Posts Tagged ‘http://maxmorgandesign.com’

THE ALL NEW PIANOSD.COM

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

With our ever increasing need for music education and enlightenment I realized several months ago that I had a gem in the PianoSD.com website.   I have the understanding and knowledge to make a difference .  I sat down and spoke with Max Morgan our Web Designer about the possibilities and what I wanted to create.  It has taken shape and we finally have a product started that I believe will increase the public’s awareness of the need for making  music in their homes, schools, churches, etc.

I have long been an advocate of the teaching community.  In our store in San Diego I spent most of my time working with students and teachers on ways to help make the community at large have a greater appreciation of music makers.  Whether its on a washtub or a concert grand, music does change people’s daily outlook.

That’s why PianoSD.com (short for Piano Social Directory) was created.  When you go to the website you will be asked to put in your information and “join” Piano Social Directory.  If you are a piano teacher or piano tuner, if you are a manufacturer you have the option of simply adding in your information into our data base so anyone who is looking for your service can easily find you.

If you are simply a fan or enthusiast you can also sign up to receive emails about events, products or happenings in and around your area.  Sign up but please do NOT choose one of the blocks if you don’t fit into that category.  We will capture your name and information and as we progress we will be keeping you up to date on the latest.

Finally we will be adding a couple of new spots for piano artists to join to promote your talents and get creative suggestions from us on how to increase your image and public awareness.

I am very excited about what’s going on and hope that you will feel free to join our site and participate in the many changes that are taking place at the all new Piano Social Directory at http://PianoSD.com

 

Ric Overton

Beverly Aiken, Central Coast Music Teachers Association, Piano Outlet of Nipomo, Ca. and Ric Overt

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

As many of you are already aware,  I manage a small store for the Piano Outlet of Oxnard, Ca.  www.thepianooutletco.com in Nipomo, Ca.  I have long been an advocate of music and piano teachers since I was with Baldwin Piano Mfg.  I believe that they are the key to the success of the piano/music business because the teachers are teaching people to play what we have to sell so, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the correlations.

Ric Overton

Yesterday, the Central Coast Music Teachers Association held a conference in the store here in Nipomo and I was delighted to host them.  I sat while one of the leading technicians of our area gave an hour lecture on the history of the piano “A comparison of pianos through the ages”.  It was very intriguing.  Those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis know that I write a lot about the history of pianos and their origin.  It was a very captivating hour.  She brought out points that I had not thought of and refreshed my memory on other points that I had simply forgotten.

It was a pleasure to listen to a knowledgeable person bring such an enlighting path of our history.  It brings me to a new point that I will be discussing in some upcoming blogs and articles about our business.

This bring me to the point that I wanted to discuss today.  Max Morgan of www.MaxMorganDesign.com has been working with me for several years now helping to (in most cases) read my mind about the direction that I have been wanting to take the PianoSD website. Through a series of trial and error and much discussion (MUCH DISCUSSION) I have finally decided to launch a new website in the next few days www.ricoverton.com where I will be able to discuss business strategies as well as personal muse in two new blogs.

In the new site I will have the opportunity to challenge the current thought process of the piano industry and the current mood of the industry and keep it more personal than non-commital than I would attempt to do on PianoSD.  PianoSD is becoming a “go to” resource on everything piano related and RicOverton.com will be my personal opinions about business and then some personal things I would like to be able to discuss.

I look forward to the challenge of keeping up with three blogs as well as what I am

Piano Outlet, Nipomo, Ca

Piano Outlet, Nipomo, Ca

doing with the companies in the U.K. that I am currently writing for as well as the one I am developing for France and Austria.  Additionally, I write for two other companies as well as a couple of artists too.  So, I will be busy.

See you soon.

Ric Overton

for www.PianoSD.com via www.MaxMorganDesign.com

Gottfried Silbermann and Christophori Pianos

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Gottfried Silbermann was born on January 14, 1683 and passed away on August 4th at the age of 70 in 1753. He was born in Kleinbobritzsch to a local carpenter by the name of Michael Silbermann.  A lot of what he did as a young man is unclear but, one thing we do know is that he obviously moved toStrausburg,Germany at 19 years old in 1702.

Silbermann Museum

Until the year 1732, Silbermann was most known and had gained great wealth as an organ builder inSaxony.  He was noted as being very difficult to work with and quite an unusual style of management as “non-negotiable”.  When he wanted something done it was to be done quickly and without question even when dealing with vey influential people and the likes of Johann Sebastian Bach.  Consequently he built approximately 50 organs in his lifetime and 29 are still in existence today.

