This in-depth lecture presentation will help you gain a significant edge as a piano tuner and technician. Do you understand what an inharmonicity curve is? How do inharmonicity curves interact across the range of the piano? What does a 6:3, 4:2, or 2:1 octave “look” like when represented graphically? How do coincident partials look when represented graphically? Can you calculate the fundamental frequencies of adjacent notes? Do you understand how to convert between Hertz and cents in different ranges of the piano? Put all this knowledge in your toolkit and you’ll begin to have a much deeper understanding of piano tuning by ear. Learn these concepts and meditate on them as your next ear tuning unfolds. Whether you’re a beginner piano technician and want to ensure you are understanding the foundational theory behind ear tuning or a more experienced technician who wants to update your understanding, this video will be invaluable.
The instructor: Eathan Janney BM, PhD, RPT has 17 years of experience in the Piano Industry, which includes work as a technician in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., New Orleans, New Jersey, Peru and Hong Kong. He established the acclaimed Floating Piano Factory Apprenticeship Program in 2011 and has been teaching piano technology and helping the advancement of the field ever since. His PhD is in Biology with a concentration on Neuroscience, where his research focused heavily on the analysis of birdsong from a musical perspective. Thus, he has a deep understanding of signal processing and statistical analysis, a wonderful complement to his skills and experience in piano technology. He also has taught through CUNY (the City University of New York) at the City College of New York and Hunter College on topics ranging from biology to statistics. His undergraduate degree is in Jazz Piano Performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts which is the conservatory of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
There’s this phenomenon called brain crack. Have you ever heard of it? I remember the term was introduced years ago, by a vlogger named Ze Frank.
Basically: when you have an amazing idea in your mind, it’s easy to just keep thinking about it. Over and over. Planning all the wonderful details, crafting the perfect plan, dreaming up how great it’s going to be.
But you never actually do it.
You just get addicted to the idea. And there’s no way, if you actually did it, that it could ever live up to the idyllic concept you’ve created. So there you are, caught in a feedback loop, addicted to brain crack.
In this set of video tutorials Macho and Neway from Floating Piano Factory in Hong Kong show us how to replace hammer return spring cords on a Yamaha U1 upright piano. It is quite common for these cords to wear out and break. In this piano, virtually all of them have become useless! Continue reading
There’s a lot happening right now surrounding the upcoming elections in the US. I think about the potential each candidate has to shape the world. I think about what kinds of effects each of them might facilitate at home and abroad. I also wonder what Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump were like as children. How does a child grow to affect the world in the ways that they can?
I’ve become connected with two non-profit organizations that are working to fight poverty and economic disparity in Peru: Intiwawa and HOOP. The thing I really love about them is the specific approach they take to tackle the problem: they focus on providing educational resources to children. Considering the focus on wealth inequality in this election cycle, it seems appropriate think about the future we are setting up for poor kids in this world.
In the midst of all this, I recently across the story of a political figure from long ago, a fascinating person I’d never learned about before: Simón Bolívar. There was a grand painting of him on the wall at the Regional Museum of History in Tacna, and beneath it I found a summary of his life. Here’s an excerpt:
Just before I had to rush off to Arica to renew my visa, I received an unexpected email.
A man named Jonathan reached out from West Virginia, writing to say that he had recently discovered our blog. Not only that, he was heading to Peru to rebuild a piano in a Baptist seminary, in a town called Urubamba. He wanted to see if I’d like to join him.
Although Urubamba is far from Arequipa, I was definitely interested in making the journey…but I was already rushing out of town to get that visa renewed. Fortunately, Jonathan wasn’t coming down for two weeks, so I figured I could make that work. No problem. Plenty of time.
It’s amazing how meeting just one new person can open up hundreds of pathways and tunnels you otherwise never would have found. My first visit to the home of Hernando Torres-Fernández was a prime example of this. An evening filled with friendship and piano stories, it definitely led to a slew of discoveries I hadn’t expected.
Before we parted ways that night, he reminded me of an upcoming event that I might like to attend. The event is called Hay Festival. When Hernando gave me a copy of the program, I it seemed to include many different kinds of thinkers who would be sharing their ideas. But honestly I could hardly decode the Spanish enough to be prepared. My new words of the day became “periodista” and “escritor.” There would be several of these people the conference. Once I found the meaning it made sense: journalists! Their job is to author periodicals; Writers! They might compose a script. So, it would be literary festival of sorts.
There were quite a few lectures I could choose to attend, but where should I begin? Would all the talks be in Spanish? Would I even be able to understand any of it? Continue reading
In a previous post I talked about my conversation with piano-playing diplomat Hernando Torres-Fernández, and how meeting him quickly led to several other adventures. For instance, only a few hours after meeting him, I attended a concert at the Peruvian-North American Cultural center that he had recommended. That’s where I met José and Roxana, a lovely couple with a passion for music and a spectacular Rönisch upright piano, imported from Germany by their ancestors. I wound up spending a beautiful day with them and their piano that epitomized why this Ambassador Program feels so special.
Although it was Hernando’s influence that helped me along my circuitous journey to Jose’s piano, I actually had not yet visited the instrument in Hernando’s own home. I was very eager to investigate. It was in need of a tuning, so we decided we would set a time to meet. Continue reading