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I’ve been wondering if piano is actually limiting in legato, etc.? Or am I just bad frown

I have been having the desire to learn a new instrument, not giving up piano obviously but learn something I can express more with the techniques? (Correct terms?)

Techniques as... let’s say violin, the way you move bow or how you can move the string on guitar (others too) to get a different effect I guess?

I mostly like cello and accordion (well that maybe won’t fit into what I am saying but cello, yes.)

Piano is mostly percussion right? Hammer hit string, string make sound. You cannot move the string or really ACTUALLY change anything if that makes sense.

Opinions on this topic?

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Sorry Blue
I don’t agree with your assessment of the piano. Yes, it is a percussive instrument, but IMHO, that doesn’t mean it can not be very expressive: through the phrasing, articulation, dynamics etc. everything a pianist does to interpret the music.

I actually studied the cello as well as the piano. As much as I did love playing the cello, I found the piano to have infinite expressive possibilities. I still feel that way— many years later.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Hard to explain what I am trying to say sorry.

Originally Posted by dogperson
Sorry Blue
I don’t agree with your assessment of the piano. Yes, it is a percussive instrument, but IMHO, that doesn’t mean it can not be very expressive: through the phrasing, articulation, dynamics etc. everything a pianist does to interpret the music.

I actually studied the cello as well as the piano. As much as I did love playing the cello, I found the piano to have infinite expressive possibilities. I still feel that way— many years later.
My opinion also but again, my explanation is bad sorry. Should of clarified that.

Discussion is mostly about the things you can do. (moving bow, etc.)

Piano is still really great and cello too, it’s cool that you studied cello. Maybe I’ll look for one 🤷‍♂️

Thanks for the response

Last edited by probably blue; 05/21/22 10:27 PM.
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The notation for different instruments have different meanings according to the capability of each instrument, and the definition of terms differs according to those capabilities. Legato on the piano is not the same as legato on the violins, wind instruments, or most of all, the voice, and they do not sound the same, but there are nuances of each of those instruments that have their own qualities. Even instruments that are meant to imitate another instrument, like dgital pianos imitating acoustic pianos, or organs imitating wind or string instruments, or electronic organs imitating wind organs, are not exactly the same. (I even knew someone who could tell tracker organs from electro-pneumatic organs!)

You just have to take each instrument for what it is, and appreciate it for its qualities.


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It's true. Piano is percussion-based ...... and it is based on striking something - in this case --- striking a string (or strings). We can hear a variety of sounds/tones/tonality - depending on how quickly or slowly the strike is done ... in which what we hear also depends on the materials in the piano, the dimensions, the surroundings, and our own ear dimensions (and hearing performance, hearing features etc).

The piano is indeed very expressive. Allowing one to strike a whole bunch of keys at the same time if needed - three notes, four notes, or much more than that ----- to get some very nice sounds. Actually, sometimes, even the sound of a single note when played in some context within a piece of music - as we know ----- is beautiful. A piano can't do certain things that other instruments can do, which is obvious. But we see and know that there are a heap of things that a piano can do, which other instruments can't do.

If one wants to also access the capabilities of certain other instruments, such bow/string instruments etc, then for sure ----- enjoyment can be had with choosing one or more of those other sorts of instruments to learn.

Acoustic pianos are generally not portable, or not very portable at all. But one nice thing is that - even if not portable - one can play it by staying seated. And don't need to hold it heheh .... and don't need to blow into it etc.

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If you decide to look for a cello and decent bow, be prepared for sticker shock over the price


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by BDB
The notation for different instruments have different meanings according to the capability of each instrument, and the definition of terms differs according to those capabilities. Legato on the piano is not the same as legato on the violins, wind instruments, or most of all, the voice, and they do not sound the same, but there are nuances of each of those instruments that have their own qualities. Even instruments that are meant to imitate another instrument, like dgital pianos imitating acoustic pianos, or organs imitating wind or string instruments, or electronic organs imitating wind organs, are not exactly the same. (I even knew someone who could tell tracker organs from electro-pneumatic organs!)

