Thursday, July 24, 2014

Early Beginnings of the Piano


Beginnings of the Piano

Our family’s first piano was an upright—solid, heavy, and in need of tuning.  If only I had known of Bennett Piano Movers at that time.  Bennett’s would have solved both the physical move as well as the tuning.  However, we were able to procure the services of a blind gentleman certified as a piano tuner.  He came with tuning fork, gently manipulated the ‘ivories’, and adjusted the strings just so.  We were happy with his work.  And even happier when our daughter could render the beauty of ‘Chariots of Fire’.

Stirring Piano Music Evokes



Listening to such stirring piano music evokes a sense of music rippling smoothly along with punctuated effects that one clings to while merging with the next sweet measure.
Piano music moves us with a myriad of feelings--without our delving into the complexities of how the music does that. 
That such beauty and pleasure can be ours is a tribute to man’s forebears and their ingenuity with simple instruments, exploration of tones, and craftsmanship.


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Beauty Of Such Stringed Tones


Thousands of years ago man’s use of pan pipes [derived from blow guns] and simple weaponry, such as the bow and arrow, prompted the early shepherd and hunter’s awareness and appreciation of different sounds or tones that could be made.  Different tones were shaped by tautness of bow strings, material used for the strings, and wind effects as the arrow was swiftly propelled forward.  It was learned that tones could be produced across an arrangement of strings, such as with the harp of Old Testament days. The beauty of such stringed tones gave King Saul great comfort when he was troubled or sad.


Harp Of Yesteryear


The harp of yesteryear impacted design of later stringed instruments including the dulcimer, harpsichord, clavichord, and violin, and piano.  The first piano keyboard was established in 13th century Medieval Europe.

As with all inventions, alterations were made along the way – in part by early keyboard players trying to figure out how many musical notes there were to play.

Our   present-day piano or pianoforte was a major work of Bartolome Cristofori, an Italian harpsichordist from 1710 Florence, Italy.  One may safely credit these early instruments and music makers with the evolution to our present day piano tones and keyboards of 88 keys.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Different Parts of The Piano


Great piano manufacturers go to enormous lengths to produce a quality instrument that will ensure many years of enjoyment throughout the life of the piano.

The Back:
 The back of a vertical piano, or the bottom in the case of a grand, is the piano's foundation, and must be strong and stable.

The Soundboard:
 The soundboard is the heart of the piano that converts the vibrations of the strings into the tone of the piano. Its purpose is to convert the vibrations of the strings into sound.

 Spruce is the wood of choice that top quality pianos manufactures use for their soundboards. Pianos of lesser quality might use plywood for the soundboard.

Bass and Treble Bridges:
Complete accuracy of the bass and treble bridges is vital for the transfer of the string vibrations to the soundboard (resulting in the fine tonal quality from the lowest bass string to the highest treble).

The Pin Block:
The pin block runs the width of the piano and is attached to the back of the piano. The tuning pins keep the piano in tune by maintaining the correct string tension. Defective pin blocks can be replaced on grand pianos but it is nearly impossible to replace a vertical piano's pin block. Loose pins are usually the result of excessive dryness over a period of time. The single most important thing is that the pin block is properly designed and the holes are drilled accurately.

 Hard rock maple is the material of choice in high quality pianos.
 

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The Piano Plate:
  The piano plate is made of cast iron and is attached to the back frame must resist tons of string tension.

Pedals:
Most pianos have three pedals... some with just two pedals are usually made overseas.
  • The left pedal when depressed, shifts the action slightly to on one restricting the hammers to only strike two strings not the usual three strings. This makes the piano sound softer.
  • The right pedal is called the damper and when depressed lifts the damper off of the string allowing the string to sound until the pedal is released.
  • The middle pedal on some pianos maintains the bass. On others, it maintains a single note or individual chord.

 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Candelabra

  The word candelabra derives its origin from the Latin word "candelabrum" which means candlestick.

  Even though candelabras come in all shapes and sizes...all candelabra's hold more than one candlestick and the more fanciful versions...usually used with concert grand pianos...hold 20 or more candles that are attached to the top of a decorative base.


Liberace, who was well-known for his flamboyant style, used his trademark candelabra to decorate his piano.



  Candelabras are constructed using numerous materials including, silver, gold, brass, copper, iron or crystal and are available in numerous styles that include table top, aisle and free standing.
 
  Floor candelabras are becoming more popular because the height can be raised allowing for better lighting from any angle focused on the sheet music and the piano keyboard.
 
  Originally used primarily for lighting in the "old days" prior to the availability of electricity, candles are no longer used for piano lighting purposes but are used primarily to create a soft, ambient warmth of the piano and musician.
 
