Posts Tagged ‘piano’

Dynatone DPR-2000

Monday, March 16th, 2015

 

Dynatone DPR 2200

Dynatone DPR 2200

 

The new Dynatone DPR-2200H digital piano has a new sound source called the ROS V.4 which becomes obvious when you start playing the piano.  The sound is incredible and very realistic. Obviously,  this model is not in a grand cabinet like the VCP 3000 OR the GPR 2200 but it has the same great features except in an upright cabinet.

The new action called ARHA that also comes with a large LCD screen is a great new feature on the DPR-2200.  This makes the piano feel more realistic than the earlier versions of this model.  It also brings this console model in-line with the larger models available with similar features. Both the DGP-200 grand piano with ensemble and the VCP-3000 player grand model.  The problem you see sometimes in the digital piano business is that the largest model has the best action and the least expensive model has a really bad action.  This is not the case with these three models.  Dynatone has made a very consistent action in each of their ensemble pianos.

Performances like this one can not be accomplished without a great action.

Along with the great action on the DPR 2200 is also the fact that they have loaded it with 128 note polyphony and 128 individual voices.  There is plenty of room for expansion of your composition and recording.  Just record your song or performance with the piano or guitar or whatever tone you may choose.  Once you have completed your song, play it back and play your second voice on top of the recording and expand the sound to create a virtual orchestra.
Lastly, the cabinet doesn’t look or feel like one of those cabinets you buy online or one of the toy pianos you find in Walmart.  It looks and feels like an acoustic piano.

More to come…..

Ric Overton in Burbank, CA

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

Chance Meetings – Kindred Spirits

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

I don’t do this very often because it’s too weird when it happens but, occasionally, you meet someone for the very first time and you feel as if you have known them your entire life.  When this happens to me I get caught up in the moment and don’t realize what is unfolding right before  my very eyes.

Yesterday was one of those days.  The first lady that I met was one of those very kind customers that come in from time to time to simply ask a question about digital pianos and perhaps see a model or two to decide if its time to upgrade or not.  After she described the instrument that she presently owns and inquire about some models that she had seen online we both came to the conclusion that I most likely was not going to be able to help her with anything more than personal opinions.  I gave her some suggestions and we had the chance to talk and get to know each other a little and just before she left I asked her if she would play something for me.

PLEASANT SURPRISE

In my mind I had prepared for some simple arrangements of Misty, Ode to Joy or some 1st or 2nd year student recital pieces.  ( Yes, BTW, I know how arrogant that sounded.  It was not intended that way but, that is the norm when you work in a piano store.)  When she sat down and played the very first note I was so taken back by what I heard that I stopped what I was doing and sat down.  By the third measure of the Chopin piece she was playing I realized that this was not your average digital piano customer.

When I complimented her on her playing and how surprised I was I don’t think she realized just how serious I was being with her.  I mentioned that Rachmaninoff was my favorite composer and as you might guess she turned and played (from memory) his Prelude in C sharp minor.  I was absolutely blown away.  I could have listened all day even though we both had work to get back to.

As we were saying goodbye and exchanging business cards I told her that she MUST share her music with the people around her and she told me to visit YouTube and there I would find a few of her songs.  I took her advise and now I am going to share that link with you so you can be as blessed as I was yesterday.  Her name is Jane Fleming and here is her YouTube page.  I know you will enjoy.  Click the image below for Jane’s Music.

Jane Fleming YouTube page

Click here for Janes Music

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOUBLE BLESSING

As I said that this exact same thing happened to me twice yesterday.  The second lady I met was a piano teacher from Orange County.  We had such a delightful conversation and I immediately realized that she was as equally passionate about the piano as I am.    It makes me so happy to meet people from all walks of life that love pianos.

As Piano Social Directory continues to grow I hope some of you will take the time to email me about your experiences and stories that I can use in my blogs and things we can talk about that will be of benefit to others that share our passion.

Take a look at Cool Stuff for Musicians and the PianoSD Gear Shop when you have a chance.  Pull out your credit card and spend some money.  HaHa.

See you soon.

Ric Overton

PianoSocialDirectory

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 (more…)

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             (more…)

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

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Monday, May 14th, 2012

My mother is one of the greatest Moms in the world.  Yes, Yes, I know, I know.  Everyone feels that way but, truthfully, my Mom is the greatest.  As a child I wanted to play the piano.  I mean I REALLY wanted to play.  She agreed to let me learn from our church piano player a few things and then she would sit for hours, countless hours (in retrospect, probably excruciating pain because I was horrible) and listen to me practice and patiently work with me to learn some of the music I had learned to love in church.

She introduced me to Gospel Music (which you probably already know is my favorite) and then helped me learn the parts and the different chords, etc.  Always patiently, every time I wanted to quit because it became hard at times, she would guide me through the tough times and help me.  All along she always encouraged me to follow my dreams and I would succeed.

At times over the past few years, I have disappointed myself but, she still encourages me to follow my heart and I will succeed.  She has helped me with this website and stood beside me, behind me and occasionally in front of me when the tough got going.  She never has suggested that I take a different path but always encourages me to follow my heart.  Of course, my heart is in the piano business so here I am.

I look at so many people who had a terrible relationship with their moms or perhaps didn’t have any relationship at all.  I hear stories that make me  hurt about moms who don’t care about their children or toss them aside when they do things that their moms don’t approve of.  I have often said that I grew up in a “Leave it to Beaver” household.  My Dad was like Ward, My Mom was like June and of course, my brother Wally.  I have a great sister-in-law and generally just a great family but I would have to admit that my Mom is the glue that keeps us together.

I’m very proud of my Mom and I appreciate her always being my pal when being a pal was appropriate and my Mom when it was time for her to be Mom.

Thanks Mom

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com

 

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