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Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Originally Posted by Sidokar
The relative difficulty is also variable based on each person abilities. I was reading an article of a concert pianist who learned 2 instruments as a kid and eventually ended up as a pianist. For him piano was far easier and more natural than the violin. Even he did manage to reach a good level at the violin, he made much faster progress on the piano.

I am surprised by this. I can't lift the piano up under my chin.

Ha ! you can try to seat inside the piano though and play it like a harp ....

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Originally Posted by slipperykeys
I am surprised by this. I can't lift the piano up under my chin.

Clearly, you need to work on your Hanon more for increased finger strength ... wink


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Playing piano is an art form that takes effort. It's a choice and should not be a surprise to anyone! Why is it a problem? You can find plenty of other art forms that's even more difficult.

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Originally Posted by newport
Playing piano is an art form that takes effort. It's a choice and should not be a surprise to anyone! Why is it a problem? You can find plenty of other art forms that's even more difficult.
That's right.

I can never sculpt a statue of a naked David (even one with a head too big for his torso) from marble, but I can certainly play the piano better than Michelangelo.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Trying to get some objective perspective:
https://headwindmusic.co.uk/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-learn-the-sax
Practice time for amateur sax players about 30-60 minutes a day; this equals my experience in my youth.
To get to a top-notch professional jazz level: 3-5 hours a day.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
All instruments require tons of practice to play advanced and difficult pieces. The OPs premise is not valid.

If you play chamber music, you will experience a sinilar phenomenon as the OP reports. The violin and cello parts of a piano trio are mostly sight-readable, while the piano part may be comparable to learning an advanced sonata.

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The thread creator is of course right that it is easier to read one line of notes instead of 2 and that you need to put in time ( enjoy the practice/ slow progress! :-) to play the piano.
Wonder how they do when they hire in a symphony orchestra?
If some get more time to practice and others less because the instruments are lighter or more difficult to play?

Then you can wonder if it is easier to play Bach on guitar than on piano?
Or maybe it's the other way around or about the same thing?

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In an orchestra, you will have over a dozen string players, but only 0-1 pianists. Add to that the fact that more people vie to be soloists, and you have your reason why it's harder to become a concert pianist.

I think it's evident to most people who play the piano that there's a wider spectrum of difficulties one can encounter while playing the piano. Sure, as a violinist, you'll find someone who can play faster double stops than you. But as a pianist, you can encounter nasty polyrhythms and syncopation, voicing challenges trying to balance 2-4 fast moving voices, sadistic pieces to memorize which don't have much structure to them, and countless pyrotechnics at the keyboard written by ambidextrous show-offs.

Most people will not get to that point, however, and in that case, many instruments are of equal or greater difficulty.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
it's harder to become a concert pianist.

Most people will not get to that point, however, and in that case, many instruments are of equal or greater difficulty.
Are you saying that it's harder to become a concert pianist than a concert violinist or concert cello player?

To me I think it takes about the same effort to become a concert instrumentalist and that there are more factor's behind than just how difficult an instrument is to play to actually be the one who's standing on the stage performing a piece.

For me personally I don't care how hard an instrument or piece is to play. In the end for me it is what we listen to that counts. If I enjoy the music or not.

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Originally Posted by Relaxing_Music
Are you saying that it's harder to become a concert pianist than a concert violinist or concert cello player?
There is more competition, and students typically start even younger at the piano. None of them are attainable for your average student regardless of how much they practice just to be clear, but I think it can still be fairly said that becoming a concert pianist is harder.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Relaxing_Music
Are you saying that it's harder to become a concert pianist than a concert violinist or concert cello player?
There is more competition, and students typically start even younger at the piano. None of them are attainable for your average student regardless of how much they practice just to be clear, but I think it can still be fairly said that becoming a concert pianist is harder.

If performing is the criterion for become a concert artist, the competition is surely much tighter for pianists than for other instrumentalists. How many violin positions (and positions for other instrumentalists) available to high-caliber violinists in major orchestras are there compared to performance positions for pianists? These are, after all, performing positions requiring a high degree of technique and artistry.

Now if we're considering only solo artists, then the qualifying criteria are different and the competition for an international career may be more equal among different instrumentalists but equally gruelling and (often) as disappointing.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Relaxing_Music
Are you saying that it's harder to become a concert pianist than a concert violinist or concert cello player?
There is more competition, and students typically start even younger at the piano. None of them are attainable for your average student regardless of how much they practice just to be clear, but I think it can still be fairly said that becoming a concert pianist is harder.

If performing is the criterion for become a concert artist, the competition is surely much tighter for pianists than for other instrumentalists. How many violin positions (and positions for other instrumentalists) available to high-caliber violinists in major orchestras are there compared to performance positions for pianists? These are, after all, performing positions requiring a high degree of technique and artistry.