It is widely believed that Silbermann built his first piano in 1732 about 1 year after Christophori had passes away.  Somewhere around 1725 an article appeared about a newly invented piano which caught Gottfrieds attention.  As a harpsichord builder, Silbermann had quite a lot of experience of proper sizing of the keys themselves.

Silbermann Piano 1746

Silbermann Piano 1746

On a sour note of his career, Silbermann had very closely copied Christophori’s inventions but could never correctly copy the back check.  The back check helps to give the player a correct response but, he overcompensated by having almost perfect designs in the cases, strings, soundboard, strings and keyboard spacing.

Silbermann’s pianos had gained a lot of attention so much so that sometime in the 1740s, King Fredric the Great of Prussia purchased 15, according to some reports.  Two of his pianos can still be seenFrederick’s palaces inPotsdam.   Although they are quite simple designs they still are prominent examples of his work

What made Gottfrieds pianos so important were his inventions and additions to the original design.  He created a series of dampers that would allow the dampers to lift off the strings when the notes were played and a device that would hold the dampers off the strings for a sustained effect on the sound.  Today we know this as a damper pedal which he eventually added but in its original design there was a hand stop kind of device.

Johann Sebastian Bach was asked to play one of Silberman’s creations and it is said that Bach criticized the piano, saying that the tone was weak and the keys were too hard to play.  Although this made Gottfried extremely angry he went back to work and corrected the criticism.  Bach was so impressed that he later participated in the sale of one of his instruments.

Silbermann’s loved teaching others the craft of piano building.  Among his students was a young man by the name of Johann Andreas Stein who was a master piano builder in his own rite.  Stein perfected the “Viennese action” which was praised by a very well known group known as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Silbermann Piano 1749

Silbermann Piano 1749

There was a group that became known as his “twelve apostles”.  Among this group was Johannes Zumpe who made the square grand design famous and Americus Bakers how invented the “English Action”.

Silbermann’s who, as I stated earlier, was known as difficult at times demanded quality.  Although some of the builders that came directly from him compromised his original ideas and created some very difficult actions to work with. Fortunately because of Mr. Backers as well as some others the original action continued to exist and finally Henri Herz and Sebastian Erard went on to make those original actions better and are the original designs are pretty much still widely used today.

Although Cristofori was the original builder of the piano Silbermann often got the credit for it.  His fame and influence was incredible as was his reputation for his demanding perfection.  What a great man in our history.

Its a pleasure to announce that I have been asked to be a guest blogger for Http:vintageandrare.com in Europe.  I have enjoyed sharing my ideas and thoughts.  If you get a chance stop by and take a look.  I hope you enjoy.

Visit http://PianoSD.com when you have a chance.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com

Have you ever seen Collard and Collard

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Years ago I saw my first one and was totally taken by it.  I’m talking about Collard and Collard pianos.  Being from the south I had to smile at the name because in North Carolina collards are greens that are cooked with fat back and extremely delicious.  However, after some research I learned that this was not only a fantastic piano but a wonderful design as well.

Collard and Collard Pianoforte 1835

F. W. Collard was born sometime around the year 1772.  At age fourteen in 1786 he traveled to London and began work for a music publisher and pianoforte builder named Longman, Lukey and Broderip (LL&B)

 

LL&B was a publisher who published the music for a local celebrity known as Muzio Clementi.  Clementi had risen to great fame and fortune at that time and was growing in popularity and was a large part of their business.  Unfortunately, their success was to be short lived and by the year 1799 they had run into some financial problems and offered their company for sale.

 

By the latter part of 1800 a brand new company emerged that was primarily owned by none other than Muzio Clementi.  Along with a  very stable F.W. Collard as well as three other investors.  The new piano was to be named Muzio Clementi and Company.

 

It’s not clear exactly what year the minor investors left the company but in 1817 F.W.’s brother W.F. Collard became a partner.  Business continued to grow and in 1831 the relationship with Clementi came to an end because Clementi’s contract had expired.  In 1832 the famous Collard and Collard piano was born as a joint venture between F.W. and his brother W.F. Collard began.

 

Collard and Collard Grand 1851

Collard and Collard Grand 1851

In 1842 after 10 very successful years William Fredrick Collard retired and Frederick William (yes, the names are the same except in reverse) became the sole owner of the company.  At this time in need of help F.W. made his nephews Charles Lukey Collard and F.W. Collard Jr. a partner in the firm.

