Archive for the ‘Ric Overton’ Category

Where Have I Been?

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Many things have happened since you last saw me.  I have moved to Burbank, CA where I am the General Manager at Hollywood Piano.

Since 1928

Since 1928

 

 

This is a business that has been around since 1928 and for those of you wondering I was NOT part of the original staff.  We are the dealers for a wide variety of pianos from Mason and Hamlin, Grotrian, Baldwin and many more.  Of course, if you have followed my blog at all, I am also happy to be selling Roland digital and Dynatone digital pianos.

I was pleased to join the staff of Hollywood Piano because they have represented some of the finest lines of pianos on the planet.

In addition to all of the lovely pianos, we also have a great performance hall as well as teaching facilities.If you have a chance to stop by and meet me I would love to see you.

 

I also have taken on a part time job working for Piano Marketing Group as a representative on the West Coast.  We represent several lines of World Class pianos that you will be learning about over the next few weeks.

Lastly, maybe most importantly I found a local church that I love and has been fun and inspiring to me.

Pacoima, CA

Pacoima, CA

 

When I first came to this church it was because the famous songwriter and piano player, Andrae Crouch was the Pastor along with his twin sister Sandra Crouch.  After only a couple of services, I realized I had found a church that I wanted to be my home church.

Not only are the people fun to be around they also have an unusual habit for a church.  It seems they love everyone and not only express this with their mouths but also with their behavior.  It’s amazing to see people like this in action.

Last month we lost our long time Pastor, Pastor Andrae Crouch.  He was a joy to know and serve under.  While I do miss his presence, I am so glad that his sister Pastor Sandra Crouch has taken the reins of the church and is doing great.

I have recently been asked to revive this blog because of the need that many people have to understand what’s going on in the piano business in the past couple of years. Over the next few weeks, I am going to review and tell you some of the products that I represent, and products that I have learned to enjoy and one product that I have been reintroduced to that I have loved for years but had lost close contact with over the past few years.

Great to be back and I look forward to sharing some great information with you and hope that it can in some way help you.

Ric Overton

The Piano Was Not The Original Keyboard (Part 3)

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The Virginal

 

The Virginal

The Virginal

 

The precursor to the harpsichord came in the 1400’s known as the Virginal or Virginals.  The logic behind the first virginals came in 1460 when a writer described it in a letter from Paulus Paulirinus of Praguein relation to the clavichord.  History books can differ in their opinions or ideas of its origin.

Quite a bit of music was written on a virginal because of its size and ease of transport.  This is a larger model of a virginal.  Some were quite decorative like this one while others were quite simple in their design and much smaller.

The tone quality or the virginal as compared to the clavichord was/is quite different.  While the clavichord struck the strings the virginal was closer in tone to the harpsichord.  Later as people began to want more sound we started making the harpsichord with longer strings and a larger soundboard with more depth of sound.

The virginal was identical to the harpsichord in the way it was made with the plucking of the strings rather than the clavichord mechanism which struck the strings like the piano.

A Smaller Virginal

A Smaller Virginal

The virginal was very popular during the early Baroque period although like the clavichord and by a large part the harpsichord the tone was to light to be heard with the other instruments and even more difficult in larger public performances.

If you do a quick search on the virginal you will quickly see many different variations of this cool instrument.  It is difficult to imagine that once this was cutting edge technology and this was a privilege to own.  The tone quality of this instrument was among the best available in a keyboard instrument at this point in the 1400’s.

 

Art in a VirginalArt in a Virginal

However, music for the virginal and the clavichord would be written for many years to come BECAUSE of the tone.  You may also note that many, MANY works of art show a young lady sitting in front of an instrument that most people assume is a harpsichord or clavichord but, as it turns out is actually a virginal.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com

The Piano Was Not The Original Keyboard (Part 2)

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Although keyboard instruments as we commonly know them today has gone through many changes the idea on the whole was originally created in 1361.  In 1361 there were essentially no flats or sharps as we know them today.  Over the period of the next 300 – 400 years (yes, that is an accurate number) we had gone through a number of changes that brought us to the “newest” scale and was finally publicly and famously endorsed by Bach.

