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Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336628 12/09/08 06:31 PM
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cg-b Offline OP
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Fellow posters:

Since I plead guilty to starting this divine web discussion on "Banging on a Steinway B", let me bring you up to date:

1- After my initial posting, I have picked up a Bachelor's Degree from this Forum in piano dynamics and build techniques, tuning, regulating and voicing, effects of humidity and temperature, Liszt on a Bosendorfer, snapping strings, general piano technology, the difference between "heavy-handed" and "banging", nuances and subleties of the lexicon, and so, so much more - once again, thanks to all of you very interesting names without faces;
2- Our B was "re-felted (?)", voiced, regulated, and re-tuned today, thanks to your collective commentary and suggestions, and it sounds and feels MAHVELOUS, especially to my beautiful and talented wife (all Russian school, of course), and the pleasure she derives when she plays it is without measure. I am jealous yet bemused;
3- We are now constantly monitoring RH and temperature, which I now know will slow-kill even the best of instruments;
4- Major thanks to Larry Buck, who shortly (when USPS delivers) will be in possession of a CD with about 25 of my wife's pieces - from Chopin to her native Armenian (Khachaturyan, Komitas, Sayat-Nova, Mirzoyan). I believe he will eventually agree that she is not "a banger", and perhaps not even "heavy-handed", but giving out exactly what the music on the paper calls for, no more, no less;
5- If any of you wonderful people wish to hear her on CD, feel free to send me an e-mail to cg-b@comcast.net, and I will provide a sample of her musical talent free of charge -simply for the joy of it .

Carlos Gueits-Bonilla
Rovkville, MD

Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336629 12/09/08 08:53 PM
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Why, from a mechanical standpoint, would "banging," or any other kind of playing, cause a piano to go out of tune?

Theoretically there's different KINDS of ff(fff), depending on composer, performer, and musical moment. "Banging" (or a synonym thereof) seems wrong almost across the board for Chopin, but quite necessary for a Tchaikovsky piano concerto, say. Brahms is gen. even less "bangy" than Chopin, but Gould bangs the heck out of his Rhapsody in E-flat, and it works. Some contemporary music might even call for "banging," despite or because of its negative connotation.

Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336630 12/09/08 09:12 PM
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Because every time you play the key, the hammer strikes the strings. It bends them. The harder the key is played, the more the hammers force the strings upward bending them upwards even more. The more they bend, the more they stretch. Bend them enough, and they can break.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336631 12/09/08 10:29 PM
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Thanks, Jerry.

Does it follow, then, that if one played softly enough, or always at "normal" intensity, one's playing would have no measurable effect on tuning?

Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336632 12/10/08 12:31 AM
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Gee wiz John it sounds like me. Always a bit of a wild card. I also frequently have both feet and hands in the air (Chopin Nocturne op 48 no1, doppio movemento, last couple of bars!) eek And the Thaikovsky 2nd concerto - cadenza. Not to speak of the Prokovief no 2!

I cerainly give it all i've got, in context of the music at hand smile

Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336633 12/10/08 12:47 PM
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Correct. One's playing will always have some sort of effect on the tuning because of the hammer striking the strings every time, but the softer the playing, the longer it tends to stay in tune. Until our weather changes again!

I like to tell people that Michigan's weather is GREAT for ME but, bad for you! smile


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336634 12/16/08 05:46 AM
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To Larry Buck:

Did you receive the CD copy I sent to your shop?

Happy Holidays to all.

Carlos Gueits-Bonilla

Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336635 12/17/08 06:14 AM
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cg-b,

Yes, it arrived this week. I'll have an opportunity to listen to it on Thursday/Friday.

Happy Holidays as well.

Larry


"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336636 02/11/09 05:08 PM
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To Larry Buck:

If you are out there, did you ever get a chance to hear Naira Babayan's disc I sent? I am waiting on nins and peedles for your opinion.

Best and kind regards.

cg-b

Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336637 02/11/09 11:11 PM
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We have to retire our C&A (concert & artist) "D's" after only 4 years because of the wear on them. The key length on these monsters are nearly 2 feet (not sure exactly). That provides a HUGE amount of leverage to "Bang" away at the piano, lol. These pianos get moved and tuned over 100 times per year.

