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G0 pre-1883

  • 1.  G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-30-2023 16:36

    Hi all,

    This may be a bit of an odd question in a technical forum, but I couldn't think of a better place.  

    The European composer Agnes Tyrrell (1846-1883), wrote a number of piano compositions in her short life.  As I understand it, one of her piano compositions contains the note G0. My question is this: What, if any, pianos at this time had additional bass notes below A0? Did Bösendorfer at this point?

     Thanks!



    ------------------------------
    Tim Foster
    New Oxford PA
    (470) 231-6074
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-01-2023 10:27
    Along this line, I tuned A0 to F0 years ago for Tucson pianist Ozan Marsh. I don’t remember the exact piece but I think it was Rachmaninoff. Ozan liked the reinforcement, I think, to F1 by playing the octave.

    Bob Anderson, RPT
    Tucson, AZ




  • 3.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-01-2023 14:43

    Bob,

    If I'm reading this right you took A0 and brought down to an octave below F1. Is this correct?

    Peter Grey Piano Doctor 



    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    (603) 686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-01-2023 16:15
    That’s it, Peter.

    Bob Anderson, RPT
    Tucson, AZ




  • 5.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-01-2023 20:21
    Pianos with more than 88 note compass were being built.  





  • 6.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-01-2023 20:27
      |   view attached
    Pianos with more than an 88-note compass were built in the later 19th century.

    Period Piano Collection includes an Erard 8'6" 90 note piano which begins at G 0.  This model goes back in production at least to the 1870s.  Other European builders built pianos with compasses larger than 88 notes too.

    Bill

    Bill Shull, Period Piano Collection
    www.periodpiano.org





  • 7.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-01-2023 20:39

    Excellent, thank you! Do you have a list of names off the top of your head with extra notes?



    ------------------------------
    Tim Foster
    New Oxford PA
    (470) 231-6074
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Posted 05-01-2023 22:02
    Hi, Tim,

    Bill beat me to it. (Hi, Bill!)

    In addition to the Erard Bill mentions, it occurs to me that, with the
    number of people building pianos all over Europe in the 19th C, there
    could have been any number of makers experimenting with range in
    different ways before things got generally (but only generally)
    stabilized at 88 notes in the last quarter of that period.

    Decades ago, I had a handful of clients in LA who owned a variety of
    pre-WWI pianos from various makers, including Erards, Pleyels,
    Broadwoods, and some other names that now escape me. One of the Erards
    was 90 notes, as was one of the Pleyels. There were probably others;
    but that was a long time ago.

    Subject to information from someone more informed by myself, the first
    company to introduce extended ranges to their instruments on a regular
    production basis was Bosendorfer. They got into that business on the
    request of Ferruccio Busoni, around 1909, who was working on his
    transcriptions of various Bach Organ works.

    In more recent news, piano maker Wayne Stuart (Australia) introduced a
    108-note piano in 2018. The utility of his design remains to be seen.

    I hope that some of this is useful. If not, please just delete it.

    Kind regards.