Bach The Well Tempered Clavier

Bach The Well Tempered Clavier

In 1722 J.S. Bach penned The Well Tempered Clavier which was arguably one of the most famous works of all time. He repeated this work in 1742 and underscored the original endorsement of the idea of equal temperament in keyboards.

More information on The Well Tempered Clavier can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Well-Tempered_Clavier in the Wikipedia website.

While we have little information of the first pianos to be created the Medici Family indicates that pianos in their pseudo present day form was in existence as early as 1700 and potentially as far back as 1698, however, the only pianos that we have in existence today date back to 1720.

The point is that the whole idea of the modern day piano would date back to the early 1700’s.  In the beginning the present day piano is closest related to the Clavichord.

The Clavichord

The Clavichord

The Clavichord

Most people agree that the clavichord was invented sometime in the early 1400’s.  Then as early as 1502 and later in 1504 there is some mention of the Clavichord being used in public performances in both England and Germany. In 1460 however, in a descriptive letter of the virginal which was also believed to have been invented in the early 1400’s and there is some reference to the clavichord as well as virginal.

The clavichord has various “editions” which differ in sense of temperament and design.  Some clavichords are “fretted” instruments while others were “unfretted” which would help determine the technique used while playing as well as the music that could be used as well.

The Virginal

The differences in the virginal and clavichord will be discussed in later posts as well as the harpsichord and piano.  So you can see some quick pictures of the virginal and clavichord, I posted a couple here.

The Virginal

The Virginal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The differences are not really noticeable at first glance but there are some significant differences between these two instruments.  We will get much more acquainted with these early instruments and how they are finding their way back into music  today.

 

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com

We Have a New Affiliate

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Piano Social Directory is excited to announce we have a new affiliate.  Cool Stuff For Musicians is a really cool (pardon that I just said that twice) website that has things that most people don’t know are available.  The folks at Estey Piano have pulled it all together now to make some of those things available.  I have no doubt that as the website and the business grows you will see more items available and more stuff that you won’t be able to live without.

Check it out here:

Cool Stuff For Musicians

Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find some things that you MUST have and order today.  Remember the holidays are coming.

Thanks for your support.

Ric Overton

 

Special Announcement from Pearl River Piano Company

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Several years ago when I worked for Baldwin Piano Company I learned a lot about the various ways that other companies used to market their pianos and how they used their leverages to sell their products.  That’s when I first began to compete with Pearl River Pianos.  At that time, which was about 8 or 10 years ago, I began to see their products on the floor of dealerships more and more and I realized that they really were a force to be reckoned with.

Pearl River Piano and Rittmuller Piano

Pearl River Piano and Rittmuller Piano

Of course, we would use the fact that our pianos were made in America and try to encourage people to look at Baldwin Pianos rather than Pearl River Pianos, obviously because we wanted to make the sale rather than our competitor.  It wasn’t until the NAMM show of 2007 that I learned first hand that this is truly a piano to pay attention to.

As a Baldwin only dealership at the time, I hired two professional piano technicians to review the  Pearl River Piano for me.  I wanted an unbiased opinion on this product before I agreed to carry it in my store in San Diego.  They both independent of each other came back to me with almost exactly the same results.  In every category Pearl River Pianos outperformed  our expectations.  The deal was sealed and I became a Pearl River Piano dealer even to the point of selling out Baldwin and replacing them with Pearl River.

 

Pearl River and Ritmuller Pianos

In 2009 I had the opportunity to review their Rittmuller Piano which is a hybrid of European parts and Chinese manufacturing.  What I learned from this experience changed my opinion permanently.  The Rittmuller piano is an incredible  piano and again outperforms my expectations as well.

Music Trades magazine

Music Trades magazine

 

With all of that being said, this morning I received a note that really sealed my belief in Pear River Pianos.  In todays Music Trades magazine there was an a news brief outlining Pearl River’s  IPO in China.  Unlike Facebook, the stocks on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange sold over 48 million shares which raised more than $103,000,000.00 (yes that’s 103 Million with an M).  Quite impressive and another statement that underlines my belief in Pearl River.  I think that in the coming months we will see many great things from Pearl River and I for one am looking forward to it.