You just have to take each instrument for what it is, and appreciate it for its qualities.
I still love pianos of course ❤️

Originally Posted by SouthPark
It's true. Piano is percussion-based ...... and it is based on striking something - in this case --- striking a string (or strings). We can hear a variety of sounds/tones/tonality - depending on how quickly or slowly the strike is done ... in which what we hear also depends on the materials in the piano, the dimensions, the surroundings, and our own ear dimensions (and hearing performance, hearing features etc).

The piano is indeed very expressive. Allowing one to strike a whole bunch of keys at the same time if needed - three notes, four notes, or much more than that ----- to get some very nice sounds. Actually, sometimes, even the sound of a single note when played in some context within a piece of music - as we know ----- is beautiful. A piano can't do certain things that other instruments can do, which is obvious. But we see and know that there are a heap of things that a piano can do, which other instruments can't do.

If one wants to also access the capabilities of certain other instruments, such bow/string instruments etc, then for sure ----- enjoyment can be had with choosing one or more of those other sorts of instruments to learn.

Acoustic pianos are generally not portable, or not very portable at all. But one nice thing is that - even if not portable - one can play it by staying seated. And don't need to hold it heheh .... and don't need to blow into it etc.
I am a pianist too after all, I understand. 😉

I believe cello you still play sitting so still nice 👍

Requirements for a new instrument: (joke)
- Has to play classical, well any can but more like classical based instrument?

- No blowing air

- Sitting would be preferable

- I like the sound obviously haha

Ok seems a perfect match haha, piano and cello?

Originally Posted by dogperson
Blue
If you decide to look for a cello and decent bow, be prepared for sticker shock over the price
😳 Oh no.
I’ll look for spare cash, I might of spent it all on the piano.

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Originally Posted by probably blue
I believe cello you still play sitting so still nice 👍

True! Although ..... it's necessary to pick it up and hold it .... sort of. But ... jokes aside. A cello is certainly very expressive.

Back to jokes again ..... they also make a nice toboggan/sled for getting away from the baddies on ski slopes!

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I am blessed to have a piano teacher who is a scholar and skilled concert pianist. He can make the piano sound like a cello or a flute, like a human voice, like weeping, laughter, rain, ocean waves, sunshine…the list is endless. When asked, he explains that it is a combination of finger articulation, subtle timing, voicing, dynamics, phrasing, expert pedaling and understanding the music, the composer, the era when the music was written and the kind of instruments available at the time.

True, you can’t move the strings on a piano but you can change the speed and force of the hammers hitting or caressing those strings. You can also change the interaction of the dampers with the strings using the pedals and (on a grand) you can shift the position of the dampers so some strings are muffled. The piano doesn’t have to sound percussive at all but it takes years to learn how to make it sing.


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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Back to jokes again ..... they also make a nice toboggan/sled for getting away from the baddies on ski slopes!

Ok ..... not the cello itself, but the cello case. And the cello can be used as the rudder. (LINK)

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Originally Posted by probably blue
Ok seems a perfect match haha, piano and cello?

I think it's the best match, I love the cello. If I were going to learn another instrument it would be the cello!


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Originally Posted by Gooddog
I am blessed to have a piano teacher who is a scholar and skilled concert pianist. He can make the piano sound like a cello or a flute, like a human voice, like weeping, laughter, rain, ocean waves, sunshine…the list is endless. When asked, he explains that it is a combination of finger articulation, subtle timing, voicing, dynamics, phrasing, expert pedaling and understanding the music, the composer, the era when the music was written and the kind of instruments available at the time.

True, you can’t move the strings on a piano but you can change the speed and force of the hammers hitting or caressing those strings. You can also change the interaction of the dampers with the strings using the pedals and (on a grand) you can shift the position of the dampers so some strings are muffled. The piano doesn’t have to sound percussive at all but it takes years to learn how to make it sing.

