Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Prepared Piano!!

It was in the early 1900s that pianists started experimenting with drumming the lid, plucking and so on.  As the experimentation moved up the academic ladder, the term "prepared piano" was applied to when items were inserted in the strings to alter the sound.  This is basically what is done here, without insertions, just using lots of hands and loads of creativity!  Fun stuff and great performing - basically the Piano Guys' hallmark.

I looked up prepared piano on wikipedia, and the article gave a number of early examples of ways piano makers added sounds to the piano.  Here was my favorite:

Turkish stop

Around the turn of the nineteenth century, Turkish music was so popular that piano manufacturers made special pianos with a Turkish stop, also called the military or Janissary stop. The player would press a pedal that caused a bell to ring and/or a padded hammer to strike the soundboard in imitation of a bass drum. The Turkish stop was popular for playing the famous Mozart Rondo alla Turca, K 331.

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