Even the highest quality of materials will wear under certain circumstances.


Musically Yours,
Jonathan Hunt

Sales Professional:
Steinway, Boston, Essex, Kohler & Campbell

The Music Gallery
Clearwater, Fl.
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336638 02/11/09 11:26 PM
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Personally I feel that anyone who intentionally bangs/pounds on a fine piano is an idiot. Pianos are meant to be played - not abused.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336639 02/12/09 04:20 PM
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Quote
Personally I feel that anyone who intentionally bangs/pounds on a fine piano is an idiot. Pianos are meant to be played - not abused.
Well, I’ve seen some rich & famous performing artist banging the he** out of a piano and the audience loving it. I guess everybody’s definition of banging on a piano is different. One thing about it, if they break it they can afford to buy 100 more pianos just like it. laugh

Take care,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336640 02/13/09 01:38 AM
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You got that right , Rick !!! thumb


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
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YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336641 02/13/09 01:00 PM
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Part of the reason you go to the races is the possibility of a spill.

I've been to many concerts where a string is replaced at intermission. It's a badge of honor for many eastern europeans.


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Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336642 02/13/09 05:17 PM
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Extremeophiles. Actually refers to organisms that live in places like boiling springs or chemically toxic environments, or oceanic volcanic vents, with both deadly chemicals and water hot enough to melt lead... but I guess bangers could be thought of that way. So the piano bench actually turned all the way around by the time the guy finished the piece? That fact alone was worth reading the whole thread, but the rest of it was great reading too, and thanks to you all. Thanks Steven for the nice extremeophile link, "Yep, Ligeti: Extremes of Conventional Music Notation."

Maybe a less extremeophile name would be more palatable than banger (though there are bangers). How about "a firm and masterful touch."


Clef

Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336643 02/13/09 09:54 PM
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I hate to bring a note of indelicacy into this extremely salubrious
discussion but the term "banging" has a rather, how shall I put it,
salacious meaning in Anglo-Saxon.

This meaning is not to be found in most dictionaries,but when the term 'banging on a Steinway B" is used, many Dubliners look askance at each other,try to suppress howls of laughter,and wonder at the strange customs of the Americans.

Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336644 02/13/09 10:47 PM
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Maybe the street/gutter definition for “banging” would not have been imagined if the phrase “banging on the piano keys” were used instead. How about banging on a bongo drum or banging on a door like Fred Flintstone used to do when the saber-tooth cat would lock him out of the house. laugh

O-well, I’m fixing to go bang on my grand piano keys for a while. Is that the same as tickling the ivories very aggressively with a rapid reciprocating motion causing a great deal of kinetic energy which propels the hammer causing it to strike the strings at a high velocity meaning that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. . . Okay, I guess you all can tell I’m pretty stressed out at the moment. laugh

Take care,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336645 02/13/09 11:29 PM
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Funny how playing the piano can both reduce and create stress.

After spending most of my work day at the computer and my free time at the piano I need to visit a massage therapist every couple of weeks to work the tightness out of my back and neck. :p


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336646 02/14/09 12:51 AM
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As adults, I believe we should be allowed to bang anything we choose.

(Parents, council your children about contact with an S&S-B. Ya just never know where they are lurking.)

laugh


Marty in Minnesota
Re: "Banging" on a Steinway B
#336647 02/18/09 07:57 AM
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I am bringing this thread around and back to the top.

I have now had a chance to fully listen several times to the CD that cg-b sent to me.

On a recent trip to NY City, my son and I listened to her CD. FWIW, I have a very nice sound system in my vehicle.

cg-b's wife is a very accomplished pianist with a very fine musical touch. Both my son and I thoroughly enjoyed her playing.

I don't interpret her playing as "banging" in any way.

There are always reasons other than the pianist's playing that unravel a tuning.

Perhaps, taking a good look at these things such as environment, hammer preparation, tuning frequency, expectation, tuner ....

Thank You cg-b. Your wife's CD will stay in my CD changer for a while! It will be in good company!


"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances
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