Not to denigrate your teacher's ability, I would bet that anyone who listened to him in a blind test would know he is playing a piano, no matter what instrument he is trying to sound like.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by Gooddog
I am blessed to have a piano teacher who is a scholar and skilled concert pianist. He can make the piano sound like a cello or a flute, like a human voice, like weeping, laughter, rain, ocean waves, sunshine…the list is endless. When asked, he explains that it is a combination of finger articulation, subtle timing, voicing, dynamics, phrasing, expert pedaling and understanding the music, the composer, the era when the music was written and the kind of instruments available at the time.

True, you can’t move the strings on a piano but you can change the speed and force of the hammers hitting or caressing those strings. You can also change the interaction of the dampers with the strings using the pedals and (on a grand) you can shift the position of the dampers so some strings are muffled. The piano doesn’t have to sound percussive at all but it takes years to learn how to make it sing.

Not to denigrate your teacher's ability, I would bet that anyone who listened to him in a blind test would know he is playing a piano, no matter what instrument he is trying to sound like.

I don't think it is meant literally like those instruments. You can dance like a swan for instance but a person can see that you look like a human and not like a swan.

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Never been fond of this idea of making the piano sound like another instrument. Why can't it just sound like a beautiful piano sound? Do teachers of other instruments ever tell their students to try to make their instrument sound like a piano? Is the piano timbre so uninteresting that we have to resort to emulating other instruments? Instead of trying to sound like a cello, can't we just try to produce a beautiful warm piano tone that no other instrument can imitate?
Too often we hear this shaming of the percussive nature of the piano. The percussive aspect can sound beautiful, even lyrical if done right. We should embrace the percussive aspect of our instrument instead of trying to camouflage it. If you don't like the idea of hammers being propelled to hit strings, just quit the piano and get a goddamn cello.


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There's a very good reason why the piano took off into the stratosphere soon after its invention and development, especially in the early 19th century (coinciding with the Romantic movement in music), whereas other instruments didn't. (In fact, the nearest instrument to that would be the clarinet, with Mozart's and Brahms's advocacy - based in large part on their friendships with remarkable exponents of the clarinet: Anton Stadler and Richard Mühlfeld.)

The reason is that the piano is capable of far more expressive capabilities than any other musical instrument: it can be a whole orchestra (Liszt), or a diva soaring into the high C's (Thalberg), or a pipe organ (Busoni), or a 100-piece choir, or any number of musical instruments. Or a percussion instrument, of course (Bartók's Sonata for 2 pianos & percussion) - once you understand and have a mastery of how to articulate, voice and......very importantly, how to use the pedal.

Which is why beginners and intermediates find the piano limiting and wish they could 'make sounds' and 'do things' with the piano that they can't, and start looking to learn other instruments........with the result that they never gain sufficient mastery of their original instrument and therefore never know of its capabilities in the right hands, and ultimately fulfil their own preconceptions. I was fortunate in that as an unmusical and ignorant kid, my first teacher played a classical piece for me after every lesson, and showed me - right from the beginning - what the piano is capable of (even the tinny little vertical on which I was having my lessons and playing on at home): everything from a sotto voce whisper to glorious full voice to thunder and lightning, from raindrops (Jardins sous la pluie, not Raindrop P.) and water (Jeux d'eau, Une barque sur l'océan, Ondine) to sheer devilry (Danse macabre, Dante S., Scarbo). I knew right from day one that the only limiting factor to my imaginative re-creations was my own capabilities, which was why I was spurred on to keep practicing........and my teacher made no bones about the fact that it would take many, many years to get to that level. (Of course, she didn't tell me: multiply that by ten, based on my musical talent equivalent to that of a Tandonia budapestensis cry - she was always nothing if not encouraging, knowing that I was doing my best.)