 

The years ahead were met with some changes.  One of the major changes that took place was the new partnership decided to get out of the publishing business entirely and would have liked to get out of the musical instrument business making brass and stringed instruments but because of some contractural agreements were unable to.  It seems that years before they had signed an agreement to build instruments for India and had to continue until India was transferred to the Queen and they were released from their contract and could now give their entire efforts over to building pianos.

 

The next few years brought many triumphs and tragedies.  Among the many success were numerous awards because of F.W.’s brilliance as an engineer and piano designer. They were also ahead of the curve in building extremely popular models that were very lucrative products for the company.

 

In 1807 the Tottenham Court Road factory was completely destroyed in a devastating fire and later in 1851 the Oval Road factory in Camden Town burned to the ground.  Then in 1860 F.W. passed away in the same house on Cheapside where he had originally lived when he first got to London and had lived in the same place since he was 14.  In 1866 W.F. passed away.  By this time Collard and Collard had become one of the most celebrated companies in Europe.  It’s destiny as a family owned company came to and end in 1929 when ChappellPianos of London purchased them.  Collard and Collard remained in production until 1960.

Collard and Collard Upright

Collard and Collard Upright

 

My hope for each of you is that you have the opportunity to see and hear one of these pianos.  They are a nice playing piano but an incredible looking piano as well.

 

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

 

Ibach Pianos another Master of the Piano Industry

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Johannes Adolf Ibach (1766 – 1848) After completion of his education at the Beyenburg Monastery in Southern Germany he had a burning desire to learn something about his country.  During this period of discovery he learned about piano and organ manufacturing

Johann Adolph Ibach

Johann Adolph Ibach

from some of the best craftsmen in the country.  After returning back to his home in Beyenburg he received the contract to refurbish one of the largest organs in the city of Beyenburg.  He had realized by this point that the piano had enormous potential.  In 1794 he set up a manufacturing workshop primarily building for local artists and musicians that had been also captured by the lure of this new instrument.

 

There were normal set backs in business including the Napoleonic Wars.  In 1825 Johannes failing health forced him to hand over the day to day operations to his eldest son, Carl Rudolf Ibach who was only 21. Carl Rudolph began to immediately implement the latest in manufacturing technology  and also marketing his new designs.  It wasn’t until almost 13 years later in 1838 that Ibach had introduced what is often regarded as the first upright that was available commercially in the world and later that year introduced the first cast iron plates.  Carl’s reputation and the strength of the company had soon spread across all of Europe. Sadly, Carls Rudolf, like his father died too young.

 

Ibach Upright

Ibach Upright

Ibach was then taken over by Carl’s son, PA Rudolph Ibach at the young age of 20.  Rudolph young vision made him arguably responsible for establishing the company to make it what it was to become.  Truly one of the greatest pianos ever built.  He was extremely charismatic, intelligent and had the foresight to make him a very bright and strong business man.  He kept the company of some of the most powerful and wealthy along with true royalty and some extremely well recognized composers and performers of the day.  People like Liszt, Wagner and Brahms were regular guests.  Rudolph sent his son to study the manufacturing methods that were then taking place in other piano manufacturers around the world and set up competitions for designs of pianos with the winner getting impressive cash prizes.  He was one of the first to introduce the idea of a dealer network and it was also Rudolph that changed the name to Rudolf Ibach Sohn and the shortened version Rud. Ibach Sohn.

 

Rudolf Ibach and his son J. Rudolf Ibach managed their way the wars and destruction of

Ibach Grand

Ibach Grand

their country and was able to stabilize the company again in 1952 when they started making pianos again.

 

The present status of the company is unknown.  One thing I will say.  This has to be one of the most impressive of all pianos and quite a status symbol among pianist and enthusiasts around the world.

I hope you find this series of Masters interesting.  I am enjoying writing about some of the most famous and important name brands in the piano industry.

Posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

 

Sebastian Erard Pianos

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Sebastian Erard was born in Strasbourg, Germany in 1752.  He showed a lot potential as an mechanical architect.  When he was 16 his father passed away and he was moved to Paris.  He got a job with a harpsichord maker.  After some time his speed, accuracy and excitement got him fired by his jealous supervisor.  However, by this time a lot of musicians and music instrument makers had come to not only know him but, respect his work.

