Posts Tagged ‘http://PianoSD.com’

Happy New Year !!!!!!

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years is behind us and we are looking forward to a new year.   Most of us look at the New Year as a time of new beginnings and fresh starts, new projects and resolutions.  The same goes for Piano Social Directory and for myself as well.

While I am not in a position for full disclosure I will soon be able to make a special announcement about my personal future.  As for Piano Social Directory, we are about to start a few new projects that we have wanted to start for some time.

We are committed to building relationships and helping connect people  that are interested in locating piano professionals from every aspect.  New  strategies will open up Canada, the U.K. and Europe in the coming months and we will begin to grow our business as we make those additions  to these new territories.

Piano Social Directory has now grown to over 13,000 professionals and we have now referred more than 1,00o people to industry professionals nationwide.  We are certainly not the only directory in the piano industry but we are quickly becoming the most visited.

In December we launched PianoSD+ which allows professionals to pay a small fee every month which will allows the individual to advertise at the top of the list of the individual sections.  So far it has been met with a small amount of success and we know that will eventually grow.

This year we will add e-commerce, video blogs and some other products that will take advantage of modern technology.  As we grow we are going to be exploring new opportunities and hopefully add things that will help promote our site as well as the piano industry as a whole.

I pray that you are also looking at opportunities for your business and if we can do anything to help you, please let us know.

Ric Overton

http://pianosd.com

 

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

The Piano Was NOT The First Keyboard (part 1)

Monday, October 29th, 2012

As most of you know, I am 100% a piano fan.   I love the way they look, feel, sound and maybe even smell ( at least when they are new ).  I thought about the fact, however, that I am never looking past the piano.  I never quite get back to the basics of where it all started at least as far as the lineage of the piano is concerned.

There is a very rich history in piano building that spans back to the late 1300’s into the 1400’s and I thought it would be fun to go back and look at the very beginning and see if we can (at least partially) bring it all full circle.

Although keyboard instruments as we commonly know them today have gone through many changes, the idea of a keyboard instrument  was originally created in 1361.  In 1361 there were essentially no flats or sharps as we know them today.  Although there are physically notes on the keyboard with the 5 incidentals they had different notes in the beginning.  Over the period of the next 300 – 400 years ( yes, that is an accurate number ) we have gone through a number of changes that have brought us to the “newest” scale and was finally publicly and famously endorsed by Bach in the early 1700’s.   Much more about that to come in the next parts.

I will be presenting to you in the next few blogs about the history of the piano.  I learned quite a bit myself and hope that you will as well.  It is a little confusing as you move backward to understand the scale designs so, I have tried my best to put the information in my own words and leave out some of the less famous keyboards.

Over the period since the early 1300’s (over 700 years of history) there have been many, many versions of the piano that did not “take” and were unsuccessful for one reason or another.   Some did not stay in tune for long periods of time, some were too awkward to be moved while others simply did not function correctly.

Over the next few posts I will attempt to put the most popular stringed keyboard  instruments in a logical order so you can easily follow the information and pass it along to others.

Please enjoy.

Visit our new affiliate program at http://coolstuffformusicians.com and our gear shop at http://pianosd.spreadshirt.com and of course http://pianosd.com

Ric Overton

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

Memorial Day 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Today I am reminded of all the people that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country, our freedom and our way of life.

All over the world today people are fighting in the streets, burning buildings, killing people en masse and viciousness from  our politicians and people on all sides.  This is part of what these great warriors have given their lives for.  Even though it makes us angry and makes you just want to scream, it is part of the freedom that we enjoy ( or abhor ) (depending on your personal feelings).

Today also has reminded me of the people in my life that have passed from this life having given their lives to a cause or career that has meant something special to them.  Their causes and careers are part of our passions.  Passion for music is mine.

Besides the great masters of music we have had many people in our heritage that have shaped our musical experience.  Some have been great at Classical, some have been outstanding at jazz  and we have country and my personal favorite which is Gospel Music.

I have spent some of the day being reminded of what a great heritage we have in our nation and the people that have paved the road for us to enjoy not only our civil freedoms but also our musical freedoms.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com

 

We Are Growing

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Over the past few weeks we have REALLY undergone major surgery.  Our website has taken on a new life and I can’t tell you how excited I am about it.  We have met some really nice people and for the month so far we have made over 100 referrals to piano teachers, piano tuners and piano movers.  We have seen the website grow from only a few visits a month to over 6000 page views a month.  Our t-shirt business is growing and we will soon be sending out an email blast to over 18,000 users who are in our system now as Piano Professionals.

SETTING GOALS

Our goal in the coming months is Continue reading “We Are Growing” »

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