If  you have the opportunity to play, demonstrate or review a Pearl River Piano or Rittmuller Piano, trust me and take the time to do it.  Sure the name on the front does not start with a “Y” or and “S” but, I have no doubt that you will like the tone, texture and touch of this piano.

 

Ritmuller Piano

Ritmuller Piano

My hat is off to Pearl River Piano Group for a successful IPO and my best wishes to their continued success.

When you have a chance drop by http://PianoSD.com and see what’s new.  Also, check out the Gear Shop and find something for yourself.

Ric Overton

 

Wolfgang Forster of August Forster Pianos 5/6/33 – 6/30/12

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Today, I want to celebrate the company and heritage of one of the most famous names in the world of fine pianos.  Wolfgang Forster.  Wolfgang passed away on June 30, 2012.

May 6, 1933 Wolfgang Forster was born into a very famous and important family inLobau,Germany which is located in East Germany moments away from Poland to the East and Czech Republic to the South.  The piano company that he owned and operated with his daughter Annekatrin, this fourth generation piano company is among the most prestigious names in the piano industry today.

Before you read the story below you might find interesting:

August Forster Story

History of August Forster Pianos

 

Friedrich August Forster  was Continue reading “Wolfgang Forster of August Forster Pianos 5/6/33 — 6/30/12” »

Amazing Performance by Kids

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

This was among the most deligthful videos I have seen lately.  When I saw this I wondered how well these kids had been taught and how many hours went into teaching each one of them their parts.  These guys are really something and worth watching.

Now you have to imagine that each of these kids has been with a teacher who taught them individually each single note, how long the note has to be held, proper timing and then put it all together in one grand performance.

I am used to writing about pianos but, I felt like this was one I couldn’t avoid.

When you have a chance, stop by the T-Shirt shop and find something fun.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com

 

Interview with Ann Marie Kurrasch

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

NEW INTERVIEW

I had the nicest interview with Ann Marie Kurrasch this week that I wanted to share with you.  Ann Marie is such a nice lady and also quite talented.  The interview only tells you a small portion of her talents and what she has accomplished.

Ann Marie Kurrasch

I took a look at some of her             Continue reading “Interview with Ann Marie Kurrasch” »

Learn To Play The Piano

Friday, June 8th, 2012

One request that I get from time to time is “Is it to late for me to learn to play the piano?”  Of course, my response is “It’s NEVER to late to learn”.

There are a lot of courses available on the internet that are good courses to take to learn the piano when you are older and have an interest.  One I can suggest from personal experience is http://ScottHouston.com  Scott offers a very intuitive and concise way to learn.  Some more traditional teachers may say that this course doesn’t go far enough to explain all of the details.  My opinion is that it is pretty “spot-on” in its delivery.  No frills, just a simple and easy to understand course on learning to play the piano.

Nothing happens overnight but, one thing I want to point out is;  when you look at the piano most people see 88 notes.   All different, all types of notes, lines, squiggly things, etc. and after all “who can learn all of that”.  The secret is that there are only 12 notes that you have to learn.  These notes are represented in different places on the music staff (the thing with five lines and little round things in it) and all music has a set of rules you have to learn.  Once you learn those 12 notes Continue reading “Learn To Play The Piano” »

Piano Recital Time

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

I am sitting in the piano Store that I manage in Nipomo, Ca., The Piano Outlet,  right now listening to a piano recital of about 15 kids who have worked very hard to get here.  Words can not express how happy I am to take part in or provide for kids recitals.  It is exciting to see these young guys and girls start out their musical journey here.

Years ago when I first started learning there wasnt much of an opportunity to for me go to recitals and such.  I was usually playing piano in church and things like that so, on some levels I guess its close to being the same.

The kids have on their nice little outfits and Mom and Dad are nervous, in fact maybe more nervous than the kids themselves.  They go to the piano, take their little bow and then sit down to play their well rehearsed (hopefully) songs.  When its over, the kid and parents both breathe a sigh of relief and are simply glad its over.

I’ve seen some really great musicians come out of piano recitals and I am always happy when they realize a dream of being able to play or in some cases “just trying to make Mom and Dad happy” .  Whatever the reason, I’m glad they are here.

Hope you are having a great day and something musical has made you smile.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com

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