Erard

Erard

 

By the time he was 25 he had started building pianos in a small workshop in a hotel owned by a duchess.  He built his first Pianoforte in 1777 in his Paris“factory”.  15 years later he move to Great Marlborough Street in London where he stayed for almost 20 years.  By this time he had built pianos for Louis XVI and for Marie Antoinette.

Erard Pianoforte

Erard Pianoforte

 

In 1796 he returned  to Paris and started immediately making grand Pianofortes with some noticed improvements. He returned   a couple of years and returned back to Paris where with his new creation of the double-movement harp.  Until his death in 1831 at the age of 79 he made Pianofortes and Harps.

Erard Pianos has been long associated as one of the finest pianos in the world.  Erards were greatly used by Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Verdi and Sir Paderewski (who travelled with his own personal Erard) were among the list of composers and musicians who appreciated his work.

 

I have only had the priveledge to play on an Erard once.  It was a beautiful restoration that was superbly done.  Although the sound was “different” it was a seriously nice piano that deserves a lot of respect  because of the “updates” and improvements that Mr. Erard would implement and encouraged others to do the same.

 

Until then

 

Ric Overton

 

Posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

Who was Chickering?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Jonas Chickering was born in Mason Village, New Hampshire in April of 1798 to Abner Chickering  who was a farmer and a blacksmith.  He originally worked as an apprentice to a cabinet maker and in 1818 moved to Boston to continue his work. This lasted for about one year until he ran into John Osborn on Orange Street and began working for him as a piano maker. In 1823, Chickering and James Stewart entered a partnership and began making pianos under the name Stewart and Chickering.  They made 15 pianos that first year which sold for around $275.00

Chickering Square Grand Piano

Blog by PianoSD.com

Stewart & Chickering dissolved after four years, and in 1830 Chickering started working  with John Mackay who had a piano store and also made organs and piano.  John had also worked with Alpheus Babcock who was doing business as Chickering and Company at  416 Washington Street.  In 1837 Chickering & Mackays along with Mackay’s son William H. Mackay built a new five story factory.  The factory had a retail store and a  concert hall, at 334 Washington Street.

John Mackay passed away in 1841 so Chickering mortgaged the factory and bought out the remaining shares from Mackay’s family which he paid out over time. On December 1, 1852 the factory burned putting over 200 people out of work and a sustained loss of over $250,000.00.  All of the tools and patters were lost and according to reports say that one of the first overtstrung pianos was lost in the fire too. Chickering then began to rebuild a new “state of the art” steam powered factory according to Mr. Chickering’s specifcations. This new factory was located at  791 Tremont Street.

 

Sadly, Chickering died before the new factory was completed in December of 1853.   His death was important to the city of Boston that there was almost 1000 people at his funeral and the mayor even ordered the city’s churches to ring their bells out of respect.  By 1853, Chickering had manufactured more than 12,000 pianos and was building more than 100 a month with sales of over almost $10,000.00 a month. The might Chickering Piano display at the London International Exhibition of 1851 earned a gold medal.  The also got  special mention for their grand pianos noted for brilliancy and power. Chickering had many patents which included: single piece iron frames,along with wrest plank bridges and damper guides in square pianos, wrest plank terminations in grands as wel as several others. Chickering & Mackays also had control of an action patented created by Alpheus Babcock and they also had control of  licensed actions patents by Edwin Brown and George Howe. Chickering made curved hammer strike lines in square grands which permitted larger hammers.  Chickering is also said to have helped Ichabod Washburn  develop the first piano wire that was made in the United States.

Chickering Concert Grand Piano for Ric Overton blog of PianoSD.com

Chickering Concert Grand Piano for Ric Overton blog of PianoSD.ocm

Among many of his musical accomplishment Chickering, Henry W. Pickering and Edward Frothingborn helped to form the society which was responsible for erecting the Boston Music Hall which was built in 1852.  There were four children: Thomas Chickering, C. Frank Chickering, George H. Chickering, and Anna Chickering. Who all worked as pianomakers and partners in the company forming Chickering and Sons.

Although Chickering was purchased by Gibson several years ago and ceased production, Chickering remains one of my favorite pianos.  Its clarity of sound and very smooth action is incredible.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.

Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

Sauter Pianos

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

I have begun a study of the history of some of our famous piano makers over the centuries.

There have been some absolutely captivating builders.  Among them of course was Sebastien Erard, Jonas Chickering, Theodore Steinway, Johan Ibach, Ignaz Bosendorfer and of course Joseph Brodmann along with one of my favorites; Carl Sauter.