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  Now most concert halls, homes, schools and churches provide an ample amount of lighting that provides a quality environment for that special piano recital for family members.
 
  Modern LED piano lamps are much safer and can be even more beautiful and stylish than the nicest candelabras.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

What is a Metronome.

I've no doubt the debate about whether metronomes are good
or bad will continue, but on one point I think everyone at Bennett Piano Movers will agree...the humble metronome undoubtedly has its use.

Piano players...beginners at least... seldom play the piano at an exact beat so using a metronome helps keep a steady tempo as they play, providing a fixed, rigid, relentless pulse. A metronome is one of the most powerful tools a pianist can use to improve their playing. Period. If you practice a piece regularly with a metronome, you will display greater confidence while performing.

Mechanical Metronomes

The most popular and early mechanical metronomes used an adjustable weight on the end of an inverted pendulum rod to control the tempo and was invented/designed by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel in Amsterdam in 1814. One of the more common types of metronome is the Wittner Electronic metronome which uses a quartz crystal and simple dials and buttons to adjust the accuracy and tempo.
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Electrical Metronomes

With the invention of electricity, many types of electrical metronomes were developed, Some by people with little knowledge of music and how the instrument was going to be used.
This also made possible the invention of the Franz synchronous electric metronome in 1938. These metronomes were produced through June, 1994.

In 1977 the Franz pendulum metronome was introduced employing improvements in the internal mechanisms enabling them to work on a slanted surface. These devices were produced through 1990.
From 1950 to the present many versions of the electronic metronome including Seth Thomas, Sabine and Metone  have been designed and sold in piano service stores throughout Atlanta.

Digital Metronomes

In the late 1970's digital electronics had developed to the point where it became economically feasible to apply them to the design of a metronome.
The introduction of low cost of microprocessors has made it possible to add other functions including:
• Tuning pitches
• accented beats

Make the Metronome Your Friend

• Buy a metronome with a light.
• Buy a metronome with subdivision capabilities
• Buy a metronome that produces a different sound
• Buy single-function metronomes.
Let’s face it, a metronome can help a piano eventually, so why not start making that new friend today.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Which Bench Is Most Suitable For You.

 The right piano bench can make the difference.

 Though your piano and bench don't have to match, you do need a bench or stool that is comfortable, offers the correct height and of course ...complements the piano and the piano player.

 Most pianists considered the piano bench an intricate part of their performance and finding that perfect bench that fits your particular needs can be daunting.

 For an older player, a regular piano bench would be the ideal, though if over 5 feet, 6 inches an adjustable bench might be preferable but keep in mind that adjustable benches are available in varying sizes.

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Benches Come In Two Basic Types:

Bench:


Fixed Bench
 This piano stool is just perfect for any type of piano, acoustic, grand, or upright. The standard height of a piano bench is 19" or 20".

 The traditional or common piano bench is simple yet durable type of bench constructed using Maple, Walnut, Mahogany, Oak and Poplar woods, upholstered padding and music storage compartments conveniently located under the seat.

 Usually, numerous color options are available that will match your piano.
School and institutional-type benches often come with so-called "stretcher" benches, where the legs are connected with wooden reinforcing struts to better endure heavy use.

Duet Piano Bench:


 This size Bench is sometimes called a " Grand Piano Bench "and is usually 33" & 36" wide and can be used with Grand Pianos and full size Upright pianos.

 Because of its toughness and ability to seat two people the duet-size bench (seats two) is a favorite of pianists who sit practicing for long periods of time, allowing a change of position for greater comfort.

Adjustable Stools:


Adjustable Stools
 Most pianist prefer this stool because of its unique and useful feature which is the height-variability enabling pianist to sit and play the piano comfortably regardless of their size and height.

 If you want a versatile bench, the adjustable piano bench is your best bet. Adjustable benches typically can be set at anywhere from about 18" to 21".

 Because of its toughness and ability to seat two people the duet-size bench (seats two) is a favorite of pianists who sit practicing for long periods of time, allowing a change of position for greater comfort.









Monday, December 2, 2013

Maintaining Your Piano's Appearance

Piano Cleaning

Green street sign with the words ,The Right Way, written on the sign
Piano Cleaning The Right Way

Modern Pianos are finished with numerous materials designed to protect the wood from dirt, spills and humidity from the time-honored lacquers to the more modern polyurethanes.

Polyester resins are available in black, white and clear finishes enhance the beauty of the woods finish.

Always Avoid Direct Sunlight

A piano finish is easily maintained by simply keeping it clean, avoid exposure to direct sunlight and limit temperature and humidity changes.

Modern finishes are designed to do their job without the additional aid of polishes or waxes.