Now if we're considering only solo artists, then the qualifying criteria are different and the competition for an international career may be more equal among different instrumentalists but equally gruelling and (often) as disappointing.

Regards,

I would be interested in seeing the number of violin students enrolled at conservatories. I suspect it is much greater than the number of orchestral positions.


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Originally Posted by Relaxing_Music
Originally Posted by ranjit
it's harder to become a concert pianist.

Most people will not get to that point, however, and in that case, many instruments are of equal or greater difficulty.
Are you saying that it's harder to become a concert pianist than a concert violinist or concert cello player?

To me I think it takes about the same effort to become a concert instrumentalist and that there are more factor's behind than just how difficult an instrument is to play to actually be the one who's standing on the stage performing a piece.

For me personally I don't care how hard an instrument or piece is to play. In the end for me it is what we listen to that counts. If I enjoy the music or not.

I suspect that becoming a concert artist ie soloist as either a pianist or violinist is of similar difficulty. Having a seat in a symphony orchestra probably is easier for a violinist because there are more string chairs than piano benches in most orchestras.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by Relaxing_Music
Originally Posted by ranjit
it's harder to become a concert pianist.

Most people will not get to that point, however, and in that case, many instruments are of equal or greater difficulty.
Are you saying that it's harder to become a concert pianist than a concert violinist or concert cello player?

To me I think it takes about the same effort to become a concert instrumentalist and that there are more factor's behind than just how difficult an instrument is to play to actually be the one who's standing on the stage performing a piece.

For me personally I don't care how hard an instrument or piece is to play. In the end for me it is what we listen to that counts. If I enjoy the music or not.

I suspect that becoming a concert artist ie soloist as either a pianist or violinist is of similar difficulty. Having a seat in a symphony orchestra probably is easier for a violinist because there are more string chairs than piano benches in most orchestras.

Being a violinist in an orchestra may not be easy: depends on the number of available chairs compared to the number of applicants. I’m guessing that the number of violin performance majors is significantly larger than of the piano, but it is only a guess.

Last edited by dogperson; 06/14/21 05:45 PM.
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Originally Posted by dogperson
[...]I’m guessing that the number of violin performance majors is significantly larger than of the piano, but it is only a guess.

That could also very well be true; it seems a logical assumption to make.

Regards,


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Conductor Fritz "Reiner's conducting technique was defined by its precision and economy, in the manner of Arthur Nikisch and Arturo Toscanini. ... it was more often than not achieved with tactics that bordered on the personally abusive, ... Chicago musicians have spoken of Reiner's autocratic methods; trumpeter Adolph Herseth told National Public Radio that Reiner often tested him and other musicians."

But I bet he doesn't test his pianist! :-)

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by Relaxing_Music
Originally Posted by ranjit
it's harder to become a concert pianist.

Most people will not get to that point, however, and in that case, many instruments are of equal or greater difficulty.
Are you saying that it's harder to become a concert pianist than a concert violinist or concert cello player?

To me I think it takes about the same effort to become a concert instrumentalist and that there are more factor's behind than just how difficult an instrument is to play to actually be the one who's standing on the stage performing a piece.

For me personally I don't care how hard an instrument or piece is to play. In the end for me it is what we listen to that counts. If I enjoy the music or not.

I suspect that becoming a concert artist ie soloist as either a pianist or violinist is of similar difficulty. Having a seat in a symphony orchestra probably is easier for a violinist because there are more string chairs than piano benches in most orchestras.

Being a violinist in an orchestra may not be easy: depends on the number of available chairs compared to the number of applicants. I’m guessing that the number of violin performance majors is significantly larger than of the piano, but it is only a guess.

I did not suggest it was easy for a violinist to get a position with a symphony orchestra.

If the number of faculty teaching an instrument is an indication of number of students, excluding faculty from baroque keyboard and string instruments and literature, Julliard has 25 faculty members in violin performance and 20 in piano performance.

A symphony orchestra may only have one less than full-time position for a pianist. On the other hand, the position forvthe pianist not being a full-time position, and maybe not being as demanding technically may reduce the competition in the applicant pool.

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Playing a pipe organ is way harder than piano! Well actually I think piano is harder but in the end you are just pushing buttons on both instruments.

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How would one go about quantifying the difference in difficulty between say Bach's more difficult preludes and fugues for organ, with fugue voices in the pedals, from the more difficult virtuouso piano literature?

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There will always be the distinct effect of an individuals physicality on how they interact with a particular type of instrument.

I can get reasonable sounds from string instruments like violin, guitar and my own voice, but a trumpet or flute is hopeless for me. And I can play the piano somewhat facile.

So which instrument is the most difficult to master is always influenced by personal factors.


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According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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