Little is known of some of these guys in the U.S. because the importing of pianos at that time but, Europe has a totally different idea of music, music making and the building of fine instruments than in other parts of the world. But I am very captivated by Mr. Sauter.

Here is the story.  Johann Streicher owned a piano company called Streicher pianos.  Streicher had risen to fame because Ludwig van Beethoven had purchased several instruments from them and the Streicher was his personal favorite, in fact he often requested that  a Streicher piano be provided for his concerts.  The company had attracted  much attention and got the attention of a young man named Johann Grimm.

Some time after Johann had joined Streicher Pianos, Mr. Streicher passed away and left his company to his daughter Nannette, a freind of Beethoven and extremely close to another composer and artist of this era named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  They actually performed together on Streicher pianos on several occasions.

After several years of service to Streicher, Mr. Grimm decided to branch out on his own.  He created what was to become the Sauter Piano Company in 1813.  To date this piano company is the oldest family owned piano manufacturer and the oldest continuous running piano maker in the world.  The company has always been controlled, owned and operated by a Sauter.

Today, Urlich Sauter is in charge and continues to make pianos in his factory in Spaichingen, Germany at the foothills of the infamous Black Forest.  They continue to manufacture pianos with the concept that Johann Grimm used in 1813 but have integrated  modern day technologies. Today the factory is a state-of-the-art factory that is quite impressive and builds approximately 450 pianos a year.  In Europe, Sauter is highly regarded as one of the finest instruments available.  In the U.S. there are only a few dealers that carry the instrument.

Once you have the opportunity to experience the Sauter piano I am sure you will agree that this instrument is one that quietly grabs your attention and seems to say “is that all you got, come on get with it”.

More on some of the other famous manufacturers coming soon

Until then-

Ric Overton

posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via  http://MaxMorganDesign.com

Southern California and Beyond

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Having been a piano dealer in Southern California for several years and now more recently working as the store manager for The Piano Outlet on the Central Coast of California in Nipomo, a small town just south of San Luis Obispo and north of Santa Maria, I have seen and experienced my share of the business both the upside and the down.

I am very happy for the dealerships that continue to offer such great service and are able to simply keep thier doors open during these difficult times.

I is with this thought that PianoSD is branching out to offer a new service for the piano industry.  Within the next month PianoSD will begin to offer a national website service that will bring together all areas of the piano industry.  Whether it is for moving or teaching or tuning, we will be able to direct you to the right person in your area to provide the service that you are requesting.

With these changes comes a lot of intensive work.  We have completed the offerings in California and will soon be branching out to Texas, Florida and New York.  I hope that each of you who read this will tell your freinds that in the next few months we will offer a website service that will be 100% free to the people and will assist in providing music and music education to everyone who wants it.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available and Iappreciate your patience with us through the changes.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.co

Passion for Pianos

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

I have been ready a really good book about passion.  NO! Not the sexual kind.  Passion is the thing that invades your mind all of the time.  The thing that you think of at odd times.  The thing that draws your mind away when you think of something funny or sad.  Passion.  Its the thing that drives people to do what they do.

Pianos are truly my passion.  I know most people never think of it.  When I look at pianos I think about all of the hands that worked on 15,000 parts to put it all together.  I see the trees in the forest being cut down and then crafted into the wooden parts that are used in the piano.  The sheep that were sheared to get the wools.  The hands that were used to make the strings, not to mention the assembly.

European pianos, Asian pianos or American pianos.  Its the same all around.  So much handcraftsmenship that went into each and every single piano that is constructed regardless of the point of origin.

Since I have moved to Nipomo, Ca, just south of San Luis Obispo and north of Santa Maria.  When Bob opened his satelite store in Nipomo and I moved here, I have learned to slow down a little (at least in some ways) I have started enjoying life a little more.  This crazy passion for pianos seems to multiply.

Pianos are a world wide statement.  They are one of the most widely accepted musical instruments and I am truly proud when someone asks me what I do to say, I’m in the piano business.  I really want to see the piano to make a ressurgence in the market place.  Its very tough in the present economic situations and many people are deciding to work outside of our industry.  Yet, when you sit down at a piano and start to play people smile.

I love our teachers, technicians, tuners, movers as well as artists, dealers,etc.  I do wish you the very best.  Hope to see you soon.

Ric

posted by Ric Overton via http://maxmorgandesign.com

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