The piano is perhaps the most widely used instrument in Western music despite its lack of portability and its great expense. Despite its popularity, however, few people are interested in the trivial facts that make a piano so fascinating. For example, the name “piano” is actually short for “pianoforte”, which literally means “harpsichord that plays both loud and soft”. It was revolutionary to play an instrument that had such a great dynamic range. After all, a harpsichord was a nice sounding instrument but had a single volume and a single tone. The only variety that came with a harpsichord was in the painting that was normally found on the inside of the lid.
The along comes a piano – so dynamic, so brilliant, so unique that it was almost instantly classified as both a percussion and a string instrument; percussion because the player strikes the key to make a sound, and string because the sound is actually the result of a string’s vibration. However, it can also be classified as a “chordophone” for the same reason. The chordophone family of instruments is those that get their sound from a vibrating string. But then again, the piano’s sound board has a lot to do with the sound as well.
So what is it?
Those that argue for the “percussion” class are quick to point out that the strength of the strike on the key determines the volume. They rightly claim that there are many percussion instruments that have keyboards and distinct pitches. Of course, they can also claim that, like many mammoth percussion instruments, the piano is huge and unmovable!
However, many people, including those who claim to be piano experts, do not realize that it is the “velocity” of the keystroke that determines the volume and not the strength behind it. It is the speed of the hammer traveling between its resting position and the string that will define the loudness of what is heard. In fact, electronic keyboards and MIDI components have taken the term “velocity” and have literally replaced the word “volume” in today’s electronic music jargon.
How Should We Classify Instruments?
When it comes to keyboards, one is reminded that a keyboard is nothing more than a practical method to play specific pitches – no different than the valves on a trumpet, the frets on a guitar, or the slide on a trombone. It is difficult, then, to say that the keyboard itself could define a specific group of instruments. Why would one use the physical aspects of determining pitch as a classification? What if we did? We would have the following categories:
* The “Valves”
* The “Slides”
* The “Bows”
* The “Keys”
* The “Sticks”
Sounds like some interesting sections in our orchestra! But when it comes to what the audience truly hears, these classifications are a bit impractical. Wait a minute? Perhaps that is our key (no pun intended)? Perhaps we need to classify the piano because of what we hear? If so, the piano is one of the most beautiful string instruments to ever be invented. Yes – it is the string that makes the sound and the soundboard gives it the projection and tone that is makes it so wonderful.
So what is the piano? It is a string instrument. Those that consider it percussion because it is struck fail to take into account all those angry brass players that strike their instruments on many occasions. There are times when I prefer that tone over the normal one!
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* The Fabric of the Cosmos: Universe or Multiverse? – by Scientists, hosted by Brian Greene
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Were you on of those thinking that duplications of yourself living simultaneously in Parallel Realities were just impossible and for lunatics?
Well, after this video you might see that in another way, as scientists show examples of how it can be your Reality!
Go to 3:34 to skip intro.
Hour 4: Is our universe unique, or could it be just one in an endless ‘multiverse’?
– Though you may find more information about these subjects on http://WhiteTimeHealing.net/more , we may Not agree with all the statements given in these interviews!
“The Fabric of the Cosmos,” a four-hour series based on the book by renowned physicist and author Brian Greene, takes us to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time, and the universe. With each step, audiences will discover that just beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world we’d hardly recognize—a startling world far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected.
Brian Greene is going to let you in on a secret: We’ve all been deceived. Our perceptions of time and space have led us astray. Much of what we thought we knew about our universe—that the past has already happened and the future is yet to be, that space is just an empty void, that our universe is the only universe that exists—just might be wrong.
Interweaving provocative theories, experiments, and stories with crystal-clear explanations and imaginative metaphors like those that defined the groundbreaking and highly acclaimed series “The Elegant Universe,” “The Fabric of the Cosmos” aims to be the most compelling, visual, and comprehensive picture of modern physics ever seen on television.
Universe or Multiverse? New String Theory ☆ Parallel Universes & Timelines ☆ Best Full Documentary