piano newsletter june july 2016

Mason & Hamlin Factory Tour – July 14!

Mason Hamlin Rim Press
Yes, the tour of the Mason & Hamlin Piano Factory is on!

Let me know a.s.a.p. if you would like to join us. There is no cost to you (for the tour).

This is your chance to see how a top notch piano is built, and then you get to play some newly minted Mason & Hamlin pianos!

The tour is fascinating and educational (but fun).
And I’ve found out Thursdays are the day Boaz Kirschenbaum does voicing at Mason & Hamlin… “Thursday is my day there (I work there weekly) so if you want to see voicing in process it’s a great day to visit”. A nice added treat for anyone joining us for the tour.
If you aren’t familiar with what “voicing a piano” means here is your chance to learn.

Email me at frank@pianoworld.com or post a reply to the thread listed below.
The thread contains lots of details and some pictures.
Mason & Hamlin Factory Tour Details



My apologies that this issue is a little thin on content.
This time of the year is often slow/quiet. I did include some new items, and a few previous ones you may have missed that I thought were worth keeping in for this issue.

If you have ideas, content, pictures, upcoming concerts, competitions etc. that you’d like to share with our audience, please feel free to send them to me. ( frank@pianoworld.com )


Piano Parties!
We love piano parties! If you are planning to hold one, please let us know. Piano parties are a great way to share your love of playing (and listening) and an opportunity to get non-players interested.

Denver Colorado
The good folks in Denver are planning another piano party. Denver Piano Party Details

Pittsfield MA Piano Party?
Member Ghazi has suggested he/she would be interested in hosting a piano party at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, MA
If you live anywhere within driving distance, you know it’s pretty country in the Berkshire County area.

Berkshire County / Pittsfield MA Piano Party

The EPP 2016 party starts in a few days!
2013 it was Brussels, Belgium
2014 it was in Lisbon, Portugal
2015 was Lucerne, Switzerland
2016 is in … insert drum roll …. Milan, Italy!

Kathy and I are going to this one!
Italy has been on the top of our bucket list for some time. We can’t really afford this trip, but we know if we put it off we may never get there so we’re going! (our credit card companies will be happy)
More About the EPP Piano Party

Bulgaria anyone?
Members are still trying to organize a piano party in Bulgaria. If you think you might be interested, please check it out.

Bulgaria Piano Party

Not sure what a piano party is? Check out the links above, and this forum Forum Members Parties, Tours, Cruises, & Meetings
Also, see this Collection of Piano Parties and Tours compiled by one of our moderators (thank you Casinitaly).

Piano World is Changing!

I am working on a complete redesign of the Piano World web site. Right now it’s sort of in limbo as I work behind the scenes to create a completely new and better site.
As you might imagine a web site with hundreds of pages (not counting the forums) is a lot of work.
I will unveil a sneak peek at the new design in a few weeks. It should be much better looking, easier to navigate and automatically offer a mobile version along with a host of new features and soon, more content and new categories.

And no, I’m not changing the forums, at least not yet. I would consider moving the forums to a new platform if I could find one that was worth the effort, but it would have to be able to import all the current content, including all 2,500,000+ posts.

When Is a Piano Not a Piano??

When it’s a piano with a PianoDisc ProRecord system installed!
How do I know? I liked it so much I installed one in my own piano (Estonia L-190) and I love it!
Why do I love it?
I’m glad you asked.
There are several reasons, including:

  • What a Performance! Using amazing technology it captures every nuance of your playing using a super sensitive optical sensor system that measures the exact position of the key (it captures 1024 levels of expression for each note without adding delays or reducing velocity accuracy). It’s not recording the sound, it’s capturing your performance
  • Silent Play – Play Your Acoustic Piano Through Headphones – with the QuietTime you can play your acoustic piano anytime without disturbing anyone else, listening through headphones. Yes, that’s right. Your acoustic piano will be silent to others while you play and listen through headphones.
  • I’m a Composer – Send your performance out with the built in MIDI system to your computer/laptop and using a program like Notation software your playing can be automatically converted to sheet music. I like to compose, but I’m weak on theory and have no patience. This is the perfect answer for anyone who loves to create but doesn’t like the tediousness of writing it all down note for note.
  • I’m Hearing Voices! – Yes you are, if you have the ProRecord system installed in your piano. 88 of them to be exact. That’s right, now you can make your acoustic piano sound like a pipe organ, strings, digital pianos, vibes, even choral voices, and so much more.

