From The Blog Of Ric Overton...

Tone

I have been discussing tone in pianos.  This is a carry over from that same subject with a couple of explanations.

Often we link tone to bright or mellow, full bodied to metalic and thin.  This is simply a reference to the complexity of the tone you hear when someone is playing a piano.

At some point I am going to explain by illustration and in laymens terms the various parts of the piano and what they have to do with the sound you hear but for the present we are discussing over all tones.

There is a huge difference between the Asian sound and the American sound.  There has always been an argument of whether the piano is a percussion instrument or an orchestral instrument.  By definition the piano is considered a percussion instrument however, this writer feels that it should be considered an exception to the rule and be considered an orchestral instrument and hopefully I will be able to relate that argument to you in this blog.

When you listen to the tone variations between the average Asian piano and the average American piano and then match that against a finer European piano you can hear the obvious and I must say the VERY obvious.

Asian pianos tend to have a very distinct sound that leans toward brighter and thinner in tone.  Very easy to use in concerts, recording and reproductions in various venues.  It is very normal to see an Asian piano in a major recording studio or concert venue because the reproduction of the sound and the miking is somewhat easier than its American counterpart.

When you start thinking of an American tone it tends to lean more to the middle.  It has a nice blend of both a metallic and bright sound but also has a more mellow tone than the average Asian piano.  While there are certain exceptions to this rule I am merely refering to the average piano from each of these areas.

Tone is an interesting quality that varies from instrument to instrument.  A person who plays a great deal can even tell the differences between brand names because of their tone values.

In the next blog I want to round this discussion out by going to Europe and discussing tone values in the pianos

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