So, I stuck with it, even after she left for greener pastures abroad, and realized her wisdom as I kept on developing my skills with subsequent teachers, while having fun all the way........until I reached the level when I could 'reproduce' the sounds I had in my head at will.

Yes, other instruments are 'easier' (for instance, I could accompany myself singing pop songs within an hour of being given a guitar and a songbook with guitar chords, and I could play the ocarina within 15 minutes whistle), but none are so satisfying to develop one's self-expression. And most great composers, from Mozart onwards, realized that - which is why the oeuvre for solo piano, chamber music with piano and piano concertos outstrip that of all other instruments combined by a factor of at least 1000.

Oh, before I forget: let's listen to cello & piano, singing their collective hearts out - where would the cello be without the piano here? smirk :


"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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Originally Posted by Rubens
Never been fond of this idea of making the piano sound like another instrument. Why can't it just sound like a beautiful piano sound? Do teachers of other instruments ever tell their students to try to make their instrument sound like a piano? Is the piano timbre so uninteresting that we have to resort to emulating other instruments? Instead of trying to sound like a cello, can't we just try to produce a beautiful warm piano tone that no other instrument can imitate?
Too often we hear this shaming of the percussive nature of the piano. The percussive aspect can sound beautiful, even lyrical if done right. We should embrace the percussive aspect of our instrument instead of trying to camouflage it. If you don't like the idea of hammers being propelled to hit strings, just quit the piano and get a goddamn cello.

It's also with other instruments, it's often supposed to sound like singing, a human voice, that's what cellos and violins can do.

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You can't do a vibrato sound on a piano like you can with a flute or a violin for instance, you have to work with what's there. It's different, but it can sing. Just listen to Horowitz.

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A descendant/relative of the acoustic piano is the digital counterpart ..... so also consider the 'synth'.

With adequately good sound samples and suitable midi sequencing gear .... you can do this sort of thing with synths. LINK

And the sounds from the music in that link comes from older generation gear. The sounds are all from digital samples. And piano players have a nice advantage .... as they have keyboard skills to record the passages ..... for sequencing, editing etc.

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I think everyone on these forums is aware that a synthesizer can add ultimate options of sounds to music. But what is really being discussed here is the sound possibilities of playing sn acoustic or digital through the keys alone , not adding artificial sounds through technology,

Last edited by dogperson; 05/22/22 09:13 AM.

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Originally Posted by Josephine83
Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by Gooddog
I am blessed to have a piano teacher who is a scholar and skilled concert pianist. He can make the piano sound like a cello or a flute, like a human voice, like weeping, laughter, rain, ocean waves, sunshine…the list is endless. When asked, he explains that it is a combination of finger articulation, subtle timing, voicing, dynamics, phrasing, expert pedaling and understanding the music, the composer, the era when the music was written and the kind of instruments available at the time.

True, you can’t move the strings on a piano but you can change the speed and force of the hammers hitting or caressing those strings. You can also change the interaction of the dampers with the strings using the pedals and (on a grand) you can shift the position of the dampers so some strings are muffled. The piano doesn’t have to sound percussive at all but it takes years to learn how to make it sing.

Not to denigrate your teacher's ability, I would bet that anyone who listened to him in a blind test would know he is playing a piano, no matter what instrument he is trying to sound like.

I don't think it is meant literally like those instruments. You can dance like a swan for instance but a person can see that you look like a human and not like a swan.
I think the list of what dogperson's teacher can make a piano sound like depends mostly on the music being played and the imagination of the listener. Can he make the funeral march in Chopin's Sonata sound like a flute, laughter, rain, or sunshine? Of course not. There aren't ways to make a piano sound like weeping unless the music sounds like weeping. It's primarily the music that evokes some response or image. If the pianists is very good they might evoke a clearer response. If someone is playing a melodic line in the part of the keyboard within the two octaves below middle C then it could be imitative of a cello but that's because of the range of notes being playing and the pianist's ability to play a singing line.

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