I Have Figured Out Why ...

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dulcinea
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I Have Figured Out Why ...

Post by dulcinea » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:50 pm

... the keyboard music of such as JS Bach and D Scarlatti sounds so harsh and jarring to my ears when played on the piano:
the harpsichord is a STRING instrument, which explains why music written for it sounds so wonderful when played on the guitar and the lute;
the piano is a PERCUSSION instrument, a refinement of the marimba and the xylophone; that means that playing on the piano the music that JSB and DS wrote for the harpsichord is much the same thing as playing the Andantino quasi Allegretto of the Third Violin Concerto of Saint-Saens on ...



















... the bass drum.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

jbuck919
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Re: I Have Figured Out Why ...

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:49 pm

Which is why the clavichord is also inappropriate for that music. :roll:

The celesta is a keyboard instrument based on struck bars or plates, suggesting a relationship to mallet instruments. The fact that the piano hammer strikes strings makes a crucial difference. If it is related to any other percussion instrument besides the clavichord, it is the gentle hammer dulcimer.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

nut-job
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Re: I Have Figured Out Why ...

Post by nut-job » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:41 pm

dulcinea wrote:... the keyboard music of such as JS Bach and D Scarlatti sounds so harsh and jarring to my ears when played on the piano:
the harpsichord is a STRING instrument, which explains why music written for it sounds so wonderful when played on the guitar and the lute;
the piano is a PERCUSSION instrument, a refinement of the marimba and the xylophone; that means that playing on the piano the music that JSB and DS wrote for the harpsichord is much the same thing as playing the Andantino quasi Allegretto of the Third Violin Concerto of Saint-Saens on ... the bass drum.
Yes, harpsichord is to piano as violin is to bass drum. I'm assuming you aced the SATs. :shock:

hangos
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Re: I Have Figured Out Why ...

Post by hangos » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:18 am

Fair point, but ....... the big drawback of the harpsichord is its lack of dynamic range, no piano or forte, just mezzo all the way. Surely this is the reason why the pianoforte came into existence?
Martin

John F
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Re: I Have Figured Out Why ...

Post by John F » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:18 am

You'd have to ask Cristofori why he did it, because he created the essentials of the piano pretty much by himself. The piano has wider dynamic range and control than the harpsichord, which is why it's named the pianoforte or fortepiano, but it has a much narrower range of timbres. We can only guess why this trade-off was thought to be worth it and who thought so, whether Cristofori or his employer Ferdinando de Medici.
John Francis

BWV 1080
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Re: I Have Figured Out Why ...

Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:40 am

my issue is that the music sounds thin on a piano whereas it pushes the harpsichord and uses its full range

dulcinea
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Re: I Have Figured Out Why ...

Post by dulcinea » Thu May 03, 2012 8:25 pm

At this moment I listen to Telemann's Fantasias TWV 33, played by Andrea Coen, and I'm beaming. The harpsichord has such a CHEERYBLE sound! Do you suppose Dickens ever knew what a harpsichord is?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

jbuck919
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Re: I Have Figured Out Why ...

Post by jbuck919 » Thu May 03, 2012 8:48 pm

dulcinea wrote:At this moment I listen to Telemann's Fantasias TWV 33, played by Andrea Coen, and I'm beaming. The harpsichord has such a CHEERYBLE sound! Do you suppose Dickens ever knew what a harpsichord is?
I understand the reference, but "cheeryble" also sounds like some bumpkinish palatalized pronunciation of "terrible." Too bad double meaning was outside Dickens's repertory of literary devices. :wink:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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