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Never spray polish on the piano

In general, furniture polishes and lemon oils are not recommended except for specialized polishes intended for high-gloss finishes.

Polish's that contain silicone are  extremely dangerous because their tendency to spread within the piano, sometimes causing extensive damage.

Piano Keys

16 piano keys are shown.
Modern Piano Keys
Most modern piano keys...there are exceptions... are  made out of  spruce or basswood and covered with plastic.

 Old high end pianos whose keys were made from ivory popularized the term ..."Tickling The Ivory" which referred to an accomplished piano player but that all changed when ivory keys were no longer legally available starting in the 1950's.

Ebony and Ivory Keys

natural and sharps piano keys are shown
88 Keys On A Piano
There are 88 keys on a piano that need cleaning because of  dirt and  oil from players fingers.

There are 52..."natural"... white keys typically made of plastic or ivory and 36..."sharps"... made from plastic, hardwood, or ebony.


Cleaning the Keys

Clean natural keys with a back to front motion rather than side-to-side. Wiping side-to-side can allow needless  moisture to seep between keys and cause damage.

Cleaning materials
Cleaning Piano Keys
Use a soft cloth...never use paper towels..., dampened with filtered  water...minerals can alter the appearance of the finish...and a small amount of mild soap...dry immediately with a new clean soft cloth to prevent dirt and oils from seeping between the keys.

Ivory keys are porous and typically thinner, and excessive moisture can penetrate and loosen their glue joints... dry immediately.

To keep the ivory keys in great shape for years to come, take a clean, soft cloth and spread a thin layer of the plain yogurt over each key. Gently work the thin layer of plain yogurt into the key with the cloth and then wipe it off with another clean, soft cloth.

Clean sharps using the same direction as above..."without the yogurt"... but use a separate cloth for painted wooden sharps to avoid black stains on the white keys.

Disinfect your piano keys

Small baby shown playing a piano after the piano has been cleaned.
Disinfect Your Piano Keys
Never use popular sprays or disinfectants such as Lysol or similar disinfectants on your piano keys and avoid the use of rubbing alcohol or solvents that can damage the key surface.


 Always remember to use a separate cloth 
when cleaning the black keys.



Clean using a solution comprised of 3 parts filtered water to 1 part white vinegar.

A good habit to cultivate is never to play the piano with dirty hands. That way the keyboard will stay clean for a long time.





Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Choose Bennett Piano For Your Next Piano Move?

Bennett Piano Mover in Atlanta is the Best in Class for piano moving in Atlanta.
Best In Class Piano Moving
 Over the years, you’ve accumulated numerous memories of family gatherings and special events…you’ve cleaned, polished and even maintained that beautiful instrument’s sound by having the piano tuned whenever needed…and now that special piano needs to be moved to your new home or just another room and you must decide who to trust with such a grand instrument.

May I Recommend Bennett Piano

Bennett Piano is the greatest piano mover in Georgia.
Bennett Piano Covers Georgia
 Bennett piano started moving pianos in Atlanta in 1978 and over the years expanded it’s piano moving services to cover the entire state of Georgia.


 We’ve moved any thing from privately owned concert grand pianos to and from concert halls, to the smallest family upright piano regulated to the basement when the children moved.

Especially Equipped Trucks With Air Ride And Rail Lifts

Air shock ride for your piano
Smooth Transport

 We have special Air-Ride Equipped trucks with Rail-Lift hydraulic lift gates attached to the rear of fully enclosed commercial trucks with track piano moving boards and custom dollies that guarantee a smooth, safe transport of your cherished musical instrument.


We Will Not Arrive At Your Home or Business
In A Pickup Truck With A Small Trailer


We will not arrive at your home or business in a pickup truck with a small trailer in tow representing ourselves as piano movers on the weekend.

 Can you imagine the bumpy ride your piano will have to endure while strapped to the side of that small trailer…behind a pick-up truck…going over a railroad track in the North Georgia Mountains or hitting a pothole in Atlanta? Will your piano need to be tuned after such follies?

Your Time Is Valuable.

Bennett Piano arrives on time every time.
On Time Every Time



Bennett piano movers will arrive on the scheduled date at the scheduled time…
PERIOD.


 

Licensed And Insured

 Bennett Piano is a fully licensed, completely insured and experienced piano mover with the necessary expertise, high end moving equipment and trained, caring… two-man teams on every piano move…staff that will treat your piano with the concern and attention it deserves.


FULLY LICENSED, INSURED and BONDED
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404-367-8555
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 Bennett Piano has gown since 1978 from only serving the
metro Atlanta area to one of the
most respected and trusted short and long distance piano
movers in Georgia.