Curious to learn more? Please visit the web site I’ve set up for more details www.Prorecord.info
(note: the site is still a work in progress, I will be adding more to it soon).

New Piano Owners Forum!

PLEASE – Visit this forum and congratulate these folks on their New Piano!

We now have a special sub-forum under the Piano Forum specifically as a place for posts about members getting a new (to them) piano.

I love reading the threads posted by members who have finally purchased their piano. Seeing the pictures and hearing the stories reminds me of one of the most important reasons we are here, to help each other.

And if you’ve found Piano World and/or the Forums to be helpful, we’d love to know that too.
Unfortunately these posts get buried quickly as new threads get created.

If you recently got a piano, or you know of a thread where someone is talking about getting their new piano, please let me know. I’d love to move the threads to this one central place for all to share in the joy of owning and playing a piano.

The New Piano Owners forum lives here , right under the primary Piano Forum.

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Fun & Interesting Stuff

All the Lovely People. Where Do They All Come From?
Ever wonder where people come from who are visit Piano World? I’ve pulled some stats from our Google Analytics. Here is a list of all 235 places, including how many sessions came from each.
Piano World Visitor Countries

100+ Year Old Reed Organ Sounds Like an Orchestra
A good friend of ours owns a beautiful 100+ year old Mason & Hamlin reed organ (pump organ).
He didn’t want to alter the appearance but wanted to get more sound from the instrument.
Don is a carpenter and cabinet maker, as well as an expert at restoring historical old houses. He worked with master pipe organ technician Nick Orso of Portland Maine.

100+ Year Old Reed Organ – Amazing Sounds!

Frank the Piano Tuner Meets Emmett the Cow
Yes, I’m the Frank. Keep in mind up until very recently I had somewhat of a fear of cows.
Frank and the Cow

Ghost Cruise & Lighthouse Tour
Ok, a bit off topic I know. But Kathy and I are going to be on this Ghost Cruise and wondered if anyone else in the area would be up for joining us. There is still time to sign up. See details at the link. Ghost Cruise

My Tuning Adventures
I sometimes post pictures and blurbs about my tuning adventures on the forums, other times I only get them up on Facebook.
I’ve decided to create A Piano Tuner’s Blog on the forums, about my tuning adventures. While I’ll still share things on my Facebook page, the “blog” gives me a central place to collect my experiences. Frank’s – A Piano Tuner’s Blog
Feel free to poke around my FB page to see what I’m up to also, it contains other piano related stuff too . Frank Baxter’s FB page

What’s Happening on the Piano Forums?
Looking for a quick way to catch up on what’s being discussed on the forums? One option is the Active Topics link. This one shows all the active topics over the past seven days.. Active Topics, Last 7 Days
You can also choose other options like past 24 or 48 hours, active posts, unanswered posts. Check it out.

Live Piano Venues
This is an ongoing project to collect listings of places where you can still hear live piano music, and places where you can (maybe) play the piano. We’re talking about restaurants, bars, hotels, airports, etc. Help us grow the list.
The goal is to eventually organize it by location (anyone want to help?).

Listings of Live Piano Venues

The Best Things I’ve Learned on Piano World
A thread running in the Adult Beginner Forum, members talking about what they found helpful/interesting on Piano World. Best Things I’ve Learned on Piano World

I’ll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours
(Show Us Your Piano Room Pictures)
This thread has been running for ten years now!
Every once in a while someone discovers it and adds pictures of their own Piano/Music room.
If you haven’t posted yours yet, please feel free to add them. We don’t care if you only have a keyboard sitting on a table or two concert grands in an elaborate music room, we just love seeing people’s set up and knowing they are enjoying making music.

