workarounds are not straight-forward or obvious.

Also note that Lisitsa was willing to give La Campanella a go on both of the uprights even though she was likely expecting that there would be missing notes - but in both cases, she wasn't playing a concert in a concert hall and expected the audience to be unlikely to even notice any missing notes. So it's really only a problem when you set your standards too high.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
My friend finished up this discussion by saying that after fifty years of playing, he rarely finds a piece in which he is held back by the repetition of a single note. He says there are a zillion other musical challenges before that one, and that the music makes the playing worthwhile, not the hardware.

Well, and as mentioned above, forum member ando did come up with an innovative way to handle soft and fast note repetition in Ondine on an upright, so there may be workarounds for at least some cases where a problem occurs, even if the solutions are not straight-forward or obvious.


Yes, I saw that, I just don’t think I’ll ever play that piece.

Like I mentioned, I am going to seek refuge in tone. That refuge has served me well with my classical guitars. Having a lovely tone is worth far more to me than being able to repeat notes quickly. Even after ten years of studying the classical guitar, I regularly see professional players who will play faster than I will ever be able to play. It’s a hard truth that I have come to accept. My motor skills are not going to improve in that direction as I age.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/24/19 01:02 PM.
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