    Horace

    On 5/1/2023 5:39 PM, Tim Foster via Piano Technicians Guild wrote:
    > Excellent, thank you! Do you have a list of names off the top of your head with extra notes?
    >
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Tim Foster
    > New Oxford PA
    > (470) 231-6074
    > ------------------------------
    > -------------------------------------------
    > Original Message:
    > Sent: 05-01-2023 20:27
    > From: William Shull
    > Subject: G0 pre-1883
    >
    > Pianos with more than an 88-note compass were built in the later 19th century.
    > Period Piano Collection includes an Erard 8'6" 90 note piano which begins at G 0. This model goes back in production at least to the 1870s. Other European builders built pianos with compasses larger than 88 notes too.
    > Bill
    > Bill Shull, Period Piano Collection www.periodpiano.org
    >
    >
    > Original Message:
    > Sent: 5/1/2023 4:15:00 PM
    > From: Robert Anderson
    > Subject: RE: G0 pre-1883
    >
    > That's it, Peter.
    >
    > Bob Anderson, RPT
    > Tucson, AZ
    >
    >
    > Original Message:
    > Sent: 5/1/2023 2:43:00 PM
    > From: Peter Grey
    > Subject: RE: G0 pre-1883
    >
    >
    > Bob,
    >
    > If I'm reading this right you took A0 and brought down to an octave below F1. Is this correct?
    >
    > Peter Grey Piano Doctor
    >
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Peter Grey
    > Stratham NH
    > (603) 686-2395
    > pianodoctor57@gmail.com <pianodoctor57@gmail.com>
    > ------------------------------
    >
    > Original Message:
    > Sent: 05-01-2023 10:27
    > From: Robert Anderson
    > Subject: G0 pre-1883
    >
    > Along this line, I tuned A0 to F0 years ago for Tucson pianist Ozan Marsh. I don't remember the exact piece but I think it was Rachmaninoff. Ozan liked the reinforcement, I think, to F1 by playing the octave.
    >
    > Bob Anderson, RPT
    > Tucson, AZ
    >
    >
    > Original Message:
    > Sent: 4/30/2023 4:36:00 PM
    > From: Tim Foster
    > Subject: G0 pre-1883
    >
    >
    > Hi all,
    >
    > This may be a bit of an odd question in a technical forum, but I couldn't think of a better place.
    >
    > The European composer Agnes Tyrrell (1846-1883), wrote a number of piano compositions in her short life. ??As I understand it, one of her piano compositions contains the note G0. My question is this: What, if any, pianos at this time had additional bass notes below A0? Did B??sendorfer at this point?
    >
    > ??Thanks!
    >
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Tim Foster
    > New Oxford PA
    > (470) 231-6074
    > ------------------------------
    >
    >
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    > Reply to Discussion : https://my.ptg.org/eGroups/PostReply/?GroupId=43&MID=764505
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    >
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  • 9.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-02-2023 10:21
    Informative as always, Horace. I didn’t know about the Busoni connection to the Bosendorfer design. I don’t remember who gave me the idea but I have long assumed that the motivation for adding extra notes below A0 was to improve the placement of A0 farther away from the edge of the soundboard and the end of the bridge. There is sometimes more than one reason for any given feature.

    Bob Anderson, RPT
    Tucson, AZ




  • 10.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-02-2023 14:02

    Did Bösendorfer have an extended range before Busoni's request? Bösendorfer seems to be the best candidate as far as location if the dates also align.



    ------------------------------
    Tim Foster
    New Oxford PA
    (470) 231-6074
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Posted 05-02-2023 14:19
    Hi, Tim,

    That I am aware of, that was not the case.

    That said, it's important to remember that, especially during the middle of the 19th C, there were hundreds (if not thousands) of piano makers world wide. During that period, there were thousands of patents issued that related, in whole or part, to acoustic pianos. So, having seen 90 note instruments from both Played and Erard, the very well could have been others.

    Kind regards.

    Horace



      Original Message




  • 12.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Posted 05-02-2023 14:13
    Hi, Robert,

    You are too kind.

    From a certain point of view, I think that the extension of the compass can be explained as a chicken/egg question. That is, pressure from designers and manufacturers to increase the power and definition of the design at its extremes; and, the pressure from composers and performers to accomplish the same ends.

    While this sounds circular, it's always seemed to me that this movement has two sides of the same coin, each mutually driving and supporting the other.

    More concretely, I really agree with those whose experience suggests that the increased compass at the bass end lends greater clarity and definition to the lower 6th or so of the range. There's not really much there in terms of a "fundamental", so, allowing more "flexibility" in the system. That would make that lower 6th more focused.

    There is a similar thing going on in the expansion of the range from 85 to 88 notes. However, in that case, it is to me as if (a very scientific phrase) the expansion of the range was much more strongly driven by the need to make the top several notes actually usable. I think that this is most easily observed in pianos of either compass (which have not been rescaled). To my ear, most 85 note instruments don't have much of a usable A, while the 88 note instruments often don't have much of a usable C.

    In all of this, I think that it is very important that, however much we like to wax maudlin about the (often) glorious sound of our favourite ChickYamaBalBechSteinendorfer, piano making has also always been about making money. So, things that promote making money are (sadly, in my view) co-equally important with making wonderful musical instruments.

    To be clear, I don't have the math to have a serious conversation about this with those who do. I can only relate what my own experience has lead me to suspect.

    Kind regards.

    Horace




      Original Message




  • 13.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-02-2023 14:15

    Abomination ! We need to get back to the original 54 notes.



    ------------------------------
    Larry Messerly, RPT
    Bringing Harmony to Homes
    www.lacrossepianotuning.com
    ljmesserly@gmail.com
    928-899-7292
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: G0 pre-1883

    Posted 05-02-2023 14:33
    Hi, Larry,

    Of course!

    They'd be much cheaper to make; and much more easy to tune.

    On the other hand...we'd lose a couple of centuries of bravura piano music...

    Kind regards.

    Horace



      Original Message