If you would like to add your pictures to this thread PLEASE be sure to upload your pictures to our servers (see Posting Pictures on the Piano Forums below). Otherwise they may just disappear some day, as you will see in some of the posts in this thread.
the Show Us Your Piano Room Pictures Thread

Thank You – Thank You – Thank You!

A big thank you to all the wonderful people who have made a donation and/or become a subscribing member of our forums.
Keeping Piano World and the Piano Forums going is a challenge. I get up every day thinking I need to find a way to generate income. I know it’s my choice to be self-employed and I love it, but there are times when it can be a bit intimidating.
That’s why we (Kathy and I) so appreciate it when one of our members/guests wants to show their support.
You know who you are, but I will also follow up with a personal direct note to each of you soon.

If you you’d like to show your support, please visit our Support page.

Keep in mind one of the best ways you can help is to spread the word about Piano World and the Piano Forums. Tell your friends, co-workers, relatives, etc. And especially suggest to piano related businesses (teachers, tuners, movers, dealers/stores, etc.) that they should be advertising on the worlds’s most popular piano site!
And if you know someone in the southwest Maine or southeast New Hampshire area, tell them you know a really good piano tuner (me). Frank Baxter – Piano Tuner-Technician

(And yes, I know the page looks ugly, as I mentioned in the Piano World is Changing story, I’m working on a completely new design.)

Manhattan Road Trip
Our good friend and long time forums member Robin Meloy Goldsby has a new book out, Manhattan Road Trip.
If you’ve read any of Robin’s books you already know what a talented writer she is. If you haven’t, this is a good one to start with, but I can tell you from experience you really should read the others too.
Robin will be joining us at the Piano Party in Milan Italy July 2nd!

About the book

“In Robin Meloy Goldsby’s musical tales of passion, wild success and gut-wrenching regret, a classical pianist battles middle age and Rachmaninoff; a bebop saxophonist struggles with a varmint sharing her New York City apartment; and a cellist performs Mozart for her mentally ill mother. Filled with the” …

Manhattan Road Trip – Book Details

Do you know of a particularly good thread you think others would enjoy?
Send me an email with a link to the thread (webmaster@pianoworld.com) or send it from within the thread itself. I’ll take a look and consider listing it in a future newsletter.
And if you find one that would make a really good addition to one of our FAQ areas, please let me know that too.


Concerts, Recitals & Competitions

Harpist Maeve Gilchrist
Celtic harpist Maeve Gilchrist will be playing at the Parsonsfield Seminary in Parsonsfield, Maine August 1, 2016.
Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic harp to new levels of performance.

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve’s innovative folk-jazz fusion approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home playing with a traditional Irish folk group as she is with an American string band or a contemporary ensemble.

She tours internationally as band leader or soloist and has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries as Kathy Mattea, Esperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka and Alasdair Fraser. More about Maeve
For additional details about the concert contact me directly ( frank@pianoworld.com )

Newport Music Festival
I was fortunate to have attended the festival in 1969 when it was called the Newport Jazz Festival. What a great way to see and hear top musicians. Love the venues (Newport mansions). Kathy and I hope to take in some of the shows in this year, maybe we will see you there.
Newport Music Festival Details

2016 Midwest International Piano Competition
The University of Northern Iowa School of Music is thrilled to announce the 2016 Midwest International Piano Competition, taking place in Cedar Falls, Iowa, June 5-11.

Junior Category
1st prize $2500
2nd prize $1500
3rd prize $1000

Senior Category
1st prize $10000
CD recording with Blue Griffin label valued at $5000. www.bluegriffin.com
Professional management for two years with Heartland Concert Artists (optional)
2nd prize $5000
3rd prize $2500
Midwest Piano Competition Details

Virginia Waring International Piano Competition
Senior Competition (18-35 years old)
Over $35,000 in prize money plus performance opportunities.
Additional Details about this Piano Competition

2016 Chicago International Duo Piano Competition
Sponsored by the Chicago Duo Piano Festival and Music Institute of Chicago
Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, Founders and Directors

June 8-12, 2016
Music Institute of Chicago

Competition Awards
1st Prize: $10,000
2nd Prize: $5,000
3rd Prize: $2,500

Details – Chicago Duo Piano Competition

High Point University 2016 Piano Competition
Funded by the Randall Thomas Johnson Trust

$10,000 in prizes awarded among 3 finalists
For pianists aged 15-25 who reside in the United States
September 10, 2016
High Point, NC
Additional Details – High Point Piano Competition

6th Piano Bridges Amateur Competition
The 6th Piano Bridges International Competition for Amateur Pianists will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, from July 4-9, 2016.
We welcome amateur pianists aged 17 and above from all countries, people of various occupations for whom piano playing is a serious hobby, but not a professional activity.
Professional pianists as well as piano teachers and students of professional music colleges and conservatories (piano specialization) are not allowed to take part in the competition.

The competition is held in two categories:
1st category – amateur pianists who received a diploma of secondary or higher musical education but haven’t been involved in music activities as professional pianists for at least 3 years.
2nd category – amateur pianists with no professional piano education.
6th Piano Bridges Amateur Competition Details

National Piano Conference
The National Piano Conference is already preparing for the 5th annual conference in 2016. Follow us and plan a trip to Crystal Lake ILLINOIS and enjoy classes, seminars, events and concerts all centered around the wonderful piano, the most versatile instrument in the world
National Piano Conference Info

Additional Piano Concerts and Competition Listings

Remember, if you know of any piano concerts, competitions, or events … let us know!
You can post in this section of the piano forums (and/or email us). Don’t forget to keep an eye on the forum below for news of upcoming concerts, competitions, and special (piano) events. Piano Concerts – Competitions – Events

Have you visited the member recordings forums?
This is a great place to hear some of your fellow forums members. One is a sub forum in the Pianist Corner which features primarily classical music. Member Recordings – Pianist Corner

The other is under the Fun Stuff category and contains hundreds of recordings of all types of wonderful music. Member Recordings – General


Posting Pictures on the Piano Forums

Please understand that we much prefer you upload a copy of your pictures to our servers using this gallery feature, or our older uploader, rather than just linking to them hosted elsewhere.
We constantly find that pictures linked from one of the free services on the web inevitably end up with broken links.

Our picture gallery tool automatically creates three size pictures. Thumb, Medium (best for display in a forum thread) and Full (full original size of the image you uploaded).
We are often asked how to post pictures in the forums. There is a Picture Gallery Forum specifically here to make this easier.
Essentially the steps are:
1.) Upload your pictures to the gallery 2.) Copy and paste the url for each picture where you want them in your post (each picture will have the correct syntax for embedding the picture in your thread).

Full instructions for using the gallery can be found here… Posting Pictures in the Forums
And finally, if you still aren’t sure how to upload your pictures, contact me and I’ll help.


Are You Taking Care of Your Piano?

Piano Need Tuning? Did you know your piano should be tuned at least twice a year?
As a piano tuner I sometimes receive calls from customers who tell me they aren’t sure if their piano actually needs to be tuned. Let’s think about this. Have you ever watched a violinist in an orchestra? They often tune up before every piece, and they only have four strings to contend with. The average piano has about 235 strings with a total tension (pull from all the strings) measured in tons!
And how do you make music on a piano? By whacking those strings with felt wrapped devices called hammers!
Yes, your piano needs to be tuned.

And it isn’t just playing that knocks your piano out of tune, changes in temperature and humidity are major factors.

Yes, your piano needs to be tuned.

Call your piano tuner today

Need help finding a good piano tuner? Check our classified listings Piano Classified Listings Find Piano Tuners,Piano Dealers,Piano Movers,Piano Teachers,Piano Restoration Shops,Piano Manufacturers, and more

PianoSupplies.com, everything for the musician
Don’t Forget to Visit our Online Store www.PianoSupplies.com !
Lots of great items for music lovers, pianist, music teachers, piano tuners, and so much more!


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It’s Fun to Play The Piano … Please Pass It On!

Warm Regards,

Frank Baxter
(Founder / Host) &
My Lovely Assistant, Kathy

Piano World & the Piano Forums, PianoSupplies.com
84,000+ Forums Members, Over 2.5 Million Posts, and always growing!
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